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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (October 31, 2019)

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MUST OF THE MUSTS

  • Comment of the Day: Grizzled in Age of the Expert as Policymaker Is Coming To an End https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/comment-of-the-day-_grizzled_-in-age-of-the-expert-as-policymaker-is-coming-to-an-end-alas-i-dont-think-its-usual.html: 'Alas, I don't think it's usually possible for non-experts to evaluate expert judgements. The Reinhard and Rogoff example is more the exception than the rule. Consider the case of global warming. Google 'Conversion of a Global Warming Skeptic'. This is a case where is took 18 months of work, which was funded so it could be not only full time but assisted, for a Phd in physics to accumulate enough background to become convinced that the climate scientists had been right all along...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: _Orlando Letelier (1976): The ‘Chicago Boys’ in Chile: Economic Freedom’s Awful Toll: _ https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/orlando-letelier-1976-the-chicago-boys-in-chile-economic-freedoms-awful-toll-hoisted-from-the-archives.html: 'It is nonsensical... that those who inspire, support or finance that economic policy should try to present their advocacy as restricted to “technical consid erations,” while pretending to reject the system of terror it requires to succeed...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: Contra Raghu Rajan: Economic Stimulus Has Not Failed, It Has Not Been Tried (on a Large Enough Scale) https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/contra-raghu-rajan-economic-stimulus-has-not-failed-it-has-not-been-tried-on-a-large-enough-scale.html: 'Back in 2007 I would have said that every macroeconomist who has done any homework at all believes that coordinated monetary and fiscal expansion together increase at least the flow of nominal GDP. Now comes the very smart Raghu Rajan to say, apparently, not so...

  • Weekend Reading: Benjamin Wittes: The Collapse of the President’s Defense https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/benjamin-wittes-the-collapse-of-the-presidents-defense-weekend-reading.html: 'It was never a strong defense. After all, Trump himself released the smoking gun early in L’Affaire Ukrainienne when the White House published its memo of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That document erased any question as to whether Trump had asked a foreign head of state to “investigate”—a euphemism for digging up dirt on—his political opponents. There was no longer any doubt that he had asked a foreign country to violate the civil liberties of American citizens by way of interfering in the coming presidential campaign. That much we have known for certain for weeks. The clarity of the evidence did not stop the president’s allies from trying to fashion some semblance of defense. But the past few days of damaging testimony have stripped away the remaining fig leaves...

  • Weekend Reading: Milton Friedman (1982): Free Markets and the Generals https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/milton-friedman-1982-free-markets-and-the-generals-weekend-reading.html: 'Military juntas in other South American countries have been as authoritarian in the economic sphere as they have been in politics.... None, with the exception of Chile, has supported a fully free market economy as a matter of principle. Chile is an economic miracle. Inflation has been cut from 700% a year in mid-1974 to less than 10% a year. After a difficult transition, the economy boomed, growing an aver age of about 8% a year from 1976 to 1980. Real wages and employment rose rapidly and unemployment fell. Imports and exports surged after export subsidies were eliminated and tariffs were slashed to a flat 10% (except for temporarily higher rates for most automobiles)...

  • Voltaire: The Presbyterians https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/voltaire-the-works-of-voltaire-vol-xix-philosophical-letters: 'Though the Episcopal and Presbyterian sects are the two prevailing ones in Great Britain, yet all others are very welcome to come and settle in it, and they live very sociably together, though most of their preachers hate one another almost as cordially as a Jansenist damns a Jesuit. Take a view of the Royal Exchange in London, a place more venerable than many courts of justice, where the representatives of all nations meet for the benefit of mankind. There the Jew, the Mahometan, and the Christian transact business together, as though they were all of the same religion, and give the name of Infidels to none but bankrupts; there the Presbyterian confides in the Anabaptist, and the Churchman depends upon the Quaker’s word. At the breaking up of this pacific and free assembly, some withdraw to the synagogue, and others to take a glass. This man goes and is baptized in a great tub, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that man has his son’s foreskin cut off, and causes a set of Hebrew words—to the meaning of which he himself is an utter stranger—to be mumbled over the infant; others retire to their churches, and there wait the inspiration of heaven with their hats on; and all are satisfied. If one religion only were allowed in England, the government would very possibly become arbitrary; if there were but two, the people would cut one another’s throats; but, as there is such a multitude, they all live happy, and in peace...

  • The fall of the Roman Empire in the west: implications for literature and literary culture: Erich Auerbach: Mimesis: 'Gregory of Tours: "Serious local fighting arose at that time between inhabitants of the region of Tours. For Sicharius, son of the late John, celebrated the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord at the village of Manthelan with Austrighiselus and the other neighbors. And the priest of the place sent a boy over to invite some of the men to come to his house for a drink. When the boy got there, one of those he invited drew his sword and did not refrain from striking at him. He fell down and was dead. Sicharius was friendly with the priest, and when he heard that one of his boys had been murdered, he took his arms and went to the church to wait for Austrighiselus...

  • But... But... But... There are no hot summer nights in Sausalito!: Wikipedia: Sausalito Summernight https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sausalito_Summernight...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings (October 20, 2019)...

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Must of the Musts:

  • Why am I hearing "very fine people on both sides!"? here: Robert Knight: Letters · LRB: Globalists: "Alexander Zevin writes that Friedrich Hayek opposed the use of sanctions against apartheid, and ‘confided to his secretary that he liked blacks no better than Jews’ (LRB, 15 August). The antisemitic antecedents of National Socialism are conspicuous by their absence in The Road to Serfdom; if we assume the manuscript was completed in 1943, it almost completely ignores a decade of antisemitic persecution and four years of Nazi war crimes and atrocities. In the Spectator in January 1947 Hayek attacked the ‘blunders’ of denazification in Austria, including the suspension of violinists from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra because they had been Nazi party members. It was, he wrote, ‘scarcely easier to justify the prevention of a person from fiddling because he was a Nazi than the prevention because he is a Jew’...

  • BREXIT!!!!!: Hugh Mannerings: "I'm not saying there wasn't a Democratic mandate for Brexit at the time. I'm just saying if I narrowly decided to order fish at a restaurant that was known for chicken, but said it was happy to offer fish, and so far I've been waiting three hours, and two chefs who promised to cook the fish had quit, and the third one is promising to deliver the fish in the next five minutes whether it's cooked or not, or indeed still alive, and all the waiting staff have spent the last few hours arguing amongst themselves about whether I wanted battered cod, grilled salmon, jellied deals, or dolphin kebabs, and if large parts of the restaurant appeared to be on fire, but no one was paying attention to it because they were all arguing about fish, I would like, just once, to be asked if I definitely still wanted the fish...

  • Once again, we have a piece by an impressively credentialed academic Republican economists that seems to me to have... no contact with reality. There is no economist I know of save for Robert Barro who has ever said or implied that the "neutral" real interest rate today is the same 2.4% that the average real interest rate was from 1986-2008. To the contrary, there has been a very long and active discussion—led over the past two decades by current New York Fed President John Williams—about how far the "neutral" rate has fallen, and how persistent that fall will be. And one conclusion of that debate has been that the current real federal funds rate of "only 0.7%" does indeed look "high" by some important metrics. So why would anyone write as thought this literature does not exist?: Robert J. Barro: Is Politics Getting to the Fed?: "One could infer the normal rate from the average federal funds rate over time. Between January 1986 and August 2008, it was 4.9%, and the average inflation rate was 2.5%...

  • My friend Jason Furman keeps telling me that the Obama Administration sincerely sought throughout its tenure in office to boost employment in America via expansionary fiscal policy. I agree that Jason did. But the administration? No. When Jason and company could win internal fights, yes. But otherwise the Obama Administration seemed to me to be focused on winning the day's media narrative, and if dingbat kabuki moves that were destructive of employment growth could attain that daily goal, they were gleefully and joyfully embraced—even if they were pointlessly cruel to those4 on whom the success of the Obama Administration rested. For example: Jack Lew (November 29, 2010): Tightening Our Belts https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2010/11/29/tightening-our-belts: "The freeze will apply to all civilian federal employees.... This pay freeze is not a reflection on their fine work. It is a reflection of the fiscal reality that we face: just as families and businesses across the nation have tightened their belts, so must the federal government...

  • There have been many disruptions of the functioning of the discursive public sphere by new communications technologies. The most recent significant one was the early-twentieth century disruption by radio. The very sharp and witty Maciej Ceglowski provides us with a brief introduction: Maciej Ceglowski: Legends of the Ancient Web: "It doesn't take long for politically talented people to discover how to use radio for their own ends. One of these early pioneers in the United States is Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest and early religious broadcaster who notices that his angry rants on political topics net him a much bigger audience than his discourses on religion. By the middle of the 1930's, Coughlin has an active audience of ten million tuning in to hear him rail against against bankers and international conspiracies, in a way that sounds uncomfortably familiar in 2017. Here's Father Coughlin at the top of his game, yelling about banks...

  • Project Syndicate: No, We Don’t “Need” a Recession https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/no-we-dont-need-a-recession-by-j-bradford-delong-project-syndicate.html: "It was not uncommon for commentators to argue for a “needed” recession before the big one hit in 2008-2010. But I, for one, assumed that this claim was a decade dead. Who in 2019 could say with a straight face that a recession and high unemployment under conditions of low inflation would be a good thing? Apparently, I was wrong. The argument turns out to be an example of what Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman calls a “zombie idea … that should have died long ago in the face of evidence or logic, but just keeps shambling forward, eating peoples’ brains.” Clearly, those who claim to welcome recessions have never looked at the data. If they did, they would understand that beneficial structural changes to the economy occur during booms, not during busts...

  • Hoisted from the Archives from 2010: Perhaps. And Sometimes https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/perhaps-and-sometimes-cato-unbound.html: That Sherwood Forest is illegible to the Sheriff of Nottingham allows Robin of Locksley and Maid Marian to survive. But that is just a stopgap. In the final reel of Ivanhoe the fair Rebecca must be rescued from the unworthy rogue Templar Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert (and packed offstage to marry some young banker or rabbi), the Sheriff of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gisborne must receive their comeuppance, the proper property order of Nottinghamshire must be restored, and Wilfred must marry the fair Rowena–and all this is accomplished by making Sherwood Forest and Nottinghamshire legible to the true king, Richard I “Lionheart” Plantagenet, and then through his justice and good lordship...

  • Comment of the Day: Harold Carmel on March of the Peacocks https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/comment-of-the-day-_harold-carmel_-in-paul-krugman-march-of-the-peacocks-as-prof-delong-has-often-pointed-out-obam.html: "Obama's turn toward austerity in that SOTU was a very dumb policy idea.... Obama presented himself as post-partisan and thought the Republicans would reciprocate. How did that work out?...

  • Comment of the Day: Phil Koop on Quantum Supremacy https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/comment-of-the-day-_phil-koop_-on-quantum-supremacy-in-reply-to-kaleberg-your-objection-is-mistaken-as-scott-aaronso.html: "Scott Aaronson explains: 'You don’t get to arbitrarily redefine whatever random chemical you find in the wild to be a “computer for simulating itself.” Under any sane definition, the superconducting devices that Google, IBM, and others are now building are indeed “computers”...

  • Comment of the Day: _Ebenezer Scrooge on Stanford Week: _ https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/comment-of-the-day-_ebenezer-scrooge_-in-stanford-week-the-formula-for-succeeding-as-an-undergrad-at-an-enormous-stat.html: "The formula for succeeding as an undergrad at an enormous state university is to pretend you're a grad student, and dive into a department full time. You're likely to get a decent mentor and adequate support, so you can ignore the bureaucratic madness...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (October 11, 2019)

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  • An Outtake from "Slouching Toward Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century": The Shadow https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/the-shadow-an-outtake.html_: German academic Max Weber... was a German liberal... believer in one-man, one-vote rather than gerrymandered electorates and noble estates, a believer in responsible government by ministers responsible to elected legislatures rather than the whim of hereditary princes, a believer in progress and peace. Yet Max Weber was terrified of the threat to the German nation posed by barefoot hungry Poles. He said, completely seriously: "The German character of the East[ern provinces of Prussia]... should be protected... [by] the economic policy of the state…. Under the semblance of ‘peace’… German peasants and day-labourers… are getting the worst of it in the silent and dreary struggle of everyday economic existence... abandoning their homeland to a race... on a lower level... a dark future in which they will sink without trace." To Weber, the real name for “peace” was “race war”--and there could be no true peace, not ever...

  • How Damaging Is Plutocracy for Economic Policy? https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/economic-policy-response.html_: Big money does not always find a way, nor does its influence necessarily increase as the top 0.01% captures a larger share of total income.... The larger issue...is an absence of alternative voices. If the 2010s had been anything like the 1930s, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Conference Board would have been aggressively calling for more investment in America, and these arguments would have commanded the attention of the press. Labor unions would have had a prominent voice as advocates for a high-pressure economy. Both would have had very powerful voices inside the political process through their support of candidates. Did the top 0.01% put something in the water to make the media freeze out such voices after 2008?...

  • Listening to Arsonists https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/listening-to-arsonists-by-j-bradford-delong-project-syndicate.html_: Alan Simpson... was a noted budget arsonist when he was in the Senate.... He never met a budget-busting, deficit-increasing initiative from a Republican president that he would not lead the charge to pass. Nor did he ever meet a sober deficit-reducing initiative from a Democratic president that he did not oppose with every fiber of his being. You don’t pick an arsonist to head the fire department, I thought when Obama named him co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform...

  • My Job as the Economist Here Is to Do the Numbers... https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/council-on-foreign-relations-_the-future-of-democracy-symposiumhttpswwwcfrorgeventfuture-democracy-symposium_-1-1.html_: That the American economy over the past forty years has not been delivering substantially rising living standards for everybody—that means that the market’s failure to deliver these other forms of nonproperty rights becomes the source of—call it economic anxiety—a big potential problem...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: Income and Wealth Distribution, or, Watching Professional Republicans Sell Their Souls Back in 1992 https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/10/income-and-wealth-distribution-or-watching-professional-republicans-sell-their-souls-back-in-1992-hoisted-from-the-archive.html: The income distribution came on to the stage that is America's public sphere between February 14 and December 12, 1992. And the rhetoric of "X% of gains in per capita income over years Y-Z went to the top W%-iles of the income distribution" became a one in American political-economic discourse over that time period as well...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (October 4 , 2019)

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Musts of the Musts:

  1. Podcast: Trump's Impact on the Economy https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/09/cottogottfried-_what-happens-to-americas-economy-if-trump-is-reelected-brad-delong-explains_-donald-trump-if-he.html: Cotto/Gottfried: What Happens to America's Economy If Trump Is Reelected? Brad DeLong Explains: "Donald Trump... if he manages to secure a second term, what would four more years of his presidency mean for America's economy? Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Brad DeLong, who now is an economics professor at UC Berkeley, addresses this hugely important question¸—and much more—on 'Cotto/Gottfried.'... See more episodes here: https://wtcgcottogottfried.blogspot.com/. San Francisco Review of Books main page: http://www.sanfranciscoreviewofbooks.com...

  2. Steve M.: We Might Have Impeachment Now Because They Found a Way to Make It Centrist https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2019/09/we-might-have-impeachment-now-because.html: "A couple of days ago I predicted that the Ukraine whistleblower story wouldn't amount to anything, because of Nancy Pelosi's fear of a left-centrist voter backlash against impeachment and because rank-and-file voters aren't likely to understand what the fuss is about. And yet now we're being told that impeachment seems 'almost inevitabl'. What changed? There's no polling evidence I know of.... There's no reason to believe that even a single Republican in Congress will support impeachment or vote to convict in the Senate. (Mitt Romney's words are characteristically mealy-mouthed: "If the President asked or pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme." And I swear I can hear Susan Collins quietly wringing her hands somewhere off in the distance.) Yet impeachment is on the table now. Why? Nancy Pelosi is still the same person she was a week ago, when impeachment was being slow-walked at her insistence. Pelosi still fears Republicans and Reagan Democrat, Obama/Trump voters in Michigan diners. But she's accepting this because now she can sell the pursuit as centrist. It's about global stability and international alliances. If you want to use the term, Trump is being accused of high crimes and misdemeanors in a neoliberal way...

  3. Berkeley Social Science: Authors Meet Critics: The Populist Temptation _ http://matrix.berkeley.edu/event/authors-meet-critics-populist-temptation: "Please join us on October 3, 2019 at 4pm for a book talk featuring: Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics & Political Science, UC Berkeley; Paul Pierson, Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley; Brad DeLong, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley. Barry Eichengreen’s book, _The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era, places the global resurgence of populism in a deep historical context. It argues that populists tend to thrive in the wake of economic downturns, when it is easy to convince the masses of elite malfeasance. While bankers, financiers, and ‘bought’ politicians are partly responsible, populists’ own solutions tend to be simplistic and economically counterproductive. By arguing that ordinary people are at the mercy of extra-national forces beyond their control, populists often degenerate into demagoguery and xenophobia. Eichengreen posits that interventions must begin with shoring up and improving the welfare state so that it is better able to act as a buffer for those who suffer most during economic slumps. In discussing his book, Eichengreen will be engaging two eminent colleagues: Paul Pierson, a renowned specialist in populism, social theory, and political economy, and Brad DeLong, a distinguished economist who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during the Clinton Administration and is currently a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. This talk is presented as part of Social Science Matrix's new "Authors Meet Critics" book series, which features lively discussions about recently published books by social scientists at UC Berkeley...

  4. Kevin Drum: Remember What Ukrainegate Is About https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/09/remember-what-ukrainegate-is-about/: "Ukrainegate is about Donald Trump holding military assistance hostage unless a foreign leader agreed to help him win an election. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, this has never happened before.... Nothing that was said—or yelled or tweeted—over the weekend has changed this...

  5. Duncan Black: Just Like Any Other President https://www.eschatonblog.com/2019/09/just-like-any-other-president.html: "I can imagine the conversations in newsrooms when Trump became president. They aren't all that stupid. "How are we supposed to cover this freak show of a man?" And the answer they came to is "we cover it like we cover any other presidency." But that's not what they've done, even if they think it is. They aren't covering Trump as they would've covered Obama or even George W. Bush. Pretending everything is normal is not normal coverage. Normally "tan suits" are enough to cause a freakout....

  6. And so the cruelty of U.S. immigration policy has now touched me personally. Maria Isabel Bueso is the sister of one of my daughter's friends from high school. It appears to have taken the personal intervention of at least on U.S. senator to get INS to at least reconsider whether it really wants to be pointlessly cruel. And, after watching this story unfold, I can no longer push back against those who claim that, as far as current U.S. immmigration policy is concerned, the cruelty is the point. I had been pushing back, but no more: Farida Jhabvala Romero: Feds to Reconsider Case of Bay Area Woman Getting Lifesaving Treatment Who Faces Deportation https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/09/feds-to-reconsider-case-of-bay-area-woman-getting-lifesaving-treatment-who-faces-deportation-the-california-report-kqed-n.html: "Maria Isabel Bueso has overcome many challenges as a result of the debilitating genetic disease she was born with that eventually left her confined to a wheelchair, breathing through a device and reliant upon weekly treatments to survive. She trained to become a dance teacher and now is an instructor, and she graduated summa cum laude from California State University, East Bay—where she set up a scholarship fund for students with disabilities. She also advocates for people with her disease and other rare illnesses, traveling to Washington, D.C., to lobby for medical research. Now, Bueso is fighting for her life once more. Immigration authorities previously told her and her family to leave the U.S. by mid-September—or face deportation to her home country of Guatemala...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (September 28, 2019)

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Five Super-Musts:

  1. Remember: the Trump-McConnell-Ryan tax cut did absolutely nothing to boost investment in America, and thus has no supply-side positive effects on economic growth. And it is another upward jump in inequality: Greg Leiserson: U.S. Inequality and Recent Tax Changes: "Slides from a presentation by Greg Leiserson for a panel 'U.S. Inequality and Recent Tax Changes' hosted by the Society of Government Economists on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. In the presentation, Leiserson argues that the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase disparities in economic well-being, after-tax income, and pre-tax income...

  2. Very wise start-of-the-semester advice: Harry Brighouse: Advice for New College Students: "Bear in mind that while there’s such a thing as getting into too much debt, there’s also such a thing as working too many hours. Seek balance (Finding it is easier said than done). Choose classes on the following bases: does the subject interest you?; how big is the class? (seek out small classes even if you are shy; especially if you are shy, because that’s how you’ll learn not to be); how good is the professor? How do you know who’s a good professor?... Do they engage?... Are they open to a full range?... Do they make you write a lot? (if so, that’s a positive, not a negative) Do they seem to enjoy teaching?... Find out from your friends. Or from your enemies if that’s the best you can do!...

  3. I would say that Martin Wolf grossly understates his point here. It is not just that the case for a sane globalism remains strong. Rather, the case for a sane globalism has never been stronger and grows stronger every day. With each passing day, the world needs more and more powerful international public goods in order to remain healthy and sane, and only globalists have a chance of providing them: Martin Wolf: The Case for Sane Globalism Remains Strong: "We are now close to eliminating extreme human destitution.... The decline in the proportion of humanity living in absolute poverty, to less than 10 per cent, is a huge achievement. I make no excuses for continuing to support policies and programmes, including trade-oriented development, that helped accomplish this. The notion that it may be necessary to thwart the economic rise of non-western countries, in order to cement western domination, is, in my view, an abomination.... The range of public goods we now need has vastly increased, with the complexity of our economies and societies. For the same reason, ever more of those public goods are global.... That is why the victors of the second world war decided to create effective international institutions. They had experienced unbridled national sovereignty. The outcome had been catastrophic. Nothing since then has rendered global co-operation less essential.... [On] the interface between the global and the national... we have gone too far in some areas and done too little in others.... The globalisation of finance has arguably gone too far.... [But] liberal trade has not been a dominant source of rising inequality within countries. Meanwhile, areas where global co-operation has not gone far enough include business taxation and the environment. The final and perhaps most important of all challenges is containing the natural human tendency to scapegoat foreigners for failures of domestic policy and cleavages among domestic interests.... Blaming ills on foreigners may be a successful diversionary tactic. It is also highly destructive. We must think and act globally. We have no alternative...

