John Irons's Blog


Economic News, Data and Analysis

Leaving OMB Watch

Sent this out today….

Dear friends and colleagues,

As many of you know by now, I will shortly be leaving OMB Watch, having accepted a position at the Center for American Progress as the Associate Director for Tax and Budget Policy. I will continue to work on economic policy, including federal tax and budget issues, as part of their economic policy group.

I have been very happy here at OMB Watch, and I fully support the organization and its mission. OMB Watch’s federal budget work will, of course, continue. We are in the process of hiring a senior budget analyst (see to work with our recently hired policy analyst Becky Lewis (

It has been a great pleasure to work with you during my time at OMB Watch, and I look forward to working with many of you in my new capacity as well.

Best regards,

John Irons

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CNNfn (2)


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Econ Blogging for Class

This seems like an interesting idea for teaching intro economics…

As a writing project for a Principles of Micro. class, I required blogging.

I am e-mailing you because I set up the blog and loaded it with a blogroll containing your blog. After that, the students wrote about what they found online that interested them in economics, and I commented where I could add something. It isn’t always great economics, but it is interesting to find out what actually interests students (penguins prostitution was surprisingly popular).

The Principles of Micro class ended today, and I will continue in the same blog with a Macro class starting Tuesday. Check it out at:

Also, if you have yet to check out my blog, you can find it at:

I have been blogging since late 2000, but only focused on joining the economics blog community this spring. Any links would be greatly appreciated.

David Tufte
Associate Professor
School of Business
Southern Utah University

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I’m back from vacation… and hopefully back to more frequent blogging.

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Web network tool

This is just way too cool…
TouchGraph GoogleBrowser V1.01

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New House

So, you’ve probably noticed the sparse postings of late. The reason is that we – my wife Jessica and I – have recently moved from our modest apartment into a modest house.
This, of course, means living among boxes, unfinished rehap projects, misplaced furniture etc.
The computer has made it out of the box and seems to have made the trip without incident – although I am still working with a salvaged (and small) hard drive.
Also, as you might have noticed, I have had to shut down the comment tool. The level of spam was just too high, and it was taking too much time to delete all the “comments” on magical weightloss powder. Perhaps sometime soon a better commenting tool will come along.
Anyway, if you’re nice I’ll post a picture of the new pad – I guess I am now an offical land-owning Virginian…

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Dead Computer

It appears my computer has finally died. The hard drive has completely bitten the dust and I can’t even seem to reformat – which I’ve had to do a couple times recently. The printer port has been on the fritz for years, and it’s been generally disagreable for the past several months.
So, it looks like a good excuse to get a new computer. So I am turning to you, my faithful readers, to help me out. ArgMax has provided a free news service, data alerts, and this weblog for almost 2 years. Please consider chipping in to get me an upgrade.
I figure a new Dell, not the bottom, but nothing fancy, will run me about $750 – say 30 people at $25?

! Help keep ArgMax at peak performance:
Donate $25 or
Donate other amount.

Note: The “donations” are not tax deductible – while I am not making a profit off this site, ArgMax is not a registered nonprofit. I do, however, work for a nonprofit organization, for what it’s worth.

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What I’m Reading

Stuff – Books –
I just got a bunch of books for Christamas – here’s what I’m reading now…

Special Interest Politics
by Gene Grossman and Elhana Helpman
Lays out economic theory describing the effects of special interest groups on policy outcomes.
Not for eveyone – it’s pretty dense with mathematical theory – but it does serve as an excellent resource for researchers.

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Technical Difficulties

Argmax is having some technical difficulties with the news and data pages. My ISP assures me that the problem is being addressed…
I will likely be posting little over the holidays, but will resume before too long…

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