Thursday, August 19, 2010

Strange New Worlds

Yglesias' strange new third-party world:
It occurred to me today that there’s at least some chance that in January of 2011 the US Senate will have 49 Democrats, Joe Lieberman, Charlie Crist, and 49 Republicans. Which is to say that Lieberman & Crist could form a two-man caucus, hold the balance of power, and drive organization of the Senate. Crist could leapfrog seniority and chair a committee. And if it looked like that might happen, mightn’t it make sense for Northeastern moderate Republicans (Snowe, Collins, Brown, Castle) and Southern moderate Democrats (Landrieu, Pryor, Hagan) to join their rebellion against the two party system?
The effect of food prices on women's empowerment:
Call it a silver-lining: Skyrocketing food costs and hunger crises have forced policymakers and aid groups to take a hint. To end hunger and build truly sustainable food systems, they're embracing the global community most responsible for food: women.
The new board game - Monopoly + progressive taxation a la Russ Roberts:
I hated Monopoly because of its poor relationship to the real economy–it teaches you that life is a zero-sum game, that financial outcomes are random–whether you prosper or go bankrupt depends on the roll of the dice, you’re forced to pay rent without your consent, there’s no competition to improve the lot of the people playing via innovation or lower prices and so on....

[But if you added a progressive tax] you could get kids to resent taxes at an even earlier age. In the current real world when your kid goes off and gets their first job and they see their FICA they say, “what’s this for.” Oh that’s so that your financially comfortable grandfather will get a check from you–partially financed by you–it’s called social security and you’ll be able to exploit young people when you get old. ...

[Response 1:] On the other hand as someone who’s going to be a loser in this game at the rate things are going, if we get that far, I love the transfer. In that sense it’s not so clear it will teach what Russ wants to teach. It might teach just the opposite.
The comments recommend adding in a playing role for the banker to teach about monetary policy (and bailouts) or to establish a lobbying group each player contributes to that determines partly random taxation.

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