Notes on redistribution

Some entrepreneurs and some libertarians (or “liberaltarians”) appear to be warming to redistribution and the welfare state. But there’s a reexamination happening in left-of-center policy circles, too. I offer no opinion on that conversation here, but want to clip together a few references… The limits of redistribution Franklin Foer on Elizabeth Warren and the future of …

State capitalism vs. the alternatives

Noah Smith has a nice column on state capitalism vs. democratic capitalism, and argues that it’s a battle of ideas akin to communism vs. capitalism. As he writes in the beginning: The great experiment that Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin began is over. And that experiment was a colossal failure. Market economies are necessary for getting …

A generous welfare state is compatible with a dynamic, innovative economy

Two Brookings scholars have a great piece in Boston Review making the case that the safety net helps promote economic dynamism. And they make the case that the conventional wisdom is changing, even among some conservatives. And, sure enough, a few days later The New York Times ran an opinion piece by an entrepreneur advancing a similar …

Taxes and growth

Do lower taxes mean faster economic growth, as is so often claimed by conservatives? I mentioned this question in the context of corporate taxes recently: Although in general low taxes do not necessarily increase growth, corporate taxes are considered “the most harmful type of tax for economic growth”, according to the OECD. And researchhas found that decreases in the corporate tax …

What’s the evidence on short-termism?

Here was my attempt to sum it all up with links a few months back, as the introduction to a Q&A with Steve Kaplan about a paper he had on the subject: McKinsey’s Dominic Barton has made the case, as has BlackRock’s Larry Fink. Politicians like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have warned against short-termism, as have scholars at Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute. McKinsey …

More on how to think about economic models

I wrote recently about three different ways to think about economic models. Here are two more. John Gruber of MIT to his undergraduate micro students: We’re going to be modeling individual and firm behavior. Now technically, as you know, a model is any description of the relationship between two or more economic variables.But the difference from your other …