  4. John Scalzi: 21 Years of Whatever: "Whatever exists today for the same reason it began existing 21 years ago, which is, I wanted a place to write about things. The formula hasn’t really wavered in all that time; I write about the things I want to write about, when I want to write about them, for whatever length I feel like writing about them for. Sometimes I’m ambitious and post several times a day; other times I’ll post once a day and sometimes skip a day or two (or more). When I’m writing a book, I tend to post less. When I’m not, I’ll post more. I don’t take requests, unless I do. And so on. Also, you know: I write here because I just plain like this site. This is, in more ways than one, my house and a reflection of me. I like how I’ve built it over the years and I like what it does. I like I have a place to say what I want to say. I like that I have a place where others occasionally come by to visit. I like that those people seem to like it too. So, I’ll keep at it some more. Let’s see what happens from here...

  5. Quantum supremacy! We were all but certain that it would come. I mean, after all, leaves. A leaf is a solar panel attached to quantum computers attached to energy-storage mechanisms that does things no "classical" solar-panel-plus battery could do. But that it is coming so soon is interesting: John Timmer: Paper Leaks Showing a Quantum Computer Doing Something a Supercomputer Can’t https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/09/paper-leaks-showing-a-quantum-computer-doing-something-a-supercomputer-cant/: "This hardware is not the makings of a general-purpose quantum computer... you can trust. We needed error-corrected qubits before these results; we still need them after. And it's possible to argue that this was less 'performing a computation' than simply 'repeatedly measuring a quantum system to get a probability distribution'. But that seriously understates what's going on here.... There is simply no way to get that probability distribution using a classical computer. With this system, we can get it in under 10 minutes.... There's no obvious barrier to scaling up quantum computations. The hard part is the work needed to set a certain number of qubits in a specific state and then entangle them.... Recognizing the error rate, however, the researchers suggest that we're not seeing the dawn of quantum computing, but rather what they call 'Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum technologies'.... This particular system's only obvious use is to produce a validated random number generator...

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John Scalzi: 21 Years of Whatever: "Whatever exists today for the same reason it began existing 21 years ago, which is, I wanted a place to write about things. The formula hasn’t really wavered in all that time; I write about the things I want to write about, when I want to write about them, for whatever length I feel like writing about them for. Sometimes I’m ambitious and post several times a day; other times I’ll post once a day and sometimes skip a day or two (or more). When I’m writing a book, I tend to post less. When I’m not, I’ll post more. I don’t take requests, unless I do. And so on. Also, you know: I write here because I just plain like this site. This is, in more ways than one, my house and a reflection of me. I like how I’ve built it over the years and I like what it does. I like I have a place to say what I want to say. I like that I have a place where others occasionally come by to visit. I like that those people seem to like it too. So, I’ll keep at it some more. Let’s see what happens from here....

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Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (August 7-August 13, 2019)

stacks and stacks of books

MUST OF THE MUSTS: J. Bradford De Long and Lawrence H. Summers: Equipment Investment and Economic Growth: "We use disaggregated data from the United Nations International Comparison Project and the Penn World Table to examine the association between different components of investment and economic growth over 1960–85. We find that producers’ machinery and equipment has a very strong association with growth: in our cross section of nations each percent of GDP invested in equipment raises GDP growth rate by 1/3 of a percentage point per year. This is a much stronger association than can be found between any of the other components. We interpret this association as revealing that the marginal product of equipment is about 30 percent per year. The cross nation pattern of equipment prices, quantities, and growth is consistent with the belief that countries with rapid growth have favorable supply conditions for machinery and equipment. The pattern is not consistent with the belief that some third factor both pushes up the rate of growth and increases the demand for machinery and equipment...

 

Continue reading "Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (August 7-August 13, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (August 15, 2019)

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  1. Wikipedia: Charlie Dent

  2. Duncan Black: Healthy Country: "I really don't see a way forward which isn't 'no deal Brexit' though no deal Brexit isn't a real thing. It just means 'we didn't bother to solve all the problems we have to start solving piece by piece now'...

  3. Appian: The Macedonian Wars: "Flamininus came into conference with Philip a second time at the Malian gulf.... The Greeks asked the Roman Senate to require Philip to remove from their country the three garrisons which he called 'the fetters of Greece': the one at Chalcis, which threatened the Boeotians, the Euboeans, and the Locrians; the one at Corinth, which closed the door of the Peloponnese; and the third at Demetrias, which lay, as it were, in ambush for the Aetolians and the Magnesians. The Senate asked Philip's ambassadors what the king's views were respecting the garrisons. When they answered that they did not know, the Senate said that Flamininus should decide the question and do what he considered just. So the ambassadors took their departure from Rome. Flamininus and Philip, being unable to come to any agreement, resumed hostilities...

  4. Simon Wren-Lewis: There Is No Mandate for No Deal

  5. Wikipedia: Ferghana horse

  6. Visit Faroe Islands

  7. Wikipedia: War of the Heavenly Horses: "The War of the Heavenly Horses or the Han–Dayuan war was a military conflict fought in 104 BC and 102 BC between the Chinese Han dynasty and Dayuan (in Central Asia, around Uzbekistan, east of Persia). The result was Han victory...

  8. Paul Krugman (1987): Adjustment in the World Economy

  9. Fred Hoyle: Ossian's Ride

  10. Wikipedia: Li Bai: "Li Bai, Li Po, Li Bo, Ri Haku have been all used in the West, but are all written with the same characters. His given name, (白), is romanized by variants such as Po, Bo, Bai, Pai. In Hanyu Pinyin, reflecting modern Mandarin Chinese, the main, colloquial equivalent for this character is Bái; Bó is the literary variant and is commonly used...

  11. Squawk Box: Business, Politics, Investors and Traders: "'Squawk Box' is the ultimate 'pre-market' morning news and talk program, where the biggest names in business and politics tell their most important stories. Anchored by Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin, the show brings Wall Street to Main Street. It's a 'must see' for everyone from the professional trader to the casual investor...

  12. Sidewalk Street Food

  13. The Art of the Lingnan School, 嶺南畫派的繪畫藝術

  14. Steve Jobs *(2007): Introducing The iPhone At MacWorld 2007

  15. Michael Pettis: Real Growth in China is Less than Half of Reported Growth

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (August 11, 2019)

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  • Reflections 11 Years After the Crash: As long as people were confident that the 500 billion of bad mortgage debt would ultimately land on somebody who could absorb it, the only thing that would make a bad recession was if people anticipated a bad recession. And with no Lehman panic—if Bernanke, Paulson, and Geithner had not caused everybody to say quote what the fuck is going on" by allowing Lehman's bankruptcy uncontrolled and then justifying their actions by claiming that they were forbidden by law to support a too-big-to-fail institution that was insolvent and not just illiquid... Without that, no reason to fear even as bad as the S&L crisis...

  • Weekly Forecasting Update: August 9, 2019: There was essentially no news about real GDP last week: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York nowcast continues to stand at 1.6% for 2019:Q3. We did see another fifteen basis points of market easing at the long end of the yield. Curve: the 10-Year TIPS yield is now 0.09%. And that, of course, makes equity stock market investments a deal. Patrick Chovanec is worth reading...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: A Now-Extended Non-Sokratic Dialogue on Website Design

  • DeLong Smackdown: Why I Was Wrong Over 2006-2010...: Let me say what things I was "expecting," in the sense of anticipating that it was they were both likely enough and serious enough that public policymakers should be paying significant attention to guarding the risks that it would create...

  • Note to Self: We know that big data can find correlations. We thus fear people will then use those correlations to hack our brains for their profit or advantage—and for our loss.... On the other hand... Big Ad Data is not smart enough to figure out: "although this internet identity is associated with this credit card number, the person surfing the web right now is not the person who buys the bras"...

  • Note to Self: et me say that I am 100% behind Roxane Gay here. When Jonathan Weisman was covering economics and monetary policy, he was a "Paul Krugman and Donald Luskin disagree about the shape of the earth: who can tell who is right?" guy. Those of us who talked to him took the incompetence for granted—and more than that: a willful desire to not understand the issues because then he might be unable to properly suck up to the sources he wished to suck up to...

  • Note to Self: Why was Jonathan Weisman's economic policy reporting for the Washington Post so execrable back in the mid-2000s? A person who was, as they say, very, very, very, very, very familiar with the matter: "Jonathan's big problem is that he's not that deep into the issues, and he has no backup. There's nobody that he can go to in that building to tell him 'this was how X was trying to mislead you' or 'this is Y's history' or 'be very careful here: if you get this detail Z wrong, they'll come down on you extremely hard'"...

  • Note to Self: For programming and Python Jupyter Notebook νBs, who are wondering what they are getting themselves into: Programming Dos and Don'ts: A Running List...

  • Looking Backward: From This Week at 24, 20, 16, 12, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2019): MUST OF THE MUSTS: James M. Buchanan: The "Social" Efficiency of Education: You have to be able to hold in your mind two things at once in order to understand economist James M. Buchanan: (1) He was a total loon: a strong believer in the de Maistrean trinity of Patriarchy, Orthodoxy, Autocracy as necessary for society—essential Noble Lies; a man who in 1970 wanted to shut down America's universities as teachers of evil, and regretted the failure of nerve that made that impossible; a man who saw Martin Luther King Jr. as a teacher of evil—whose response to the Civil Rights movement and its peaceful civil disobedience campaign was not Edmund Burke's "to make us love our country, our country must be lovely", but rather: how dare MLK claim that an African American should be "openly encouraged to use his own conscience"—rather than shutting up and accepting his subservient Jim Crow position in society! (2) A man who saw things that other economists did not and would not have without him...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for August 9, 2018:

  • Comment of the Day: Graydon: "You get what you reward, and the present mechanism of reward is advertising, fundamentally aligned with increasing people's insecurity so as to increase their likelihood of making a purchase to address that insecurity...

  • Comment of the Day: Cosma Shalizi: ":I have used Google as pretty much my only search engine since it became available.... Google should thus have a very complete idea of what I'm interested in.... I can, with charity, understand 'homemaking and interior decor' (because I'd been researching new window blinds), and 'pet food and supplies' (though my cat had died more than a year before). Everything else was just flat wrong, and often mystifyingly so...

  • Comment of the Day: Doctor Jay: "I'm very much not getting what I want out of social media. I very much AM getting what I want out of internet search...

  • For the Weekend: J.R.R. Tolkien (1925): Light as Leaf on Linden Tree:

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Cynegils: "A.D. 635. This year King Cynegils was baptized by Bishop Birinus at Dorchester; and Oswald, king of the Northumbrians, was his sponsor. A.D. 636. This year King Cwichelm was baptized at Dorchester, and died the same year. Bishop Felix also preached to the East-Angles the belief of Christ...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Erkenbert: ""A.D. 639. This year Birinus baptized King Cuthred at Dorchester, and received him as his son...


  1. Brian Chappatta: Trump Risks Losing the Fed as a Recession Scapegoat: "The Federal Reserve cut interest rates to account for a 'simmering' trade war. Then the president turned up the heat and put a downturn in play himself. The market signal for a recession is blinking fast and Trump has only himself to blame. The markets have spoken. If they are to be believed, the potential for a U.S. recession has never been greater in the post-crisis era than it is right now. That’s a problem for President Donald Trump because after the events of the past few days, it should be clear that he has effectively forfeited the ability to use the Federal Reserve as a scapegoat for any economic slowdown, an angle he was clearly prepared to play...

  2. Jeremy R. Hammond: The Lies that Led to the Iraq War and the Myth of 'Intelligence Failure'

  3. Jonathan Stein and Tim Dickinson: Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq: "Mushroom clouds, duct tape, Judy Miller, Curveball. Recalling how Americans were sold a bogus case for invasion...

  4. Hubert Horan: Uber’s Path of Destruction: "Uber has disrupted... the idea that competitive consumer and capital markets will maximize overall economic welfare by rewarding companies with superior efficiency.... Uber’s most important innovation has been to produce staggering levels of private wealth without creating any sustainable benefits for consumers, workers, the cities they serve, or anyone else...

  5. Yereth Rosen: Record-Low Sea Ice in July Sets Up Conditions For an Ultra-Low Minimum Extent This Fall: "Sea ice extent in September of 2019 is likely to be among the five lowest minimums recorded...

  6. Patrick Chovanec: U.S. Market and Economic Review—August 2019

  7. Kieran Healy: Frank Oz Muppets and the Big Five Personality Traits

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (August 11, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for August 9, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

Worthy Reads from Equitable Growth and Friends:

  1. J. Bradford DeLong: The Ahistorical Federal Reserve: "Economic developments over the past 20 years have taught–or ought to have taught–the US Federal Reserve four lessons. Yet the Fed’s current policy posture raises the question of whether it has internalized any of them.... The proper inflation target... should be 4% per year.... The two slope[s of] the Phillips Curve... are smaller.... Yield-curve inversion... monetary policy is too tight.... Principal shocks have not been inflationary...

  2. Mark Paul, Khaing Zaw, Darrick Hamilton, and William Darity Jr.: Returns in the labor market: A nuanced view of penalties at the intersection of race and gender - Equitable Growth: "Multiple identities cannot readily be disaggregated in an additive fashion. Instead, the penalties associated with the combination of two or more socially marginalized identities interact in multiplicative or quantitatively nuanced ways...

  3. Raymond Fisman, Keith Gladstone, Ilyana Kuziemko, and Suresh Naidu: Do Americans want to tax capital? Evidence from online surveys: "Our regression results yield roughly linear desired tax rates on income of about 14 percent... positive desired wealth taxation... three percent when the source of wealth is inheritance, far higher than the 0.8 percent rate when wealth is from savings.... These tax rates are consistent with reasonable parameterizations of recent theoretical optimal wealth tax formulae...

  4. Equitable Growth: #JOLTS: "The quit rate... historically high level.... The ratio of unemployment-to-job openings trended upward slightly in June to just under 1.0.... The Beveridge Curve continues to be at levels similar to those in the expansion of the early 2000s...

  5. Bridget Ansel and Heather Boushey (2017): Modernizing U.S. Labor Standards for 21st-Century Families: "Boosting women’s economic outcomes [via] paid family leave, fair scheduling, and combatting wage discrimination...

Continue reading "A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for August 9, 2018" »


Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 20, 16, 12, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2019)

stacks and stacks of books

MUST OF THE MUSTS: James M. Buchanan: The "Social" Efficiency of Education: You have to be able to hold in your mind two things at once in order to understand economist James M. Buchanan: (1) He was a total loon: a strong believer in the de Maistrean trinity of Patriarchy, Orthodoxy, Autocracy as necessary for society—essential Noble Lies; a man who in 1970 wanted to shut down America's universities as teachers of evil, and regretted the failure of nerve that made that impossible; a man who saw Martin Luther King Jr. as a teacher of evil—whose response to the Civil Rights movement and its peaceful civil disobedience campaign was not Edmund Burke's "to make us love our country, our country must be lovely", but rather: how dare MLK claim that an African American should be "openly encouraged to use his own conscience"—rather than shutting up and accepting his subservient Jim Crow position in society! (2) A man who saw things that other economists did not and would not have without him...

 

Continue reading "Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 20, 16, 12, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2019)" »


A Now-Extended Non-Sokratic Dialogue on Website Design: Hoisted from the Archives

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Hoisted from the Archives: A Now-Extended Non-Sokratic Dialogue on Website Design: What I, at least, regard as an interesting discussion in the comments to my A Very Brief Sokratic Dialogue on Website Redesign: From that post:

Platon: Five requirements?

Sokrates: Yes.... The stream... so... who want to either read what is new or to treat the site as a weblog--that is, have a sustained engagement and conversation with the website considered as a Turing-class hivemind--can do so.... The front-end... to give each piece of content a visually-engaging and subhead-teaser informative welcome mat.... The syndication... to propagate the front-end cards out to Twitter and Facebook.... The stock... a pathway... by which people can pull things written in the past... relevant... to their concerns today.... The grammar: The visually-interesting and subhead-teaser front-end... needs to lead the people who would want to and enjoy engaging with the content to actually do so.... [But,] as William Goldman says, nobody knows anything.

Platon: Is there anybody whose degree of not-knowingness is even slightly less than the degree of not-knowingness of the rest of us?...

Sokrates: My guess... http://www.vox.com--Ezra Klein and Melissa Bell and company--are most likely to be slightly less not-knowing than the rest of us....

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (August 5, 2019)

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  • Weekly Forecasting Update: August 2, 2019: "These past two weeks have seen three pieces of real news that have altered the outlook: it is not true to say that little has changed: (1) A large twenty basis-point reduction in ten-year Treasury interest rates. (2) Trump's relaunching and intensification of his trade war. (3) New data pushing down out our estimate of the level of manufacturing production in the third quarter of 2019 by almost a full percentage point. Nevertheless, the United States is not in or even likely to be on the verge of a recession. Germany, however, appears to be in recession... #macro #forecasting #highlighted #2019-08-02

  • A Smart Approach to China-U.S. Relations: "Compared to Holland and Britain when they were global hyperpowers pursuing soft landings, how are we doing? The answer has to be: since January 2017, not well at all... #aspen #globalization #highlighted #oranghairedbaboons #strategy #2019-08-02

  • The Blocked Southern and Midwestern Global Warming Conversation: "Yet in the U.S Midwest the factual conversation drawing of the links between climate change—screw it: global warming—global warming and weather disasters that farmers and workers and bosses and power-brokers in Malawi and Mozambique have, farmers and workers and bosses and power-brokers in Davenport, IO, are unwilling even to begin... #aspen #globalwarming #highlighted #orangehairedbaboons #publicsphere #2019-08-01

  • Immigration and American Politics: "I want to thank XXXXXX XXXXXX. I confess I had thought that if the President started putting migrant children in cage, the immediate reaction would not be that this might well be a clever political move. I do have a sense that for a lot of people who know better on the Republican side, they think there's mileage to be gained by characterizing bedrock American values as if they were foreign and "cosmopolitan" values. And it is very nice to hear XXXXXX pushing back... #aspen #globalization #immigration #orangehairedbaboons #politics #2019-07-31

  • Note to Self: Perhaps Britain's Supersession by America Was Not Inevitable...: A Britain more interested in turning into Britons or Canadians the migrating Jews, Poles, Italians, Romanians, and even Turks who do not happen to be named Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson—who bears Turkish Minister of the Interior Ali Kemal's Y and five other chromosomes, and hence is, by all the rules of conservative patriarchy, a Turk— would have been much stronger throughout the twentieth century. Perhaps it would not be in its current undignified position... #aspen #history #notetoself #strategy #2019-08-04

  • Note to Self: Enormous Possibilities in China...: Peng Dehuai... a poem he wrote in 1958 on an inspection tour of the Great Leap Forward famine: Grain scattered on the ground, potato leaves withered;/Strong young people have left to make steel;/Only children and old women reap the crops;/How can they survive the coming year?/Allow me to raise my voice for the people!... #aspen #bravery #economicgrowth #notetoself #orangehariedbaboons #politicaleconomy #2019-08-04

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for August 2, 2018 #noted #hoistedfromthearchives #equitablegrowth #weblogs #2019-08-01

  • Cat Handling: General Considerations: "The cat is faster and has sharper teeth and claws than you do. It has no 'code of ethics' or consideration for its own future. In a fair fight it will win: 1. DON'T FIGHT A CAT 2. USE YOUR BRAIN 3. USE DRUGS #notetoself #singularity #superintelligence #2019-08-04

  • Monday Smackdown: Fafblog: Condi Rice Complains to Customer Service!: Not even Fafblog can deal with the Bush administration at the appropriate level. However, it is trying. Here Fafnir interviews Condi Rice: RICE: "First of all, we don't send prisoners off to be tortured, Fafnir. We just transport prisoners to countries where torture happens to be legal and where they happen to end up getting tortured." FB: "Well that explains everything then! It's all just a wacky misunderstanding, like that episode a Three's Company where Jack sends Janet off to Uzbekistan to get boiled alive by the secret police." RICE: "I'd also like to point out that whenever we send a prisoner to a country that routinely tortures prisoners, that country promises us NOT to torture them." FB: "And then they get tortured anyway!" RICE: "Yes, they do! It's very strange." FB: "Over and over again, every time! That's gotta be so frustrating." RICE: "Oh it is, it is."... #hoistedfromthearchives #moralresponsibility #mondaysmackdown #neofascism #orangehairedbaboons #torture #strategy #2019-08-05

  • Comment of the Day: Erik Lund: "I especially like the argument from 1949 that Israel had to curtail immigration immediately because there wasn't enough work for the newcomers due to the... wait for it... Labour shortage... #commentoftheday #2019-08-04

  • Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: "By your logic the USA can be number one in 2119 if we defeat the terrible threat not from the PRC but from the GOP. You might have a point there. If you descendants of Mayflower passengers can assimilate Magyars, you can assimilate anyone... #commentoftheday #2019-08-04

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: From Edwin to Osric #2019-08-01

  • Weekend Reading: Samuel Pepys: Diary: Friday 19 July 1667: "'By God,' says he, 'I think the Devil shits Dutchmen'... #history #strategy #weekendreading #2019-08-02

  • Weekend Reading: Maciej Cegloski (2005): A Rocket To Nowhere: "Meanwhile, while the Shuttle has been up on blocks, a wealth of unmanned probes has been doing exactly the kind of exploration NASA considers so important, except without the encumbrance of big hairless monkeys on board... #weekendreading #2019-08-04


  1. Scott Lemieux: When the Republican Party Was Respectable: "This is exactly right. There’s a direct line to be drawn from William Buckley’s defense of Jim Crow to Reagan’s comments to Shelby County to Trump’s comments about Baltimore. They’re all from influential Republican elites, and all reflect the view that black people are not fit for self-governance. Trump is working well within the Reaganite tradition...

