We learn in grade school that American citizens are endowed with certain inalienable rights, but basic necessities like housing and education aren’t protected by the Constitution. Imagine how different this country might be if affordable health care and guaranteed employment were included in our Bill of Rights. That’s the vision that economist Mark Paul outlines in his new book, The Ends of Freedom.
The Congressional Budget Office, the institution that furnishes cost-benefit analyses for federal legislation under consideration by Congress, has a really hard job. But some of the assumptions they rely on to predict economic consequences are just plain weird. Economist Mark Paul leads us through the strangest practices at the CBO, including their (untrue) claim that public investment is only half as productive as private investment and the complete lack of peer-reviewing of reports that can signal the death knell for a bill.