Monday, February 12, 2007

Economics and Social Policy XXXIII

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Welcome to the February 12, 2007 special “Pros versus Joes” edition of economics and social policy.

First up, The Joes:

Tom Blumer presents Comprehensive ?Annual Revision? to the Employment Numbers Goes Largely Underreported posted at BizzyBlog.

A nice post with lots of econo-geeky goodness. Mr. Blumer points to two persistent problems: a) the lag between the initial estimates and the final revision causes people to lose interest in the story; and b) there’s never much of a market for good economic news in the MSM when there’s a Republican administration.

Matthew Paulson presents The Problem with Debt Consolidation posted at Getting Green.

I generally don’t include many personal finance posts on E&SP, but Mr. Paulson often has good stuff, and is worth a regular visit. Add Mr. Paulson to your favorites.

Key takeaway from this post:

“The biggest problem with them is that they do not change your behavior. Debt is not the problem, rather debt is the symptom. The problem is that you are spending too much money, and getting a debt consolidation loan does nothing to stop your overspending habits.”

Steven Silvers presents If your advertising agency isn’t getting arrested, maybe they're not trying hard enough. posted at Scatterbox at,

As Mr. Silvers says, nuisance marketing is that wave of the future. But isn’t all marketing a nuisance?

The Pros:

Gary Becker and Richard Posner on health care. Arnold Kling chips in with 5 Big Questions about Healthcare

Greg Mankiw on Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.

Alex Tabarrok on property rights in Niger.

Larry Kudlow focuses on corporate profits. “When you tax profits, you tax people”. Perhaps someone should mention this to Segolene Royal was well as Hillary Clinton.

Edmund Phelps provides a diagnosis of Europe’s ills. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be an easy fix.

All told, a good showing by the Joes this week, though out numbered and out-credentialed. (Frankly, I suspect that Mr. Blumer has at least semi-pro status.)

Disclaimer: I picked the "Pros". Unfortunately, I have yet to convince may "Pros" to make regular submissions to the carnival....

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Economics and Social Policy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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