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November 2020

12.2.1-6. Lectures: Neoliberalism's Bankruptcy :: Econ 115 F 2020

12.2.1. East Asia’s Miracles 22.00 min
12.2.2. China Stands Up 9.00 min
12.2.3. How Do We Think About the State’s Role Here? 10.75 min
12.2.4. The Business Cycle Background 10.75 min
12.2.5. The Coming of the Near-Second Great Depression: 2001–2009 21.75 min
12.2.6. Where Did the Regulators & Macroeconomic Managers Go? 9.75 min

1:32.00 of audio…



12.2.7. Zoom Lecture & Q&A

12.2.0. Neoliberalism’t Bankruptcy 8.00 min

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Briefly Noted for 2020-11-28

Mark Price: Adam Looney. Phd from Harvard. Undergrad at Dartmouth Oh boy, can you smell trouble. If you can’t you may want to get tested for COVID-19. He served among other places in Obama’s Treasury. He has an op-ed from a little over a week ago which I’m not going to share again where he argues against the Warren-Schumer proposal to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt…. The point of the Schumer-Warren proposal is Biden can act without the Senate. We all want and need effort to help people cushion the crippling blow of COVID-19 but we have to wait for the Senate. Elevating food stamps as a superior form of stimulus is dishonest at best and deeply hypocritical for a man whose income is facilitated by a Koch-funded enterprise.... Another economist tweeted out the Looney Op-ed invoking their having worked with him in the Obama Administration.... The world is full of really wonderful people who went to Dartmouth and Harvard and work very hard to make sure that millions of poor and middle income children don’t get the same opportunities in life as their own children. That’s a hard lesson for people to learn and it’s an illustration of the way elite networks reinforce and reproduce inequality…

Duncan Black: ell Paid Bullshit Artists ‘A standard trick in DC policy circles is to derail any policy by focusing on a "better" policy, which lets you imply the policy's advocates are stupid and/or cruel. One reason to focus on something like debt reduction is that it is something Biden has the power to do, unlike most everything else. This isn't the only reason. It's good on the merits, too, for a variety of reasons, but unless you have a plan to get Mitch McConnell to pass your fantasy plan, then you are just trolling…\

Andy Matuschak & Michael Nielsen: Quantum Country

Jean-Louis Gassée: PC Life After Apple Silicon ‘Apple Silicon, in its first incarnation as the M1 System-on-a Chip, combined with a new macOS version, is about to expand Apple’s share of the PC market — at Intel’s expense…

Paul Musgrave: McDonalds Peace Theory Epitomized America's 1990s Hubris ‘In the rich, lazy, and happy 1990s, Americans imagined a world that could be just like them…

Scott Cunningham: Causal Inference: The Mixtape

Charles P. Pierce: George H.W. Bush Dead at 94-41st President Failed to Confront the Republican Party's Rising Madness...

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Briefly Noted for 2020-11-26

Sully Prudhomme: Le Vase Brisé (The Broken Vase)

Jay Rosen: The GOP's verified account sent this out. That he won in a landslide. Here, I think, the party made official its break with American democracy. Not saying it wasn't apparent before. It was. Just more official now. As ridiculous as Sydney Powell is, this is a sobering moment.

Kevin Liptak & Devan Cole: Chris Christie Calls Trump's Legal Team a 'National Embarrassment' ‘Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Trump has failed to provide any evidence of fraud, that his legal team was in shambles and that it's time to put the country first. "If you have got the evidence of fraud, present it," Christie said.... He decried efforts by the President's lawyers to smear Republican governors who have not gone along with the President's false claims of voter malfeasance. "Quite frankly, the conduct of the President's legal team has been a national embarrassment," he said, singling out Trump attorney Sidney Powell's accusations against Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp…

Lex: Workers vs Robots: A New Kind of Onshoring ‘Oil rigs have been on the automation march for most of the past decade. Remote control rooms can manage everything from drilling to procurement. The safety advantage of having fewer bodies on rigs is obvious in a pandemic. Benefits to the bottom line are just as clear. Equinor, as Statoil is now known, says the move added more than NKr2bn ($212m) to earnings within a year of its Johan Sverdrup rig going digital. The biggest savings come from shrunken payrolls. In the developed world, robots are set to replace humans in a range of physically tough, repetitive jobs, from order picking in warehouses to lifting the old and infirm…

