#commentoftheday Feed

Graydon: "If you're an authoritarian, you want people to do what you say...

...You necessarily hate this fact-checking, quantified analysis stuff, and you want to make sure anybody who tries that shit winds up starving in a ditch somewhere. People are supposed to do what you say, not waste time and money producing creative excuses. There are no legitimate excuses. You do what you are told to do, whatever it takes. Nothing is important except getting it done and admitting the boss was right.

I sometimes wonder if academia suffers terribly from not having to work for that person.

I mean, yeah, you don't want to work for that person, and you really don't, in a social-health systemic-utility sense, want that person in charge of anything ever, but all the academic analysis I see doesn't believe in that person, and they're ubiquitous. They make a lot of decisions, about the economy and people's lives. They mostly succeed with the starving-in-a-ditch part, too...

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Comment of the Day: John Howard Brown: Stigler's Denunciation of the "Insolence" of Demonstrating Negroes: "As an Industrial Organization economist/quasi-historian of economic thought in IO, I found your characterization of ε-Stigler interesting. My feeling is that you may be attributing too much to ε-Stigler. Aaron Director and Milton Friedman had as much or more to do with the libertarian cast of thought developed at Chicago...

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Comment of the Day: Howard: "I must be missing something: I don't see this as a 'reach for yield' phenomena. I see this as a reach for 10x returns, and I don't think low interest rates have much to do with the willingness of people (well, high net-worth individuals and their VC and hedge fund managers) to take a shot at a 10x return. I continue to see low interest rates as the market's way of telling us we need public investment, badly...

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Comment of the Day: JEC: "I'd just add a note to lament the five decades of empirical research into the actual formation and behavioral consequences of expectations that didn't happen, thanks to the Rational Expectations Revolution in macro. We'll never get those squandered years back...

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Comment of the Day: JEC: "Against my better judgment, I find that I must demand, in the strongest possible terms, that you kids withdraw forthwith from my lawn. More specifically, this is correct: 'The concept was developed by the economist Joan Robinson in her 1933 book The Economics of Imperfect Competition to describe the labor market equivalent of a monopoly, where workers only have the option to work at one employer, so their wages will be set less than the value they create+ since they have no outside options'...

...But this is bollocks: "But work pioneered by economist Alan Manning at the London School of Economics in his book Monopsony in Motion broadens the definition of monopsony to include labor market dynamics where workers do not respond to changes in wages as would be predicted by a competitive model." Why in the world would anyone think it was a good idea to take a technical term denoting a specific market failure and turn it into a generic label for any and all market failures? O tempora o mores!

+Errr… correct-ish. "The value they create" is not an accurate rendering of "the marginal product of labor." But that's a separate rant...

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Comment of the Day: John Howard Brown: "Discussions of 'white male privilege' go... far astray. Although the phenomena is very real, most white males don't experience their lives as privileged. If anything, they feel less privileged than their fathers. Certainly their incomes are less. As Brad has pointed out, maintaining a full employment economy instead of the Fed's disinflationary bias would go far to reduce the feelings of grievance among white males. Too bad that so many 'Baby Boomers' got scared by the inflation monster in the 1970s...

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Comment of the Day: Howard: "As a white male who graduated high school in Allentown, PA in 1970, I have often noted that while I went to college and forged a reasonably well paid career as a consultant, the white males like me who didn't go to college expected to find life-long work and reasonable pay at Bethlehem Steel, Mack Truck, or the Western Electric Plant. All those jobs are long, long gone. While the area has been lucky enough to have seen big growth in healthcare, my high school classmates have had little but struggle, and I wouldn't be surprised if some good number of them were now Trumpists. That all said, i'm not sure baby boomers were scarred by the inflation monster: i think fed economists were scarred by the inflation monster, which is what produced years and years of pretending that a hard ceiling was merely a target...

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Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: "Also I don't like 'publicly commit'. This is based on the faith that such declarations are credited, and the prior assumption that if they are firmly and sincerely meant and therefore credible they shall be credited. The idea that agent's belief in a declaration is an aspect of the policy is the rational expectations hypothesis sneaking in the back door after having been tossed out the front door (effort to translate returning by the window after being tossed out the door for residents of a country where most windows aren't French windows). Why promise inflation after the recession rather than produce inflation now when monetary policy isn't at the zero lower bound. Is it really likely that people could be convinced that the Fed will accept inflation over 2% some years after then next time we are in the liquidity trap when it demonstrates that it won't accept it right now? They should walk the walk, not just pre-commit to possibly talking the talk at some time in the indefinite future. Still progress...

