Hoisted from the Archives: Special David Gelernter and Michael Kinsley Feel-Bad Piece of the Month of July 2005
Belle Waring on Jonathan Chait: Political Correctness Gone Mad OMG I’m Scared: Live from La Farine

Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for January 28, 2015

Screenshot 10 3 14 6 17 PMOver at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog


Must- and Shall-Reads:

And Over Here:

  1. Steven J. Davis and Till von Wachter (2011): Recessions and the Costs of Job Loss: "We develop new evidence on the cumulative earnings losses associated with job displacement, drawing on longitudinal Social Security records from 1974 to 2008. In present-value terms, men lose an average of 1.4 years of predisplacement earnings if displaced in mass-layoff events that occur when the national unemployment rate is below 6 percent. They lose a staggering 2.8 years of predisplacement earnings if displaced when the unemployment rate exceeds 8 percent. These results reflect discounting at a 5 percent annual rate over 20 years after displacement. We also document large cyclical movements in the incidence of job loss and job displacement and present evidence on how worker anxieties about job loss, wage cuts, and job opportunities respond to contemporaneous economic conditions. Finally, we confront leading models of unemployment fluctuations with evidence on the present-value earnings losses associated with job displacement. The model of Mortensen and Pissarides (1994), extended to include search on the job, gener- ates present-value losses only one-fourth as large as observed losses. More- over, present-value losses in the model vary little with aggregate conditions at the time of displacement, unlike the pattern in the data."

  2. Tim Duy: While We Wait For Yet Another FOMC Statement: "The Fed recognizes that hiking rates prematurely to 'give them room' in the next recession is of course self-defeating. They are not going to invite a recession simply to prove they have the tools to deal with another recession. The reasons the Fed wants to normalize policy are, I fear, a bit more mundane: (1) They believe the economy is approaching a more normal environment with solid GDP growth and near-NAIRU unemployment. They do not believe such an environment is consistent with zero rates. (2) They believe that monetary policy operates with long and variable lags. Consequently, they need to act before inflation hits 2% if they do not want to overshoot their target. And they in fact have no intention of overshooting their target. (3) They do not believe in the secular stagnation story. They do not believe that the estimate of the neutral Fed Funds rate should be revised sharply downward. Hence 25bp, or 50bp, or even 100bp still represents loose monetary policy by their definition. I am currently of the opinion that there is a reasonable chance the Fed is wrong on the third point, and that they have less room to maneuver than they believe."

Should Be Aware of:


  1. Jamelle Bouie: The Imaginary 'Moynihan Report': "it’s absolutely true that Moynihan wanted to strengthen the black family... he saw this as a core duty of the federal government, a stance at odds with both Christie and Lewis: 'The policy of the United States is to bring the Negro American to full and equal sharing in the responsibilities and rewards of citizenship... shall be designed to have the effect, directly or indirectly, of enhancing the stability and resources of the Negro American family.'... Moynihan was absolutely clear-eyed about the reasons for the weakness of the black family.... Pace Lewis, he didn’t blame ‘the welfare state,’ he blamed racism: 'The Negro situation is commonly perceived by whites in terms of the visible manifestation of discrimination and poverty, in part because Negro protest is directed against such obstacles, and in part, no doubt, because these are facts which involve the actions and attitudes of the white community as well. It is more difficult, however, for whites to perceive the effect that three centuries of exploitation have had on the fabric of Negro society itself. Here the consequences of the historic injustices done to Negro Americans are silent and hidden from view'.... Welfare dependency, in Moynihan’s view, wasn’t a given—the inevitable result of giving unearned aid to able people. Welfare dependency, he argued, was a direct consequence of family disintegration, which—in turn—was a direct consequence of America’s brutal treatment of African Americans..."

  2. Freddie de Boer: The Condescending Neoliberal Dicknose Is Right! To a Degree: "I got something cooking, but let me just say this in this space: privilege theory itself, which is used endlessly by the people that Chait is critiquing, explains why Chait is correct to a degree. (Only to a degree.) And it's in this sense: there is a large number of very vocal people online who have no personal stake in social justice whatsoever who, in the way that they argue for social justice, actually make political progress less likely. I know this annoys people; I know it aligns me with a lot of noxious assholes. But there really are people who are broadly associated with the left who seek outrage for outrages sake. There really are. These people are white, but constantly speak for people of color; they're affluent, but speak for the poor. They hate oppression but don't suffer from it. So they have no skin the game. They don't care if the way they engage actually contributes to a more just world. They don't care if their engagement is politically constructive or destructive. They don't care if they are building a political coalition that could win. All they want is to earn this weird social credit that we've developed, where you get social and cultural capital for being the person who pronounces something offensive. They are more interested in calling things problematic than in solving problems. (Some of them appear very regularly in this very commenting space.) What could be a bigger indication of privilege than not caring whether your political movement actually can win? And so as much as Chait is a condescending neoliberal dicknose--and I have gotten into more fights with him than I can count--the left has to actually acknowledge that there is a problem, here. The left has to acknowledge that there are people who speak in the name of the left who are actively hurting the cause of social justice. It's easy for us to talk shit about Chait, and I have and I will continue to. But there is a no-bullshit, honest-to-god problem with today's left, and telling jokes on Twitter won't solve it."