Monday, August 18, 2008

National and International Governments

According to a Reuters article:

McCain's top economic advisers said Obama's proposals would hurt small businesses and not foster job growth. Martin Feldstein, a Harvard professor of economics, said Obama's approach would backfire.

"Obama's plan will slow the economy, will depress the economy by raising taxes -- raising taxes on business investment, raising taxes on individuals. And that tax increase isn't going to happen immediately, but the fact that he promises that he will make that happen in 2010 or 2011 is enough to continue to depress the economy now," he said.

Now, Martin Feldstein is a smart guy, but I don't agree with him here. Given the fiscal lag, the relative lack of power a president has over the economy, and the fact that congress will alter any bill proposed, it'll be a long time before anything similar anyone's currently proposed economic plan will have an effect on the economy. Moreover, the Federal Reserve Board governors are betting on upside risks being greater than downside risks--so we may actually want a slow down of the economy when any kind of plan does eventually hit, in order to stave off inflationary pressures. Moreover, the results of the Obama plan may be mixed, as middle class consumers will supposedly be getting help (and thusly be buying more things, helping all companies).

This is a great idea that should've been done a long time ago. I saw it linked on some other site, but I don't remember which.

In UK, you can get money if you come up with a way to improve the lives of UKers with online applications or providing easy access to data. They "want to hear your ideas on how to reuse, represent, mashup or combine the information the government holds to make it useful."

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