Links 1/10/09


  1. Independent Accountant

    Dean Baker is a fool. Or worse. I’ve looked at the actuarial projections, Baker is full of balogna.

  2. bg

    I liked Roubini’s comments saying Paulson gets a poor grade.

    My sense is there is reluctance to criticize the captain during the storm, so I think this is meaningful.

  3. Anonymous

    i’m completely smitten by elizabeth warren.

    the cnbc clip was particularly good — she was excellent at standing her ground while he keeping open to the discussion.

    here’s their website:

    maybe some of the bright minds here can give her some hints about where to look under the TARP…

  4. Andrew Bissell

    What was the point of the Dean Baker link? It’s basically a blurb of him saying “everything is fine.”

    How can he call it “preserving Social Security” if you apply spending cuts to the program? By definition, means testing, inflation (the most likely outcome, IMO), or other methods of reducing Social Security benefits are de facto admissions that the system is unsustainable.

    As for tax increases, Baker and other proponents of this route foolishly assume that it can be imposed with enough force to save Social Security, while *not* creating innumerable economic problems, especially a brain drain. America’s best and brightest *will* seek out the sunnier, less-heavily-taxed pastures of societies that do not devote huge chunks of their economy to supporting a class of elderly wastrels, who couldn’t be bothered to save real assets for the retirement because “the government had it taken care of.” I guess you could always ban emigration, at the peril of establishing the truth of Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom.”

    Boomers who arrogantly told their children, “you’ll be paying super-high tax rates to support us in our old age,” may find that reality has devious ways of ensuring a more just outcome than that.

  5. Anonymous

    Yves, I’m a bit surprised by the John Taylor link. After all the discussions we’ve had about the financial markets and drawing conclusions from inadequate models, this “I see no ships” from JT just looks bizarre.

  6. ndk

    Yves, I’m a bit surprised by the John Taylor link. After all the discussions we’ve had about the financial markets and drawing conclusions from inadequate models, this “I see no ships” from JT just looks bizarre.

    I think the more interesting part of Taylor’s work was his empirical analysis, which is pretty sound. I agree with you, though, 4:57: adding results from his own models and praising how much more awesomer they are than everyone else’s models takes a lot away from his empirical work.

    I also wish he’d gotten the year right on the front page, but hey. You got the academic elite you got.

  7. Anonymous

    Hay, Gov. Palin. Elizabeth Warren is a real role model for females in America. I just hope her mental steel is not deminished, for is time in DC. One good way to send a sane peorson insane, is to much time in the loony bin.


  8. Yves Smith


    I don’t agree with you on this one. When Social Security was created, what was the life expectancy of someone aged 20, when most people (college education being less prevalent back then) would start paying in? Life expectancy at birth for someone born in 1910 was only 49 (52 for women) but childhood death rates were much higher. So let’s say life expectancy of someone who made it to be 20 might be 65 to 70. That means on average you’d have 5 years of retirement pay for 40-45 years of work.

    The problem is that we have not adjusted retirement age. It ought to be 70. People at 70 today are in vastly better shape than people aged 65 in 1935.

    And people who work longer live longer, although I am not sure if the causality might run the other way (but look at all those frisky Federal judges who work into their 80s, and Federal judges have great retirement benefits).


    You are way off base on this one. Americans have a tax burden about 10% lower than other advanced economies. Hong Kong is the only low tax place I can think of, and the air is so horrid there, you pay with a lower lifespan, I am not kidding. It beats Bangkok in the bad days, but not by much.

  9. Anonymous

    Later retirement age (with exception of guys who actually do labor & allowance for switching to paper work wide [with reduced salary and benefits') remove the caps so the high end are paying more.

    Have doubts millionaires to be paid Soc. Sec.?

    And, think Medicare is the bigger problem.


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