James Pethokoukis

Drill, baby, drill — at least in some places

March 31, 2010

The new POTUS offshore drilling plan may be more aggravating for what it does not include (drilling in the Pacific, for instance) than pleasing for what it does. And as the Houston Chronicle points out:

Preventing the Great Stagnation

March 31, 2010

David Gitlitz, chief economist at High View Economics, has a thought or two about my “20-year bust” post:

Obama and America’s 20-year bust

March 31, 2010

It is an alarming, jaw-dropping conclusion. The U.S. standard of living, says superstar Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon in a new paper, is about to experience its slowest growth “over any two-decade interval recorded since the inauguration of George Washington.” That’s right, get ready for twenty years of major-league economic suckage. It is an event that would change America’s material expectations, self-identity and political landscape. ┬áChange in the worst way.

Becker on on what healthcare reform should look like

March 30, 2010

An amazing piece of healthcare analysis by the University of Chicago’s Gary Becker. The whole analysis deserves reading, but a few key points:

Waste, fraud and abuse at Social Security

March 30, 2010

The super-insightful Andrew Biggs looks how the Crist-Rubio debate dealt with Social Security — and finds laughable the former’s comments about restoring the system’s long-term solvency by rooting out waste, fraud and abuse:

7 keys to financial reform

March 30, 2010

Here is what you need to know about financial reform. If a bill in any way allows vast amounts taxpayer money to be poured into banks, then the bill does not end Too Big To Fail. Banks will assume this power will be used. Second, any bill that requires prescience by regulators and then the will to act on unpopular forecasts is doomed to fail. Keep that in mind as your read some key insights from the great Nicole Gelinas on fin reform:

7 reasons a VAT is a dicey proposition

March 29, 2010

My guy Pete Davis over at Capital Gains and Games unsheathes the katana and slices up the VAT. Not so easy to implement he says. A brief summary of his reasons (though read the whole thing, of course):

Economic guru: US faces its worst two decades in history

March 29, 2010

Get ready for the Long Recession.

Well, at least a long period of time where it is going to seem like the US economy is kind of sickly. That is the conclusion of productivity guru Robert Gordon in a new paper. He says US living standards now face their slowest two-decade growth rate “since the inauguration of George Washington.” More:

A Wall Street conspiracy to kill Social Security?

March 26, 2010

Finally, a Wall Street conspiracy theory without Goldman Sachs at its heart. This one posits that bond rater Moody’s wants to ding the U.S. credit rating so panicky politicos will privatize Social Security. That would sent big bucks to the firm’s big bank clients. If only it were true.

Google: Freedom is important, too

March 25, 2010

Heartened to hear the words of Google co-founder Sergey Brin in the WSJ:

China has “made great strides against poverty and whatnot,” Mr. Brin said. “But nevertheless, in some aspects of their policy, particularly with respect to censorship, with respect to surveillance of dissidents, I see the same earmarks of totalitarianism, and I find that personally quite troubling.”