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Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: May 3, 2019: Weekly Forecasting Update: Little Change: "I can't insert a figure here, so the very few points of raw data are here ,https://rjwaldmann.blogspot.com/2019/05/g-and-gdp-update.html> or do click here or other bears will be angry https://angrybearblog.com/2019/05/fiscal-policy-and-gdp-2019-update.html I don't see anything funny happening in the past 8 quarters which isn't fit almost perfectly using the assumption that the government spending multiplier is 1.5 and nothing else matters...

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Comment of the Day: Eric Lund: "It's not just wrong, it's a fetish passing for scholarship, and there's far too much of it out there. While I am by no means a classicist, it seems to me that a casual eye on the new books carousel at your university library would rescue from any temptation to indulge this kind of nonsense. Nino Luraghi's Ancient Messenians: Constructions of Ethnicity and Memory (2008) will lead to Hodkinson and Powell, eds. Sparta: New Perspectives, which, even if you are as lazy as a certain blog commentator and content yourself with the Bryn Mawr review up on JSTOR, you would be quickly led to a pdf posted by H. W. Singor https://delong.typepad.com/files/5_041_036.pdf... and to the chastening realisation that the scenario Our Host describes was first laid out by Aristotle in the Politics. This ain't exactly cutting edge revisionism, folks...

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Comment of the Day: Mark Field: How Big a Problem Is the Malapportionment of the Senate?: "It's always possible that the economic argument will work this time. But given that it's been tried repeatedly and yet failed for 400 years, there's a very strong presumption against that. Ira Katznelson and his co-authors explored this in their book Southern Nation, which explored Southern politics during the period 1865-1932. Their conclusion was that left-populist economics could appeal to some Southerners (not necessarily a majority), but ONLY in a context in which voters and politicians were confident in the bulwark of white supremacy. When they had reason to be nervous about that, racial supremacy took a higher priority and support for liberal economics fell. This also explains the racial compromises FDR had to make in order to pass the New Deal programs (detailed in Katznelson's book Fear Itself). This time might be different. But we shouldn't count on that...

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Comment of the Day: Once again RJW is the first... and, I fear, perhaps the only... person on the internet to understand me: Robert Waldmann: Fascism: "'weapon-or-strong' should be 'weapon-our-strong'. Also great hyphenated fascism there. But then I read the Scruton quote. Ugh. Please don't do that again...

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Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: "The problem, as you note, is that, when they are right, MMTers have a whole lot of company. A more Keynesian than Keynesian school whose 3rd notably accomplishment is to agree with Milton Friedman does, I think, lack exclusivity (not the determination to exclude everyone else but any basis for that exclusion). Reinhart and Rogoff have been very widely ridiculed (for the spreadsheet error which was not quantitatively important, not basing their conclusion on one year in New Zealand which was). You will note distinct mockery of fiscal space by OJ Blanchard now president of the AEA after many years as head economist at the IMF. The three examples you give of points where MMT is right do not establish one point where MMT is both right and original. They may have contributed something for all I know (I have not and will not read the MMT literature) but you provide no evidence that they have...

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Comment of the Day: "It is not only crows and chimpanzees that have a 'theory of mind'-people do too!": Phil Koop: "Well thank goodness I am not the only one who feels this way! Far too much is made, in my opinion, of the [Scott Sumner's] banal observation that we can never know what someone else is thinking. This is speciously true - we can never be certain of the entirety of another's thoughts. But it is substantively false, once you allow as you ought for probable inference; we can often make a pretty good guess on salient points of interest. It is not only crows and chimpanzees that have a 'theory of mind'-people do too! And some of us are pretty good at it; we can be quite sure of this because they tend to do things like consistently win a lot of money at poker. Certainly we do not need to be telepaths to judge Moore's or Cain's motives...

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Robert Waldmann: Robert Waldmann: "The wedge comes from 2 types of irrationality. Poor portfolio diversification means the portfolio held by actual investors has high risk per return compared to the market portfolio. And also irrational loss aversion...

...But I also don't think the source of the wedge matters much.

The crude Mehra-Prescott calculation is interesting. It could be that the equity premium is high because of irrationality, and it could be that it is high because of liquidity constraints and other frictions. But in either case, considering the return a rational representative agent would accept is interesting. The premium minus what it would be if there were a rational representative agent describes the welfare effect of a sovereign wealth fund on welfare. This is John Quiggin's point and it is very important. That is the 64 trillion dollar question.

