Five pieces definitely worth rereading: (1) Tanta watches the gathering financial crisis, which is still in schadenfreude mode; (2) Peter Orszag lays out health care reform options; (3) As You Know Bob has fun with electromagnetism; (4-6) are a bunch of well-paid journalists being dicks, and Dan Froomkin and the staff of McClatchy doing their proper jobs.
**Hoisted from the Archives Notes: Polanyi: Aristotle Discovers the Economy http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2003_archives/001464.html: A whole bunch of this article is simply wrong: the claims that "in the fourth century... Greeks initiated the gainful business practices that in much later days developed into the dynamo of market comnpetition" are false. This means that Polanyi is wrong when he says that Aristotle is examining a new phenomenon when he looks at the economy. Aristotle is examining an old phenomenon from the point of view of an Athenian aristocrat.
But there is much of value in Polanyi's exposition of what Aristotle says...
"A Conspiracy So Immense": Is the American right any crazier than it ever was? No. It was the submersion of the crazy right during the "end of ideology" age that was weird.
Exhibit 1: William F. Buckley and Eliot Abrams. Buckley, remember, is the person whose reaction to Catholics being allowed into Yale on equal terms was: "let's be sure to keep the Jews down!" And Abrams... you will see...
"A Conspiracy so Immense": Tail-Gunner Joe McCarthy http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/05/history_lesson_.html: William F. Buckley says:
A bunch of stuff. This is, I think, the most worth reading. It's a big problem. It's a big problem that we have had ever since Newt Gingrich launched his assault on the George H.W. Bush GOP, and the George H.W. Bush GOP responded by surrendering unconditionally:
Not as bad as Kevin Hassett's declarations that CERN's Large Hadron Collider might "swallow the Earth" and that the U.S. has "no recourse short of military action" to deal with the fact that "as science progresses, the possibility climbs ever higher that the fondest dreams of scientists might entail risks of planetary destruction.... The best science explores things far from our understanding. How can we know that things we do not understand will not kill us?"
But very bad even so:
Kevin Hassett (June 18, 2007): Why Did the Fed Help North Korea Launder Money? https://www.aei.org/publication/why-did-the-fed-help-north-korea-launder-money/: "Last week the New York Federal Reserve made what may go down as the most misguided move in the history of the Federal Reserve system....
A baker's dozen:
Hoisted from the Archives: How Supply-Side Economics Trickled Down... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/04/how_supplyside_.html: Bruce Bartlett's piece on supply-side economics:
How Supply-Side Economics Trickled Down - New York Times: AS one who was present at the creation of “supply-side economics” back in the 1970s, I think it is long past time that the phrase be put to rest. It did its job, creating a new consensus among economists on how to look at the national economy. But today it has become a frequently misleading and meaningless buzzword that gets in the way of good economic policy...
sparked an interesting and useful debate at Mark Thoma's Economist's View (which I previously noted).
Should-Read: Brad DeLong (2007): Tom Grubisich Is One Unhappy Camper: "Tom Grubisich... a former Washington Post reporter and editor [says]... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/05/tom_grubisich_i.html
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: FoucaultAlthusserDerridaJameson http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/foucaultalthuss.html: In comments and elsewhere, those with a sharp distaste for cultural studies "theory" in moral philosophy see it as one undifferentiated reactionary mass: FoucaultAlthusserDerridaJameson.
I want to draw some distinctions:
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: Still, I think, true today. Thus I continue to hoist my neoliberal freak flag here: Is It Really Harder to Make the Case for Free Trade These Days? http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/04/is_it_really_ha.html: Paul Krugman wonders if it is harder to make the case for free trade these days. There are more losers from trade liberalization, he thinks, and it is much less clear that the losers are in some sense "undeserving".
June 13, 2017 at 09:03 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (12)
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Ben Weiss, Curator of Rare Books at the Burndy Library of MIT's Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology:
Ben Weiss: Brad DeLong's Website: DeLong's Ignorance Corrected!: "First off, I love your blog, and read it avidly; many thanks for the wide learning and elegant argument... http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2005-3_archives/000643.html
Weekend Reading: Ezra Klein: Donald Trump’s presidency is an American crisi: "On Friday, January 6, FBI Director James Comey met with President-elect Donald Trump... https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/7/15758816/donald-trump-comey-crisis
...His task was awkward; he needed to inform Trump that the FBI’s counterintelligence unit was investigating claims that Russia had embarrassing blackmail material on the billionaire real estate developer. Something in Trump’s reaction disturbed Comey. “I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo,” he recalls in testimony prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee. The compulsion to record the conversation was fierce and immediate; Comey didn’t even wait to get back to his hotel. “I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting.” From then on, Comey began documenting all his meetings with Trump. “This had not been my practice in the past,” he says.
