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Scott Sumner: November 2017

An Author Archive by Month (13 entries)
After moving to Mission Viejo in late July, I frequently experienced brief moments of euphoria. Sometimes I would almost burst out laughing at how ridiculously convenient my life had become. Now that I've been here for 4 months, I've come... MORE

Ryan Murphy on government effectiveness and growth

Cross-country Comparisons
Scott Sumner
A decade ago I wrote a paper that looked at several definitions of neoliberalism, and found that what I called "egalitarian neoliberalism" was especially closely correlated with civic virtue. This model was based on the various indices of economic freedom,... MORE

How much do government workers cost?

Fiscal Policy
Scott Sumner
Tyler Cowen directed me to an interesting question raised in his comment section (by "BC"): Do federal employees pay income tax on their wages? I know they do nominally, but that tax goes back to their employer, the federal government.... MORE

The third option

Scott Sumner
Last week I attended the Cato Monetary conference in Washington. Jim Dorn always does a good job of finding interesting speakers. I couldn't help contrasting the event with the Peterson Institute conference that I attended last month. At the Peterson... MORE

How should we evaluate Herbert Hoover?

Economic History
Scott Sumner
The Economist recently reviewed a biography of Herbert Hoover: Why was it that Hoover, hitherto so talented at overcoming crises, was unable to overcome the Great Depression? Perhaps he had come to believe his own propaganda about ordinary people collectively... MORE

Do the right thing

Economics of Health Care
Scott Sumner
My daughter is now taking her first college economics class. Occasionally I like to provide her with examples from everyday life. For instance, my wife spends a lot of time on the phone with insurance companies, mostly dealing with complex... MORE

Should Fed bond holdings be restricted?

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
George Selgin has a new post discussing three pieces of legislation being considered by the Senate. Here's one: The Independence from Credit Policy Act (H.R. 4278), introduced by Rep. French Hill (R-AR), is intended to restrict the Fed's asset holdings,... MORE

Over the years I've done many posts pointing out that income distribution data doesn't mean what people think it means. I spent the first 8 years of my adult life in the bottom 20%, and more recently I've been in... MORE

David Beckworth interviews Doug Irwin

International Trade
Scott Sumner
Doug Irwin is one of my favorite economists, and David Beckworth's recent interview of him is well worth listening to. Here are a few points that caught my attention: 1. Special interest groups create inertia, which makes it hard to... MORE

Eliezer Yudkowsky has a great post over at Less Wrong, presenting an imaginary dialogue with a central banker: Frequently Asked Questions for Central Banks Undershooting Their Inflation Target I recall reading this dialogue years ago, but I am not sure... MORE

Let's go back a couple years to see just how radically this country has changed. Jeb Bush is running for president, proposing a tax reform with a top marginal tax rate (MTR) of 28%. Marco Rubio is proposing a top... MORE

Jerome Powell as Fed chair

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
I have a new piece in the Washington Post, entitled "Trump wants a non-economist to lead the Fed. That could be dangerous": Consider this recent comment by Powell: "In contrast, the [Federal Open Market Committee's] easing of monetary policy increased... MORE

Just a quick reaction now, but I'll have much more to say later. This is based on a brief news article, not a detailed reading of the proposed tax bill. 1. There is more tax reform than I expected. I've... MORE

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