Josh Marshall: Folks, Let’s Get It the F--- Together ‘I really don’t know what the two years holds. But I’m certain of one thing. It is and will be immeasurably better than Donald Trump having been reelected to a second term in office. No question. You did that. You owe it to yourself to get pumped and rejoice in that. It’s something to savor. It will help sustain you through endless civic work to come…

Jodi Enda: Trump’s Unexpected Power Helps Republicans Win Even If He Doesn’t ‘When Trump’s name is on the top of the ballot, Republicans down the line do better. It feels strange to write that sentence since Trump himself might lose the presidency in this nail-biter of an election. But it remains true that both times he topped the ticket, Republicans down the ballot out-performed expectations…

Wikipedia: Leo Strauss Strauss had also been engaged in a discourse with Carl Schmitt. However, after Strauss left Germany, he broke off the discourse when Schmitt failed to respond to his letters…. In 1932, Strauss left his position at the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in Berlin for Paris… married Marie (Miriam) Bernsohn, a widow with a young child…. Strauss became a lifelong friend of Alexandre Kojève and was on friendly terms with Raymond Aron, Alexandre Koyré, and Étienne Gilson…. Strauss found shelter, after some vicissitudes, in England, where, in 1935 he gained temporary employment at University of Cambridge, with the help of his in-law, David Daube, who was affiliated with Gonville and Caius College. While in England, he became a close friend of R. H. Tawney…. Unable to find permanent employment in England, Strauss moved in 1937 to the United States, under the patronage of Harold Laski, who made introductions and helped him obtain a brief lectureship…. Strauss secured a position at The New School, where, between 1938 and 1948, he worked the political science faculty and also took on adjunct jobs…. In 1949 he became a professor of political science at the University of Chicago…

Om Malik: Why Are We Underestimating Zoom & It’s Impact? ‘The prevalence of Zoom has shown us that working from a home office can be better than sitting in traffic for two hours. Even if, at this point, we find ourselves despising Zoom and complaining of persistent Zoom fatigue, we will not be going back to our pre-Zoom ways after the pandemic subsides. Whether Zoom remains the standard or gets overtaken by some upstart, Bill Gates predicts “that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away”…

Rated: 5: Scott Peterson: ROX Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2019

Alison Roman: Dan Roman's Buttery Roasted Chestnuts in Foil

Christy Denney: Classic Stuffing Recipe

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Boehlert: A Crack in the Noise Machine: How Murdoch Derailed Trump—Noted

The thoughtful and insightful Eric Boehlert misses the major moment at which Rupert Murdoch put his press empire at the service of Joe Biden and America in ending the insane clown show that his been the presidential reign of Donald Trump. On the evening of election day, at 23:20 EST, Arnon Mishkin on the Fox News decision desk called Arizona and its 11 electoral votes for Joe Biden. Without Arizona, Trump would need not just Georgia (which Biden won by 0.2%) and Wisconsin (which Biden won by 0.7%) but also at least one of Pennsylvania (which Biden won by 1.2%) or Michigan (which Biden won by 2.8%). Calling Arizona for Biden put out of reach an election close enough that it could be decided for Trump by complaisant judges and a little more voter suppression. Yet Biden won Arizona, in the end, by only 0.3%.

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Briefly Noted for 2020-11-25

Bibliotheca Augustana: Tapetum Bagianum ‘c. 1080…

Bret Devereaux: Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part I: Farmers!

Bret Devereaux: Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part I, Mining

Wikipedia: Pioneer Hi Bred International

Wikipedia: DeKalb Genetics Corporation

Steven Rattner: God Help Us if Judy Shelton Joins the Fed ‘Trump’s latest unqualified nominee to the Federal Reserve Board must be rejected...

