Beginning of the End of the Republic’s Solvency. Soon Come the First Steps to a Reformed Regime – or a New Regime.

From a joint statement by the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, March 2009 The drawdown of Social Security and HI Trust Fund reserves and the general revenue transfers into SMI will result in mounting pressure on the Federal budget. In fact, pressure is already evident. For the third consecutive year, a “Medicare funding […]

Impressive Piece of Work

I am ordinarily gloomy about the public policy process in India. But for a welcome change, the quality of staff work in the draft direct tax code, which has been put out for discussion, is outstanding. Originally published at Ajay Shah’s blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

China Rising, Rent-Seeking Version

The usual concern about the US-China balance of economic and political power is couched in terms of our relative international payments positions.  We’ve run a large current account deficit in recent years (imports above exports); they still have – by some measures – the largest current account surplus (exports above imports) even seen in a major […]

USA, Argentina and Alan Beattie: Wrong Starting Point

I was intrigued by the early announcements of Alan Beattie’s book ‘False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World.’   So I read with interest his shorter piece summarizing the opening chapter of the book that presents his interpretation of the history of USA and Argentina (“Argentina: The superpower that never was” May 23 2009, […]

The Green Shoots that are Healthy don’t Taste Good to many Administration Officials

As we approach two and a half years of financial crisis and recession, one has to at least begin to inquire why the dynamics continue and what the Administration plans to do about them. So far, the answer seems to be “subsidize the financial services industry” and stage a “reorganization.” But subsidies keep the same […]

A Putt Made, a Putt Missed

At “A Dash” we often find that examples from the world of sports can help investors understand crucial concepts.  One such concept, abstract and elusive, is “the counterfactual situation.”  This describes what would have happened if a specific event or decision had not taken place.  Take the recent British Open golf championship as an example.  […]

What Do the People Want?

To the New York Times’s credit, they asked them. And this is what they found (from the beginning of the article, entitled “New Poll Finds Growing Unease on Health Plan”): President Obama’s ability to shape the debate on health care appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray his overhaul plan as a government takeover […]

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