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Research desk

I'm thinking of calling this feature "ask my intern" rather than "research desk," but haven't made up my mind yet. That said, those who were reading yesterday will remember how this works: Ask a question with a factual answer in comments and the brilliant and hardworking Dylan Matthews will pick one and then read pdfs and look at graphs and consult JSTOR until he can give a useful answer. Here's an example.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 16, 2010; 1:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

Here's one I'd love to see:

A graph over about 20-50 years of total new jobs created each year (careful, this is not at all the same as total employment, which is only the ongoing integrated sum of new jobs - lost jobs).

We know job turnover is down, but do we know exactly how many new jobs are being created lately?

Posted by: HalHorvath | June 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Why is it OK to trash the President and the administration for mentioning Dr. Chu's Nobel prize while Eugene Robinson can't blow his nose without us hearing about his Pulitzer? Or John Heileman and his book 'Game Change'? Just to name two.
Hypocrisy? I think so.

Posted by: ostrogoth | June 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Let me clarify.

The headline report we are accustomed to is only the net job gain or loss, each week, each month, etc.

Instead, I wonder about a very different thing: how many new jobs are being created (before losses are subtracted).

Posted by: HalHorvath | June 16, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

My original question rephrased slightly: What is the estimated federal liability created by the long-term care insurance in PPACA? What funding source is in place to cover that liability?

Posted by: ab_13 | June 16, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

My question:

The federal government subsidizes offshore drilling exploration, and then collects royalties on wells that produce. On an annual basis, how much revenue does the federal government net as a direct result from offshore drilling.

Seen another way, how much would it cost the treasury (and increase our deficit), on an annual basis, if we imposed a complete ban on all offshore drilling?

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 16, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

When does the US govt forecast peak oil to occur, and what steps have been taken or plans made to prepare for it?

Posted by: meelar | June 16, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

What has happened to tax rates on median income people since 1980?

Compared to everyone else?

Can you do federal, state, and local?

Posted by: theorajones1 | June 16, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

What is the unemployment rate of illegal immigrants in the USA?

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 16, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

How much does the govt's investment in education funding return in tax revenues?

Posted by: donhalljobs | June 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

What is the true cost of fossil fuel (coal) burning when one takes into account environmental and health effects?

Posted by: mschol17 | June 16, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

If all the tax breaks/subsidies/giveaways that go to traditional energy producers (oil/gas/coal) went instead to alternative energy producers (wind/solar/tidal/etc.) what would be the net change in cost per KWH for each?

Put another way, we are often told that alternative energy can't compete on a cost per kwh basis: the "technology just isn't there yet", but that doesn't take into account the market distortions favoring old dirty energy.

Posted by: jeirvine | June 16, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

What's the typical over/under for CBO estimated costs on a proposed bill versus the actual cost after the fact?

Posted by: JohnnyMcNugget | June 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I would be interested in a brief history of taxation in America.

1) When was the federal income tax implemented?

2) When was the corporate income tax implemented?

3) How have the rates for these taxes changed over time?

4) When were the social security and medicare taxes implemented? How have the rates for thse taxes changed over time?

5) When did states begin to implement sales taxes? How have these rates changed over time?

6) When did municipalities begin to implement property taxes and local option sales taxes? How have these rates changed over time.

This sounds like a book, but it could be nifty blog post with some neat-o charts.

Posted by: baxterbaxter | June 16, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Name Change Though - "Research Desk"... I'm a big fan of your blog, however "Ask My Intern" makes you sound like a bit of an ass, considering you're not far from the intern's age I would imagine.

Posted by: haightc | June 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Two questions:

1) What would happen if corporations lost all rights except to sue and be sued, and to be responsible for liabilities?

2) What kind of taxes would be necessary to make sure no one in the U.S. makes more than $500,000/yr, and that no business or other institution makes more than $1 billion/yr?

Posted by: stavner17 | June 16, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Is it true that Canada and Norway require pre-drilling of relief wells for offshore oil rigs? I've read in several places that they do, but I can't find anything like that in the Canadian regulations available on the Web.

Posted by: jiji1 | June 16, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

5000 spills like in the Gulf of Mexico?

Ezra quotes David Archer saying "That’s the rate that people are releasing carbon to the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation today. ... — five thousand spills like in the Gulf of Mexico, all going at once, each releasing 40,000 barrels a day, every day for decades and centuries on end"

How much carbon are we releasing into the atmosphere each day (in "barrels of oil" equivalents or in "Gulf oil spill equivalents") from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation? How much is due to fossil fuels and how much from deforestation? How does that figure compare to the carbon released daily by cattle?

Posted by: dk10024 | June 16, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"What's the typical over/under for CBO estimated costs on a proposed bill versus the actual cost after the fact?"

This is a great question that I'd love to learn the answer to.

"I'm a big fan of your blog, however 'Ask My Intern' makes you sound like a bit of an ass"

See, I think that's exactly why I like "Ask My Intern." :-p

Posted by: aarhead | June 16, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Vis a vis the discussion on Yglesias and Delong about whether tax rates are causing high-income earners to migrate from high-tax states to low-tax ones: is there any statistical evidence that this is going on, and if so, what is it? There's plenty of anecdotes, but they tend to come from people like Art Laffer, so I discount them...

Posted by: dbfclark | June 16, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Here is a question:

Exactly when did it become acceptable for journalist interns (or journalists without evident advanced social science training for that matter) to be seen as appropriate authors (published in high profile venues) of literature reviews on complex and advanced economic and domestic policy literature?

I remember when journalists looked to folks with some appropriate training for that sort of thing...

Seriously, perhaps it is best for your intern to seek out the opinions of folks who have some experience reading and reviewing scholarly or advanced work.

And I'll promise not to pretend to be a journalist...

Posted by: idw3 | June 16, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Still curious about the CBO's score of the single-payer bill. Did it just get pushed to the side because CBO had to focus all of its resources on the final bill? Ezra mentioned it but there was no follow up.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/09/scoring_single-payer.html

Posted by: MattMilholland | June 16, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to further MattMilholland's question: in this news cycle of huge state and local government budget deficits, we would benefit from a review of how far a single-payer system, or even Grayson's Medicare You Can Buy Into, would go to alleviating these deficits. Pennsylvania's single-payer advocates came up with numbers for their state. I've called my senator, Michael Bennet, several times asking for this analysis.

Posted by: lroberts1 | June 17, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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