Jeremiah: 22 KJV ‘Thus saith the LORD: "Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself", saith the LORD, "that this house shall become a desolation." For thus saith the LORD unto the king's house of Judah: "Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, 'Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city?' Then they shall answer, 'Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them'"…

Duncan Black: Failed 4th Estate ‘I think the very Trump-specific sin of the media (as opposed to their normal sinning) was confusing an understandable decision to "treat this lunatic freakazoid as we would normally treat a president" with "go out of our way to portray this lunatic freakazoid as normal." I get it. It was difficult to do the first part without doing the second part. If the scandal-o-meter goes up to 7 on a tan suit, then anything resembling normal practices can't cope when Trump makes it hit 11 by 7am most days. And, who knows, maybe they didn't even do him any favors. Maybe The People love their lunatic freakazoid president. But the first draft of history has hardly been an accurate one…

Utah HERO Project: Covid-Research State Chart

Joan Robinson (1962): Economic Philosophy

Bret Devereaux: Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part I, Mining

Oliver Wyman: Model Projections for COVID-19 Cases

On 2017-12-17, Michael Boskin claimed the TMR tax cut would generate a big boom in equipment investment. Perhaps a full percentage point or so. None of the model-builders agreed with him. And he was wrong: there was none such in 2018 or 2019; spending did not wheel from consumption to investment; “unlocked” foreign earnings were paid out in dividends, not invested in equipment. He has never explained or analyzed why he was wrong. Or why he was confident in the first place: Michael Boskin (29017): Another Look at Tax Reform and Economic Growth__

100+ Economists (2017): Pass tax reform and watch the economy roar

Stan Sakai: Usagi Yojimbo ‘First published in 1984, [it] continues to this day. Usagi Yojimbo is one of the longest independent serialized comic book series in existence. Stan Sakai, the sole creator, author, and artist who is best known for his series Usagi Yojimbo, the epic saga of Miyamoto Usagi, a samurai rabbit living in late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth-century Japan.  Since then, Stan Sakai has received numerous awards for Usagi Yojimbo including the  National Cartoonists Society Award, multiple Eisner Awards, the Parents' Choice Award, and Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist…

An unprofessional beat sweetener about a Trumpism lobbyist who could neither plan nor execute a successful trade war: Jim Zarroli (2019): China Trade Talks: USTR Robert Lighthizer Is Trump's Hardball-Playing Negotiator

John Gruber: One More Thing: The M1 Macs ‘The M1. The new M1-based MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini are... three different manifestations of the same computer... far faster machines than the Intel-based Macs they’re replacing. But the big win, and clear focus from Apple, isn’t speed but battery life.... This is the sellable bullet point for the mass market consumer.... The M1 really is an entire system on a chip. Everything is on the M1. The various processors, of course: the CPU cores, the GPU cores, the Neural Engine cores. But everything else is on the M1 too: the storage controller, the Secure Enclave, the memory controller, and, yes, the memory itself. The DRAM for M1-based Macs is on the package (“on the substrate”, I believe, is the technical lingo).... There’s no separate “video memory” and “system memory”—just memory.... Apple’s chip team is really proud of this UMA system and the integrated GPU on the M1. It’s a design that increases performance and power efficiency.... For over a decade, iPhones and iPads have had Apple-designed chips the competition could not and still cannot match. Now the Mac does too…

Sara Gibbs: Everything I Never Wanted to Have to Know About Labour & Antisemitismm ‘I want the last four years of my life back.... If you’re new to this and listening, thank you. I know a lot of my fellow activists will be annoyed that I’m taking this tone but at this point I am so exhausted from four years of begging people to listen on this subject that I am grateful for any new allies and support. If you are listening, you’re already doing more than most. One of the most devastating aspects of Labour’s antisemitism crisis has been seeing the sheer volume of people I like, respect, even consider friends, denying or minimising this issue which has caused me so much personal devastation…

A huge amount—an absolutely huge amount—was lost when Harry Dexter White overrode John Maynard Keynes at Bretton Woods and placed responsibility for closing "fundamental disequilibria" on deficit countries alone. This policy mistake still haunts us. And odds are that it is about to haunt us again. Jeremy Bulow and Company sound the alarm: Jeremy Bulow & al.: The Debt Pandemic ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly lengthened the list of developing and emerging market economies in debt distress. For some, a crisis is imminent. For many more, only exceptionally low global interest rates may be delaying a reckoning.... Yet new challenges may hamper debt workouts unless governments and multilateral lenders provide better tools to navigate a wave of restructuring…

*Neil Fligstein & Steve Vogel *: Political Economy After Neoliberalism ‘First, then, governments and markets are co-constituted. Government regulation is not an intrusion into the market but rather a prerequisite for a functioning market economy.... Second, real-world political economy hinges on power, both political and market power. Specific forms of market governance—of the kinds we just sketched—do not arise naturally or innocently. They are the product of power struggles between firms, industries, workers, and governments within particular markets and in the political arena.... Third, there is more than one way to organize society to achieve economic growth, equity, and access to valued goods and services. The balance of power between government, workers, and firms differs greatly across countries and time…

