Oration on the Dignity of Man
Links, etc., for the Week of June 26, 2017

Worth Noting from Grasping Reality: March 2007

30 things worth noting and highlighting in that month of March 2007. The two highlights of the highlights are:

  • More Journamalism (Time Magazine Edition) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/more_journamali_2.html: Karen Tumulty of Time really wishes she didn't have to spend time listening to candidates talk about health care.... "After three very intense hours (plus) onstage moderating this health care forum, I really needed a massage and a margarita. Not in that order.... I suspected that my colleagues in the press filing center weren't entirely thrilled at spending a Saturday in Las Vegas this way...." Would it be asking too much to have Time replace Tumulty with somebody who actually likes learning about candidates thoughts and plans on health care? Rather than somebody who sounds like she is having a root canal?... 2007-03-25

  • Un-Discourse Situations... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/undiscourse_sit.html: What is one to do? You watch a guy--Bob Solow--one of the smartest and most thoughtful people I know, having his intellectual impact neutralized by a guy--Kudlow--who really isn't in the intellectual inquiry business.... To the audience it looks like two cocksure economists who disagree for incomprehensible reasons. And my ten minute share will come too late to try to referee Solow-Kudlow in any fair, balanced, and effective way. It's an un-discourse situation: Kudlow doesn't acknowledge--may not know--the flaws in his chosen statistic. And I can't help wonder what Kudlow would be saying if a Democrat were president. It's an intellectual Gresham's Law in action... What can I do? I can blog about it... 2007-03-11


Four More Highlights of Highlights:

  • Political Possibilities... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/political_possi.html: Bob Solow: "Well, if everything is politically impossible except what we have now, we could have saved a lot of time here..." 2007-03-09

  • J. Bradford DeLong (2007), "Right from the Start?: What Milton Friedman Can Teach Progressives" http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/j_bradford_delo_5.html: Democracy: A Journal of Ideas 4 (Spring). (A review of Lanny Ebenstein (2007) Milton Friedman: A Biography (Palgrave Macmillan • 272 pages • $27.95 http://delong.typepad.com/pdf/20070308_108-115.delong.FINAL.pdf 2007-03-12

  • More Journamalism From David Broder (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/more_journamali_1.html: Today, March 25, 2007, David Broder says that the Bush administration is so discredited that there is no point for Democrats to take testimony demonstrating that when the Bush administration fired "underperforming" U.S. attorneys, their "underperformance" was that they had prosecuted too many corrupt Republican politicians and not investigated enough Democratic ones.... A month ago, on February 16, 2007, David Broder said that the Bush administration was far from being discredited: that it was "impressive," "forceful," showing "renewed energy" and "regaining the initiative".... Such a mendacious month-to-month inconsistency requires great skill and effort to accomplish... 2007-03-25

  • More Great Depression Blogging http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/more_great_depr.html: Anna J. Schwartz and Edward Nelson are considerably less coherent than I had thought.... Schwartz and Nelson appear to have simply forgotten that what the Federal Reserve controls via its open-market operations is the sum of currency and bank reserves... and not each component individually.... There is a difference between Bernanke's formulation—that a Great Depression was coming and the Fed could have headed it off if it had properly-handled the banking panic—and Friedman's statement that the Depression was produced by government mismanagement. There was government mismanagement, but Krugman would say—and I would agree—not that it caused but that it failed to head off the Great Depression. With respect to the Playboy interview, Friedman appears to have forgotten that the absence of a Federal Reserve would not have produced a lower but a higher overnight bank-to-bank interest rate.... In the absence of the Federal Reserve the quantity of bank reserves would have fallen by more, not less; the number of failing banks would have been greater, not lesser; the fall in the money stock would have been larger, not smaller; and the Great Depression would have been even greater... 2007-03-10


The Complete List of March 2007 Things Worth Highlighting:

