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Seriously, Alpha = 0? Have You Read the Bill?

Not to harp on the same point over and over, but can anybody look at this list from the stimulus package with a straight face and claim that the absence of inefficient government spending (HT: Peter Klein)? $1 billion for Amtrak $2 billion for child-care subsidies $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts ... Seriously, Alpha = 0? Have You Read the Bill?

Stop Brad DeLong!

Few people in my small sphere of the world are taken as seriously as Brad DeLong, while still being as much of an ass as he is.  The latest stems from his juvenile criticism of this masterful analysis of the stimulus situation by John Cochrane.  Brad’s juvenile criticism is here.  The thing is, it sounds ... Stop Brad DeLong!

Is the Stimulus Package Obama’s Patriot Act?

Why are the proponents of the stimulus package so reluctant to have a serious, non ad hominem-laden debate about whether it will, in fact, stimulate the economy? Because that’s not really its point. As Steve Horwitz explains: Bottom line: the more that those of us who are skeptical continue to even refer to this as ... Is the Stimulus Package Obama’s Patriot Act?

Alpha = 0?

Geoff’s post about Kevin Murphy’s recent slides and analytical framework for thinking about the stimulus are worth reading and if you haven’t yet. Here’s a link to the video. Here’s Murphy’s analysis in a nutshell for those who haven’t: A Framework for Thinking about the Stimulus Package Let G = increase in government spending 1-a= ... Alpha = 0?

The Know Betters’ Stimulus Plan

National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers was on Meet the Press yesterday defending President Obama’s proposed fiscal stimulus plan, which is heavily weighted toward government spending and away from tax cuts (and, to the extent it reduces taxes, does so via tax credits without cutting marginal rates). He started by emphasizing the magnitude of the ... The Know Betters’ Stimulus Plan

"I Pledge to Be a Servant to Our President"

I’m sorry, but this is just plain creepy. (Watch to the end.) It’s one thing to respect the President, to give him the benefit of the doubt, and to support him when he does the right thing. Hollywood would do well to do more of those things, and I will certainly do them for President ... "I Pledge to Be a Servant to Our President"

Varney Instead of Elhauge at DOJ?

So says Bloomberg. UPDATE: More from DOJ: The White House is expected to nominate Christine Varney, a former Federal Trade Commission member and Internet-law expert, as Justice Department antitrust chief, people briefed on the move said.  Jon Leibowitz, a current FTC member, is the leading candidate for commission chairman, but the decision isn’t final, these ... Varney Instead of Elhauge at DOJ?

Bork and the Antitrust Paradox Revisited

The Harvard Journal on Law and Public Policy recently published a symposium on the contributions of Judge Robert Bork. Readers of TOTM might be interested in three essays on Bork’s enduring contributions to antitrust law from Judge Frank Easterbrook, Judge Douglas Ginsburg, and Professor George Priest.  The following excerpt from Easterbrook’s essay, I thought, was ... Bork and the Antitrust Paradox Revisited

Likely Monopolization Suit Targets

I’ve written previously about the upcoming surge in monopolization enforcement deriving from a “perfect storm” of sorts, including: (1) an incoming administration dedicated to “reinvigorate antitrust enforcement,” (2) an outgoing administration heavily and publicly criticized for lack of monopolization enforcement, and (3) interjurisdictional competition between the US and EU as the world’s primary antitrust enforcer ... Likely Monopolization Suit Targets

More on Error Costs

Speaking of error cost analysis, this paper from a trio of lawyers in the General Counsel’s Policy Studies’ group at the FTC has a section entitled “Error Costs: The False Positive/ Negative Debate.” A frustration for me in discussing the error cost issue with respect to antitrust policy is that many people do not seem ... More on Error Costs

Kevin Murphy models the stimulus–and the results aren't pretty

A great video from the University of Chicago here with comments from John Huizinga, Kevin Murphy and Robert Lucas. John Huizinga also wonders if we’re calculating the costs. Robert Lucas is skeptical. But Kevin Murphy’s discussion is (not surprisingly) worth the price of admission (I only wish the video showed the slides). He puts some ... Kevin Murphy models the stimulus–and the results aren't pretty

Tom Smith Gets Error Costs

Here he is making the very basic but critical point while responding to Delong’s critique of classic liberalism: DeLong explains why classical liberalism/libertarianism is wrong. I agree with much of what he says. The problem is, and it’s a very basic mistake and I don’t understand why people keep making it, is that just because ... Tom Smith Gets Error Costs