(2007): http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/dealing_with_th.html: Felix Salmon deploys me as a weapon in an internecine struggle with his fellow Portfolio magazine writer
Russ Mitchell Kevin Maney by blogging a piece of our coffee yesterday at Strada, at the corner of Bancroft and College, in Berkeley:
Joseph Brodsky (1988): How to Read a Book: "THE idea of a book fair in the city where, a century ago, Friedrich Nietzsche lost his mind has, in its own turn, a nice ring of madness...
...a Mobius ring to be precise (commonly known as a vicious circle), for several stalls in this book fair are occupied by the complete or selected works of this great German. On the whole, infinity is a fairly palpable aspect of this business of publishing, if only because it extends a dead author's existence beyond the limits he envisioned, or provides a living author with a future he cannot measure. In other words, this business deals with the future which we all prefer to regard as unending.
One thing very much worth hoisting and highlighting, on all the little lies the journamalists tell every day about how much they know and how good their sources of information are: KEVIN DRUM ON JOE KLEIN AND THE LITTLE DECEPTIONS OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/kevin_drum_on_j.html
And a bunch of others.
Hoisted from 2006: Annals of Low-Quality Sociometry http://www.bradford-delong.com/2006/11/annals_of_lowqu.html: even Drum: "Here is a complete post from Andrew Sullivan last night:
The Black-White Test Score Gap: It isn't going away. Charles Murray and James Flynn debate why here.
Really? The fact that Charles Murray thinks the gap isn't going away is hardly news, but does James Flynn agree? That would be dispiriting indeed. But there's no need to give up hope. Here's what Flynn really said:
We analyzed data from nine standardization samples for four major tests of cognitive ability. These data suggest that Blacks gained 4 to 7 IQ points on non-Hispanic Whites between 1972 and 2002. Gains have been fairly uniform across the entire range of Black cognitive ability.
That sure doesn't sound like "it isn't going away" to me. Murray and Flynn aren't debating "why," they're debating "whether." And Flynn has the better of the argument.
November 30, 2006
Let me note that the very sharp Ralf Dahrendorf is, I think, pretty much 100% wrong here in his criticisms of Frank—but it is worth noting precisely because Frank's "The End of History?" struck such a powerful nerve here...
Weekend Reading: Ralf Dahrendorf on Frank Fukuyama: from Reflections on the Revolution in Europe http://amzn.to/2setj8C: "It is perhaps not surprising that Hayek's near-total constitutionalism...
...made him view the course of events in the world with unrelenting gloom as late as 1988, when The Fatal Conceit was first published. After all, it is said that he regards even Margaret Thatcher as a traitor to the pure doctrine of Hayekism. Others who share Hayek's frame of mind, though hardly his erudition and perseverance, have interpreted the events of 1989 more airily and instantaneously as the triumph of capitalism over socialism.
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: plus ca change, plus ca meme chose:
Duncan Black http://www.eschatonblog.com/2007_06_03_archive.html#8709637863335883566: "The ghost of Joseph Heller is channeled by Bernstein and O'Reilly to reflect 15 years of reporting on the Clintons...
...O'REILLY: Did she break the law? BERNSTEIN: Yes. O'REILLY: OK. Good, I like this. How did she break the law? BERNSTEIN: She broke the law if, indeed, she perjured herself. O'REILLY: Well, you just said she did break the law. BERNSTEIN: No. The special prosecutor determined that she did not. So he did not file the charge. O'REILLY: So you think she did. But the special prosecutor, Ken Starr, said no. BERNSTEIN: That is correct. You know what? Let me be really straightforward. I don't think she broke the law. I think there was a time that she did not tell the truth. O'REILLY: Under oath? BERNSTEIN: You know, I wasn't in the room.
Four Posts, One Worth Highlighting—the "What I Miss About Ronald Reagan" Post:
Monday Smackdown: Der Spiegel: Trump Pulls out of Climate Deal, Western Rift Deepens: "Donald Trump's Triumph of the Stupidity... http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/trump-pulls-out-of-climate-deal-western-rift-deepens-a-1150486.html
...German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other G-7 leaders did all they could to convince Trump to remain part of the Paris Agreement. But he didn't listen. Instead, he evoked deep-seated nationalism and plunged the West into a conflict deeper than any since World War II.
It is interesting that when Charles Dickens's character Ebenezer Scrooge says of the poor that "If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population”, he is well to the left of John Cochrane.
The position Scrooge takes is that the Victorian workhouse system is a sufficiently well-functioning entitlement that the poor have—not that the poor have "no such law, right, or entitlement" to enough food to keep from starving to death.
