#hoistedfromthearchives Feed

Matthew Yglesias: The Lies, The Lies of Andrew Sullivan: Hoisted from the Archives

Clowns (ICP)

Hoisted from the Archives: Matthew Yglesias: The Lies, The Lies: "Andrew Sullivan has been a pretty consistent proponent of the view that Paul Krugman is some sort of liar... [because of his] repeated insistences that George W. Bush's economic policy is founded on a tissue of lies. Krugman is, of course, entirely correct about this. The unnoted irony here is that in his May 14, 2001 column 'Downsize', Sullivan conceded Krugman's point: 'Ah, but the details. The Krugmans and the Chaits will shortly have a cow, if not a whole herd of them. The Times will weigh in again with yet another barrage of articles, editorials, and op-eds opposing any tax relief that would actually benefit those who pay most of the taxes. And, to be fair to these liberal critics, they're right...

Continue reading "Matthew Yglesias: The Lies, The Lies of Andrew Sullivan: Hoisted from the Archives" »


"How an Economy Can Live Beyond Its Means on Its Wits...": Hoisted from the Archives

Preview of How an Economy Can Live Beyond Its Means on Its Wits Hoisted from the Archives

Hoisted from the Archives: How an Economy Can Live Beyond Its Means on Its Wits: P.J. Grigg attacking John Maynard Keynes:

I distrust utterly those economists who have with great but deplorable ingenuity taught that it is not only possible but praiseworthy for a whole country to live beyond its mens on its wits and who, in Mr. Shaw's description, teach that it is possible to make a community rich by calling a penny tuppence—in short who have sought to make economics a vade mecum for political spivs...

Confront economists' theories of depressions and what (if anything) the government should do about them and you find yourself immediately confronted with what look to be at least seven different theories:

Continue reading ""How an Economy Can Live Beyond Its Means on Its Wits...": Hoisted from the Archives" »


Monday Smackdown: Ezra Klein Smacks Down Paul Ryan as a Grifter, and Himself for a Griftee...

Smackdown

Very welcome to see: Remember: Fool me once, shame on you; fool my twice, shame on me: Ezra Klein: Speaker Paul Ryan Retires: His Legacy Is Debt and Disappointment: "Ryan says that debt reduction is one of those things 'I wish we could have gotten done'. Ryan, the man with the single most power over the federal budget in recent years, sounds like a bystander.... To understand the irony and duplicity of that statement, you need to understand Ryan’s career. After the profligacy of the George W. Bush years and the rise of the Tea Party, Ryan rocketed to the top ranks of his party by warning that mounting deficits under President Obama threatened the 'most predictable economic crisis we have ever had in this country'. Absent the fiscal responsibility that would accompany Republican rule, we were facing nothing less than 'the end of the American dream'. Ryan’s reputation was built on the back of his budgets: draconian documents that gutted social spending, privatized Medicare, and showed the Republican Party had embraced the kinds of hard fiscal choices that Bush had sloughed off. And Ryan presented himself as the wonkish apostle of this new GOP...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Ezra Klein Smacks Down Paul Ryan as a Grifter, and Himself for a Griftee..." »


Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from 2008: Why We Called Donald Luskin "The Stupidest Man Alive"

Cargo-Cult economics. Or perhaps "TV economics". Going through motions sorta-kinda like what economists do without understanding why or what the calculations mean: Hoisted: Donald Luskin: Stupidest Man Alive: I remember a similar mistake from the past: Luskin's attempt to compute the real exchange rate produced this:

Grasping Reality with Both Hands The Semi Daily Journal Economist Brad DeLong

on which Luskin commented:

The chart... shows the real exchange rate of the US dollar for a decade before the 1982 memo, and then through the end of the Reagan presidency. It did drift slightly lower for the first couple of years after the memo. But then it took off to new highs—nothing resembling anything like [Summers's and Krugman's late 1982 prediction of] a "return to approximately their historical levels."

in fact the actual real exchange rate was:

Grasping Reality with Both Hands The Semi Daily Journal Economist Brad DeLong

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from 2008: Why We Called Donald Luskin "The Stupidest Man Alive"" »


Weekend Reading: Robert Skidelsky on Writing the Biography of John Maynard Keynes: Fifteen Years Ago on the Internet Weblogging

Hoisted from the Archives/Weekend Reading: "Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning. Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies: Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent are their instructions: Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing: Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations: All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times. There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported.

Continue reading "Weekend Reading: Robert Skidelsky on Writing the Biography of John Maynard Keynes: Fifteen Years Ago on the Internet Weblogging" »


How Powell May Approach Regulation: Bloomberg Daybreak Asia 2017-12-01: Hoisted from the Archives

From a year ago. Not a transcript but much more what I wish I had said—that is, heavily edited and revised to increase clarity, decrease stupidity, and file a little bit of the ragged stream-of-consciousness rough edges off.

Nevertheless, holds up very nicely, no?

Needless to say, the backdrop here is not the view from the Berkeley Northgate TV studio:

How Powell May Approach Regulation If Named Fed Chair Bloomberg

but this is the view from the conference room in which I am holding pre-exam-week office hours:

View from Blum Center

Unfortunately, the view of the Golden Gate to the left of the frame is blocked by three tall pine trees that have no reason to live, and the peak of Mount Tamalpais is hidden by the salmon-and-white apartment building on the right.

People over the nexzt three months trying to decide between jobs at Berkeley and at universities with larger endowments take norte..

How Powell May Approach Regulation If Named Fed Chair: From 2017-11-01: Anchor: Do you think that's concerning or do you think it's refreshing that Powell comes from the private sector?

Continue reading "How Powell May Approach Regulation: Bloomberg Daybreak Asia 2017-12-01: Hoisted from the Archives" »


Hoisted from the Archives (December 20, 2010): Can't Anybody in Obama's Inner Circle Play This Game?

Clowns (ICP)

Hoisted from the Archives: Can't Anybody in Obama's Inner Circle Play This Game?: When people in the White House ask me whether I think Obama's SOTU address should be about tax reform or Social Security reform (i.e., 2/3 Social Security benefit cuts, 1/3 tax increases offered by the administration--and God alone knows what happens after that), I want to say: Why not make the SOTU address about jobs and economic recovery?...

Continue reading "Hoisted from the Archives (December 20, 2010): Can't Anybody in Obama's Inner Circle Play This Game?" »


Margaret Thatcher Against Friedrich von Hayek's Pleas for a Lykourgan Dictatorship in Britain: Hoisted from the Archives

Hoisted: Margaret Thatcher Against Friedrich von Hayek's Pleas for a Lykourgan Dictatorship: "My dear Professor Hayek, Thank you for your letter of 5 February. I was very glad that you were able to attend the dinner so thoughtfully organised by Walter Salomon. It was not only a great pleasure for me, it was, as always, instructive and rewarding to hear your views on the great issues of our time...

