Cowen lists the incentive problems with health reform:
"The biggest problems with the proposed reforms have to do with the incentives created by the mandates. That includes the incentives for would-be purchasers (better to just pay the fine and remain outside the pool), the incentives for the subsidized (very high implicit marginal tax rates), the incentives for employers (look for illegal aliens), the incentive for doctors to stop treating Medicare and especially Medicaid patients, and the incentives for the insurance companies (there's probably a way to scare off high-risk customers or otherwise game the customer carry requirements)."
The public option is a separate debate from this.
Is it better for workers to have no retirement advice at all, or retirement advice from someone who stands to benefit? My instinct would be the latter, because there are certain things advisers will talk about (like asset allocation) that are far more important than the specific products for 99% of people.
The problem with a conciliatory foreign policy is that people are hard to pacify
China still mistreats its citizens; it's important not to forget that
Krugman's jobs program would be ok, but it would need to come with 2 things: it would need to replace welfare beyond a certain short period of time for those able to work, and it would need to pay lower than minimum wage. In that sense, it would employ unemployed people without keeping people on the government dole. Becker's program is much more conventional, and much more likely to work, but the timing is hard to see.
Damodaran and Mankiw point out that a financial-transactions tax is hard to do because financial transactions can just move offshore