Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (October 4 , 2019)

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Musts of the Musts:

  1. Podcast: Trump's Impact on the Economy https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/09/cottogottfried-_what-happens-to-americas-economy-if-trump-is-reelected-brad-delong-explains_-donald-trump-if-he.html: Cotto/Gottfried: What Happens to America's Economy If Trump Is Reelected? Brad DeLong Explains: "Donald Trump... if he manages to secure a second term, what would four more years of his presidency mean for America's economy? Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Brad DeLong, who now is an economics professor at UC Berkeley, addresses this hugely important question¸—and much more—on 'Cotto/Gottfried.'... See more episodes here: https://wtcgcottogottfried.blogspot.com/. San Francisco Review of Books main page: http://www.sanfranciscoreviewofbooks.com...

  2. Steve M.: We Might Have Impeachment Now Because They Found a Way to Make It Centrist https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2019/09/we-might-have-impeachment-now-because.html: "A couple of days ago I predicted that the Ukraine whistleblower story wouldn't amount to anything, because of Nancy Pelosi's fear of a left-centrist voter backlash against impeachment and because rank-and-file voters aren't likely to understand what the fuss is about. And yet now we're being told that impeachment seems 'almost inevitabl'. What changed? There's no polling evidence I know of.... There's no reason to believe that even a single Republican in Congress will support impeachment or vote to convict in the Senate. (Mitt Romney's words are characteristically mealy-mouthed: "If the President asked or pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme." And I swear I can hear Susan Collins quietly wringing her hands somewhere off in the distance.) Yet impeachment is on the table now. Why? Nancy Pelosi is still the same person she was a week ago, when impeachment was being slow-walked at her insistence. Pelosi still fears Republicans and Reagan Democrat, Obama/Trump voters in Michigan diners. But she's accepting this because now she can sell the pursuit as centrist. It's about global stability and international alliances. If you want to use the term, Trump is being accused of high crimes and misdemeanors in a neoliberal way...

  3. Berkeley Social Science: Authors Meet Critics: The Populist Temptation _ http://matrix.berkeley.edu/event/authors-meet-critics-populist-temptation: "Please join us on October 3, 2019 at 4pm for a book talk featuring: Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics & Political Science, UC Berkeley; Paul Pierson, Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley; Brad DeLong, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley. Barry Eichengreen’s book, _The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era, places the global resurgence of populism in a deep historical context. It argues that populists tend to thrive in the wake of economic downturns, when it is easy to convince the masses of elite malfeasance. While bankers, financiers, and ‘bought’ politicians are partly responsible, populists’ own solutions tend to be simplistic and economically counterproductive. By arguing that ordinary people are at the mercy of extra-national forces beyond their control, populists often degenerate into demagoguery and xenophobia. Eichengreen posits that interventions must begin with shoring up and improving the welfare state so that it is better able to act as a buffer for those who suffer most during economic slumps. In discussing his book, Eichengreen will be engaging two eminent colleagues: Paul Pierson, a renowned specialist in populism, social theory, and political economy, and Brad DeLong, a distinguished economist who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during the Clinton Administration and is currently a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. This talk is presented as part of Social Science Matrix's new "Authors Meet Critics" book series, which features lively discussions about recently published books by social scientists at UC Berkeley...

  4. Kevin Drum: Remember What Ukrainegate Is About https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/09/remember-what-ukrainegate-is-about/: "Ukrainegate is about Donald Trump holding military assistance hostage unless a foreign leader agreed to help him win an election. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, this has never happened before.... Nothing that was said—or yelled or tweeted—over the weekend has changed this...

  5. Duncan Black: Just Like Any Other President https://www.eschatonblog.com/2019/09/just-like-any-other-president.html: "I can imagine the conversations in newsrooms when Trump became president. They aren't all that stupid. "How are we supposed to cover this freak show of a man?" And the answer they came to is "we cover it like we cover any other presidency." But that's not what they've done, even if they think it is. They aren't covering Trump as they would've covered Obama or even George W. Bush. Pretending everything is normal is not normal coverage. Normally "tan suits" are enough to cause a freakout....

