Friday, December 26, 2014

Related to that Christmas Eve post...

There's a piece in today's Wall Street Journal called "The Fed's Needless Flirtation With Danger" in which Martin Feldstein writes that in order to stimulate demand, "Well-designed tax rules are a safe and effective alternative to quantitative easing".  

Dr. Feldstein argues that we'd have been better served by tax policies that induce businesses to make new investments and help consumers consume, as opposed to so much QE.   

Unrelated to that X-mas Eve post but relating to other economists in the media...

I once saw an Economist on Squawk Box who insisted that economists collectively agree on nearly all major policy prescriptions.  I
Nassim Taleb, Wikipedia
wish I could recall his name. 
His remarks still strike me as wishful.  

He wanted viewers to believe that the discipline of economics breeds the kind of metaphysical certainty found in the natural sciences.  

To help settle the issue or at least test it, a Krugman-Feldstein debate or a Taleb-Krugman debate would be an interesting spectacle, like the sort I watched years ago.

Paul Krugman, Wikipedia
I'm referring to the old TV debates on public television that featured thought leaders from opposite ends of a policy spectrum who respectfully but forcefully hashed out their differences on politics and economics.  All that without commercial breaks.  

My favorite debater remains the late William F. Buckley.*  

*Amazon Prime members can access some of WFB's old Firing Line debates -- free.
WFB, Wikipedia