Continue reading "Margaret Thatcher Against Friedrich von Hayek's Pleas for a Lykourgan Dictatorship in Britain: Hoisted from the Archives" »


Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation"

These may be the paragraphs written in this millennium that have aged least well: John Micklethwaite and Adrian Woodridge: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation": "Looking at 'Pelosiville' and 'Hastertland', it is not difficult to see why American politics has shifted to the Right. If American politics is a seesaw, it is an unevenly balanced one. Imagine Dennis Hastert at one end of the seesaw and Nancy Pelosi on the other end, and you have some idea about which party is sitting with its legs dangling in the air. In the war between the two Americas, Hastertland has been winning...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation"" »


Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: John Cochrane's Claim in Late 2008 That a Recession Would Be a Good Thing Deserves Some Kind of Award...

The fact is that by the end of 2007 the construction sector had rebalanced: there was no excess of people pounding nails in Nevada...


To: @johnmlippert: If I may beg a small slice of your attention...

I am tracking down John Cochrane's claims that (i) in your December 23, 2008 article you were "only... on a hunt for embarrassing quotes", (ii) he had "spent about 10 hours patiently trying to explain some basics" to you, and (iii) you took him out of proper context when you wrote: "'We should have a recession', Cochrane said in November, speaking to students and said in November, speaking to students and investors in a conference room.... 'People who spend their lives pounding nails in Nevada need something else to do'."

Do you by chance remember the larger context of Cochrane's "pounding nails" comment, and do you have any idea why he now claims that you took him out of context? Or what he thinks the proper context would have been?

I would be grateful for any light you can shed on this.

Yours,

Brad DeLong brad.delong@gmail.com


John M. Lippert: "Hi Professor DeLong.

Thanks for your note. Professor Cochrane’s complaint is something of which I became aware several months after we published our story in 2008.... The bottom line is that Bloomberg did not respond to Cochrane’s comments. He never sent them to us, despite my request that he do so.

When we became aware of his complaint, we saw no reason to make a correction. Cochrane made the ‘pounding nails’ comment at a Chicago Booth forum at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago in November 2008. It was part of an ongoing lecture series, as I recall. It was kind of a big event, with a couple hundred people. So they may have a recording that you can access.

Good luck with your inquiries.

Tks,

John Lippert


Just FYI, if I were John Cochrane I would not characterize my 2008 CRSP Forum Keynote as something "I did not write...". And I would not characterize accurate quotations from it as:

an attribution, taken out of context, from a http://bloomberg.com article, written by a reporter [John Lippert] with whom I spent about 10 hours patiently trying to explain some basics, and who also turned out only to be on a hunt for embarrassing quotes...

John Cochrane: How Did Paul Krugman Get It So Wrong?: "As one little example, take my quotation about carpenters in Nevada...

...Krugman writes:

And Cochrane declares that high unemployment is actually good: “We should have a recession. People who spend their lives pounding nails in Nevada need something else to do.” Personally, I think this is crazy. Why should it take mass unemployment across the whole nation to get carpenters to move out of Nevada?

I did not write this. It is an attribution, taken out of context, from a http://bloomberg.com article, written by a reporter [John Lippert] with whom I spent about 10 hours patiently trying to explain some basics, and who also turned out only to be on a hunt for embarrassing quotes.

Nevertheless, I was trying to explain how sectoral shifts contribute to unemployment. I never asserted that ‘it takes mass unemployment across the whole nation to get carpenters to move out of Nevada’. You cannot even dredge up an out-of-context quote for that monstrously made-up opinion. What is the point in conducting debate this way? I do not think that Krugman disagrees that sectoral shifts result in some unemployment, so the quote actually makes sense as economics. The only point is to make me, personally, seem heartless–a pure, personal, calumnious attack, which has nothing to do with economics...


Paul Krugman (2009): How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?: "Milton Friedman certainly never bought into the idea that mass unemployment represents a voluntary reduction in work effort or the idea that recessions are actually good for the economy. Yet the current generation of freshwater economists has been making both arguments...

...Thus Chicago’s Casey Mulligan suggests that unemployment is so high because many workers are choosing not to take jobs: “Employees face financial incentives that encourage them not to work... decreased employment is explained more by reductions in the supply of labor (the willingness of people to work) and less by the demand for labor (the number of workers that employers need to hire).” Mulligan has suggested, in particular, that workers are choosing to remain unemployed because that improves their odds of receiving mortgage relief.

And Cochrane declares that high unemployment is actually good: “We should have a recession. People who spend their lives pounding nails in Nevada need something else to do.” Personally, I think this is crazy. Why should it take mass unemployment across the whole nation to get carpenters to move out of Nevada?

Can anyone seriously claim that we’ve lost 6.7 million jobs because fewer Americans want to work?

But it was inevitable that freshwater economists would find themselves trapped in this cul-de-sac: if you start from the assumption that people are perfectly rational and markets are perfectly efficient, you have to conclude that unemployment is voluntary and recessions are desirable.

Yet if the crisis has pushed freshwater economists into absurdity, it has also created a lot of soul-searching among saltwater economists. Their framework, unlike that of the Chicago School, both allows for the possibility of involuntary unemployment and considers it a bad thing. But the New Keynesian models that have come to dominate teaching and research assume that people are perfectly rational and financial markets are perfectly efficient. To get anything like the current slump into their models, New Keynesians are forced to introduce some kind of fudge factor that for reasons unspecified temporarily depresses private spending. (I’ve done exactly that in some of my own work.) And if the analysis of where we are now rests on this fudge factor, how much confidence can we have in the models’ predictions about where we are going?

The state of macro, in short, is not good. So where does the profession go from here?...


Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation"

These may be the paragraphs written in this millennium that have aged least well: John Micklethwaite and Adrian Woodridge: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation": "Looking at 'Pelosiville' and 'Hastertland', it is not difficult to see why American politics has shifted to the Right. If American politics is a seesaw, it is an unevenly balanced one. Imagine Dennis Hastert at one end of the seesaw and Nancy Pelosi on the other end, and you have some idea about which party is sitting with its legs dangling in the air. In the war between the two Americas, Hastertland has been winning...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation"" »


Hoisted from the Archives: Robert Skidelsky vs. Niall Ferguson: John Maynard Keynes Is Not Ke$ha (Also, the U.S. Is Not Greece, and 2013 Is Not 1923)

Thinking how to talk about Schumpeter's "Ricardian Vice" and the extremely peculiar boosting by economists formerly of note and reputation of the Trump corporate tax cut, and so revisiting this https://www.bradford-delong.com/2013/05/robert-skidelsky-vs-niall-ferguson-john-maynard-keynes-is-not-keha-also-the-us-is-not-greece-and-2013-is-not-1923.html


Hoisted from the Archives: Robert Skidelsky vs. Niall Ferguson: John Maynard Keynes Is Not Ke$ha (Also, the U.S. Is Not Greece, and 2013 Is Not 1923)

And Robert Skidelsky explains what John Maynard "We'll Keep Dancing 'Till We Die" Keynes really meant by "In the long run we are all dead":

Continue reading "Hoisted from the Archives: Robert Skidelsky vs. Niall Ferguson: John Maynard Keynes Is Not Ke$ha (Also, the U.S. Is Not Greece, and 2013 Is Not 1923)" »


Hoisted from the Archives: Niall Ferguson Is Wrong to Say That He Is Doubly Stupid: Why Did Keynes Write "In the Long Run We Are All Dead"? Weblogging

Thinking how to talk about Schumpeter's "Ricardian Vice" and the extremely peculiar boosting by economists formerly of note and reputation of the Trump corporate tax cut, and so revisiting this https://www.bradford-delong.com/2013/05/niall-ferguson-is-wrong-to-say-that-he-is-doubly-stupid-why-did-keynes-write-in-the-long-run-we-are-all-dead-weblogging.html:


NewImage

Niall Ferguson:

An Open Letter to the Harvard Community: Last week I said something stupid about John Maynard Keynes.  Asked to comment on Keynes’ famous observation “In the long run we are all dead,” I suggested that Keynes was perhaps indifferent to the long run because he had no children, and that he had no children because he was gay. This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations. Second, I had forgotten that Keynes’ wife Lydia miscarried.

