The Great Debate

Use plutocracy to broaden our economic debate

October 22, 2012

This is the fifth response to an excerpt from Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, published this week by Penguin Press. The first response can be read here, the second here, the third here and the fourth here

Everything you know about inequality is wrong

October 19, 2012

This is the fourth response to an excerpt from Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, published this week by Penguin Press. The first response can be read here, the second here, and the third here

Has rising inequality actually hurt anyone?

October 18, 2012

The incomes of the top 1 percent — and especially of the top one-half of the top 1 percent — have skyrocketed over the past 30 years. The latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office show that the inflation-adjusted average income of the top 1 percent of households was $340,000 in 1979 but $1.4 million in 2007, quadrupling over less than three decades. Popular discussion of the top 1 percent tends to highlight how different, say, Mitt Romney and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are from typical Americans. In reality there is as great a disparity between Zuckerberg’s and Romney’s income as between Romney’s and yours. Disparities in income are so dramatic it is difficult to comprehend them.

The causes and consequences of plutocracy

October 17, 2012

This is the second response to an excerpt from Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, published this week by Penguin Press. The first response can be read here.

Sympathy for the Plutocrat

October 16, 2012

This is a response to an excerpt from Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, published this week by Penguin Press.

Should economists be “imagineers” of our future?

November 14, 2011

By Mark Thoma
The opinions expressed are his own.

This essay is a response to Roger Martin’s “The limits of the scientific method in economics and the world” (part one and part two), recently published on Retuers.com.

The limits of the scientific method in economics and the world

November 11, 2011

By Roger Martin
The opinions expressed are his own.

Part one of this essay was published Thursday. This is part two.

As the power of the scientific method has encroached further than its applicability warrants into fields such as economics and business, its predictions of the future become ever more erroneous. In this list, we can include virtually every economic prognostication from the first half of 2008, and countless market research studies that misjudge consumer interest in the new product concepts that they test.