What a maroon!:
Noah Smith: Americans Sure Seem to Like Universal Health Care: "In a recent blog post, Hoover Institute senior fellow John Cochrane likens single-payer health care to single-payer food... https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-01/americans-sure-seem-to-like-universal-health-care
Nine from Fritz Stern's Memoirs http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/03/nine_from_fritz.html: Fritz Stern (2006), Five Germanys I Have Known (New York: FSG: 0374155402) http://amzn.to/2s6AuiG:
p. 101: Captain Hardinac von Hatten in 1933 on Fritz Stern's father, Rudolf Stern: "For [Rudolf Stern's] exemplary courage at the Somme and his commitment to duty, he was promoted to lieutenant of the reserve, and after the battle of Arras in the spring of 1917, I successfully recommended him for an Iron Cross, First Class. If every soldier of the German army had fulfilled his duty to the fatherland as loyally and courageously in the foremost position as Lieut. Stern did under my command in 1916-1917, we would have been spared the shame of the last fourteen years..."
An amazing con game Guenter Grass played for virtually his entire life: denouncing the western alliance for failing to grapple properly with Germany's unmasterable past, while at the same time doing all he could to hide and refuse to face his own membership in the criminal origination that was the Waffen-SS:
Hoisted from June 4, 2017: Guenter Grass Surfaces in the Pages of the New Yorker http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/guenter_grass_s.html: Ah. Guenter Grass in the New Yorker this week:
Guenter Grass: What is less certain is when I exchanged my [Waffen SS 10th Division "Frundsberg"] uniform jacket for one less onerous...
Three pieces worth highlighting:
Leon Trotsky's Not-Entirely-Reliable-Narrator View of Lenin's New Economic Policy of the 1920s http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/02/daily-economic-history-leon-trotskys-not-entirely-reliable-narrator-view-of-lenins-new-economic-policy-of-the-1920s.html: "With the bourgeois economists we no longer anything to quarrel over...
...Socialism has demonstrated its right to victory, not on the pages of Das Kapital, but in an industrial arena comprising a sixth part of the earths surface--not in the language of dialectics, but in the language of steel, cement and electricity. Even if the Soviet Union, as a result of internal difficulties, external blows and the mistakes of leadership, were to collapse--which we firmly hope will not happen--there would remain an earnest of the future this indestructible fact, that thanks solely to a proletarian revolution a backward country has achieved in less than 10 years successes unexampled in history.
Weekend Reading: Corey Robin: Second Edition of The Reactionary Mind now available for order: "Sorry for the radio silence... http://coreyrobin.com/2017/06/03/second-edition-of-the-reactionary-mind-now-available-for-order/
...I’ve been hard at work on the manuscript for the second edition of The Reactionary Mind, which I’ve now completed!
From June 3, 2007I Like Barack Obama's Health Care Plan http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/06/i_like_barack_o.html: FT.com / Comment & analysis: It is an iron law of American politics that Democratic party politicians who propose relatively detailed healthcare reform plans–as Barack Obama did last Tuesday–get trashed.
The sixth is worth noting and remembering..
Walt Whitman (1865): When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d... https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/45480:
1: When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.
Hoisted from June 2, 2007: On Keynesian Economicses and the Economicses of Keynes http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/keynesian_econo.html: With respect to http://bookclub.tpmcafe.com/blog/bookclub/2007/jun/01/rebutted_but_not_refuted...
I think that there are two ways to understand the divergence of perspectives here...
Six posts: Peggy Noonan on June 1, 2007 saying that she had long been an internal exile from the Bush administration whose victory she gloated over back at the end of 2004; a close encounter with a Tom Turkey; three pieces noodling over what "orthodox", "heterodox", and "Keynesian" economics are; and two links worth reading.
None seem to me especially worth highlighting and hoisting today...
"The retired monster" is Nikita Sergeyevitch Khrushchev. "Leonid Vitalevich" is Leonid Vitalevich Kantorovich. This is, I think, the heart of the ending:
When he awoke, beside the steady breathing of Nina Petrovna... out would come the other memories.... The groaning trees in the Western Ukraine in ‘45, when the NKVD hangmen had been at work, and the sight through an incautiously opened door in ‘37 where an interrogator had been demonstrating the possibilities of a simple steel ruler, and the starveling child vomiting grass during collectivisation. And more; and worse. So much blood, and only one justification for it... if it had been all prologue, all only the last spasms in the death of the old, cruel world, and the birth of the kind new one. But without the work it was so much harder to believe.... The garden came no closer, where the lion would lie down with the lamb and all could play at criticism after dinner, if they had a mind to.
He fumbled with the tape machine, and found the RECORD key his son had shown him. ‘Paradise’, he told the wheatfield in baffled fury, ‘is a place where people want to end up, not a place they run from. What kind of socialism is that? What kind of shit is that, when you have to keep people in chains? What kind of social order? What kind of paradise?’ He pressed STOP. Covered his mouth with his hand. And then, since he was tired of fear, of feeling it and of causing it, the retired monster sat very still on the bench by the field, and waited until Kava the rook hopped up onto his knee. A little wind came arrowing across the wheat and swayed the birches over his head. And the leaves of the trees said: can it be otherwise?