Rachel Reeves: Best for Britain ‘The PM said… a trade deal would be secured by the end of July. Well… we don’t have a trade deal. All we have is a blueprint for a giant lorry park in the middle of Kent…

Alan S. Blinder & Mark W. Watson (2016): Presidents & the US Economy: An Econometric Exploration ‘The US economy has performed better when the president of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican, almost regard- less of how one measures performance. For many measures, includ- ing real GDP growth (our focus), the performance gap is large and significant. This paper asks why. The answer is not found in technical time series matters nor in systematically more expansionary mone- tary or fiscal policy under Democrats. Rather, it appears that the Democratic edge stems mainly from more benign oil shocks, supe- rior total factor productivity (TFP) performance, a more favorable international environment, and perhaps more optimistic consumer expectations about the near-term future…

Wikipedia_: Cocoliztli Epidemics ‘A mysterious illness characterized by high fevers and bleeding. It ravaged the Mexican highlands in epidemic proportions... often referred to as the worst disease epidemic in the history of Mexico.... Recent bacterial genomic studies have suggested that.. a serotype of Salmonella enterica known as Paratyphi C, was at least partially responsible for this initial outbreak.[3] It might have also been an indigenous viral hemorrhagic fever

Paul Krugman: Why Did Trump’s Trade War Fail? ‘There used to be an extensive literature on “effective protection”.... Tariffs on imported inputs provided negative effective protection to downstream activities. And that’s what seems to have happened with the Trump trade war. Tariffs were largely focused on intermediate rather than final goods. The net effect, then, may actually have been to discourage manufacturing!…


Plus: Kevin Drum: Why Are Republicans Being Such Assholes?s ‘Bonus unemployment payments... expire today.... The main reason for extending them is because there are millions of Americans who are out of work and they desperately need the money.... [Plus] if the payments are cut off it will devastate an already ravaged economy.... So why are Republicans hemming and hawing?... From a purely selfish perspective, Republicans ought to be in favor of doing anything they can to keep the economy in decent shape through the election.... The whole thing is a disgrace.... Why are Republicans acting so contemptibly?…

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson & Mark Vandevelde: Stephen Schwarzman Defended Donald Trump at CEO Meeting on Election Results ‘Mr Schwarzman, a Republican donor who has been one of Mr Trump’s most energetic supporters on Wall Street, sought to assuage such fears, saying the president was within his rights to challenge election results and forecasting that the legal process would take its course. He asked whether other participants did not find it surprising that early votes in Pennsylvania had favoured Mr Trump, only for later counts to tip the state in Mr Biden’s favour. Mr Schwarzman said there had been news reports stating that ballots continued arriving days after the election and that some of them may not have been real—issues, he said, that needed to be resolved by the courts, as the president’s legal team has argued…

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Briefly Noted for 2020-11-24

Jonathan Bernstein (2020-11-19): Senate Republicans, Stop Trump’s Vote Antics Now ‘It’s no longer enough just to acknowledge the obvious fact that Biden won…

Jonathan Bernstein (2020-11-10): Donald Trump’s Antics Show Contempt for His Own Voters ‘The president’s election challenges have no realistic chance of succeeding. The goal now is to keep the donations flowing…

Jonathan Bernstein (2020-11-18): Why Are Republicans Embracing Judy Shelton for the Fed Now? ‘After months of blocking her nomination to the Fed, suddenly the Senate majority has had a change of heart…

Jonathan Bernstein (2020-11-17): Joe Biden Has One Urgent Task Right Now ‘The president-elect can do something Donald Trump never has: offer a coherent message on Covid-19…

Jonathan Schifman: The Entire History of Steel ‘From hunks of iron streaking through the sky, to the construction of skyscrapers and megastructures, this is the history of the world's greatest alloy…

Wikipedia: David Malpass

Wikipedia: Kenneth Elzinga

Wikipedia: Ferrous Metallurgy | History of the Steel Industry (1850–1970) | History of the Steel Industry (1970–Present)