Niall is wrong. His suggestion was not doubly stupid. There is more.

Niall speaks of Keynes's "In the long run we are all dead" as if it is a carpe diem argument--a "seize the day" argument, analogous to Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" or Herrick's "To the Virgins"--and Ferguson sees his task as that of explaining why Keynes adopted this be-a-grasshopper-not-an-ant "party like we're gonna die young!" form of economics, or perhaps form of morality.

But that is not it at all.

Continue reading "Hoisted from the Archives: Niall Ferguson Is Wrong to Say That He Is Doubly Stupid: Why Did Keynes Write "In the Long Run We Are All Dead"? Weblogging" »


"In the Long Run We Are All Dead" in Context...

John Maynard Keynes (1923): A Tract on Monetary Reform", pp. 80-82: "[T]he [Quantity] Theory [of Money] has often been expounded on the further assumption that a mere change in the quantity of the currency cannot affect k, r, and k',—that is to say, in mathematical parlance, that n is an independent variable in relation to these quantities. It would follow from this that an arbitrary doubling of n, since this in itself is assumed not to affect k, r, and k', must have the effect of raising p to double what it would have been otherwise. The Quantity Theory is often stated in this, or a similar, form...

Continue reading ""In the Long Run We Are All Dead" in Context..." »


The Grand Strategy of the United States of America: From the Archives from 2003

stacks and stacks of books

Hoisted From the Archives from 2003: The Grand Strategy of the United States of America: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: "The economic policy of the Bush administration has been frightening: The deliberate unbalancing of the long-term finances of the U.S. government in the hope of sharpening the funding crisis of the social-insurance state—with the effect of slowing capital formation and economic growth, and increasing the interest of economic crisis. The backing-away from the Republican Party's historic commitment to free trade. The reversal of Newt Gingrich's proudest achievement: the partial reform of the farm subsidy program.

The security policy of the Bush administration has been more than frightening; it has been terrifying...

... At the moment administration insiders are trying to convince elite reporters that the Bush administration did not deceive outsiders about Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program as much as deceive itself—that the highest levels of the Bush administration proved grossly incompetent at the basics. They did not know how to assess intelligence. Nobody had heard of Machiavelli's 500-year-old warning not to trust exiles: "Such is their extreme desire to return to their homes that they naturally believe many things that are not true, and add many others on purpose; so that, with what they really believe and what they say they believe they fill you with hopes..." Note that this declaration of incompetence is the Bush administration's spin on what happened.

But the most awful and dreadfully terrifying aspect of all has been whenever Bush administration intellectual allies talk about what they see as the motivating theory of the world underlying Bush administration security policy. They call the Clinton Administration naive for believing that international relations is a positive-sum game in which all sides can win. They speak of explicit concern on the part of the United States not just for its absolute but its relative economic power. As the University of Chicago's Dan Drezner puts it, the logic of Bush's National Security Strategy is to "prevent other great powers from rising, in order to ensure the long-term growth of freedom, democracy and prosperity."

But what does "prevent other great powers from rising" mean? What could it possibly mean other than "try to keep China and India desperately poor for as long as possible"—for when China and India close even half the gap in prosperity separating them from the industrial core, their populations alone guarantee that they will be very great powers indeed.

It is certainly not in the interest of world prosperity, or in the interest of China or India, to try to keep them poor. It is not in the national interest of the United States either. The history of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries teaches us that there may well be something uniquely dangerous to world peace and political sanity during the two generations in which a culture is passing from a poor rural agricultural to a rich urban industrial (or post-industrial) economy. Whether the aggressive foreign policy pursued by Wilhelmine Germany, the Leninist and Stalinist agony of Russia, the terrors of Mao, the dictatorships of Mussolini and Franco, or the most monstrous Nazi regime—the twentieth-century transition to industrial society appears to be a very dangerous time both for the citizens of the country in transition and for neighbors and passers-by.

Is it really in the interest of the United States to try to "prevent other great powers from rising" at the cost of lengthening the period of time during which other societies are vulnerable to the devils that afflicted most notably Germany in the twentieth century? Wouldn't the rest of us rather minimize than maximize the time we might be faced with the problem of containing a National Hinduist India, a Wilhelmine China, or a Weimar Russia?

And do the rest of us want the children of China and India to be taught in fifty years that the rich countries at the turn of the twentieth century did all they could to accelerate the growth and increase the prosperity of China and India, or that the rich countries strove to "prevent other great powers from rising"?

It is long past time for a complete change of personnel at all levels of the Bush administration. The world cannot afford to have neoconservatives at high levels of the U.S. government who do not work for global prosperity and peace, but instead for maximum U.S. relative power. Now we do know that there are grownups in the Republican Party—statesmen who work for more rapid economic development, for multilateral cooperation, and for a world in which the United States leads because of its fortunate position rather than dominates because of its military power. They staffed the first Bush administration. Where are they?


#shouldread #security #hoistedfromthearchives

*Sigh* Yet More Cleaning Up After the Cockroaches: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal

Author: Sigh Yet More Cleaning Up After the Cockroaches: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: "A normal person, reading Jonathan Weisman in the Washington Post on June 8, would conclude (i) that Steven Moore is an economist, and (ii) that Kevin Hassett, Eric Engen, Glenn Hubbard, Greg Mankiw, and many other economists are 'reevaluating' the view that budget deficits are a significant minus for the economy, believe that 'the argument against deficits is more about self-righteous moralism than economics', and broadly agree with Richard Cheney's declaration that 'deficits don't matter'...

Continue reading "*Sigh* Yet More Cleaning Up After the Cockroaches: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal" »


Hoisted from the Archives: “Unknown Unknowns”: High Public Debt Levels and Other Sources of Risk in Today’s Macroeconomic Environment

Preview of Hoisted from the Archives Unknown Unknowns High Public Debt Levels and Other Sources of Risk in

Next time I give a "general macro-finance" talk, I should give this one—updated, of course. But how much updating is needed>: “Unknown Unknowns”: High Public Debt Levels and Other Sources of Risk in Today’s Macroeconomic Environment (NEEDS REVISION) https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0_py01Y-ZrGddLKba8Rl2r9eQ

It's alternative title is: Confusion: High Public Debt Levels and Other Sources of Risk in Today’s Macroeconomic Environment:

Continue reading "Hoisted from the Archives: “Unknown Unknowns”: High Public Debt Levels and Other Sources of Risk in Today’s Macroeconomic Environment" »


Prisoner's Dilemma, or Prisoners' Dilemma?: Hoisted from the Archives

Game Theory

Hoisted from the Archives: Prisoner's Dilemma: An extended passage from William Poundstone's (1992) marvelous book Prisoner's Dilemma (New York: Doubleday: 038541580X) https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0307763781. Economists will find it hilarious and thought-provoking. Others will probably find it bizarre and weird. It comes from pp.106-118.

