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Cool, an econ prof at my school signed the letter. I am not alone. :)

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How much influence do these sorts of letters have? How much does it matter who specifically signs them? Would they be more powerful if the signatories were unexpected-- for instance in this case if as many left-leaning economists signed as right-leaning ones?

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(4) Funny, but as a new-ish academic I don't find rejections as such to be painful. Rather, I am furious when I receive short and (apparently) lazy referee reports. Since most journals seem to base decisions on just one report, it feels insulting to wait 6-12 months for a single paragraph or two.

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You want to spend $50,000 to extend a single dying life six months, instead of feeding dozens of African children?

And you want to enforce this choice on others by violence?

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What kind of economist signs a petition to "repeal and replace" without knowing what the replacement would be?
Do they know what the word "counterfactual" means? How have they defined it here?

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If you evade the tax, and resist with the same violence they use, they will shoot you.

Do you think prison rape is a just enforcement for your noble projects?

Most people just give in, life is comfortable and the state is organized, but the firmament is enforced by violence.

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Umm, dude, you can be for or against a social program, but last time I checked summary executions weren't in PPACA.

All laws are enforced by summary executions.

If you resist a law, then police will use force, and ultimately deadly force, to bring you in compliance.

There may be some abstractions... they might first give you a warning, then issue you a fine, then issue a summons to court, then finally send the police after you. They might escalate force, trying to use tasers/billy-clubs to force compliance before they outright shoot you. But, in the end, all laws must be enforced with summary executions.

If you don't feel comfortable blowing someone's brains out for resisting a law, then you shouldn't support the law.

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You think I should go to prison, if I prefer to feed a dozen children than to extend the deathbed of a Nazi?

Or are you preventing Nazis from getting treatment?

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Any law that gets Arthur Laffer to actually form a coherent thought long enough to know that he opposes it must be doing something right. Honestly, was Ben Stein not available to sign this?

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I am not a giant fan of the health care reform law, but if an anti-Obama petition is to be seen as serious, its first signature should not be the McCain campaign's chief economist.

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There should be a distinction between economists who we should pay some attention to and, well, Arthur Laffer, David Malpass and Donald Luskin. Who invited these guys to the party?

Also, I'm curious why some of the names have "Ph.D" or "Dr." in them while others do not, even though often the names without Ph.Ds are listed as being professors. Nobel Prize-winner Edward Prescott is just Edward Prescott while there is a "Dr. Lawrence Brunner" from Central Michigan University. That seems odd.

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Damn it's good to get some wisdom dropped on me by a tru econ'mist.

"Economists analyze alternatives. In this case, ACA vs. "a blank sheet of paper"? What's on the blank sheet?"

A blank sheet IS an alternative. In fact, nothing is an alternative. It's what we had about a year ago.

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I can't decide what to make of this guy;

Warren Coats
Monetary Policy Advisory, Central Banks of Afghanistan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, and Zimbabwe
Currency Director, Cayman Island Monetary Authority

Is he terrible? What does a currency director for an organization meant to promote a tax shelter do?

What advice did he give to Zimbabwe? This one lone guy seems endlessly fascinating to me.

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Economists have an obligation not to be concubines for politicians.

Seriously, this is in the running for Unintentionally Funny Comment of the year, though Mike Huben's comment from yesterday is in the same class.

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Legalize jaywalking! The alternative (according to some here) is summary executions.

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Will the health tax be enforced as negligently as jaywalking?

Only if the cop has a bad day, or hates your looks?

Will the IRS accept a 0% success rate on investigating the crime?

You've proved the point: A law has teeth, or you have no law.

Which is why you think the law is a joke.

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Yancey,

Why is my comment "unintentionally" funny? What did you think my intentions were?

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Yancey,

I don't think you know many economists. There are a large number of well-known right-wing economists who did not sign this petition. Possibly because they value their reputations, or have some integrity, or some such thing.

Mark

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