Why the policy would cause a huge increase in welfare is less important than the fact that such a policy exists, is simple, and can be implemented.

So next step is we look at a state which issued debt and buys the risky asset. The math is fairly simple and works for an OLG model with rational agents in the same way it works for a model of a representative but very stupid agent.

Notice that the leveraged state doesn't have to worry about interest rate spikes. If its debt is short term, it can respond to a loss of public confidence by liquidating its portfolio. In simple models, there aren't multiple equilibria.

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Comment of the Day: John Howard Brown: "Property rights are always conditional on the allocation of social power! When the power of the Laird of a Scots clan depended on the number of clansmen who could wield pike and claymore, they were happy to grant all able adult men usufruct in his clan. When raising sheep became more profitable than raising warriors, they were willing to forget their fellow clansmen's rights. That's why I'm an American!...

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Comment of the Day: I thought it was 20 pounds of berries for one pound of wax? But I could be wrong...: Nils: The Lighting Budget of Thomas Jefferson: "Those 'myrtle' candles Jefferson was asking for would be bayberry candles, made from waxy Myrica Cerifera berries. I haven't the slightest idea of how many pounds of berries (boiled, strained, reboiled) went into a pound of wax but it would be a lot. Hence his resignation to accepting some adulteration with tallow...

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Comment of the Day: Ronald Brakels: "I don't have much confidence that machines won't outclass humans in, eventually, everything, and human involvement will be seen as a burden holding back quality and performance as it is considered today in the manufacture of electronics. Currently makers of things such as solar panels and batteries boast and lie about how few humans their production lines involve as less human input is considered a sign of quality and reliability in finished products. And it is. Humans don't have the precision machines do and can't maintain high levels of focus for a 12 hour shift. Using machines to enhance human precision and concentration in manufacturing isn't a practical option because it's easier just to get the machine to do the task itself...

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Comment of the Day: John Howard Brown: "It always seemed to me, that there are two probable causes for little current evidence of life elsewhere in the universe. First, life wasn’t possible before there had been several generations of supernovas. Only then would there be enough heavier elements to provide interesting chemistry which could result in the emergence of living systems. So the first ten billion years had few or no prospects for life. A second environmental consideration is that the supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies create a radiation halo extending for thousands of light years. This intense radiation would disrupt he development of the complex chemistry necessary for life. I believe life on earth is early and safely tucked away from the mean black hole in the center of the Milky Way. We’ll See...

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Comment of the Day: Grizzled: "I just read How Asia Works by Joe Studwell. I don't know what economists think of the book (although considering what he thinks of economists I would guess they're not that enthusiastic). But the accounts he gives of successful asian development don't seem to emphasize absolute property rights. Property rights, sort of, but in an environment set up by the state. This is particularly true in the finance sector; they do what they're told to do...

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Brad DeLong: "Job Guarantee" vs. "Functional Finance":

Job Guarantee: "Our policy is for the government to run a deficit to offer low-quality make-work low-pay jobs that suck"

Functional Finance: "Our policy is for the government to run a deficit so that the labor market is in balance with employers getting the most value for their money possible and workers getting the most money for their time and energy possible with unemployment reduced to a 'frictional' level'

Job Guarantee is really stupid on many levels. Functional Finance is really smart. Put me down for Functional Finance, Alex, and make it a true daily double...

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Comment of the Day: Graydon: "Education could do with much, much more of 'theory informs; practice convinces'. If you want people to exhibit empathy for those whose state is not theirs and whose expertise is different, you need to make most of education involve failure; do this material thing at which you are unskilled. Allowing education to be narrow, and to avoid all reminder that the world is wider and that to a first approximation everyone is utterly incompetent, just encourages arrogance. Arrogance is terrible insecurity management; it makes the other monkeys less inclined to help you. (Yes of course we should overtly teach both insecurity management and band-forming best practices in simple overt language.)...

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Comment of the Day: Erik Lund: "In later stages, the AI taught itself to recognise school ties and to perform Masonic handshakes. Unfortunately, on being informed that software wasn't eligible for Skull and Bones or Opus Dei, it became critically unstable and tried to run away to join SEAL Team 6...

