The Austerians' Practice of Dumbing Down the Debate Over Fiscal Policy: The-Gloves-Are-Off-Yes-I'm-Looking-at-You-Rudy-Penner Weblogging
Tom Slee: No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart, Chapter 1

Noted for February 3, 2013

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  • Victorian Gadgets

  • Brad DeLong (April 2012): U.C. Riverside Seminar: Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy

  • An assessment by Dan Froomkin of of William Saletan: "The case for torture": "There's a line between idiotic, toxic contrarianism and the active embrace of evil. William Saletan has crossed it." And an assessment by another smart person: "Things here are flat wrong. And I'm only typing 'flat' instead of a stream of obscenities because my child is here…"

  • Daniel Kuehn: Facts & other stubborn things: The reason Obama hasn't "explained Keynesianism" is because Obama is not a Keynesian: "There's a good reason why the administration, Congressional Democrats, and Congressional Republicans have been obsessed with the public debt and have virtually ignored the jobs deficit: they are not Keynesians. In fact except for the ones running around talking about Hayek they don't have much of any guiding lights when it comes to economic theory. They're politicians. When there's no immediate cost they love to spend money. When there's a big deficit they worry a lot about the deficit. When they're smart enough to listen to people who know what they're talking about and there isn't a crisis at hand they can produce tolerably good policy. When circumstances aren't as ideal, it's a mixed bag and it largely depends on what other political headwinds are blowing."

  • Senay Agca and Deniz Igan: Fiscal Consolidation and the Cost of Credit: Evidence from Syndicated Loans"[L]oan spreads increase with fiscal consolidations, especially for small firms, domestic firms, and for firms with limited alternative financing sources…. [L]enders price the short-term recessionary effects in loans but large consolidations can reduce or undo the increase in spreads, especially under favorable country conditions, by signaling credibility and creating expansionary expectations."

  • Paul Krugman: Memo To Deficit Scolds: I Hear What You're Saying: "Neil Irwin… a very good piece on economists versus pundits on the deficit… marred by a half-hearted attempt to squeeze the issue into a standard views-differ-on-shape-of-planet framework…. Actually, I understand perfectly well where the deficit scolds are coming from; I just don’t think it makes any sense, for reasons I’ve explained at length, and which Irwin mostly lays out as well…. There’s no comparable level of understanding on the other side; indeed, Joe Scarborough and, as far as I can tell, Bowles/Simpson/Peterson etc. are under the delusion that my views are way out of the economics mainstream, whereas the truth, as Irwin says, is that very similar if less colorfully expressed views are held by many and probably most economists in the business world, major policy institutions like the Fed and the IMF, and so on. There isn’t any symmetry here; my side of the debate is actually paying attention both to the numbers and to the arguments of the other side, while the Very Serious People only listen to each other."

  • Miles Kimball: Why the US needs its own sovereign wealth fund

  • Gaius Publius: No austerity anywhere in the world has restored a national economy

  • Paul Krugman: A Brief History of Trade Policy

On February 2, 2013: