Will Obamacare make us lazy?

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare, when fully implemented, will cost the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.  Not so much from businesses cutting back hiring but because people will not want to work so much.

Older people will no longer feel they need to keep working until they can get on Medicare, so they can retire early.  Middle class people will work less so as to purposefully earn less–that way, they can qualify for a subsidy.  Rich people will also work less to earn less so that, given the increased tax rates to pay for Obamacare, they won’t have to pay so much in taxes.

This is the benefit of making everyone dependent on a government program:  The economic disincentives built into the welfare system will now apply to everybody! [Read more...]

Are Americans becoming more liberal?

Democratic operative Steve Rosenthal argues that America is becoming more liberal.   Do you think he is right? [Read more...]

Policy lessons from the Beatles

The Beatles are hailed as icons of the Sixties counter-culture.  But in a lot of ways they were quite conservative.  Economics columnist Neil Irwin looks at their song lyrics and how they handled their money, drawing out what we can learn from the Beatles about taxes, retirement, and change. [Read more...]

Income equality?

The Democrats’ big new issue is “income inequality.”  What they are referring to is that wealthier people are benefiting more from the current economic growth than those with lower incomes and that there is a growing economic gap between the two.  The Democrats want to address this with such policies as raising the minimum wage.  But surely adopting those policies, which might be worth doing, would do little to make incomes “equal,” would it?

If the problem is “income inequality,” asks Kathleen Parker, is the solution “income equality”?  Is the idea really to work towards everyone having the same income?  If that were to happen, would that be a good thing? [Read more...]

The Rolling Stone Manifesto

Rolling Stone Magazine published an economics manifesto that “Millennials should be fighting for.”  You can read it after the jump, but I’ll summarize it for you here.

Author Jesse A. Myerson says that “unemployment blows,” so that the government should guarantee work for everybody.  But then he says that “jobs also blow,” so the government could provide a guaranteed income to everyone so that you don’t have to work.  This would give people “‘time to cultivate new needs for pleasures, activities, senses, passions, affects, and socialities.”

Other things that “blow” are landlords, “hoarders” (by which he means owners of private property), and Wall Street, all of which Myerson has a solution for. [Read more...]

From bureaucracy to holacracy

Zappos, the online shoe and apparel store, is adopting a new way to organize its workforce.  There will be no managers and no corporate-style hierarchies.  Instead, circles of employees will be organized around specific tasks.  The company is attempting to replace “bureaucracy” with what it is calling “holacracy,” a coinage from “holistic.”  Read the details after the jump and consider:  How well do you think this will work?  If it does work, do you think it would be broadly applicable or suited just for certain kinds of organizations? [Read more...]


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