After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality http://amzn.to/2q0TevJ
Themes worth noting from the After Piketty CUNY launch event—that I missed, being on the wrong coast.
After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality http://amzn.to/2q0TevJ
Themes worth noting from the After Piketty CUNY launch event—that I missed, being on the wrong coast.
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.
Eric Miller: The Unnamed Behemoth: Review of "Public Intellectuals in the Global Arena" http://amzn.to/2pSZyVd: "Deep learning eloquently brought to bear on the contemporary moment has, quite evidently, not been enough to shore up the aging foundations of our republic... https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/unnamed-behemoth
...And a live-from-the-West-Wing Twitter feed is not likely to advance our fortunes, either.... Is the liberal democratic tradition up to the challenge—the challenge of disciplining an economic order that exists not to prosper democracy but itself? On such crucial questions this volume sounds an uncertain note—and a rather quiet uncertain note at that.... No thoroughgoing leftists (seemingly) number among the contributors—none, that is, disposed to warn of enlarging catastrophic conflict between democracy and capital...
(1) But I thought I had done so! Was I too elliptical?
Today is our publication day!
Heather Boushey, J. Bradford DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum, eds.: After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality http://amzn.to/2qgPIRE (Cambridge: Harvard University Press: 0674504771).
Let's see if I can maintain a post an hour today on this, shall we?
Here is my amazon review:
As one of the co-editors of this book, I know it very well. I am greatly pleased with how this project came out—we have very serious people, as Bob Solow would put it, writing very serious takes on what Thomas Piketty has accomplished, where he has gone wrong, and what gaps remain to be investigated by others. Social scientists thinking of citing on, working along lines related to, or drawing on Piketty should certainly read this book. People who have read Capital in the Twenty-First Century who are curious about how serious people are reacting to and assessing the book should read it as well.
Tax Reforms http://www.igmchicago.org/surveys/tax-reforms:
UPDATE: Alexia Fernández Campbell: "When I contacted the two economists whose opinions differed, they said that their answers were an error, and that they actually disagreed with the claim..." https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/4/15536394/american-economists-trump-tax-plan
I know of no works of theory or empirical analysis that says that the one page of tax reform talking points set out by Steve Mnuchin and Donald Trump is a "plan". And I know of no works of theory or empirical analysis that could lead a rational Bengt Hölmstrom or a rational Ken Judd to say that they "strongly agree" with the proposition that that one-page of talking points could be implemnted in a way that would likely pay for itself through higher economic growth: Can anybody explain to me why Bengt Hölmstrom and Ken Judd are being so unprofessional? Can anybody elucidate their thinking to me?
Excerpt from J. Bradford DeLong, Heather Boushey, and Marshall Steinbaum: After Piketty http://amzn.to/2paJ5LA: “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” Three Years Later http://equitablegrowth.org/research-analysis/capital-in-the-twenty-first-century-three-years-later/: "Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century... [C21], is a surprise best seller of astonishing dimensions.
Its enormous mass audience speaks to the urgency with which so many wish to hear about and participate in the political-economic conversation regarding this Second Gilded Age in which we in the Global North now find ourselves enmeshed. C21’s English-language translator, Art Goldhammer, reports in Chapter 1 that there are now 2.2 million copies of the book scattered around the globe in thirty different languages. Those 2.2 million copies will surely have an impact. They ought to shift the spirit of the age into another, different channel: post-Piketty, the public-intellectual debate over inequality, economic policy, and equitable growth ought to focus differently.
Eduardo Porter: Good evening. Thanks for coming. There has been a lot of sturm and drang over the last—what?—98 days. Today I read that the administration is preparing an executive order to start the process for the U.S. to leave NAFTA, which was one of Mr. Trump's campaign promises. However, over the past 98 days I have come to realize that perhaps President Trump did not really mean all of the things he said on the campaign trail.
