COMMENT: Worth Reading [J. Bradford DeLong]

Worth Reading, Mostly Economics, for April 11, 2010

  • Tim O’Reilly: : “Review of iPad as a work machine from @markos (@dailykos) should be a wake up call for lots of companies: http://bit.ly/d2inWJ
  • Dorning: “Obama’s instincts during the crisis were exceedingly Rubin-esque. Even the $787 billion stimulus packag… didn’t reach the scale called for by many liberal economists, including… Christina Romer…. What unites Rubinomics and Obamanomics, she says, “is the focus on results, the pragmatism of what’s right for the economy…. Like Clinton, Obama has tried to reduce income inequality…. Clinton aided the working poor with the Earned Income Tax Credit; Obama is doing the same with insurance subsidies in his health plan. A national health plan was an aspiration of both Presidents. Baily argues that the Obama approach is “at least in principle closer to Rubinomics than was the Clinton plan. [Obama’s team] is trying to use market incentives to raise the quality and lower the cost, and that looks like Rubinomics.””
  • Holbo: “Several people wrote… that ‘the 1880’s were Golden’ should be reconstructed more in the spirit of ‘yes, there was a lot that was wrong, but a few things were right, and we ought to try to get those things right again. Namely, small government.’ Firstly, this is total step-back from the Golden Age…. Beyond that… there can be even smaller government any place that is experiencing total anarchy. The point has to be, rather, that in the 1880’s small government worked. So the attraction is… proof-of-concept. The problem… is that the infringements to liberty in the 1880’s weren’t incidental accretion… [but] the way society and politics and culture worked. It makes no more sense to say that we need the 1880’s, minus the infringements to liberty… than it does to make Louis “the Sun King” XIV your libertarian ideal on the grounds that: dude had a lot of liberty. If what makes liberty possible for some is lack of liberty for many, then you can’t just wave away the latter”
  • Heritage On Romney’s Individual Mandate: “Not an unreasonable position, and one that is clearly consistent with conservative values.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]. Heritage On President Obama’s Individual Mandate: “Both unprecedented and unconstitutional.” [Heritage, 12/9/09]. Heritage On Romney’s Insurance Exchange: An “innovative mechanism to promote real consumer choice.” [Heritage, 4/20/06]. Heritage On President Obama’s Insurance Exchange: Creates a “de facto public option” by “grow[ing]” government control over healthcare.” [Heritage, 3/30/10]. Heritage On Romney’s Medicaid Expansion: Reduced “the total cost to taxpayers” by taking people out of the “uncompensated care pool.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]. Heritage On President Obama’s Medicaid Expansion: Expands a “broken entitlement program,” pro
  • CROWLEY: The [Virginia] Governor didn’t even mention slavery in his proclamation. Was that a mistake? BARBOUR: Well, I don’t think so…I don’t know what you would say about slavery, but anyone who thinks that you have to explain to people that slavery is a bad thing — I think it goes without saying…. Well maybe they should talk to my Democratic legislature, which has done exactly the same thing in Mississippi for years. As far as I know, the Democratic legislature — we have a majority — both houses are Democrats. I’m unaware of them being criticized for it or them having their supporters feel uncomfortable with it…. To me it’s a sort of feeling that it’s just a nit. That it is not significant. It’s trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn’t matter for diddly.
  • Krugman: “Sorry about the radio silence; I’m just coming back from the memorial service for Paul Samuelson, which was yesterday at MIT. It was quite an event — and there were some remarkable talks. A genuinely moving (and funny) set of reminiscences from Larry Summers; and some amazing history from Jim Poterba. I had no idea that the MIT economics visiting committee tried to force Samuelson to call off the publication of his 1948 textbook, on the grounds that Keynesian economics was too left-wing.”
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