Economics @ ITT

The Finite World

Posted in economics, International Economics, macroeconomics by ittecon on December 31, 2010

In The Finite World –, Paul Krugman addresses the issue of scarcity.

Duration of Unemployment Data Collection Extended from 2 to 5 Years

Posted in economics, employment, macroeconomics by ittecon on December 30, 2010

The Current Population Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics will now collect longer term unemployment data, extended the data collection period from 2 to 5 years in order to assess the effects of the Great Recession. The change will not affect the estimate of the number of unemployed persons and will not affect other data series on the duration of unemployment.


How Do You Feel About A Flat Tax?

Posted in economics, Policy Issues, progressive taxation by ittecon on December 27, 2010

This blog post asks the age-old question, How do you feel about a flat tax? Nevermind, that the author doesn’t prefer this solution or that the Time magazine cover is from January 1996, the question remains valid.

Ron Paul: Fed ‘monopoly’ could be broken if Americans use gold, silver as currency

Posted in economics, macroeconomics by ittecon on December 15, 2010

Oligopoly 101

Posted in economics, microeconomics, oligopoly, Policy Issues by ittecon on December 14, 2010

The US falling behind other countries in health care is not a problem, even though it blows a Grand Canyon-sized hole in our long-term budget, because the oligopolies control our health care, and make more money than God off of it as a result.

Open Left:: Oligopoly 101.

Soda Tax: Good or Bad?

Posted in economics, externalities, microeconomics, Policy Issues by ittecon on December 14, 2010

An MSNBC article on the effects of a soda tax demonstrates how little journalists and the general public understand about public policy and addressing externalities, a form of market failure. It is interesting that this health writer sees the benefits of how the additional revenue is spent as a “secondary effect.” Presumably, the effects on obesity are the primary goal. The larger issue here is not that soda contains empty calories, but it is responsible for myriad otther heath and dental problems. That low income people consume a larger part of their budget on soda is a red herring. In fact, drinking tap water is a far more economical way to hydrate. Soda contains mostly water. If drinking water instead of soda people  could use the savings to support a more healthly diet, the benefits would be magnified that much more. Of course, how the saved money is spent is another issue all together.

The world economy: Three-way split

Posted in economics, International Economics, macroeconomics by ittecon on December 9, 2010

THIS year has turned out to be a surprisingly good one for the world economy. Global output has probably risen by close to 5%, well above its trend rate and a lot faster than forecasters were expecting 12 months ago. Most of the dangers that frightened financial markets during the year have failed to materialise. China’s economy has not suffered a hard landing. America’s mid-year slowdown did not become a double-dip recession.

via The world economy: Three-way split | The Economist.

The real budget deficit comes from out-of-control oligopolies, not middle-class entitlements

Posted in economics, Income Redistribution, macroeconomics, Policy Issues by ittecon on December 8, 2010

In the aftermath of the mid-term elections, there’s one enormous glaring contradiction in the GOP’s economic agenda:  Their prime long-term objective is deficit reduction.  It’s so important, in fact, that it overshadows doing anything about the ongoing Great Recession . But their prime short-term goal is tax cuts for the rich and the super-rich.  It’s so important, in fact, that it overshadows deficit reduction, since it would add $700 billion to the deficit, just in the first decade.

via Open Left:: The real budget deficit comes from out-of-control oligopolies, not middle-class entitlements.

Let’s Not Make a Deal – Paul Krugman

Back in 2001, former President George W. Bush pulled a fast one. He wanted to enact an irresponsible tax cut, largely for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans. But there were Senate rules in place designed to prevent that kind of irresponsibility. So Mr. Bush evaded the rules by making the tax cut temporary, with the whole thing scheduled to expire on the last day of 2010.

via Let’s Not Make a Deal –

Bernard Prigent, Pfizer’s inside man

Posted in economics, Regulation by ittecon on December 7, 2010

Last October, the Harper government appointed Bernard Prigent to the governing council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the federal agency that distributes about a billion dollars annually for health research. That appointment was met with near-universal condemnation from medical ethicists, because Prigent is a vice-president of Pfizer Canada, a firm that stands to profit from the decisions made at CIHR.

via Bernard Prigent, Pfizer’s inside man | News Feature | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST.