Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 1, 2018)

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  1. A short version of my review of Adam Tooze's excellent Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate: Blame the Economists?: Ever since the 2008 financial crash and subsequent Great Recession, economists have been pilloried for failing to foresee the crisis, and for not convincing policymakers of what needed to be done to address it. But the upheavals of the past decade were more a product of historical contingency than technocratic failure... #tooze #greatrecession #financialcrisis #highlighted

  1. One interesting thing here is that Jonathan Swift was one of the biggest political liars of his generation—the anti-Whig Breitbart of his day, in some respects: Jonathan Swift (2010): Political Lying: "A political liar... ought to have but a short memory.... The superiority of his genius consists in nothing else but an inexhaustible fund of political lies, which he plentifully distributes every minute he speaks, and by an unparalleled generosity forgets, and consequently contradicts, the next half hour. He never yet considered whether any proposition were true or false, but whether it were convenient for the present minute or company.... You... will find yourself equally deceived whether you believe or not: the only remedy is to suppose, that you have heard some inarticulate sounds, without any meaning at all... #orangehairedbaboons #publicsphere

  2. Ben Alpers: A Far-Right Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory Becomes a Mainstream Irritable Gesture: "At the heart of this largely rote piece of Brooksian pablum is a claim that deserves a closer look.  'The younger militants', writes Brooks, 'tend to have been influenced by the cultural Marxism that is now the lingua franca in the elite academy'. This is interesting both for what Brooks appears to be trying to say and, more immediately, how he has decided to say it.... Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik... murdered sixty-nine people... William Lind... associated with both the Free Congress Foundation and Lyndon LaRouche... Lind’s conception of Cultural Marxism was explicitly anti-Semitic.... Over the course of these years, the idea of Cultural Marxism spread across the American far right... [with] a big boost from Andrew Breitbart.... Why would a columnist like David Brooks, who is himself Jewish in background (if, perhaps, no longer in faith) and who has tried to build his brand identity by peddling in respectability and civility, adopt the term?...

  3. Ken Rogoff: Why Human Chess Survives: "At one time, it seemed that computers would sound the death knell for chess, not to mention all human mind games. Yet for followers of the game, the just-concluded world championship in London, won by the 27-year-old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, was as exciting as any great soccer match...

  4. Heather Caygel: Pelosi Creates Leadership Position for Barbara Lee: "Rep. Barbara Lee will be joining the House Democratic leadership team.... Lee is expected to fill a new position being created by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to oversee the Steering and Policy Committee, the panel that determines committee assignments for Democrats. Pelosi’s decision expands leadership of the panel from two co-chairs to three...

  5. Nathaniel Rakich: What The Heck Is Happening In That North Carolina House Race?: "Affidavits... in which voters said that people came to their doors to collect their unsealed absentee ballots. One voter alleged that her ballot was incomplete at the time and that the collector said 'she would finish it herself'. Another claimed to have received an absentee ballot that she did not request.... Something unusual happened in absentee-by-mail voting in Bladen County.... In six of the district’s eight counties, fewer than 3 percent of total votes were absentee-by-mail ballots. But in Bladen County, that number was 7.3.... Absentee-by-mail ballots tended to be much better for McCready than other ballots—except in Bladen County... [where] absentee-by-mail ballots were more Republican-leaning than the rest of Bladen’s votes by 8 percentage points. But if we look at the whole district, absentee-by-mail ballots were 24 points more Democratic-leaning... #orangehairedbaboons #politics #voterfraud

  6. Berkeley Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging: Inequality in Life and Death: Policy and Prospect: "Featured Speaker:  Peter Orszag.... Speakers:  Yuriy Gorodnichenko... Hilary Hoynes... Ronald Lee... Gabriel Zucman.... Moderator:  Alan Auerbach.... Inequality has become a central focus of policy discussions, but inequality has multiple dimensions and correspondingly many potential policy interventions. This mini-conference will consider inequality from this broad perspective...

  7. Samuel Moyn: The Alt-Right’s Favorite Meme Is 100 Years Old: "What is 'cultural Marxism'? And why does Mr. Lind fantasize about its slaughter? Nothing of the kind actually exists. But it is increasingly popular to indict cultural Marxism’s baleful effects on society—and to dream of its violent extermination... #orangehairedbaboons #neofascim #fascism

  8. Hold on, every day, to the fact that this is not normal: Matthew Yglesias: Trump Wall Street Journal Interview: Transcript Shows Trade Ignorance: "He confuses tariffs and interest rates, and invents phantom new steel plants.... One of Trump’s earliest trade moves was to impose broad new taxes on imported steel and aluminum, which has allowed him to hand out exemptions as political favors.... It’s been bad for American companies that manufacture things made out of metal. Trump’s view, however, is that this policy has been a stunning success that’s made America’s steel industry 'vibrant'.... 'You know, they’re building plants all over the country because I put steel—because I put tariffs, 25 percent tariffs, on dumping steel'... #oranagehairedbaboons #tariffs #globalization

  9. I really wish that they had included something like my full quote—that: "It is Trump's policies that have created a situation in which a Federal Reserve headed by Jay Powell cannot do otherwise than raise interest rates, and so raise the value of the dollar and increase the trade deficit. So what is he complaining about, really?" Philip Rucker et al.: Trump Says He's Not Happy with Chairman of Fed: "Trump says he's not happy with chairman of Fed: 'I'm doing deals, and I'm not being accommodated by the Fed', Trump said. 'They're making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me'... #orangehairedbaboons #macropolicy

  10. Paul Krugman: The Bank of England's Dire Estimates of Brexit: "Another trade discussion where I would like to believe the worst but not convinced: Brexit. The Bank of England just released some very dire scenarios...

  11. Tim Fetter: Research

  12. Tyler Feder: Time for a New Installment of Work-From-Home L👀ks…

  13. Marcy Wheeler: Mueller Just Guaranteed He Can Issue a Public Report: "Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them.... Giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors... while reporting... to Trump ... increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers... full of lies.... That 'detailed sentencing submission'... Mueller mentions?... There’s your Mueller report, which will be provided in a form that Matt Whitaker won’t be able to suppress... #orangehairedbaboons

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