Mitch Kokai

Senior Political Analyst

Posts by Mitch Kokai (page 2,321)

  • Saying what Say said, rather than what Keynes says Say said

    Even if you’re not an economist, you’ve likely heard the name Keynes or the word “Keynesian” in recent months. The famous British economist John Maynard Keynes put forth theories during the 1930s that justified government policies involving increased spending to jumpstart a sluggish economy. In a presentation today to the…
    Mitch Kokai, March 21, 2011
  • Barone labels the U.S. the unilateral power in a multilateral world

    While much of the discussion in recent weeks about American involvement in the Libyan conflict focused on the need for support from other countries, Michael Barone says that approach creates problems. He explains why in a Washington Examiner column. [O]ur action in Iraq was not in any literal sense unilateral, as so many critics said then and as journalists today casually assume. More than 30 countries participated in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Thirty is not one. The usual response to that inconvenient fact is that the other countries don't really count, because the United States took the initiative and provided the majority of military assets. Well, yes. What else would you expect when the United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, produces more than one-quarter of world economic output, and by most measures has more than one-half of projectable military power? In such a world the initiative will usually be left to the United States.
    Mitch Kokai, March 21, 2011
  • Sowell returns to the lessons of basic economics

    This reader had toyed with the idea of skipping the fourth edition of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics, having read the third edition four years ago. That would have been a mistake. Having just completed the nearly 700-page updated version of Sowell’s “common-sense guide to the economy,” one is reminded of the many ways in which an ignorance of economics — willful or otherwise — plagues public policy in the United States and abroad. Near the end of the book, Sowell offers one of his recurring nuggets of wisdom. He starts with a discussion of the misuse of common terminology: [S]loppy use of terms often occurs in media and political discussions of taxation. For example, the growing federal deficits of the 1980s in the United States have often been blamed on the “tax cuts” early in that decade. But, although tax rates per dollar of income were cut, the total tax revenues of the federal government were higher in every year of the 1980s than in any previous year in the history of the country, as a result of incomes growing by more than the tax rates were cut. It was increased spending which led to growing deficits — a fact concealed by sloppy use of the word “taxes,” which can refer to either individual tax rates or the total tax revenues of the government. Many economic fallacies depend upon (1) thinking of the economy as a set of zero-sum transactions, (2) ignoring the role of competition in the marketplace, or (3) not thinking beyond the initial consequences of particular policies.
    Mitch Kokai, March 21, 2011
  • About those ‘bloodless’ markets

    The latest “Curious Capitalist” column in TIME begins: Markets can be merciless, bloodlessly processing available information to price assets appropriately. The assertion is true as far as it goes. But the implication is clearly false, when you consider what “markets” are. In a book…
    Mitch Kokai, March 21, 2011
  • Bring on the honest debate

    James Poniewozik offers a critique in the latest TIME of James O’Keefe’s recent hit piece on NPR. For the purposes of this entry, we’ll ignore the shaky argument that O’Keefe’s selective editing differs substantially from most of what runs daily in the New York Times. Instead,…
    Mitch Kokai, March 21, 2011
  • They might ‘change the world,’ but it doesn’t make them good

    The latest TIME features “10 Ideas That Will Change the World.” While some sound interesting, others raise some red flags. If you still think the Global TransPark was a good idea, you might like the aerotropolis concept TIME touts. TransPark backer John Kasarda is a key…
    Mitch Kokai, March 21, 2011
  • New Carolina Journal Online features

    Anthony Greco’s latest Carolina Journal Online report previews the week ahead for the N.C. legislature. John Hood’s Daily Journal offers a progress report on the General Assembly’s new Republican majority.
    Mitch Kokai, March 21, 2011
  • Perdue to allow school testing bill to become law without her signature

    Veto No. 3 will have to wait, as Gov. Beverly Perdue has decided not to challenge a bill to scrap four N.C. high school end-of-course tests. Terry Stoops has argued for a “repeal and replace” strategy that would allow for nationally normed tests to replace those…
    Mitch Kokai, March 18, 2011