onsdag, april 04, 2007


onsdag, marts 14, 2007

onsdag, februar 28, 2007

Hvorfor forstår lægmanden ikke økonomen?

Det her er satame sjov

tirsdag, januar 30, 2007

Indespærret luft


Ses i helvede. Hans film var også fantastisk

onsdag, januar 17, 2007

Hitler og Nietzsche


Jeg har ikke fået noget op på bloggen i en længere periode. Jeg skyder skylden på min snarlige begyndelse på mit speciale...

torsdag, januar 04, 2007

7 ting alle burde være enige i

Greg Mankiw gentager en post fra sidste år, og den er stadig lige så relevant, det meste kan også overføres til en dansk kontekst.

• #1: This year I will be straight about the budget mess. I know that the federal budget is on an unsustainable path. I know that when the baby-boom generation retires and becomes eligible for Social Security and Medicare, all hell is going to break loose. I know that the choices aren't pretty -- either large cuts in promised benefits or taxes vastly higher than anything ever experienced in U.S. history. I am going to admit these facts to the American people, and I am going to say which choice I favor.

• #2: This year I will be unequivocal in my support of free trade. I am going to stop bashing the Chinese for offering bargains to American consumers. I am going to ask the Bush administration to revoke the textile quotas so Americans will find it easier to clothe their families. I am going to vote to repeal the antidumping laws, which only protect powerful domestic industries from foreign competition. I am going to admit that unilateral disarmament in the trade wars would make the U.S. a richer nation.

• #3: This year I will ask farmers to accept the free market. While I believe the government should provide a safety net for the truly needy, taxpayers shouldn't have to finance handouts to farmers, many of whom are wealthy. Farmers should meet the market test as much as anyone else. I will vote to repeal all federal subsidies to growers of corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans and rice. I will vote to allow unrestricted import of sugar. (See resolution no. 2.) I will tell Americans that eliminating our farm subsidies should not be a "concession" made in trade negotiations but a policy change that we affirmatively embrace.

• #4: This year I will admit that there are some good taxes. Everyone hates taxes, but the government needs to fund its operations, and some taxes can actually do some good in the process. I will tell the American people that a higher tax on gasoline is better at encouraging conservation than are heavy-handed CAFE regulations. It would not only encourage people to buy more fuel-efficient cars, but it would encourage them to drive less, such as by living closer to where they work. I will tell people that tolls are a good way to reduce traffic congestion -- and with new technologies they are getting easier to collect. I will advocate a carbon tax as the best way to control global warming. Because we may well need to raise more revenue (see resolution no. 1), I'll always be on the lookout for these good taxes.

• #5: This year I will not be tempted to bash the Fed. Ben Bernanke, soon to be the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, will not inherit Alan Greenspan's halo, and so may be a tempting target. But I will resist temptation. I know that the U.S. has an independent central bank for good reason. I know that sometimes the Fed needs to raise interest rates to fight inflation, even if it risks slowing growth in incomes and employment. I will let Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues do their job. Difficult as it is, I will hold my tongue.

• #6: This year I will vote to eliminate the penny. The purpose of the monetary system is to facilitate exchange, but I have to acknowledge that the penny no longer serves that purpose. When people start leaving a monetary unit at the cash register for the next customer, the unit is too small to be useful. I know that some people will be upset when their favorite aphorisms become anachronistic, but a nickel saved is also a nickel earned.

• #7: This year I will be modest about what government can do. I know that economic prosperity comes not from government programs but from entrepreneurial inspiration. Adam Smith was right when he said, "Little else is required to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice." As a government official, I am not going to promise more than I can deliver. I am going to focus my attention on these three goals -- peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice -- and I am going to trust the creativity of the American people to do the rest.

Delong fortsætter med at se klart på global opvarmning

Delong forklarer overbevisende hvorfor man enten skal gøre noget ved global opvarmning eller gøre noget ved global fattigdom, set ud fra en logisk synsvinkel. Man kan nemt forstille sig at gøre begge ting samtidig også.

Money quote:

"The Australian economist John Quiggin has an illuminating discussion on his website ( http://johnquiggin.com ) that comes down on the side of a $0.50/gallon tax, because he projects that spending today to reduce carbon emissions is a good investment for the future. Assuming that annual per capita income grows at about 2% per year worldwide, a marginal expenditure of roughly $70 today to cut carbon emissions would be worth it if, accounting for damage from global warming and adjustment costs, the world of 2100 would be $500 richer in year-2006 purchasing power.

