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April 2017

Live from the Central Asian-Mediterrean Cultural Interface: Shrimp Saganaki:

  • 15 ounce can cannellini beans
  • 3/4 pound shrimp (add near end)
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (add at end)
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small onion (add near beginning)
  • wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (add at beginning)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (add at beginning)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Cf.: Odeum


Must-Read: There were three good reasons in the mid-2000s to believe that housing prices should jump substantially. The coming of secular stagnation—then called the "global savings glut"—greatly boosted demand by boosting how much households could afford to pay for America. The filling-up of America restricted supply: first cars and superhighways had meant that for nearly three generations there were greenfield potential housing sites within thirty minutes of everywhere, but that ended with the twentieth century. At some point the anti-global warming carbon tax will come, and when it does auto transportation will become much more expensive and that will tilt the location price gradient. How much were these worth? Not enough to boost housing prices to their 2005 values. But plausibly enough to boost housing prices to their values today. IMHO, the best way to view the graph is as a positive "displacement" boom caused by true fundamentals, a bubble upward overshoot, a crash downward undershoot, and now (we hope) equilibrium:

Kevin Drum: We're Now In the Second Biggest Housing Boom of All Time: "The most remarkable feature of this chart... http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/04/were-now-second-biggest-housing-boom-all-time

We re Now In the Second Biggest Housing Boom of All Time Mother Jones

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Procrastinating on April 21, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Against Alasdair Macintyre's "After Virtue"...

Fra Angelico 009 The Last Judgment Fra Angelico Florence Wikipedia

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.

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Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Problems: At Project Syndicate

Cursor and Preview of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Problems Fresh at Project Syndicate

Over at Project Syndicate: Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is fencing with current U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin about "artificial intelligence"--AI--and related topics.

Most of their differences are differences of emphasis.

Mnuchin is drawing the issue narrowly: the particular technologies called "Artificial Intelligence taking over American jobs". And he is, at least as I read him, is elliptically criticizing high stock market values for "unicorns": companies with valuations above a billion dollars and yet no past record or clear future path to producing revenues to justify such valuations.

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Why Is There Economic Injustice?: DeLong FAQ

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:

  1. own particular things
  2. that are useful in making things
  3. that rich people really want
  4. if it is also hard to reproduce or make more of those particular things.

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Procrastinating on April 18, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Monday Smackdown: Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition)

Hoisted from the Archives from 2005: Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition): "Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition) I'm sitting here high above Berkeley in the Lipman Room of Barrows Hall...

...at a conference on 'The Changing Economics of News: Why Will Pay for Excellent Journalism in the Future?' And I'm thinking about another conference report from last month, here Matthew Yglesias reported on a panel in Virginia Beach that he was on along with the Washington Post's Mike Allen:

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Procrastinating on April 17, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Links for the Week of April 16, 2017

Must-Reads:

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The Barrington Moore Problematic and Its Discontents: Weekend Reading/Hoisted from 2010

School of Athens

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.

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Shaken and Stirred: Weekend Reading: Hoisted from the Archives: Stephen Cohen and Brad DeLong (2005)

San Francisco Bay

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.

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Procrastinating on April 14, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Notes: Working, Earning, and Learning In the Age of Intelligent Machines

Cursor and Preview of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Problems Fresh at Project Syndicate

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.

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Weekend Reading: Barry Eichengreen and Bradford DeLong (2012): New preface to Charles Kindleberger, "The World in Depression 1929-1939"

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

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Trump Threatens to Torch More Republicans

Should-Read: Point 1: Pro-tip: saying in advance that you do not want to actually put the threat in your bargaining position into effect means that you already have a different bargaining position than you think you do. Point 2: In return for getting Trump to agree to continue CSR payments, Democrats should be willing to let Trump demand and then support Medicare's offering its network as an insurance plan on all the health exchanges:

Josh Marshall: Trump Threatens to Torch More Republicans: "the President is threatening... CSR payments to sabotage the Obamacare exchanges and... force Democrats to the bargaining table... http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-threatens-to-torch-more-republicans

...“I don’t want people to get hurt,” said President Trump. “What I think should happen—and will happen—is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.”...

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Must-Read: Barry Eichengreen and Brad DeLong (2013): New Preface to Charles Kindleberger, "The World in Depression 1929-1939": "Anyone fortunate enough to live in New England in 1970-1985 or so and possessed of even a limited interest in international financial and monetary history... http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/04/new-preface-to-charles-kindleberger-the-world-in-depression-1929-1939.html

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Procrastinating on April 12, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Live from the Banks of the Charles River: May 27, 2017 (Tentative): The Future of Higher Education and Lifelong Learning:

Moderator: Seth Lloyd ’82 (Ph.D., Rockefeller University), Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Systems and Physics, and Director, Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; author of Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos_

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Must-Read: The only big problem with this from Dani Rodrik is that Karl Polanyi got it completely wrong when he wrote that it is "democracy" striking back against the "market". It is not "democracy" that is striking back against the "market". To say so is to misread what is going on completely. And I think it is also to misread what went on in what my teacher Jeffrey Williamson calls the first era of "globalization backlash" from... call it 1900-1940.

And Karl Polanyi still needs somebody to play Charlie Kindleberger to his Hyman Minsky. I nominate Dani:

Dani Rodrik: A Foreword to Kari Polanyi Levitt: "I first encountered Karl Polanyi as an undergraduate, in a course on comparative politics... http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2017/03/a-foreword-to-kari-polanyi-levitt.html

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Should-Read: What Noah misses is that international macroeconomists—those who had never taken Prescott or Lucas seriously—were very well-prepared for the collapse of 2007-2010. It's not that theories needed to be rethought: it's that doctrines that were always bs needed to be thrown to the side:

Noah Smith: Keynesian Economics Is Hot Again https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-04-10/keynesian-economics-is-hot-again: "Lawrence Christiano... after the Great Recession...

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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...

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