Hansard: Winston Churchill (January 27, 1942): WAR SITUATION: "We prepared to set upon Rommel and try to make a good job of him...
Hansard: Winston Churchill (January 27, 1942): WAR SITUATION: "We prepared to set upon Rommel and try to make a good job of him...
Hoisted from the Archives: Yes, People at the Ludwig von Mises Institute Think Churchill Was a War Criminal for Not Making Peace with Hitler in May 1940. Why Do You Ask?: David Gordon:
Ludwig von Mises Institute: Given this sorry record, it is hardly surprising that the renewed outbreak of world war in September 1939, which returned Churchill to the British cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty, brought a new hunger blockade of Germany.... Franklin Roosevelt rivaled his British counterpart in his disregard for the rules of civilized warfare....
Hoisted from the Archives: Dictatorships and Double Standards: Jeet Heer Has a Ludwig Von Mises Quote...: An example of classical liberalism's elective affinity with authoritarian politics? Ludwig:
It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error...
So now I have to add Ludwig Von Mises, Liberalism to the pile...
Some people wish me ill. They keep emailing me things from John Cochrane. I wish they wouldn't. Or I wish I would develop some self-control. This is not making me happy:
First, let me set forth an intelligent, rational, measured assessment of BitCoin, made by somebody who was never a tenured finance economist at the University of Chicago:
Glenn Loury 2.0: @justabloodygame on Twitter: "Seriously, I read stories about people mortgaging their homes to buy Bitcoin and I want to rip my hair out..."
We can then compare this with the irrational word salad of John Cochrane. To the extent that there is an argument, it goes like this:
Tim Carmody: The People’s History of Tattooine: "The Tusken People. 'Raiders' presumes some malevolent intent. They are trying to preserve the desert habitat and Luke wants to race through it in his speeder. The Tusken are just trying to keep parts of Tatooine wild and undeveloped by heavy industry..."
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benét: John Brown's Body I: INVOCATION
American muse, whose strong and diverse heart
So many men have tried to understand
But only made it smaller with their art,
Because you are as various as your land,
As mountainous-deep, as flowered with blue rivers,
Thirsty with deserts, buried under snows,
As native as the shape of Navajo quivers,
And native, too, as the sea-voyaged rose.
Weekend Reading: From Sidney Blumenthal: Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln: "In 1836, the legislature granted a charter for a railroad running from Galena in the northwest corner to the southernmost tip of Illinois at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers...
Hoisted from the Archives: Karl Polanyi, Classical Liberalism, and the Varieties of "Neoliberalism": Virtual Office Hours from Espresso Roma CCXXVI: July 25, 2014: Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation is certainly the right place to start in thinking about "neoliberalism" and its global spread. But you are right to notice and do need to keep thinking that Polanyi is talking about pre-World War II classical liberalism, and that modern post-1980 neoliberalism is somewhat different.
First, as I, at least, see it, there are three strands of thought that together make up the current of ideas and policies that people call "neoliberalism":
Should-Read: From 20 years ago... Cosma Shalizi (1997): Review of Pierre-Gilles de Gennes and Jacques Badoz: Fragile Objects: "Soft Matter, Hard Science, and the Thrill of Discovery... http://bactra.org/reviews/fragile-objects/
Weekend Reading: Richard Thaler: Behavioral Economics/a>: "Exactly 100 years ago, the JPE was poised to be at the forefront of the field that would eventually come to be called behavioral economics...
Should-Read: I say it is time to promote this guy to Admiral: AdmiralPAYGO!: Ed Lorenzen: @CaptainPAYGO on Twitter: "The Treasury Department dynamic 'analysis' of tax reform makes a mockery of dynamic analysis and does a disservice to those who advocate for serious dynamic estimates https://t.co/PudiRrQzu1..."
Brad DeLong: @de1ong on Twitter: This is a surprise? Static analysis was always about making a bias-variance tradeoff: A static analysis would be biased, but have lower mean-squared error because the "dynamic" terms would inevitably be overwhelmingly large-magnitude political-partisan-lobbyist-ideologue noise:
Hoisted from the Archives from 2015: Night Thoughts on Dynamic Scoring: Live from DuPont Circle: Last Thursday two of the smartest participants at the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity conference—Martin Feldstein and Glenn Hubbard—claimed marvelous things from the enactment of JEB!'s proposed tax cuts and his regulatory reform program. They claimed:
December 11, 2017 at 01:04 PM in Economics: Finance, Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Moral Responsibility, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
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Weekend Reading: Nancy Rapoport: There are likely several more stories to come: Courtney Milan’s post about Alex Kozinski is a harrowing read, but an important one...
