Notable Quotes

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    February 2011

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    Maxine's Essays

    • 21st Century Regress
      Sometimes it seems like the world is going to hell and there's absolutely nothing a girl economist can do about it.
    • What Exactly Are We Crowding Out?
      The current economic downturn isn't a random draw of a black ball from an urn containing white balls and black balls. There's no sampling distribution. Very specific policies and actions landed us here. Now we must decide not only what policies need to be put in place to prevent it happening again, but also what policies would best drive us out of the ditch faster and sustainably.
    • I Wish It Were Only Butter
      We should be giving up some butter if we must. We should not give up education or health investment (or infrastructure or the environment (hello, BP). They may be the only legacies of any value that we pass on to our children and grandchildren.
    • Rational Health Investment?
      The obvious "market solution" is to improve the long run return on investments in health among the disadvantaged through meaningful and effective publicly funded education. The obvious short run "market solution" is to reduce the costs of investment and the shadow price of health for the disadvantaged by providing health insurance cover and reduced out-of-pocket costs.
    • The Socrates Parameter
      To the extent that our limbic systems respond to such engineering by over-riding the judgment of our frontal lobe and to the extent that our frontal lobe is deprived of the information it requires to make a rationally self-interested judgment, we are not only pigs and fools, we are slaves.
    • The Economic Rewards of Virtue
      If individual virtue tempers our "piggy" desires and conditions our choices to something that is both individually and socially better, then the economic rewards of virtue as embodied in and promoted by societal norms and institutions are far greater than we have ever suspected. As economists, we would do well to recognize this when we teach U max.
    • The Market for Morals
      Markets then are places where more is exchanged than goods and services, labor and product, credit, and interest. They are places where we also develop the personal virtues of temperance and prudence and the social virtues of benevolence and justice. When they function well, they produce trust, loyalty, and sympathy among those who trade there.
    • Post-Modern Applied Economics: It’s the Error Term, Stupid
      Maxine believes it’s time to refocus attention and discussion on the error term. It is often where much of the action is in our models. It is where unexpectedly catastrophic events dwell resulting in fat tails. It is where our animal spirits manifest and cause us to do the right thing or the wrong thing or the thing everyone else is doing rather than the self-interested, fully-informed rational thing. It is where God and miracles and chance dwell.
    • Intergenerational Win-Win: Health Insurance, Education, Environment, Infrastructure
      So when we’re talking about fiscal stimulus packages and we’re borrowing from our grandchildren to finance them, we should be thinking about how to use stimulus monies to create value for those grandchildren AND stimulate our economy.
    • Short-term Private Payoffs, Long-term Social Costs
      The real health reform discussion, the one we should be having, is “What must we do to create a health system that is both efficient and fair?” The answer will almost certainly include relegating the private sector to markets where market forces or regulation are effective at aligning short-term private incentives and goals with long-term societal interests. If such markets are scarce or non-existent in health, then the private health sector will be of limited value.
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    Economics Blogs

    • Nancy Folbre - Economix Blog - NYTimes.com
    • EconomistMom.com
      Excellent blog "…where analytical rigor meets a mother’s intuition."
    • interfluidity
      Steve Randy Waldman provides critical insight into and critique of economics, finance, and economists
    • Environmental Economics
      Economists on Environmental and Natural Resources News, Opinion, Analysis (and Other Stuff)
    • Angry Bear Blog
      Slightly left of center economic commentary on news, politics, and the economy
    • Front Page | Institute for New Economic Thinking
      Credible attempts to improve economics will be found here.
    • global glass onion
      Everything macro: the Fed, QE, debt & deficits, FX & and macro issues; banks, banksters & congress critters; the main street economy, including CRE, foreclosures, unemployment, state budgets and health care issues; &global issues, including the Chinese economy, world trade, energy and the environment, and peak oil.
    • Rajiv Sethi
      Barnard College, Columbia U, and Santa Fe Institute economist Rajiv Sethi's thoughts on economics, finance, crime and identity...
    • VOXEU
      Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists
    • The Baseline Scenario

    Health Reform, Health Economics, & Health Policy

    History, Philosophy, Ethics, and Political Economy

    • Salvaged Liberty
      Provocative, thoughtful and well worth a visit.
    • UnderstandingSociety
      A web-based, dynamic monograph on the philosophy of social science and some foundational issues about the nature of the social world.
    • The Barefoot Bum
      Excellent, thoughtful blog grounded in philosophy and not afraid to take an honest girl economist to task.
    • Eyes On the Prize
      Peter Kurze provides thoughtful, imaginative insight and perspective on contemporary issues and dilemmas.
    • How Do You Know?
      I was tempted to place this under aesthetics. A thoughtful blog by Ecrive that roams across a broad intellectual landscape, always with a new perspective.
    • Advice Unasked
      Nice thoughtful blog with political, economic, ethical, and philosophical insights worth reading.
    • Adam Smith's Lost Legacy
      A much-needed website devoted to restoring Smith's legacy as one of our finest moral philosophers.
    • David Coates: Answering Back
      David Coates has created a "living book" that will be of interest to all progressives.
    • History of Economic Thought Website
      Includes links to electronic versions of some HET texts
    • Suburban Guerrilla
      Keeping an eye on the corporate media

    Finance

    Infrastructure and Housing

    Political Blogs

    The Best of the Rest

    Aesthetics