#commentoftheday Feed

Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: "Nothing at all wrong with Weller, really. The truly odd point appears to be how he got nominated. It seems that Trump was pleased that Jim Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed, voted to cut the funds rate at the last meeting, and offered Jim the slot. Bullard turned it down (no regional president would ever be included to accept a Board post other than Chair or Vice Chair; no more real power, combined with less pay and no staff) and suggested Weller. That's not the usual way these things get done. The only 'hasty' Board nomination I can recall was Paul Volcker being named chair in the immediate wake of Bill Miller becoming Treasury Secretary. But in 1979 there was a clear need to have that slot filled as quickly as possible by a person of Volcker's (dare I say...) stature (groan). Update: Whoops—it slipped my mind that Martin replacing McCabe in 1951 was rushed. But the circumstances were also pretty extraordinary, even more so than 1979: the FOMC had pretty openly defied the President in the middle of a major shooting war. McCable (and Eccles) had to go as part of the Accord. Truman thought he got his guy in at the Fed, but learned otherwise...

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Comment of the Day: Ronald Brakels: "If you record a bitch's new born puppy and then play that sound on a tape deck or other audio device the bitch will pick up that device and treat it like a pup. Dogs have about 2 billion plus neurons but this shows they are still very stupid. But no one seems to have a problem with this epic level of idiocy in our closest animal companions, but as soon as a program identifies a tape player as a puppy people can't wait to mock it for being so stoopid And they're right. It is stoopid. But they always seem to overlook the fact we're pretty stoopid ourselves. Take, for example, pornography. Humans can be fooled by glowing phosphors into sexual activity that has pretty much zero chance of creating descendants.

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Comment of the Day: D. C. Sessions: "One of those 'small city research universities' is New Mexico Tech (nmt.edu), which is in a town (Socorro) of 10,000. In addition to the usual research and educational activities, NMT manages the Very Large Array radiotelescope array, the 2.4 meter fast object tracking Magdalena Ridge Optical Observatory, the Langmuir Lightning Laboratory, and the new Magdalena Ridge Optical Interferometric telescope array. I probably forgot a few. Despite this, low cost of living, and a congenial climate, Socorro is losing ground. Before trying to copy NMT across the USA, it would be wise to understand why the formula isn't working here.

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Comment of the Day: Graydon: "Intelligence is emergent. We know with some confidence that you can get it more than one way -- the way you think, and the way a parrot thinks are not the same -- and that you can get it with way fewer neurons than we use (that parrot again, or corvids) but we don't know what it emerges from or how. Which is where all the neuron complexity arguments die in a pit. I think it's more useful to think about something like Deep Mind as an artificial reflex than as artificial intelligence; a certain narrow range of stimuli produces a quick response. The emergent stuff is just not there at all.

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Comment of the Day: Erik Lund: "'Cerdic' appears to be a Brittonic name, 'Ceretic', or, in reconstructed British, Caraticos, tolerably close to 'Caratacus', a heroic leader of British resistance against the Roman invader, who appears in the Latin historians, Tacitus and Dio Cassius. It seems to be a minority argument that 'Cerdic' is 'Caratacus'. Tracing royal ancestry back to Woden is an Anglo-Saxon affectation, we all agree. (In spite of a strong argument that it is actually everyone else copying Bede, and Bede trying to patch up an acceptable genealogy for the post-Osred Bernician kings, who could no longer trace their ancestry back to Ealdfrith, and had to resort to the much less satisfactory, legendary figure of Ida.) But the House of Wessex claiming an ancient British hero as apex ancestor? That's whack...

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Comment of the Day: Kaleberg: "It depends on what you mean by a 'robot'. Do you count remote wellhead monitoring systems? That eliminates drill monitoring jobs. Do you count synthetic oils and computerized internal combustion engine control letting lubrication oil last longer? That eliminates automobile maintenance jobs. Let's not even talk about the revolution in steel making over the last 30 years that has eliminated tens of thousands of dirty, dangerous jobs. There is a long list like this. Uber and Lyft eliminate dispatcher's jobs. Reservation web sites eliminate receptionist and scheduling jobs...

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Comment of the Day: HankP: "Under Bush we had the imposition of torture as policy, now trump has added concentration camps. Republicans applauded loudly in both cases. Everyone knows where this is headed if we don't stop it...

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Comment of the Day: As Dan Davies says, finance works with criminal penalties for material misrepresentations, and works better. Would not politics also work better with such?: Graydon: "Remember that in this case, Boris made the public lie in an official capacity, was told by the relevant governmental body that it was a lie—the statistics authority officially informed the official persona of the officeholder that no, no, that's not correct; that is not close to correct—and the official persona went right on making the lie in public in ways the court refuses to find obviously immaterial. There's not much 'chilling speech' there; there's an obligation on office-holders to act in the public interest. It's unusual to use a court to hold them to it, but it's not obviously wrong to use a court to hold them to it, any more than it would be wrong to charge someone with taking bribes to act contrary to the public interest while holding a public office...


#commentoftheday

Comment of the Day: Cosma Shalizi: "Young doesn't give a table of sample sizes, but he does give a table of average maximum 'leverages', which is something like 0.25 for the two most influential observations. This matters, because regression asymptomatics are basically about the limit where leverage goes to zero (rather than sample size to infinity as such). If two observations (or clusters) are driving 1/4 of the estimate, asymptotics are irrelevant. (Young does a lot with the bootstrap to show that the pre-asymptotics aren't great either.)...

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Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: "One interesting thing in this material was Buchanan's groaning about how he was discriminated against in Navy Officer training relative to Yankee Ivy Leaguers. Herman Wouk's recent passing stirred me to reflect on this process. As was mildly fictionalized in the Caine Mutiny, Work was outstripped in his training class by none other than Jim Tobin. Yes, both Wouk and Tobin were northern 'Ivy Leaguers' (Wouk Columbia and Tobin Harvard). But the Jew from New York and the Irish kid from Illinois would surely not have seen themselves as more on the 'inside' than Buchanan who, after all, had the same name as (an admittedly wildly unsuccessful) US President...

IMHO, what Buchanan is complaining about is this: Harvard and Columbia could and did turn people like Wouk and Tobin into effective WASPs by teaching them to turn down the accent and soft-pedal the Blarney and the Yiddishkeit. Middle Tennessee State Teachers College and the University of Tennessee were not in that business at all.

Now after spending World War II out in Hawaii on Admiral Spruance's staff and marrying Anne Bakke, a Norwegian-American nurse and then getting your Ph.D. in 1948 at the University of Chicago—after that you don't have to identify as a southerner, a governor's grandson, from a family whose land had been "ruined" by the Civil War (actually, land is hard to ruin: livestock, buildings, orchards, and most of all slaves can no longer be yours afterwards, but the lady is still there); you could identify as whitish-bread American meritocrat—like Wouk and Tobin—who happened to have been born in the shallow south. I don't know whether he thought that would have been a theft of his identity, or whether he would have taken that road if his first jobs had been in Vermont and Wisconsin rather than Florida and Virginia.

Or maybe his complaints about discrimination against him were a con, an intellectual judo move: I'm not an oppressive white establishment southerner—I'm being oppressed!

When one reads "From that day forward I have shared in the emotional damage imposed by discrimination..." and "'fairness' assumed for me a central normative position...", one does expect it to be followed by "and so I marched with King". One does not expect it to be accompanied by "and so I worked hard to devise plans whereby Virginia's public-school tax collars could be diverted to segregation academies..." It's hard for me to see to contemplate such a total lack of awareness of self and context to make "I have shared in the emotional damage imposed by discrimination..." anything other than an intellectual judo move...

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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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