Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas and Governance

No, pre-reform Scrooge isn't against government programs. He's quite in favor
Indeed, the modern Scrooge, instead of asking, “Are there no prisons?” would ask, “Is there no Medicaid? Are there no food stamps?” The modern Scrooges, in short, are those who advocate government programs for the poor rather than charity for the poor.
One commenter demurs: "Dickens’ point is more that we should make provision for the destitute than that we should do so in any particular way. He doesn’t want to repeal the Poor Act or close the workhouses, you know." Landsburg takes a different, contrarian approach by praising misers for not using up our scarce resources so everyone else can enjoy them. Both articles, HT Mankiw. Alternatively, thoughtful comments about the Christmas story by a Muslim, who focuses on being there and being good enough if not perfect.

Boudreaux has a modest proposal for politicians who want to index executive pay to future company performance: try it yourself. "Members of Congress and all top White House officials – including the President – should receive at least half of their pay in the form of ten-year bonds whose redemption values are structured to rise with decreases in the national debt and fall with increases in the national debt."

Was this month's tax law a cut or an increase? Marron answers "Yes" and has Johnny Depp explain why.

An excellent example of a very good use for Twitter by Newark's mayor: identifying those who need help being shoveled out.

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