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September 2018

Perhaps the biggest hole in growth economics is its inability to properly wrestle with the problem of how to build and entertain the communities of engineering practice that have the externalities that fuel so much of economic growth. The 2% per year rate of growth of labor efficiency seen over the past century comes from somewhere, after all. If it comes from activities like R&D and science that together consume 2% of national income, that is a 60%/year net rate of return on such activities. We badly need to understand more about them: Pierre Azoulay, Erica Fuchs, Anna Goldstein, Michael Kearney: Funding Breakthrough Research: Promises and Challenges of the "ARPA Model": "The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) model for research funding has... spread...

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This, somehow, does not seem like it lies within the scope of economists' comparative advantage. But do psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists do better?: Roland Bénabou, Armin Falk, Jean Tirole: Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning: "By downplaying externalities, magnifying the cost of moral behavior, or suggesting not being pivotal, exculpatory narratives...

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Adam Ozimek: Wider Labor Market Slack Implies Lower Rates: "Wider slack measured using the prime non-employment rate—the share of people age 25 to 54 who don’t have a job—does a better job explaining wage growth over the last few decades than the unemployment rate, making it a plausibly better recent measure of labor slack.... Continued slack is consistent with strong monthly job growth alongside near-target inflation...

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One would not think that it would be difficult for the rich to understand that enabling kleptocrats with little respect for the rule of law in an attempt to fend off democratic waves of social democracy is very unwise: Harold James: Ten Weimar Lessons: "The collapse of the Weimar Republic and the emergence of the Nazis' Third Reich in the early 1930s still stands as one of modern history's most powerful cautionary tales...

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Last January Trump told friends that Manafort had the power to incriminate him. And it looks like Manafort just has: Marcy Wheeler: Checkmate: The Manafort Cooperation Is Pardon Proof: The plea deal Manafort is pleading to today would include cooperation—and I was correct. Andrew Weissmann told Amy Berman Jackson that the deal does require Manafort cooperation.... the fact that no media outlet was able to confirm whether or not the plea would include cooperation could only be possible if Mueller had made silence about that fact part of the deal...

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From my perspective, here we have Mariana Mazzucato picking up on themes (not original to us by any means!) of Steve Cohen's and my Concrete Economics https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1422189821: _*Mariana Mazzucato*: _Who Really Creates Value in an Economy?: "Investment remains weak... [because] economic policy continues to be informed by neoliberal ideology... rather than by historical experience...

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The Rise of the Robots: Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

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Hurricane Florence

1000x1000 jpg 1 000×1 000 pixels

Hurricane Florence Update Statement

Hurricane Florence Tropical Cyclone Update
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL062018
900 AM EDT Thu Sep 13 2018

...HEAVY RAINBANDS WITH TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS SPREADING OVER
THE NORTH CAROLINA OUTER BANKS...
...LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL EXPECTED...

Data from an Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane Hunter aircraft and
NOAA Doppler weather radars from Morehead City and Wilmington,
North Carolina, indicate that Florence has changed little. Maximum
sustained winds remain near 110 mph (175 km/h). The latest minimum
central pressure based on data from the aircraft is 957 mb (28.26
inches).


SUMMARY OF 900 AM EDT...1300 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...33.2N 75.2W
ABOUT 170 MI...275 KM ESE OF WILMINGTON NORTH CAROLINA
ABOUT 215 MI...345 KM E OF MYRTLE BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...110 MPH...175 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...957 MB...28.26 INCHES

$$
Forecaster Stewart

Orange-Haired Baboons: Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

  • No surprise: throwing people off Medicaid has substantial costs and no benefits at all: Thomas DeLeire: The Effect of Disenrollment from Medicaid on Employment, Insurance Coverage, Health and Health Care Utilization: "From July through September 2005, TennCare, the Tennessee Medicaid program, disenrolled approximately 170,000 adults following a change in eligibility rules...

  • The more Geoff Kabaservice insists that William F. Buckley was much more than a Klansman with a big vocabulary, the more people send me things that seem to strongly indicate that he was little more than a Klansman with a big vocabulary—or, possibly, a grifter who wanted to appear to be a Klansman with a big vocabulary. Is that better? Is that worse?: Jeet Heer (2015): National Review's Racism Denial, Then and Now: "[The] massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, but conservative writer Mona Charen seems to have been doubly upset. Writing in National Review... complained that the prospect that the tragedy could be politically exploited by Democrats was 'even more depressing' than the actions of the killer...

