Supreme Court Laughter

Using transcripts that say (Laughter) when some levity enters the proceedings, one legal scholar has concluded that the Supreme Court averaged 1.027 laughs per oral argument. The funniest justice is Anton Scalia who holds the record with a total of 77…

Deficit Deal Primer

In 1934, after meeting with John Maynard Keynes, FDR said that he “liked him immensely” but groaned that he talked like a “mathematician.” Keynes’s advice to FDR? Described by Sylvia Nasar in Grand Pursuit, increase deficit spending from $300 to…

Econ Fun

The second Keynes/Hayek rap video, “The Fight of the Century” just arrived. Like the first one, it focuses on the never ending debate between economists who want more government and those who believe in less. In this Econtalk discussion, the…

Different Kinds of Capitalism

How much does Chinese capitalism resemble U.S. capitalism? In a New Yorker article, journalist John Cassidy suggests that China’s combination of authoritarianism and capitalism is somewhat similar to our own history. Reminding us of our government’s economic intervention during the…

Spend More or Less?

It was perfect. On the left side of the NY Times Op-Ed page, David Brooks defended the austerity approach. On the right was Paul Krugman saying spend more. Those are the alternatives. Maybe now it will be easier to choose…

Making Macroeconomic Decisions

One problem with macroeconomic policy is the inability to confirm that it does or does not work. With variables constantly in motion, an entire economy as your lab, and no way to keep anything constant, how to know if you…

Handy Quotations

On Economics: Economics is “the study of mankind in the ordinary business of life.”   Alfred Marshall, 1842-1924 (U.K. economist). “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”…

Hayek vs. Keynes

Good enough to watch, this youtube performance between Hayak and Keynes is similar to a recent Planet Money “boxing match” between the classical perspective and Keynes which I also recommend. Both are helpful when deciding whether you prefer government assistance…

Freshwater or Saltwater?

Smith or Keynes? Free market or government fine-tuning? If you are the latter, you can say you are a saltwater economist. A recent article from Paul Krugman (NY TIMES MAGAZINE; 9/06/09) characterizes the economists who reside along either coast as…

The American Dream

The precipitous current dip in housing is so explicit in these graphs. Translating the lines into people and numbers brings to mind John Maynard Keynes. As much as Keynesians believe that the stimulus will take us out of the recession and…