People: David Autor, Brad DeLong, Ann Harrison, Eduardo Porter, Paul Krugman
Things we could have talked about:
Equitable Growth in Conversation: A recurring series where we talk with economists and other social scientists to help us better understand whether and how economic inequality affects economic growth and stability. Buy After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality
Heather Boushey, Brad DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum http://equitablegrowth.org/research-analysis/equitable-growth-in-conversation-brad-delong-and-marshall-steinbaum/: After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality: Heather Boushey: I am so excited that we are here finally to discuss After Piketty. Many of the people who may be reading this column may not actually have kept a copy of Piketty on their night stand and may not remember all the ins and outs, so I want to start off our conversation by asking you, first, what are the key takeaways from Piketty about the effects of inequality on our economy and our society, and second, how does the election of Donald Trump strengthen or weaken Piketty’s analytical, political, economic case? Read MOAR at Equitable Growth
April 27, 2017 at 08:24 AM in Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Twentieth Century Economic History | Permalink | Comments (7)
Alasdair Macintyre, at least in his After Virtue mode, believes that good civilizations are ones with moral consensus led by prophets, rather than ones with moral confusion managed by managers. It is Macintyre’s belief that we should hope for a civilization led by Trotskys (less preferred) or St. Benedicts (more preferred), but in either event it is to be preferred to managerial Keyneses.
I think the basic problem is that you expect—in some sense—that the market economy should be "fair". It isn't. In fact, it cannot be.
The market economy rewards those who happen to:
We are, historically, both too late and too early for the Barrington Moore Project to make sense: both pre-Enlightenment freedoms and post mass-politics totalitarian dangers...
Weekend Reading/Hoisted (2010): The Barrington Moore Problematic and Its Discontents: John Stuart Mill was perhaps the last who was substantially at home in and competent in all the branches of moral philosophy.
Afterwards young scholars paying their dues found it impossible to learn everything and still have time to write anything.
April 15, 2017 at 05:45 PM in Berkeley, History, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: (Weekend) Reading, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (3)
Stephen Cohen and Brad DeLong (2005): Shaken and Stirred https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2005/01/shaken-and-stirred/303666/: The United States is about to experience economic upheaval on a scale unseen for generations. Will social harmony be a casualty?
It has become conventional wisdom that class politics has no legs in the United States today—and for good reason. Regardless of actual circumstance, an overwhelming majority of Americans view themselves as middle-class. Very few have any bone to pick with the rich, perhaps because most believe they will become rich—or at least richer—someday. To be sure, the issues of jobs and wages inevitably make their way into our political campaigns—to a greater or lesser extent depending on where we are in the business cycle. But they seldom divide us as much as simply circle in and out of our political life. Lately anxiety about the economy has been palpable, but for the most part it has not evolved into anger or found specific scapegoats.
April 15, 2017 at 08:14 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Information, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Weekend) Reading, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (2)
The key seems to me to build intelligent machines that will assist workers in labor-intensive industries, rather than build intelligent machines that will eliminate workers in capital-intensive industries. The first is a clear win. The second can be a major loss if the things made in capital-intensive industries are close enough substitutes for the products of labor-intensive industries to greatly drop their value.
But what I have to say so far is limited.
Weekend Reading: Barry Eichengreen and Bradford DeLong (2012): New preface to Charles Kindleberger, "The World in Depression 1929-1939": Charles Kindleberger’s classic book on the Great Depression was originally published 40 years ago. In the preface to a new edition, two leading economists argue that the lessons are as relevant as ever:
The parallels between Europe in the 1930s and Europe today are stark, striking, and increasingly frightening... http://voxeu.org/article/new-preface-charles-kindleberger-world-depression-1929-1939
Live from the Human Race Long-Term Planning Bureau: Milken Institute: Global Conference 2017: Globalization in the Crosshairs http://www.milkeninstitute.org/events/conferences/global-conference/2017/program-detail: "May 2: 2:00-3:30 PM: In the 20 years leading up to the financial crisis, international trade grew at twice the rate of global output...
Brad DeLong: Interview: The Politics Guys: "Economic inequality, economic growth, why this is the best time ever to be poor (in the United States, at least)...
Let me start by saying that I think Unlearning Economics is almost entirely wrong in his proposed solutions.