  • Potential Reasons for Worrying About Outsourcing/Offshoring http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/potential_reaso.html: "The right reasons to worry about trade are relatively specific and relatively small in number.... First, we can worry about trade because we can worry about what trade does to our income distribution.... Second, we can worry about trade because we worry about what trade does to external benefits from productive activity that boost growth.... Third, we can worry about trade to the extent that it amplifies the ability of our dysfunctional government to dysfunction.... Fourth, we can agree that increased trade is good for the nation, yet believe that government has to play an active and aggressive role in providing social insurance and a measure of compensation to those ground exceedingly fine by the mills of globalization--and outsourcing/offshoring are likely to cause bigger changes and more disruption than anything we have seen to date. It is not clear which of these reasons is behind Alan Blinder's current worries on outsourcing and offshoring. My worries about outsourcing are mostly (4). I worry somewhat about (2). But (1) and (3) are, I think, not on the agenda... 2007-03-29

  • What Does It Mean When a Judge Cites Dred Scott? http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/what_does_it_me.html: "Jack Balkin makes a mistake in logic.... "The fact that a certain type of argument appears in Dred Scott doesn't make it a bad argument."... The fact that somebody cites Dred Scott for Argument X is a powerful sign that they couldn't find another court making Argument X to cite instead. And the fact that a certain type of argument appears rarely except in Dred Scott is a powerful sign that it is a bad argument. Jeez. These law professors. Reminds me of Gene Volokh saying that he was "agnostic" about whether William Bennett had lost millions in Vegas: "The Volokh Conspiracy: Some casinos are estimating the total losses at over $8 million, but Bennett explicitly says otherwise; instead, he's saying that he's come out pretty close to even (whatever exactly that means), and thus (returning to the previous paragraph) that the supposed casino estimates are mistaken or highly incomplete. This has little to do with statistics -- it's a question of fact. Bennett may be lying, but only if you think the casino estimates are sound, something that the article certainly doesn't prove. That's why I'm not sure who's right." For Volokh, the fact that people who gamble a lot and whom casinos pay to fly to Las Vegas to gamble are almost surely big losers is simply not a consideration his brain processes in assessing William Bennett's credibility. For Balkin, the fact that Silberman couldn't find precedent in a more credible opinion than Dred Scott is not a consideration his brain processes in assessing the quality of Silberman's argument. This has to be a form of trained incapacity. Neither of these men are dumb. Yet both cannot, apparently, see the noses in front of their faces... 2007-03-26

  • More Journamalism (Time Magazine Edition) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/more_journamali_2.html: Karen Tumulty of Time really wishes she didn't have to spend time listening to candidates talk about health care.... "After three very intense hours (plus) onstage moderating this health care forum, I really needed a massage and a margarita. Not in that order.... I suspected that my colleagues in the press filing center weren't entirely thrilled at spending a Saturday in Las Vegas this way...." Would it be asking too much to have Time replace Tumulty with somebody who actually likes learning about candidates thoughts and plans on health care? Rather than somebody who sounds like she is having a root canal?... 2007-03-25

  • More Journamalism From David Broder (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/more_journamali_1.html: Today, March 25, 2007, David Broder says that the Bush administration is so discredited that there is no point for Democrats to take testimony demonstrating that when the Bush administration fired "underperforming" U.S. attorneys, their "underperformance" was that they had prosecuted too many corrupt Republican politicians and not investigated enough Democratic ones.... A month ago, on February 16, 2007, David Broder said that the Bush administration was far from being discredited: that it was "impressive," "forceful," showing "renewed energy" and "regaining the initiative".... Such a mendacious month-to-month inconsistency requires great skill and effort to accomplish... 2007-03-25