  6. And so the cruelty of U.S. immigration policy has now touched me personally. Maria Isabel Bueso is the sister of one of my daughter's friends from high school. It appears to have taken the personal intervention of at least on U.S. senator to get INS to at least reconsider whether it really wants to be pointlessly cruel. And, after watching this story unfold, I can no longer push back against those who claim that, as far as current U.S. immmigration policy is concerned, the cruelty is the point. I had been pushing back, but no more: Farida Jhabvala Romero: Feds to Reconsider Case of Bay Area Woman Getting Lifesaving Treatment Who Faces Deportation https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/09/feds-to-reconsider-case-of-bay-area-woman-getting-lifesaving-treatment-who-faces-deportation-the-california-report-kqed-n.html: "Maria Isabel Bueso has overcome many challenges as a result of the debilitating genetic disease she was born with that eventually left her confined to a wheelchair, breathing through a device and reliant upon weekly treatments to survive. She trained to become a dance teacher and now is an instructor, and she graduated summa cum laude from California State University, East Bay—where she set up a scholarship fund for students with disabilities. She also advocates for people with her disease and other rare illnesses, traveling to Washington, D.C., to lobby for medical research. Now, Bueso is fighting for her life once more. Immigration authorities previously told her and her family to leave the U.S. by mid-September—or face deportation to her home country of Guatemala...


  1. Steve M.: We Might Have Impeachment Now Because They Found a Way to Make It Centrist https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2019/09/we-might-have-impeachment-now-because.html: "A couple of days ago I predicted that the Ukraine whistleblower story wouldn't amount to anything, because of Nancy Pelosi's fear of a left-centrist voter backlash against impeachment and because rank-and-file voters aren't likely to understand what the fuss is about. And yet now we're being told that impeachment seems 'almost inevitabl'. What changed? There's no polling evidence I know of.... There's no reason to believe that even a single Republican in Congress will support impeachment or vote to convict in the Senate. (Mitt Romney's words are characteristically mealy-mouthed: "If the President asked or pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme." And I swear I can hear Susan Collins quietly wringing her hands somewhere off in the distance.) Yet impeachment is on the table now. Why? Nancy Pelosi is still the same person she was a week ago, when impeachment was being slow-walked at her insistence. Pelosi still fears Republicans and Reagan Democrat, Obama/Trump voters in Michigan diners. But she's accepting this because now she can sell the pursuit as centrist. It's about global stability and international alliances. If you want to use the term, Trump is being accused of high crimes and misdemeanors in a neoliberal way...

  2. Berkeley Social Science: Authors Meet Critics: The Populist Temptation _ http://matrix.berkeley.edu/event/authors-meet-critics-populist-temptation: "Please join us on October 3, 2019 at 4pm for a book talk featuring: Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics & Political Science, UC Berkeley; Paul Pierson, Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley; Brad DeLong, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley. Barry Eichengreen’s book, _The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era, places the global resurgence of populism in a deep historical context. It argues that populists tend to thrive in the wake of economic downturns, when it is easy to convince the masses of elite malfeasance. While bankers, financiers, and ‘bought’ politicians are partly responsible, populists’ own solutions tend to be simplistic and economically counterproductive. By arguing that ordinary people are at the mercy of extra-national forces beyond their control, populists often degenerate into demagoguery and xenophobia. Eichengreen posits that interventions must begin with shoring up and improving the welfare state so that it is better able to act as a buffer for those who suffer most during economic slumps. In discussing his book, Eichengreen will be engaging two eminent colleagues: Paul Pierson, a renowned specialist in populism, social theory, and political economy, and Brad DeLong, a distinguished economist who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during the Clinton Administration and is currently a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. This talk is presented as part of Social Science Matrix's new "Authors Meet Critics" book series, which features lively discussions about recently published books by social scientists at UC Berkeley...