Indeed, he does not seem especially knowledgeable about his cases. For example:
March 26, 2017 at 08:12 AM in Economics: Finance, Economics: Macro, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (16)
2014: On Nicholas Lemann's Partial Recantation of His "Neoliberalism": On the career of the Washington Monthly: Nicholas Lemann: A bygone age…:
Back in 1981, Lee Atwater said:
Now you don't quote me on this. You start out in 1954 by saying 'n_gger, n_gger, n_gger'. By 1968... that hurts you.... You... get... abstract... talk... about... cutting taxes and all these things... totally economic things, and the byproduct often is Blacks get hurt worse than whites.... If it is getting that abstract and that coded, that we're doing away with the racial problem one way or the other...
: As Cosma Shalizi (2010) Says, "The Singularity Is in Our Past": Look at the bleeding edge of urban North Atlantic or East Asian civilization, and you see a world fundamentally unlike any human past. Hunting, gathering, farming, herding, spinning and weaving, cleaning, digging, smelting metal and shaping wood, assembling structures--all of the ‘in the sweate of thy face shalt thou eate bread’ things that typical humans have typically done since we became jumped-up monkeys on the East African veldt--are now the occupations of a small and dwindling proportion of humans.
Cosma Shalizi (2010): The Singularity in Our Past Light-Cone (November 28) http://bactra.org/weblog/699.html
There seemed, back in November, two ways the Trump infrastructure fiscal expansion could have gone.
The first was driven by the facts that Trump seemed to have ambitions that were "Pharoahnic", and that Trump had been a real estate developer.
Joseph Ford Cotto: Prominent economists and politicians often say that free trade will benefit America in the long run. Many Americans disagree strongly. What is your take on this situation?
Dr. J. Bradford DeLong: Well, typically and roughly, the average import we buy from other countries we get for 30% off--we use foreign currency that costs us $1.40 to purchase goods and services made abroad that would cost us $2.00 worth of time, energy, resources and cash to make at home.
March 15, 2017 at 01:37 PM in Berkeley, Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Macro, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
Weekend Reading: Abraham Lincoln (1854): [Kansas-Nebraska]: "The repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the propriety of its restoration, constitute the subject of what I am about to say.
...As I desire to present my own connected view of this subject, my remarks will not be, specifically, an answer to Judge Douglas; yet, as I proceed, the main points he has presented will arise, and will receive such respectful attention as I may be able to give them. I wish further to say, that I do not propose to question the patriotism, or to assail the motives of any man, or class of men; but rather to strictly confine myself to the naked merits of the question.
Reading: This paper seems to me to bury the lead--which is that it is the interaction of past slave-raiding and present decolonization that seems to be associated with very low present-day economic productivity. What are the mechanisms that could generate such an association?
Margherita Bottero and Björn Wallace: Is There a Long-Term Effect of Africa's Slave Trades?: "Nunn (2008) found a negative relationship between past slave exports and economic performance within Africa...
When Yale made the long-overdue decision to dename the Residential College Formerly Named After the Odious John C. Calhoun, a bunch of alumni--who had never before remarked on how odious John C. Calhoun had been--came out of the woodwork to protest that we will be impoverished if we do not memorialize even the bad parts of our history.
It seemed to me it would have been much better—shame on you, Financial Times—to mark the event by reprinting Hofstadter's Calhoun chapter on "The Marx of the Master Class", or the "Young Calhoun" chapter from Sidney Blumenthal's A Self-Made Man—the first volume of his in-progress series: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln. So I wrote to Sidney asking permission to reprint the "Young Calhoun" chapter on my weblog. He passed it along to Simon & Schuster. Silence...
But the galleys of Blumenthal's second volume: Wrestling with His Angel showed up in my mailbox. It is excellent:
Sidney Blumenthal (2017): Wrestling with His Angel, 1849-1856 <http://amzn.to/2mgAPd9>
Five Orienting Questions:
Weekend Reading: John Maynard Keynes (1938): John Maynard Keynes’s Private Letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt of February 1, 1938:
To Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1 February 1938
Private and personal
Dear Mr. President,
You received me kindly when I visited you some three years ago that I make bold to send you some bird’s eye impressions which I have formed as to the business position in the United States. You will appreciate that I write from a distance, that I have not revisited the United States since you saw me, and that I have access to few more sources of information than those publicly available. But sometimes in some respects there may be advantages in these limitations! At any rate, those things which I think I see, I see very clearly.
Weekend Reading: Rosa Luxemburg (1918): [: The Russian Revolution: The Problem of Dictatorship]:
Lenin says [in The State and Revolution: The Transition from Capitalism to Communism] the bourgeois state is an instrument of oppression of the working class; the socialist state, of the bourgeoisie. To a certain extent, he says, it is only the capitalist state stood on its head. This simplified view misses the most essential thing: bourgeois class rule has no need of the political training and education of the entire mass of the people, at least not beyond certain narrow limits. But for the proletarian dictatorship that is the life element, the very air without which it is not able to exist.
Daniel Davies (2012): New Ideas From Dead Political Systems:
Back in the days before I had realised that a guy who takes five years to deliver a simple book review probably ought to rein in the ambition a bit when it comes to larger-scale projects, I occasionally pitched an idea to publishers of management books. It was going to be called “Great Ideas From Failed Companies”, the idea being that when you have the perspective of the entire history of a corporate story, you’re probably going to get a more honest appraisal of its strengths and weaknesses, and that although companies like Enron, Northern Rock and Atari clearly had major problems, they quite likely also had some good points too, or how did they ever get so big in the first place?
Weekend Reading: Cosma Shalizi (2012): In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You: "Attention conservation notice: Over 7800 words about optimal planning for a socialist economy and its intersection with computational complexity theory. This is about as relevant to the world around us as debating whether a devotee of the Olympian gods should approve of transgenic organisms. (Or: centaurs, yes or no?) Contains mathematical symbols (uglified and rendered slightly inexact by HTML) but no actual math, and uses Red Plenty mostly as a launching point for a tangent.
Ian Morris (2015): Foragers, Farmers and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve <http://amzn.to/2lZUel9>
Five Orienting Questions:
It's disturbing. As we face the probable abrogation of NAFTA, possible trade wars with China, Germany, and others, and the total cluster** that is the Trump administration's policies (if any) toward NATO and Russia, a number of really smart and really well-intentioned people are, I think, making rhetorical--and in some cases substantive--errors that are degrading the quality of the debate and increasing the chances of bad outcomes. And they are doing it while trying to be forces for good, light, human betterment, truth, justice, and the American way...
So let me do some boundary policing here.
This is only one-third of a biography of Thomas Jefferson: it is about Jefferson the human being, rather than Jefferson the moral philosopher or Jefferson the politician. And I do not think it is the best biography even of Jefferson the human being--it is too short. But it is, I think, the best very short biography of Jefferson the human being...
Robert Brenner (1979): Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe, Past & Present 70 (Feb.), pp. 30-75 <http://www.jstor.org/stable/650345>
Should-Read: Joachim Voth and I both focused on how Tsarist industrialization was hindered by monopoly power in manufacturing, and on the absence of a special bonus for the Stalinist construction of a heavy industrial sector in Magnitogorsk and elsewhere very far in the interior. The destruction of monopoly power via planning--along with the destruction of the peasant-collective barriers to mobility--was a big plus that largely offset the inefficiencies of central planning. The creation of a heavy industrial complex in Magnitogorsk was a priceless asset for the world come World War II.
Anton Cheremukhin et al. (2013): Was Stalin Necessary for Russia’s Economic Development?: "We construct a large dataset that covers Soviet Russia during 1928-1940 and Tsarist Russia during 1885-1913...
Robert C. Allen (2003): Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691144311) <http://amzn.to/2kpLZd2>
The Big Question:
Was the Soviet Union an Asian economy, (like) a Latin American economy, a (central or western) European economy, or a settler-frontier economy?
