A Cure for the ACA

“It will be repealed and replaced and we’ll know […] that’s what I do, I do a good job”, so were the words President-Elect Trump spoke during a 60 Minutes interview on November 13th. Elected on a platform which promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (henceforth “ACA”), Donald Trump benefited from a wave of right-wing populism aimed primarily at the bureaucracy of the Washington Elite. To that end, Obamacare came to embody all which Trump vowed to fight in his mission to “Drain the Swamp”: a government program which sought to benefit public welfare through compulsory payments but which failed to live up to its initial promises of widespread prosperity. Even worse for its proponents, Obamacare premiums rose in nearly every state in past October, continuing a sad trend seen throughout the 44th President’s two terms which has seen coverage costs rise by nearly 50% since 2008. Though hundreds of analyses have already been undertaken as to why Obamacare has fallen short on its KEEP READING >>

The Economics of the Oscars

We all know how important budgeting can be in today’s world. If movie productions have begun to employ legions of financial advisors, it is precisely to ensure that they limit expenditures and maximize profit. Some movies have gone even further, placing economists right in the limelight, like 2015’s The Big Short, which featured a brief cameo from UChicago behavioral economist Richard Thaler.   Though the film did gross nearly five times in initial budget, I think it’s doubtful that we’ll see Joseph Stiglitz donning a James Bond costume anytime soon (unfortunately). Yet one cannot deny the growing need for competent economic analysis when it comes to movie marketing. The Oscars in particular have become a particular source of interest in recent years. Indeed, how major of a financial boon is it to win an Oscar? Does interest in movies truly drastically change? When talking about movies themselves, it’s pretty clear from statistical analyses that there is a pretty significant KEEP READING >>

The Carbon Conundrum

Last week, Canada announced that it had taken its first steps towards joining a small and exclusive group of nations with a national carbon tax. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called upon the country’s provinces to individually adopt either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade framework by 2022, or have Ottawa impose a tax by that date. But why should government interfere with the free market in order to reduce carbon consumption? Does the market not always result in an efficient amount of carbon being bought and sold? Indeed, economics has often been the seat of contention, not in the least because of its impact on politics (and often, the impact of ideology on fiscal research). Between reforming the tax code, tackling our healthcare epidemic or determining how to best trade with foreign nations, today’s pre-eminent thinkers have much to debate over. However, a surprisingly large consensus exists on the need for government intervention in curbing carbon consumption. Simply put, carbon KEEP READING >>