Flood and Dresher devised a simple game where [the Nash equilibrium wasn't such a good outcome for the players].... The researchers wondered if real people playing the game--especially, people who had never heard of Nash or equilibrium points--would be drawn mysteriously to the equilibrium strategy. Flood and Dresher doubted it.

The two researchers ran an experiment that very afternoon. They recruited two friends as guinea pigs, Armen Alchian of UCLA ("AA" below), and RAND's John D. Williams ("JW"). The game was presented purely as a payoff table. The payoffs were:

(AA's payoff, JW's payoff) JW's Strategy 1 [Defect] JW's Strategy 2 [Cooperate]
AA's Strategy 1 [Cooperate] (-1, 2) (1/2, 1)
AA's Strategy 2 [Defect] (0, 1/2) (1, -1)

Continue reading "Prisoner's Dilemma, or Prisoners' Dilemma?: Hoisted from the Archives" »


The Tulsa Riot: Hoisted from the Archives

stacks and stacks of books

Hoisted from the Archives: 1921—six years after the Ku Klux Klan revival sparked by "Birth of a Nation"—the early 20th Century's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in reverse: 39 officially dead, 800 wounded, more than 35 blocks destroyed, more than 10000 people left homeless: Erik Loomis (2016): Tulsa: "The Tulsa Race Riot is one of the most shameful events in all of American history and as we know, that’s a high bar to meet...

Continue reading "The Tulsa Riot: Hoisted from the Archives" »


Friedrich Engels (1843): Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy: Hoisted from the Archives

stacks and stacks of books

Hoisted from the Archives: Friedrich Engels (1843): Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy: "According to the economists, the production costs of a commodity consist of three elements: the rent for the piece of land required to produce the raw material; the capital with its profit, and the wages for the labour required for production and manufacture...

Continue reading "Friedrich Engels (1843): Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy: Hoisted from the Archives" »


Equitable Growth in Conversation: An interview with David Card and Alan Krueger: Hoisted from the Archives

stacks and stacks of books

Hoisted from the Archives from 2016: David Card, Alan Krueger, and Ben Zipperer: Equitable Growth in Conversation: An Interview: Zipperer: "At the beginning of this discussion, a lot of arrows seemed to point back to Orley Ashenfelter. Could you talk about his influence on your work and maybe the field generally?"

Card: Well, for me it’s very strong because he was my thesis adviser and really the reason why I went to Princeton as a grad student. And even as an undergraduate, the two professors who I took courses from that had the most influence on me were students of Orley’s...

Continue reading "Equitable Growth in Conversation: An interview with David Card and Alan Krueger: Hoisted from the Archives" »


Willmoore Kendall, Harry Jaffa's Crisis of the House Divided, and the Party of Abraham Lincoln: Hoisted from the Archives

Clowns (ICP)

More about the... rather strange... musings of: Geoffrey Kabaservice: Liberals Don't Know Much About Conservative History: "Buckley’s endorsement of Southern segregation was a moral blot on the conservative movement, and he later acknowledged it as his gravest error. But it’s anti-historical to assume that Buckley was little more than a Klansman with a large vocabulary...

Continue reading "Willmoore Kendall, Harry Jaffa's Crisis of the House Divided, and the Party of Abraham Lincoln: Hoisted from the Archives" »


(Early) Monday Joint Mark Helprin/Ross Douthat/Geoffrey Kabaservice Smackdown!

Clowns (ICP)

I find, on Twitter, the smart Geoff Kabaservice being just weird: Geoff Kabaservice: @RuleandRuin: "POLITICO asked me to expand my tweet previous thread about what liberal historians tend to get wrong about conservatism..." So I go read it, and find a list of 1990s "new voices on the neoconservative/neoliberal front like David Frum, Michael Lind, Andrew Sullivan, Francis Fukuyama, John McWhorter, Richard Brookhiser, Mickey Kaus, Michael Kelly, William Kristol and John Podhoretz..."

And I think: Huh! Wait a minute! Neoliberals aren't conservative! And I think: Mickey Kaus and Michael Kelly were mean and deranged. John Podhoretz and Richard Brookhiser were not smart. Andrew Sullivan and John McWhorter always struck me as more... performance art than anything else. William Kristol was a hack back when he smelled power, but now that he does not is a genuinely quirky, interesting thinker. So are David Frum and Michael Lind. And Francis Fukuyama is a genius—but not a conservative. In general, here—as elsewhere—those who are wise and conservative are not honest, those who are honest and conservative are not wise, and those who are wise and honest and thus worth reading rapidly cease to be conservative. It's like Lasalle's Iron Law of Wages. So I think: Geoff, that's two strikes.

And I read Kabaservice to the end, and find "liberal historians should consider subscribing to the Claremont Review of Books or National Affairs". So I surf on over, and start reading—first Mark Helprin on Charlottesville. And then I stop reading: Mark Helprin: Charlottesville One Year Later: "Enter Antifa, the Communist fascisti as invisible to the mainstream media as were Stalin’s and Mao’s genocides, Castro’s executions, and, with special mention to the New York Times, the Holocaust. They came in ranks: shields, helmets, clubs, etc. But unlike the idiots they came to fight, some of whom had firearms, Antifa had the best weapon of all—well-meaning, overprotected Millennials fed upon virtue signaling..."

I stop readin: when what really gets you mad about Charlottesville is not Nazis and the Klan and "very fine people on both sides", but is rather "Antifa... Communist fascisti... invisible to the mainstream media... well-meaning, overprotected Millennials fed upon virtue signaling..." there is something very wrong with you, mentally and morally—and with the editors who publish you. Denunciations of "virtue signaling" are what people who know they are villains start doing when they think they can no longer pretend to be the good guys.

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Joint Mark Helprin/Ross Douthat/Geoffrey Kabaservice Smackdown!" »


Hoisted from teh Archives: Joseph Schumpeter on "Liquidationism"

Greatdepress banner jpg 650×375 pixels

Today's Economic History: Joseph Schumpeter on "Liquidationism": "Three things strike me while rereading Schumpeter's 1934 "Depressions" (and also his 1927 Explanation of the Business Cycle):

  1. How much smarter Schumpeter is than our modern liquidationists and austerians--he says a great many true things in and amongst the chaff, which is created by his fundamentally mistaken belief that structural adjustment must be triggered by a downturn and a wave of bankruptcies that releases resources into unemployment. How much more fun and useful it would be right now to be debating a Schumpeter right now than the ideologues calling for, say, more austerity for and more unemployment in Greece!