  • Journamalism from Max Frankel (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/journamalism_fr.html: If Scooter Libby had thought there was any chance that Judy Miller would have used his leak of the N.I.E. to expose it as deeply flawed, Scooter Libby would have kept his mouth shut. Only confidence that the reporter will be a complaisant tool of the source's purposes induces the leak in the first place. Reportorial laziness on the part of Judy Miller has nothing to do with it. Reportorial ethics has everything to do with it. Do reporters view their primary task as helping their sources to misinform the public? Or do reporters view their primary task as informing citizens? That's the question that Max Frankel has to pretend to be a naive simpleton in order not to ask. Yet that's the question he should be asking. How did the New York Times come to employ somebody in whom Scooter Libby could have such confidence?... 2007-03-25

  • Understanding Botswana http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/understanding_b.html: I find myself skeptical. The view that any post-colonial African leadership group could have made the decisions and followed the policies of Seretse Khama and his team is, I think, badly undermined by the fact that Seretse Khama and company are unique. But I share Beaulier's discontent with the AJR reliance on history: the historical differences between the British Empire in Bechuanaland and the British Empire elsewhere in Africa seem to me to be too small to carry the weight that AJR demand that they bear. So I am discontented... 2007-03-23

  • The Joe Klein Self-Massacre Continues... (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/the_joe_klein_s.html: Iif Joe Klein were setting out de novo to convince me that he is a mendacious hack, this is how to do it: to pretend that my past writings said something different than they actually did, and to do so in a context in which checking the real context is absolutely trivial... 2007-03-23

  • Legal Realism vs. Legal Formalism, William Douglas vs. Felix Frankfurter, Fred Rodell vs. Alex Bickel http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/legal_realism_v.html: I am told that somewhere in the back issues of the Yale Law Report there is a reminiscence of a dinner party conversation between Alex Bickel and Fred Rodell: Alex: "Well, Fred, I may be naive, but I think that when the Supreme Court says something it means what it says." Fred: "Well, Alex, we agree on this at least: you are naive..." Does anyone have a more solid cite to this interaction between these two rare jackasses--from each of whom, however, one can learn a great deal?... 2007-03-20

  • Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Michael Kinsley Edition) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/why_oh_why_cant_1.html: Ah. More journamalism. Michael Kinsley decides that it is time to carry water for George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales. Matthew Yglesias deals with it, calling Kinsley an unbearable second-rate Kinsley imitator... 2007-03-19

  • Cringing and Whinging About the Economist http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/cringing_and_wh.html: "Economist staffer Lane Greene takes the offensive against Tom Scocca, Henry Farrell, and James Fallows.... Let me just say that in the past six years I have come to the conclusion that in five important issue areas--U.S. politics, U.S. economics, finance (U.S. and global), Middle Eastern politics, and African politics--anything the Economist states that I did not already know is likely to be wrong. That's a terrible thing to have happened. And it's the reason I pay much more attention these days to the Financial Times... 2007-03-18

  • Ezra Klein vs. One of the Horsemen of the Stupidoclypse http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/ezra_klein_vs_o.html: It's really too bad that Ezra Klein has to deal with Mickey Kaus's crap. Somebody as generous, public-spirited, and intelligent as Ezra would, in a better world, not be spending time fishing Kaus's turds out with a rake in the hope of cleansing the polluted river of liberal discussion. Fortunately, Ezra doesn't have to spend much time, or energy.... Kaus has always been remarkable: A self-proclaimed Democrat who can't figure out in October 2000 that there is even a dime's worth of difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush? A self-proclaimed neoliberal who claims not to know whether Bush's reversal of the real Clinton neoliberals' balancing the budget is "good or bad for the country," and claims that it is immaterial that the Bushies' policies, like" the Bush tax cut [are] based on lies... it's not enough to criticize a policy to say that it's based on lies"?... Truly Ezra does us all a good service in dealing with this guy, one of the Four Horsemen of the Stupidoclypse unleashed upon the world by Marty Peretz and Michael Kinsley in that dreadful laboratory "accident." But it's a shame it has to be done at all... 2007-03-16

