Light Switch Thinking

We have added another page to the right side panel. It deals with the gradual nature by which issues are solved by different policies and institutions. A failure to recognize these increments is a logical fallacy that Jeff calls "Light Switch Thinking." The page is posted at length below: I emphasize careful data analysis in […]

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Art Laffer and the Triumph of Politics

Presentation is everything. An excellent idea, poorly presented, is a failure.  A simple concept may sizzle, even if there are flaws. Take the Laffer Curve.  Famously drawn on a napkin, Laffer suggested that a tax rate of zero raised no revenue, a tax rate of 100% raised no revenue, and there must be something in […]

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Thinking Like an Economist: When Does it Pay Off?

Few people think like economists or policy analysts.  It requires a combination of facts, methodology, and discipline.  Let me start with some background and  a couple of examples. Policy Impacts Most people have a simple test.  They merely want to know what worked.  The prevailing standard is some gut feeling about "what is good."  A […]

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Weighing the Week Ahead: A Decision on Health Legislation

Health care legislation has been a focal point for national debate for more than a year.  One way or another, the fate of legislation supported by President Obama will soon be decided — probably this week.  The final maneuvering will be the most important story of the week. Sure, the Fed will meet.  We will […]

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