Politics and Public Opinion

Must reads for March 5, 2012

Have a look!

Why IPAB won’t work | Joe Antos:

What Congress gives, it can take away. Particularly if a different Congress is doing the take-away. That’s why the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is doomed to failure, assuming that it can get off the ground. … The IPAB has one tool—price controls—to hit the same kind of fiscal target that the SGR has. If the board requires politically unacceptable payment cuts, a future Congress will neutralize IPAB just as it has neutralized the SGR. Congress could pass its own version of the IPAB cut if it plays by the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) rules. Congress could also change IPAB’s charter or even abolish it. But that probably will not be necessary as IPAB is unlikely to become the policy authority that some hope it will be. Senate confirmation of 15 experts to dictate Medicare policy is a near-impossibility.

The twilight of the Volt | The Truth about Cars:

And if GM had said all along that it would serve as an “anti-Corvette,” selling in low volumes at a high price, nobody could now accuse it of failure. Instead, GM fueled totally unrealistic expectations for Volt, equating it with a symbol of its rebirth even before collapsing into bailout. The Obama administration simply took GM’s hype at face value, and saw it as a way to protect against the (flawed) environmentalist argument that GM deserved to die because of “SUV addiction” alone. And in the transition from corporate sales/image hype to corporatist political hype, the Volt’s expectations were driven to ever more unrealistic heights, from which they are now tumbling. Beyond the mere sales disappointment, the Volt has clearly failed to embody any cultural changes GM might have undergone in its dark night of the soul, instead carrying on The General’s not-so-proud tradition of moving from one overhyped short-term savior to the next.

Fed’s cheap money will hurt growth later on  | Andy Laperriere

California slipping toward bankruptcy, again | Conn Carroll

The Underlying Economic Message In Oscar Winner “Undefeated” | John Tamny

China’s unproductive investments threaten economic growth | Satyajit Das

The American Left’s Two Europes problem | Tino Sanandaji

Southern Europe today is no less a welfare state than the north, defined as the involvement of the state in the economy. While we observe sizable differences in social and economic outcomes, there is no evidence that this is due to policy itself being radically different. A more likely explanation is that outcomes from welfare state policies are mediated through the deeper structures of society: culture, norms, social capital, etc. so that similar policies produce different outcomes in different countries. These “soft” factors are hard to measure, but the fact that a concept is hard to measure or to perfectly define does not mean that it is not important.

De-Investifying China | Zero Hedge

Government has finally seen through the wind-farm scam | Matt Ridley

The future will be better than we think if politicians don’t ruin it | Glenn Reynolds

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