Nor Trust in Wodan Walhall's High Drighten... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2002/12/nor_trust_in_wo.html: The raw ingredients out of which J.R.R. Tolkien fashioned The Lord of the Rings are equal parts Norse-Anglo-Saxon-Germanic myth, chivalric romance, and Christian apocalyptics (evil personified and mighty, but also powerful guardian spirits, and over all a God who arranges things so that the highest prizes fall to those who suffer).
Weekend Reading: Courtney Milan: Judge Kozinski: "Judge Kozinski had a way of summoning his clerks...
...He could make our phones beep by pressing the intercom button. Two beeps meant, “drop everything, grab pen and paper, and run to his office.” Sometimes he’d summon us all, or he’d summon some of us and not the others, or he’d just want one of us.
From 2012: Well-wisher Cosma Shalizi: Comment on Brad DeLong: Economists on the Ineffectiveness of Fiscal Policy; Sh@t Is All F@#^ Up and Bullsh@t Weblogging: "More elaborately: our gracious host would really like to be just a little bit to the left of a technocratic center...
Daniel Webster: March 7, 1850): "Mr. President, - I wish to speak to-day, not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northern man, but as an American, and a member of the Senate of the United States...
Live from Souvenir on Claremont: (Early) Monday Smackdown: Tax Reform Intellectual Garbage Cleanup Edition:
1) I am informed—by "persons who say they are familiar with the matter"—that Barro, Boskin, Cogan, Holtz-Eakin, Hubbard, Lindsey, Rosen, Shultz, and Taylor are not lying when they say on Wednesday "we did not offer claims about the speed of adjustment to a long-run result...." even though the previous Saturday they had written about a raise in "the level of GDP in the long run by just over 4%. If achieved over a decade, the associated increase in the annual rate of GDP growth would be about 0.4% per year..."
Why aren't they lying on Wednesday?
Because the "if" does not mean: "it could be the case that..."
Instead, the "if" means: "for illustrative purposes, if you have trouble converting from changes in levels to growth rates, as an illustrative example, suppose that in a counterfactual world (which is definitely not this world)..."
Hoisted from the Archives: Marvin Goodfriend Blogging: In Which I Try and Fail to Understand the Current State of Right-Wing Monetary Economics: Wednesday Focus: March 19, 2014: Josh Bivens sends us a link to a House of Representatives hearing he participated in, with a striking discussion that takes place at the 45:00 mark… On the panel, in addition to Josh, were Larry White, Marvin Goodfriend, and Paul Kupiec. Congressman Bill Foster asked why predictions five years ago that the Federal Reserve’s expansion of its balance sheet would produce runaway inflation had been wrong...
The smart and snarky Sam Bell wants to taunt me into rising to his bait by twittering https://twitter.com/sam_a_bell/status/872116967070732288 a quote from likely Fed nominee Marvin Goodfriend: "I don't teach IS-LM". He succeeds. Here is the quote:
That I never figured out how to write this paper is deserving of a smackdown. Why did I never figure out how to write it? Because I never figured out what to say, or what the answer was:
Hoisted from 2004: Getting in Touch with My Inner Austrian: A Still-Unwritten Paper: Fragment of an Unfinished Ms.: Part II of an unfinished paper, "After the Bubble." The paper currently lacks Parts I, III, IV, V, and VI:
II. Aggressively Expansionary Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Vulnerabilities:
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster XIII http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602901h.html: "'Yes, all that's true, and it happened', said Dan'l Webster...
..."But what's to come in the future?"
How did we get here?
First, where are we?
Matthew Yglesias: If the GOP tax plan is so good, why do they lie so much about it?: "Democratic programs may or may not be... good idea[s], [but] the bills they write that they say will expand the provision of social services in the United States really do expand the provision of social services...
...Not so... with the Republican plan....
Information from the very sharp Eric Toder: The House Ways and Means Tax Bill Would Raise the National Debt to 123 percent of GDP by 2037: "The Tax Policy Center estimates that the House Ways and Means Committee’s version of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA)...
...over the first decade... increases the deficit by 1.7 trillion dollars.... Between 2028 and 2037, the TCJA would reduce net receipts by 1.6 trillion dollars and add 920 billion dollars in additional interest costs. Over the entire 20-year period, the combination of reduced revenues and higher interest payments would raise the federal debt held by the public by 4.2 trillion dollars...
Neuroskeptic (2010): The 9 Circles of Scientific Hell: "Dante’s Inferno: a classic of world literature, the definitive statement of the mediaeval Christian world-view, the first major work in the Italian language, and the basis for a violent videogame...
