An economic history lesson on fiscal responsibility

Lynne Kiesling At the Atlantic’s newish business web site, Greg Clark has a very good post on the history of government spending in Britain. He starts in the early post-Magna Carta period: In England, for example, from the Magna Carta of 1215 until the Glorious Revolution of 1689, public debt was always tiny — a … More An economic history lesson on fiscal responsibility

GridEcon 2009

Lynne Kiesling I am co-organizing an event called GridEcon in Chicago, 16-17 March 2009. GridEcon is in the suite of events that the GridWise Architecture Council co-sponsors, including GridWeek, Connectivity Week, and Grid-Interop. GridEcon has come about because we think that the policy and business discussions have moved beyond the technical interoperability issues that have … More GridEcon 2009

The continuing relevance of the bootlegger-and-Baptist model

Lynne Kiesling In 1983 Bruce Yandle wrote an influential article in Regulation, “Bootleggers and Baptists: The Education of a Regulatory Economist”. His model explains how two parties with seemingly incongruent values can come together to get a regulation passed that meets the objectives of both parties. In the bootlegger and Baptist case, both parties benefit … More The continuing relevance of the bootlegger-and-Baptist model

British government desire for surveillance expropriates private property

Lynne Kiesling For the past couple of years the British government has been extremely aggressive in installing surveillance cameras — CCTV on high streets, speeding cameras on highways, and so on. If you are a typical British citizen, your actions are captured on camera hundreds of times a day, and you can be watched with … More British government desire for surveillance expropriates private property

Mortgage bailouts and the Chicago Tea Party

Lynne Kiesling Count me in as a taxpayer, mortgage holder, and economist who thinks that the Obama mortgage bailout program is bad policy-it’s expensive with little obvious benefit, it creates bad incentives and ex post rewards bad decisions (bad decisions that were abetted by bad government policy), and it’s morally reprehensible. Peter Klein’s remarks on … More Mortgage bailouts and the Chicago Tea Party