  2. UC Berkeley Events Calendar: Yogendra Yadav: Politics after Modi: Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony: Lecture | August 13 | 12-2 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 10 (ISAS Conf. Room)...

  3. Evelyn Cheng and Shirley Tay: China Social Credit System Still in Testing Phase Amid Trials: "The Chinese government is running up against a self-imposed 2020 deadline to formulate a nationwide social credit plan. The proposed system tries to create a standard for tracking individual actions across Chinese society, and rewarding or punishing accordingly...

  4. Altitude Safety 101: Oxygen Levels at High Altitudes: "Altitude (feet): 0 ft.... Effective Oxygen: 20.9%.... 10,000 ft... 14.3%...

  5. Weijian Shan: Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America

  6. Henry Farrell: "@ANewmanforward and my article_ on "weaponized interdependence" has just been published by @Journal_IS and is now available ungated-(link: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/full/10.1162/isec_a_00351). We are really happy to see it officially published, citable etc...

  7. Maciej Ceglowski: Best Practices for Time Travelers

  8. Hunter Blair: It’s not trickling down: New data provides no evidence that the TCJA is working as its proponents claimed it would: "With the TCJA’s corporate rate cut exacerbating decades of rising income inequality, and little evidence to be working as promised, it’s time for its repeal...

  9. An Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century": Mass Politics and "Populism":

  10. Timothy L. O'Brien: Trump's Baltimore-Elijah Cummings Racism Is Fine With Republicans: "Trump’s Racism Infests the Republican Party: As his latest foray into bigotry shows, the president is feeling empowered by the lack of opposition from within the GOP...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (August 5, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for August 2, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

Worthy Reads from Equitable Growth and Its Network:

  1. Anybody looking back at economic history cannot help but note that female physical autonomy and its absence has played an absolutely huge role. Kate Bahn and company are pulling together the evidence that this is not just history—that it still matters a lot in America today: Kate Bahn: Understanding the link between bodily autonomy and economic opportunity across the United States: "All of these connective threads are examined in a forthcoming paper of mine...

  2. Seattle is pursuing (a version of) social democracy in one metropolitan area. In the 2010s we learned from some of our laboratories of democracy (cough, Kansas, Wisconsin) what really not to do. Will Seattle provide a model for what we should do?: Hilary Wething: Seattle: Paid Sick Leave And Workers’ Earnings Dynamics: "Utilize administrative data from Washington state to study the impact of Seattle’s paid sick time ordinance on:...

  3. Let me welcome Will McGrew, who sends us to a very insightful study of government failure and bureaucratic blockage in the New Orleans school system. Since we economists do not have an effective grammar of government failure, there is a tendency (on my part at least) to somewhat overlook it: Will McGrew: "A timely and necessary piece from Haley Correll: quality public schools should be available to all kids in New Orleans, not just those whose parents have the time, information, and resources to navigate the complex application system..."

  4. In my opinion, Arindrajit Dube is one of the best economists around in figuring out what we should control for and why in order to achieve real econometric identification. The contrasting pole is simply to throw in a bunch of controls until you have produced the numbers you want. In my view, we do not teach what should be controlled for and how enough, so people pick it up on the fly. Arindrajit has picked it up, and is a master: Arindrajit Dube: Minimum wages and the distribution of family incomes in the United States: "I find that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage reduces poverty among the nonelderly population by 2.1 percent and 5.3 percent across the range of specifications in the long run...

  5. Lyndon Johnson said: "You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, 'You are free to compete with all the others,' and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.... It is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.... Equal opportunity is essential, but not enough." However, one of our problems is that that does not seem to be working for even those African-Americans who can and do walk through all of our society's formal and status gates to opportunity: Khaing Zaw, Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Anne Price, Darrick Hamilton, and William Darity, Jr.: A College Degree and Marriage Fail to Yield Significant Wealth Gains for Black Women: "[In] the story of the American Dream... a college education is viewed as a key driver of upward mobility and the primary vehicle to eradicate racial differences...

Continue reading "A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for August 2, 2018" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 31, 2019)

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  • What Is the Federal Reserve Thinking Right Now?: We have no warrant for believing that our models are more knowledgeable right now than the market. And there is pronounced asymmetry here: we can always deal with too-high inflation via tighter money, but it is not obvious what we could do to fix the situation if a negative demand shock were to push the prime-age employment rate down two or four percentage-points. Hence we will validate market expectations and drop our policy rates by 25 basis points at our next meeting. What will follow that... will be data-dependent...

  • Annual Celebration of the John Bell Hood-Max von Gallwitz Society!: Dedicated to celebrating the memory of two field commanders who may well have been the worst in history. Drink a toast to John Bell Hood on the 7/28 anniversary of his defeat at Ezra Church.... And drink a toast as well to Max von Gallwitz—perhaps the only Imperial German commander who could have turned the Somme into a draw!...

  • Weekly Forecasting Update: July 26, 2019: Back in late 2017 the Trump Administration, the Republicans in the Congress, and their tame economists were all claiming that passing the Ryan-McConnell-Trump upper-income tax cut would permanently boost investment in America by as much as the Clinton economic program of the 1990s had done, and would do so much more quickly—Clinton program was phased-in over five years, while Ryan-McConnell-Trump was phased-in immediately and had been affecting investment behavior even before it was passed. It is simply not happening...

  • I Want My Country Back!: We really don’t know the consequences of this degree of income inequality: the distribution of income was never this bad before, and it continues to get worse. We did have, in the thirty years before the New Deal, a whipsaw...

  • Note to Self: Playing with Sargent-Stachurski QuantEcon http://quantecon.org: I have long been annoyed with the standard presentation of the Solow Growth Model because the state variable k—capital per effective worker—is not observable in the real world, while the capital-output ratio κ is. Moreover, the steady-state capital-output ratio has an easy to remember and intuitive description: it is the savings rate divided by the economy's steady-state investment requirements. Capital per effective worker has no such intuitive description. Plus the capital-output ratio exhibits exponential convergence to the steady-state. Capital per effective worker does not...

  • Note to Self: Consider Alasdair Macintyre: In the beginning: boring.... Today: boring.... But in the middle, along the trajectory... what a thinker! what a powerful awareness of the attractiveness of different positions! what deep insights generated by position and opposition...

  • Note to Self: Homer's Odyssey Blogging: "Like Little Birds... They Writhed with Their Feet... But for No Long While...": Is there somebody I should read who has thought deeply and powerfully about these issues?... How do we educate people to read—listen—watch—properly, so that they become their better rather than their worse selves?...

  • Note to Self: A historical question I want answered: What difference did it make for medieval economies—and for the relative prosperity of the Muslim world in the middle ages—that Muhammed was a merchant?...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: Karl Marx, First Real Business Cycle Theorist: Nine years ago: Karl Marx, First Real Business Cycle Theorist: We see the affinity between Karl Marx and the Pain Caucus in his notes on crises in Theories of Surplus Value. Negative supply shocks and missed collective guesses on what the extent of the market will be in the future create overaccumulation and overproduction. Marx is very clear that the monetary crisis theorists—like John Stuart Mill—must be wrong, and that the system cannot run itself without crises. In Marx this is one of the reasons why the system is abominable and must be overthrown. For the Pain Caucus the conclusion is opposite: because the system is good crises must be suffered...

  • Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from the Archives: Four Huge Mistakes in One Short Piece by John Taylor: None of those have panned out as intellectual bets. Yet John Taylor today exhibits no visible curiosity as to why they did not. This strongly suggests to me that none of them were meant seriously in the first place—that it was always disinformation, and never an analytical judgment, and thus subject to revision as knowledge advanced...

  • Monday Smackdown: Every Time I Try to Get Out, They Pull Me Back In... Clive Crook Edition: Duncan Black has been reading the once-thoughtful Clive Crook again: Duncan Black http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/07/national-humiliation.html: "People is weird.... [Clive Crook:]... 'Suppose a second referendum was called and the result was Remain; suppose the EU said, "Great, glad to have you back."... This cringing submission would raise instinctive euro-skepticism to new extremes and divide the U.K. even more bitterly... a national humiliation... [that] would surpass the Suez Crisis in 1956 and the country's surrender to trade-union militancy in the 1970s—crushing setbacks with far-reaching political consequences. If there were ever a case of "be careful what you wish for," this is it...' This the thinking that leads to pointless catastrophic wars. Let's shoot ourselves in the face just to prove our gun works...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (July 24-30, 2019: It is very common to attribute the collapse of Roman Republican institutions and the rise of Imperial dictatorship to a loss of moral virtue on behalf of the Roman electorate—who are supposed to have fallen prey to demagogues and voted for bread-and-circuses as the underlying foundations of liberty collapsed underneath them. That story is not true. Here Sean Elling sends us to Edward Watts on the real story—recently enriched plutocracy breaking political norm after political norm in an attempt to disrupt what had been the normal grievance-redressing operation of the system: Sean Illing: Mortal Republic: Edward Watts on what America can learn from Rome’s collapse...

  • Comment of the Day: Yes, the failure modes of making jam are pretty scary: Graydon on Homer's Odyssey and David Drake's Hammer's Slammers: "I think you're missing the central thing about Drake's writing... which is a vehicle crew...

  • Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: "I disagreed with that analysis in 1980. So did Solow...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for July 26, 2018: TOP MUST REMEMBER: What I call 'Bob Rubin's End-of-Meeting Questions'. Ask them! They really work!: Annie Duke: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts: "In fact, questioning what you see or hear can get you eaten. For survival-essential skills, type I errors (false positives) were less costly than type II errors (false negatives). In other words, better to be safe than sorry, especially when considering whether to believe that the rustling in the grass is a lion. We didn’t develop a high degree of skepticism when our beliefs were about things we directly experienced, especially when our lives were at stake...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A.D. 617: Edwin the Son of Ella: "A daughter was born to Edwin, whose name was Eanfleda. Then promised the king to Paulinus, that he would devote his daughter to God, if he would procure at the hand of God, that he might destroy his enemy, who had sent the assassin to him. He then advanced against the West-Saxons with an army, felled on the spot five kings, and slew many of their men...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Penda and Edwin: "Archbishop Justus having departed this life on the tenth of November, Honorius was consecrated at Lincoln Archbishop of Canterbury by Paulinus; and Pope Honorius sent him the pall. And he sent an injunction to the Scots, that they should return to the right celebration of Easter...


  1. Charli Carpenter: Summer Vacation in an Age of Concentration Camps, Part 6: "Protest Matters"

  2. Duncan Black: Obummer: "I don't follow Trump's polls. They don't change much. But at best he's no more popular than Obama was, and the press always treated Obama like an unpopular president, not a POLITICAL GENIUS who CONTROLLED THE NARRATIVE...

  3. Scott Lemieux: The Republican War on Rural Voters: "Always remember that ANTI-ELITIST Josh Hawley’s goal is to ensure massive rural hospital closures nationwide by getting Republican hacks in the federal courts to strike down the Affordable Care Act entirely, and marvel that there are actually professional pundits who will swallow his bullshit. The Republican Party is quite literally indifferent to the lives of the white rural voters that are critical to maintaining control of the Senate, White House and Supreme Court...

  4. Andrew Kaczynski: Mike Pence Argued In An Op-Ed That Disney's "Mulan" Was Liberal Propaganda: "'Obviously, this is Walt Disney's attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military', Pence wrote. Obviously...

  5. Jay Rosen: PressThink : "What do you want the candidates to be discussing as they compete for votes? Part of a call to action for an alternative direction in election coverage, originated by the newsroom improvement company, Hearken, and the research project that I direct, Membership Puzzle Project...

  6. Brett Terpstra: nvALT

  7. Robert Armstrong: True Patriots Aren’t Afraid to Tell the Truth: "The life of French historian Marc Bloch holds sobering lessons for us today...

  8. Lobsta Truck: Serving Lobster Rolls in California

  9. NBER: Solomon M. Hsiang

  10. Abbott Payson Usher: A History of Mechanical Inventions: Revised Edition: "Updated classic explores importance of technological innovation in cultural and economic history of the West. Water wheels, clocks, printing, machine tools, more. "Without peer." — American Scientist... #books

  11. Sam Lau, Joey Gonzalez, and Deb Nolan: Principles and Techniques of Data Science #books

  12. Martina Baras: Lawyer Larry Klayman Should Get License Suspended, Panel Says: "Committee finds rule violations in client representation.... Klayman should be required to prove his fitness to practice as a condition of reinstatement, the Board on Professional Responsibility’s ad hoc hearing committee recommended July 24.... The case is In re Klayman, D.C. Ct. App., Board Docket No. 17-BD-063, Board on Professional Responsibility recommendation 7/24/19...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 31, 2019)" »


Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (July 24-30, 2019)

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Three Months Ago (April 24-30, 2019):

  • SEDAC: Population Estimation Tools:
     

  • It is very common to attribute the collapse of Roman Republican institutions and the rise of Imperial dictatorship to a loss of moral virtue on behalf of the Roman electorate—who are supposed to have fallen prey to demagogues and voted for bread-and-circuses as the underlying foundations of liberty collapsed underneath them. That story is not true. Here Sean Elling sends us to Edward Watts on the real story—recently enriched plutocracy breaking political norm after political norm in an attempt to disrupt what had been the normal grievance-redressing operation of the system: Sean Illing: Mortal Republic: Edward Watts on what America can learn from Rome’s collapse...

  • Rosa Luxemburg: "Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party... is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.... All that is instructive, wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic, and its effectiveness vanishes when ‘freedom’ becomes a special privilege...

  • Edmund Wilson (1940): Trotsky, History, and Providence: Weekend Reading: "These statements make no sense whatever unless one substitutes for the words history and dialectic of history the words Providence and God.... There sometimes can turn out to be valuable objects cast away in the garbage-pile of history.... From the point of view of the Stalinist Soviet Union, that is where Trotsky himself is today; and he might well discard his earlier assumption that an isolated individual must needs be 'pitiful' for the conviction of Dr. Stockman in Ibsen's Enemy of the People that 'the strongest man is he who stands most alone'...

  • The Knot of War 1870-1914: An Intake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century 1870-2016"

  • Henry Farrell and Bruce Schneier: Information Attacks on Democracies: "Democracies, in contrast, are vulnerable to information attacks that turn common political knowledge into contested political knowledge. If people disagree on the results of an election, or whether a census process is accurate, then democracy suffers. Similarly, if people lose any sense of what the other perspectives in society are, who is real and who is not real, then the debate and argument that democracy thrives on will be degraded. This is what seems to be Russia’s aims in their information campaigns against the U.S.: to weaken our collective trust in the institutions and systems that hold our country together. This is also the situation that writers like Adrien Chen and Peter Pomerantsev describe in today’s Russia, where no one knows which parties or voices are genuine, and which are puppets of the regime, creating general paranoia and despair...

 

Continue reading "Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (July 24-30, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for July 26, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

TOP MUST REMEMBER: What I call 'Bob Rubin's End-of-Meeting Questions'. Ask them! They really work!: Annie Duke: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts: "In fact, questioning what you see or hear can get you eaten. For survival-essential skills, type I errors (false positives) were less costly than type II errors (false negatives). In other words, better to be safe than sorry, especially when considering whether to believe that the rustling in the grass is a lion. We didn’t develop a high degree of skepticism when our beliefs were about things we directly experienced, especially when our lives were at stake...

Continue reading "A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads On and Off Equitable Growth for July 26, 2018" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 25, 2019)

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  • Weekly Forecasting Update: July 19, 2019: We are where we were a year ago: Stable growth at 2% per year with no signs of rising inflation or a rising labor share. The only significant difference that the Fed has recognized that its hope of normalizing the Fed Funds rate in the foreseeable future is vain, and has now recognized that its confidence over the past six years that we were close to full employment was simply wrong...

  • Monday Smackdown: Batshit Insane American Nat-Cs Department: Intellectual Leading Light Samuel P. Huntington: Apropos of our National Conservatives—our Nat-Cs—here in America today. It is worth remembering how batshit insane is right-wing "class of civilizations" urberguru Samuel Hintington. Witness his firm belief that immigrants from Cuba have ruined Miami: "Anglos had three choices... [i] accept their subordinate and outsider position... [ii] assimilate into the Hispanic community—“acculturation in reverse”... [iii] they could leave Miami, and between 1983 and 1993, about 140,000 did just that, their exodus reflected in a popular bumper sticker: 'Will the last American to leave Miami, please bring the flag'...

  • Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from the Archives: Scott Sumner Knew Better than to Do This!: "They are both basically saying: 'if we hold nominal spending constant, fiscal policy can’t fix it.'... [I]t’s really rather sad when people like Krugman and Brad DeLong keep insisting that these guys don’t understand basic macro principles.... I don’t know for sure that Fama was using the same implicit assumption... [but] I think it quite likely that Fama was also cutting corners.... Lots of brilliant people talking past each other.... Welcome to elite macroeconomics, circa 2011.... If I was going to assign blame I’d single out Krugman/DeLong for rudeness and Fama/Cochrane for poor communication skills..." Me: Economists' Views of Fiscal Policy: RetCon Department: The argument that Sumner attributes to Cochrane and Fama (and, wrongly, to Barro) is not a coherent argument: if you say "if I assume that fiscal policy does not affect nominal spending, then fiscal policy does not affect nominal spending, and so I have proved my case" you haven't made an argument at all...

  • Monday Smackdown: Let Me Smackdown Jared Bernstein on International Trade Here...: I really, really wish Jared Bernstein would not do this. It is simply not the case—as he knows well—that policymakers "quickly forgot about the need to compensate for the losses" from expanded international trade. Democratic policymakers—of whom Jared is one—well-remembered this, but after November 1994 did not have the power. Republican policymakers did not see the need as a need at all: they did not forget it: they ignored it...

  • Note to Self: My sense is that "we need to raise reserve requirements in a boom" is very good policy; but that "we need to pop this bubble" is almost always very bad policy. And we do not appear to have any (large) equity bubble. The weirdness is all in bond prices...

  • Looking Backwards from This Week at 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago: July 23, 2019: Highlights of Highlights: The 1870 Inflection Point in Transport and Trade: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia": An Economic History of the Long 20th Century: Everyplace in the world was, as long as there were docks and railroads, cheek-by-jowl to every other place. Everyone’s opportunities and constraints, not, as before, just the consumption patterns of the elite, depended on what was going on in every other piece of the world economy.... And once a comparative advantage was established it tended to stick....
     
    Reading Notes for Robert Skidelsky: "Keynes: A Very Short Introduction"...: John Maynard Keynes was brought up a classical liberal and a classical economist... believed in free trade, economic progress, cultural uplift, and political reason... found himself watching as the classical economic mechanisms he had been taught to admire all fell apart. He then picked himself up. After World War I Keynes used what power he had to—don't laugh—try to restore civilization.... And when he lost in the 1920s and the 1930s he picked himself up yet again, and tried yet again in the mid-1930s and thereafter to lay the groundwork for future victories for prosperity, rationality, and technocracy. And, in the end, he succeeded....
     
    A Teaching Note on Barro's (2005) "Rare Events and the Equity Premium" and Rietz's (1988) "The Equity Premium: A Solution": Barro's paper follows Rietz (1988).... A greater fear of future catastrophe is a source of high, not low, price-dividend and price-earnings ratios. THIS CAN ONLY WORK BECAUSE THERE ARE NO BONDS IN THE MODEL: SAFE ASSETS ARE IN ZERO SUPPLY: THE ONLY WAY TO INSURE AGAINST A BAD FUTURE IS TO BUY RISKY EQUITIES NOW IN AN ATTEMPT TO MOVE PURCHASING POWER FORWARD IN TIME!!!!....
     
    World War II at the Operational Level: The Fall of France 1940 (Prompted by the Forthcoming Release of "Dunkirk")_: Three days into the battle it was clear that a major Nazi attack was coming through the Ardennes, and the French began to respond... threw 800 tanks in four armored divisions plus between six and ten infantry divisions in front of the Nazi breakthrough in plenty of time to make a difference—yet (de Gaulle's division aside) they were completely ineffective in a running fight against seven Nazi panzer divisions, which had no more tanks and somewhat fewer soldiers than the French reserves committed to oppose them.... But before we scorn the French army of 1940 as cheese-eating surrender monkeys, remember what happened to the U.S. 106th Infantry Division when Hitler’s Third Reich was on its very last legs, and what happened to Major General Lloyd Fredendall’s U.S. II Corps at Kasserine Pass. Everybody who faced the Nazis did more-or-less equally badly, in their initial encounters at least....
     
    Obama Has Always Been for Premature Fiscal Austerity: January 7 [2009]: TAPPER: "Your team has talked about the stimulus package being 675 to 775 billion. But at the same time... you're going to distribute a memo in which economists say it should be between 800 billion and 1.3 trillion. How do you reconcile that difference...?" OBAMA: "Well, we are still in consultation with members of Congress about the final size of the package. We expect that it will be on the high end of our estimates, but [it] will not be as high as some economists have recommended because of the constraints and concerns we have about the existing deficit...