...The poem offers a tour through the nine increasingly horrible levels of Hell, in which sinners are tormented forever.
But Dante lived before the era of modern science. I thought I’d update his scheme to explain what happens to those guilty of various scientific sins, ranging from the commonplace to the shocking.
Bear in mind that Dante’s Hell had a place for everyone, and it was only Christ’s intervention that saved anyone from it; even “good” people went to Hell because everyone sins. But they are still sins. Likewise, very few scientists (and I’m certainly not one of them) would be able to avoid being condemned to some level of this Inferno… but, that’s no excuse.
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster XII http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602901h.html: "Walter Butler rose in his place and his face had a dark, gay pride on it...
..."The jury has considered its verdict," he said, and looked the stranger full in the eye. "We find for the defendant, Jabez Stone."
A correspondent asks whether or not this is unfortunate:
Lawrence J. Christiano, Martin S. Eichenbaum, and Mathias Traban: On DSGE Models: "Macroeconomic policy questions involve trade-offs between competing forces in the economy...
Publius Aelius Aristides Theodorus (155): The Roman Oration: "It is a time-honored custom of travelers, setting forth by land or sea...
...to make a prayer pledging the performance of some vow—whatever they have in mind—on safe arrival at their destination. I recall a poet who playfully parodied the custom by pledging "grain of incense—with gilded horns!" As for me, the vow that I made as I journeyed hither was not of the usual stupid and irrelevant kind, nor one unrelated to the art of my profession: merely that if I came through safely, I would salute your city with a public address.
Weekend Theology Corner: Elizabeth Bruenig: A better sex ethic
Excellent! It could however have been shorter. I suggest:
Shorter Elizabeth Bruenig: "In matters of sexual morality, as in all other matters, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and love thy neighbor as thyself."
Still-Shorter Grigua's Prayer Version: "Don't be a dick!"
A Certain Lawyer, willing to justify himself: "And who is my neighbor?"
To which there are two answers:
Issa ibn Yusuf: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves..."
Shorter Issa ibn Yusuf: "You're being a dick."
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster XI http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602901h.html: "He started off in a low voice, though you could hear every word...
...They say he could call on the harps of the blessed when he chose. And this was just as simple and easy as a man could talk. But he didn't start out by condemning or reviling. He was talking about the things that make a country a country, and a man a man.
Edmund Wilson: To the Finland Station: "There has been... no other first-rate Marxist for whom the Marxist conception of History, derived from the Hegelian Idea, plays so frankly teleological a role as it does in the work of Trotsky...
With no high-quality smackdowns of DeLong on offer, let us turn to Robert Lucas's extremely bizarre reaction to the Volcker Disinflation...
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster X http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602901h.html: "Then the trial began, and, as you might expect, it didn't look anyways good for the defense...
...And Jabez Stone didn't make much of a witness in his own behalf. He took one look at Simon Girty and screeched, and they had to put him back in his corner in a kind of swoon.
David Glasner reaches back into our history: General Kelly v. Abraham Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln:
And now, if they would listen – as I suppose they will not – I would address a few words to the Southern people....
Under all these circumstances, do you really feel yourselves justified to break up this Government unless such a court decision as yours is, shall be at once submitted to as a conclusive and final rule of political action? But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”
To be sure, what the robber demanded of me–my money–was my own; and I had a clear right to keep it; but it was no more my own than my vote is my own; and the threat of death to me, to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle.
Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen:
Live from the Republican' Economists' Self-Made Clown Show: I still cannot believe that Stanford economist (and Fed Chair "finalist") John Taylor presents these "trend" lines in public. Something is just not right:
Matthew Klein: Some context for our chat with Stephen Kotkin about Stalin: "We recently had the chance to chat with Princeton historian Stephen Kotkin about the second volume of his biography of Joseph Stalin: Waiting for Hitler...
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster IX http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602901h.html: "And with that the fire burned blue and the door blew open and twelve men entered, one by one...
...If Jabez Stone had been sick with terror before, he was blind with terror now. For there was Walter Butler, the loyalist, who spread fire and horror through the Mohawk Valley in the times of the Revolution; and there was Simon Girty, the renegade, who saw white men burned at the stake and whooped with the Indians to see them burn. His eyes were green, like a catamount's, and the stains on his hunting shirt did not come from the blood of the deer. King Philip was there, wild and proud as he had been in life, with the great gash in his head that gave him his death wound, and cruel Governor Dale, who broke men on the wheel.