On the other hand, critics point out that the world today is poor: average annual GDP per capita at purchasing power parity is roughly $7,000. We expect improved technology and its spread to make the world of 2100, at a 2% annual growth rate, much richer: $50,000 per capita of year-2006 purchasing power. So the critics argue that we need the marginal $70 per capita today much more than the richer people of 2100 will need the $500 that they would gain from being spared the effects of global climate change.

But what the critics often don’t say is that the same logic applies to the world today. Average annual per capita incomes in the US, Japan, and Western Europe are currently around $40,000, and less than $6,000 for the poorer half of the world’s population. The same logic that says we need our $70 more than the people of 2100 need an extra $500 dictates that we should tax the world’s rich more, as long as each extra $500 in first-world taxes generates as little as an extra $70 in poor countries per capita incomes.

In short, if the world’s rich are stingy today toward our much richer descendants, and if we want to leave our environmental mess to them to deal with, we should be lavish toward the world’s poor. Likewise, if we are stingy today toward the world’s poor, we should be lavish toward our descendents."

tirsdag, januar 02, 2007

Kan den danske model scaleres op til amerikansk størrelse?

Det er yderst interessant, har ikke nogen kommentarer endnu.

lørdag, december 30, 2006

Krugman interview om Iraq

mandag, december 25, 2006

God Jul

lørdag, december 23, 2006

Er Krugman gået amok?

De sidste dage har det mest relevante været Krugmans artikel i New York Times, hvor han ikke mener at demokraterne bør følge klassisk rubineconomics og skærer ned på underskudet som Bush har skabt.

Hans tankegang er som følger.

Alle (eller der er sikkert nogen som er uenig men økonomer er de ikke) er enige i at USA er nødt til at gøre et eller andet, Bush fik sit "trifecta" men det er uholdbart at USA til stadighed oversvømmer verden med kontanter for at betale for sit ekstravagante overforbrug.
Efter Reagan og bush I var det Clinton og nok specifikt Rubin, som fik styr på den amerikanske økonomi. Så kom bush II og nu er det noget lort igen.

Krugman mener så at det vil være absurt hvis demokraterne igen viser sig som de ansvarlige og dermed muligør en tredje omgang republikansk hidsig regresiv omfordeling. Derfor anbefaler Krugman at demokraterne ignorerer økonomisk sund fornuft, og acceptere at hvis republikanerne sætter politik over sund fornuft, så må demokraterne gøre det samme.

Best case er at republikanerne kommer til fornuft, og ikke gambler med verdensøkonomien. En mulig løsning er at man skaber et tit for tat spil. Det kræver at republikanerne bider i det sure æble og opfører sig ordenligt. Men det kræver også at demokraterne spiller højt spil og ikke spiller klassens pæne dreng.

fredag, december 22, 2006

God Jul fra mig

onsdag, december 20, 2006

Delong fortsætter med at skrive hvad jeg ville ønske jeg kunne sige

Følgende er en hel post taget fra Delongs hjemmeside. Det ville have været høfligst hvis jeg bare havde taget et kort udsnit af teksten og så have linket til resten. Nu har jeg linket, men det han skriver er så godt jeg ikke kan finde ud af hvad der er bedst. Så i mangel af bedre:

What Should We Be Doing About Global Climate Change?

There are lots of fake disputes over global climate change. Does carbon dioxide in the atmosphere act like a giant blanket warming the earth? (Yes.) Does uncertainty about global warming mean that we should delay action? (No.) Should we be spending a much bigger fortune than we are on research: research into carbon-neutral power technologies, research into carbon-sequestration technologies, research into albedo-increasing technologies? (Yes.) Should India, China, and company have to bear a substantial part of the medium-term burden? (No: the rich countries got to take an easy carbon emissions-intensive path to industrialization and riches; theirs is the medium-term responsibility for dealing with the problem.) Should we be building or blocking the formation of the international institutions that will manage our reactions to global climate change over the next several centuries? (The first.)

