Economic notes

     "Economics Offers Tactics, Not Strategy - NYTimes.com" -- Interesting distinction...

     "Comics for Economics"

     'As noted in our news article, corporate profits reached a record last quarter, at least in nominal terms"

     "The Other Taxes: Who Pays Them?" According to this, excluding redistribution paybacks, we seem to have a sort of flat tax now.


Gaming the Vote

I have been taking a course on Choice/Voting theory, Arrow's theory, etc. and ran into this book, Gaming the Vote,  discussing the benefits of Range Voting, e.g. each Voter gives each, or some of the, candidate{s} a "value", say from 0 to 5, and the winning candidate is the one with the largest total . The author indicates that this is a better voting system (at least statistically) than the others, though it does require that each voter be able to not only rank, e.g. a > b > c...  the candidates, but also given them relative ratings.e.g.  a = 5, b= 4, c=0
  • Note: as is pointed out, this does not disprove Arrow's theorem, and  of course in some cases may be worse than others, but the author suggests that this system generates choices that minimize the "Bayes Dissatisfaction" and is relatively resistant to strategic voting manipulation.

This system was, the author says, discussed by: Warren D, Smith, during the 1990's, and his papers are at Temple University in {Works} the following are the ones that I think may be most interesting to me :
    My edit of the Wikipedia article is as follows 
Range voting (also called ratings summation, average voting, cardinal ratings, score voting, 0–99 voting, the score system, or the point system) is a voting sym for one-seat elections under which voters score, e.g 1-5, 0-99, etc. each candidate, the scores are added up, and the candidate with the highest score wins. “Gaming the Vote”  suggests that Range voting leads to the minimum Bayes dissatisfaction of all the voting systems analyzed. Range voting satisfies:
It dies not satisfy:
    • not satisfy either the Condorcet criterion (i.e. is not a Condorcet method) or the Condorcet loser criterion, although with all-strategic voters and perfect information the Condorcet winner is a Nash equilibrium.[7]
    • not satisfy the majority criterion, but it satisfies a weakened form of it: a majority can force their choice to win, although they might not exercise that capability.
    • not satisfy the later-no-harm criterion, meaning that giving a positive rating to a less preferred candidate can cause a more preferred candidate to lose.
    • not regarded as a counter-example to Arrow's theorem is that it is a cardinal voting system, while the "universality" criterion of Arrow's theorem effectively restricts that result to ordinal voting systems.

Note: I expect to add more links to Wikipedia discussions of various topics, but just wanted to point to the Smith papers now.
Voting System evaluation

A voting system contains rules for valid voting, and how votes are counted and aggregated to yield a final result. The study of formally defined voting systems is called voting theory,

With majority rule, those who are unfamiliar with voting theory are often surprised that another voting system exists, each of which has some undesirable features, or that "majority rule" systems can produce results not supported by a majority.


economy and budget Nov, 2010

June 22-23, 2010 -- Federal Reserve Banks ... 
submitted projections for output growth, unemployment, and inflation for the years 2010 to 2012 and over the longer run. Economic projections of Federal Reserve Governors and Reserve Bank presidents, June 2010
Variable Central tendency1 Range2
2010 2011 2012 Longer run 2010 2011 2012 Longer run
Change in real GDP 3.0 to 3.5 3.5 to 4.2 3.5 to 4.5 2.5 to 2.8 2.9 to 3.8 2.9 to 4.5 2.8 to 5.0 2.4 to 3.0
     April projection 3.2 to 3.7 3.4 to 4.5 3.5 to 4.5 2.5 to 2.8 2.7 to 4.0 3.0 to 4.6 2.8 to 5.0 2.4 to 3.0
Unemployment rate 9.2 to 9.5 8.3 to 8.7 7.1 to 7.5 5.0 to 5.3 9.0 to 9.9 7.6 to 8.9 6.8 to 7.9 5.0 to 6.3
     April projection 9.1 to 9.5 8.1 to 8.5 6.6 to 7.5 5.0 to 5.3 8.6 to 9.7 7.2 to 8.7 6.4 to 7.7 5.0 to 6.3
PCE inflation 1.0 to 1.1 1.1 to 1.6 1.0 to 1.7 1.7 to 2.0 0.9 to 1.8 0.8 to 2.4 0.5 to 2.2 1.5 to 2.0
     April projection 1.2 to 1.5 1.1 to 1.9 1.2 to 2.0 1.7 to 2.0 1.1 to 2.0 0.9 to 2.4 0.7 to 2.2 1.5 to 2.0
Core PCE inflation3 0.8 to 1.0 0.9 to 1.3 1.0 to 1.5   0.7 to 1.5 0.6 to 2.4 0.4 to 2.2  
     April projection 0.9 to 1.2 1.0 to 1.5 1.2 to 1.6   0.7 to 1.6 0.6 to 2.4 0.6 to 2.2  

August 21, 2010  Economic Projections in CBO's Budget Update

Fy 2009 -- United States federal budget, Wikipedia
The U.S. budget situation has deteriorated significantly since 2001, when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast average annual surpluses of approximately $850 billion from 2009-2012. The average deficit forecast in each of those years as of June 2009 was approximately $1,215 billion. The New York Times analyzed this roughly $2 trillion "swing," separating the causes into four major categories along with their share:
    • Recessions or the business cycle (37%);
    • Policies enacted by President Bush (33%);
    • Policies enacted by President Bush and supported or extended by President Obama (20%); and
    • New policies from President Obama (10%).
    (Log Scale) Long-term real growth in US GDP 1871-2009 by Catherine on November 4, 2010
    Log scale version of yesterday’s Real Growth of US GDP graph.
    • Annualized Real Stocks Price Growth    1.95%
    • Annualized Real GDP Growth                  3.47%