If it was an Asian economy, than it did well on economic growth--even though horribly (save in comparison to Maoist China, the Khmer Rouge, and the Korean Hereditary Dictatorship of the God-Kings Kim) in terms of societal well being.
If it was a Latin American economy, it did OK in terms of economic growth--Allen says "good", but I think he overstates his case: "OK".
If it was a (central or western) European economy, it did very badly--badly enough to prompt its bloodless overthrow.
If it was a settler-frontier economy, its badness attains world-historical levels.
I reject Allen's conclusions, largely because of the regression-discontinuity study I did in the middle of the 1990s:
The discontinuity between the countries on the left and the countries on the right is simply where Stalin's (or Mao's, or Giap's) armies stopped. The communist countries were, as of the moment that the Iron Curtain collapsed, missing 88% of their prosperity as measured by what seems and seemed to be the most natural yardstick.
February 13, 2017 at 02:46 PM in Berkeley, Books, Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Wednesday) Economic History, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth | Permalink | Comments (5)
William W. Freehling (1990): The Road to Disunion: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854 (New York: Oxford University Press: 0195058143) <http://amzn.to/2jTYTon>: "Kentucky, while not as southern as Virginia, was more western...
...Kentuckians suffered from the usual western problem: too much land, not enough laborers. Slavery, prime solution to labor shortages deeper in the Southwest, could never be as widespread in Kentucky’s cooler climes. A low percentage of slaves arguably intensified the labor shortage, for potential white settlers preferred free Ohio, immediately to Kentucky’s north.
Ernest Gellner (1990): The Collapse of the Eastern European Marxist Faith
This is a passage from the 1990 Tanner Lectures series: Ernest Gellner (1990): The Civil and the Sacred analyzing the collapse of the Eastern European Marxist faith to which Vladimir Lenin had played St. Paul to Karl Marx as Jesus.
What is "civil society"? What does it do that is useful for a society?
What happens to a modern industrial economy if there is no "civil society"?
Why did the Eastern European Marxist belief system contain the idea that when it was in power it could survive without--indeed, needed to do away with--"civil society"?
What does Gellner mean by his claim that the Eastern European Marxist belief system was at bottom a middle class, a "bourgeois", idea--a reflection of the beliefs of the middle class in combination with their social and economic position?
Gellner divides really-existing socialism--the Eastern European Marxist faith in power--into five epochs: Origin, Terror, Thaw, Squalor, and Collapse. Why did Lenin's and Stalin's (and Mao's) rule-by-terror not weaken, but actually strengthen the belief system?
Most faiths survive empirical disconfirmation. Jesus Christ does not return while people who have known St. Paul are still alive. YHWH with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm does not raise up an Anointed One from the House of David to reestablish his and Solomon's kingdom. And yet the faiths thrive... Why was the Eastern European Marxist faith different from these others?
Gellner's analysis does not seem to apply at all to the vicissitudes of Marxism and the Communist Party in China--to "socialism with Chinese characteristics". I cannot ask you to provide answers as to why what Gellner lays out as the apparently-inescapable process of dissolution and decay followed by collapse of the Eastern European Marxist faith did not happen in China. But do think hard about it: understanding why the historical trajectories have been so different is one of the most important and most mysterious historical questions of our time.
Read not just the excerpted passage at http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/02/weekend-reading-from-ernest-gellner-1990-the-civil-and-the-sacred.html, but the whole Tanner Lecture at http://tannerlectures.utah.edu/_documents/a-to-z/g/Gellner_91.pdf!
From Ernest Gellner (1990): The Civil and the Sacred: "This... characterization of the south- easterly Muslim neighbor of Atlantic civilization... makes a neat contrast to the Marxist eastern one...
...there, we witness a virtually total erosion of faith, combined with a strong, in many cases passionate, yearning for Civil Society. In fact, the present vogue of the term originates precisely in the politico-intellectual life and turbulence of that region.
Benjamin Franklin (February 3, 1790): Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery: "To the Senate & House of Representatives of the United States...
...The Memorial of the Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, the relief of free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage, & the Improvement of the Condition of the African Races.