Steve Randy Waldman: Social democracy or feudalism ‘if we should recognize an echo of empire in contemporary trade imbalances, should we not also recognize an echo of feudalism in contemporary class dynamics? The class wars embedded in trade wars of the past generation have provoked growing chasms of inequality (within societies inscribed by nation-state borders), along with (oh Gatsby curve) declining mobility and dynamism between classes…

Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales ‘Now preye I to hem alle that herkne this litel tretis or rede, that if ther be any thing in it that lyketh hem, that ther-of they thanken oure lord Iesu Crist, of whom procedeth al wit and al goodnesse. And if ther be any thing that displese hem, I preye hem also that they arrette it to the defaute of myn unconninge, and nat to my wil, that wolde ful fayn have seyd bettre if I hadde had conninge. For oure boke seith, 'al that is writen is writen for oure doctrine'; and that is myn entente…

Scott Lemieux: COVID's Been Everywhere, Man ‘Remember when Bret Stephens assured us that it was unpossible for COVID to spread beyond the densest urban areas? Obviously, he started with the premise that doing anything to stop the pandemic was bad…. Pro-Trump Republicans are no more likely to update their priors despite them being massively wrong all along…. Bret Stephens is, at least in a strictly formal sense, a professional writer…

Steve M.: Is This Futile? ‘47% of the country will have an even darker view of Democrats and cities and black voters and "the Deep State." Then we'll be even more divided and the right will be even angrier and more paranoid…. But these cynics don't care that they're encouraging a state of permanent cold civil war…

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11.1. The Neoliberal Turn, & Hyperglobalization: Readings: Econ 115 F 2020

Required Readings Note:

The required readings for Module 11 are rather long—but not nearly as long as for Modules 9 & 5, where I wound up taking two weeks per module.

There is Skidelsky chapter 6 The chapters of Skidelsky before this one I've been all about how Keynes was smart and right. This chapter is, from Skidelsky’s view as of 1995, as an enthusiastic advocate of the neoliberal turn, how Keynes’s disciples were dumb and wrong. It is a very good analysis, on the level of events and ideas, of why people decided to take the neoliberal turn.

11.1. The Neoliberal Turn, & Hyperglobalization: Readings Frame your reading of it around these three quotes:

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11.2.0. The Neoliberal Turn: Intro Video: Econ 115 F 2020

mmhmm Interactive Video:

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Let's Make Matt Yglesias's New Weblog a Success!

I very much hope that Matt Yglesias’s new weblog becomes the place to see and be seen on the internet.

Not, mind you, that I expect Matt to get everything right. Or that I expect all of his quick takes to be sound takes:



I find myself more with Tom Scocca here than you. You write

The problem here, to me, is not that Walker ought to “stick to sports.” It’s that the analysis is bad. But because it’s in a video game console review rather than a policy analysis section and conforms to the predominant ideological fads, it just sails through to our screens...

And then you say:

What actually happened is that starting in March the household savings rate soared.... Middle class people are seeing their homeowners’ equity rise and... their debt payments fall, while cash piles up on their balance sheets…

This makes sense as a criticism of Ian Walker only if you think that when Ian Walker wrote 'I’d be remiss to ignore all the reasons not to be excited for the PlayStation 5...', it was meant to be the start of an argument that the PS5 will not sell very well because of the epidemiological-economic-cultural uproar of the plague year.

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DeLong Debt Memo: 2020-11-17

You asked me to think about long-run downside via fiscal drag and higher required tax rates and revenues in the future, after the economy has returned to full employment, from additional debt-financed COVID depression-fighting stimulus expenditures. You asked me to think in the context of Larry Summers’s and my “Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy” of a decade ago.


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The Siren Song of Austerity: Project Syndicate

J. Bradford DeLong: The Siren Song of Austerity ‘Among the many lessons of the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath in the United States is that there is no good reason to start worrying about debt when unemployment remains high and interest rates low. The hasty embrace of austerity derailed the last recovery, and it must not be allowed to do so again: BERKELEY–Ten years and ten months ago, US President Barack Obama announced in his 2010 State of the Union address that it was time for austerity. “Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions,” he explained. “The federal government should do the same.” Signaling his willingness to freeze government spending for three years, Obama argued that, “Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t.” So great was the perceived need for austerity that he even vowed to “enforce this discipline by veto,” just in case congressional Democrats had something else in mind…

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Brad DeLong & Scott Galloway: CoronaNomics Podcast

Brad DeLong & Scott Galloway: COVID-19, Technology, & Surveillance Capitalism: CoronaNomics 2:4 2020-11-16

EconFilms: CoronaNomics

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Do I Really Need to Say, Again, That Judy Shelton Does Not Belong on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors? Apparently I Do...

