Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for November 19, 2013
Over at the WCEG Equitablog:
- Monday-Morning Must Read: Paul Krugman on Larry Summers on the Danger of “Secular Stagnation”: Monday Focus
- Things to Read at Lunchtime on November 18, 2013
- How Urgent Is the Need for a Higher Inflation Target?
- Annie Lowrey: Caught in a Revolving Door of Unemployment: "A five-year spell of unemployment has slowly scrubbed away nearly every vestige of Ms. Barrington-Ward’s middle-class life. She is a 53-year-old college graduate who worked steadily for three decades. She is now broke and homeless.... She was laid off from an administrative position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008; she had earned about $50,000 that year. With the recession spurring employers to dump hundreds of thousands of workers a month and the unemployment rate climbing to the double digits, she found that no matter the number of résumés she sent out... he could not find work. 'I’ve been turned down from McDonald’s because I was told I was too articulate', she says. 'I got denied a job scrubbing toilets because I didn’t speak Spanish and turned away from a laundromat because I was "too pretty". I’ve also been told point-blank to my face, "We don’t hire the unemployed". And the two times I got real interest from a prospective employer, the credit check ended it immediately.' For Ms. Barrington-Ward, joblessness itself has become a trap, an impediment to finding a job. Economists see it the same way, concerned that joblessness lasting more than six months is a major factor preventing people from getting rehired, with potentially grave consequences for tens of millions of Americans..."
- Paul Krugman: A Permanent Slump?: "The case for... a persistent state in which a depressed economy is the norm, with episodes of full employment few and far between was made forcefully recently... [by] none other than Larry Summers.... And if Mr. Summers is right, everything respectable people have been saying about economic policy is wrong, and will keep being wrong for a long time.... I know that many people just hate this kind of talk. It offends their sense of rightness.... Economics is supposed to be about making hard choices (at other people’s expense, naturally).... But... economic reality is what it is. And what that reality appears to be right now is one in which depression rules will apply for a very long time..."
- Thoreau: Vocation of the Elites § Unqualified Offerings: "There’s another side to the problems.... I’m glad that some of our elite class passes through top educational institutions. I could think of worse ways to shape them. The real problem is that there are few routes to sit at the table. By all means, have some Ivy Leaguers there. But have those Ivy Leaguers in a wider range of endeavors than just the FIRE sector. Have people who came up through organized labor. Have people who came up through professions and vocations, through entrepreneurial activity outside the FIRE sector, and through numerous other paths. (But keep the journalists out of the elite class. The last thing we want is journalists who like sitting at fancy dinners with their rich buddies. The proper place for a journalist is digging up dirt outside the banquet hall, while the rich are unaware what they’re up to.) This monoculture, this lack of variety in the paths to the top..."
- Jonathan Chait: Obama’s Latest Katrina Threatens Doom Once Again: "The Obamacare rollout debacle has officially reached its Katrina Phase.... The Obamacare rollout is merely Obama’s most recent Katrina, following in the wake of... the Gulf Oil spill, the 2009 swine-flu outbreak, the humanitarian disaster in Haiti, the General Motors bailout, Hurricane Sandy, Syria, and the now-forgotten springtime scandals--which, the New York Times reported in an equally portentous news analysis last May, 'have reinforced fears of an overreaching government while calling into question Mr. Obama’s ability to master his own presidency'. If every one of Obama’s Katrinas were an actual Katrina, America as we know it would long since have ceased to exist and we’d be living in a watery post-apocalyptic hellscape..."
- Michael Kimmel: America’s angriest white men: Up close with racism, rage and Southern supremacy: "Many of the younger guys are veterans of the first Gulf War, a war that they came to believe was fought for no moral principles at all, but simply to make America’s oil supply safer and to protect Israel from possible Arab attack. They feel they’ve been used, pawns in a larger political game, serving their country honorably only to be spit out and stepped on when they returned home to slashed veteran benefits, bureaucratic indifference to post-traumatic stress disorder, and general social contempt for having fought in the war in the first place. They believed they were entitled to be hailed as heroes, as had earlier generations of American veterans, not to be scorned as outcasts..."
- Charlie Stross: CMAP: "Why do you use Microsoft Word?": "I sometimes fantasize about Markdown taking off everywhere. It's not as if Markdown editors are thin on the ground; it's almost become a de-facto standard on the iPad due to iOS's lack of a rich text library prior to iOS 7. Markdown is expressive enough to write a novel (novels are structurally very simple). It's so lightweight that you can learn the basics in half an hour and print a crib sheet on the side of a coffee mug. There are powerful Markdown editing tools with syntax colourizing and folding and other features... and you can write it using any plain text editor. If we could just get everyone to use it, there are powerful proofing tools out there—it's a plain text based markup language, so the entire panoply of programmer's tools are available. But it ain't gonna happen. Novelists are not only not IT people; they are on average quite old (it's rare to sell a first novel before you turn 30: most working novelists are middle-aged). They are emphatically not early adopters..."
- Paul Krugman: What To Do When You're Wrong: "Barry Ritholtz reminds us that we’ve just passed the third anniversary of the debasement-and-inflation letter--the one in which a who’s who of right-wing econopundits warned that quantitative easing would have dire consequences. As Ritholtz notes, they were utterly wrong. Also, rereading the letter now, you have to wonder what kind of economic model they had in mind.... You don’t just want to look at whether people have been wrong; you want to ask how they respond when events don’t go the way they predicted. After all, if you write about current affairs and you’re never wrong, you just aren’t sticking your neck out enough. Stuff happens, and sometimes it’s not the stuff you thought would happen. So what do you do then? Do you claim that you never said what you said? Do you lash out at your critics and play victim? Or do you try to figure out what you got wrong and why, and revise your thinking accordingly?.... So, have any of the signatories to that 2010 letter admitted being wrong and explained why they were wrong? I mean any of them. Not as far as I know. And at that point this becomes more than an intellectual issue. It becomes a test of character."
J. Bradford DeLong and Lawrence H. Summers (1992): Macroeconomic Policy and Long-Run Growth | Nick Hanauer and Eric Beinhocker: Capitalism Redefined | Michael Kimmel: America’s angriest white men: Up close with racism, rage and Southern supremacy | Ann Sinaiko et al.: Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans in Miami-Dade County: Evidence of Status Quo Bias? | Yuriy Gorodnichenko and Michael Weber: Are Sticky Prices Costly? | Jay Rosen: Out of the press box and onto the field: I am joining up with the new venture in news that Pierre Omidyar, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill are creating, along with Liliana Segura, Dan Froomkin, Eric Bates and others who are coming on board to give shape to this thing, which we are calling NewCo until we are ready to release the name | Bryce Covert: Democrats Push For Extending A Lifeline For The Long-Term Unemployed | Daniel McCarthy: Why the Tea Party Can’t Govern | Cosma Shalizi (2010): The Singularity in Our Past Light-Cone | Joseph Cummins: On the Use and Misuse of Child Height-for-Age Z-score in the Demographic and Health Surveys |