Sunday, June 15, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. The lure of ideology. Why are Chicago-school economists proud of being part of a tradition that has an explicit ideology? Is considering empirical evidence without ideological predilections out of style? I don't get it. 2. No oil bubble? This seems like fairly strong evidence against an oil bubble:

"Refiners are paying record premiums for the high-quality crude oil they use to produce diesel and petrol, a sign of strong demand in the physical oil market. ... The fact that refiners are willing to pay a higher price for physical supplies than the futures benchmark lends weight to the argument that speculators are not the cause of record oil prices."
3. When pigs fly. Joseph Stiglitz calls for all capital gains to be taxed at the same level ("at least") as ordinary income. That's about as likely as a constitutional amendment repealing the Second Amendment. 4. Universal Healthcare Vouchers. This is an innovative healthcare proposal. I'm not so big on the "independent Institute for Technology and Outcomes Assessment" it proposes, but reining in medical costs would do wonders for both the budget deficit and the economy as a whole, so maybe such a drastic action is the best course.