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If those of us on the left and center are ever going to restart a technocratic debate with those on the right, it will be because thinking on the right becomes dominated by people link Brink Lindsey and his posse, rather then the current crew who are haplessly triangulating between their funders and their political masters: Brink Lindsey: [Welcome to capturedeconomy.com(https://capturedeconomy.com/welcome-to-capturedeconomy-com/): "WA new website dedicated to the problems of 'regulatory capture' and 'rent-seeking'—economist-speak for the pursuit of profits through politics...

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Noah Smith wonders if he can make a supply-and-demand argument to people who are allergic to "supply and demand" with a spoonful of sugar. He has three types of housing: newly-built yuppie fishtanks, old housing that can switch between working-class and yuppie, and newly-built "affordable housing" unattractive to yuppies: Noah Smith: YIMBYism explained without "supply and demand": "YIMBYism is the idea that cities need to build more housing in order to relieve upward pressure on rents...

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Smart proposal to unify U.S. statistical agencies in the Department of Commerce: Erica L. Groshen and Robert M. Groves: Op-Ed: "We depend largely on three professional government agencies: the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau...

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The analysis of rising inequality and its effects in the United States and elsewhere over the past generation has suffered from a relative downplaying of the role of the family and how income gets earned and then transformed Into well-being. Central to this is the rapidly changing economic role of women in the workforce, but that is not all of it. We need more and better analyses of her public policy needs to shift in the context of changing family structure and rising inequality. Elizabeth Jacobs presents some of our thinking about how Equitable Growth is and will be trying to support this effort: Elizabeth Jacobs: Rethinking 20th century policies to support 21st century families: "...As a raft of research illustrates, economic growth is increasingly concentrating at the top...

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Regional Economics: Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

  • I am genuinely confused here: Do we have an "eastern heartland" problem? Or do we have a "prime age male joblessness" problem? Those two problems would seem to me to call for different kinds of responses. yet Summers, Glaeser, and Austin are smooshing them into one: Edward L. Glaeser, Lawrence H. Summers and Ben Austin: A Rescue Plan for a Jobs Crisis in the Heartland: "In Flint, Mich., over 35 percent of prime-aged men—between 25 and 54—are not employed...

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It is worth stressing that motherhood penalties—work-gap penalties more generally—appear present throughout and beyond the Global North. Our labor market institutions and expectations are still as if designed for a male-dominated paid workforce in which women exit the paid labor force upon marriage or pregnancy and do not return: Eunjung Jee, Joya Misra, and Marta Murray-Close: Motherhood penalties in the U.S., 1986-2014: "Mothers earn less than childless women...

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The more Geoff Kabaservice insists that William F. Buckley was much more than a Klansman with a big vocabulary, the more people send me things that seem to strongly indicate that he was little more than a Klansman with a big vocabulary—or, possibly, a grifter who wanted to appear to be a Klansman with a big vocabulary. Is that better? Is that worse?: Jeet Heer (2015): National Review's Racism Denial, Then and Now: "[The] massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, but conservative writer Mona Charen seems to have been doubly upset. Writing in National Review... complained that the prospect that the tragedy could be politically exploited by Democrats was 'even more depressing' than the actions of the killer...

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Wisdom from the office down the hall: claiming that you will tether your cryptocoin to the dollar does not, in fact, make it much less stupid as something for others to invest in. Cryptocurrencies are stupid investments. Investors in them are grifters or fools. A fool can make money if they eventually find a bigger fool to sell to. And the biggest fool of all is the person who sees that fools have made money in stupid investments and thinks that is a reason to imitate them: Barry Eichengreen: The Stable-Coin Myth: "Mania for cryptocurrencies... so-called “stable coins”... Tether, Basis, and Sagacoin... rigidly tied to the dollar...

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Willmoore Kendall, Harry Jaffa's Crisis of the House Divided, and the Party of Abraham Lincoln: Hoisted from the Archives

Clowns (ICP)

More about the... rather strange... musings of: Geoffrey Kabaservice: Liberals Don't Know Much About Conservative History: "Buckley’s endorsement of Southern segregation was a moral blot on the conservative movement, and he later acknowledged it as his gravest error. But it’s anti-historical to assume that Buckley was little more than a Klansman with a large vocabulary...

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Thinking About This Again: Extremely wise and interesting on how the more empirical reality tells the Trumpists to mark their beliefs to market, the more desperate they are to avoid doing so: John Holbo: Epistemic Sunk Costs and the Extraordinary, Populist Delusions of Crowds?: "Here’s a thought.... The first rule of persuasion is: make your audience want to believe...

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Patrick Karl O’Brien: The Contributions of Warfare with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France to the Consolidation and Progress of the British Industrial Revolution: "A traditional and unresolved debate on economic connexions between the French and Industrial Revolutions.... The costs flowing from the reallocation of labour, capital and technical knowledge to wage warfare from 1793- 1815 have been overstated in relation to a range of benefits...

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