  • Burke on Burke's Political Philosophy http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/burke_on_burkes.html: The problem is, of course, that Ancien Regime France was not a particularly lovely regime, and the court at Versailles not a particularly noble and chivalrous institution. Burke's pretense that it was is... disturbing. As Tom Paine wrote, Burke "pities the plumage and forgets the slaughtered bird." (Of course, Paine wrote that before he had to flee France before his revolutionary comrades separated his head from the rest of him.)... 2007-03-16

  • J. Bradford DeLong (2007), "What Should We Think About When Refounding the International Monetary System?" http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/j_bradford_delo_6.html in Richard Samans, Marc Uzan, and Augusto Lopez-Claros, eds., The International Monetary System, the IMF, and the G-20 (London: Palgrave Macmillan: 9780230524958)... 2007-03-14

  • History as Tragedy: The Peloponnesian War: Hoisted from the Archives http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/history_as_trag.html: I have always found it very strange that Kagan is not much, much more hesitant than he is to dismiss and overturn Thucydides's analytical conclusions and moral judgments.... We do know one important, big thing about the Classical Greek world that Thucydides did not know (and that, strangely, Kagan appears not to know). There is a deep, powerful sense in which time was on the side of Athens and its empire. Each decade that the war between Sparta and Athens remained cold rather than hot was a decade for metics and immigrants to the Geek world to think whether they wanted to live in Spartan-allied oligarchies dominated by a closed guild of landowners, or in Athenian-allied places where the (male, citizen) demos ruled and where there was much more growth, commerce, trade, and opportunity. Each decade that the war between Sparta and Athens remained cold rather than hot was a decade for rich Spartiates to marry the daughters of other rich Spartiates, and for poor Spartiates to find that they could no longer afford the Spartan lifestyle and so drop out of the citizen body--and of the main line of battle.... Kagan's Peloponnesian War... [is] a very different and much less interesting thing than Thucydides's Peloponnesian War (or, I would argue, than the Peloponnesian War wie es eigentlich gewesen). The lessons from Kagan's Peloponnesian War appear to be that war against Bad Guys calls for Harsh Measures and Total Mobilization. By contrast, Mendelsohn writes, the lessons from Thucydides's Peloponnesian War: "...are no different from the ones that the tragic playwrights teach: that the arrogant self can become the abject Other; that failure to bend, to negotiate, inevitably results in terrible fracture; that, because we are only human, our knowledge is merely knowingness, our vision partial rather than whole, and we must tread carefully in the world..." But let's give Thucydides himself the last word: "[W]ar... proves a rough master that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes... the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. Words had to change their ordinary meaning.... Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries.... The fair proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions... not with a generous confidence. Revenge also was held of more account than self-preservation. Oaths of reconciliation... only held good so long as no other weapon was at hand; but when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize it... thought this perfidious vengeance sweeter than an open one, since... success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence.... The leaders in the cities... on the one side with the cry of political equality... on the other of a moderate aristocracy... [recoiled] from no means in their struggles... in their acts of vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party caprice of the moment their only standard.... Thus every form of iniquity took root..."

  • J. Bradford DeLong (2007), "Right from the Start? What Milton Friedman Can Teach Progressives" http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/j_bradford_delo_5.html: Democracy: A Journal of Ideas 4 (Spring). (A review of Lanny Ebenstein (2007) Milton Friedman: A Biography (Palgrave Macmillan • 272 pages • $27.95 http://delong.typepad.com/pdf/20070308_108-115.delong.FINAL.pdf 2007-03-12

  • Un-Discourse Situations... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/undiscourse_sit.html: What is one to do? You watch a guy--Bob Solow--one of the smartest and most thoughtful people I know, having his intellectual impact neutralized by a guy--Kudlow--who really isn't in the intellectual inquiry business anymore.... To the audience it looks like two cocksure economists who disagree for incomprehensible reasons. And my ten minute share will come too late to try to referee Solow-Kudlow in any fair, balanced, and effective way. It's an un-discourse situation: Kudlow doesn't acknowledge--may not know--the flaws in his chosen statistic. And I can't help wonder what Kudlow would be saying if a Democrat were president. It's an intellectual Gresham's Law in action... What can I do? I can blog about it... 2007-03-11