  2. How very strange it is for Schumpeter to be laying out his depressions-cause-structural-change-and-growth theory of business cycles at the very same moment that he is also laying out his entrepreneurs-disrupt-the-circular-flow-and-cause-structural-change-and-growth-theory of enterprise. It is, of course, the second that is correct: Growth comes from entrepreneurs pulling resources into the sectors, enterprises, products, and production methods of the future. It does not come from depressions pushing resources into unemployment. Indeed, as Keynes noted, times of depression and fear of future depression are powerful brakes halting Schumpeterian entrepreneurship: "If effective demand is deficient... the individual enterpriser... is operating with the odds loaded against him. The game of hazard which he plays is furnished with many zeros.... Hitherto the increment of the world’s wealth has fallen short of the aggregate of positive individual savings; and the difference has been made up by the losses of those whose courage and initiative have not been supplemented by exceptional skill or unusual good fortune. But if effective demand is adequate, average skill and average good fortune will be enough..."

  3. How Schumpeter genuinely seems to have no clue at all that the business cycle is a feature of a monetary economy--how very badly indeed he needed to learn, and how he never did learn, what Nick Rowe and company teach today about the effects of monetary stringency on economic coordination.

  4. And, finally, how absolutely bonkers liquidationism and austerianism remain...

Continue reading "Hoisted from teh Archives: Joseph Schumpeter on "Liquidationism"" »


Hoisted from the Archives: What Was Karl Marx's Principal Contribution?

stacks and stacks of books

What Was Karl Marx's Principal Contribution?: It really depends on what you mean by "primary contribution"...

Look: Marx started his adult life with an adolescent oppositional stance, an Enlightenment confidence that he was living in the age of humanity's liberation, and a big chip on his shoulder as a German Jew when all the real action seemed to be going on in the west in France (politics) and in Britain (industry).

Continue reading "Hoisted from the Archives: What Was Karl Marx's Principal Contribution?" »


Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: William Saletan Claims That the Real Thing Wrong with the Cheney-Bush-Rice-Rumsfeld Iraq War Was That It Prevented the Much Larger Cheney-Bush-Rice-Rumsfeld rIan War

Clowns (ICP)

Duncan Black: The Stupidest People In The World: "I was going to let this go, but I just can't. Will 'Too Stupid to Tie Shoes' Saletan wrote his little 'How a supergenius like me helped cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people' piece for Slate as a list of 'lessons learned'. All relatively innocuous until you get to the last one...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: William Saletan Claims That the Real Thing Wrong with the Cheney-Bush-Rice-Rumsfeld Iraq War Was That It Prevented the Much Larger Cheney-Bush-Rice-Rumsfeld rIan War " »


The Two-Step of Terrific Triviality: Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from the Archives

Clowns (ICP)

John Holbo: When I hear the word culture… aw, hell with it: "Jonah Goldberg is now grumbling that people are calling him stupid. But... the upshot of Goldberg’s indignant response... would seem to be that Henry was actually too charitable to Goldberg...

Continue reading "The Two-Step of Terrific Triviality: Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from the Archives" »


Yes, Republicans Are or Are Pretending to Be Easily Grifted Morons: The Theory of Relativity: Is It Time to "Teach the Controversy"?: Hoisted from Seven Years Ago

Preview of Yes Republicans Are or Are Pretending to Be Easily Grifted Morons The Theory of Relativity Is It

It is now 24 years since my default hypothesis became that that the conservative wing of the Republican Party is composed exclusively of people who have completely disabled their bullshit detectors, and were, as a result, easily-grifted morons. That default hypothesis has served me very well. Only now it is broadened: now all Republicans either have or are pretending to have completely disabled their bullshit detectors, and so now all Republicans are easily-grifted morons:

Hoisted from Seven Years Ago: The Theory of Relativity: Is It Time to "Teach the Controversy" in America's High Schools?: Jason Kuznicki pleads for charity for creationists:

Continue reading "Yes, Republicans Are or Are Pretending to Be Easily Grifted Morons: The Theory of Relativity: Is It Time to "Teach the Controversy"?: Hoisted from Seven Years Ago" »


Orange-Haired Baboons: Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

  • Just think: if the New York Times had been willing to play ball with Nate Silver, they could have things of this quality—rather than more of their standard politician-celebrity-gossip and "Javanka are going to save us all" that has done so much to empower the Orange-Haired Baboons of the world: Nathaniel Rakich: 538 Election Update: How Our House Forecast Compares With The Experts’ Ratings: "FiveThirtyEight’s forecast is a tad more bullish on Democrats’ chances overall than the three major handicappers...

  • Why are Fox News's victims so easily-grifted with respect to making them scared of liberal universities?: Jacob T. Levy: "I’ve made a lot of arguments in my life to people who didn’t want to hear them. I argued about sodomy laws and Bowers vs Hardwick with my grandmother when I was 15...

  • Michael Tomasky: Hail to the Chief: "It’s worth stepping back here to review quickly the steps by which the Republican Party became this stewpot of sycophants, courtesans, and obscurantists...

Continue reading "Orange-Haired Baboons: Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads" »


Monday DeLong Smackdown/Hoisted: Greenspanism Looking Pretty Good...

Oy: This was perhaps the biggest thing I got most wrong in 2008. It's not saved by the weasel-words at the end: "If the tide of financial distress sweeps the Fed and the Treasury away--if we find ourselves in a financial-meltdown world where unemployment or inflation kisses 10%--then I will unhappily concede, and say that Greenspanism was a mistake...: Greenspanism Looking Pretty Good...: Martin Wolf is gloomy:

A year of living dangerously for the world: It is now almost a year since the US subprime crisis went global. Many then hoped that the repricing of risk would be no more than a brief interruption.... Such hopes have been disappointed.... So where is the world economy now? And where might it go? Here are some preliminary answers to these questions.

Continue reading "Monday DeLong Smackdown/Hoisted: Greenspanism Looking Pretty Good..." »


Ten Years and One Month Ago on Grasping Reality: July 15-17. 2008...

stacks and stacks of books

Brad DeLong was totally, utterly, completely wrong on July 16, 2008. In my defense, I would say that my wrongness was because I did not understand that Bernanke, Geithner, and Paulson were about to abandon Bagehot's Rule for how to deal with a financial crisis. Why did they abandon Bagehot's Rule? None of them has ever given an explanation of their thinking that I can regard as other than transparently false: Greenspanism Looking Pretty Good...: The dot-com bubble and the real-estate bubble were bad news for the investors in Webvan, WorldCom, Countrywide, FNMA, and securitized subprime mortgages. But they were, by and large, good news for the rest of us. And investors are supposed to take care of themselves. Now we are not yet out of the woods. If the tide of financial distress sweeps the Fed and the Treasury away--if we find ourselves in a financial-meltdown world where unemployment or inflation kisses 10%--then I will unhappily concede, and say that Greenspanism was a mistake. But so far the real economy in which people make stuff and other people buy it has been remarkably well insulated from panic at 57th and Park and on Canary Wharf...

Why We Need a Different Opposition Party to Compete with the Democrats (Miscellaneous): The spinmasters for Goldwater, Nixon, and Reagan rooted the Republican Party in three beliefs: 1. the government is not on your side--the government is on the side of the Negroes. 2. tax cuts always raise revenues. 3. the people outside our borders (and the people inside our borders who came from outside our borders) are not our friends. The ramifications of these beliefs have poisoned the entire party. They are the reason that smart well-intentioned Republicans--like George H.W. Bush--turned out to be mediocre presidents; that not-smart but well-intentioned Republicans--like Ronald Reagan (who with the help of his wife and her astrologer partially escaped #3)--turned out to be lousy presidents; and Republicans who were neither smart nor well-meaning--like George W. Bush--has turned out to be either the worst or the second-worst president in American history (depending on what you think of James Buchanan)...

