Some quick links

by John Quiggin on November 11, 2011

* A few days ago, Australia’s Parliament passed legislation implementing a carbon tax (strictly speaking, a fixed price for carbon emissions permits, intended to convert to an emissions trading scheme in a few years). Here’s a piece I wrote for the Australian Financial Review on what this will mean for the doomsayers (that is, those who falsely predict economic doom as a result of this measure).

* Another opinion piece, in the New York Times, on Trichet, Draghi and the ECB

* Social scientists have known for a couple of decades that, contrary to its national myths, the US is a country with low intergenerational economic mobility, by international standards. Back in 2001, when I reviewed The Real Worlds of Welfare Capitalism by Bob Goodin and others, I mentioned that this was already well known. More recent evidence has shown that social mobility is not only low but declining. Yet until recently, popular discussion in the US seemed impervious to this evidence. Now suddenly, the issue is everywhere. Time Magazine had a front page story, there’s another in Salon and even the National Review is talking about it. Surely Occupy Wall Street has played a role here, but the lead time for a piece like that in Time would presumably predate #OWS. The experience of the Great Recession seems finally to be breaking down the power of zombie ideas.