  • Jacob Levy Hates People Who Are Intolerant! http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/jacob_levy_hate.html: When Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France makes the argument that Britons should respect the organic political tradition of English liberty that has been inherited from the past, he whispers under his breath that the only reason we should respect the Wisdom of the Ancestors is that in this particular case Burke thinks that the Ancestors--not his personal ancestors, note--were wise. Whenever Burke thought that the inherited political traditions were not wise, the fact that they were the inherited Wisdom of the Ancestors cut no ice with him at all. It was one of the traditions and institutions of Englishmen that they would conquer, torture, and rob wogs whenever and wherever they were strong enough to do so. That tradition cut no ice with Edmund Burke when he was trying to prosecute Warren Hastings. It was one of the traditions and institutions of Englishmen that all power flowed to Westminster. That tradition cut no ice with Burke when he was arguing for conciliation with and a devolution of power to the American colonists. It was one of the traditions and institutions of Englishmen that Ireland was to be plundered and looted for the benefit of upwardly-mobile English peers-to-be. That tradition, too, cut no ice with Burke... 2007-03-11

  • Jacob Levy Hates People Who Are Intolerant! http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/jacob_levy_hate.html: My problem is that in America today I don't see many conservatives. I see plenty of Bush-apologists. But I don't see very many people who think that the traditions we have inherited deserve respect because they are our traditions. People who advance such arguments—that "women should be discriminated against" and "homosexuals should be beaten up" and "abortion should be banned" and "couples in movies should always have three feet on the floor" because that is the way things have been—always seem to stop short when the traditions that we have inherited are things like "workers should be unionized" or "taxes should be progressive" or "people should be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" or that those "quaint Geneva conventions" are the law of the land. As Max Weber said, the materialist interpretation of history is not a streetcar that you can get on and off where you wish. Similarly, one would think that a conservative philosophical orientation is not something to be applied to support those past institutions and practices you like and to be ignored when past institutions and practices are things you don't like. But it is. In fact, in practice, it always has. A conservative philosophical orientation has always been a streetcar to get you to where you already knew you wanted to go... 2007-03-11

  • More Great Depression Blogging http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/more_great_depr.html: Anna J. Schwartz and Edward Nelson are considerably less coherent than I thought.... Schwartz and Nelson appear to have simply forgotten that what the Federal Reserve controls via its open-market operations is the sum of currency and bank reserves... and not each component individually.... There is a difference between Bernanke's formulation—that a Great Depression was coming and the Fed could have headed it off if it had properly-handled the banking panic—and Friedman's statement that the Depression was produced by government mismanagement. There was government mismanagement, but Krugman would say—and I would agree—not that it caused but that it failed to head off the Great Depression. With respect to the Playboy interview, Friedman appears to have forgotten that the absence of a Federal Reserve would not have produced a lower but a higher overnight bank-to-bank interest rate.... In the absence of the Federal Reserve the quantity of bank reserves would have fallen by more, not less; the number of failing banks would have been greater, not lesser; the fall in the money stock would have been larger, not smaller; and the Great Depression would have been even greater... 2007-03-10

  • J. Bradford DeLong (2004) "Comment on James Stock and Mark Watson (2003), 'Has the Business Cycle Changed?': Hoisted from the Archives http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/j_bradford_delo_4.html: Mark Watson and Jim Stock look hard and find little sign that reduction in output volatility is due to changes in how the Federal Reserve reacts to economic circumstances. By process of elimination, they conclude that the reduction in the output business cycle is primarily due to luck and not to skill: primarily to smaller shocks hitting the American (and the other OECD economies) and only secondarily to better monetary policy. This surprises me. This is a shock. I would have bet serious money that Stock and Watson's calculations would have come out the other way. I need to mark my beliefs about this to market. Clearly I have some serious rethinking to do before I give my "macroeconomic stability" lecture to my graduate students at the end of the semester... 2007-03-10