And it looks like even without Trump Republican senators will continue to be orange-haired baboons:

That any Republican senators at all are thinking of voting for Judy Shelton—a woman views whom Milton Friedman dismissed by saying "it would be hard to pack more error into so few words"—for a Fed Governor position reveals an astonishing lack of spine. Yet the Senate Banking Committee chair appears to be attempting to advance her nomination on Tuesday:

Hoisted from the Archives:_ Shelton the Charlatan_ In 1994 Milton Friedman wrote about Judy Shelton: "In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed piece (July 15)... Judy Shelton started her concluding paragraph: “Until the U.S. begins standing up once more for stable exchange rates as the starting point for free trade...” It would be hard to pack more error into so few words.... A system of pegged exchange rates, such as the original IMF system or the European Monetary System, is an enemy to free trade. It is no accident that the 1992 collapse of the EMS coincided with the agreement to remove controls on the movement of capital..." To turn monetary policy away from internal balance toward preventing exchange rate movements that market fundamentals wanted to see occur was, in Friedman's view, the road toward disaster. It was simply wrong. And it could be held together only if economies moved from free trade back toward managed trade—and so beggared not just their neighbors but themselves.

Two and a half decades later, today's Judy Shelton seems no freer from error, but to it has added an enormous amount of incoherence. There is no consistent thread of argument in what she says. She is, rather, a weathervane pointing in the direction of whatever political wind she thinks likely to get her her next job. Last year she said that the Federal Reserve should be careful not to do anything to curb stock prices: "More than half of American households are invested through mutual funds or pension funds in this market. I don’t want the Fed to pull the rug out from under them..." But in 2016—when unemployment was higher and the case for easy money stronger—it was the Fed's "appeasing financial markets" that was the thing to be avoided Back then under the Obama administration when there were lots of unemployed workers who could be put to work producing exports, policies to produce a weaker dollar to boost exports were to be shunned: "The obvious quick route to export success for any nation is to depreciate its currency. Dollar depreciation is already being pushed by the Obama administration.... Let's not compromise our currency in a misguided attempt to boost U.S. job growth. America's best future is forged through sound finances and sound money..." These days "compromising the currency" is a plus from the interest-rate cuts she wants to see Today monetary policy should be made looser "as expeditiously as possible" Back then "loose monetary policy... leads to internal bankruptcy... whole nations have foundered on this path..."

Catherine Rampell earlier this month correctly called Judy Shelton "an opportunist and a quack", and reported that Republican senators think she is not qualified.

Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said: "I wouldn't want five [Fed Board] members like her".

Thom Tillis (R-NC) said that her views on the gold standard do not matter because return to the gold standard is off the table.

Tim Scott (R-SC) agreed with Tillis, stating that "controversial statements" were "not relevant".

Pat Toomey (R-PA) worried about the "very, very dangerous path to go down" she advocated. Richard Shelby (R-AL) was "concerned".

John Kennedy (R-LA) said: "Nobody wants anybody on the Federal Reserve that has a fatal attraction to nutty ideas"

But the Wall Street Journal editorial board has decided to back Judy Shelton's "more error packed into so so few words" over Milton Friedman by praising her as a believer that "monetary policies that ignore exchange-rate stability wreak political and economic havoc". Trump wants Judy Shelton on the Fed Board so he can threaten to—and possibly actually—replace Jay Powell with her as chair. If we have learned anything over the past three years, it is that furrowed brows of concern from Republican senators are worth precisely nothing. John Kennedy (R-LA) followed his furrowed brow by saying "I’m not saying that’s the case here". Mike Crapo (R-ID) praised her "deep knowledge of democracy, economic theory and monetary policy", and denounced the "war on Judy Shelton".

If Republican senators are going to save the country from yet another Trump misstep that makes America less great, first core Republican supporters have to step up and give their senators 53 spine transplants.

Maskell & Rybicki: Counting Electoral Votes: An Overview of Procedures at the Joint Session

Note to Self: I very much hope that Pelosi and Schumer are already talking to Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Sasse, and company: the potential for an absolute dog’s breakfast on January 6, 2021 is already remarkably high, and may well increase in probability as things get crazier and crazier over the next two months.

