Today I'm reprising a talk I did last year with Professor Elizabeth Robison's Sociology class. We'll be discussing a brief history of agriculture and food production in the U.S. Key points are how the capital requirements, political dynamics, and technology developments have combined to make food production anything but the success story free market advocates … Continue reading Big Ag, Big Food, and the Commons -revisited
Posting links to two incredibly useful resources for students and people doing research on incomes, income distribution, and income inequality. These resources are useful for both historical data and visualizations as well as cross-country comparisons. The first is the World Top Incomes Database from the Paris School of Economics. Many thanks to the Paris School … Continue reading Data and Visualization Resources for Incomes and Inequality
I've always found putting things in historical perspective and looking at the long-term trend of things usually illuminates a lot of policy discussions. It's easier to see "what's really happening" if you look at the long-term trend. Taxes, tax rates, and the government budget are often hot topics of policy debate. So is the future … Continue reading So Who Pays For the Government and How?
2nd test post for cross-posting to econproph.net course site
Now Updated with proofreading! Political debates about taxes and tax rates in the U.S. often focus on the rich and claims about the incentive effects of different tax rates. Rarely mentioned these days are the poor. Indeed, the Republican demands in the last few years that tax rates should be cut for the high-income rich … Continue reading Taxes, Incentives, and Being Poor
A very interesting video by an Irish economist explaining how the current reduce government spending ("austerity") approach to the Eurozone debt and currency crisis is doomed to fail. It is doomed because cutting government spending in a recession only makes the recession worse, which in turn, reduces tax collections which then makes the government deficits … Continue reading David McWilliams Explains Why Austerity Is Doomed In Europe
One of the core lessons that I try to get across in my introductory Comparative Economic Systems classes is that economic systems are complex. Reality is much more complex than either simple theory or ideology. Countries simply cannot be easily categorized with simple labels such as capitalist, socialist, or communist. Those labels usually obscure more … Continue reading Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory – A Lesson in Comparative Economic Systems
I'm not the most regular blogger. I really do strive to post daily, it often doesn't work out. Sometimes my schedule pinched. Other times, health issues get in the way (ever try to write with a toothache?). But then there are times when the news makes me so angry I can't find civil words that … Continue reading Occupy Wall Street Meets Fahrenheit 451 – Whose Property Rights?
Any student, researcher, or #OWS protestor interested in income distribution and income growth should definitely be aware of this resource: The World's Top Incomes Database. (hat tip to Krugman, from whom I learned about it). It's a very powerful database combined with a very easy to use interface that allows you to extract exactly the … Continue reading Awesome Resource – The World Top Incomes Database
There is viewpoint that asserts that income inequality and wealth inequality are necessary, that they are the differences that motivate people to work and get ahead. This viewpoint often implies that without wide income disparities that our economy's growth would slow. Supporters of such a viewpoint seem to suggest that the only choices we have … Continue reading Income Inequality Does Matter And It Makes Us Worse Off