  3. Barry Eichengreen: The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era http://books.google.com/?isbn=0190866284: "In the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe... the reaction of voters against the political establishment, nationalist and racialist sentiment directed against foreigners and minorities, and a yearning for forceful, charismatic leadership, this something, whatever we call it, is not new...

  4. Ana Lucia Araujo: No, Confederate Monuments Don't Preserve History. They Manipulate It: "Fort Monroe.... The creation of Jefferson Davis Memorial Park and installation of the controversial archway bearing his name did not occur until the 1950s—not coincidentally when African Americans were fighting for equal legal and civil rights...

  5. Abraham Gutman: When Moving to Opportunity Offers No Opportunity at All: A Lesson from the Great Migration: "Ellora Derenoncourt.... Historically, Northern cities offered much more upward mobility to both white and black children.... But at some point something changed. 'That pattern [of upward mobility] persists for white families', Derenoncourt says, '[but] it’s completely not true for black families anymore'. For black children, growing up in Northern cities like Philadelphia doesn’t offer any more opportunity in terms of upward mobility than growing up in the South...

  6. Shelly Banjo and Sarah Frier: Twitter Helps Beijing Push Agenda Abroad Despite Ban in China: "Twitter employees train Chinese officials to amplify message. Push persists despite recent ban on paid ads from state media...

  7. Kevin Drum: Remember What Ukrainegate Is About https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/09/remember-what-ukrainegate-is-about/: "Ukrainegate is about Donald Trump holding military assistance hostage unless a foreign leader agreed to help him win an election. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, this has never happened before.... Nothing that was said—or yelled or tweeted—over the weekend has changed this...

  8. Notice anybody kissing from this list of Nazi victims?: UK University and College Union: Holocaust Memorial Day https://ucu.org.uk/hmd: "UCU commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) observed annually on 27 January. It does so in memory of the millions who were murdered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur and Rwanda in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today. The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is 'Stand Together'. It explores how genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, and speaking out against oppression.... Trade unions, including social democrats and communists, were the first among many groups who were persecuted by the Nazi following Hitler's rise to power in 1933. Other groups persecuted included: * Europe's Roma and Sinti people * 'asocials' which included beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts, * prostitutes and pacifists * black people * disabled people-those with physical as well as mental illness * freemasons * gay and lesbian people * Jehovah's Witnesses * non-Jewish Poles and Slavic POWs. Please continue to let us know how your branch will be commemorating the day by emailing us at eqadmin@ucu.org.uk. Below we outline a few ideas for planning an event and please do use our resources...

  9. Duncan Black: This Is Excellent News For John McCain https://www.eschatonblog.com/2019/09/this-is-excellent-news-for-john-mccain.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/bRuz+(Eschaton): "It always is: "Executive Director of the McCain Institute Kurt Volker resigned from his position as the U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine Friday, following reports he collaborated with Ukraine and President Donald Trump. An ASU official confirmed Volker's resignation Friday, and said the University could not speak about his future at ASU because the University does not comment on personnel matters...

  10. Duncan Black: Just Like Any Other President https://www.eschatonblog.com/2019/09/just-like-any-other-president.html: "I can imagine the conversations in newsrooms when Trump became president. They aren't all that stupid. "How are we supposed to cover this freak show of a man?" And the answer they came to is "we cover it like we cover any other presidency." But that's not what they've done, even if they think it is. They aren't covering Trump as they would've covered Obama or even George W. Bush. Pretending everything is normal is not normal coverage. Normally "tan suits" are enough to cause a freakout....

  11. Dan Froomkin: _ "The AP_ https://twitter.com/froomkin/status/1178643473387462657?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1178643473387462657&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eschatonblog.com%2F2019%2F09%2Fjust-like-any-other-president.html simply ignores Trump’s civil war threat and his call for Schiff to be tried for treason...

