Can a Keynesian Beauty Contest Improve Obama’s Suggestion Box for Federal Employees?

Michael Giberson President Obama has created the “SAVE Award,” a process by which federal employees can submit ideas for “how their agency can save money and perform better.”  A committee of OMB officials will review the submissions and submit a short list to the President, and the President will pick the winner.  The federal employee … More Can a Keynesian Beauty Contest Improve Obama’s Suggestion Box for Federal Employees?

Power Prices Work Best to Support Reliability when Prices Are Locational

Michael Giberson From a reliability perspective, the crucial aspect of the real-time wholesale prices is that they result from the security-constrained economic dispatch, which is based on a real-time assessment of grid capabilities. Experience has shown that market prices work best to support reliability when prices are locational, because locational prices that are consistent with … More Power Prices Work Best to Support Reliability when Prices Are Locational

Paternalistic Regulation and the Knowledge Problem

Lynne Kiesling A recent essay from legal scholars Todd Zywicki and Josh Wright analyzes the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and over at Volokh, Ilya Somin adds to their analysis based on his own research. Both pieces are founded on an important core idea — paternalistic regulation that is grounded in the desire to mitigate … More Paternalistic Regulation and the Knowledge Problem

More on Michael Sandel, Justice and Price Gouging

Michael Giberson Yesterday I commented on Michael Sandel’s book, Justice, and on his discussion of price gouging.  I hoped that Sandel would go deeper into his ideas about justice and price gouging, but the book’s index suggests that the introductory chapter is all he has to offer specifically on price gouging. In re-reading parts of … More More on Michael Sandel, Justice and Price Gouging

Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Not Exactly Making Friends and Influencing People

Michael Giberson From WSJ Environmental Capital: When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons. Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks … More Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Not Exactly Making Friends and Influencing People

Life Imitates Art: Nissan to Give Electric Car a “Beautiful and Futuristic” Noise

Michael Giberson From the LA Times car culture blog Up to Speed: A campaign backed by automakers and some lawmakers to make electric or hybrid cars noisier in a bid to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists has taken a strange, “Blade Runner”-type twist. Nissan sound engineers have announced that the Leaf electric car set … More Life Imitates Art: Nissan to Give Electric Car a “Beautiful and Futuristic” Noise

Grant Mccracken: Concatenating Capitalism

Lynne Kiesling Grant McCracken always has insightful interpretations of various human/social phenomena, and in this recent post he offers one that he calls “concatenating capitalism“. In discussing “eco-entrepreneur” Joshua Onysko and his work developing his Pangea Organics products, Grant makes a decidedly beyond-Schumpeterian observation about the role of entrepreneurs in transforming the economy and the … More Grant Mccracken: Concatenating Capitalism

Iea: Recession => Lower Carbon Emissions

Lynne Kiesling The International Energy Agency has put a quantitative estimate on an effect that we all suspected — this year’s economic recession is contributing to a reduction in global carbon emissions. They estimate that 2009 carbon emissions will be 2 percent lower than 2008, with 75% of the reduction attributable to the economic slowdown … More Iea: Recession => Lower Carbon Emissions

Justice, Promoting Virtue and Price Gouging

Michael Giberson Michael Sandel appeared on the Today show last week promoting his new book, Justice: what is the right thing to do? The book and a related public television series this fall are based on Sandel’s course on justice taught at Harvard. (The television series episodes are online at the link just cited.) The … More Justice, Promoting Virtue and Price Gouging

Sun is Always Shining for Solar Power Proponent

Michael Giberson Under the headline “Nobel Prize winner: Don’t rely on wind technology” comes this explanation of the superiority of solar power over wind power: “It is only windy enough 40 to 45 percent of the time. Often, you will not be able to satisfy European energy needs using wind. In the desert, the sun … More Sun is Always Shining for Solar Power Proponent