Let Us Now Speak Ill of the Economist of London: I would not have thought that a British publication could write an obituary for Jesse Helms that omits Helms's claim that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a communist dupe helping the Russians conquer Central America. Nevertheless, the London Economist does...

Continue reading "Ten Years and One Month Ago on Grasping Reality: July 15-17. 2008..." »


The Battle of Diu: Hoisted from the Archives

Hoisted from the Archives: The Battle of Diu (1509): One of the great might-have-beens in world history concerns the 1509 Battle of Diu. What if it had gone the other way? Or what if Sultans Beyezid II, Selim the Grim, Suleiman the Lawgiver, and Selim the Sot, and Murad III had shifted a small additional part of the military effort they were making in the Balkans and the Mediterranean into the Indian Ocean?...

Continue reading "The Battle of Diu: Hoisted from the Archives" »


Should Kansas's (and Missouri's) Future Be "a Lot More Like Texas"?: Hoisted from the Archives

Clowns (ICP)

Hoisted from them Archives: Should Kansas's (and Missouri's) Future Be "a Lot More Like Texas"?: That is one of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's constant applause lines—that he wants Kansas to be a lot less like California and a lot more like Texas.And so I was reading Bryan Burrough on Erica Grieder: ‘Big, Hot, Cheap and Right’: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas.... Burrough applaud's Erica Grieder's "counter[ing] much of this silliness" that "Texas is corrupt, callous, racist, theocratic, stupid, belligerent, and most of all, dangerous.” The problem is that three paragraphs later Burrough is writing of how:

Texas’s laissez-faire mix of weak government, low taxes and scant regulations is deeply rooted in its 1876 Constitution, which was an attempt to vehemently dismantle an oppressive post-Civil War government of Radical Reconstructionists…

What was most "oppressive" about the Radical Reconstructionists? It was, of course, that they thought African-Americans should vote, and enabled them to do so.

Continue reading "Should Kansas's (and Missouri's) Future Be "a Lot More Like Texas"?: Hoisted from the Archives" »


Ten Years and One Month Ago at Grasping Reality: July 12-14, 2008

stacks and stacks of books

BBC Reality TV?: Andrew Samwick: "A News Program or Reality TV? | Capital Gains and Games: I agree with Stan—this post by Brad DeLong about his appearance opposite Grover Norquist on a BBC 'news' program is a classic.  If Norquist is the BBC's idea of a right-of-center expert on the challenges facing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the implications of those challenges for federal policy, then the BBC does not qualify as a news organization.  And as a result I care as much for its continued existence as I do any other reality TV program, which is not much at all..."

Continue reading "Ten Years and One Month Ago at Grasping Reality: July 12-14, 2008" »


Hoisted from the Archives: James Scott and Friedrich Hayek

Il Quarto Stato

James Scott and Friedrich Hayek: My review of James Scott (1998), Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press: 0300070160):

 

I. Introduction

There is a lot that is excellent in James Scott's Seeing Like a State.

On one level, it is an extraordinary well-written and well-argued tour through the various forms of damage that have been done in the twentieth century by centrally-planned social-engineering projects—by what James Scott calls 'high modernism' and the attempt to use high modernist principles and practices to build utopia. As such, every economist who reads it will see it as marking the final stage in the intellectual struggle that the Austrian tradition has long waged against apostles of central planning. Heaven knows that I am no Austrian—I am a liberal Keynesian and a social democrat—but within economics even liberal Keynesian social democrats acknowledge that the Austrians won victory in their intellectual debate with the central planners long ago.

Continue reading "Hoisted from the Archives: James Scott and Friedrich Hayek" »


Herbert Hoover: As Bad to Ally with Stalin and Churchill Against Hitler as to Ally with Hitler Against Stalin and Churchill

Clowns (ICP)

I was reading Herbert Hoover (1964): Freedom Betrayed on the plane, and it is really clear to me why nobody wanted Hoover to publish it during his lifetime and why his heirs buried it for half a century:

I will tell you what I think. I think Hoover does not quite dare say:

When Hitler attacked Stalin in June 1941, the U.S. should have told Britain to cool it—embargoed Britain until and offered it security guarantees when it made peace with Germany—and then the U.S. should have supported Hitler in his war on Communism, by far the worst of the three totalitarianism of Communism, Naziism, and New Dealism. Afterwards, Hitler and his successors would have had their hands full ruling their Eurasian empire, and Naziism would have normalized itself, and Communism would be gone. Too bad about Nazi rule over the French, Belgians, Dutch, Danes, and Norwegians, but that would have been a price well worth paying.

He does not quite dare say it, but he is thinking it, and almost gets there...

Herbert Hoover:

Continue reading "Herbert Hoover: As Bad to Ally with Stalin and Churchill Against Hitler as to Ally with Hitler Against Stalin and Churchill" »


"Populism" or "Neo-Fascism"?: Rectification of Names Blogging: Hoisted from a Year Ago

Hoisted from a Year Ago: "Populism" or "Neo-Fascism"?: Rectification of Names Blogging: That is neither the post-WWII Latin American nor the pre-WWI North American form of "populism". I do not think we are well served by naming it such. What should we name it instead? There is an obvious candidate, after all...

Il Quarto Stato

The highlight of last week's JEF-APARC Conference at Stanford https://www.jef.or.jp for me was getting to sit next to Frank Fukuyama https://fukuyama.stanford.edu, whom I had never met before.


Frank is a former Deputy Director of Policy planning at the State Department, author of the extremely good books on political order The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution http://amzn.to/2sEt4AI and Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy http://amzn.to/2sU0WZP, and a very sharp guy.

Continue reading ""Populism" or "Neo-Fascism"?: Rectification of Names Blogging: Hoisted from a Year Ago" »


Teddy Roosevelt: "We Have Traveled Far...": How to Look on Our Predecessors with Charity and Justice

NewImage

“We have traveled far...“ said Teddy Roosevelt, looking back at the Puritans.

And we today, looking back at Teddy Roosevelt, have reason to say the same thing.

We can hope that, were Teddy with us today and were he given an opportunity for sober reflection and consideration, he would agree.

  • We can hope that he would agree that many of his attitudes towards women come out of an ideological and cultural superstructure, erected largely for the benefit of men, built on top of a near-Malthusian biological regime in which the typical woman spent 20 years of her life eating for two.

  • We can hope that he would agree that all of his fears about “race“ and its impact on America in his day have been falsified by the history of America since his.

  • And we can hope that, as far as “improving the breed“ is concerned, Roosevelt today would understand that, even on the narrowest perspective of what maximizes the survival probability of the human species as a breeding population, our genetic diversity is already so low that we cannot afford to further reduce it along almost any dimension—that "eugenics" as he understood it is a big no-no.

And we can welcome the valuable things that Teddy Roosevelt tried to carry forward from his time into ours...

Continue reading "Teddy Roosevelt: "We Have Traveled Far...": How to Look on Our Predecessors with Charity and Justice" »


Hoisted/Smackdown: Yes, Noam Chomsky Is a Liar. Why Do You Ask?