  • Comment of the Day: Graydon: "It's quite possible to look at the Chinese per-city bans on combustion-powered busses and taxis... as drifting toward the Chinese banning sales of new private combustion-powered automobiles by 2022 or so...

  • Comment of the Day: Grebmorts: ": "Seven thorns. 'Yt' is an abbreviation for 'þat' https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/yt..." Touché... Why þ and &—not to mention æ, ð, œ—have not made more of a comeback in this Age of Twitter is a mystery to me...

  • For the Weekend: Aretha Franklin: Who's Zoomin' Who?

  • Weekend Reading: Francis Wilkinson: Gun Safety Takes a Back Seat to Gun Culture and Children Die

  • Weekend Reading: Dwight D. Eisenhower (1954): Letter to Edgar Newton Eisenhower: "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid...

  • Weekend Reading: Roger Zelazny: For a Breath I Tarry...


  1. Abraham Lincoln: On the Know Nothing Party: Letter to Joshua F. Speed: "I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that 'all men are created equal'. We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes'. When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics'...

  2. Colin Leys: Samuel Huntington and the End of Classic Modernization Theory

  3. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1966): The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorthelm's Son: "Beorhtwold... utters the famous... 'Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre/mod sceal þe mare þe ure maegen lytlað' 'Will shall be the sterner, heart the bolder, spirit the greater as our strength lessens'. It is here implied, as is indeed probable, that these words were not "original," but an ancient and honoured expression of heroic will; Beorhtwold is all the more, not the less, likely for that reason actually to have used them in his last hour...

  4. Greg Sargent: "Central to Trump’s racism—and more broadly to Trumpism writ large—is... asserting the right to engage in public displays of racism without it being called out for what it is... to flaunt his racism with impunity.... Nonwhite lawmakers who were born here... are in some sense not members of the American nation.... The flat-out denial that any of this is racist is... crucial to the overall statement: The explicit idea here is that Trump is free to engage in public racism without it being called out for what it really is, that is, with no apology or capitulation to those who label it as such...

  5. Wikipedia: Višegrad Massacres

  6. Jennifer Craig: Value of Shipwreck Data in Databases

  7. Justin Leidwanger: From Time Capsules to Networks: New Light on Roman Shipwrecks in the Maritime Economy

  8. QuantEcon: QuantEcon Notebook Library

  9. A. J. Parker: Artifact Distributions and Wreck Locations: The Archaeology of Roman Commerce

  10. William Bradford: History of Plimoth Plantation

  11. Joseph R. McConnell et al.: Lead Pollution Recorded in Greenland Ice Indicates European Emissions Tracked Plagues, Wars, and Imperial Expansion During Antiquity

  12. Roger Zelazny: For a Breath I Tarry...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 25, 2019)" »


Looking Backwards from This Week at 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago

stacks and stacks of books

Three Months Ago:

  • Cosma Shalizi (2011): Dives, Lazarus, and Alice: Weekend Reading: "The market clears, Alice is 11 cents better off, Dives enjoys a consumer surplus of $4999.89, and Lazarus starves to death in the street, clutching his dime.Nothing can be changed without making someone worse off, so this is Pareto optimal. And so, in yet another triumph, the market mechanism has allocated a scarce resource, viz., the turkey, to its most efficient use.... What makes this the most efficient use of the scarce resource? Why, simply that it goes to the user who will pay the highest price for it. This is all that economic efficiency amounts to. It is not about meeting demand, but meeting effective demand, demand backed by purchasing power...

  • Writing Bulls--- for the WSJ Op-Ed Page as a Career Strategy: The Nine Unprofessional Republican Economists: The extra quarter's worth of data from the new BEA NIPA release raises this, once again, to the top of the pile: Note the contrast between the path of investment, on the one hand, implicit in the growth forecast of the effects of the Trump-Ryan-McConnell tax cut that Robert J. Barro, Michael J. Boskin, John Cogan, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence B. Lindsey, Harvey S. Rosen, George P. Shultz and John. B. Taylor, and, on the other hand, reality. If you are even 10% in the explain-the-world business—if you are even 1% in the explain-the-world business—such a sharp disjunction between what you had predicted and the outcome calls forth curiosity, interest, and explanations of why you think you went wrong and what your future research projects will be to figure it out.... Yet as I listen to each and very one of the Nine Unprofessional Republican Economists, all that I hear is: < crickets > ...

 

Continue reading "Looking Backwards from This Week at 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 17, 2019)

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  • Weekly Forecasting Update: July 12, 2019: "the Fed has recognized that its hope of normalizing the Fed Funds rate in the foreseeable future is vain, and has now recognized that its confidence over the past six years that we were close to full employment was simply wrong...

  • For the Weekend: Paul Celan: Todesfugue: "Death is a master from German his eye it is blue/he shoots you with shot made of lead shoots you level and true/a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete/he looses his hounds on us grants us a grave in the air /he plays with his vipers and daydreams/Death is a master from Germany/your golden hair Margarete/your ashen hair Shulamith...

  • Weekend Reading: Thomas Wyatt the Younger: "Great12-grandfather...

  • Weekend Reading: Titus Livius: The Latin War: The History of Rome: "An order was issued that the treaty should be renewed with the Laurentians; and it is renewed every year since, on the tenth day after the Latin festival. The rights of citizenship were granted to the Campanian horsemen; and that it might serve as a memorial, they hung up a brazen tablet in the temple of Castor at Rome. The Campanian state was also enjoined to pay them a yearly stipend of four hundred and fifty denarii each; their number amounted to one thousand six hundred...

  • Weekend Reading: Jo Walton: The Spearpoint Theory: The Dyer of Lorbanery: "It’s very small and sharp but because it’s backed by the length and weight of a whole spear and a whole strong person pushing it, it’s a point that goes in a long way. Spearpoints need all that behind them, or they don’t pack their punch in the same way. Examples are difficult to give because spear-points by their nature require their context, and spoilers. They tend to be moments of poignancy and realization. When Duncan picks the branches when passing through trees, he’s just getting a disguise, but we the audience suddenly understand how Birnam Wood shall come to Dunsinane...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 19, 2018: TOP MUST REMEMBER: Here is the website for Zucman, Wier, and Torslavon's work on missing profits from tax avoidance and tax evasion...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 12, 2018: TOP MUST REMEMBER: Cory Doctorow: I Was Naive: "I've been thinking of all those 'progressive' Senators who said that... Jeff Sessions was a gentleman, honorable, decent—just someone whose ideas they disagreed with. They approved Sessions for AG on that basis, and he architected this kids-in-cages moment...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Laurentius and St. Peter: "Then Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent, meant to depart southward over sea, and abandon everything. But there came to him in the night the apostle Peter, and severely chastised him, because he would so desert the flock of God. And he charged him to go to the king, and teach him the right belief. And he did so; and the king returned to the right belief...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Prophecy of Augustine: "So was fulfilled the prophecy of Augustine, wherein he saith 'If the Welsh will not have peace with us, they shall perish at the hands of the Saxons'...


  1. Bruce Springsteen: YouTube Channel

  2. Paul Campos: ITMFA?: "Wilentz’s case for impeachment is plausible... but... Pelosi’s go-slow approach is also plausible.... Wilentz takes what seems like a somewhat cavalier attitude toward the massive differences in the political ecosystems of America in 1974 and 2019.... All the options look very fraught at best and potentially disastrous at worst, because our political system is in the midst of a long not-so-slow decline. The extraordinary difficulty of trying to figure out the best path toward removing a completely unfit proto-fascist cult leader from the office of the presidency is Exhibit A of that decline...

  3. Nora Eckert: Tennessee Governor Criticized for Honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest : NPR: "Tennessee's Republican governor, Bill Lee, is facing public backlash after he declared Saturday 'Nathan Bedford Forrest Day', continuing a decades-old tradition honoring the Confederate general, slave trader and onetime leader of the Ku Klux Klan.... Some of the outcry came from members of Lee's own party. On Friday, GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas took to Twitter to condemn the governor's move, calling Forrest 'a slave trader & the 1st Grand Wizard of the KKK'...

  4. Lenny Mendonca: Business and Public Policy Perspectives on US Inequality: "Inequality in the United States–Definition and Facts.... Housing and Transportation . Place-Based Policies. Race and Inequality. Opportunity and Early Education. Higher Education. Immigration (and Effects on Other American Workers). Low-wage Workers. Tax Policy–The 1%. Work in the Future and Universal Basic Income...

  5. Suresh Naidu et al.: Political Polarization and the Dynamics of Political Language: Evidence from 130 Years of Partisan Speech

  6. Vanessa Williamson, Theda Skocpol, and John Coggin: The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism

  7. Types of "General Gluts": Fisher, Wicksell, Bagehot

  8. How Does the Economy Choose Which Equilibrium to Settle at?: Praying for the Confidence Fairy to Rescue Italy Edition

  9. Musings on Thomas Malthus, the Hellenistic Age, the Loyal-Spirit Great Kings of Iran 550-330 BCE, and Other Topics: The Honest Broker for the Week of August 17, 2015

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 17, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 19, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

TOP MUST REMEMBER: Here is the website for Zucman, Wier, and Torslavon's work on missing profits from tax avoidance and tax evasion (yes, I have decided I should spend some time occasionally listing paper authors in reverse alphabetical order): Gabriel Zucman et al.: The Missing Profits of Nations: [Working paper][1], June 2018. [Online appendix][2], June 2018. [Presentation slides][3], June 2018...


Worthy Reads on and from Equitable Growth:

  1. Here is the website for Zucman, Wier, and Torslavon's work on missing profits from tax avoidance and tax evasion (yes, I have decided I should spend some time occasionally listing paper authors in reverse alphabetical order): Gabriel Zucman et al.: The Missing Profits of Nations: [Working paper][1], June 2018. [Online appendix][2], June 2018. [Presentation slides][3], June 2018...

  2. I have not yet welcomed the extremely sharp Kate Bahn to Equitable Growth: Equitable Growth: Kate Bahn: "Her areas of research include gender, race, and ethnicity in the labor market, care work, and monopsonistic labor markets.... She was an economist at the Center for American Progress. Bahn also serves as the executive vice president and secretary for the International Association for Feminist Economics.... She received her doctorate in economics from the New School... and her Bachelor of Arts... from Hampshire...

  3. Wealth inequality measures have been grossly understating concentration because of tax evasion and tax avoidance in tax havens: Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen, and GabrielZucman: Who owns the wealth in tax havens? Macro evidence and implications for global inequality: "This paper estimates the amount of household wealth owned by each country in offshore tax havens...

  4. The "optimal tax" literature in economics has always been greatly distorted by the fact that models simple enough to solve bring with them lots of baggage that leads to misleading—and usually anti-egalitarian and anti-equitable growth—conclusions that would not follow if we had better control over our theories. Here Saez and Stantcheva make significant progress in resolving this problem: Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva: A simpler theory of optimal capital taxation: "We first consider a simple model with utility functions linear in consumption and featuring heterogeneous utility for wealth..

  5. Very much worth reading from Equitable Growth alum Nick Bunker: Nick Bunker: Puzzling over U.S. wage growth: "Hiring has not been particularly strong during this recovery...

Continue reading "A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 19, 2018" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 12, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

TOP MUST REMEMBER: Cory Doctorow: I Was Naive: "I've been thinking of all those 'progressive' Senators who said that... Jeff Sessions was a gentleman, honorable, decent—just someone whose ideas they disagreed with. They approved Sessions for AG on that basis, and he architected this kids-in-cages moment...

Continue reading "A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 12, 2018" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 10, 2019)

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  • Fresh at Project Syndicate: Is Plutocracy Really the Problem?: The larger issue...is an absence of alternative voices. If the 2010s had been anything like the 1930s, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Conference Board would have been aggressively calling for more investment in America, and these arguments would have commanded the attention of the press. Labor unions would have had a prominent voice as advocates for a high-pressure economy. Both would have had very powerful voices inside the political process through their support of candidates. Did the top 0.01% put something in the water to make the media freeze out such voices after 2008?...

  • Smackdown: Failing to Do Robustness Checks Is Not a Virtue: This, from this past April of all times, greatly puzzles me: WHAT IN THE HOLY NAME OF THE ONE WHO IS IS GOING ON HERE?! Let us remember what really happened back in 2011 when the unemployment rate was 9%: "Reinhart... explained that countries rarely pass the 90 percent debt-to-GDP tipping point precisely because it is dangerous.... Reinhart and Rogoff... 'current debt trajectories are a risk to long-term growth and stability, with many advanced economies already reaching or exceeding the important marker of 90 percent of GDP'..." Yet there never was any "90 percent debt-to-GDP tipping point". Reinhart and Rogoff thought there was because they did not do any robustness checks of their data-analysis binning procedures. Perhaps an apology to the misled world should be a high priority? Perhaps it should be a higher priority than rants claiming that their critics like me—who were right—engaged in "years of mounting polemics against austerity policies, Keynesian dogma has become something close to a secular religion"?...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: Risks of Debt: The Real Flaw in Reinhart-Rogoff: A country that spends and spends and spends and spends and does not tax sufficiently will eventually run into debt-generated trouble.... But can this happen as long as interest rates remain low? As long as stock prices remain buoyant? As long as inflation remains subdued. My faction of economists—including Larry Summers, Laura Tyson, Paul Krugman, and many many others—believe that it will not...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: What Was the Point of Robert Woodward's "The Agenda"?: According to the Washington Post's headline writers (and according to pretty damn near everybody else who read The Agenda that I have talked to), Woodward's book tells the story of a president who (a) feels "blindsided" by their actions, (b) feels that the policies his administration is adopting means that he is losing his soul, (c) finds that the Republican Federal Reserve Chair's views are etching a deep impression on policy, (d) finds himself stuck with a "turkey" of an economic plan, (e) has advisors who fight fiercely in order to (f) control a wishy-washy president, and as a result (g) decision-making suffers and (h) clarity of vision is lost. Now I was there. (a) is simply wrong. (b) is sorta true, sorta false--Clinton was conflicted. (c) is true. (d) is false--it was a damned good economic plan. (e) is true. But (f) is false: wrestling intently and intelligently with hard choices does not make you the puppet of your advisors. (g) is wrong: the process produced a very good outcome. And (h) is wrong too. I want to set this out because in comments we have Bob Woodward claiming that his book was about... something else than the Washington Post headline writers who got the first excerpts from it and published them thought it was about...

  • Hoisted from July 3, 2008: Optimal Control: "Was the Federal Reserve too volatile and hair-trigger? Or was the ECB too sluggish?...

  • Note to Self: The establishment-survey payroll-employment numbers (red line) contain within them a guess as to how many newly-formed forms there are that have not yet caught up to and entered the payroll system. When a recession starts, that guess at the fudge factor can be way high. On the other hand, the household-survey employment numbers (blue line) has a lot more statistical noise in it...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • For the Weekend: The Death of Stalin: Jason Isaacs as Georgy Zhukov Arrives at Stalin's Funeral: For the Weekend

  • Weekend Reading: Daniel Davies: One-Minute MBA: "The secret to every analysis I've ever done... has been, more or less, my expensive business school education.... Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them in order to gain public acceptance. I was first made aware of this during an accounting class.... Fibbers' Forecasts Are Worthless. Case after miserable case after bloody case we went through, I tell you.... Not only that people who want a project will tend to make inaccurate projections about the possible outcomes of that project, but about the futility of attempts to "shade" downward a fundamentally dishonest set of predictions.... It's been shown time and again and again; companies which do not audit completed projects in order to see how accurate the original projections were, tend to get exactly the forecasts and projects that they deserve.... Next week, perhaps, a few reflections on why it is that people don't support the neoconservative project to bring democracy to the Middle East (a trailer for those who can't wait; the title is going to be something like 'If You Tell Lies A Lot, You Tend To Get A Reputation As A Liar'). Mind how you go...

  • Weekend Reading: Annette Gordon-Reed: Some Thoughts About Sally Hemings

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: : Fifteen Worthy Reads from the Past Week or so: July 12, 2018: TOP MUST REMEMBER: Cory Doctorow: I Was Naive: "I've been thinking of all those 'progressive' Senators who said that... Jeff Sessions was a gentleman, honorable, decent—just someone whose ideas they disagreed with. They approved Sessions for AG on that basis, and he architected this kids-in-cages moment...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Gregory, Augustine, and Ceolwulf: "A.D. 596. This year Pope Gregory sent Augustine to Britain with very many monks, to preach the word of God to the English people...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Ceawlin and Friends: "A.D. 568. This year Ceawlin, and Cutha the brother of Ceawlin, fought with Ethelbert, and pursued him into Kent. And they slew two aldermen at Wimbledon, Oslake and Cnebba...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Holy Pope Gregory, and Columba: "A.D. 560. This year Ceawlin undertook the government of the West-Saxons; and Ella, on the death of Ida, that of the Northumbrians; each of whom reigned thirty winters...


  1. Duncan Black: In The Old Times: "I'm not one to defend the Bush administration, but they did at least attempt to color inside the lines, if in garish bloody colors. I'm sure Yoo's torture memo was quite a marvel of legal reasoning that only someone who went to the best law school could come up with (our best laws schools are churning out sociopaths, but still). At this point, the Trump administration is just saying 'we are going to continue doing crimes and you can't stop us and hahaha you aren't even trying'...

  2. Sam Dangremond: Ken Griffin's 238 Million NYC Penthouse Is Most Expensive Home in America: "The penthouse at 220 Central Park South... $238 million.... At 953 feet, the 79-story tower stands out along the Central Park South skyline. Griffin's penthouse—a combination of two units—encompasses approximately 24,000 square feet, according to the Wall Street Journal. The $238-million price tag dwarfs the previous record of $137 million, which hedge-fund manager Barry Rosenstein reportedly paid for a home in East Hampton...

  3. MGI: Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation

  4. Abd Ar Rahman bin Muhammed ibn Khaldun: The Muqaddimah https://delong.typepad.com/files/muquaddimah.pdf #books

  5. Jared Bernstein: More Evidence–This Time from CBO... Higher (Even Much Higher) Minimum Wages Largely Do What They’re Supposed To Do: "Raising the federal minimum wage to 15 per hour by 2025 would lift the pay of 27.3 million workers—17 percent of the workforce—according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. It would raise the incomes of poor families by 5 percent and thus reduce the number of people in poverty by 1.3 million. Since these low-end gains would be partially financed out of profits, the increase in the wage floor would reduce inequality. CBO also estimates that '1.3 million workers who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2025'.... The report warns that some will be hurt by the increase, but the best research suggests their job-loss estimate may be too high. Moreover, even if they’re right, the ratio of helped-to-hurt is 21 (27.3m/1.3m)...

  6. Tomaz Cajner, Leland D. Crane, Ryan A. Decker, Adrian Hamins-Puertolas, and Christopher Kurz: Improving the Accuracy of Economic Measurement with Multiple Data Sources: The Case of Payroll Employment Data: "The optimal predictor... puts approximately equal weight on the CES and ADP-derived series. Moreover, the estimated state contains information about future readings of payroll employment...

  7. David Byrne and Carol Corrado: Accounting for Innovations in Consumer Digital Services: IT Still mMatters: "Accounting for innovations in consumer content delivery matters: The innovations boost consumer surplus by nearly 1,800 (2017 dollars) per connected user per year for the full period of this study (1987 to 2017) and contribute more than 1/2 percentage point to US real GDP growth during the last ten...

  8. Kim Darroch: How Foreign Allies Talk About Trump Behind Closed Doors: "We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept...

  9. Owen Zidar (2013): Debt to GDP & Future Economic Growth

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 10, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 6, 2019)

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  • Weekly Forecasting Update: July 5, 2019: The Fed has recognized that its hope of normalizing the Fed Funds rate in the foreseeable future is vain. We are one year closer to full employment, yes. But we have extended our view of when we will reach full employment by nine months...

  • Weekly Forecasting Update: June 28, 2019: : Ten-year CPI inflation breakeven is now 1.6%. If investors were risk neutral with respect to bearing this particular inflation risk, this breakeven ought to be 2.5% if investors expected the Federal Reserve to meet its 2.0% PCE inflation target over the next decade...

  • On Twitter: Socialist Calculation Debate 2.0: Sparsity: : Suresh Naidu: "Right: instead of trying to get all the prices right, the regularization bet is that is that 99% of the benefits of planning can be realized with 1% of the prices planned by the state (e.g. fed rates)." Arindrajit Dube': "'The commanding heights were a great idea but need ML to find them" Brad DeLong: We already have such bets. Milton Friedman bet that fixing the growth of nominal liquidity services at a constant proportional rate got us 99% of the benefits. Alan Greenspan bet fixing the price of nominal liquidity services at his guess at Wicksellian neutral rate got us 99% of benefits...

  • It is macro: recession, weak recovery, catastrophe, and then superweak recovery...: "I confess I do not get this from Paul Krugman. Yes, the trade deficit crowds-out traditionally-male blue-collar import-substituting manufacturing jobs, but imports crowd-in traditionally-male blue-collar wholesale trade jobs, and finance traditionally-male blue-collar construction (and capital-goods manufacturing) jobs.... NAFTA is nowhere. The 2002-2007 bilateral-trade "China shock" is simply not a terribly big deal for the country as a whole: employment in traditionally-male blue-collar occupations was flat. A big deal for places that found their manufactures competing with new imports from China, yes. But not for blue-collar traditionally-male employment in the country as a whole...

