Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Assault of thoughts - 1/18/2012

"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK

- Brad DeLong reposts an excellent obituary he wrote for Milton Friedman. It especially highlights Friedman's push for an all-volunteer military. It's a literature I knew about from school, but really got familiar with when preparing a proposal on recruitment for the Army Research Institute. Friedman did some excellent work on that, and it's shaped my view of the intersection of public economics and labor economics - particularly a lot of my thoughts on the science and engineering labor market. Unlike Bob Murphy, I do think we should tax to stop an asteroid and I also think a draft in a truly existential crisis is a different matter. But that's a pretty specific situation. Also, for those of you who are not aware, there's a relatively new Milton Friedman institute at the University of Chicago which Evan has been keeping me abreast of (and which actually appears to have been renamed the Becker Friedman Institute). I haven't been keeping up with it, but they can certainly be expected to have quality work there.

- Margaret Simms, my colleague at the Urban Institute, has two recent media pieces. First there's a quick interview about the economic circumstances of blacks here. Also interviewed in that one is William Rodgers, who used to be at my alma mater, William and Mary, and is now a colleague of Hal Salzman, my co-author for the engineering labor market work, at the Heidrich Center at Rutgers. Margaret also has a column on inequality that makes similar points to the Krugman column I posted on Monday.

- Paul Krugman has a good post on the dissemination of research in economics, and the role of the blogosophere. He's made many of these points before.

- It's official now, so I wanted to note that I will be authoring a chapter in a book on a basic income guarantee that Guinevere Liberty Nell has just gotten approved from Palgrave. I'm actually not currently a proponent of the basic income guarantee, mostly because of it's labor supply effects. But I will be writing a "pro-" chapter, or at least a chapter highlighting some salutary qualities of a basic income guarantee as a monetary policy tool. The theme of the book is to present the basic income guarantee as an alternative to the welfare state that market socialists and Austrian economists can both support. As you all know, I don't fall into either of those categories but I'm addressing my chapter mainly to monetary disequilibrium Austrian economists (although as I learn more about market socialism, I think I can work some of that in as well).

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