I agree with Matthew Yglesias here: This from Franklin Foer simply does not pass the most-basic "plausibility" test. "I was totally oblivious to what was going on in the office I ran" = "I took and kept a job at which I was totally incompetent". I don't think anybody has ever called Franklin Foer incompetent. And what we are hearing is not about the various editors-in-chief's ignorance. What we are hearing is about the various editors-in-chief's complicity.
Matthew Yglesias: @mattyglesias on Twitter: "I’m a little confused as to what story we’re being told about male OTNR editors’ knowledge of the situation...
Over on the Twitter machine, the learned and incredibly sharp Owen Zidar writes, about the picky model-based incidence analysis points:
@omzidar: On Twitter: The number of tweets needed to describe this issue suggest more clarification/ a detailed step by step post would be useful...
My view is that in the end all this—Krugman (2017b) and (2017a); DeLong (2017d), (2017c), (2017b), and (2017a); Bernstein (2017); Furman (2017); and Mankiw (2017)—when unpacked, boils down to Econ 1-level tax incidence, and an algebraic mistake in calculating overelaborated and overcomplicated versions thereof.
I confess that I, at least, never heard Larry Summers say: "A-list people do not directly criticize A-list people: doing so is a way to become a B-list person". I doubt he has ever said it that way.
I have, however, heard Larry say—many times—that it is in general not wise to presume bad faith or incompetence on the part of, say, present or former fellows at places like, say, the American Enterprise Institute.
@Noahpinion: On Twitter: Brad DeLong will find your algebra errors: http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/10/note-to-self-greg-mankiw-providing-backup-for-kevin-hassett-department-larry-summers-one-last-time-on-who-benefits-fro.html
delong: Every day, a new fresh hell...
Today's new fresh hell is chasing links on the way back from Edinburgh to find Mulligan, Cochrane, Mankiw all marveling over how "gorgeous" and "striking" it is that the ratio of the wage gain to the "static" revenue loss is always 1/(1-t)—how it is a remarkable and important insight that the production function parameters drop it. With not a single one saying:
Melissa S. Kearney: How Should Governments Address Inequality?: "In 2014, an unusual book topped bestseller lists around the world: Capital in the Twenty-first Century...
...an 816-page scholarly tome by the French economist Thomas Piketty that examined the massive increase in the proportion of income and wealth accruing to the world’s richest people. Drawing on an unprecedented amount of historical economic data from 20 countries, Piketty showed that wealth concentration had returned to a peak not seen since the early twentieth century. Today in the United States, the top one percent of households earn around 20 percent of the nation’s income, a dramatic change from the middle of the twentieth century, when income was spread more evenly and the top one percent’s share hovered at around ten percent. Piketty predicted that without corrective action, the trend toward ever more concentrated income and wealth would continue, and so he called for a global tax on wealth.
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster VIII http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602901h.html: "'Foreign?' said the stranger. 'And who calls me a foreigner?'...
..."Well, I never yet heard of the dev—of your claiming American citizenship," said Dan'l Webster with surprise.
"And who with better right?" said the stranger, with one of his terrible smiles. "When the first wrong was done to the first Indian, I was there. When the first slaver put out for the Congo, I stood on her deck. Am I not in your books and stories and beliefs, from the first settlements on? Am I not spoken of, still, in every church in New England? 'Tis true the North claims me for a Southerner, and the South for a Northerner, but I am neither. I am merely an honest American like yourself—and of the best descent—for, to tell the truth, Mr. Webster, though I don't like to boast of it, my name is older in this country than yours."
: Department of "Huh!?": This Is All Cosma Shalizi's Fault Department...: When something comes across my RSS feed stating that it is:
2500 words of statisticians quarreling with econometricians about arcane points of statistical theory...
how am I supposed to resist getting sucked in?
Looking Forward to Four Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted
With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi: bunga-bunga governance, with a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters and a major drag on the country--except in states where his policies are neutralized.
Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!
The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...
"Bring expertise, bring a willingness to learn, bring good humor, bring a desire to improve the world—and also bring a low tolerance for lies and bullshit..." — Brad DeLong
"I have never subscribed to the notion that someone can unilaterally impose an obligation of confidentiality onto me simply by sending me an unsolicited letter—or an email..." — Patrick Nielsen Hayden
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"Blogs are an outlet for unexpurgated, unreviewed, and occasionally unprofessional musings.... At Chicago, I found that some of my colleagues overestimated the time and effort I put into my blog—which led them to overestimate lost opportunities for scholarship. Other colleagues maintained that they never read blogs—and yet, without fail, they come into my office once every two weeks to talk about a post of mine..." — Daniel Drezner
"I now know it is a rising, not a setting, sun" --Benjamin Franklin, 1787
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