Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from the Archives (August 2015): "We Always Thanked Robert Lucas for Giving Us a... Monopoly" Over Valuable Macroeconomics: The extremely sharp Paul Romer gets something, I think, very very wrong....
Paul is, I think, the captive of a folk story about the economy and economics that only survives—that could only survive—only within the epistemically-closed empirically-irrelevant calibration-scholastic hothouse....
Solow’s Choice: "Robert Solow had a choice about how to respond [to Robert Lucas]. He chose sarcastic denial over serious engagement. His optimistic assessment of the prospects for the simulation models, a grade of B or B- but nothing ‘in that record that suggests suicide,’ is hard to reconcile with the decision by virtually all macroeconomists to abandon work on them.
That seem to me to be pretty completely wrong.
Consider Macro Advisers. [Larry Meyer's] Macro Advisors makes a very good living today selling its simulation models.... John Cassidy (1996): The Decline of Economics:
Meyer... "In our firm, we always thanked Robert Lucas for giving us a virtual monopoly. Because of Lucas and others, for two decades no graduate students are trained who were capable of competing with us by building econometric models that had a hope of explaining short-run output and price dynamics. [Academic economics Ph.D. programs] educated a lot of macroeconomists who were trained to do only two things—teach macroeconomics to graduate students, and publish in the journals...
Meyer also pointed out that the large-scale Keynesian models that Lucas criticized have actually tracked the economy pretty accurately... when... modified....
People who have spent their lives doing macroeconomic forecasting and policy analysis know that over the last twenty-five years the Phillips curve has been the single most reliable tool in their tool kit...
Meyer dismissed Lucas's followers as practitioners of what he terms closed-blind economics, saying mockingly:
When you close the blinds, you don't look out of your window and you don't care what's happening out there. You don't try to build models which are consistent with the real world. With the blinds closed, it's hard to see anything...
It is not just private-sector clients who are going to make investment decisions that depend on having a good macroeconomic forecast who are willing to pay handsomely for the output of the simulation models Romer scorns. The same holds true for central bankers as well....
From my perspective, to bet at the end of the 1970s that the right road was to require (a) consistency with the preferences of a rational representative agent, and (b) price-taking market-clearing—that was a completely wrong, disastrous, and highly irrational choice of academic fashion. I can think of a dozen alternative academic intellectual fashions that might have been adopted, and I cannot think that any of them would have been less productive.
Robert Solow tried to stop this when it started. And Robert Solow was right to do so:
Suppose someone sits down where you are sitting right now and announces to me that he is Napoleon Bonaparte. The last thing I want to do with him is to get involved in a technical discussion of cavalry tactics at the Battle of Austerlitz. If I do that, I'm getting tacitly drawn into the game that he is Napoleon Bonaparte. Now, Bob Lucas and Tom Sargent like nothing better than to get drawn into technical discussions, because then you have tacitly gone along with their fundamental assumptions; your attention is attracted away from the basic weakness of the whole story. Since I find that fundamental framework ludicrous, I respond by treating it as ludicrous—that is, by laughing at it—so as not to fall into the trap of taking it seriously and passing on to matters of technique...
1870: The Real Industrial Revolution?:: The most important fact to grasp about the world economy of 1870 is that the economy then belonged much more to its past of the Middle Ages than to its future of—well, of us, and what our successors eventually decide they want to use as an overarching term with which to label our age of fuel, machine, and digit.
Martin Feldstein (1979): Introduction to The American Economy in Transition: "The post-[World] War [II] period began in an atmosphere of doubt and fear...
Someone who wishes me ill reminds me of this from six years ago.
Could the Swedish academy please stop giving nobel prizes to economists—like Eugene Fama—who lack basic historical literacy? This isn't rocket science, after all. I really do not think that this is very much to ask: Paul Krugman (2011): Boom For Whom: "While I’m talking about inequality and the crisis, I realized recently that there’s another channel not usually talked about, via the misperception of success...