It is also not too early for the House of Representatives to be thinking hard about how to maintain their own security—both on the U.S. Capitol grounds, and for members in transit to the Capitol itself.

The argument that Trump is not trying to gain support among the Republicans for a coup, and that Republicans are not egging one another one to see if they dare to do it, but rather doing something else seems to me to be overhasty and overconfident. Yes, Trump might be trying to establish an extradition-free bolthole for himself in Abu Dhabi. Yes, Trump might be trying to destroy as much evidence linking him to criminality as he can. Yes, Trump might be trying to show that he can disrupt the system so that he can then strike a deal that will leave him confident he will remain out of jail next year. Yes, Trump might simply be confused.

But he might not. And while Giuliani is clearly neither his Göring, his Himmler, or his Heydrich, that does not mean that nobody else is:

Jack Maskell & Elizabeth Rybicki: Counting Electoral Votes: An Overview of Procedures at the Joint Session, Including Objections by Members of Congress ‘Basis for Objections: The general grounds for an objection to the counting of an electoral vote or votes would appear from the federal statute and from historical sources to be that such vote was not “regularly given” by an elector, and/or that the elector was not “lawfully certified”...

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Frost: Entrepreneurial Transformation of Socialist China—Noted

Adam Frost: Entrepreneurial Transformation of Socialist China ‘Generations of scholars argued that beginning with the Communist’s victory over the Nationalists in 1949 and culminating until the establishment of collective economic institutions in 1957, private entrepreneurship was effectively purged from the Chinese economy.... [But] capitalist entrepreneurship was an enduring feature of the modern Chinese economy.... 2,600 cases of “speculation and profiteering” that were prosecuted by local government agencies in the 1960s and 1970s...

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BioNTech 90% Effective Messenger RNA COVID Vaccine?

Little additional information seems to be available at this moment:

Pfizer and BioNTech (2020-11-09): Announce Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19 Achieved Success in First Interim Analysis from Phase 3 Study ‘Vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis. Analysis evaluated 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants. Study enrolled 43,538 participants, with 42% having diverse backgrounds, and no serious safety concerns have been observed; Safety and additional efficacy data continue to be collected. Submission for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) planned for soon after the required safety milestone is achieved, which is currently expected to occur in the third week of November. Clinical trial to continue through to final analysis at 164 confirmed cases in order to collect further data and characterize the vaccine candidate’s performance against other study endpoints…

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9.2.0. Intro Video: Glorious Post-WWII Years in the Global North: Equitable Growth & Inclusion: Econ 115

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Introductory Video for Fall 2020 Instantiation of Econ 115 Module 9: Post-WWII Glorious Years of Equitable Growth & Inclusion in the Global North


As of 1945, there was not that many grounds for optimism, as far as the world economy and the world political economy were concerned.

The greater totalitarianism had been squashed. The lesser was flourishing. It used the blood of the Russian people spilled fighting Nazism over 1941 to 1945 as a powerful source of legitimating energy—never mind the active and eager collaboration of Stalin and his acolytes with Hitler whenever it had seemed to be to their even momentary advantage.

Market economies continued to fail to deliver Polanyian rights. Their ability to even deliver economic growth at all had been cast in the grave doubt by the Great Depression. As for democratic parliamentary politics—it could still be easily dismissed as a swamp that needed to be drained.

Yet 1940-1980 saw the victory and secure establishment of the market-heavy mixed economy as an engine for delivering unprecedented economic growth in the global north. It also saw the overwhelming victory of parliamentary democracy as a system that could generate good economic management and also increasing human freedom. And it saw the world system deliver independence and somewhat increasing prosperity, if neither democracy nor economic convergence, to the global south.

  • In the G7 nations, 1870 to 1913 had delivered average measured real-income growth of 1.4% per year, albeit unequally distributed.

  • That fell over 1913 to 1938 to 0.7% per year.

  • But then 1938 to 1973 saw growth at 3.0% per year, catching up to and leaping ahead of what a continuation of pre-1913 trends would have forecast.

Why did things go so right? And why, given that things went so right up through the 1970s, was that system of mixed-economy social democracy rejected for one of neoliberalism after 1980?

  • Some of it was that Keynes was at least half right, and his technical and technocratic adjustments to economic management did a great deal of good.

