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Monday, August 31, 2009

Link round-up

- Greg Mankiw is teaching a freshman seminar this fall and shares his reading list here.*

- J.D. on Get Rich Slowly has a really nice overview of federal taxes, including showing historical marginal and average tax rates, an international comparison of tax burdens, and how much we pay per billion dollars of government spending (along with useful links for the source data for all that).

- That last point, about how much we pay, is from the guy who does the death and taxes poster, which I had heard about but never actually seen. It's pretty amazing, showing "...over 500 programs and departments and almost every program that receives over 200 million dollars annually. The data is straight from the president's 2010 budget request and will be debated, amended, and approved by Congress to begin the fiscal year."

- And this one isn't really about teaching economics but I can't understand why more people aren't talking about the 'public option' that exists (and seems to work pretty darn well) for worker's comp insurance. Maybe there is something fundamentally different about general health insurance that I'm missing but it seems worth talking about.

* Update: Mankiw also mentions that he is having a hard time choosing the lucky 15 students (out of 200 applicants) who get to take his seminar. Chad Aldeman on The Quick and the Ed has a great idea for him: randomly select half and see if they perform any differently than the half that is hand-picked.

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