Assorted links


"In the mid-20th century, Americans got most of their news through a few big networks and mass-market magazines. People were forced to encounter political viewpoints different from their own."

Does anyone actually buy into this line of reasoning? It seems to me that what the media did and still does is (a) filter out unofficial viewpoints and (b) serve up a rather boring "this side vs that side" two dimensional vision of any controversy.

At one time Christians used to dominate the field when it came to discussion of religion in the U.S.; today they are much less dominant and that explain a lot of the "War Over Christmas" and culture stuff. Similarly the traditional media used to dominate the field; that is no longer the case and those uncomfortable with the diversity that has resulted from the end of such are made very uncomfortable by it.

"There’s even some history to draw on in this regard. In 1992, the first President Bush temporarily reduced people’s withholding payments. He didn’t cut taxes—people still owed the same amount at the end of the year—but the move made people’s take-home pay look better than it was. In textbook economics, this should have had no impact on spending. Yet one survey suggests that almost half of the people planned to spend most of their rebate. If the effect was that large with a tax cut that didn’t even exist, it should be significantly bigger when the government is handing out real money. On its own, Obama’s rebate plan isn’t going to resurrect the economy. But it’s a policy that works with people as they are, rather than as we imagine they should be. And that’s a stimulus in itself.

Read more:"

What's the research on the influence of tax withholding during an economic downturn?

True, MattF, but with a strike price of zero. They're just choosing not to exercise that option (how irrational! they're violating the non-satiation assumption!)

The internet era has more in common with the pre-broadcast days, when a mid-sized city could support a dozen newspapers, all owned by different people and different viewpoints. A notable feature of the broadcast era was how restricted information became, given the high barriers to entry to owning a radio or television station.

First of all thanks for sharing with us. I had visited Hayek as Duchampian Art Object. In that like conceptual art itself, people can be provoked to think about the juxtaposition of my remarks with the links and picture found next to them.

I hope nobody believes that line. Back in those days in mid 20th century people didn't get new from televisions, they got it from newspapers. And there has always been severely biased newspapers. There used to be a communist newsletter in every city.

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