  12. And so the cruelty of U.S. immigration policy has now touched me personally. Maria Isabel Bueso is the sister of one of my daughter's friends from high school. It appears to have taken the personal intervention of at least on U.S. senator to get INS to at least reconsider whether it really wants to be pointlessly cruel. And, after watching this story unfold, I can no longer push back against those who claim that, as far as current U.S. immmigration policy is concerned, the cruelty is the point. I had been pushing back, but no more: Farida Jhabvala Romero: Feds to Reconsider Case of Bay Area Woman Getting Lifesaving Treatment Who Faces Deportation https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/09/feds-to-reconsider-case-of-bay-area-woman-getting-lifesaving-treatment-who-faces-deportation-the-california-report-kqed-n.html: "Maria Isabel Bueso has overcome many challenges as a result of the debilitating genetic disease she was born with that eventually left her confined to a wheelchair, breathing through a device and reliant upon weekly treatments to survive. She trained to become a dance teacher and now is an instructor, and she graduated summa cum laude from California State University, East Bay—where she set up a scholarship fund for students with disabilities. She also advocates for people with her disease and other rare illnesses, traveling to Washington, D.C., to lobby for medical research. Now, Bueso is fighting for her life once more. Immigration authorities previously told her and her family to leave the U.S. by mid-September—or face deportation to her home country of Guatemala...

  13. Ben Thompson: What Is a Tech Company?: "Note the centrality of software in all of these characteristics: (1) Software creates ecosystems. (2) Software has zero marginal costs. (3) Software improves over time. (4) Software offers infinite leverage. (5) Software enables zero transaction costs. The question of whether companies are tech companies, then, depends on how much of their business is governed by software’s unique characteristics, and how much is limited by real world factors. Consider Netflix, a company that both competes with traditional television and movie companies yet is also considered a tech company: (1) There is no real software-created ecosystem. (2) Netflix shows are delivered at zero marginal costs without the need to pay distributors (although bandwidth bills are significant). (3) Netflix’s product improves over time. (4) Netflix is able to serve the entire world because of software, giving them far more leverage than much of their competition. (5) Netflix can transact with anyone with a self-serve model. Netflix checks four of the five boxes. Airbnb, which has yet to go public, is also often thought of as a tech company, even though they deal with lodging.... Uber, meanwhile, has long been mentioned in the same breath as Airbnb, and for good reason: it checks most of the same boxes.... WeWork... is hard to see how... is a tech company in any way.... Peloton is also iffy as far these five factors go, but then again, so is Apple: software-differentiated hardware is in many respects its own category...

  14. I do not see this as a "silver lining" at all. To say that there are now trends for factories to locate close to demand is not an alternative source of regional comparative advantage and disadvantage but rather an amplifier of other sources. Ultimately, customers are located in regions that have regional exports. A region that does not have large regional exports—and the prospect of growing more—will not be attractive to firms making long-run decisions and attempting to locate where their customers will be. It is likely to be a very uphill climb: Rana Foroohar: The Silver Lining for Labour Markets | Financial Times: "The McKinsey Global Institute found that globalisation was actually bottom of the list of the top five reasons that labour’s share of national income has declined since the turn of the 21st century.... The biggest reason... supercycles in areas such as commodities and real estate have made those sectors, which favour capital over labour, a larger part of the overall economy.... Reason number two—a rise in the importance of intangible assets... Automation and the speeding up of capital substitution because of technological shifts have hurt traditional industrial areas disproportionately.... But in the future it will also radically favour a few regions... a mere 25 cities and regions could account for 60 per cent of US job growth by 2030.... Tech hubs will benefit, of course, as will commodity-rich areas and tourism centres catering to the wealthy. But so will... regions... capitalis[ing] on a silver lining.... When labour makes up less of the overall cost of producing goods and services, then offshoring jobs starts to make less sense. What does make sense is being closer to customer demand.... Companies such as Nike and Adidas have built highly automated 'speed-factories' in the US, Mexico and Germany to roll out the latest styles faster and more cheaply.... The solution: shift policy to support human capital investment.... If we continue to subsidise software without supporting people, the future looks grim.

