Here are the updated readings for Thursday/Friday:

  1. Read “Health care that works” by Nicholas Kristof (NYT 9/2/09).
  2. Read “I, Pencil” (PDF) by Leonard Read. (Skip the intro stuff—unless you want to read it—and just read the article and the afterward by Milton Friedman.)
  3. Read “How did economists get it so wrong?” by Paul Krugman (NYT 9/2/09). PS. If you think Paul Krugman might be offering up a story with a left-wing bias, an optional additional reading is “The macroeconomist as scientist and engineer” by Greg Mankiw, Harvard professor and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers for George W. Bush. Another optional reading (from someone who does seriously disagree with Krugman) is “How did Krugman get it so wrong?” by Scott Sumner, a macroeconomist at Bentley University. (And, also optional, an earlier back-and-forth between Sumner and Krugman here and here.)

Come with your questions and be prepared to compare and contrast the articles! Here are a few things to think about:

  1. Do Kristof and Read agree or disagree? Why or why not? What specific item(s) can you point to and what do you think about those specific item(s)?
  2. What do you think Paul Krugman would say about the Kristof and Read articles?
  3. What does Paul Krugman have to say about the direction macroeconomics should go in?

PS. Optional assignment is to watch, listen to, and/or read the transcript of Obama’s health care speech tonight (5pm PT) and the response from Representative Charles Boustany (R-Louisiana). We’ll talk more about health care in future Fun Days!