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To stop the New Zealand gunman Abdul Aziz needed a weapon He picked up the first thing he found Los Angeles Times

Comment of the Day: DilbertDogbert: Anyone Can Wear the Mask. You Can Wear the Maskk: "The good prof has an 'I'm with her' image. I propose he have an 'I'm with him' image of this man: https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-new-zealand-hero-20190317-story.html. Funny how white nationalists are hero's in their own minds when armed but are sheep when confronted without one.

AP: To stop the New Zealand gunman, Abdul Aziz needed a weapon. He picked up the first thing he found: "'"I realized this is something else. This is a killer', he said.... Aziz said as he ran outside screaming, he was hoping to distract the attacker. He said the gunman ran back to his car to get another gun, and Aziz hurled the credit card machine at him.... Aziz spotted a gun the gunman had abandoned and picked it up, pointed it and squeezed the trigger. It was empty.... 'He gets into his car and I just got the gun and threw it on his window like an arrow and blasted his window', he said. The windshield shattered: 'That's why he got scared'...

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Comment of the Day: Graydon: What a Politics Based on Lies Looks Like: "Y'all are making something simple complicated. There's a Murdoch quote out there about why Murdoch supported leave; when he goes to Number 10, they do what he says. When he goes to Brussels, they don't know or care who he is. Basic primate status is defined by who can tell you what to do. The British upper class are raised in environments which make this really, really obvious, and also which make norm violation especially intolerable. (Yes, this is an imperial hangover.)... The driver is to make damn sure no one can tell them what to do. The Tory support for the whole thing derives from norm-violation; the norms of their childhood have changed, and they're having a coping failure. It's all aligned, from the money on down. People like predictable, and this particular predictable is Those People Can't Tell ME What To Do. Laws, the economy, good sense, or the basic tenet of civilization—indirect benefit beats direct gain from exercising power—all have nothing to do with it. It's impossible to tolerate existing in some other hierarchy...

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Comment of the Day: JEC: "This sentence: 'This high-stakes approach was much criticised by liberals, who feared nuclear Armageddon more than they feared the consequences of appeasing the Soviet Union...' It tells you everything you need to know about Niall Ferguson. Well, that and the fact that Ferguson imagines this to be a sick burn on the 'liberals', rather than an acknowledgment of their obviously superior wisdom, prudence, and foresight...

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Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: "I will NOT give Elaine Kamarck credit for going after Obama for not going after Wall Street. This is the same Elaine Kamarck who wrote a paper advocating for Fannie Mae shareholders:

Take the paper by Shapiro and Elaine Kamarck, touted as the independent views of officials from both the Obama and Clinton administrations, that comes to the conclusion that the hedge funds ought to be paid dollars for the shares of Fannie Mae they bought for pennies... https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/vulture-fund-lobbying_us_57350001e4b077d4d6f2a374

Now after serving as a hack and one of the vultures' vultures she is utterly shameless enough to accuse Obama of going easy on Wall Street. This woman has no integrity and not useful role in any discussion. Her dismal record of advocating welfare reform for purely partisan political reasons might not be enough to earn exclusion from polite society, but the gross, monstrous, appalling hypocrisy she recently displayed is too much. The Niskanen Center tainted itself by offering her a platform. If hacks who sell out can keep their ill gotten gains and their reputation, then the debate will continue to be contaminated by mercenaries...

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Comment of the Day: Kansas Jack: The Jesus Landing Pad: "It's more than foreign policy. Because the 2nd coming is imminent, Global Warming is not a threat either. And that is a lot of people in this country who believe Revelation has shown how the Earth ends and cite Genesis that God has promised never to again flood the world...

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Comment of the Day: Graydon: "I am pretty sure that the theoretical case—that there's secure encryption—has been, in practical terms, backdoored out of existence at the hardware level. It is difficult to find out, one way or the other. So it's "no one is secure" AND "no one knows how secure they're not against which adversary" AND "humans aren't actually generally capable of doing secure things", all together...

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Comment of the Day: JEC: "I think we should place more emphasis on the fact that the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis depended critically on the asymmetry between the American and Soviet political systems. A win-win outcome was possible only because Kennedy needed to 'win' in public, but could 'lose' in secret, while Khrushchev could tolerate a public 'loss' provided he could show CPSU insiders a secret 'win'. As a side note, I think this piece officially qualifies Niall as the 'Eugene Fama of historians', someone who's public polemic demonstrates a deep and profound ignorance of the body of knowledge created by his own discipline. Seriously, the Cuban Missile Crisis has been the subject of intense historical research since the collapse of the Soviet Union, approximately none of which supports Ferguson's 'take'...