  15. I do not understand this alternative. Tapping into global markets is great—if you have something to sell. But if low-wage labor is no longer a powerful source of potential comparative advantage, what then do poor countries have to sell that could jump-start development? There is labor, there is capital, there is expertise, there is your natural resource base. Poor counties are poor because they lack capital and expertise. And as for natural resources—well, "resource curse" is a phrase often heard for good reasons: Michael Spence: The “Digital Revolution” of Wellbeing: "In the early stages of development... labor-intensive process-oriented manufacturing and assembly has played an indispensable role.... Advances in robotics and automation are now eroding the developing world’s traditional source of comparative advantage.... E-commerce platforms... the real prize is the global marketplace. Only if digital platforms could be extended to tap into global demand would they suggest an alternative growth model (provided that tariffs and regulatory barriers do not get in the way)...

  16. Sparking a slave revolt as a way of undermining an opposing polis in classical Greece. Here the Spartans do it to the Athenians. Later on the Thebans would do it to the Spartans in spades. Hard to maintain that classical Athens, at least did not heavily rely on slavery: Thucydides: Harming the Athenians https://sententiaeantiquae.com/2019/09/18/harming-the-athenians/: "Decelea was first invested by the whole enemy army in that summer and later was held by the garrisons coming from different cities coming in turn to ravage the land, it was causing great harm to the Athenians. Indeed, this undermined Athenian affairs first by loss of property and then by the death of men. Previous attacks were brief and did not keep the Athenians from deriving benefit from their land the rest of the time. But once they were continually invested in Attica and they were sometimes attacking in force and at other times using a single garrison attacking the country and pillaging to supply itself. The Spartan king Agis was also present and he was no slacker in prosecuting the war. The Athenians were greatly harmed; they were deprived of their whole land. More than twenty thousand slaves freed themselves and a great number of these were craftspeople. All of the sheep and pack animals perished. And the Athenian horses, because the cavalry was deploying every day to attack Decelea and guard the land, either went lame because of working on rocky ground or they were wounded...

  17. As I have said, I have swung around to the point of view that the New York Times's bending over backwards to soft-pedal Trumps cruelty, lunacy, and mendacity is because the Sulzburgers like their tax cut. As one person said to me last week: "you have no idea how many rich old- and middle-aged men have said to me: 'Don't tell my wife, but I'm voting for Trump again'": XLProfessor: "It's really bad that @nytimes still hasn't changed their characterization of Trump's 9/11 story from "exaggerated," to "false," considering how many people have pointed out their error. They need to make a point of getting this right before the election...

  18. Charles Johnson: "[Trumpists] owning the libs by laughing about how openly corrupt they are https://t.co/XY3iZglKV5: Mark Knoller: 'Beginning speech to Concerned Women of America, Secretary Pompeo "this is such a beautiful hotel. The guy who owns it must gonna be successful along the way," he says, without mentioning [Trump] by name. "That was for the Washington Post," he says of his remark...

  19. Maciej Ceglowski: Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People: "I was delighted some years later to come across an essay by Scott Alexander about what he calls epistemic learned helplessness. Epistemology is one of those big words, but all it means is 'how do you know what you know is true?'. Alexander noticed that when he was a young man, he would be taken in by 'alternative' histories he read by various crackpots. He would read the history and be utterly convinced, then read the rebuttal and be convinced by that, and so on. At some point he noticed was these alternative histories were mutually contradictory, so they could not possibly all be true. And from that he reasoned that he was simply somebody who could not trust his judgement. He was too easily persuaded. People who believe in superintelligence present an interesting case, because many of them are freakishly smart. They can argue you into the ground. But are their arguments right, or is there just something about very smart minds that leaves them vulnerable to religious conversion about AI risk, and makes them particularly persuasive? Is the idea of 'superintelligence' just a memetic hazard?...

