Economics

"Making Life Worse: The Flaws of Green Mandates"

What a surprise: the demand for lowering CO2 emissions turns out to be . . . downward-sloping:

These results reflect climate scientist Roger Pielke’s 2010 notion of “the iron law of climate policy.” Pielke noted that support for reducing greenhouse emissions is limited by the amount of sacrifice demanded. “People will pay some amount for climate goals,” he noted, “but only so much.” At $80 a year per household, he suggested, polls found most people would support climate measures but raise it to $770 annually and support drops below ten percent.


"America's Top Cities Swamped In Debt, Chicago Leads The Way "

To ask the question is virtually to answer it:

Which leaves us with the question of the day: Will the Federal Reserve bailout heavily indebted cities in the next crisis?

More Chicago-related links:

"Big Win For Tax-Hikes; Big Trouble For Middle-Class Illinoisans".

"Chicago’s Hemorrhaging Housing Market".

"Illinois GOP Lawmakers Want to Cut off Chicago, Create New State".


A different take on high U.S. healthcare spending

Many of you have probably seen the argument that a good reason why U.S. healthcare in terrible is that our healthcare expenditures per capita as a percentage of GDP are much higher than other those of other countries. This anonymous blogger argues that deflating by GDP is much inferior to deflating by consumption expenditures and that after doing so U.S. healthcare expense is right about where it should be. 

I don't know if he is correct, but it is an argument I hadn't seen before.

And here is makes an argument I have seen before, but he makes it quite well, that another criticism of our healthcare--our life expectancy is lower than that of some other industrialized nations--is quite unfounded. One needs to adjust for car accidents, drugs, and homicide, none of which should be blamed on our healthcare system.


"Swan Song of a Great Colossus: The Latest from Richard Posner"

I guess this was his philosophy of judging all along. It sure doesn't appeal to me.

I’m a pragmatist . . . My approach in judging a case is therefore not to worry initially about doctrine, precedent, and the other conventional materials of legal analysis, but instead to try to figure out the sensible solution to the problem or problems presented by the case. Once having found what I think is the sensible solution I ask whether it’s blocked by an authoritative precedent of the Supreme Court or by some other ukase that judges must obey. If it’s not blocked (usually it’s not—usually it can be got around by hook or by crook), I say fine—let’s go with the commonsense solution. I would like to see judicial opinions written by judges rather than law clerks and characterized by brevity and candor and a quest for the sensible result.