  • Some of it was that the disasters of 1913 to 1938 and the disaster on the other side of the iron curtain that was really-existing socialism that might move west—and east—concentrated everybody’s mind on making an imperfect system work.

  • Some of it was that the backlog of potential innovations undeployed over 1913 to 1938 made growth easy

  • Much of it was that with strong and equitable growth the market economies’ failure to vindicate Polanyian rights no longer seemed so salient

  • Some of it was that social insurance systems did, to some extent, manage to vindicate Polanyian rights

  • And much of it was that the plutocrats and the rightists had lost their nerve, after the disasters that their attempts to suppress labor organizations and political majorities had generated

But why then did things fall apart in 1980?

Keep that question in the back of your minds.

In addition to strong economic growth that was equitable, in the sense of being divided across economic classes rather than hogged by one, there was the increase in human freedom.

The equitable growth of 1938 to 1980 stopped afterwards in the age of neoliberalism. But the forward march of inclusion has continued.

Inclusion of people as first-class citizens. Who are the first-class citizens of the civilization that we define as the one in which the Anglo-Saxon language is the lingua franca—the tongue spoken by free people? At the start, in the days of Leader Elf-Wisdom of the west branch of the knife-guys—King Alfred of Wessex—it was his own landholding trained-warrior male-Saxon thains. But even in Alfred’s day, he was reaching to include others, and not just other branches of the Saxon tribe. Alfred called his expanded kingdom “England”, after the name of the neighboring tribe of the Angles that he wanted to include as well.

And as history passes it becomes the English, and then the British—but, remember, the WOGS—the worthy oriental gentlemen—begin as soon as you cross the English Channel and set foot on the European continent at the port of Calais.

There are still those who hold to that. England, if not Great Britain, is still in its majority in support of its ruler Boris Johnson. Boris at least claims to believe that the most important thing is to keep England pure from European pollution. (You are not supposed to remember his full name: Alexander Boris de Pfefle Johnson. Alexander is Greek. Boris is Russian. The de is French. The Pfeffel is German. The Johnson is Welsh, half Keltic, not fully Saxon. If you trace his male line of descent, it goes back not to the Saxons or the Vikings but rather a Turkish nomads who came boiling out of Kazakhstan in days gone bye.)

But I digress.

From male, British, and upper-class, the set of “gentlemen” expands. It expands to include the middle-class males who have good manners. And then Anglo-Saxon is expanded to include by courtesy others of Northern European stock who walk the walk. By the time of Teddy Roosevelt it is anyone white, or mostly white, who is willing to behave like a male Anglo-Saxon Puritan—children of the Mayflower by adoption as well as by birth. And Teddy Roosevelt still believed in the Republican parties historical obligation for the freedom and uplift of African-Americans. He was swimming against the tide of the American power structure of his day. But he was swimming.

And working class people are people.

And women became people too.

Next: America is a Protestant nation.

With the coming of World War II and the strong need to rally everyone against Nazism, and then with the coming of the age of social democracy, the progress of full inclusion speeds up.

Then: America is a Christian nation. Then: America is a Judeo-Christian nation. Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower says: “It is very important that an American have a strong faith and I don’t care what”.

Jimmy Carter as president in the 1960s talks about the “Abrahamic” faiths, bringing Muslims into the religious circle of inclusion. But that does not seem to stick.

Women become full people. Freedom is redefined so that your freedom does not include the right to discriminate against African-Americans in public accommodations. Who people love or choose to be in their private lives becomes “not your business” as well.

But Senator Rand Paul still believes in his heart of hearts that it does. Only the fact that it is not electorally wise to say that out loud, even in Kentucky, keeps him quiet now. And every year Fox News and company try to remove the Judeo- from “Judeo-Christian nation” and roll back inclusion by demanding an end to the “war on Christmas”.

We know where we are supposed to be now: equal opportunity as a goal, rather than a joke; tolerance and celebration of our diversity because trapping yourself in one point of view is going to makes you stupid and narrow.

We are not there yet.

The cultural DNA of the global north today is still roughly 50% from the North-Atlantic Anglo-Saxons of the Victorian era.

But this is a civilization in which people are less limited by what their parents happenned to look like and be than any previous one.

A story to inspire. But not a story to make us comfortable about where we are right now.

1268 words 11.00 minutes