Originally Posted by Gibonius
That's the thing, right? These subjects are the topic of heavy debate even among economists. A couple of my friends are academic economists, of varying camps, and they certainly don't agree on policy prescriptions. How could any of us normies possibly have an informed opinion? We're just left with our own biases and short term self-interest. Or dogmatic viewpoints, as harvey is kind enough to demonstrate.
There are a few facets to this too which can really be put into a tree like structure:
What's the goal of public policy? (Eg. maximizing economic growth vs maximizing equality vs maximizing government revenue vs whatever)
What's the best way to achieve that goal (Eg. increase tax rates vs introduce different types of taxes vs whatever)
Does the government have the ability to do that?
I'm pretty squarely in the libertarian and federalist buckets, and I believe that I don't think the federal government should have the ability to do a lot of the things they do without Constitutional amendments. States are another story.
So I love reading economics books and articles, but I often then go "that's great, so the states should do it or the federal government needs to amend the Constitution."