  20. This puzzles me: at least semi-stable schedules are relatively easy to provide for employers, and are worth a lot to workers. I do kinda wonder if these trends are the result of now two decades of slack labor markets in which workers are and employers want to remind workers that they ought to be grateful for any jobs at all: Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett: For Job Quality, Time Is More than Money: "What we found is striking: Working in the service sector doesn’t only mean low pay and few fringe benefits, it also means turning over the reins to your employer when it comes to when and how much you will work. This so-called 'just-in-time' scheduling approach has consequences for millions of American workers. People with unstable work schedules are markedly less happy. They sleep less well and are more likely to report feeling distressed. This pattern plays out consistently whether we look at short notice, last-minute changes or routine ups and downs in work hours. For instance, employees who worked “on-call” shifts were less likely by half to report good sleep quality than their co-workers who didn’t work on-call...

  21. Michael V. White: Retrospectives: Who Said "Debauch the Currency": Keynes or Lenin?: "One frequently quoted passage from the work of John Maynard Keynes is that 'the best way to destroy the capitalist system [is] to debauch the cur'r cy." The passage, attributed to Vladimir Illyich Lenin, appears in Keynes' book The Economic Consequences of the Peace, which became an international bestseller when it was published in 1919. Economic historian Frank W. Fetter and others have expressed doubt that Keynes was really quoting Lenin because they found no such statement in Lenin's collected published writings. Fetter suggested that Keynes based his remark on stories about what the Soviets were supposed to be saying that he heard at the Paris peace conference of 1919. It is now possible to show that Keynes based his remark on a report of an interview with Lenin published by London and New York newspapers in April 1919. Keynes' discussion of inflation in the Economic Consequences can then be read as an extended commentary on the remarks attributed to Lenin in the interview. While the report of the interview was not reprinted after 1919, it will be also shown here that Lenin responded to Keynes in a speech that was reprinted in his Collected Works...

  22. I wish to once again that there is something very wrong with the New YorK Times's news judgment, and has been since at least... do we date it Judy Miller or to the start to Whitewater, or earlier?. This is a problem: Scott Lemieux: Say What You Will About Both Sides Do It, It's an Ethos http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/09/say-what-you-will-about-both-sides-do-it-its-an-ethos: "On May 1, the New York Times published a story that contained the most important facets of the Ukraine story. The Times reported that President Trump, through his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was pressing Ukraine’s government to investigate Joe Biden. And yet, having uncovered a massive scandal, the Times buried its own scoop. The revelation, which many people now see an an impeachable offense, was buried in the middle of a story that was primarily devoted to carrying Trump’s water. Headlined 'Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies', the story spun out a version of the narrative Giuliani has been trying to implant in the media... [that] Joe Biden took untoward action to help his son Hunter’s business in Ukraine by demanding the firing of a prosecutor who was investigating him. The news about Trump’s role arrived only after nine paragraphs of insinuations against Biden. And then, after a brief detour that casually reveals that the Biden story is the product of an extraordinary abuse of power by the president, it returns to a long unspooling of the Biden-Ukraine narrative. Even at the the time, and especially in retrospect, it was an example of extremely bizarre journalistic judgment.... Were does the Hunter Biden story come from? Why, none other that Peter 'Clinton Cash' Schweizer. No matter how many times they come up empty these people will never stop chasing Steve Bannon’s snipe hunts...