Hoisted/Smackdown: On the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia...: May 31, 2006: Having made the mistake of having joked about Noam Chomsky and so provoked a Chomskyite troll eruption that was painful to clean out, I believe that I have to make my position clear:

Noam Chomsky is a liar.

For example, Noam Chomsky says:

On the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Danilo Mandic: Director of Communications [for Clinton Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott], John Norris.... [T]ake a look on John Norris's book and what he says is that the real purpose of the war had nothing to do with concern for Kosovar Albanians. It was because Serbia was not carrying out the required social and economic reforms, meaning it was the last corner of Europe which had not subordinated itself to the US-run neoliberal programs, so therefore it had to be eliminated. That's from the highest level...

John Norris simply does not say what Chomsky says Norris says. "Reform[ing] their economies, mitigat[ing] ethnic tensions, and broaden[ing] civil society" is simply not the same thing as "subordinat[ing] itself to the US-run neoliberal programs". NATO moved against Milosevic because he had proceeded "from mass murder to mass murder", not because Serbia was evidence that economic prosperity was attainable by doing the opposite of what the U.S. recommended

Here's the passage from John Norris (2005), Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo (New York: Praeger), that Chomsky is misciting, p. xxii ff.:

Continue reading "Hoisted/Smackdown: Yes, Noam Chomsky Is a Liar. Why Do You Ask?" »


Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 11, 2008

stacks and stacks of books

EVERY TIME I TRY TO CRAWL OUT, THEY PULL ME BACK IN!: In short, I trot over to the J-School TV studio as part of the sober, sensible, bipartisan consensus, intending to carry water for Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson. And what do I find also on BBC/Newsnight when I get there? I FIND THAT I AM ON WITH GROVER-FRACKING-NORQUIST!! I FIND THAT I AM ON WITH GROVER-FRACKING-NORQUIST!!! WHO HAS THREE POINTS HE WANTS TO MAKE: (1) Barack Obama wants to take your money by raising your taxes and pay it to the Communist Chinese. (2) Oil prices are high today and the economy is in a near recession because of Nancy Pelosi: before Nancy Pelosi became speaker economic growth was fine--and she is responsible for high oil prices too. (3) Economic growth is stalling because congress has not extended the Bush tax cuts. Congress needs to extend the Bush tax cuts, and if it does then that will fix the economy, and if it doesn't then the economy cannot recover. I am not paid enough to deal with this lying bullshit. I am not paid enough to deal with Grover Norquist and his willful stream of defecation into the global information pool...

Continue reading "Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 11, 2008" »


Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 10, 2008

Department of "Huh?" General Motors Bailout Edition: Why oh why can't we have a better press corps? Why oh why do we watch the New York Times in a death spiral? Why does it publish Roger Lowenstein telling us that: "Extravagant Pensions Are Killing General Motors.... G.M. acknowledged in its most recent annual report that from 1993 to 2007 it... has been sending far more money to its retirees than to its owners..." When GM offered the UAW more lavish benefits, it did so in order to induce the UAW to accept less generous wages. The money that GM paid in the 1990s and 2000s to fund pension and retiree health benefits was offset by wages that GM did not have to pay in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Lowenstein appears to want to live in a world in which GM (a) gets a break on its wage costs in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s; and can do so (b) without having to pay any money to fund pensions in the 1990s and 2000s. I don't want to live in Roger Lowenstein's world.

Washington Post Death Spiral Watch: Words fail me: "Gerson: The Immorality of Food Stamps". Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

The Transparent Society: Distributed global surveillance: "Spotted Brad DeLong wearing a "Jedi Masters for Barack Obama" t-shirt..."


Hoisted/Smackdown: FLASH: Clive Crook and Jack Shafer Upset Because People Informing People Are Claiming to Be Journalists

Smackdown

I was performing one of my standard rants last week at lunch: about how—with very honorable but notably rare exceptions—you should view everything you see on a video screen or read in any medium from somebody paid to be a "journalist" through a hermeneutics of grave suspicion: Assume, unless and until demonstrated otherwise, that they are working for, in this order: (1) their sources, (2) their editors, (3) their advertisers, and (4) for you not at all—they simply are not interested in being a trustworthy information intermediary informing you about the world.

I got some pushback. So it is time to hoist this again from 2005. In one short week, pieces crossed my desk from both Jack Shafer and Clive Crook. Both made it very clear that, in their minds, informing people about the world is positively unprofessional for a journalist (that is the point of Shafer's attack on Klein and Yglesias) or simply not a relevant consideration (that is the point of Crook's relative exaltation of Cramer and dissing of Stewart):

FLASH: Monday Smackdown Clive Crook and Jack Shafer Upset Because People Informing People Are Claiming to Be Journalists: Hoisted from 2015: http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/02/flash-clive-crook-and-jack-shafer-upset-because-john-stewart-and-ezra-klein-pretty-sure-earth-is-not-flat.html "Two things that crossed my desk last week that offend the shape of reality itself, and really do deserve to be smacked down.

Continue reading "Hoisted/Smackdown: FLASH: Clive Crook and Jack Shafer Upset Because People Informing People Are Claiming to Be Journalists" »


On the Negative Information Revealed by Marvin Goodfriend's "I Don't Teach IS-LM": Smackdown/Hoisted

Smackdown

So Rich Clarida's (who should be a good Fed Vice Chair) and Michelle Bowman's Federal Reserve nominations (whom I do not know) made it out of the Senate Banking Committee 20-5 and 18-7. Marvin Goodfriend—who made it out 13-12—is still hanging fire on the Senate calendar. There is no reason I see to think that Fed Governor is a job he should have: there are much more sensible and reality-based conservative and inflation-hawkish monetary economists out there. One of them would dominate Marvin along every dimension. So it is time to highlight this again:

Hoisted from the Archives: I think it is time to move Marvin Goodfriend over to the "unprofessional" and "should not have a role making monetary policy" side of the ledger. There are much better inflation hawks as far as policy judgment is concerned. And someone with a demonstrated desire to pander to the yahoos—which is the only way I can make this coherent—is not a good candidate for the Board of Governors: On the Negative Information Revealed by Marvin Goodfriend's "I Don't Teach IS-LM": The smart and snarky Sam Bell wants to taunt me into rising to his bait by twittering https://twitter.com/sam_a_bell/status/872116967070732288 a quote from likely Fed nominee Marvin Goodfriend: "I don't teach IS-LM". He succeeds. Here is the quote:

Continue reading "On the Negative Information Revealed by Marvin Goodfriend's "I Don't Teach IS-LM": Smackdown/Hoisted" »


Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 9, 2008

Real Fiscal Responsibility: And we are underway: Henry Aaron, Nancy Altman, Kenneth Apfel, James Blum, J. Bradford DeLong, Peter Diamond, Robert Greenstein, James Horney, Richard Kogan, Jack Lew, Marilyn Moon, Van Doorn Ooms, Uwe Reinhardt, Charles Schultze, Robert Solow, and Paul Van de Water: (1) agree that the nation faces large persistent budget deficits that ultimately risk significant damage to the economy, (2) concur that policymakers should begin now to make the tough choices needed to avert such deficits, (3) But the methods set forth in the Brookings/Heritage/Concord "Taking Back Our Fiscal Future" proposal strike us as misguided. Specifically: TBOFF subjects Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to the threat of automatic cuts while giving a free pass to regressive open-ended tax-loophole and tax-break entitlements... thus departs from the "shared sacrifice" approach... does not focus adequate attention on... rising health care... attempts to restrain public health care spending growth without taking measures to alter the dynamics of the private health care markets... places a large share of the burden of adjustment on the poorer members of American society... relies on automatic cuts... [that] congress has never in the past been willing to actually let... take effect...

