Arnold Kling  

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The College Fun Puzzle... Daughter of Lucy...

I think all of these come from Mark Thoma.

1. Robert Reich writes that fiscal and monetary policy will not get us out of the recession.

So what's the answer? Reorganizing the economy to make sure the vast middle class has a larger share of its benefits. Remaking the basic bargain linking pay to per-capita productivity.

Because you can never have enough government solutions.

2. Jeff Frankel says,

In my view the best way of doing that [addressing long-term budget issues] would be reform of social security and the health care system. But the Republicans in the Congress block almost every attempt by the Obama Administration to do these things.

I, too, remember the Republican Medicare demagoguery during the debate over health care reform. However, I do not think one can say that only the Republicans are standing in the way of entitlement reform.

3. Christine Hurt writes,

Bloggers are supposed to link to and disagree with one another, but hopefully in a non-tabloid manner where we give people the benefit of the doubt.

My emphasis. Twisting someone's words in order to give the most uncharitable interpretation possible is the intellectual equivalent of a kick in the groin. In the blogosphere, there are no referees, so one encounters a lot of groin-kicking. My advice is not to cheer when someone on our side delivers a kick in the groin. Instead, applaud when someone on our side admits doubts and discusses weaknesses in his own arguments.

4. Ed Glaeser writes,

There are plenty of good reasons to dislike (and like) the administrations of President Bush and President Obama without blaming either one for the current unemployment rate.

See my old essay Economic Attribution Errors, or the more recent Caroline Baum column.

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COMMENTS (3 to date)
Pat writes:

How can Reich think that "reorganizing the economy" is any kind of answer? It's not even a wrong answer, it's a non-answer.

Rebecca Burlingame writes:


Point well taken, and I told my husband that I didn't feel great yesterday about bringing up names. Here is where I believe quite a few on the political left and the political right agree: Finance got most of the bailouts and now it is telling the rest of us to suck it up.

Plus, these same folk on the left are the ones who tend to agree with people on the right, that macroeconomics is still in a young evolutionary stage. Sure, when I hear about yet more government solutions my eyes start to glaze over. Even so, I used to read Robert Reich twenty years ago and I can at least say that his heart is in the right place and I believe people like him might take good solutions seriously when they are convinced that government can not do the job.

Arnold Kling writes:

It may seem like a non-answer, but Reich has a new book that spells out what he means, and I assume that if I were to read the book I would find an answer. Probably not one that I believe would work, but an answer.

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