2017-04-26 CUNY Event: Trade, Jobs, and Inequality: Notes
People: David Autor, Brad DeLong, Ann Harrison, Eduardo Porter, Paul Krugman
Things we could have talked about:
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)
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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:
ACLU National: _On Twitter: "LOL" https://t.co/yS0QtsE2vG https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/853672747851030529:
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)
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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)
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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 Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Donald Trump hires only the best people!
Richard R.J. Eskow: The Secret Republican History Of Sean Spicer’s Holocaust, In 7 Steps: "It’s possible to get carried away with outrage.... But... http://crooksandliars.com/2017/04/secret-republican-history-sean-spicer-s
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Friends don't let friends be Republicans:
Jason Kottke: Climate change is shifting cherry blossom peak-bloom times http://kottke.org/17/04/climate-change-is-shifting-cherry-blossom-peak-bloom-times:
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...
Weekend Reading: Nate Silver (2009): Dow 36,000 Guy Kevin Hassett Accuses Obama of Sabotaging Economy https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/dow-36000-guy-accuses-obama-of/: "Nope, not an Onion headline. Kevin Hassett, co-author of Dow 36,000...
...which proffered exactly the sort of advice that you might reasonably infer from its title — has now penned a column accusing Barack Obama of deliberately attempting to sabotage the economy....
Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a “Manchurian Candidate” to destroy the U.S. economy once elected. What policies might that leader pursue?
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Alex Pareene: You Cretins Are Going To Get Thousands Of People Killed http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/you-cretins-are-going-to-get-thousands-of-people-killed-1792862225: "Here’s what you have to understand about the sort of people who become anchors, nonpartisan pundits, centrist columnists, and cable news political correspondents...
Bring it on: let us talk about his 1999 book Dow 36000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market http://amzn.to/2oaZZMU.
If he thinks that his late-1999 forecast that the Dow was about to triple in the next three-to-five years was a good forecast ex ante, he should be willing to defend it.
But he doesn't.
Because he can't.
The ten most major things wrong with the argument in Dow 36000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market are:
Paul Campos leads me to the water. It's the fact that Gorsuch does not acknowledge that he has even read the sources from which he borrows so heavily that makes me conclude definitively that he is unfit morally to be a judge. Saying "I didn't copy the descriptive passages, but I did write it with my secondary source open at my elbow" works only if you acknowledge that the secondary source exists, and that you used it.
From Abigail Lawlis Kuzma to Neil Gorsuch. Deletions by Gorsuch
struck out. Additions by Gorsuch bolded:
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: So Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is a plagiarist...
Southpaw on Twitter: "What Gorsuch did was steal the law review author's research--the source set she assembled--and descriptive writing w/o acknowledging her. Fitting for a man who seeks to occupy a stolen seat." https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/849611089176408068
Weekend Reading: Simon Wren-Lewis: [Lessons from Brexit]: "Even if at some late hour Brexit does not happen for some reason...
...we will still have seen the country vote for and parliament approve a measure which inflicts substantial harm on its citizens. Anyone who still thinks otherwise should go through this Demos report on the opportunities and risks that Brexit creates, and ask whether the ‘opportunities’ are in fact things that we could have done anyway.  Yes Brexit may force us to train more doctors etc etc. The disadvantages of doing it after Brexit is that the government will be more strapped for cash.
Let us start with two texts this morning:
Paul Krugman: Don't Blame Macroeconomics (Wonkish And Petty): "Robert Skidelsky... argues, quite correctly in my view, that economists have become far too inward-looking...
...But his prime examples of economics malfeasance are, well, terrible.... [The] more or less standard model of macroeconomics when interest rates are near zero [is] IS-LM in some form.... [And] policy had exactly the effects it was “supposed to.” Now, policymakers chose not to believe this.... And yes, some economists gave them cover. But that’s a very different story from the claim that economics failed to offer useful guidance...
Simon Wren-Lewis: Misrepresenting Academic Economists: "The majority of academic macroeconomists were always against austerity...
Weekend Reading: Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson: Republicans’ Obsession with Tax Cuts for the Rich Drove Their Health Care Plan Over a Cliff: "Somehow, Republicans managed to craft a policy that simultaneously...
...raised premiums and out-of-pocket costs, lowered the quality of insurance plans, increased the chances of insurance market death spirals, put new pressure on state budgets, and massively increased the ranks of the uninsured.
Weekend Reading: Harold Meyerson: How California Hopes to Undo Trump: "America’s mega-state is now clearly its leftmost, too...
...and on social insurance, climate change, and immigrant rights, it has more capacity and desire to defeat Republican reaction than any other institution.
Live from the Rogue CBP Agency Line: Josh Marshall: Annals of the CBP (Good Times Edition): "That was fascinating. As a coda to our family vacation, when we came through customs at JFK last night...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Donald Trump declares war on the Tea Party—wants all the Teabaggers out of Congress after 2018:
Donald J. Trump: On Twitter: "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!"
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)...
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Let the record show that Paul Ryan has as little contact with reality as Donald Trump:
Jordan Weissman: Let us now appreciate Paul Ryan’s utter failure as a political leader: "The AHCA... somehow achieved the distinction of being panned by policy experts from the left, right, and center...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Steve M.: If You're Using Trump's Campaign Promises to Figure Out What He Might Do, You're Doing It Wrong: "Trump's agenda was never anything more than sucker's bait...