  • Note to Self: Gary Foresythe: "The Ineditum Vaticanum.... The second of the four anecdotes concerns an encounter between a Roman and a Carthaginian at the Strait of Messina on the eve of the First Punic War...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from Around the Week of July 5, 2018: Most Important: 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...

  • Weekend Reading: "A Republic, If You Can Keep It": "A lady asked Dr. Franklin: 'Well, Doctor, what have we got—a republic or a monarchy?' 'A republic', replied the Doctor, 'if you can keep it'. (The lady here aluded to was Mrs. Powel of Philada[delphia]...

  • Weekend Reading: Polybius on the First Two Treaties Between Rome and Carthage: "The first treaty between Rome and Carthage was made... twenty-eight years before the invasion of Greece by Xerxes [509 BC].... The ancient language differs so much from that at present in use, that the best scholars among the Romans themselves have great difficulty in interpreting some points in it...

  • Comment of the Day: Graydon: "Ads exist to increase your insecurity, so you'll spend money to lower it. The entire endeavour is not in the public interest...

  • Comment of the Day: D. C. Sessions: "One of those 'small city research universities' is New Mexico Tech... in a town (Socorro) of 10,000.... 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...

  • Comment of the Day: Graydon: "Intelligence is emergent.... You can get it more than one way.... 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.... 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...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Origins of Wessex: "A.D. 477: This year came Ella to Britain, with his three sons, Cymen, and Wlenking, and Cissa, in three ships; landing at a place that is called Cymenshore. There they slew many of the Welsh; and some in flight they drove into the wood that is called Andredsley...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Descendants of Cerdic to Ethelred Son of Ethelwulf Son of Egbert: "A.D. 495. This year came two leaders into Britain, Cerdic and Cynric his son, with five ships, at a place that is called Cerdic's-ore. And they fought with the Welsh the same day...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Alfred King of the Anglekin and His Successors: "Origins of Wessex: "Then succeeded Alfred, their brother, to the government. And then had elapsed of his age three and twenty winters, and three hundred and ninety-six winters from the time when his kindred first gained the land of Wessex from the Welsh. And he held the kingdom a year and a half less than thirty winters...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Cerdic and Cynric: "A.D. 509. This year St. Benedict, the abbot, father of all the monks, ascended to heaven. A.D. 514. This year came the West-Saxons into Britain, with three ships, at the place that is called Cerdic's-ore. And Stuff and Wihtgar fought with the Britons, and put them to flight. A.D. 519. This year Cerdic and Cynric undertook the government of the West-Saxons; the same year they fought with the Britons at a place now called Charford. From that day have reigned the children of the West-Saxon kings...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Astronomy, Northumbria, and Victories of Cynric: "A.D. 538. This year the sun was eclipsed, fourteen days before the calends of March, from before morning until nine...


  1. Shawn Donnan: Trade War Latest: Trump, G-20, China, Huawei, EU, Brazil: "A grim new reality for U.S. economic power. When Trump dialed up the heat with tariffs and threats, the rest of the world looked elsewhere for opportunities. The early results were not going in America’s favor...

  2. Tom Gara: The New Republic is Hiring an Inequality Editor: "This is a part-time role, requiring 29.5 hours per week, and does not include benefits...

  3. Adam Serwer: The Detention Camps at the Border Are a Crime: "The Trump administration’s commitment to deterring immigration through cruelty has made horrifying conditions in detention facilities inevitable...

  4. I agree that economists are doing a bad job of policing our discipline against intellectual grifters. But it is not because we need to shill in order to eat. Our problems are different: Wolfgang Munchau: Age of the Expert as Policymaker Is Coming to an End: "When economics blogging started to become fashionable, I sat on a podium with an academic blogger who predicted that people like him would usurp the role of the economics newspaper columnist within a period of 10 years. That was a decade ago. His argument was that trained economists were just smarter. What he did not reckon with is that it is hard to speak truth to power when you have to beg that power to fund your think-tank or institute. Even less so once you are politically attached or appointed. Independence matters...

  5. Barack Obama (2010): "Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the trillion dollars that it took to rescue the economy last year. Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will.  Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will...

  6. Azeem Azhar: Entrepreneurs, the Market, and the State: "Speaking with venture capitalist Bill Janeway...

  7. Apple (1997): Apple's World Wide Developers Conference 1997 with Steve Jobs

  8. Climateer Investing: Twitter Has an Algorithm That Creates Harassment All by Itself: "Harassment is such a harsh word, let's call it 'engagement'. From glitch girl MC Mclure's Twitter feed.... 'Social experiment: "Do NOT read the replies to this tweet before you reply to it".... What Twitter's doing is finding people with low-flow timelines & filling space in with "high engagement" tweets ("things you're likely to reply to too"). This tells us 2 things: It's not just "favs are RTs" now; REPLIES might be RTs too. TWITTER HAS AUTOMATED PILEONS...

  9. Martin Wolf: Why Democratic Government Is Showing Strains in the US and UK: "Reagan and Thatcher failed. Both countries went through radical policy changes in the 1980s, towards free markets. This did not work out as well as had been hoped. Nationalism duly became a way to mobilise support on the right.... Austerity bites. In both countries, the crisis bequeathed huge structural fiscal deficits. This encouraged politicians of the right to slash public spending. Elites decline. Democracies require respected elites. But, in both countries, the ideal of public service has corroded, while people increasingly think of their elites as incompetent, or crooks...

  10. Alan R. Rogers, Ryan J. Bohlender, and Chad D. Huff: Early History of Neanderthals and Denisovans: "Neanderthals and Denisovans were human populations that separated from the modern lineage early in the Middle Pleistocene. Many modern humans carry DNA derived from these archaic populations by interbreeding during the Late Pleistocene. We develop a statistical method to study the early history of these archaic populations. We show that the archaic lineage was very small during the 10,000y that followed its separation from the modern lineage. It then split into two regional populations, the Neanderthals and the Denisovans. The Neanderthal population grew large and separated into largely isolated local groups https://delong.typepad.com/neanderthals.pdf...

  11. Doug Jones: Hits, Slides, and Rings: "Even though we’re mostly not aware of it, we’re very good at using our hearing to keep track of what’s going on in our physical surroundings... easily recognize the difference between someone going upstairs and someone going downstairs... good at recognizing individuals by their treads. The sounds that solid objects make can be broadly categorized as hits, slides, and rings.... Changizi argues that these correspond to the major categories of phonemes: Hits = plosives... Slides = fricatives... Rings = sonorants, including sonorant consonants, like l r y w m n, and vowels.... We can [also] do barks and pops and farts and so on. But our auditory systems are especially cued into solid object physics, so when we try to come up with easy-to-distinguish phonemes, that’s what we focus on.... Even if imitating nature is not the whole story of phonemes, it may at least be where they got started. Later on when we talk about writing systems, we’ll see there’s a similar argument about how these are tuned to tickle our primate visual systems...

  12. 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.... 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'."... John M. Lippert: "Hi Professor DeLong.... Cochrane’s complaint is something of which I became aware several months after we published our story in 2008.... 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...

  13. David Brin: The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us To Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? #books

  14. Doug Jones: Speech Sounds: "The origin of modern human is one of the major transitions in evolution, comparable to the origin of eukaryotic cells, or of social insects. Language is crucial here: slime molds and ants organize high levels of cooperation, turning themselves into 'superorganisms', by secreting pheromones. Humans organize by secreting cosmologies...

  15. Maria Paula Cacault, Christian Hildebrand, Jeremy Laurent-Lucchetti, and Michele Pellizzari: Distance learning in Higher Education: "Online live streaming of lectures... student achievement and attendance... students at the University of Geneva.... Students use the live streaming technology only when events make attending class too costly, and that attending lectures via live streaming lowers achievement for low-ability students but increases it for high-ability ones...

  16. Octavia E. Butler: Speech Sounds #books

  17. George Washington's Mount Vernon: Elizabeth Willing Powel: "One description of a lavish party thrown by the Powels comes from John Adams’ diary, kept during the second session of the Continental Congress. On September 8, 1774, he wrote, 'Dined at Mr. Powells—A most sinfull Feast again! Every Thing which could delight the Eye, or allure the Taste.' Powel ran her parties in the French style of a salon, a location where leading intellectuals and other elites gathered to discuss current political and social issues...

  18. Gordon Bryant Brown: An Insider's Memoir: How Economics Changed to Work Against Us From Smith to Marx to BitCoin #books

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (July 6, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from Around the Week of July 5, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

Most Important: 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 "A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from Around the Week of July 5, 2018" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (June 26, 2019)

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  • Weekly Forecasting Update: June 21, 2019: : "About the only news in the past week or so is that the Federal Reserve has—behind the curve—become convinced that it raised interest rates too much in 2018. To the extent they attribute their change of view to news, the news is that President Trump is a chaos monkey with respect to international trade—but that was well known back in 2015. Worth noting is that the ten-year CPI inflation breakeven is now 1.6%. If investors were risk neutral with respect to bearing this particular inflation risk, this breakeven ought to be 2.5% if investors expected the Federal Reserve to meet its 2.0% PCE inflation target over the next decade...

  • Project Syndicate: Robo-Apocalypse? Not in Your Lifetime: "Historically, the tasks that humans have performed have fallen into ten broad categories. The first, and most basic, is using one’s body to move physical objects, which is followed by using one’s eyes and fingers to create discrete material goods. The third category involves feeding materials into machine-driven production processes...

  • Project Syndicate: U.S. as Doofus Country, China, and Grand Strategy: "note that—of course—all those necessary and needed pieces of action require that the U.S. look and act inwardly, not outwardly...

  • 15000 workers in the top 0.01% of income this year receive an average of 400,000 dollars a day How could one go about spending that? Suppose you decided this morning that you wanted to rent the 2000 square-foot Ritz-Carlton suite at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco hotel for the week of next Memorial Day, and did so. That would set you back 6000 for seven nights. You would still have to spend 394,000 more today to avoid getting richer: to avoid getting richer you would have to spend 16,667 an hour, awake and asleep, day in and day out...

  • Comment of the Day: JEC: On Economist James Buchanan: "So... what Buchanan learned from serving in the Navy at a time when blacks were allowed to serve on ships exclusively as cooks was that snobbish Yankees were mean to him. Remind me again why we're spending time on this man's 'thought?...

  • For the Weekend: Where There's a Whip, There's a Way!

  • Weekend Reading: Discussion of J. Bradford DeLong and Lawrence H. Summers: "Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy

  • Weekend Reading: John Maynard Keynes (1937): How to Avoid a Slump: "So long as surplus resources were widely diffused between industries and localities it was no great matter at what point in the economic structure the impulse of an increased demand was applied. But the evidence grows that—for several reasons into which there is no space to enter here—the economic structure is unfortunately rigid, and that (for example) building activity in the home counties is less effective than one might have hoped in decreasing unemployment in the distressed areas. It follows that the later stages of recovery require a different technique...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Conquest of Southeast Britain: "A.D. 457. This year Hengest and Esc fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Crayford, and there slew four thousand men. The Britons then forsook the land of Kent, and in great consternation fled to London.... A.D. 473. This year Hengest and Esc fought with the Welsh, and took immense Booty. And the Welsh fled from the English like fire...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Arrival of the Saxons: "A.D. 449. This year Marcian and Valentinian assumed the empire, and reigned seven winters. In their days Hengest and Horsa, invited by Wurtgern, king of the Britons to his assistance, landed in Britain in a place that is called Ipwinesfleet; first of all to support the Britons, but they afterwards fought against them...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Fall of the Western Roman Empire: "A.D. 443. This year sent the Britons over sea to Rome, and begged assistance against the Picts; but they had none, for the Romans were at war with Attila, king of the Huns. Then sent they to the Angles, and requested the same from the nobles of that nation...

  • Liveblogging: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: To the End of Roman Rule in Britain: "A.D. 189. This year Severus came to the empire; and went with his army into Britain, and subdued in battle a great part of the island. Then wrought he a mound of turf, with a broad wall thereupon, from sea to sea, for the defence of the Britons...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from around June 28, 2018


  1. Caleb Melby, Laura Marcinek and Danielle Burger (2014): Inflation Hawks Unrepentant and Zombified Watch!: ": Fed Critics Say ’10 Letter Warning Inflation Still Right.... John Taylor 'inflation, [un]employment... destroy[ed] financial markets, complicate[d]... normaliz[ation]... all have happened.'... Douglas Holtz-Eakin 'the clever thing... is never give a number and a date. They are going to generate an uptick in core inflation.... I don’t know when, but they will.' Niall Ferguson 'this bull market has been accompanied by significant financial market distortions, just as we foresaw. Note that word "risk". And note the absence of a date. There is in fact still a risk of currency debasement and inflation.'... David Malpass: 'The letter was correct'.... Amity Shlaes: 'inflation could come... the nation is not prepared'.... Cliff Asness... declined to comment. Michael Boskin... didn’t immediately respond.... Charles Calomiris... was traveling and unavailable.... Jim Chanos... didn’t return a phone call or an e-mail.... John Cogan... didn’t respond.... Nicole Gelinas... didn’t respond.... Phone calls... and an e-mail... to Kevin A. Hassett... weren’t returned. Roger Hertog... declined to comment.... Gregory Hess... didn’t immediately return.... Diana DeSocio... said Klarman stands by the position.... William Kristol... didn’t immediately return a call.... Ronald McKinnon... died yesterday prior to a Bloomberg call.... Dan Senor... didn’t respond.... Stephen Spruiell... declined to comment... https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/11/15/open-letter-to-ben-bernanke/

  2. Win McCormack: The Green New Deal: A Capitalist Plot: "To save the planet, be more like Ike.... According Cohen and DeLong, economists at Berkeley who are among the key sources of the economic development strategy underlying the Green New Deal, the Eisenhower years were perhaps the most economically consequential in modern American history...

  3. Emily Blanchard: Trade Wars in the Global Value Chain Era: "Early evidence suggests that even in the very short run, the current trade war is taking a toll on US firms and consumers.6 The key question in the months and years to come is how, if these tariffs continue, they will begin to feed back through global value chains at the expense of firms and workers in the US, China, and around the world...

  4. John Maynard Keynes (1937): How to Avoid a Slump: "The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury...

  5. Patience Haggin and Kara Dapena: Google’s Ad Dominance Explained in Three Charts: "Tech giant is the leading supplier of services to carry out virtually every step of purchasing and selling ads...

  6. "Barry Eichengreen (2015): Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and the Uses—and Misuses—of History

  7. Paul Krugman: Notes on Excessive Wealth Disorder: "How not to repeat the mistakes of 2011...

  8. Antonio Gramsci (1926): Some Aspects of the Southern Question:

  9. Thomas R. Bates (1975): Gramsci and the Theory of Hegemony: "The intellectuals succeed in creating hegemony to the extent that they extend the world view of the rulers to the world, and thereby secure the 'free' consent of the masses to the law and order of the land. To the extent that the intellectuals fail to create hegemony, the ruling class falls back on the state's coercive apparatus...

  10. Weekend Reading: Discussion of J. Bradford DeLong and Lawrence H. Summers (2012): "Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy"

  11. Notebook: Economics Gone Wrong

  12. J. Bradford Delong and Lawrence H. Summers (2012): Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy

  13. Paul Krugman: Notes on Excessive Wealth Disorder: "How not to repeat the mistakes of 2011...

  14. It makes me sad that the sweet spot for this is 50 a year. How many such things do I feel I can afford to subscribe to at 50 a year? About 1/10 of those I would feel I could afford to subscribe to at 10 a year...: Daniel Mallory Ortberg: The Shatner Chatner

  15. Martin Wolf (2014): The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned—and Have Still to Learn—from the Financial Crisis

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (June 26, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Fifteen Worthy Reads from around June 28, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

Worthy Reads on Equitable Growth:

  1. A very nice paper concluding, among other things, that geographic mobility is the friend and not the foe of increases in the minimum wage as an equitable growth policy—it is the individuals who are able to move across state lines to opportunity who appear to benefit the most: Kevin Rinz and John Voorheis: The distributional effects of minimum wages: Evidence from linked survey and administrative data: "States and localities are increasingly experimenting with higher minimum wage...

  2. Brad DeLong: The lack of Federal Reserve maneuvering room is very worrisome

  3. Karen Dynan joins Equitable Growth Steering Committee

  4. It is worth stressing that motherhood penalties—work-gap penalties more generally—appear present throughout and beyond the Global North. Our labor market institutions and expectations are still as if designed for a male-dominated paid workforce in which women exit the paid labor force upon marriage or pregnancy and do not return: Eunjung Jee, Joya Misra, and Marta Murray-Close: Motherhood penalties in the U.S., 1986-2014: "Mothers earn less than childless women...

  5. I have long thought it unwise that feminist economics is not a much larger and more prominent subfield. The past century and a half, after all, has seen the typical woman go from eating for two for twenty years to eating for two for onlyfour. That is a huge change, with mammoth and fascinating implications and consequences within and far beyond economics—yet remarkably few (male) economists seem to care: Kate Bahn: Reporting from the International Association for Feminist Economics Conference: "Great presentation on 'Bridging Theory and Action: Digital Platforms as an Opportunity for Feminist Economics' by @leezagavronsky and @Bilguis92.... We need to move beyond the online/offline binary, since it often leads activism out in the world. Economists don't need to dumb things down, but present things in a more inclusive manner, with less jargon that obfuscates what we are actually trying to say...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (June 19, 2019)

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  1. Fareed Zakaria: The Self-Destruction of American Power: "One is struck by the ways in which Washington—from an unprecedented position—mishandled its hegemony and abused its power, losing allies and emboldening enemies. And now, under the Trump administration, the United States seems to have lost interest, indeed lost faith, in the ideas and purpose that animated its international presence for three-quarters of a century...

  2. Christina Romer (1994): The End of Economic History?: "Perhaps more than any particular finding or direct implication, the fact that the debate about stabilization and the new data collection efforts are being carried out by a mixture of economic historians and macroeconomists is the most desirable development of all. As with all of the other recent developments in economic history that have been discussed here, the bringing together of researchers with different perspectives has not only stimulated exciting research, it has also meant that the lessons of history have been incorporated into other fields. In this way, the end of economic history has really been just the beginning of better and richer economics...

  3. AlphaChat: Jay Shambaugh on Tools to Fight the Next Recession: "The economist and Brookings Institution senior fellow talks to FT contributor Megan Greene about the fiscal policies that lawmakers could arrange now that would automatically kick in when some of the early signs of a slowdown start to appear...

  4. Ed Nawotka: Daunt Relishes Challenge of Leading B&N: "Daunt said his priority with B&N is not to cut costs, but to find a way to arrest the decline in sales and return the company to growth, much as he did at Waterstones. The key, he said, will be investment.... Above all, Daunt expressed calm about the transition, and advocated for patience...

  5. Charles Petzold (2008): The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine (Indianapolis: John Wiley: 9780470229057) #books

  6. Joanna Ossinger: JPMorgan Shows Where Huge Risks From Fed, G-20 Are Underpriced: "Stocks may correct if Fed isn’t dovish enough: Panigirtzoglou. Cross-asset measures show little volatility risk premium...

  7. Barry Eichengreen, Asmaa El-Ganainy, Rui Esteves, and Kris James Mitchener: Public Debt Through the Ages: "Periods when debt-to-GDP ratios rose explosively as a result of wars, depressions and financial crises also have a long history. Many of these episodes resulted in debt-management problems resolved through debasements and restructurings. Less widely appreciated are successful debt consolidation episodes.... We analyze the economic and political circumstances that made these successful debt consolidation episodes possible...

  8. Josefin Meyer, Carmen M. Reinhart, and Christoph Trebesch: Sovereign Bonds since Waterloo: "220,000 monthly prices of foreign-currency government bonds traded in London and New York between 1815 (the Battle of Waterloo) and 2016, covering 91 countries.... Returns on external sovereign bonds have been sufficiently high to compensate for risk. Real ex-post returns averaged 7% annually across two centuries, including default episodes, major wars, and global crises... an excess return of around 4% above US or UK government bonds... are hard to reconcile with canonical theoretical models and with the degree of credit risk.... Full repudiation is rare; the median haircut is below 50%...

  9. Olivier Blanchard and Takeshi Tashiro: Fiscal Policy Options for Japan

  10. DS100: Principles and Techniques of Data Science #book

  11. Barry Ritholtz: Buy Yourself a F--king Latte: "A Latte a Day Isn’t Going to Ruin Your Retirement. If spending $5 a day on fancy coffee puts your retirement at risk, you’ve got bigger problem...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (June 19, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads from Around June 21, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

Worthy Reads at Equitable Growth:

  1. Very nice to see: Equitable Growth: Janet Yellen Joins Equitable Growth Steering Committee: "'There are few economists with the depth of academic and policymaking experience that Janet Yellen possesses', said Heather Boushey, Equitable Growth’s executive director and chief economist. 'She has worked tirelessly, in her research and in her high government positions, to promote strong economic growth that benefits workers and to ensure that the American Dream is within reach for all...'"

  2. Suggestions for what kinds of information we will want to be capturing in twenty years are very welcome: Michael Strain: Equitable Growth in Conversation: "To the extent that you are figuring out ways to update this statistical system to account for the way that we live and work now would be important. But more importantly, to account for the ways that we might live and work 20 years from now, to really have a plan to have statistically valid surveys that capture the information that we want to capture is, I think, a very worthy research program..."

  3. Really surprised that there is no evidence of boom-bust asymmetry here. I am going to have to dig into what reasonable alternatives are and how much power the authors' techniques have against them: Adam M. Guren, Alisdair McKay, Emi Nakamura, and Jon Steinsson: Housing Wealth Effects: The long View: "1) Large housing wealth effects are not new... substantial effects back to the mid 1980s; 2) Housing wealth effects were not particularly large in the 2000s... 3) There is no evidence of a boom-bust asymmetry..."