Ernest Gellner: Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and its Rivals: Chapter 1: "A new ideal was born, or reborn, in recent decades: Civil Society...
...Previously, a person interested in the notion of Civil Society could be assumed to be a historian of ideas, concerned perhaps with Locke or Hegel. But the phrase itself had no living resonance or evocativeness. Rather, it seemed distinctly covered with dust. And now, all of a sudden, it has been taken out and thoroughly dusted, and has become a shining emblem.
James Madison: Madison's Bill of Rights: "I am sorry to be accessory to the loss of a single moment of time by the House...
Last night, February 1, while I was teaching, a number of people came to the Berkeley campus to hear a speaker invited by the Berkeley College Republicans. A larger number came to peacefully demonstrate against the speaker--to express their belief that the speaker was not invited because people thought that he had great and important insights about politics and moral philosophy, but rather because he is a specialist in making Asian, Hispanic, African-American, Muslim, and other minorities feel small and unsafe.
Project Syndicate: Trade Deals and Alternative Facts: BERKELEY – In a long recent Vox essay outlining my thinking about US President Donald Trump’s emerging trade policy, I pointed out that a “bad” trade deal such as the North American Free Trade Agreement is responsible for only a vanishingly small fraction of lost US manufacturing jobs over the past 30 years. Just 0.1 percentage points of the 21.4 percentage-point decline in the employment share of manufacturing during this period is attributable to NAFTA, enacted in December 1993.
A half-century ago, the US economy supplied an abundance of manufacturing jobs to a workforce that was well equipped to fill them. Those opportunities have dried up. This is a significant problem: a BIGLY problem. But anyone who claims that the collapse of US manufacturing employment resulted from “bad” trade deals like NAFTA is playing the fool. Read MOAR at Project Syndicate
Live from the First Congress: WTF, Daron?:
This leaves us with the one true defense we have, which Hamilton, Madison, and Washington neither designed nor much approved of: civil society’s vigilance and protest...
Mr. Madison: "I will state my reasons why I think it proper to propose amendments [to the Constitution]...
...and state the amendments themselves....
First. That there be prefixed to the Constitution a declaration, that all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people.... That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate....
Fourthly.... The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, or to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable. The people shall not be restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good; nor from applying to the Legislature by petitions, remonstrances, for redress of their grievances...
Every time I start thinking about Thomas Jefferson, I get distracted by the family psychodrama—and by the plight of the Hemings family—and by the fact that TJ named one of his sons by Sally Hemings, born at the start of Jefferson's second term as president, "Madison".
I wonder what Jemmy Madison thought of that, and whether Jefferson told him personally that he had done so...
January 31, 2017 at 06:09 AM in Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: (Wednesday) Economic History, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth | Permalink | Comments (6)
Notes: Hayek and the "Shut Up and Be Grateful You Were Even Born!" Argument: Archive Entry: I have long been of the opinion that Friedrich von Hayek saw more deeply into why the market economy is so productive--the use of knowledge in society, competition as a discovery procedure, et cetera--than neoclassical economics, with its Welfare Theorems that under appropriate conditions the competitive market equilibrium (a) is Pareto-Optimal or (b) maximizes a social welfare function that is the sum of individual utilities in which each individual's weight is the inverse of their marginal utility of income.
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
Scratch | HIGHLIGHTED ONLY | HIGHLIGHTED LIST | THE HONEST BROKER | EQUITABLE GROWTH | RSS FEED | Short Biography | Talks, Presentations, and Events | Edit Posts | Edit Pages | Edit Content | Berkeley Open Access | Subscribe to Grasping Reality's Feed... | Books Worth Reading | Discussions ||||
OTHER STREAMS: Readings and Reviews | DeLong FAQ | The Honest Broker | Ann Marie Marciarille | Across the Wide Missouri... | Liveblogging History | Storify | On Social Media | This.! | Mark Thoma | Paul Krugman | Noah Smith and Steve Randy Waldman | Zeynep Tufekci | Oliver Willis | Marginal Revolution | Cosma Shalizi | Worthwhile Canadian Initiative | Angry Bear | Antonio Fatas |