Deficits, public spending, and growth

Brad DeLong has some thoughts, and some numbers, on politics and macroeconomics. Read them now.

DeLong’s message is pretty grim: reckless fiscal irresponsibility, a la Reagan I and Bush II, may be a better political strategy than fiscal responsibility. When are we going to hear about Republican members of the Concord Coalition walking away from the candidate of the credit-card conservatives? Not soon, I’d bet.

One factor DeLong doesn’t mention: tight labor markets make free-trade policies politically palatable. For a while, the Democrats were returning to their free-trade roots. Now it looks as if Dean and Gephardt trying to lead them back into the protectionist wilderness.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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