"Economists for Trump"—I do not know whether to be gratified that only 100 economists would sign this, or horrified that even 100 economists would sign this. It is certainly a remarkable document—one that I do not think anybody who was not both 100% cynical and 100% deluded could sign. Cynical: you have to genuinely not care about whether you are making contrary-to-fact assertions. Deluded: you have to believe that what you say will be credited by anybody other than partisan Trumpist ideologues and the professional opinions-of-shape-of-earth-differ crowd:
At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that the TCJA is a middle-class tax cut that will boost economic growth, rather than an upward redistribution of income with more than 100% of the value of the small growth effects it will have going to foreigners.
At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that Trump offers regulatory relief rather than a Berlusconi-like corrupt advantaging of favored clients.
At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that Trump is for "reciprocal free trade with lower trade barriers on all sides". To the extent that Trump is for anything, it is for managed trade with bilateral trade balanced or in export surplus for the U.S.
At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that there are any signs that "President Trump's negotiations on trade are working".
At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that there has been an "improvement in the economic growth trajectory" or that CBO's estimates justify such a claim.
I look at this, and I cannot help but think: I know that America has lots of easily-grifted morons on it. But this moronic? And this easily grifted?: Economists for Trump: A ECONOMISTS LETTER IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ECONOMIC POLICY AGENDA : "We enthusiastically endorse President Trump's economic agenda to create jobs and restore economic growth...
Weekend Reading: Abraham Lincoln (December 3, 1861): First State of the Union Message: "It continues to develop that the insurrection is largely, if not exclusively, a war upon the first principle of popular government--the rights of the people...
This year, 2018, will be the 11th year after the 2007 business cycle peak that preceded what is generally called the “Great Recession“. This year American national income per capita will be about 7.5% above its 2007 level. If we are lucky we will hit 10% above 2007 in 2020. That is growth of 0.4% per year—compared to the yardstick of 2.0% per year that we were reasonably expecting back in 2007.
So I woke up this morning bright and early ready to work... and I promptly let myself get distracted and procrastinated for an hour tracing links from Noah Smith's denunciation of Karl Marx:
Noah Smith: Remember Karl Marx for the many things he got wrong: "Marx didn’t make it to 200, but the ideas he injected into the global conversation and the ideologies that bear his name far outlasted the German economist and philosopher...
I, of course, agree with Noah—he does cite me favorably, after all. And then I realized that I had never put my "Understanding Karl Marx" lecture slides up anywhere...
This is what I want when I call for a better class of DeLong Smackdowns! How do we think this looks not just nine years after my optimism in 2009 back at the end of the American century but five years after Matt wrote?:
Hoisted from the Archives: Matthew Yglesias (2013): May Day Marxism: Capitalism is looking pretty shabby: "DeLong reposted a very interesting 2009 talk... "Understanding Karl Marx"... that I would have enthusiastically endorsed in 2009 but which look weaker four years later...
May 10, 2018 at 05:57 AM in Economics: Health, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Monday) Smackdown Watch, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Time to relaunch the Equitable Growth http://equitablegrowth.org website!
That makes this a good time to look back at what Equitable Growth does and has been doing over this past half decade. As I grow older, I become more and more and organizational realist: The Purpose of an organization is what it does, rather than what its mission statement says it is going to do or what it’s funders believe that their money is going to pay for. What the worker bees do determines what the organization does. What the planners and vision architects say does not determine what the organization does.
Thus I look for exemplars: What are the things on the current Equitable Growth website that exemplify what it does, or perhaps what it should do?
Let's ask Mr. Google:
John Taylor is not just wrong, but wrong in a way that it is impossible to be if you are attempting to argue in good faith from any coherent set of economic principles and models: Miles Kimball: Contra John Taylor: "[Taylor] is just wrong...
...The Fed is promising to shift the demand curve for assets in the future and thereby get to a particular equilibrium interest rate. This is not at all like rent control. The right analogy is... getting rents to come down by reducing making it easier to get a building permit, or by subsidizing the building of new apartments.... There is a world of difference between a market intervention in which the government contributes to supply and demand and a price floor or ceiling. By buying assets, and promising to buy them in the future, the Fed is lowering an equilibrium interest rate. The details of the pattern of buying assets and promising to buy them in the future tends to keep the equilibrium interest rate at a certain level. The fact that the Fed acts by changing the equilibrium interest rate matters, because John’s claim that lowering the interest rate will reduce the quantity of investment would hold only if what the Fed is doing really did act like an interest rate ceiling that makes asset demand lower than asset supply...
