This, somehow, does not seem like it lies within the scope of economists' comparative advantage. But do psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists do better?: Roland Bénabou, Armin Falk, Jean Tirole: Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning: "By downplaying externalities, magnifying the cost of moral behavior, or suggesting not being pivotal, exculpatory narratives...
Should-Read: Nick Bunker: Policy rules and central bank independence: "The general public and their elected officials are not simply passengers on a ship...
Should-Read: Bob Margo: The integration of economic history into economics: "Many have noticed this long-term integration of economic history into economics...
American Pessimism: Q: What is the single most important thing that makes you pessimistic for the United States?
The chances of some kind of disaster are high.
We gotta pray for lots of luck.
And then there are the unknown unknowns.
Global Optimism: Q: What is the single most important thing that makes you optimistic for the world?
A: Our enormous technological powers and our rapid rate of technological progress.
Couple that with the fact that since 1945 the world has been relatively peaceful, and how can you not be optimistic?
Q: Has protectionism ever worked? Are there examples of countries throughout history that have embraced protectionist policies, and did that yield positive results? And what do these examples, if there are any, tell us about the economic plans of Mr. Trump?
A: If I were you, I would go grab Robert Allen's Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction <http://amzn.to/2kgt8pj>, and immediately read chapters 8 and 9.
Rick Perlstein: Diverse and Perverse: RNC 2016: The Coalition that Trump Built:
Welcome to the House of Trump: The convention began with a prayer for God to bless his chosen political party, from a black preacher who announced it was fitting and proper to do so “because we are electing a man in Donald Trump who believes in the name of Jesus Christ.” And because “our enemy is not other Republicans, but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.” Rev. Mark Burns is a devotee of the “prosperity gospel.” At a Trump rally in March, he had said: “There is no black person, there is no yellow person, there is no red person, there’s only green, people! Green is money!”
Live from the Roasterie: as I already wrote this morning, at the state level Medicaid expansion is a total no-brainer: your citizens are already paying the taxes to pay for other states Medicaid expansion, and so the choice is either (i) pay the taxes and get none of the benefits, or (ii) pay the taxes and get your share of the benefits. Option (i) makes sense only if you can somehow convince people that Medicaid spending is evil. Since the claim that Medicaid is useless was never and is not credible, that leaves doubling-down on race and class hatred--of ghetto-dwellers, of the working poor, and of doctors and hospitals that treat Medicaid patients as part of their practice and would like to be paid something for it.
And, of course, in reality it is not big-city hospitals that treat Black people that are going to be the first to close without Medicaid expansion, it's rural hospitals that treat white people:
This GOP Governor [Sam Brownback]'s Comments About the Poor Are Incredibly Revealing: "The hospital industry has been begging lawmakers to take the federal dollars...:
A question of special interest to me right now because the departmental powers-that-be have decided to ask me to go back onto the 700-person Econ 1 Wheeler teaching line next spring...
A colleague (middle grade civil servant) has sent this request to Mrs Y::
Startup Geometry Podcast: Brad DeLong and Scott Gosnell: The Honest Broker for the Week of June 7, 2015
What about today's Republican Party?
Let me give a stream-of-consciousness-personal-psychodrama-confessional-oversharing answer to that question:
I am not a political scientist. I am not an especially deep student of politics.
My government experience came from working in 1993-1995 in Lloyd Bentsen's Treasury Department, when he had just gone from being senator from Texas and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Treasury Secretary. He and his staff, broadly, believed that what you did in order to govern--with a kinder and gentler, technocratic, equitable-growth approach to policy--was to start with a centrist block, Bentsen and his friends and allies, people from Jack Danforth on the right to Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the left. You would then call for bids from the left and right. You would ally with whichever was willing to give you better deal to build a majority. And you would then vote your bill out of the Senate Finance Committee 12-5 and roll it through initial passage, conference, and presidential signature.
What about the 2009 stimulus package, anyway?
Ah. The 2009 Recovery Act. Christie Romer's original calculations suggested we needed a fiscal stimulus program of $1.8 trillion over three years, even with all of the banking-support and monetary policy moves the Treasury and the Federal Reserve were making. Her forecasts--like almost every forecast in December and January 2009--were optimistic. We needed not $1.8 trillion over three years, but rather more like $4 trillion over 5 years (which could be pruned back or offset by tighter monetary policy if recovery came rapidly.
This month's employment report--in fact, the last few months' employment reports--should not lead us to change our minds about anything. What did you think three months ago? You should think the same thing now. Information about the changing destiny of the economy drips out only slowly. And so your view should change only slowly
What should you have thought three months ago? Eight things: