1. Basic Economics Has a Liberal Bias →

    People to the left of econ 101 will typically invoke the phrase “political economy” to explain why, for example, econ 101 underrates labor unions. Conversely those to the right of econ 101 will instead invoke the phrase “public choice” to explain why, for example, econ 101 overrates utility regulation. But in both cases the critics are saying the same thing, namely that the moderately liberal policies advocated by introduction to economics textbooks are ignoring certain realities of institutional design, practical politics, power dynamics, etc.

    That is 100% spot on. I just do not see how it fits in with his title. Maybe I am missing something but it reads like Yglesias is making the mistake of confusing economics with a morality play.

  2. Obamacare part-timism: A myth debunked. →

    My strong suspicion is that if the ACA has an impact on the labor force (which it probably will) it will be through a different mechanism. Right now “in order to qualify for health benefits” is a very good reason to work full-time, even if you’d rather have more free time and less money at your current wage level. The Affordable Care Act will make this benefit qualification rationale less compelling,


    The changes to part time employment in the past few years has almost nothing to do with Obamacare and everything to do with improved scheduling and time management systems in retail, hospitality and fast food sectors.

  3. State tax climate: Tax Foundation shows taxes don’t matter

    State tax climate: Tax Foundation shows taxes don’t matter

  4. Janet Yellen on macroprudential regulation →

    Yglesias does a good job summarizing a kind of dry speech.  I don’t think anyone should be worried about her being unqualified. 

  5. Kaiser Obamacare premium study: Affordable Care Act will be cheaper than expected. →

    The real success will be when the right starts using it as an example of market based reforms rather than dismissing it as socialized medicine.

  6. War on coal: A pretty good idea. →

    the only way to consider new coal-fired plants a remotely plausible undertaking is to completely ignore the social costs of burning the coal. By the same token, simply throwing all my garbage into my neighbor’s back yard could look like a cheap and appealing alternative to proper trash disposal if I were allowed to completely ignore the costs to my neighbor.

    Getting rid of direct subsidies and then attacking indirect subsides is all that is need to make wind and solar competitive.

  7. Yglesias: Obama's Five Percent Pay Cut Is Absurd →

    This business of President Obama giving himself a five percent pay cut in solidarity with sequester-ravaged federal agencies seems totally absurd to me. Who is better off thanks to this? It doesn’t seem to free up any budgetary funds for anything.

    I usually refrain form calling out politicians for grand standing. It’s part of the job. As long as it isn’t too bad, you have to let it slide. But this is such silly grandstanding that it needs to be mocked. How exactly will Obama’s life be different after this 5% cut? Will he have to bring a brown bag lunch on Air Force one?

  8. What Problem Are DC's New Food Truck Regulations Trying To Solve? →

    I know some people of a market urbanist persuasion take the view that trucks’ very existence is a sign of the failure of zoning codes and regulations, but I actually think trucks are an important lunch solution on the merits.

    I would not be surprised if these regulations are being pushed by the fast food industry.

  9. Prices out of Park Slope: America needs more filtering and less gentrification. →

    it’s still possible to step back from the distributive conflict, and say that as long as we’re parceling out a fixed supply of Park Slope someone is going to get stuck with that longer subway ride. But if you can actually make more Park Slope—either by building more houses there or improving the quality of subway access to other parts of Brooklyn—then you’re making progress on a more fundamental level.

  10. Yglesias: the case for a higher minimum wage doesn't strictly require that there be no disemployment effect →

    the case for a higher minimum wage doesn’t strictly require that there be no disemployment effect. After all, if you can boost earnings for a huge swathe of low-income Americans at the cost of one guy losing his job that seems like an acceptable price to pay. Two guys? Still acceptable. And so on.