  4. The "elasticity of substitution" is an emergent property. It has very little to do with "technology" if only because there is not one single technology in the economy. There are lots of different types of machines and lots of ways to use workers and machines to produce things. And "rigid organization" is not quite right either here: Suresh Naidu (2014): Notes from Capital in the 21st Century Panel: "Perhaps a useful analogy is that this is the "Free to Choose" or “Capitalism and Freedom” for our time.... I can’t think of a book that emerged from economics for a mass audience with as much reception since then.... The book doesn't quite take a stand on whether it is brute market forces and a production function with a high elasticity of substitution or instead relatively rigid organization of firms and financial institutions that lies behind the stability of r. I think the production approach is less plausible..."

  5. Sue and Tim worry that the organizational disaggregation produced by this Age of Supply Chains is harming the development of our communities of engineering practice. Annalee Saxenian's Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 is now 20 years old, and yet somehow I do not think we know as much about this as we should: Susan Helper and Timothy Krueger (2016): Supply Chains and Equitable Growth: "Deregulation, market failures, and corporate policies have led to the rise of supply chains comprised of small, weak firms that innovate less and pay less. These problems in supply chains threaten U.S. competitiveness by undermining innovation, and also contribute to the erosion of U.S. workers’ standard of living. A different kind of outsourcing is possible..."

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (June 12, 2019)

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  1. John Holbo: "You, for example, are being slightly rude, asking such questions of religious people!: 'But... it is not usually taken as rude in religious circles to ask of people: Will you be on the left or the right "when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory...'" Oh absolutely. Rude to challenge people about their religious beliefs. Because that's religious liberty. But it's not rude for religious people to challenge non-religious people abut their beliefs. Because that's religious liberty. Purest proof of 'liberty' = 'privilege' here!...

  2. Brian Lyman: 'Where Was the Lord?': On Jefferson Davis' Birthday, 9 Slave Testimonies

  3. When the person driving the car becomes so exercised by the derogeance inflicted upon newlyweds Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill and Jennie Jerome by their parents' failure to give them the capital sum to purchase a Stately Home in which to entertain that she misses the turnoff to the Jacksonville airport...

  4. Duncan Black: Do You Even Have Friends: "A legitimate joke about conservatives is they occasionally stumble upon a problem that directly impacts them or their family or friends and suddenly become liberals... on only that issue. Learn to generalize...

  5. Doug Jones: Amplifier Lakes: "Paleontologists and paleoanthropologists are busy sorting out what was special about the climate and ecology of Africa, especially East Africa, that contributed to various phases of hominin evolution... particular times when lakes were flickering in and out of existence along the... East African Rift Valley... a rich (sometimes) but also a particularly challenging environment.... Lewis Dartnell’s very recent Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History...

  6. When and why did the brain eater eat the brain of this guy?: Nick Confessore: "'[Does] secular liberalism ha[ve] a kind of stopping point that accepts the continued not just existence but flourishing of conservative religious traditions?' I haven’t yet encountered a liberal answer to this question in the current instance.... Anyone have a recommendation for a piece on the left engaging with that point?" Parker Molloy: "The premise is insane, Nick. There’s not a reasonable rebuttal to it. It’s honestly scary that there are people willing to view the argument as a reasonable position in the first place. We live in a world where it’s legal for a Christian business owner to fire an employee for being gay, but illegal for a gay business owner to fire someone for being Christian...

  7. Charles Jones (1994): "Economic Growth and the Relative Price of Capital," Journal of Monetary Economics 34, pp. 359-82 https://delong.typepad.com/jones94.pdf

  8. John Amato: Donald: Federal Reserve Are 'Not His People' Even Though He Chose 4 Out Of 5: "He apparently forgot that the current Fed panel is one of his creation...

  9. George Orwell (1936): The Road to Wigan Pier

  10. Dan Nexon: Trump Change: Grift and Graft in the New Gilded Age: "Republican concern about many matters – such as the role of congress in overseeing the executive branch and best practices when it comes to securing classified information–extends only so far as partisan political considerations dictates. The same is obviously true of kleptocracy. However, just because the GOP couldn’t care less doesn’t mean that we need to normalize it...

  11. Mark Sullivan: Sign in with Apple Puts Apple’s Privacy Stance to Work: "Sign in with Apple is an impressive, privacy-friendly alternative to one of the main data-harvesting techniques used by its rivals. And Apple isn’t just offering it up as a new option for developers. It will require apps that include sign-in buttons powered by other companies to add its new button as well...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (June 12, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Must- and Should-Reads from the Past Week or so: June 7, 2018

stacks and stacks of books

Worthy Readings at Equitable Growth:

  1. That monetary policy is best which avoids creating needless unemployment while still maintaining confidence in the value of the unit of account. Yet surprisingly little thought has been devoted to figuring out which monetary policy jumps the highest with respect to this objective: Nick Bunker: Getting on the level with the Fed’s targeting of prices: "John Williams’s move to New York is a sign that the Federal Reserve may soon reconsider its target for monetary policy. It’s not clear whether a new target would emerge from such a process or how radical a change current members of the FOMC would consider. The current inflation targeting structure may have gotten the U.S. economy to where it is, but it took some time. A quicker recovery from the next recession would be to the benefit of everyone in the U.S. economy. So, a rethink is needed. Hopefully it’s coming soon..."

  2. I think "top 20%" is wrong. The fact that most of percentiles 80%-97% perceive themselves as having catastrophically lost the game of relative status vis-a-vis percentiles 98% and 99%—and that most of percentiles 98% and 99% perceive themselves as having catastrophically lost the game of relative status vis-a-vis the 99.9%, and most of the 99.9% perceive themselves as having catastrophically lost the game of relative status vis-a-vis 99.99% makes arguing that they have in some sense succeeded in realizing a dream that they now hoard a hard argument to make: Richard Reeves: Equitable Growth in Conversation_: "Dream hoarders... are the people at the top... the winners of the inequality divide... the top 20 percent roughly of the income distribution. That means they earn healthy six-figure household incomes, with average incomes of about $200,000 a year..."

  3. There was a lot of noise about how giving repatriated profits a tax break would boost investment in America. As near as I can see it, none of it was well-founded at all: Kimberly Clausing: Equitable Growth in Conversation: "We are distorting repatriation decisions by having this repatriation tax. But I don’t think we’re dramatically changing the investments found in the United States. The companies that have profits abroad can borrow against them to finance any desired investment. And some of the money isn’t really truly abroad—it’s invested in U.S. assets..."

  4. This web page at Slate has the wrong headline. It should be: "Education Won’t Solve Inequality: Not without workers’ power too". Sigh. On the substance, blaming increasing inequality on "Skill Biased Technical Change" was always a non-sequitur. Given the way the models were set up, SBTC was a residual: anything that diminished worker bargaining power was going to be labeled "SBTC" regardless of what it really was: Kate Bahn: Study: Unions increasingly represent educated workers: "Herbst, Kuziemko, and Naidu throws a wrench in the SBTC [Skill-Biased Technical Change] explanation of rising inequality. They find that the education level of union members also followed a U-shape curve from 1936–2016..."

  5. Looking forward to what we can learn from this BLS initiative: Kate Bahn: New data on contingent workers in the United States: "On Thursday, June 7, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release data from its freshly collected Contingent Worker Supplement. It’s important for policymakers and economists alike to know what to look for ahead of Thursday’s data release..."

Continue reading "A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Must- and Should-Reads from the Past Week or so: June 7, 2018" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (June 5, 2019)

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  • Live at Project Syndicate: What to Do About China?: "It is entirely foreseeable that America’s attempt to “get tough” with China could accelerate its own relative decline, effectively handing China the semi-hegemony it is already approaching.... So, what should the US do to shore up its position vis-à-vis China?...

  • Weekly Forecasting Update: May 31, 2019: No Significant Changes: "About the only news these past three weeks is an 0.7%-point decrease in our estimate in what production will be over April-June, driven by a reduction in estimated durable goods orders and capacity utilization. This might be an impact o Trump's trade war, plus Trump's attempts to add a trade war with Mexico to the mix...

  • An Intake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century 1870-2016": Refinding the Path Toward Utopia: From 1938 to 1973 growth in the G-7 jerked forward again: not at the 0.76%/year pace of 1913-1938 or even the 1.42%/year pace of 1870-1913, but at an average pace of 3.0%/year. That is a material wealth doubling time of not the 90 years or so of 1913-1938 or even the 50 years of 1870-1913, but 24 years: less than a generation. Thus the G-7 was three times as well-off in 1973 as it had been in 1938...

  • An Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century 1870-2016": The Cold War: There was one other fact about post-World War II that cemented the social-democratic mixed-economy Keynesian order that drove a generation of the fastest economic growth and the greatest advance in human prosperity and liberty the world had hitherto seen: it was the Cold War...

  • Note to Self: Lecture: African Retardation: https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0O8TxLOzM1gvGwSZYkWBV97rw

  • Note to Self: G-7 national income per capita growth since 1800, according to Hans Rosling's http://gapminder.org: https://www.icloud.com/numbers/07Q5v0jKa1sohBHiO8l3Np9Gw...

  • Hoisted from the Archives from 2017: Interview: "NAFTA Is Just Not a Big Deal for the U.S.": "In a typical year we sell exports that we could get 2 trillion for if we had to sell them here at home and get imports that would cost us 4 trillion. That makes us 2 trillion per year—25,000 per family each year—richer and more prosperous. That is a big deal...

  • A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Must- and Should-Reads from the Week of May 31, 2018...

  • Weekend Reading: Belle Waring: Uses and Abuses of Tarps: : "Such creativity! And the need to give Gorky one slender reed on which to lean for his glowing reviews of the labor re-education camps! Even his choice of fiancee seemed to augur his judgments: 'The famous writer embarked from the steamer in Prosperity Gulf. Next to him was his fiancee dressed all in leather—a black leather service cap, a leather jacket, leather riding breeches, and high narrow boots—a living symbol of the OGPU shoulder to shoulder with Russian literature'...

  • Weekend Reading: Henry Farrell: The American Right's Torquemada Option: "When anti-modern conservatives decide that the liberal world is depraved... cleanse it of the corruption of tolerance. Call it the Torquemada Option https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemesis_the_Warlock. And the moderate success that some modern figures-such as Orban-have enjoyed in taking over the university system and forcibly purging it of those who would pollute our youth with gender studies and the like give old time reactionaries like Kimball some hope it can be done...

  • Weekend Reading: Jeremiah: 22 KJV: "'Do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if.. ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself', saith the Lord, 'that this house shall become a desolation'...

  • Weekend Reading: Into the Abyss: James David Nicoll on Heinlein's "Starship Troopers": "Heinlein... convinced himself he intended 'veterans' to include people whose public service included non-military organizations but there is no textual evidence of this.... 'Youngster, do I look that silly? I’m a civilian employee'. 'Oh. Sorry, sir'. 'No offense. But military service is for ants'. The doctor clearly sees service as military service...

  • 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...


  1. Gershem Gorenberg: "The actions of a leader desperate to hold power and stay out of jail are utterly beyond prediction...

  2. Paul Krugman: Robot Geometry: "Imagine an economy that produces only one good... using two techniques, A and B, one capital-intensive, one labor-intensive.... Technical progress in A, perhaps also making A even more capital-intensive... will lead to a fall in the real wage, because 1/w must rise. GDP and hence productivity does rise, but maybe not by much if the economy was mostly using the labor-intensive technique. And what about allocation of labor between sectors?... Capital-using technical progress in A actually leads to a higher share of the work force being employed in labor-intensive B...

  3. Nadiezda Kizenko (2000): A Prodigal Saint: Father John of Kronstadt and the Russian People https://books.google.com/books?isbn=027101976X: "Three introductory comments.... While I have tried to do justice to a figure as complex as Father John, this is not a hagiography.... Because I intend this book... for readers... interest[ed] in the history of Russia and... of Christianity, I have included background material.... I am well aware that Father John still sparks intense reactions...

  4. Mark Thoma (May 29, 2019): Your Daily digest for Economist's View

  5. Chris Patten: Unforgettable Tiananmen: "It's not surprising that the Communist Party of China has worked so hard to eradicate the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre from public memory. History–including the horrors of Mao Zedong’s rule–is too volatile a substance for the Chinese dictatorship...

  6. David Evans: New Findings in Global Education: "Want better test scores? Lower the heat....Parents make school choices based not only on test scores but also on a school's contribution to reduced crime or teen pregnancies.... Education reform ≠ education gains.... It’s hard to teach what you don’t know...

  7. Erin Blakemore: The Korean War Hasn't Officially Ended. One Reason: POWs: "And then there were the POWs who were not returned at all. About 80,000 South Koreans were in North Korea when a ceasefire ended the war. Most are thought to have been put to work as laborers, 're-educated', and integrated into North Korean society. In 2010, South Korea estimated that 560 were still alive. Their ordeals in repressive North Korea were unknown until a small group of defectors told their stories...

  8. Chris Duckett: AMD 3rd-Gen Ryzen Series Coming in July LedbyBy 12-Core Ryzen 9 Beast: "Range of chips beginning at 330 and topping out at 500 for the 12-core Ryzen 9... 7 nanometre technology... 12 cores, can handle 24 threads, has 2.8GHz base frequency with 4.6GHz boost, and has 70MB of cache. 'That's half the price of our competition with much, much more performance', AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su said...

  9. HathiTrust Digital Library

  10. Mihir Sharma: Modi's Election Win Sends a Populist Warning to the World: "From Trump to Brexit, don’t bet against voters making the same choice again...

  11. Hoisted from 2010: How an Economy Can Live Beyond Its Means on Its Wits: P.J. Grigg: "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 tech that it is possible to make a community rich by calling a penny two pence, in short who have sought to make economics a vade mecum for political spivs..." Confront economists' theories of depressions... and you find yourself immediately confronted with... seven... Monetarism... Wicksellianism... Minskyism... Austrianism... Vulgar Keynsianism... Hickianism... Post-Keynesianism...

  12. Hoisted from 2009: Fama's Fallacy II: Predecessors: Fama, actually, is much worse than the British Treasury economists of the 1920s. They acknowledged that monetary policy could affect the level of employment--could do more than shift resources from one use to another. Fama's argument based on his misinterpretation of the NIPA savings-investment identity has the implication that monetary policy cannot affect the unemployment rate either...

  13. Paul Krugman: "Back in the USA and thinking about what it must be like for conservative economists who weren’t always total hacks but have sold their souls-eg backing crazy claims about tax cuts or declaring that Bernanke was debasing the dollar to help Obama. All that self-abatement to curry favor with the right-and then Art fricking Laffer gets a presidential medal while they get nothing. Self abasement. If I could do self abasement I probably would...

  14. Neil McInnes: The Great Doomsayer: Oswald Spengler Reconsidered

  15. George Kennan (1947): The Sources of Soviet Conduct

  16. U.S. National Security Council (1950): NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security

  17. Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Irving Kristol: "This explains my own rather cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit and other monetary or fiscal problems. The task, as I saw it, was to create a new majority, which evidently would mean a conservative majority, which came to mean, in turn, a Republican majority-so political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (June 5, 2019)" »


A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Must- and Should-Reads from the Week of May 31, 2018 for si...

stacks and stacks of books

Five Worthy on Equitable Growth:

  1. From two years ago: a minimum wage meta-analysis: Arindrajit Dube and Ben Zipperer: Pooling multiple case studies using synthetic controls: An application to minimum wage policies | Equitable Growth

  2. Worth reading from last October: Darrick Hamilton: Post-racial rhetoric, racial health disparities, and health disparity consequences of stigma, stress, and racism | Equitable Growth

  3. Also worth reading from last October: Papers from our co-hosted antitrust symposium: Michael Kades: Unlocking Antitrust Enforcement: New Yale symposium examines proposals to make antitrust enforcement more effective | Equitable Growth

  4. Nick Bunker gathers scattered threads and sets out the issues: Nick Bunnker: Puzzling over U.S. wage growth

  5. As I say, this is exactly the kind of debate we should be hosting and encouraging: Jesse Rothstein: Inequality of Educational Opportunity? Schools as Mediators of the Intergenerational Transmission of Income: "Chetty et al. (2014b) show that children from low-income families achieve higher adult incomes... in some commuting zones (CZs) than in others...

 

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 28, 2019)

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  1. (23013): Mourning the Death of James Buchanan: "Daniel Kuehn gets it right, I think, on the significance of the career of the late Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan: 'He got a lot right, with public choice and constitutional economics. He also got a lot quite wrong, particularly his take on the political economy of the Keynesian revolution. But he certainly was a talented and productive economist well deserving of his Nobel prize.' I would go somewhat further: he got a lot right that desperately needed to be gotten right and that nobody else would have gotten right in his absence. He made a difference in economics at more than the margin, which is something you can say of very few economists... | Six Faces of Right-Wing Chain-Forging Economist James Buchanan...

  2. Abigail Adams (1776): Letter to John Adams: "What sort of Defence Virginia can make against our common Enemy?... I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for Liberty cannot be Eaquelly Strong in the Breasts of those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs. Of this I am certain that it is not founded upon that generous and christian principal of doing to others as we would that others should do unto us...

  3. James Buchanan (1997): Has Economics Lost Its Way? https://delong.typepad.com/buch_econlostway.pdf

  4. Dierdre McCloskey: Review of Buchanan, "Better than Plowing"

  5. Wikipedia: Étienne Maurice Gérard: "1er Comte Gérard (4 April 1773–17 April 1852) was a French general, statesman and Marshal of France. He served under a succession of French governments including the ancien regime monarchy, the Revolutionary governments, the Restorations, the July Monarchy, the First and Second Republics, and the First Empire (and arguably the Second), becoming Prime Minister briefly in 1834...

  6. Wikipedia: List of American and British defectors in the Korean War

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 28, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 25, 2019)

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  1. Rob Beschizza: Reporters Who Quote Ums And Ahs Only Make Themselves Look Bad: "Journalists sometimes use a version of the facts to support faleshoods. Check out the following, posted by Daily Mail reporter David Martosko, quoting a teenager on Trump's use of the racist 'Pocahontas' slur.... Martosko wanted to establish here was that the teen—and perhaps by implication young Warren supporters in general—is confused and foolish. He did this by including all the ums and ahs of speech, filler terms... and extraneous commas. Most people saw this 'verbatim' text for what it was, and Martosko was thoroughly ratioed by readers.... Most of us talk just as the teen did, when challenged to speak extemporaneously. This can be true of even polished and well-prepared speakers. Listen to politicans and pundits on cable news panels, with an ear for the fillers, and you might be surprised.... We don't usually judge speakers for it because our brains correctly interpret it as meaningless filler.... Reporters usually remove speech disfluency when they quote subjects. In fact, it is generally considered unethical and unprofessional for editors not to remove the ums and ahs and filler terms...

  2. Eliza Mackintosh: Finland Is Winning the War on Fake News. Other Nations Want the Blueprint

  3. Julian Matthews: A Cognitive Scientist Explains Why Humans Are So Susceptible to Fake News and Misinformation » Nieman Journalism Lab: "We might like to think of our memory as an archivist that carefully preserves events, but sometimes it’s more like a storyteller...

  4. Andrew Carnegie: Steelmaking: "The eighth wonder of the world is this: two pounds of iron-stone purchased on the shores of lake Superior and transported to Pittsburgh; two pounds of coal mined in Connellsville and manufactured into coke and brought to Pittsburgh; one half pound of limestone mined east of the Alleghenies and brought to Pittsburgh; a little manganese ore, mined in Virginia and brought to Pittsburgh. And these four and one half pounds of material manufactured into one pound of solid steel and sold for one cent. That’s all that need be said about the steel business...

  5. Sam Biddle: Facebook’s Work With Phone Carriers Alarms Legal Experts: "From these eight categories alone, a third party could learn an extraordinary amount about patterns of users’ daily life, and although the document claims that the data collected through the program is 'aggregated and anonymized', academic studies have found time and again that so-called anonymized user data can be easily de-anonymized. Today, such claims of anonymization and aggregation are essentially boilerplate...

  6. Khoi Vinh: ‘John Wick: Chapter 3–Parabellum’ Review: "A film creates a compelling fantasy world and fans clamor for more. So sequels build that world out, they show more of its mechanics, its people, its history... the inevitable outcome is bureaucracy...

  7. Joe Wiggins: Why Are Other Investors So Biased? | Behavioural Investment: "If you ask a fund manager why they believe that their investment philosophy can generate excess returns, they will almost inevitably state that they are seeking to exploit the behavioural biases exhibited by other investors that create pricing inefficiencies.  It is somewhat puzzling therefore that if you question the same fund manager about how they seek to address their own biases the response is either entirely unconvincing or evasive...

  8. Ben Steverman: The Wealth Detective Who Finds the Hidden Money of the Super Rich: "Thirty-two-year-old French economist Gabriel Zucman scours spreadsheets to find secret offshore accounts...

  9. Arindrajit Dube: Econ 333 : "Income Inequality & Policy Alternatives...

  10. Wikipedia: Barbarian: "The case has been made that [Rosa] Luxemburg had remembered a passage from the Erfurt Program, written in 1892 by Karl Kautsky, and mistakenly attributed it to Engels: 'As things stand today capitalist civilization cannot continue; we must either move forward into socialism or fall back into barbarism'...