Why would it ever occur to John Taylor to claim that open market operations are like price controls? I cannot imagine the circumstances under which anyone would be tempted to do this: Paul Krugman: More Artificial Unintelligence: "David Beckworth pleads with fellow free-marketeers to stop claiming that low interest rates are 'artificial' and comparing them to price controls...
Bloomberg: Prof. DeLong Says Better If U.S. in TPP Negotiating With China: "University of California at Berkeley Professor Brad DeLong weighs in on U.S and China trade talks, and talks about the makeup of the U.S. negotiating team. DeLong speaks on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia..."
My talking points on the China-U.S. trade "negotiations":
It's time to normalize Karl Marx: "For elite American economists, Marx has long been viewed as absolutely anathema, if not some kind of demon...
J. Bradford DeLong
Economics and Blum Center of U.C. Berkeley, WCEG, and NBER
Gains from Trade: Is Comparative Advantage the Ideology of the Comparatively Advantaged?: Trade, technology, job losses, and globalization–and their effects on prosperity and political turmoil.
Chair: Rohinton Medhora
Speakers: Brad Delong, Nadia Garbellini, Kaveh Majlesi, Arjun Jayadev
Discussant: Joseph Stiglitz, Pia Malaney
Each time I do this I think there must be a way to do it better. But each time I fail to think of one...
Good ideas very welcome...
In a sense, closed book exams have been obsolete since 1500. You could argue before 1500 that people would often find themselves in situations in which they had to produce documents and write answer is calling on nothing but what they had currently running on their own wetware. Books, after all, were very expensive. At five pages an hour, figure it would take a month to produce one copy of a book, and that is only the direct, skilled labor required.
After 1500, however closed book exams made no sense—at least not without a theory of why acting like a medieval monk would in fact teach habits of mind and thought that would help us think and write in a world where people were surrounded almost always by their notes and their libraries.
And now, of course, the young ones are never without their smartphones.
So it is time for us professors to start writing exams that test and teach habits of thought relevant for a world in which you have rapid broadband access to the entire online library of humanity at nearly every instant.
Therefore this exam is open note, open book, and open smartphone—or whatever other device you wish to bring...
Only one form of information access is prohibited: direct two-way interaction with other Turing class entities). In case you are uncertain, here are examples of five examples of Turing class entities:
Never forget how pig-ignorant stupid the High Priests of Liquidationist Chicago were in 2009: Paul Krugman (2009): The lost generation: "Matthew Yglesias catches Eugene Fama making a strange assertion...
Two-sentence IDs: what is it, and why does it feature in American economic history? (exam will offer you a choice to do 10 out of 15):
In Keynes’s General Theory the question of why “it seems unlikely that the influence of banking policy on the rate of interest will be sufficient by itself…” is left hanging. The question of how a “somewhat comprehensive socialization of investment“ is to be implemented is left hanging as well. There are remarkably a few references to “fiscal policy” in any form. So will somebody please explain to me why “fiscal policy” plays such a small part in the General Theory, while playing such a large part in mindshare perceptions of “Keynesianism”?...
Thx to Wavelength and the very interesting micro.blog http://delong.micro.blog/2018/04/21/keyness-general-theory.html
Weekend Reading: I would have said that the Dark Age is over. But the behavior of professional Republican economists formerly of note and reputation—and I am looking at you, Robert Barro, Harvey Rosen, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Larry Lindsey, John Taylor, John Cochrane Glenn Hubbard, Michael Boskin, Charlie Calomiris, Jim Miller, Jagdish Bhagwati, and George Shultz: you know better. And, Marty Feldstein, you really should not have written your defense of Trump's China tariffs. The 2009-2014 Dark Age looks to me, mostly, like a deliberate decision to be stupid and not think issues through. This one looks like a last, vain attempt to gain some influence on Republican policy: Mark Thoma (2009): "A Dark Age of Macroeconomics": "Quoting an email [from Paul Krugman], economists who...