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Comment of the Day: Kansas Jack: A Very Nice Twitter Rant from Tom Nichols: "Let me rant. I agree with Nichols, it isn't about anything of substance it is about being pissed off. Period. About what? Doesn't matter. In Kansas you could explain to dimwits all you want that tax cuts will not raise revenues. It wasn't that it fell on deaf ears because they couldn't understand, they simply didn't care. And the more it mattered to you, the happier they were. Taxes go to "those people" so screw em. In Iowa there is now legislation in the senate to take away tenure. Why? Because the sponsor is "philosophically opposed to a job for life." But, you nicely explain, tenure doesn't give anyone a job for life. So what? That's not really the reason he wants to take it away. He's just pissed off that taxes again are going to the undeserving, which he can't codify in any real way. I'm like Nichols, I really don't care why these people want to do things to hurt other people and I'm tired of reading editorials about how we need to understand their views...

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Comment of the Day: Graydon: "Anyone who can put off investing is going to do so; there's Brexit, there's 'Ok, yeah, there isn't an adult anywhere in the Trump administration', plus there's the complete lack of statistics. Uncertainty is high and rising. Incompetence has real costs. The US has been using its favoured position as hegemon to disguise the costs of management incompetence since 1970 or so. (You can make arguments for pre-1900, and different values of 'favoured position'.) It's surpassingly unlikely the current US political norms can deliver competent management. (Those norms exist to reward specific forms of bad management.) So the choices (for the US) in a regular time would be between a long slow post-imperial slump, like Spain's, or a major social convulsion to get to some other economic system...

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Comment of the Day: Cervantes: Yes, There Are Individual Economists Worth Paying Respect to. But Is Economics Worth Paying Respect to?: "When I took the introductory economics course—and it was actually a graduate course, required for an interdisciplinary social science degree—the procedure was: 1) Propound a list of assumptions which are not true; 2) Develop an elaborate theory of how the world would be were the assumptions true; 3) Forget that the assumptions are false and carry on describing an alternate reality. I saw immediately that this was complete bullshit but the instructor was adamant...

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Comment of the Day: Donald Pretari: "Libertarians have always been divided on inheritance. If you think that freedom is important because it lets humans express their free wills, then why respect the non-existent wills of dead people? Jim Buchanan, the public choice theorist who suffered at the hands of Nancy Maclean and supposedly ties the whole libertarian right together, advocated an 100% inheritance tax. Robert Nozick switched towards one later in his life. Thomas Jefferson thought similarly. 'Even' Adam Smith was against unlimited rights of bequest...

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Comment of the Day: Ronald Brakels: In Australia we'd just say Lewis CK is an arsehole: "We don't have school shootings in Australia for 2 reasons: (1) It is much harder to obtain firearms. But this is only part of it. (2) The second reason is when people say shit about children who saw their friends die like Louis CK did, people say, 'You're a fuckwit, mate'. And then those people don't get gigs and they don't get paid. If you're a 'ha ha' fuckwit maybe you can find work, but not if you're a fuckwit fuckwit. Less access to firearms definitely helps, but so does a culture that encourages people to ask themselves, 'Am I a fuckwit?' before a mass shooting gets past its initial planning stage...

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Davie: "0, 179, 465, 654—what is the next number in this series? Stephen Moore claims it is obvious, and gestures at it with an 'and so on'": "Davie's master is also blocked by paywall, but given the quote about 'compounding', Davie would diffidently suggest that the mathematical error is more basic: The sequence should read 179, 365, 554. That is, from the second number in the sequence on, Mr. Moore accidentally added 100 to the total. Davie has seen his master make similar errors while not recognizing them, under the influence of Alzheimer's-type dementia. Davie would therefore gently suggest that Mr. Moore be checked for dementia...

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Comment of the Day: BruceJ: "Honestly, when you look back at Brooks' history, where he 'just happens' to reference ideas out of the 'dark, dank silos of the far right' I see less laziness, than an ongoing subtle injection of those very ideas into so-called 'respectable' conservative commentary. If it IS all happenstance and laziness, Brooks is the luckiest damned blind squirrel in the universe...

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PGL: Keynesian Economics vs. Normal Economics: "I wonder what the negative supply-side event was back in 1982 when we had a massive decline in real GDP? Was it those lower tax rates from the 1981 tax cut? Or the Republican led reductions in transfer payments? Oh wait—wrong sign. Or maybe the dollar appreciation except for the fact that in Barro's world we ignore the aggregate demand effects and focus on the increase in wages relative to the prices of imported goods. Oh dear-wrong sign again!...