There is, however, one real dispute: what else, besides research, should we be doing over the next decade or two? We economists like to think of things in terms of prices. And when we economists see something going wrong in the sense of having destructive side-effects, we like to tax it. Taxing it makes the individuals who are undertaking actions feel in their wallets the destruction they are causing elsewhere. Maybe the action is still worth doing, and maybe not. Imposing a tax--imposing the right tax--on those who are, say, driving low-mileage SUVs is a way of harnessing the collective intelligence of humanity to deciding in which case the bad side-effects are a reason to stop. But it needs to be the right tax.

An SUV going ten miles in the city and burning a gallon of gasoline pumps about 3 kilograms--6.5 pounds--of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Should the extra tax on this--and on all carbon emissions--appropriate for global warming be on the order of five cents a gallon, fifty cents a gallon, or a dollar fifty a gallon? Our views will change as we learn more, but at the moment whether the tax should be five or fifty cents a gallon hinges on a question of moral philosophy: how much do we believe that we owe our distant descendents?

Australian economist John Quiggin has a very illuminating discussion on his website http://johnquiggin.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/sternreviewed06121.pdf. The Stern Review on Global Climate Change (on the internet at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/independent_reviews/stern_review_economics_climate_change/sternreview_index.cfm) which comes down more on the side of fifty cents a gallon, immediately, does so because they project that spending today to reduce carbon emissions is a very good investment for the future. If the world grows in per capita income at about 2% per year, a marginal expenditure of roughly $70 today in cutting carbon emissions would be worth it if it were to enrich the world of 2100 by about an extra $500 of year-2006 purchasing power, once all the damages to the world economy and environment from global warming, costs of adjustment, and so on are taken into account. This looks like a very good deal to Nick Stern and his team.

On the other hand, critics point out that the world today is poor: average GDP per capita at purchasing power parity today is roughly $7000. We expect improvements in and the spread of technology to make the world of 2100, at a 2% per year growth rate much richer than the world of today: $50,000 per capita of year-2006 purchasing power. We today can use the marginal $70 per capita, critics say, much more than the richer people of 2100 will need the $500 or so they would gain from not having to suffer from the effects of global climate change.

What critics don't often say is that the same logic applies to the world today. The U.S., Japan, and Western Europe today have average incomes of roughly $40,000 per capita. The poorer half of the world's population today have incomes of less than $6,000 per capita. The same logic that says that we today need our $70 more than the people of 2100 need an extra $500 also tells us that we ought to tax the world's rich in the OECD more and more to fund world development as long as each extra $500 in first-world taxes generates even as little as $70 in extra poor-periphery incomes. If we in the world's rich now are stingy toward the (likely to be much richer) future and want to leave them our environmental mess to deal with, we should be lavish toward our poorer brothers and sisters today. If we today are stingy toward our poorer brothers and sisters now, we should be lavish toward our descendents.

At least, that is what we should do if we want to fulfill our part of Edmund Burke's great worldwide social contract between the dead, the living, and the unborn.

Kristol hos Jon part II

Del 1 af Kristol hos Jon

tirsdag, december 19, 2006

Kunne ikke have sagt det bedre selv

Følgende er Delongs afsluttende svada, efter en lang og rystende skrift om hvorledes en Videnskabsmand oplever mødet med politik og interesseorganisationerne, i dette tilfælde om hvordan de prøver at skjule og negligere global opvarmning. Hele teksten er god og relevant for de fleste mennesker der har bare det mindste behov for at blive informeret om manglen på realitetssands blandt dele af de politiske cirkler.

Men følgende tekst, er den bedste formulering af hvordan jeg opfatter økonomi, jeg har læst. Selvfølgelig er den fra Brad Delongs hånd:

"Keynesians... those awful people who brought us things like Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, and macroeconomic stabilization policy. And all those government regulations about polluting the air and rivers those commies put into place are such an inconvenience for business. It was so much better when they didn't have to care.

I am not anti-market. When there is market failure and markets are broken, they need to be fixed. I want markets to work efficiently and that requires some mechanism to force economic agents to internalize the costs they impose on the environment.

People who deny this basic point, or refuse to acknowledge the science that would justify such actions, should not promote themselves as advocates for well-functioning, efficient markets."

Venstre modarbejdede i det 20. årh. velfærdssamfundets opbyggelse

....kendsgerningen er den, at det 20. århundredes danske politiske historie blev præget af en markant uenighed mellem det parti, som udviklede velfærdsmodellen, og de to borgerlige partier, som modarbejdede den – ganske særligt V. ....

mandag, december 18, 2006

Via Andrew Sullivan