Must-Watch: Stephen Shortell, Jesse Choper, Brad DeLong, Ann O'Leary, Ann Marie Marciarille, and John Ellwood (2012): Reactions to the Supreme Court's Ruling on the Affordable Care Act:
Hoisted from the Archives from 2003: A Historical Document: "In the Long Run It Is the Majority Who Will Determine What the Constitutional Rights of the Minority Are": The judicial philosophy of Chief Justice Rehnquist, taken from Rehnquist (1952), "A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases". This memo expressing Rehnquist's position on a number of issues is usually cited for the flat declaration at the end that Plessy v. Ferguson (establishing the legality of the "separate and unequal" principle of segregation in governmental treatment of Blacks and whites) "was right and should be re-affirmed" even though Rehnquist is aware that it is an "unpopular and unhumanitarian position" for which he has been "excoriated by 'liberal' colleagues."
More interesting, from my perspective at least, are Rehnquist's beliefs that:
Live from Brownbackistan: How much money have Brownback and his Brownbackistanis thrown away over the past six years by refusing to accept federal money to fund the Medicaid expansion?
Jonathan Shorman: Medicaid Expansion Moves Forward in Kansas: "Kansas state lawmakers advanced a Medicaid expansion proposal on Thursday...
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)
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Weekend Reading: Josh Barro: Healthcare: Republicans Lied. They Deserve Punishment: "It's hard to decide which would be the more politically damaging outcome for Republican politicians...
...passing the American Health Care Act, and therefore owning the premium increases and coverage losses it would cause; or not passing the bill, and therefore failing to... "repeal... Obamacare." Each option is a political nightmare... an admission that Republicans cannot deliver what they have promised....
Weekend Reading: Tom Levenson: Why I Hate The NY Times, Part n: "This paragraph [by Margot Sanger-Katz]...
...There is most likely a middle way. Republican lawmakers might be comfortable with a system that shifts more of the costs of care onto people who are sick, if it makes the average insurance plan less costly for the healthy. But making those choices would mean engaging in very real trade-offs, less simple than their talking point.
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: AP: No House vote on GOP health care bill today: "Canceling Thursday’s vote would amount to a significant political setback for Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan...
What Does President Donald Trump Mean for the US Economy?: As the moment Trump took office, it seemed as though Trump could have become any one of three figures.
We really did not know which.
We had very little real indication of what policies Trump will follow, or what kind of president he would be. The US press corps had done an extraordinarily poor job in making the issues at stake in this election clear and transparent—not just to the mass audiences, but even to the most sophisticated of audiences, those that are very interested in asset prices and how they're affected by government policies.
Those three were:
Q: 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?
A: 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.
But there's more.
Must-Read: Bob Christie: 380,000 Arizonans May Lose Medicaid: "The report looks at the patients who gained coverage under a Medicaid expansion pushed through in 2013 by former Gov. Jan Brewer...
2014: On Nicholas Lemann's Partial Recantation of His "Neoliberalism": On the career of the Washington Monthly: Nicholas Lemann: A bygone age…:
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Erik Loomis: Dumbasses of America: "The genre of 'let’s talk to idiotic white voters who support Trump even though he will decimate their lives' is already more stale than bread baked on November 8...
...However, it does lead to the occasional special anecdote that truly sums up the stupidity of many white people:
(2007): Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed": Hoisted from the Archives: "I did not even loathe Nickel and Dimed because of the strong pains Barbara Ehrenreich took in her prose to demonstrate that she was not one of "them"...
E.M. Halliday (2001): Quotes from Understanding Thomas Jefferson:
p. 1: In June 1782... Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roche-Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de la Fayette, was an honored guest at possibly the most lavish full-dress ball... Marie-Antoinette... had ever given at Versailles... Twenty-four, Lafayette... a general in both the American and French armies... lionized in both countries... amalgam of ultra upper-class French snobbery and passionate dedication to liberte and the rights of man, he had gone to help the American cause entirely on his own... purchasing outright... the vessel that took him there. Now... he dances a quadrille "flawlessly"... with the young queen in the Hall of Mirrors... scintillat[ing] with the light of five thousand candles. The king has gone to bed, but his twenty-seven-year-old blue-eyed consort and diamond-bedecked entourage of courtiers dance, sip, and sup the night away, finally wandering off to one bed or another...
Weekend Reading: Sam Acheson (1932): Joe Bailey: The Last Democrat: Preface: "SENATOR BAILEY of Texas...
...one of the most conspicuous and influential Democrats in official life at Washington during the Administrations of McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft, has often been called the last Democrat. As elected head of the minority in the House during the fateful years leading to the Spanish-American War, and later as the real leader of the opposition in the Senate during the first twelve years of the new century, he went far toward meriting the arrogant phrase. Master of the Democratic party of Texas, he became the most powerful voice of the Southern wing of the Democratic national party and as such played a determining role in its councils. Time alone tends to sustain the phrase, for he survived all of the three great antagonists with whom he disputed the course which Democracy should take: Cleveland, Bryan and Wilson.
Must-Read: How, you ask, did Donald Trump's Mad Management Skillz take DJT from $15/share to $0? This is how:
Ezra Klein:Does Donald Trump Know What the GOP Health Bill Does?: "With the help of Vox’s Jacob Gardenswartz, I collected and read absolutely everything Donald Trump has said publicly about the AHCA...
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...
March 17, 2017 at 05:18 PM in Economics: History, History, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Twentieth Century Economic History | Permalink | Comments (3)
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Lyndon Johnson (October 9, 1964): [: Speech at the Jung Hotel, New Orleans]: "Mr. Chairman; Governor McKeithen; your great senior Senator Allen Ellender, my old friend; your fine mayor, Mayor Schiro...
...Mrs. Long; my longtime and my valued friend and colleague, one of the most promising young men in this Nation, Russell Long; Congressman Willis, Congressman Morrison, Congressman Thompson, Congressman Gillis Long--all of whom serve this Nation and this State with great distinction and with credit to Louisiana and the Congress; Mr. Marshall Brown; Mr. Donelon--all my friends in Louisiana:
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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