And here is the whole thing:
I do not believe that the very sharp Branko Milanovic ever studied George Kennan's "Long Telegram": his 8000-word message in 1946 back from Moscow, where he was then U.S. ambassador, to the State Department in Washington.
In Kennan's view, what was required was containment. And, indeed, containment was the keystone, indeed the whole arch, of U.S. policy from 1946 all the way up to 1989. Remember that really-existing socialism—Soviet communism—is attractive only to those who do not have to live under it. Remember to keep the competition on the economic, personal freedom, and ideological levels, using force only to preserve post-WWII boundaries and limits. Remember that we have the better system—in choosing leaders, in deciding on policies, in guiding economic growth. And if, when the competition is carried out on the economic, personal freedom, and ideological levels, it turns out that we do not have the better system? Then, as Kennan wrote:
The issue of Soviet-American relations is in essence a test of the overall worth of the United States... [which] need only measure up to its own best traditions.... Surely, there was never a fairer test of national quality than this.... The thoughtful observer... will find no cause for complaint in the Kremlin's challenge to American society...
Jared Kushner beat sweetener by Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman and Sharon LaFraniere—all the news that flatters our sources, because we think being a trustworthy information intermediary is for real losers:
Scott Lemieux: Hey, Harvard Doesn't Sell Its Degrees to Just Anyone!: "Truly, the reincarnation of Machiavelli walks among us... http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/05/hey-harvard-doesnt-just-sell-degrees-anyone
Duncan Black: Eschaton: Almost Forgot: "Happy 'Suck On This Day'! Has it been 14 years already???..." http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/05/almost-forgot.html
The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed: _The Deleted Passage of the Declaration of Independence (1776) _: "When Thomas Jefferson included a passage attacking slavery in his draft of the Declaration of Independence it initiated the most intense debate... http://www.blackpast.org/primary/declaration-independence-and-debate-over-slavery
Mitch Landrieu: Transcript of Address on Confederate Monuments: "Thank you for coming... http://pulsegulfcoast.com/2017/05/transcript-of-new-orleans-mayor-landrieus-address-on-confederate-monuments
...The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way–for both good and for ill.
Hoisted from March 2016: The Benefits of Free Trade: Time to Fly My Neoliberal Freak Flag High! http://www.bradford-delong.com/2016/03/the-benefits-of-free-trade-time-to-fly-my-neoliberal-freak-flag-high.html: I think Paul Krugman is wrong today on international trade. For we find him in “plague on both your houses” mode. On the one hand:
Must-Read I disagree with Noah Smith: reading Phil Price convinced me that Phil Price is an idiot, that for many, many people NIMBYism is not a "flawed but serious package of ideas" but rather "simple ignorance"—or, perhaps, rather, very hard work to remain ignorant, in a way that is supportive of the "selfishness of incumbent homeowners trying to feather their own nests... [and] white people trying to exclude poor minorities from their communities while still appearing liberal..."
What was Andrew Gelman thinking in giving him his microphone?
Noah Smith: The NIMBY Challenge: "NIMBY theorists like [Phil] Price... should do the following thought experiment... http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-nimby-challenge.html
Weekend Reading: Jacob Levy: Autonostalgia: "Autonostalgia reminded me that seven years ago there was a Cato Unbound about Philip Blond's Red Toryism... https://www.facebook.com/jacob.t.levy/posts/10101195175465610
...but the link was dead; the whole issue seems to have been taken down, maybe because (IIRC) Blond obnoxiously refused to write his promised reply and it ended up being his critics talking to each other.... I went and dug up my piece. Considering that this was written in 2010, I'm pretty pleased with how this description of conservatism has aged. Remember the findings last year that, in both the primaries and the general election, it was especially elites in non-elite areas—richer whites in poorer regions—who tended to support Trump.
Matt O'Brien: Liberal democracy is not dead, but it's not well...
...From Hungary to Poland to even the United States, far-right populists have won power, and, in a few cases, are busy consolidating it. In some sense, it shouldn't be too surprising that the worst economic crisis since the 1930s has led to the worst political crisis within liberal democracies since the 1930s. At the same time, though, it's not as if right-wing nationalists are winning everywhere. Just in the last six months, they've come up short in Austria, the Netherlands and now France. So why is it that these abundant raw materials for a far right — stagnant incomes and increased immigration—haven't always turned into a far right that wins elections? I talked to Harvard's Daniel Ziblatt, whose new book Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy http://amzn.to/2qxQXeJ traces the history of how the center-right often determines whether democracy lives or dies, about what's behind our populist moment and just how close a parallel we're running to some of history's darkest episodes.
His answer: It depends.
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!
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