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The remarkable thing about Robert Barro—and all the other Lucases and Famas and Boldrins and Cochranes who, back in 2008-2012, said it was logically impossible for expansionary fiscal policy to work—and his question "Where was the market failure that allowed the government to improve things just by borrowing money and giving it to people?" is that the answer had been well-known and on the table since at least 1829. The answer was given by John Stuart Mill The market failure is that the economy is out-of-equiilibrium, in a "general glut", with an excess demand for money and an excess supply of pretty much every currently-produced good and services.

Normally the existence of excess supplies and excess demands in an economy is a good thing: The entrepreneurial profits imbalances create set in motion the migration of resources to higher-value uses. But private-sector entities cannot migrate labor and capital into the business of creating money, for money is liquid trust and can only be created by institutions that are trusted to be, well, good for the money. So the solution is not to move resources out of creating currently-produced goods and services but to move demand into buying currently-produced goods and services. And—as long as it is good for the money—the government's borrowing-and-spending or printing-and-dropping works just fine:

Comment of the Day: JEC: Keynesian Economics vs. Regular Economics: "'Unlike the trade-off in regular economics, that extra $1 billion is the ultimate free lunch. How can it be right? Where was the market failure that allowed the government to improve things just by borrowing money and giving it to people?' The funny thing here is that Barro imagines this to be a killer rhetorical question, when it is in fact a crucial and open research question (and one that Keynesian macroeconomists have done far too little to answer, in my opinion). What makes it a research question rather than a damning rhetorical one is the empirical fact that, under certain circumstances, multipliers greater than one are well-documented. (In fairness, better documented today than in 2011)...

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Comment of the Day: Cervantes: British Produce: "I didn't know that British produce comes into season at the end of March, actually. You learn something every day...

Phil Koop: Also, according to this tweet by Sam Coates, 63% of Tory party members say they would be "delighted/pleased/relieved by no deal", whereas 18% of the electorate says the same. Seems like a collision course with destiny, then.

Matt: “It’s not like we won’t be able to eat”. Ferinstance, there are all these useless Tories that happen to be made of meat.

JEC: I actually expected this. In the future, look for rhetoric linking Brexit with the Blitz and U-boat warfare: lots of "Britons have always been willing to endure privation if that's the price of sovereignty!"

howard: what a bleedin' cockup, and what a fantastic misreading of reality.

Graydon: It doesn't. March through May are colloquially "the hungry months" if you ask an allotment gardener or similar; stored winter produce consumed, nothing new available yet. Somebody elsenet had list of where the UK's supermarket carrots come from; in March and April, it's Spain. (then it switches to France)...

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Comment of the Day: I had always thought that the "male variability" hypothesis was really a "male skewed lower tail" hypothesis, and has nothing to say about the upper tail of males. It's the small Y-chromosome—the missing genes that make males overwhelmingly susceptible to color-blindness, hemophilia, the autism spectrum, may play a role in reduced life expectancy, and other things. But that male variability is greater because males are genetically weak says little or nothing about a possible genetic upper tail: Paul Reber: Patriarchy & Gender: "On Patriarchy & Gender... it's worth noting that a consequence of the Y-chromosome bottleneck 5000 years ago is that the 'fat tails' hypothesis that Pinker and Baumeister suckered Larry Summers with is obviously wrong. That is, the hypothesis that men exhibit genetically-dependent higher IQ variability, leading to more men on the upper tail of the distribution (and lower) which leads to over-representation in highly IQ-selective subsets such as professors at Harvard/MIT/etc....

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Comment of the Day: Pinkybum:: What Is Going on This Morning Over at "National Review"? Is It Worth Reading? No.: "I feel like Louis CK's Parkland joke is not funny because fundamentally the premise is not true. What he posits is (a) the kids who are getting the media attention (b) don't deserve it because (c) why does surviving a mass shooting make you (d) an expert in gun control? But really the fundamental truth of the issue is that they are experts because it doesn't really take much intellectual brain power to see that gun regulation could be much more comprehensive and effective if possession of guns took as least as much trouble as obtaining a driver's license...

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Comment of the Day: Ronald Brakels: Strong AI: "Just so you know, once we get something that can accurately transcribe podcasts that will be strong AI. It'll be some mightily powerful strong I. I'm not saying podcast transcribers are going to take over the world, but I am saying that we fix this one little annoying thing and we change the world beyond recognition...

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