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Tag Archives: President Trump

How Chicago Economics is Helping End a Pandemic: Interview with Murphy, Philipson, Topel

Covid-19 has disrupted much of human life, but Operation Warp Speed has drastically mitigated the costs of the virus. The $10 billion federal program launched in April 2020 encouraged and accelerated the development and mass manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, streamlined Federal approval for vaccines and their manufacture, and provided Federal funds for private vaccine research and advance-purchase orders.  COVID-19 vaccines are currently being administered to the general public at least...

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White House Attitudes toward “Screening Agencies” (looking at you FDA)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been part of many conversations in 2020.  To the great frustration of tens of millions, it has to approve COVID tests and arguably applies the wrong (from economic and health perspectives) standards in doing so.  It is also tasked with approving COVID treatments and vaccines.  Vaccine approvals came much quicker than experts expected, although IMO not quickly enough.With few exceptions, economists have “long been aware that the agency causes...

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The Year 2020 in Three Phrases

TweetDecember 31, 2020 —  Consider the past year through the lenses of three phrases: “witch hunt,” “black swan,” and “exponential.”  Each of these terms is widely applied, but not necessarily in the most useful way. Witch hunt Donald Trump has used the words “witch hunt” approximately once every three days on average during his presidency, just counting tweets alone.  It wasn’t just his impeachment trial, which ended with the Senate voting to acquit on February 5 of 2020. He continued...

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Look at Article II of the Constitution before Censoring Trump

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution says [emphasis added], Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress....I am not a lawyer, let alone Constitutional scholar.  I welcome such scholars to engage and clarify what follows (suspecting that most of these scholars are currently retained by either Rs or Ds and therefore...

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Canaries in the Coal Mine

]]> Although we still do not know the winner of the electoral college, it is clear that the polls were systematically wrong in the swing states and several others.  Here is a recap, with links, of what we knew in advance but few dared discuss openly. Election forecasting became an economics-free zone I wrote about this last week: (1) Better information-aggregation methods were showing less Biden lead and sometimes a Trump lead. (2) The incentives for individuals to...

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Biden is Better on Economics

TweetOctober 29, 2020 — In a few days, Americans will choose a president.  Polling suggests that voters favor former Vice-President Joseph Biden when it comes to social policy, foreign policy, the environment, and managing the pandemic, not to mention the question of personal character. But on economics, polls have reported that voters favored President Donald Trump, at least until recently. A general impression that the US economy does better under Republicans is long-standing.  The...

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Will the Coronavirus Spur Action on Climate Change?

TweetOctober 3, 2020 — From early on in this pandemic, a common reaction has been “at least, maybe now we will get serious about addressing climate change.”  One can see the logic.  The terrible toll taken by Covid-19 should remind us of the importance of three things: the need for science, the role for public policy, and the usefulness of international cooperation.  With these three revelations firmly in mind, we can see that we also need them to respond to the problem of climate...

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Are Regulations “Job Killing”?

The traditional models of regulations and growth treat regulation as an adverse productivity shock (more inputs for the same output) in order to help the environment, fairness, or some other social good.  But a productivity shock has opposing income and substitution effects on labor supply.  Arguably a regulation that works as a productivity shock has no aggregate effect on jobs.Reminded how Gary Becker many times told me that "somebody benefits," I do not endorse the productivity-shock...

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Shoddy Executive Order Bears Fingerprints of Navarro and Krugman

An immigration Executive Order was issued two days ago.  I read it yesterday and gathered my thoughts and relevant memories over the subsequent 24 hours. The EO contains immigration regulations and purported economic justifications for the regulations. The EO’s economic justification is essentially that it is good to suppress labor supply during a recession.  I disagreed with such a conclusion when it was offered years ago by Krugman, Eggertson, and others.  The conclusion is just...

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Dueling Memoirs: Mulligan vs. Bolton

What do readers have to say? Style A New York Times Review says that Bolton's memoir "has been written with so little discernible attention to style and narrative form...." One reader (who asked to remain anonymous because he/she fears retribution at work) finds You're Hired! to be an "extremely well-written book." Brian Blase found it to be "enjoyable and easy to read." Tone Back to the review of Bolton, "Underneath it all courses a festering obsession with his enemies ...the book...

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