Arnold Kling  

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Panel 2, on the budget, includes Ezra Klein. He argues that the budget is, in the grand scheme of things, not such an important problem. I would agree that in the universe of problems, others are worse: unemployment, misallocation of health care resources, weaknesses in the education system.

But of the problems that government can do something about, I would say that fixing its own budget is the most important. That, of course, is where Klein and I disagree. His list of problems that government is ill-equipped to solve would be shorter than mine.

The first panel, on the economic outlook, is self-recommending (and Scott Sumner strongly recommends Brink Lindsey's introduction), but it produced none of the intensity one might have expected. I think that most of us in attendance found the fourth panel, on intellectual property, the most interesting and informative. The third panel, on inequality, was one where I thought that Brink Lindsey did better than the panelists, perhaps because he has delved into the issue more deeply than they have.


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CATEGORIES: Fiscal Policy



COMMENTS (2 to date)
Becky Hargrove writes:

Brink Lindsey brought quite a lot to both of the panels he helped with. I have given some thought to your remarks about 'disturbing the nest', especially in regard to Tyler's (more recent) discussion about the protected service sector and its (potential) effect on inflation. Perhaps it is my inclination not to 'disturb' the nest any more than necessary, as well, that I advocate non-monetary solutions for the (eventual) reorganization of services. To be sure, that would rearrange the nest in the long run, but it would not have to be so traumatic.

Jeff writes:

Honestly, would anyone expect Ezra Klein to say anything else? Would he even admit that the long term structural deficit that we have was a serious problem, even if he felt privately that it was or would prove to be?

The answers to these questions are "no," and "maybe under torture."

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