  11. Douglas B. Harris (1997): Dwight Eisenhower and the New Deal: The Politics of Preemption

  12. Brian Warren: Mac Open Web

  13. Gavin Kennedy (2010): What Adam Smith Actually Identified as the Appropriate Roles for 18-century Governments

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 21, 2019)

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A Year Ago on Equitable Growth: Twenty Worthy Reads from the Week Before May 24, 2018

Hoisted From the Archives**: Worth Reading from A Year Ago

Five Things Worthy at Equitable Growth:

  1. Austin Clemens and Heather Boushey: Disaggregating growth: "NIPA... were a radical advance in economic measurement when they were instituted.... The lack of data on how income is distributed is especially glaring now in the face of rapidly increasing economic inequality.... Instead of revolutionizing GDP, U.S. policymakers should evolutionize it... add an explicitly distributional component to GDP..."

  2. Hold it! Why does the spread of Microsoft Office shift workers away from "non routine analytic" and toward "routine cognitive and routine manual" tasks?: Enghin Atalay et al.: New technologies and the labor market: "Most new technologies are associated with an increase in nonroutine analytic tasks, and a decrease in nonroutine interactive, routine cognitive, and routine manual tasks.... Through the lens of the model, the arrival of ICTs broadly shifts workers away from routine tasks, which increases the college premium. A notable exception is the Microsoft Office suite, which has the opposite set of effects..."

  3. And I do think that grappling with the work and legacy of John Kenneth Galbraith is a very important but rarely operated railway line within economics. So I put a signpost to it here: Brad DeLong: Galbraithian economics: Countervailing power edition | Equitable Growth

  4. Is this a worthwhile and successful way of doing something roughly aligned with but substantially different from not only Mark Thoma but also Liz Hipple: Weekend Reading: a weekly post... with links to articles that touch on economic inequality and growth...? Brad DeLong: Worthy reads on equitable growth, May 10-17, 2018

  5. Jacob Robbins: How the rise of market power in the United States may explain some macroeconomic puzzles: "Surprising... facts about... growth and rising... inequality.... 1. Financial wealth has increased... despite no real increase in... investment.... 2. The financial value of many firms now is permanently higher than the cost of their assets.... 3. These more valuable firms haven’t invested more.... 4. The average rate of return on capital has stayed steady while interest rates have dropped. 5. The share of income going to labor... has declined.... The driving force behind them is an increase in monopoly power together with a decline in interest rates...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 19, 2019)

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  1. Yes, Some People at the Ludwig von Mises Institute Think Churchill Was a War Criminal for Not Making Peace with Hitler in May 1940. Why Do You Ask?

  2. Ernst H. Kantorowicz: The Fundamental Issue: Documents and Marginal Notes on the University of California Loyalty Oath

  3. Robin Harris: The Bastards Say, Welcome: "The most famous computer ad that never ran was created for Data General.... After IBM announced the Series/1.... DG marketing came up with a rough draft of a 2-page ad: 'They Say IBM’s Entry Into Minicomputers Will Legitimize The Market. The Bastards Say, Welcome'...

  4. Muriel Dal-Pont Legrand and Harald Hagemann: Business Cycles in Juglar and Schumpeter􏰀: "One important difference is that for Schumpeter the classical business cycle is driven by technological innovations of medium size, whereas for Juglar the cause for an overheated boom is speculation fuelled by easy credit...

  5. Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus: Life of Tiberius Gracchus

  6. DS100: Principles and Techniques of Data Science

  7. Erik Wade: St. Bride's Day Massacre : "We had to kill the Vikings, because they bathed and brushed their hair and our wives couldn't resist such sophistication" is a HELL of a take by medieval English chroniclers: 'One thirteenth-century chronicle attributed a slaughter of Danes by Anglo-Saxons in 1002 to the former's irresistibility to the latter's spouses: "The Danes made themselves too acceptable to English women by their elegant manners and their care of their person. They combed their hair daily, according to the custom of their country, and took a bath every Saturday, and even changed their clothes frequently, and improved the beauty of their bodies with many such trifles, by which means they undermined the chastity of wives...

  8. Sam Lau, Joey Gonzalez, and Deb Nolan: Principles and Techniques of Data Science

  9. Lyall Taylor: The LT3000 Blog: Uber, Delusion, and Ride-Hailing's Structural Economic Inefficiency: "NYC and Silicon Valley based investors forget that the majority of the world doesn't live in these areas.... Every time I go back to New Zealand to spend time with my parents [I see] that private vehicle ownership isn't going to cease any time soon. Commuting with one's own car is cheap, reliable, fast, and comfortable. Why wait around for an expensive Uber when you can just whip yourself down the road to the local store or restaurant in 5 minutes, and park for free outside on the road or in designated parking areas outside?...

  10. AlphaChat: Kimberly Clausing Makes the Case for Open Economies

  11. Lumen Learning: The Bank War

  12. James A.Kahn and Robert W.Rich: _Trend Productivity Growth: "Through 2019Q1... with probability 0.93 productivity remains in a low-growth (1.33% annual rate) regime.... Productivity growth in 2019Q1 in the nonfarm business sector was 3.6% (annual rate), the highest rate in more than four years...

  13. I missed this when it came out three years ago: Melany De La Cruz-Viesca, Zhenxiang Chen, Paul M. Ong, Darrick Hamilton, and William A. Darity Jr.: The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles

  14. The full text is online. Go read it!: Heather Boushey, Ryan Nunn, and Jay Shambaugh: Recession Ready: Fiscal Policies to Stabilize the American Economy

  15. George A. Akerlof et al.: Exhibit A: "George A. Akerlof, Professor Susan Dynarski... and Professor Janet L. Yellen... regularly use and teach statistical analytical methods.... Amici have a wide range of views about the appropriateness of using race as a factor in college admissions. However, they share the view that Dr. Card is one of the most outstanding and respected scholars in the field of econometrics and applied economics, that his statistical analyses in this case were methodologically sound, and that the criticisms of his modeling approach in the Brief of Economists as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiff, Dkt. 450 ('Plaintiff’s Amici Br.'), are not based on sound statistical principles or practices...

  16. Jacob T. Levy: "Somehow this article never asks whether... maybe our experience with a president whose qualifications were 'playing a rich person on TV' and 'shouting on twitter' has some important lessons...

  17. Boing-Boing: Nebula Awards: "The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman)...

  18. Leah McElrath: @leahmcelrath: "//begin sarcasm font// It’s absolutely totally okay to have no idea how many children our government has stolen from their parents. Just business as usual. //end sarcasm font// This is what we’re accepting now...

  19. Michael Bennet: Why We Need a Public Health Insurance Option: "I Got Lucky With My Cancer Treatment, But Many Americans Go Bankrupt. That's Why We Need a Public Option...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 16, 2019)

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  • Yes, Societal Well-Being Depends on a Very Strong Distributional Bias Along the Lines of "To Each According to Their Need". Why Do You Ask?

  • PREVIEW: Economic Growth in Historical Perspective: U.C. Berkeley: Spring 2020

  • Note to Self: F--- you, @jack: "Quite stunning that you have developed such potentially useful tool, @jack, and yet have managed to make yourself so thoroughly my enemy, isn't it?...

  • Note to Self: Are all the cool kids still writing weekly email newsletters? If not, why no longer? If so, why?...

  • Twitter Thread: On Thomas Jefferson's Declaration: The problem with it rhetorically (which is only a very small part of the problem with it morally) is that it requires an extra paragraph: "He tempted us, and we fell, and now we are in a horrible spot. And now he is trying to make their and our situation worse by sparking a servile insurrection, with all its bloody and terrible consequences, upon these shores". But I do not know if he could say that paragraph, even to himself in his heart. And certainly the Constitutional Convention would not say it...

  • Twitter Thread: On Peng Dehaui: "In 1970 Peng was formally tried and sentenced to life imprisonment, and he died in prison in 1974...

  • Twitter Thread: On James Buchanan: "If you are hanging with Mt. Pelerin, with its Lykourgan moments and its "the merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally" and "by the slogan that 'it is not your fault' that the demagoguery of unlimited democracy, assisted by a scientistic psychology has come to the support of those who claim a share in the wealth of our society without submitting to the discipline to which it is due", either you dissent strongly and sharply or... we read between the lines...

  • Comment of the Day: John Howard Brown: "Most white males don't experience their lives as privileged. If anything, they feel less privileged than their fathers.... Too bad that so many 'Baby Boomers' got scared by the inflation monster in the 1970s...

  • Comment of the Day: Howard: "Graduated high school in Allentown, PA in 1970.... 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...

  • Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: "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...

  • Weekend Reading: Joseph Schumpeter (1927): The Explanation of the Business Cycle

  • Weekend Reading: Raymond Aron (1955): Nations and Ideologies

  • Weekend Reading: Samuel Brittan (1980): Hayek, the New Right, and the Crisis of Social Democracy


  1. Martin Wolf: How the Long Debt Cycle Might End: "Start then with inflationary fire. Much of what is going on right now recalls the early 1970s: an amoral US president (then Richard Nixon) determined to achieve re-election, pressured the Federal Reserve chairman (then Arthur Burns) to deliver an economic boom. He also launched a trade war, via devaluation and protection. A decade of global disorder ensued. This sounds rather familiar, does it not?...

  2. Charlotte Ahlin: The 'Game Of Thrones' Survival Odds For The 5 Characters Who George R. R. Martin Said Would Make It To The End: "TV Bran stands a pretty good chance of surviving.... Survival chances: 9.5/10. No one cares enough to kill him anymore.... Good luck to anyone foolish enough to try and kill Arya Freaking Stark.... Survival chances: 7/10. 'Not today'.... TV Tyrion... will probably survive to be the power behind whoever ends up on the throne... but a Tyrion death scene would give us one hell of a gut punch in the series finale. Survival chances: 6/10. Leave our boy alone, Bronn!... TV Dany... yikes. Her babies are dropping like (dragon)flies.... Survival chances: 3/10. Dracarys.... TV Jon is everyone's top pick for Special King Boy.... But... honorable Stark men don't fare all too well down south.... Survival chances: 8/10. It's his game to lose...

  3. Barry Ritholtz: Index Funds Don’t Hurt Consumers, But Monopolies Do - Bloomberg: "Critics of passive investing blame the wrong thing for higher prices in some industries...

  4. Minxin Pei: Is Trump’s Trade War with China a Civilizational Conflict?: "Recent remarks by a senior Trump administration official suggest that the United States' current approach to China is dangerously misconceived. The rise of China under a one-party dictatorship should be met with a united front in defense of the liberal order, not talk of a clash of Caucasian and non-Caucasian civilizations...

  5. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh: Marianne Johnson: "Dr. Johnson's research focuses on the history of public economics and public choice, particularly as related to public goods and public policy decision-making. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal for the History of Economic Thought and Oeconomica. Dr. Johnson recently finished a five year term as co-editor for Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology. Dr. Johnson is the secretary for the History of Economics Society and former president of the Wisconsin Economics Association...

  6. Christopher Monroe: Quantum Computing Is a Marathon Not a Sprint

  7. Josh Brown: The Book That Changed My Life: "The 20th anniversary of Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth.... Nick Murray has taught thousands of financial advisors about the inherent dignity of our careers...

  8. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service): Fort Baker: "Fort Baker, the 9th and final 'Post-to-Park' conversion in the Golden Gate National Parks, is a 335 acre former 1905 U.S. Army post located immediately north of the Golden Gate Bridge. This hidden gem of a site consists of over 25 historic army buildings clustered around a main parade ground, a sheltered harbor protected by a jetty, a number of historic gun emplacements, and trails and forested areas climbing gently up from San Francisco Bay...

  9. Cavallo Point Resort: The Luxury Hotel at the Golden Gate

  10. Ludwig von Mises: Dictatorships and Double Standards: "Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history...

  11. Ludwig von Mises: The First Lesson About Conservative Thinkers Is That They All Rot in One Generation or Less...: "The socialists are coming with a plan to equalize gender relationships–and by making the wife an equal of the husband it is only a matter of time until the worker seeks to be the equal of the boss, and with sex itself freely shared among consenting equals how can we even maintain the idea of 'private property'?...

  12. Ludwig von Mises: The First Lesson About Conservative Thinkers Is That They All Rot in One Generation or Less...: "The pseudo-democratic movement endeavours... to make the strong equal to the weak, the talented to the untalented, and the healthy to the sick.... The radical wing of the women’s movement seeks to make women the equal of men…. But the difference between sexual character and sexual destiny can no more be decreed away than other inequalities of mankind...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 16, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 10, 2019)

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  1. Robert Kuttner: Karl Polanyi Explains It All

  2. Wikipedia: Friedrich von Hayek: "In August 1926, Hayek married Helen Berta Maria von Fritsch (1901–1960), a secretary at the civil service office where Hayek worked, on the rebound upon hearing of his cousin's marriage. They had two children together. Upon the close of World War II, Hayek restarted a relationship with his cousin, who had married since they first met, but kept it secret until 1948. Hayek and Fritsch divorced in July 1950 and he married his cousin Helene Bitterlich (1900–1996) just a few weeks later after moving to Arkansas to take advantage of permissive divorce laws. His wife and children were offered settlement and compensation for accepting a divorce. The divorce caused some scandal at LSE where certain academics refused to have anything to do with Hayek.] In a 1978 interview to explain his actions, Hayek stated that he was unhappy in his first marriage and as his wife would not grant him a divorce he had to enforce it. He rarely visited his children after the divorce...

  3. Peter Kafka: Disney says its over $400 million Vice investment is now worthless - Vox: "A now-familiar story: Investors say they overvalued a high-flying digital publisher...

  4. Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: The Erasure and Resurrection of Julia Chinn: "The main house at Johnson’s Blue Spring Farm is gone.... On the right-hand side... stands an antebellum-era building... so overgrown with weeds, grasses, and brush that it is barely visible... but it looks sturdier than the Choctaw Academy school building. It is believed to have been one of the slave cottages or a kitchen building at Blue Spring.... On the other hand, just a few miles away, thousands of visitors annually stream through the impeccably maintained gardens and halls of Ashland, the home of Henry Clay.... The contrast between the two sites couldn’t be any starker. And the difference has everything to do with race. Make no mistake: Richard’s decision to live publicly with Julia and their children, Imogene and Adaline, and Henry’s decision to hide his black 'mistresses' in the slave quarters and sell their offspring downriver to New Orleans, played enormous roles in how the two men are remembered today...

  5. Michael Staub: The Mismeasure of Minds: "Seeking to wipe away forever the fake science of The Bell Curve.... The book’s analysis refuses to die, animated by already existing racial resentment in U.S. politics and culture and helping to fuel more in its turn...

  6. Samuel Brittan (1980): Hayek, the New Right, and the Crisis of Social Democracy

  7. Robert Waldmann Has an Interpretation of Karl Marx that Is New to Me...: I tend to read Marx as a Christian heretic--as writing in an eschatological mode in which the time when "labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly" is exactly as real and near to him as the expectation of Paul of Tarsus that someday soon: "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord..." (1 Thess. 4:17). Robert disagrees, and hears a sneer whenever Marx says "come the Millennium" that I cannot...

  8. Hayek and the "Shut Up and Be Grateful You Were Even Born!" Argument: I ran into a passage that makes me wonder whether Hayek in his inner core believed that democracy had any value—even any institutional value—at all.... "Egalitarianism is of course not a majority view but a product of the necessity under unlimited democracy to solicit the support even of the worst.… It is by the slogan that 'it is not your fault' that the demagoguery of unlimited democracy, assisted by a scientistic psychology, has come to the support of those who claim a share in the wealth of our society without submitting to the discipline to which it is due. It is not by conceding 'a right to equal concern and respect’ to those who break the code that civilization is maintained…" Now it is certainly true that of the trio "Prosperity, Liberty, Democracy," Hayek puts prosperity first and liberty second—or, rather, that freedom of contract needs to be more closely safeguarded than freedom of speech, for if there is freedom of contract then freedom of speech will quickly reappear, but if there is no freedom of contract than freedom of speech will not long survive. But the passage above makes me wonder whether democracy has any place in Hayek's hierarchy of good things at all...

  9. Hansard: Army Council and General Dyer(8 July 1920)

  10. H. Clay and Richard L. Troutman: The Emancipation of Slaves by Henry Clay

  11. Mark Thoma: Economist's View: Links (5/8/19): "Competitive Edge: Principles and presumptions for U.S. vertical merger enforcement policy: Antitrust and competition issues are receiving renewed interest, and for good reason. So far, the discussion has occurred at a high level of generality. To address important specific antitrust enforcement and competition issues, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth has launched this blog, which we call “Competitive Edge”...

  12. Joakim Book: Mr. Darcy’s Ten Thousand a Year

  13. Susie Madrak: Rep. Escobar: 'We Have A President Who Has Created An Addiction To Hate': "I'll tell you, that clip, when I saw it last night, it made me very, very sad, very sad for our country, that we are at such a moral rock bottom," Rep. Escobar said...

  14. Nancy LeTourneau: Why Is Trump So Afraid of Mueller?: "The fact that the Commander in Chief is describing an investigation conducted by his own administration as “treasonous” ranks right up there with some of the worst. Why would Trump be so afraid of what Mueller has to say, especially when he claims that the special counsel’s report totally vindicated him? It could be because Mueller has earned a tremendous amount of political capital by conducting himself as the consummate professional surrounded by a sea of angry lunatics otherwise known as the Trump administration...

  15. Paul Mason: Reading Arendt Is Not Enough: "Arendt’s descriptions of the dynamics of totalitarian movements hold good—... [but] her explanations for them do not.... If Trump has triggered a crisis of progressive thought, it is in particular a crisis for the cult of Hannah Arendt. The United States of America was her last and enduring hope: the only political institution on earth that was supposed to be immune to totalitarianism, nationalism, and imperialism...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 10, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 6, 2019)

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  1. Britannica.com: Fasces

  2. George Orwell* (1937): The Road to Wigan Pier

  3. This Time It Is Not Different: Walter Bagehot and the Persistent Concerns of Financial Macroeconomics: Origins of Central Banking: E.M. Forster's Great Aunt Marianne

  4. Peter Temin (1990): _Soviet and Nazi Economic Planning in the 1930s

  5. Hans-Peter Ullmann: Organization of War Economies

  6. EMB Numbers: Why are Red and Purple "Next to Each Other"?: "I make colored paint by starting with white and adding varying amounts of pigments from my three buckets, CMY. To see 'purple' I add pigment only from the magenta bucket.... I add cyan to magenta to get blue. I add yellow to magenta to get red. Therefore, it makes sense for red and blue to be adjacent on opposite sides of magenta...

  7. Adolf Hitler (1941): Top 10 Quotes from World War II: "You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down...

  8. Online Etymology Dictionary: Nazi

  9. John Maynard Keynes (1936): The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: Concluding Notes on the Social Philosophy Towards Which the General Theory Might Lead: "If effective demand is deficient, not only is the public scandal of wasted resources intolerable, but the individual enterpriser who seeks to bring these resources into action is operating with the odds loaded against him. The game of hazard which he plays is furnished with many zeros, so that the players as a whole will lose if they have the energy and hope to deal all the cards. 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...

  10. John Maynard Keynes (1936): The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: Concluding Notes on the Social Philosophy Towards Which the General Theory Might Lead: "Whilst, therefore, the enlargement of the functions of government, involved in the task of adjusting to one another the propensity to consume and the inducement to invest, would seem to a nineteenth-century publicist or to a contemporary American financier to be a terrific encroachment on individualism. I defend it, on the contrary, both as the only practicable means of avoiding the destruction of existing economic forms in their entirety and as the condition of the successful functioning of individual initiative...

  11. John Maynard Keynes (1936): The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: Concluding Notes on the Social Philosophy Towards Which the General Theory Might Lead: "The result of filling in the gaps in the classical theory is not to dispose of the ‘Manchester System’, but to indicate the nature of the environment which the free play of economic forces requires... There will still remain a wide field for the exercise of private initiative and responsibility. Within this field the traditional advantages of individualism will still hold good.... These advantages are... partly advantages of efficiency... decentralisation and of the play of self-interest.... Above all, individualism, if it can be purged of its defects and its abuses, is the best safeguard of personal liberty in the sense that, compared with any other system, it greatly widens the field for the exercise of personal choice. It is also the best safeguard of the variety of life, which emerges precisely from this extended field of personal choice, and the loss of which is the greatest of all the losses of the homogeneous or totalitarian state. For this variety preserves the traditions which embody the most secure and successful choices of former generations; it colours the present with the diversification of its fancy; and, being the handmaid of experiment as well as of tradition and of fancy, it is the most powerful instrument to better the future...

  12. Jacob Viner (1937): Mr. Keynes on the Causes of Unemployment: "In a world organizedin accordance with Keynes' specifications there would be a constant race between the printing press and the business agents of the trade unions, with the problem of unemployment largely solved if the printing press could maintain a constant lead and if only volume of employment, irrespective of quality, is considered important...

  13. J.R. Vernon: Unemployment Rates in Postbellum America: 1869-1899

  14. Julia Carrie Wong: 'I See Any Dinosaur, I Buy It': At Home with the Embattled Owner of the Flintstone House: "Florence Fang’s colorful home is a landmark for many in California’s Bay Area. But the town of Hillsborough is suing her, declaring the property a ‘public nuisance’...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 6, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 3, 2019)

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  1. John Maynard Keynes (1919): The Economic Consequences of the Peace

  2. Jérémie Cohen-Setton, Egor Gornostay, and Colombe Ladreit:: The Aggregate Effects of Budget Stimulus: Evidence From the Large Fiscal Expansions Database: "Large, persistent, and positive effects of fiscal stimulus on GDP with a decrease in net exports that only partly offsets the increase in private domestic demand.... suggestive evidence that fiscal policy is more effective in a slump than in a boom...

