Archive for December 2010

Economic Freedom versus Prison Population

Mike Konczal has posted a great graph at Rortybomb that shows the relationship between “economic freedom” and incarceration in countries around world. He graphs the 2009 national prison population rate per 100,000 against the conservative Cato Institute‘s national “Economic Freedom” rating for 2007: The graph shows a fairly strong positive relationship between a country’s level […]

Latinos and Reapportionment

Chris Good argues at The Atlantic that the recent reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives, based on data from the 2010 Census, may spell trouble for the Republicans in the longer-term. At first glance, solidly Republican states (Texas and Arizona, for example) are gaining seats. But, Good speculates that an increase in these […]

Obama/Romney Care Covers

Ezra Klein has produced a nice graph for his story on the success that an individual mandate has had in Massachusetts. It’s a far cry from single payer and it’s no public option either, but Massachusetts is now close to universal coverage.

Ravitch responds to Gates

A couple of months back, I wrote a post on Diane Ravitch’s negative review in the New York Review of Books of the education documentary “Waiting for Superman.” At the end of November, though, I missed an interesting short interview in the Washington Post with Ravitch. In the unconventional interview, she answers questions put to […]

Quote of the Week

Economist blogger Daniel Davies: I saw ‘Black Swan’ after reading the book, and I must say, Nicholas Taleb must be wondering what the hell happened in development. (Via Brad DeLong.)

The Pile

A fair number of new papers (well, new to me, at least) come over the transom every week. If they look interesting, I add them to the pile, where they often lie for quite some time unread. I thought that if I kept track here of some of the more interesting additions to the pile […]

Health insurance and entrepreneurship

I’m getting to this late, but the New York Times’ David Leonhardt and Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum started a discussion earlier this week on whether a social safety net –especially the availability of health insurance– could actually promote entrepreneurship in the United States. Here’s David Leonhardt: Guaranteeing people a decent retirement and decent health care […]

The Right Goes Negative –Against Jesus

A New York State of Inequality

The New York based Fiscal Policy Insitute has a great new report (pdf) out on rising economic inequality in New York state and New York City. The FPI researchers have used state income tax data to do a state-level analysis of income concentration, modeled on the path-breaking research by Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, who […]


One important element of the recent tax deal is the proposed extension of federal assistance to state unemployment benefit systems. But, the current deal would only continue existing benefits, which expire after a maximum of 99 weeks (depending on state unemployment levels). So, even if the tax deal goes through as is (and everything looks […]