Weekend Reading: This still cuts me to the quick. I am not at all a depressive personality—but if I were, this would have me pulling an Oblomov every time I remember that I am part of a professional discipline that was, collectively, so useless in 2009-12, and that I used to praise the analytical acumen and tell people to listen to and take seriously so many of those who made us so useless: Paul Krugman (2012): Economics in the Crisis: "We’re now in the fourth year of a truly nightmarish economic crisis. I like to think that I was more prepared than most for the possibility that such a thing might happen; developments in Asia in the late 1990s badly shook my faith in the widely accepted proposition that events like those of the 1930s could never happen again. But even pessimists like me, even those who realized that the age of bank runs and liquidity traps was not yet over, failed to realize how bad a crisis was waiting to happen–and how grossly inadequate the policy response would be when it did happen...
Do your arithmetic, Sheeple! 1500 generations since radiation from the horn of Africa is really very little indeed...
Thx to Wavelength and the very interesting micro.blog http://help.micro.blog/2018/microcasting/ http://delong.micro.blog/2018/04/15/the-lets-be.html
Definitely Not My Morning Coffee: Ars Technica Live: Annalee Newitz and Brad DeLong: The Tech Boom and the Fate of Democracy "Ars Technica Live #21... Filmed by Chris Schodt, produced by Justin Wolfson...
Annalee writes: "Last week, we had lots of questions about the fate of democracy in a world where the Internet feeds us propaganda faster than we can fact check it...
Economics Gone Wrong: I swing back and forth between simply thinking that:
John Taylor has become unprofessional in writing things like Fed Policy Is a Drag on the Economy in which he claims that Federal Reserve quantitative easing is "imposing an interest-rate ceiling on the longer-term market by saying it will keep the short rate unusually low... much like... a price ceiling in a rental market where landlords reduce the supply of rental housing..."
John Taylor is still very professional—but that he is not a professional economist but rather a professional Republican.
Hoisted from the Archives (October 2015): Central Banks Are Not Agricultural Marketing Boards: Depression Economics, Inflation Economics and the Unsustainability of Friedmanism: Insofar as there is any thought behind the claims of John Taylor and others that the Federal Reserve is engaged in "price controls" via its monetary policy actions...
There is no thought at all behind such claims at all.
Whether American growth was much faster because of slavery is a third order issue in the history of slavery. Nevertheless, it is one I talk about because I know something about it. I think that the overwhelming beneficiaries from slavery were slaveowners and the consumers of slave-produced goods, not those of us further down the timeline who would have benefited from faster economic growth.
Thx to Wavelength and the very interesting micro.blog http://help.micro.blog/2018/microcasting/ http://delong.micro.blog/2018/04/15/do-we-really.html
Last Wednesday night at Ars Technica LIVE! at Eli's Mile High Club in Oakland—located beneath where the eight-lane Interstate 580 crosses the ten-lane California Highway 24—there were three demands from the People of the Internet Appearing in Meatspace for a return of the Morning Coffee podcast.
So why not?
Trump's Tariffs: DeLong Morning Coffee Podcast:
Why don’t Republican plutocrats, and the senators and representatives they have bought, recognize that plutocrats are not the allies of kleptocrats but rather the prey of kleptocracts?
Thx to Wavelength and the very interesting micro.blog http://help.micro.blog/2018/microcasting/ http://delong.micro.blog/2018/04/15/trumps-tariffs-delong.html
Last Wednesday night at Ars Technica LIVE! at Eli's Mile High Club in Oakland—located beneath where the eight-lane Interstate 580 crosses the ten-lane California Highway 24—there were three demands from the People of the Internet Appearing in Meatspace for a return of the Morning Coffee podcast.
So why not?
Joseph Schumpeter’s Liquidationist Errors: DeLong Morning Coffee Podcast:
Joseph Schumpeter was wrong in his claim the depressions were things to be suffered rather than cured. But how much smarter Schumpeter was than our modern day austerians!!
RSS: http://delong.micro.blog/podcast.xml. The easiest way to create podcasts appears to be to wander around the campus dictating things to Wavelength which then automatically posts them to the very interesting micro.blog: https://delong.micro.blog/2018/04/14/joseph-schumpeters-liquidationist.html
Project Syndicate: Trump’s Tax on America: After a year of serving as a useful idiot for congressional Republicans and their wealthy donors to push through tax cuts and deregulation, US President Donald Trump is now following through on his protectionist promises. Sooner or later, Republicans might realize that inept kleptocracy is not the best form of government after all:
Crisis, Rinse, Repeat: Key economic data from the periods following the 1929 stock-market crash and the 2007-2008 financial crisis suggest that the current recovery has been unnecessarily anemic. If policymakers refuse to heed the lessons of the New Deal era, then the next crisis is destined to be as prolonged as the last.
