I’ve been having a quiet Chinese New Year holiday in Singapore. Looking after my tiny three month old son and getting out and about a bit to the local cafes and catching up with friends. As usual I have also spent a bit of time procrastinating on the internet and reading. Here are a few interesting articles I have read lately with a Macroeconomics slant.
Much to Love, and Hate, in a VAT – Greg Mankiw – New York Times
This is a nice overview of how a VAT tax could be introduced to the United States, as a tool to reduce the fiscal problems of ongoing deficits. One of my students is researching a similar topic of increasing GST rates in Japan for his extended essay. There are also lots of good articles analysing the impacts of a rise in VAT rates in the UK earlier this year.
Inflation, an Old Scourge, Plagues Argentina Again – Alexei Barrioneuvo – New York Times
Inflation and rising food prices seems to be a popular issue at the moment. Argentina is a country which I have found fascinating after we visited in January 2008. The article explains the impact of inflation on different stakeholders such as poor people on fixed incomes and the risks of hyper inflation. I will try use this article as a nice case study later this month whilst studying inflation.
Japan Goes From Dynamic to Disheartened – Martin Fackler – New York Times
In contrast to the previous article, this explains the impacts of the great deflation in Japan. It is a good overview of the effects of collapsing demand when consumer refuse to spend and when asset prices and real wealth falls.