Continue reading "Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 9, 2008" »


Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 8, 2008

Preview of Some Fairly Recent Must and Should Reads About Economic Inequality

Perry Bacon, Jr., is a bad human being: Marcus Brauchli Has, I Think, Made a Big Mistake (Washington Post Death Spiral Watch): Former WSJ executive Marcus Brauchli has agreed to take over the Washington Post.... This is, I think, a huge mistake for him and his reputation.... All you have to look at is page A1 of this morning's paper--at the article by Perry Bacon, Jr., who has already written what the Columbia Journalism Review judged the worst article of the 2008 campaign. The headline of the article is: "Candidates Diverge on How to Save Social Security". The echo of Paul Krugman's 2000 joke: "If Bush said that the world was flat, the headline on the news analysis [the next day] would read 'Shape of Earth: Views Differ'" is clear. But nobody at the Washington Post gets the joke. And the substance of the article is as bad as the headline...

Wise: Ben Bernanke Is Right: If we were back in the late nineteenth century, there would be no question--back then, banks were banks. Anything that promised liquidity, borrowed short, and invested long was a bank. And central banks existed to watch over them. It's only in our more legalistic age that we have non-banks that aren't shepherded by the central bank...

Rare among veterans, John McCain is a big fan of 'preemptive war': Jed Lewison on Why America Cannot Afford to Elect John McCain: My line used to be that John McCain was the best possible Republican candidate--he was, after all, the only one not enthusiastically in favor of torture. But Jed Lewison has now convinced me that McCain is worse than I could previously have imagined. How has he done this. By firing up the Wayback Machine and taking us back to 2002 to listen to John McCain on the virtues of preemptive wars...

Continue reading "Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 8, 2008" »


Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 1-7, 2008

  • My belief that DHE had any goals other than to suck up to Republican donors and politicians was wrong: Douglas Holtz-Eakin Burns His Credibility: "Holtz-Eakin said, “Sen. Obama can say what he wants this week… but this is about his record. It reveals what his true values are”—that he voted for something that would raise taxes on low-income voters, Holtz-Eakin claimed.... This is, I think, a bad mistake for Doug Holtz-Eakin. If McCain wins in November, Holtz-Eakin will need credibility with Democratic as well as Republican senators. And if McCain doesn't win in November, Holtz-Eakin will need credibility with Democratic as well as Republican economists...

  • Lehman's Off Balance Sheet Entities News: They disturb Jonathan Weil quite a bit...

  • Jim Hamilton Assumes the Role of Dr. Doom: Time to start sending out more stimulus checks--advances on next April's refund checks...

  • The Singularity Is in Our Past...: Will McLean writes: "A Commonplace Book: Buying Power of 14th Century Money: In the second half of the 14th century, a pound sterling would: Support the lifestyle of a single peasant laborer for half a year, or that of a knight for a week. Or buy: Three changes of clothing for a teenage page (underclothes not included) or Twelve pounds of sugar or A carthorse or Two cows or An inexpensive bible or ten ordinary books or Rent a craftsman’s townhouse for a year or Hire a servant for six months... "Think of a world in which a pound of sugar costs two weeks' wages...

  • Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (John F. Harris Edition): "John F. Harris of the Politico, formerly of the Washington Post, confesses that he doesn't even try to do his job of informing Americans about which politicians would make good presidents and legislators--furthest thing from his mind.... I do wonder how he can look at himself in the mirror in the morning. It is a mystery...

  • Atlantic Monthly Death Spiral Watch: Tim Burke reminds us of what may have been the worst article published by the Atlantic Monthly, ever: "Easily Distracted: Political Notes: I keep flashing back to Mark Bowden’s willingness to be a front man for security functionaries eager to normalize torture. Bowden’s article assured readers that 'harsh interrogation' had reached a point of trust-worthy technocratic professionalism in Israel and now potentially the United States. Don’t worry, he said: professionals only use it when they need to, only against those individuals who have knowledge that our trusted leaders must have. It’s won’t be as if some sweaty thug in a filthy gulag is ripping off fingernails just to intimidate a political dissident, that’s only a danger with unprofessional regimes that torture unnecessarily. I mean, it’s not as if we’d be doing something that an infamous authoritarian regime used extensively against dissidents. Besides, who needs moral capital when you’ve got stealth bombers, right?..."

  • Peter Beinart is weighed down under an enormous karmic burden for acts of intellectual evil in the past: Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Peter Beinart Strikes Again Edition): "It is safe to say that Peter Beinart makes a very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care: "Balancing Act: The Other Wilsonianism The contrast with the development of modern conservative foreign policy is instructive. When William F. Buckley, James Burnham, and the other founding editors of _National Review+ set out in the 1950s to devise a conservative approach to the Cold War, they did so in the full knowledge that their views were wildly outside the political mainstream. (In fact, Buckley and Burnham did not even live in Washington.) Yet they continued to elaborate and refine them, making few concessions to political necessity, until in 1976 and 1980, when Ronald Reagan brought first the Republican Party, and then the entire country, around to their worldview..." Burnham's and Buckley's foreign policy was "Rollback": a titanic Manichean struggle of total Cold War against a totalitarian adversary that could not be softened or negotiated with or contained—that was Buckley's and Burnham's critique of Harry S Truman, Dean Acheson, George F. Kennan, George Marshall, and the other graduates of what Nixon called "Acheson's Cowardly College of Communist Containment." What was Ronald Reagan's foreign policy?... Once George Shultz, Nancy Reagan, and Nancy Reagan's astrologer had wrested control of the Reagan administration foreign policy apparat from Alexander Haig and Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Reagan (and even more so George H.W. Bush) was squarely in the "Containment"—not the "Rollback"—tradition. To Peter Beinart's claim that Reagan's foreign policy was "Buckley['s and] Burnham['s]... conservative approach to the Cold War," all I can do is laugh and say: "Klaatu Barada Nikto!!" Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

  • Ulysses Simpson "Sam" Grant Blogging: "I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse..."

Continue reading "Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality: July 1-7, 2008" »


IIRC, back when I first read Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia, I thought it was a joke: He spent all this space ranting about how nobody is allowed to make consequentialist arguments, and then makes the consequentialist argument that Lockeian appropriation of pieces of the global commons as private property is fine because it has the consequence of making the world richer? And then there was this: using the Cambridge Rent Control Board to break his contract—his self-actualization as a promise-making autonomous moral being—to extort 30,000 dollars from Eric Segal: Anarchy, State, and Rent Control.

I now think that Anarchy, State, and Utopia was a joke that turned into a grift. Cf.: Robert Bork, who after a lifetime of calling for "tort reform" files a slip-and-fall lawsuit against the Yale Club of Manhattan...