Wednesday night at Ars Technica LIVE! at Eli's Mile High Club in Oakland—located beneath where the eight-lane Interstate 580 crosses the ten-lane California Highway 24—there were three demands from the People of the Internet Appearing in Meatspace for a return of the Morning Coffee podcast.
So why not?
Globalization: What Did Krugman Miss?: DeLong Morning Coffee Podcast:
Paul Krugman has a very nice short “framework for thinking about globalization and the world” piece derived from a talk he gave at the IMF last fall.
A friendly correspondent points out to me that the "serious and respected" professional Republican economists of 20 years ago were as big bull-------- as those today—and that I was complaining about them, albeit attempting to be more polite, back then.
Case in point: Allan Meltzer: Hoisted from the Archives from Twenty Years Ago: Allan Meltzer Drags Down the Level of the Debate...: He attracted my ire for going beyond a line he should not have gone beyond:
Note to Self: This needs to go back into the pile to be reread: Jan deVries (2008): The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (9780521719254): "In the long eighteenth century, new consumer aspirations combined with a new industrious behavior to fundamentally alter the material cultures of northwest Europe and North America...
NTU Tariff Letter: In 1930, 1,028 economists urged Congress to reject the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Today, Americans face a host of new protectionist activity, including threats to withdraw from trade agreements, misguided calls for new tariffs in response to trade imbalances, and the imposition of tariffs on washing machines, solar components, and even steel and aluminum used by U.S. manufacturers.
How much smarter Schumpeter is than our modern liquidationists and austerians--he says a great many true things in and amongst the chaff, which is created by his fundamentally mistaken belief that structural adjustment must be triggered by a downturn and a wave of bankruptcies that releases resources into unemployment. How much more fun and useful it would be right now to be debating a Schumpeter right now than the ideologues calling for, say, more austerity for and more unemployment in Greece!
How very strange it is for Schumpeter to be laying out his depressions-cause-structural-change-and-growth theory of business cycles at the very same moment that he is also laying out his entrepreneurs-disrupt-the-circular-flow-and-cause-structural-change-and-growth-theory of enterprise. It is, of course, the second that is correct: Growth comes from entrepreneurs pulling resources into the sectors, enterprises, products, and production methods of the future. It does not come from depressions pushing resources into unemployment. Indeed, as Keynes noted, times of depression and fear of future depression are powerful brakes halting Schumpeterian entrepreneurship: "If effective demand is deficient... the individual enterpriser... is operating with the odds loaded against him. The game of hazard which he plays is furnished with many zeros.... Hitherto the increment of the world’s wealth has fallen short of the aggregate of positive individual savings; and the difference has been made up by the losses of those whose courage and initiative have not been supplemented by exceptional skill or unusual good fortune. But if effective demand is adequate, average skill and average good fortune will be enough..."
How Schumpeter genuinely seems to have no clue at all that the business cycle is a feature of a monetary economy--how very badly indeed he needed to learn, and how he never did learn, what Nick Rowe and company teach today about the effects of monetary stringency on economic coordination.
I’m Brad Delong I’m chief economist here at the Blum Center and a professor in the Economics Department. I’m incredibly happy here to have Brink Lindsey and Steve Teles, authors of The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality https://tinyurl.com/dl20180402b.
How this will work: I’m going to give a short introduction. Then Brink and Steve are going to present their show for fifteen or twenty minutes. Then we have three discussants who will take another twenty minutes.
We have Tom Mann, who was a long time fell senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and is now a refugee out here in California, sitting at the Institute of Governmental Studies. He is the author of books with titles like:
We have Joseph Lough, who teaches history of economic thought and other things in the Economics Department, who is the author of Weber and the Persistence of Religion: Social Theory, Capitalism and the Sublime.
We have Rakesh Bhandari, who runs ISF, and the works of his I value most are “The Disguises of Wage Labour”, “Historical Materialism: On Luxury Spending in Science and Society”; and “On the Critique of Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man”.