  • Political Possibilities... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/political_possi.html: Bob Solow: "Well, if everything is politically impossible except what we have now, we could have saved a lot of time here..." 2007-03-09

  • Hobsbawm's Age of Extremes: Hoisted from the Archives http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/hobsbawms_age_o.html: For Eric Hobsbawm, World Communism was the Tragic Hero of the twentieth century. It was born in unfavorable circumstances in a backward agricultural country. Lagging behind historians' judgments, Hobsbawm believes that it by and large succeeded in its historical task of industrialization. And before its death, according to Hobsbawm Communism saved the west and what little there is of good in the twentieth century twice: "The victory of the Soviet Union over Hitler was the achievement of the regime... [of] the October Revolution.... Without [Communism] the Western world today would probably consist (outside the USA) of a set of variations on authoritarian and fascist themes.... It is one of the ironies of this strange century that the most lasting result of the October Revolution... was to save its antagonist, both in war and in peace--that is to say, by providing it with the incentive, fear, to reform itself after the Second World War." There is some here that is true, but much here that is false. There is an enormous and eternal debt for the defeats of Hitler's armies at Stalingrad (1942), Kursk (1943), 2nd Kiev (1944), the Beresina (1944), the Vistula (1945), and Berlin (1945) that collectively broke the back of the Nazi war machine. But this debt owed to Stalin and Stalin's régime? No. It is owed to the people of the Soviet Union.... For new students seeking a genuine overview, the flaws, euphemisms, and silences arising from Hobsbawm's past political commitments are too mischievous... 2007-03-09

  • A Review of Keynes's Tract on Monetary Reform: Hoisted from the Archives http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/a_review_of_key.html: I wrote this eleven years ago. I still like it: John Maynard Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform (London: Macmillan, 1924) This may well be Keynes's best book. It is certainly the best monetarist economics book ever written... 2007-03-07

  • The Shape of American Conservatism Today http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/the_shape_of_am.html: I don't think Ross Douthat accurately depicts the movement of which he is a part. There are, I think, five factions.... (1) Those who fear the foreign enemy.... (2) Those who... think that the drumbeat can be useful... to distract attention from rising income inequality or destructive domestic government programs or simply to hold on to power.... (3) Those who fear the domestic enemy—which used to be Jews and Blacks, and is now a bizarre combination of homosexuals, a ghetto-bound underclass, Mexicans living here, Hollywood actors, and George Soros. (4) Those who want low taxes because they think the government is inherently inefficient and wastes its money. (5) Those who want low taxes because they are too rich.... Now you can't satisfy all five of these factions and win elections in America with an honest policy.... The... um... "genius" of the neoconservatives was to wield these factions together with a dishonest policy: tax cuts that are claimed to raise revenue.... That the policy was dishonest was said openly and loudly in the public square by Irving Kristol back in 1995: http://delong.typepad.com/pdf/20061226_Kristol_American_Conservatism.pdf.... The question is what an honest libertarian, or even an honest human being of any intellectual complexion, is doing in such company... 2007-03-06

  • Fearless Financial Markets? http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/fearless_financ.html: A number of thoughtful observers... Robert Rubin... Larry Summers, and The Financial Times's Martin Wolf... expressed puzzlement in recent months about financial markets.... Markets have judged today's world... to have low risk when viewed in historical perspective, geopolitical risks in fact appear to be large.... Somewhat more than half my brain agrees with Rubin, Summers, Wolf, and company. The principal risk I see today is that being borne by investors in dollar-denominated debt—and I don't believe they are charging a fair price for what they are doing. But a quarter of my brain wonders how investors should attempt to insure against the lowest tail of the economic-political distribution, and that quarter of my brain cannot see which way somebody hoping to insure against that risk should jump... 2007-03-06

