Random Links XXXXIII

Debating Fiscal Stimulus:  Cowen v. Delong

[Note that this is merely the first in a series of links.]

This is how I wish the stimulus debate had been conducted.  Alas, we were instead treated to Democrats & Republicans arguing over the amounts & methods of B&C distribution.  I don’t recall any serious consideration of monetary stimulus; or of the long-term sustainability of fiscal stimulus (e.g., in the event that deleveraging leads to a sustained decrease in aggregate demand).

WRT stimulus, it appears Delong & Cowen’s main point of disagreement is on the threat of deficit spending to the US’s long-term fiscal position.  Cowen places more weight on this threat than does Delong, and therefore favors minimizing fiscal stimulus.  FWIW, I tend to side w/ Cowen on this question.  Between the possibility of higher interest rates from panicked foreign creditors & domestic crowding-out, methinks Delong underestimates the possible downside of fiscal stimulus.

REO Vandalism:  “About a third of all of the foreclosed properties nationwide have been so damaged, either by the previous owners or by criminal gangs coming in after the foreclosure, that they no longer qualify for standard mortgage financing.”

Simplifying Foreclosure: Yet another argument in favor of making it easier to foreclose….

    Taxation Levels, US v. ROW:



    Defining “Rich”




    Sorry, $400k is “rich” in my book.

    Liberalism Done Right:  Sumner on “responsible American liberalism”.

    Transparent Society Watch:  “…defendants charged with minor crimes are released in exchange for providing a DNA sample.”

    Vampire Pensions:  How pension costs could decrease profits in years to come.

    Ebooks & “Dumb Money”:  How the latter became a test case for the former.

    Progressive Consumption Taxation:



    Interesting to see consumption taxes _defended_ on progressivity grounds.

    Defining Torture:  “…one way or another torture will be given clearer definition: either in open democratic debate or in secret memos and prisons.”

    Postal Reform:  How to adapt the USPS to the Internet Age

    Lung Repair:  Preserving lungs in vitro pending transplantation.

    Bohemian Urban Redevelopment: Starving artists as beneficiaries of housing deflation.

    Ireland as a Harbinger for America’s Economy:

    Yes:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/opinion/20krugman.html

    No:  http://blog.andyharless.com/2009/04/ireland.html


    Payday Loans:



    The argument that checking overdrafts are even more expensive is, IMHO, a non-sequitur; the same logic underlying critiques of payday loans could be applied (probably even more easily) to the fees on banks’ overdraft programs.  I would’ve been more interested in a study comparing payday lenders’ profits, as a % of annual lending, with those of (say) credit card companies.

    Classifying Royal Stalkers:


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