Tuesday, January 8, 2019
She bragged to a man on a dating app about poaching deer. He was a game warden. - The Washington Post
Calfornia power change: As Gavin Newsom takes over as governor, a liberal state pushes further to the left - The Washington Post
Noted economist Harold Demsetz has passed. A longtime member of the UCLA economics department, Demsetz was an important "Chicago School" economist who, among other things, wrote several seminal papers on the law and economics of property rights.
Alchian and Demsetz's paper on information costs is really one of the best and deepest contributions to microeconomics in the 20th century. They virtually created or helped create the sort of thing I and other corporate law profs now do. For better or worse.
It's probably wrong of me to rub my hands together with glee at the prospect of a constitutional dust-up. It's such good and sometimes even great theater.
Monday, January 7, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democratic leaders are mounting an effort to block a pro-Israel bill on Tuesday in order to protest the ongoing partial government shutdown, which is now in its third week.
A recent Politico article wondered whether Sen. Liz Warren’s newly announced 2020 bid was going to remind people of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, not least because both women have low likability ratings.
Well, it may not be sexist to say Senator Warren in not likeable, but this video is definitely sexist and I disapprove of it:
Is Cher's horse on prozac or something? Sad!
For example, smoking pot is widely supposed to diminish the nausea associated with chemotherapy. But, the panel pointed out, “there are no good-quality randomized trials investigating this option.” We have evidence for marijuana as a treatment for pain, but “very little is known about the efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States.” The caveats continue. Is it good for epilepsy? “Insufficient evidence.” Tourette’s syndrome? Limited evidence. A.L.S., Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s? Insufficient evidence. Irritable-bowel syndrome? Insufficient evidence. Dementia and glaucoma? Probably not. Anxiety? Maybe. Depression? Probably not.
Then come Chapters 5 through 13, the heart of the report, which concern marijuana’s potential risks. The haze of uncertainty continues. Does the use of cannabis increase the likelihood of fatal car accidents? Yes. By how much? Unclear. Does it affect motivation and cognition? Hard to say, but probably. Does it affect employment prospects? Probably. Will it impair academic achievement? Limited evidence. This goes on for pages.
But it doesn't seem to have hurt Joe Rogan.
Travelers at Dulles International Airport in Virginia were shocked when they saw a man dragging a young girl through the baggage claim area. The child doesn’t appear to be upset, however, and witnesses believed that the man was her father. Apparently, whatever trip they were on was not going well.
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Or to put it a bit more succinctly, when taxing the rich, all we should care about is how much revenue we raise. The optimal tax rate on people with very high incomes is the rate that raises the maximum possible revenue.
And that’s something we can estimate, given evidence on how responsive the pre-tax income of the wealthy actually is to tax rates. As I said, Diamond and Saez put the optimal rate at 73 percent, Romer at over 80 percent — which is consistent with what AOC said.
An aside: What if we take into account the reality that markets aren’t perfectly competitive, that there’s a lot of monopoly power out there? The answer is that this almost surely makes the case for even higher tax rates, since high-income people presumably get a lot of those monopoly rents.
I think Congress should pass a bill requiring all economists who write for newspapers to release their tax returns to the public. Herr Doktor Professor Krugman's would be very interesting, I'm thinking.