Economics

"Update on the Biggest Academic Scandal of the Year"

That would be Nancy McLean's attack on James Buchanan. Now Phil Magness has posted a spreadsheet of her errors. Between this and "The Sound of Silence. A Review Essay of Nancy Maclean's Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America" forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Literature, you'd think her reputation as a historian would take a huge, lasting hit.

But since the Left seems to be invested in her story, that remains to be seen.


"Who Cares about Entitlements? Well all will—in about eight years."

Maybe the politicians will be ready in another twenty or fifty years.

Related:

"Analysis of the 2018 Medicare Trustees' Report".

Gross Medicare spending is projected to grow sharply from 3.7 percent of GDP in 2017 to 4.7 percent in 2027 and 5.9 percent by 2040. After that, it will grow more gradually to 6.2 percent by 2090. Spending growth is largely due to growth in the number of beneficiaries and per-capita health care costs.

"Social Security Will Be Insolvent In 16 Years. Maybe Congress Should Do Something About That."

The people responsible for solving this looming crisis—and for mediating what's sure to be a nasty debate over the future of both programs—spent yesterday acting like there is hardly anything more important than a bunch of rich jocks showing appropriate fealty to the president's opinions.

In other words, we are screwed.

"Darn. I may outlive Social Security".

I've got to quick go see my doctor.

For years he's had me on a health maintenance plan with the goal, he says, of keeping me alive until I'm 90.

Now I need him to ease back on the medicine and good living advice. I'm not sure my money will hold out that long.


"The 300 secrets* to high stock returns"

"But are there really 300 separate characteristics associated with higher asset returns, or only a handful of things really driving stock prices? The hundreds of factors that appear in academic research are based on many possible company characteristics, which could, in theory, capture many types of risk. However, Feng, Giglio, and Xiu are skeptical that all these factors are useful."


"Michigan Think Tank Looks Into Scope of State’s Crony Capitalism — It’s Not Pretty"

Capitalism is generally excellent, but crony capitalism is definitely not.

The study found that, since 2001, Michigan lawmakers have forked over $16 billion in business subsidies and tax incentives. The study notes that that is more than the value of the state’s four major sports teams: the Lions, Red Wings, Tigers, and Pistons. That’s a bit of an understatement — it’s only a little less than four times the value of those franchises combined.

Related: "Crony capitalism against the real thing: Collusion between government and business corrupts the free market".


"A New NAFTA Can Help Reform the Administrative State"

Interesting idea.

But in the case of regulatory and infrastructure reform, the man in the best position to remove the filibuster as an obstacle to legislation is the president himself. How? By including regulatory and infrastructure provisions in the next version of NAFTA, triggering the Trade Promotion Authority’s filibuster-free process for enacting legislation to implement the treaty’s broad requirements.