Following that the authors will attack the discussants for misrepresenting their argument, and the discussants will attack the authors for misrepresenting their book.
Following that we will have questions—via Twitter. Hashtag #CapturedEconomyBlum. This is an innovation of the very sharp Josh Barro. Taking questions via Twitter and screening them means that (a) questions are asked, and (b) the questions asked are less than 280 characters.
Following that we will have our reception.
From June 2017: Fed Up Rethink 2% Inflation Target Blue-Ribbon Commission Conference Call: I hear four arguments for not changing the 2%/year inflation target, even though pursuing that target found us in a situation where monetary policy was greatly hobbled in its ability to manage the economy for a solid decade. And, as best as I can evaluate them, all four of these arguments seem to me to be wrong. They are:
The Federal Reserve, even at the zero lower bound, has powerful tools sufficient to carry out its stabilization policy tasks....
The problem is not the 2%/year target but rather pressure on the Federal Reserve... from substantial numbers of economists and politicians practicing bad economics and motivated partisan reasoning....
A higher inflation rate would bring shifting expectations of inflation back into the mix, distract people and firms from their proper task of calculating real costs and benefits to worry about monetary policy, and make monetary policy management more complicated....
The Federal Reserve needs to maintain its credibility, and if it were to even once change the target inflation rate, its commitment to any target inflation rate would have no credibility...
Memo to Self: Now that John Williams is heading to become President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Vice Chair of the Federal Open Market Committee, who should take his place as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco?
Ideal candidates should I think, be in their early 50s, and should be prepared to lead an analytical and operations orientation of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank toward one or more of:
Should-Read: Remember this negative singularity of idiocy? I am still unaware of any "I'm sorrys" or any "I have had to rethink my vision of the Cosmic All" from any of the signers, and it has been more than seven years: Michael J. Boskin, Charles W. Calomiris, John F. Cogan, Niall Ferguson, Kevin A. Hassett, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, David Malpass, John B. Taylor, and others not worth mentioning: (November 15, 2010): Open Letter to Ben Bernanke: "We believe the Federal Reserve’s large-scale asset purchase plan (so-called 'quantitative easing') should be reconsidered and discontinued...
“The best attempt so far at a social democratic–libertarian synthesis of the origins and cure of our current political-economic ills…”—Brad DeLong
Niskanen Center: https://niskanencenter.org
Macroeconomics: How Large Is the Shadow Cast by Recessions?
Live from the Antebellum Plantation: Brian Fennessy: "Gavin Wright keeping the slave-capitalism debate lively: slavery was profitable to slaveholders but it kept the region underdeveloped and claims about its centrality to US Econ growth are exaggerated! #DukeMonumentsSymposium...
Do We Really Care Whether the Profits from American Slavery Were Reinvested to Spur Faster American Economic Growth or Not?
Brian Fennesey: "Gavin Wright keeping the slave-capitalism debate lively: Slavery was profitable to slaveholders but it kept the region underdeveloped and claims about its centrality to US economic growth are exaggerated! #DukeMonumentsSymposium...
Over on Twitter: 1500 generations since radiation from the Horn of Africa is not very many, n'est-ce pas? A genetic difference that gives you a—huge—extra 0.1% chance of surviving to reproduce will take a gene's frequency from 1% to 5% of the population in that time.
A great deal of stuff relevant to teaching, reading, and doing economics. Also highly relevant to: Brad DeLong: Optional Teaching Topic: How to Think Like an Economist... (Provided, That Is, You Wish to...) (Pre-Class? Mid-Class?):
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
"I can safely say that I have learned more than I ever would have imagined doing this.... I also have a much better sense of how the public views what we do. Every economist should have to sell ideas to the public once in awhile and listen to what they say. There's a lot to learn..." — Mark Thoma
"Tone, engagement, cooperation, taking an interest in what others are saying, how the other commenters are reacting, the overall health of the conversation, and whether you're being a bore..." — Teresa Nielsen Hayden
"With the arrival of Web logging... my invisible college is paradise squared, for an academic at least. Plus, web logging is an excellent procrastination tool.... Plus, every legitimate economist who has worked in government has left swearing to do everything possible to raise the level of debate and to communicate with a mass audience.... Web logging is a promising way to do that..." — Brad DeLong
"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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