  3. Noah Smith: Why Macroeconomist Emi Nakamura Deserves John Bates Clark Medal - Bloomberg: "The John Clark Bates Medal almost never goes to a macroeconomist. Emi Nakamura is a worthy exception...

  4. Greg Ip: For Lower-Paid Workers, the Robot Overlords Have Arrived: "Software and algorithms are used to screen, hire, assign and now terminate workers...

  5. Jessica M. Goldstein: Behind the Scenes with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Before Anyone Knew Her Name: "Rachel Lears' documentary 'Knock Down the House' captures a political phenom on the rise—and three other women running for office for the first time...

  6. Jason Kottke: Grace Hopper Explains a Nanosecond: "In this short clip from 1983, legendary computer scientist Grace Hopper uses a short length of wire to explain what a nanosecond is...

  7. Steve M.: The Rot In The Republican Party Started Long Before Fox 'News' And Trump: "Sorry James Comey, but William Barr didn't need to spend time with Donald Trump to become who he is now...

  8. byu/cil3x: MacBook Pro Keyboard Failures: Why Apples dust excuse is bullshit! [Teardown + Explanations] : apple: "What the actual cause is, honestly I don't know. My suspicion is that the metal dome experiences metal fatigue and slowly begin to lose connection, or that that little U-shaped cutout in the centre of the dome weakens and starts to easily bounce when pressed, making contact 2+ times.... Always have AppleCare, even if paying extra to cover a flaw that should be properly dealt with is morally questionable and a shitty thing to do...

  9. John Maynard Keynes: Obituary for Alfred Marshall: "Economics does not seem to require any specialised gifts of an unusually high order.... An easy subject, at which very few excel!...

  10. Forrest Capie: Money and Business Cycles in Britain, 1870–1913

  11. Joseph Schumpeter (1927): The Explanation of the Business Cycle

  12. Matthew Yglesias (2011): Demand Denialism: "Frédéric Bastiat... his 'What Is Seen And What Is Not Seen', which I’ve seen a lot of people cite as the foundation for their opposition to stimulus policies. It’s an extremely insightful essay, but I think the correct way to understand it is as precisely laying down the theoretical conditions in which stimulative policies do work...

  13. Deficit Denialism: Frederic Bastiat Actually Favored Expansionary Fiscal Policy in Recessions Edition: It has always seemed to me that very, very, very few of the people who cite Frederic Bastiat have actually read him. Most have not even read all of "What Is Seen and Unseen". For example: "There is an article in the Constitution which states: 'Society assists and encourages the development of labor.... through the establishment by the state, the departments, and the municipalities, of appropriate public works to employ idle hands'. As a temporary measure in a time of crisis… this intervention… could have good effects... as insurance. It… takes labor and wages from ordinary times and doles them out, at a loss it is true, in difficult times...

  14. Why Can't More People Actually Read Frederic Bastiat?: John Holbo's jaw drops as he reads Alex Tabarrok praise the carried interest rule.... Indeed, Alex Tabarrok does crawl out on a limb and applaud all tax loopholes as islands of freedom on the road to serfdom.... I would say that, in a democracy, one pays a progressive share of one's income to fund the many useful and convenient services and actions the government undertakes.... Methinks Frederic Bastiat would have agreed with me: "Often, nearly always if you will, the government official renders an equivalent service to John Goodfellow. In this case there is... only an exchange.... I say this: If you wish to create a government office, prove its usefulness."... Frederic Bastiat. I wonder how many people really read him these days?...

  15. Karl Marx (1857): The Bank Act of 1844 and the Monetary Crisis in England

  16. This Time It Is Not Different: Walter Bagehot and the Persistent Concerns of Financial Macroeconomics: Origins of Central Banking: E.M. Forster's Great Aunt Marianne

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 3, 2019)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (May 1, 2019)

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  1. Lindsey Graham: CNN New Day: “You Know How You Make America Great Again? Tell Donald Trump To Go To Hell”:n "Trump’s a Race-Baiting, Xenophobic, Religious Bigot. He Doesn’t Represent My Party. He Doesn’t Represent The Values That the Men And Women Who Wear the Uniform are Fighting For...

  2. Ben Thompson: Microsoft, Slack, Zoom, and the SaaS Opportunity: "For all of the disruption that the enterprise market has faced thanks to the rise of software-as-a-service (Saas), Microsoft was remarkably well-placed to take advantage of this new paradigm, if only they could get out of their own way...

  3. Charlie Stross: [Social Architecture and the House of Tomorrow(http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2019/04/architecture-and-the-house-of-.html): "The bedroom, wardrobe, bathroom, and some type of food storage/preparation area, aren't going away. Other spaces will also be around, and social/spatial insulation will be in demand. At the high end, the elite (whoever they are) will try to ape the living arrangements of previous century's elites, as a status signal if nothing else. What else is conceivable? What am I missing that should be as obvious as the multimodal shipping container in 1950, or photovoltaic panels on house rooftops in 1990?...

  4. Students who come to a country to study are one of the most important elements of any country's soft power: they should be encouraged and cosseted. They become its friends. And God knows the Britain that Cameron and May have made will need lots of friends: Financial Times: British Universities and the Brexit Dimension: "Britain’s universities are a rare export success for its services-driven economy.... As well as the monetary benefits the UK gains soft power and ties of affection with future business leaders, technocrats and politicians. Whatever happens, Britain will need these friends...

  5. Neil Turok: The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything

  6. Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: The Erasure and Resurrection of Julia Chinn, U.S. Vice President Richard M. Johnson’s Black Wife

  7. David Mills: The Vice President and the Mulatto: "Race, sex and politics in 19th-Century America.... Brenda Gene Gordon, a 67-year-old white woman in Chandler, Ariz.... How on earth could Brenda Gordon not have known that her great-great-great-grandfather was Vice President Richard M. Johnson? Wasn’t this fact passed proudly from generation to generation inside her family? No, it was not.... Julia Chinn... was, by law, a Negro. And in Johnson’s time (not to mention since), this was scandalous. 'I grew up never hearing the names Richard M. Johnson (even in Kentucky history classes) or Julia Chinn', Mrs. Gordon wrote to me during a recent email exchange...

  8. Henry R. Robinson: An Affecting Scene in Kentucky

  9. Abigail Adams: Letter to John Adams, 31 March - 5 April 1776

  10. Wikipedia: Otto Bauer

  11. I would suggests to Senator Rick Scott—indeed, I would suggest to all the Republican senatorså—that this is sufficient reason to vote against Stephen Moore, unless this is the face the REpublican Party wants to put forward to minority voters for the next two generations: Margaret Hoover: Firing Line: "Stephen Moore explains his 2016 joke about Donald Trump moving into the White House and kicking 'a black family out of public housing'. Moore says, 'That is a joke I always made', adding he didn’t mean it 'like a black person' lived there. 'I shouldn’t have said it', he says...

  12. Ella Nilsen: Infrastructure: Trump and Democrats’ maybe-doomed meeting on infrastructure, explained - Vox: "2 trillion in the nation’s roads, bridges, and rural broadband, according to Democratic leaders.... Democrats are thrilled with that number; Republicans likely won’t be. Trump himself admitted his plan 'may not be typically Republican', according to the source...

  13. Emily Stewart: How Occupy Wall Street Animated Bernie Sanders, AOC, and the Left: "Occupy Wall Street was seen as a failure when it ended in 2011. But it’s helped transform the American left...

  14. Nisha Gopalan: China's Bay Area Plan Has Holes, Concerns for Hong Kong: "The plan gives scant detail on how Hong Kong and Macau will be integrated without eroding their special status.... Late Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency released details of the State Council’s Greater Bay Area plan—a project to knit together Hong Kong and Macau with nine mainland cities into a global innovation hub to rival California’s Silicon Valley. The trouble is, there’s little new on how authorities plan to make this grand vision into a reality...

  15. The Hoarse Whisperer: "The last time Barr engineered a cover-up, people didn’t have cellphones, e-mail or the internet. He’s the caveman of coverups. No wonder he’s so bad at it...

  16. Katherine Eriksson, Katheryn Russ, Jay C. Shambaugh, and Minfei Xu: Trade Shocks and the Shifting Landscape of U.S. Manufacturing

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 28, 2019)

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  1. Adam Schiff: The Barr S---show: "Russians were engaged in a systemic effort to interfere in our election; the Trump campaign welcomed it, embraced it, built it into their plan, made full use of it, lied about it, covered it up, and then obstructed the investigation into it...

  2. Alan Rappeport: Stung by Trump’s Trade Wars, Wisconsin’s Milk Farmers Face Extinction: "The Voelker dairy farm in Wisconsin sold off most of its cows this year as economic and technological forces, including President Trump’s trade war, take a toll on the dairy industry.... The flagship industry in a pivotal swing state faces an economic crisis.

  3. Paul Krugman: The Great Republican Abdication: "The modern G.O.P. is perfectly willing to sell out America if that’s what it takes to get tax cuts for the wealthy...

  4. Abigail Disney: "Let me very clear. I like Bob Iger. I do NOT speak for my family but only for myself. Other than owning shares (not that many) I have no more say in what happens there than anyone else. But by any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane...

  5. Emma Newburger: Steve Schwarzman: Raise Minimum Wage, Eliminate Taxes for Teachers: "Blackstone CEO and Chairman Steve Schwarzman outlines a 'Marshall Plan' for the middle class to address increasing income inequality in America. The billionaire private equity titan and supporter of President Donald Trump pointed to three main pillars of the plan: a higher minimum wage, more resources for technical training programs in schools and the elimination of taxes for teachers. 'What we have is less an issue of income inequality than income insufficiency for the bottom 50% of the society', he says...

  6. Ray Dalio: Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed)

  7. Bloomberg: Quadriga’s Downfall Began When Founder Abruptly Fired All The Exchange’s ‘Law And Order’ Folks, Former Lawyer Says: "Christine Duhaime says Gerald Cotten decided one day in 2016 he no longer wanted the crypto exchange to be a listed company...

  8. Dan Margolies and Celia Llopis-Jepsen: Kansas Supreme Court Rules State Constitution Protects Right To Abortion

  9. Wikipedia: More Cowbell

  10. Walter Laquer: On Thomas Mann's "Reflections on a Non-Political Man: "The war was totally justified, a genuine popular cause... Germany had been driven into the war by its envious adversaries. But it was also a necessity ('fate'), for the prewar world had been deeply corrupt, not worth preserving. War was a tremendous creative event, it brought about national unity and moral elevation. These basic ideas (of the early war years) were coupled with violent attacks against the decadent West: against France which had a democratic civilization but no culture; against the British who wanted to re-educate Germany using Gurkhas and Hottentots...

  11. Gwern: Spaced Repetition

  12. Branko Milanovic: Shadows and Lights of Globalization: "Today’s globalization and its effects, positive and negative, as in many ways a mirror-replay  of the first globalization that took place from the mid-19th century to the First World War...

  13. Michael Nielsen: Augmenting Long-Term Memory

  14. Wikipedia: Ian Richardson

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 26, 2019)

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  • April 26, 2019: Weekly Forecasting Update: The right response to almost all economic data releases is: Nothing has changed—your view of the economic forecast today is different from what it was last week, last month, or three months ago in only minor ways. Specifically, it is still the case that...

  • For the Weekend: Jessie J: Domino


  1. I would note that when Twitter blocks a Republican politician for being a Nazi, it is not making a mistake: the point of the tweet it blocks is to tiptoe up to the edge of Nazihood while still maintaining a smidgeon of implausible deniability. But algorithms are not good at detecting those speech markers meant to preserve implausible deniability: Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler: [Why Won’t Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS? Because It Would Mean Banning Some Republican Politicians Too(https://motherboard.vice.com/enus/article/a3xgq5/why-wont-twitter-treat-white-supremacy-like-isis-because-it-would-mean-banning-some-republican-politicians-too)_: "A Twitter employee who works on machine learning believes that a proactive, algorithmic solution to white supremacy would also catch Republican politicians...

  2. Vox Staff: 5 Years Of Vox, Explained by Our Staff

  3. Lauren Williams: Vox Turns 5: "Since its launch in 2014, Vox has gone through countless changes. One thing has stayed the same... a pristine clarity of purpose that’s translated across beats, platforms, and mediums. We explain. We give the context. We go deep. We put our audience first. On Vox’s fifth anniversary, this clarity of purpose is the throughline of our best work...

  4. Ariel Kalil, Catherine E. Born, James Kunz, and Pamela J. Caudill: Life Stressors, Social Support, and Depressive Symptoms Among First-Time Welfare Recipients

  5. Ashley Jardina: White Identity Politics Is About More than Racism: "We can’t mask the fact that we’re also talking about the protection and preservation of whites in the United States at the expense of racial and ethnic minorities.... I make this really crisp distinction between white identity and white racial prejudice.... There are a lot of white people who do have this sense of solidarity but who wouldn’t score particularly high on any social science measure of racial prejudice. For these whites, it’s about protecting their in-group and showing some sense of favoritism.... Most... would absolutely reject any association with white supremacist organizations, and yet in some instances, they do hold a lot of the same beliefs as some of these groups...

  6. Dao Nguyen: Cultural Cartography: "The people doing the something, reading or watching—what are they thinking?... What if, instead of tagging what articles or videos are about, what if we asked: How is it helping our users do a real job in their lives? Last year, we started a project to formally categorize our content in this way. We called it, 'cultural cartography'. It formalized an informal practice that we’ve had for a really long time: don’t just think about the subject matter; think also about, and in fact, primarily about, the job that your content is doing for the reader or the viewer...

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 23, 2019)

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  1. Brandi Neal: Illustrator Tyler Feder's ‘Work-From-Home Fashions’ Cartoon Is Relatable AF: "I work from home and it's been about a month since I've done any laundry that's included pants with zippers. It's a relief to know I'm not the only one. Illustrator Tyler Feder gets it, and she created these work-from-home looks that are way too relatable...

  2. David Anderson: Oklahoma Medicaid Expansion Is on the Ballot: "Oklahoma activists are going the same route as Utah, Idaho and Nebraska activists successfully used in the 2018 election cycle: They are trying to get enough signatures to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot...

  3. Ron White (2010): You Can't Fix Stupid

  4. Pavithra Mohan: Who is actually middle class?: "It might not feel that way, but you might actually be upper middle class...

  5. Keith Whittington: Reckoning with the Mueller Report, Volume One: "That only one of Trump’s campaign managers found himself imprisoned in the aftermath of the election or that Donald Trump’s son-in-law thought it was a 'waste of time' when a meeting failed to deliver the promised incriminating Russian government files is no cause for celebration...

  6. Ben Thompson: Uber Questions Follow-up, Luminary Launches, Luminary’s Broken Rung: "I do feel bad that yesterday’s Weekly Article, Uber Questions, was so late; in this case, the article itself got at why: I spent hours upon hours trying to craft a narrative around the numbers I could pull from Uber’s S-1, before finally realizing I was wasting my time. There was going to be no water from that stone. So that ended up being my point: there simply wasn’t anything in the S-1...

  7. Wikipedia: 5 Nanometer: "In early 2018, TSMC announced production of a 5 nm node by 2020 on its new Fab 18. In October 2018, TSMC disclosed plans to start risk production of 5 nm devices by April 2019...

  8. Wikipedia: Mississippi State Penitentiary: "Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP), also known as Parchman Farm, is a prison farm, the oldest prison, and the only maximum security prison for men in the state of Mississippi...

  9. Oliver Miller: 50 Quotes From The Movie Aliens, Ranked In Order Of Awesomeness

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 21-2, 2019)

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  • Across the Wide Missouri: Is tonight the Game of Thrones episode when Tony Stark shows up? Asking for a friend...

  1. Jeffrey Adam Sachs: The “Campus Free Speech Crisis” Ended Last Year: "The evidence for a chilling effect... is sketchy at best. By contrast, the evidence for a heating effect is quite robust. Many students explain that the only reason they choose to invite controversial speakers to campus is to challenge or provoke their classmates.... Turning Point USA and Young America’s Foundation proudly tout the ability of their speakers to 'trigger' liberal students. In fact, generating student outrage, even to the point of being deplatformed, has become such a badge of honor that some speakers are fabricating deplatforming incidents where none exist...

  2. Wikipedia: Evolution of Nervous Systems

  3. Wikipedia: Apple A12

  4. Joanna Stern: This Was Supposed to Be a Samsung Galaxy Fold Video Review: "Whatever You Do, Don't Peel The Screen.... WSJ's Joanna Stern had big plans to review Samsung's first foldable phone. Then other Samsung phone screens started breaking and she accidentally began to peel off the screen protector that's not really a screen protector. Here's her non-review...

  5. Dietrich Vollrath: Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success https://books.google.com/books?isbn=022666600X

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 21, 2019)

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  1. Hakeem Jeffries: "House Dems remain focused on lowering healthcare costs. We also have a constitutional responsibility to check and balance Individual-1. We will fully investigate the culture of corruption at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave...

  2. Dan Witters: U.S. Uninsured Rate Rises to Four-Year High

  3. Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein: 15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook: "Scandals. Backstabbing. Resignations. Record profits. Time Bombs. In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg set out to fix Facebook. Here's how that turned out.... Zuckerberg plausibly declared that he knew nothing about Definers. Sandberg, less plausibly, did the same. Numerous people inside the company were convinced that she entirely understood what Definers did, though she strongly maintains that she did not. Meanwhile, Schrage, who had announced his resignation but never actually left, decided to take the fall. He declared that the Definers project was his fault; it was his communications department that had hired the firm, he said. But several Facebook employees who spoke with WIRED believe that Schrage’s assumption of responsibility was just a way to gain favor with Sandberg. Inside Facebook, people were furious at Sandberg, believing she had asked them to dissemble on her behalf with her Definers denials. Sandberg, like everyone, is human...

  4. Rob Price: Facebook Says It 'Unintentionally Uploaded' 1.5 Million People's Email Contacts without Their Consent: "If you entered your email password, a message popped up saying it was 'importing' your contacts without asking for permission first. Facebook has now revealed to Business Insider that it "unintentionally" grabbed 1.5 million users' data, and is now deleting it...

  5. Steven T. Dennis: Mitt Romney Mueller Report Reaction: 'Sickened' by Trump: "Senator cites ‘the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty’.... 'I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest offices of the land, including the President'...

  6. Coming on Friday: BEA: News Release Schedule: "Gross Domestic Product, 1st quarter 2019 (advance estimate)...

  7. Matt Strassler: A Non-Expert’s Guide to a Black Hole’s Silhouette

  8. Matt Strassler: The Black Hole `Photo’: Seeing More Clearly

  9. Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen: Quantum Computing for the Very Curious |

  10. Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen: How the Quantum Search Algorithm Works: "This essay is an example of what Andy Matuschak and I have dubbed a mnemonic medium–it’s like a regular essay, but incorporates new user interface elements intended to make it almost effortless for you to remember the content of the essay...

  11. Pauline Grosjean

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 18, 2019)

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  • Note to Self: Is it really INBOX ZERO if one has snoozed 365 messages? Asking for a friend...

  • Comment of the Day: Tracy Lightcap: "Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Someone would resurrect Enoch Powell. Just to remind folks what people thought when he was still around: http://www.private-eye.co.uk/covers/cover-182. Yep. An unrepentant racist and a constant figure of fun for everyone with a head on their shoulders and anything resembling civic virtue...

  • 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...

  • Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: "The problem, as you note, is that, when they are right, MMTers have a whole lot of company.... They may have contributed something... but you provide no evidence that they have...


  1. Legal Eagle: Real Lawyer Reacts to My Cousin Vinny

  2. Wikipedia: Michael Perelman

  3. William Shakespeare: Richard III

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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 12, 2019)

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  1. Peter Diamond (1965): National Debt in a Neoclassical Growth Model

  2. Barack Obama: 2010 State of the Union

  3. 2 Thessalonians 3:10: "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat...

  4. 1 Corinthians 11:5: "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels...

  5. Acts 4:34: "Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need...

  6. 1 Enoch 7: "It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. And when the angels, (3) the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.... Then their leader Samyaza said to them; I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise; And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime. But they answered him and said; We all swear; And bind ourselves by mutual execrations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking.... Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees. And the women conceiving brought forth giants, Whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood...

  7. Kevin Hartnett: Mathematicians Discover the Perfect Way to Multiply: "By chopping up large numbers into smaller ones, researchers have rewritten a fundamental mathematical speed limit...

  8. Joe Light: The Tax Law’s Big Winner Is the Millionaire CEO: "Cutting the top marginal rate was always going to help the wealthy the most...

  9. Gene Birz: Stale Economic News, Media and the Stock Market: "I find statistically and economically significant relationship between stale news stories on unemployment and next week’s S&P 500 returns. This effect is then completely reversed during the following week. These findings show that investors are affected by salient information and support the hypothesis that investors overreact to stale macroeconomic news reported in newspapers...

  10. Angela Lashbrook: The Next Wellness Trend Should Be Google Spreadsheets: "How focused planning—and color-coded rows and columns—can make stress melt away...

  11. David Murphy: Lock Down Your Social Media Data With the PlusPrivacy Chrome Extension

  12. Talia Lavin: I wrote up a guide to what to do if you’re targeted by the right-wing smear machine. (Remember that your relative importance doesn’t matter AT ALL; they love crushing the defenseless even more.)...

  13. John Lovett: "See but ending the Skywalker saga gives us the movie we all want: PORGS vs. EWOKS: DAWN OF JUSTICE...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 12, 2019)" »