Over at Equitable Growth: Mindless and Mindful Austerity: Focus
For the Weekend...

Noted for Your Afternoon Procrastination for February 20, 2015

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


Must- and Shall-Reads:

And Over Here:

  1. Paul Krugman: Chastened Exceptionalism: "Jamelle Bouie has a very good article responding to Rudy Giulani’s attack on Obama’s patriotism.... There are many Americans who love their country in pretty much the way the president does... special, often an enormous force for good in the world, but also fallible.... You don’t have to be black to see things that way.... There’s the guy who described one of our foreign wars as ‘the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation’... Ulysses S. Grant... [on] the Mexican-American War.... We are becoming... more sophisticated... people do understand that... [those] shouting ‘USA! USA!’... are often less patriotic than the people they’re trying to shout down.... We really are an exceptional country... that has played a special role... [and] always stood for some of humanity’s highest ideals. We are not... about tribalism--which is what makes all the shouting about American exceptionalism so ironic, because it is... an attempt to tribalize..."

  2. Mike Konczal: Everyone Should Take It Easy on the Robot Stuff for a While There's been a small, but influential hysteria surrounding the idea is that a huge wave of automation, technology and skills have lead to a huge structural change in the economy since 2010. The implicit argument here is that robots and machines have both made traditional demand-side policies irrelevant or naïve, and been a major driver of wage stagnation and inequality. Though not the most pernicious story that gained prominence as the recovery remained sluggish in 2010 to 2011, it gained important foothold among elite discussion...

  3. Larry Summers and Friends: The Future of Work: "http://www.c-span.org/video/?324436-1/discussion-future-work On the diagnosis, I want to make a confession of ignorance, make an observation, and express a worry..."

  4. Adam Posen: US Companies Pay Well and Do Better: "Walmart was the latest major American employer to voluntarily announce a raise for all of its lowest-paid employees.... Aetna raised all of its employees’ wages to at least $16 an hour.... It is possible to profit from paying your employees well.... For decades, labour economists have gathered evidence on... [how] higher wages can motivate employees to work harder, to treat customers better, make them more reluctant to leave their jobs and help them to bring fewer worries and distractions to work. That can increase productivity and reduce an employer’s costs.... All jobs can be done better or worse, and that lower-paid workers respond to incentives other than just fear of losing their job. This is not just a relative wage story.... This is also not just a minimum wage story.... Efficiency wage increases will not solve all current economic problems. Fordist fantasies that paying a higher wage would meaningfully stimulate increased purchases, for example, have to be left aside.... Nor will such initiatives take the place of needed training to make sure workers have the proficiencies.... The shortfall of long-term investment in the US, public and private, cannot be made up for with low-skilled labour..."

Should Be Aware of: