Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 19, 2018)

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  1. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life II: "'What to Do About Iraq' by Robert Kagan and William Kristol, 2002... 'If too many months go by without a decision to move against Saddam, the risks to the United States may increase exponentially.... We know... that Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of September 11, went out of his way to meet with an Iraqi intelligence official a few months before he flew a plane into the World Trade Center.... There is no debate about the facts'... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  2. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life III: "'Case Closed' by Stephen F. Hayes, 2004... Hayes spent years trying to prove that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were collaborators. 'Case Closed' is a perfect example of his work, in that Hayes successfully demonstrates two things: (1) Iraq had fewer ties to al Qaeda than any other Gulf state, and (2) he is the world’s most gullible human being. Here Hayes faithfully scribbled down the pensées of Douglas J. Feith, then Undersecretary of Defense, and known at the Pentagon as 'the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth'... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  3. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life IV: "'The Bumpy Road to Democracy in Iraq” by Fred Barnes, 2004. 'Operation Iraqi Freedom has gained impressive momentum', Barnes told us when he ventured to Baghdad a year after the Iraq War began. But like so many of history’s pith-helmeted white people, Barnes was concerned by the recalcitrance of the dusky natives. Iraqis, wrote Barnes, 'need an attitude adjustment.... Iraqis are difficult to deal with. They’re sullen and suspicious and conspiracy-minded.... Papers obsess on the subject of brutal treatment of innocent Iraqis by American soldiers.' But Barnes knew Iraqis were being treated well by U.S. troops, because the troops were super-nice to him. Barnes concluded by saying that he wanted to see Iraqis demonstrate 'an outbreak of gratitude for the greatest act of benevolence one country has ever done for another'... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  4. Paul Krugman (January 26, 2010): Obama Liquidates Himself: "A spending freeze? That’s the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback? It’s appalling on every level... bad economics, depressing demand when the economy is still suffering from mass unemployment... bad long-run fiscal policy... a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working for. Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world-view.... This looks like pure disaster... and

  5. Suresh Naidu: Imperfect Labor Markets Are a Hot Topic: "We are a long way from "concentration affects wages" and onto the much more precise "outside options affect wages" and it is awesome. Sydnee [Caldwell]... looks at variation in outside options given by hiring at firms that employ your ex-coworkers...

  6. Here at Equitable Growth, our Kate Bahn responds to Redwood Girl in Chico's puzzlement about why she is not seeing opportunity in the low-unemployment economy: @RedwoodGirl: On Twitter: "Does the U6 number also include self-employed folks like myself who need more work to afford to live?..." @LipstickEcon: "It does not, since it only includes unemployed workers plus workers who aren't looking for a job but say they would take one if offered plus workers who are part-time wage and salary workers but would rather be full-time. Under-employed self-employed workers aren't counted here. This is part of why economists like Blanchflower and Bell think U.S. statistics do not capture under-employment accurately, since it doesn't include people who wish they worked more (or fewer) hours but can't find a job that is the right fit of hours https://www.nber.org/papers/w24927...

  7. Lawrence Mishel: Further Evidence That the Tax Cuts Have Not Led to Widespread Bonuses, Wage or Compensation Growth: "Following the bill’s passage, a number of corporations made conveniently-timed announcements that their workers would be getting raises or bonuses.... Newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data allow us to examine nonproduction bonuses in the first two quarters of 2018...

  8. Sarah Jane Glynn: Gender wage inequality: "Across countries, women’s labor force participation rates and per capita income have a U-shaped relationship...

  9. Rich Clarida: Data Dependence and U.S. Monetary Policy: "As the economy has moved to a neighborhood consistent with the Fed's dual-mandate objectives, risks have become more symmetric and less skewed to the downside than when the current rate cycle began three years ago. Raising rates too quickly could unnecessarily shorten the economic expansion, while moving too slowly could result in rising inflation and inflation expectations down the road that could be costly to reverse, as well as potentially pose financial stability risks. Although the real federal funds rate today is just below the range of longer-run estimates presented in the September SEP, it is much closer to the vicinity of r-star than it was when the FOMC started to remove accommodation in December 2015. How close is a matter of judgment, and there is a range of views on the FOMC...

  10. Sue and Tim worry that the organizational disaggregation produced by this Age of supply chains is harming the development of our communities of engineering practice. Annalee Saxenian's Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 is now 20 years old, and yet somehow I do not think we know as much about this as we should: Susan Helper and Timothy Krueger (2016): Supply Chains and Equitable Growth: "Deregulation, market failures, and corporate policies have led to the rise of supply chains comprised of small, weak firms that innovate less and pay less. These problems in supply chains threaten U.S. competitiveness by undermining innovation, and also contribute to the erosion of U.S. workers’ standard of living. A different kind of outsourcing is possible...

  11. Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Jeffrey J. Schott: Under the Hood, the USMCA Is a Downgrade for North America: "Trump... called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) the worst trade deal ever made. Trade negotiators have branded its intended replacement... a 'modernized' improvement.The upgrades draw heavily from the Trump-abandoned Trans-Pacific Partnership.... The deal also includes costly new regulations and requirements that discourage investment, especially in the auto sector... higher prices for cars at a time when auto sales are flagging. Ford and GM are already laying off workers.... The USMCA limits trade more than promoting it...

  12. Paul Krugman: How Democrats Can Deliver on Health Care: "What did the campaigns that led to a blue wave talk about? Above all, health care, which featured in more than half of Democrats’ ads. Which raises the question: Now that Democrats have had their big House victory and a lot of success in state-level races, can they do anything to deliver on their key campaign issue?Yes, they can...

  13. Dan W.: "Alan Dershowitz is trying to figure out why Netflix keeps recommending Woody Allen movies for him after it started reading his private messages...

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