  • My Earliest Forecast of the Late-1990s Boom: May 18, 1994: Hoisted from the Archives http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/my_earliest_for.html: My first forecast of the late-1990s new-economy boom. It was made on May 18, 1994--much longer ago than I had remembered. Of course, it was a hesitant and uncertain forecast: I clearly didn't believe what the numbers were telling me.... The speed with which investment in high-tech and other forms of equipment jumped as the Clinton administration deficit-reduction program began to take hold is truly astonishing... 2007-03-03

  • Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed": Hoisted from the Archives http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/barbara_ehrenre.html: My review of Barbara Ehrenreich (2000), Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. I didn't like it because its economics were naive, and its politics were passivist--there seemed to be a willful refusal to recognize the good done by the New Deal and the Great Society. I sensed--I'm not sure it is really there are not--a tinge of scorn for the subjects of the book and for the politicians who have worked to make their lives more secure over the past century... 2007-03-03

  • Philip Habib and Ariel Sharon: From the Archives http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/philip_habib_an.html: I feel that over the past five years I have had a leg up on most people I run into on what's going on in the Middle East, especially with respect to the Bush misadventure in Iraq. And one person is responsible: my friend John Boykin, who wrote a biography of American diplomat Philip Habib which is also a history of Ariel Sharon's ill-fated invasion of Lebanon in 1982, operation "Peace for Galilee." And knowing something about "Peace for Galilee" has definitely given me a leg up in understanding what's going on in Iraq. History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme... 2007-03-03

  • Earthquake! (Epicenter Two Miles North; Magnitude 5?) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/earthquake_epic.html 2007-03-01

  • Talking Past Each Other http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/talking_past_ea.html: Jeff [Faux] and I are clearly talking past each other. I think we live in a world in which the tremendous wave of globalization over the past two decades has produced enormous benefits for those members of China's urban working class lucky enough to get jobs in export-oriented industry and for those ex-peasants who have managed to move to China's coastal cities. Jeff, by contrast, thinks we live in a different world: one in which "class solidarity among [transnational] educated elites and global movers and shakers" leads to "a business partnership between Chinese commissars who provide the cheap labor and American and other transnationals who provide the technology and financing... whose lobbyists in Washington provided access to the US market" which "undercut[s] the bargaining position of labor virtually everywhere," "effectively excluding ordinary people." Thus little "of the sacrificing by the American working class through out-sourcing to China trickles down to the poor Chinese workers" where "wages have been stagnant for most manufacturing workers there for the last decade."... 2007-03-01

  • Taking a Short Sabbatical at the Invisible College http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/taking_a_short_.html: A Sabbatical at the Invisible College M.P. Dunleavey of the New York Times found my "How Rich Is Fitzwilliam Darcy?" and wants to talk. So I promoted it, and then I remembered that the comments were very good, and I reread them. I am still impressed: Abiola Lapite, jam, andrew, Invisible Adjunct, Ian Whitchurch, Diana, Zizka, Pouncer, and Robert Schwartz make up a hell of a seminar. This is, I think, the promise of the Invisible College that might come into being via the world wide web. In the real world of Berkeley, I don't have "Jam" and "Invisible Adjunct" and "Pouncer" and Ian Whitchurch and John Emerson down the hall. On the internet I do..." 2007-03-01

  • How Rich Is Fitzwilliam Darcy? Hoisted From the Archives http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/03/how_rich_is_fit.html: He's very rich: certainly in the Forbes 400 of Napoleonic Britain. Figure that his £10,000 a year give him the rough equivalent of the purchasing power of $300,000 a year today, and the rough equivalent of the relative social status of $6,000,000 a year today--and he doesn't have to work for it. Figure him as a thirty-year-old retired dot-com millionaire with wealth of $150 million or so... 2007-03-01

Comments