Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Arnold Kling: November 2004

An Author Archive by Month (25 entries)

Health Care Disintermediation

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' William J. Wiatrowski reports on a decline in workers receiving employer-provided medical benefits over the past decade. Some of this reflects employee choice. In 1992-93, roughly 3 out of 4 private industry workers were offered... MORE

Health Care and Moral Values

Economics of Health Care
Arnold Kling
Dr. James J. Mongan writes, After 30 years of waging the battle for broader health insurance, I am convinced the debate over universal coverage is more about values than it is about specific plans. If the resources were made available,... MORE

Flynn Effect

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
Following Marginal Revolution's recommendation, I bought Ian J. Deary's Intelligence, which is a summary of research on IQ testing. For me, the most interesting chapter was on the Flynn effect (see also this post), which is that IQ scores have... MORE

Working Poor

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
The plight of low-skilled has received notice in several recent books. See Jane Galt's post, for example. Now, Russ Roberts weighs in. Waiters and waitresses, a janitor to push the improved vacuum cleaner or power waxer, the cleaning service that... MORE

Complex System, Poorly Enforced

Tax Reform
Arnold Kling
Amar Bhide writes, India's financial difficulties stem from a badly designed and administered tax system. Rates and rules for personal and corporate income taxes appear reasonable by international standards. Nonetheless, India's government collects income taxes amounting to only about 3.7%... MORE

Pension Guarantee Hazards

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
A Wall Street Journal editorial notes, Congress and the White House produced a big, fat bailout for the most financially shaky companies, and some of those same companies are now joining the queue to dump their liabilities on the feds.... MORE

Kotlikoff's Social Security Plan

Social Security
Arnold Kling
Lawrence Kotlikoff has a long description in today's Boston Globe. One way to make up for the loss in revenue from privatization as well as cover the existing revenue shortfall is dramatically but gradually to cut Social Security benefits. Such... MORE

Poverty and Social Pressure

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
Jane Galt writes, Most of us reading this blog, after all, went to college and/or got nice steady jobs because we had enormous social and familial pressure on us to do so. How many of us were strong enough to... MORE

Single Tax Rate

Tax Reform
Arnold Kling
Alan Reynolds argues that many problems with tax systems go away if you use a single tax rate. First, a single tax rate makes it much easier to integrate business and individual taxes. Income originating in business (and used to... MORE

Hurricanes and Broken Windows

Economic Education
Arnold Kling
Walter E. Williams writes, Why are Florida's hurricanes a "plus"? It's simple. According to St. Petersburg Times reporter Joni James, "Construction creates thousands of jobs, insurance provides for billions in consumer purchases, and new facilities built to higher standards might... MORE

Tax Reform

Tax Reform
Arnold Kling
Bruce Bartlett writes, A federal VAT is the best way to raise net new revenue to pay for tax reform and deficit reduction at the same time. Thinking along similar lines, I write What I propose is that we adopt... MORE

Affordable Housing Oxymorons

Regulation and Subsidies
Arnold Kling
Here is an elementary example of presumably well-intended regulation without thinking through the consequences. Edward P. Stringham and Benjamin Powell write Under most inclusionary ordinances, builders must sell 10 to 25 percent of the homes to very low, low, or... MORE

Explaining Pharmaceutical Regulation

Regulation and Subsidies
Arnold Kling
David Masten has a brilliant way of explaining the impact of regulation on the pharmaceutical industry. He imagines a world in which computers are regulated like pharmaceuticals. - the Electronics and Computers Administration would have just approved the Intel i486... MORE

Debating Forced Saving

Social Security
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen writes, First, how much can our government force people to save in the first place? You can make them lock up funds in an account, but they can respond by borrowing more on their credit cards, taking out... MORE

Prescott on Social Security

Social Security
Arnold Kling
2004 Nobel Laureate Edward Prescott does not care for paternalism. let's begin by dismissing the notion that individual savings plans are somehow dangerous to U.S. citizens. Some politicians have vilified the idea of giving investment freedom to citizens, arguing that... MORE

Reputation Systems and Brands

Regulation and Subsidies
Arnold Kling
Alex Tabarrok links to a story about the decline in the importance of brands, by James Surowiecki, who writes The single biggest explanation for fragile brands is the swelling strength of the consumer. We've seen a pronounced jump in the... MORE

Taxes and Social Security

Fiscal Policy
Arnold Kling
Laurence J. Kotlikoff proposes to replace the payroll tax with a sales tax. replacing the payroll tax with a sales tax is the same as (a) eliminating the payroll tax ceiling, (b) taxing wealth at the payroll tax rate, and... MORE

Debating Outsourcing

International Trade
Arnold Kling
The link may only work for a day, but Tyler Cowen and John Irons go at it on the online WSJ over outcourcing. I think that Tyler supplies all of the highlights: Outsourcing resembles technical progress in its economics; in... MORE

Debating Social Security

Social Security
Arnold Kling
It's Tyler Cowen vs. John Irons at the Wall Street Journal on line. (WARNING: the WSJ to override the article with a new article, which means that the link will not take you to the social security debate) [Cowen:] Social... MORE

Stadium Obstruction

Cost-benefit Analysis
Arnold Kling
Henry Aaron (the economist, not the former baseball star) writes, The proposed deal imposes huge costs on the District and gives virtually all of the financial gains to the team. The city will bear the burden for years to come,... MORE

Exit Polls

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
As a teacher of high school statistics, I found the controversy over exit polling to be somewhat amusing. Exit polling is necessarily stratified. You have to plan ahead of time which precincts to sample and how many voters in each... MORE

Second Term Policies

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
Marginal Revolution offers advice for economic policy for the second term of President Bush. 7. Take in more immigrants, but demand higher levels of skills and education. At the very least, take in any revenue-positive immigrant. 8. Abolish the Department... MORE

Growth and Economic Literacy

Growth: Causal Factors
Arnold Kling
Bryan Caplan writes, studying the public's beliefs about economics...income growth seems to increase economic literacy, even though income level does not. In other words, poor people whose income is rising—like recent immigrants—have more than the average amount of economic sense;... MORE

Social Security Privatization

Social Security
Arnold Kling
UPDATE: I thought this was more recent, but it's an older column that Winterspeak pointed to. Still worth reading. Jeffrey A. Miron and Kevin M. Murphy write, privatization has no effect on the solvency of the Trust Fund; it reduces... MORE

Disappointing Election Year?

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
That's my perception. I picture voters under 40 as having less allegiance to top-down economics and top-down moral legislation. I would think that the trend would be libertarian. ...Instead, during the debates, it seems to me that we witnessed libertarian... MORE

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