Daily Archives: June 28, 2012

How Chief Justice Rube Goldberg Saved the Individual Mandate

By Dan Kervick

Imagine that the US Congress someday decides that as a matter of national security it is imperative for each American adult to be in possession of a smartphone.  (Perhaps they believe that we might all need to receive an important text message from Homeland Security in the event of a major terrorist attack.)   Suppose also that at the time of this decision there are 100 million American adults still without smartphones, and that the average smartphone costs $200.

According to the Supreme Court of the United States, here is a procedure Congress is permitted to follow:

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What Should Brazilian Economists and Policy Makers have Learned from the Crisis?

By Daniel Negreiros Conceição

A global economic winter is coming. The Euro experiment is nearing its total collapse—an entirely avoidable disaster long foretold by MMTheorists. In the US, people’s blind aversion to public deficits and the public debt, fuelled by the alarmist cries of a Republican Party currently controlled by lunatics and economic illiterates, makes it impossible for the government to make use of the stimulating fiscal instruments that are needed to get that country out of its current recession. Even China, the one country that had been seemingly unaffected by the global depression until now, shows signs of slowing down. Brazil better be prepared.

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The Mixed Economy Manifesto – Part 3

By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

Mr. Smith’s Unattainable Ideal

Another cause for this polarized view (of capitalism) has been the separation of the study of the functions of the state from the study of the economy, with the eclipse of the older discipline “political economy” of the 18th and 19th Centuries by a supposedly value-free “economics”.  Economists, thinking they were isolating the essence of a politics-independent economy, gravitated throughout the 20th Century towards greater mathematization and abstraction.  Markets, a copious supplier of often indecipherable numbers, became the raw material for formal models that had little to do with the actual economy.  Non-mathematical methods to study politics and social institutions and economically-relevant cultural practices became uninteresting to economists.  As a general tendency, economists also became more and more ignorant of the real world around them and almost completely unconscious of the effects of their theorizing on that world, making them ideal candidates to become “useful idiots” for powerful economic interests.

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