  23. Chad P. Bown: "Trump administration officials decided the best way to deal with recession risk which they of course aren’t personally worried about, was through a show of force on TV: Catherine Rampell: Move Over, Illuminati. The Conspiracy Against Trump’s Economy Is Massive: "Trump, aided by his economic brain trust of cranks and sycophants, believes any indicator showing the U.S. economy could be in trouble must be fabricated. It’s all part of an anti-Trump conspiracy, he rants, according to reports in The Post, the Associated Press and the New York Times. And move over, Illuminati, because this particular conspiracy is massive. It’s led by the Federal Reserve, Democrats and the media, of course, or so say Trump and his Fox News minions. But it also includes the entire U.S. bond market, which flashed a warning sign last week when the Treasury yield curve inverted (meaning long-term bonds had lower interest rates than short-term ones, which usually predates a downturn). Also colluding are the many farmers, retailers, manufacturers and economists who have been warning for more than a year that the burden of Trump’s tariffs is mainly borne by Americans, not China or other trading partners, and also that uncertainty over trade tensions can paralyze hiring, investment and purchasing decisions, which we need to keep the economy expanding.... The White House has reportedly declined to develop contingency plans for a downturn because it doesn’t want to validate this 'negative narrative'. This is, in a word, idiotic. As others have analogized, it’s like refusing to buy a fire extinguisher because you’re afraid of feeding a “negative narrative” that you might someday face a fire. Administration officials decided the best way to deal with recession risk, which they of course aren’t personally worried about, was through a show of force on TV.... Peter Navarro’s strategy was to deny that the data show Americans are paying higher prices on tariffed goods (though we are) and also that the yield curve had recently inverted (though it did).... Larry Kudlow... bizarrely pretended other troubling economic data (in this case, on consumer sentiment) didn’t exist.... It’s hard to imagine nervous Americans are really this credulous. Then again, perhaps we were never the intended audience for such performances. Sure, maybe White House aides are trying to fool the public into believing recession warning signs don’t exist. But maybe they’re actually just trying to fool their boss...

  24. We still do not really know why the factor-terms distribution of income has shifted against labor so much in the past generation: Mark Thoma sends us to: Tim Taylor: Why Did the US Labor Share of Income Fall So Quickly?: "The McKinsey Global Institute... James Manyika, Jan Mischke, Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Woetzel, Mekala Krishnan, and Samuel Cudre (May 2019)..... From 1947-2000, the labor share of income fell from 65.4% to 62.3%. There already seemed to be a pattern of decline in the 1980s and 1990s in particular, which was then reversed for a short time at the tail end of the dot-com boom. But since 2000, the labor share has sunk to 56.7% in 2016.... 'We find that that the main drivers for the decline in the labor share of income since 1999 are as follows, starting with the most important: supercycles and boom-bust (33 percent), rising depreciation and shift to IPP capital (26 percent), superstar effects and consolidation (18 percent), capital substitution and technology (12 percent), and globalization and labor bargaining power (11 percent).... One possible interpretation is that sharp drop in labor income from 1999-2016 was a little deceptive, because in part it was based on cyclical factors, but a number of the factors underlying a longer-term decline in labor share continue to operate...

  25. Doug Jones: The World at 1000 BCE https://logarithmichistory.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/the-world-at-1000-bce-5/: "The world population is about 50 million. The Bantu expansion is just beginning, from a homeland on the present Nigeria/Cameroon border. It will eventually cover most of Africa south of the equator.... Seafarers with roots in the Lapita culture have already reached Western Polynesian.... The Olmec are flourishing in Meso-America.... In China, the Mandate of Heaven has passed from the Shang Dynasty to the Zhou. In the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean, the Late Bronze Age collapse has opened up space for smaller states. Tyre and other Phoenician city-states are sailing the Mediterranean. Phoenicians are using an alphabet that Greeks will eventually adapt.... Further south, Philistines and Israelites have been duking it out, with Israelites gaining the upper hand under David* (king from 1010 to 970 BCE). The Iron Age conventionally begins now.... On the steppe, horses have long been domesticated, but people are now learning to make effective use of cavalry–fighting in formation and firing volleys from horseback. This is the beginning of 2500 years in which the division between Steppe and Sown will be central to Eurasian history...



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