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

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  1. Global North research university problem: Speaker: "My major concern is: How can I be interested in fewer things?...

  2. Welcome to the 21st-century, in which my coffee machine says that it is “booting”...

  3. For the Weekend: 2018 In Weather

  4. Costs and Benefits of International Capital Mobility: Reply to Bhagwati: Hoisted from 20 Years Ago: Needless to say, time has left me a lot wiser: We need to design economies so that they can operate without disaster even when deregulatory clowns like those of the George W. Bush or the Donald J. Trump administrations are in control of the levers of policy at key moments...

  5. Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: "British produce comes in before the Swiss spaghetti harvest?...

  6. Supply and Demand Shocks, and Seasonal Adjustment: Think that there are no such things as aggregate fluctuations generated by shifts in tastes and technologies? Think again. Look at the pattern of monthly payroll employment changes...


  1. A million dollars? As a tort settlement? What was going on?: Michelle Boorstein: C. John McCloskey: Opus Dei paid $977,000 to settle sexual misconduct claim against prominent Catholic pries

  2. That conservative parties' policies redistribute wealth and power upward while distracting their mass base by focusing them on internal or external enemies has long been the point of Toryism—since before try Gordon Riots, in fact. And now Tucker Carlson is surprised that there is gambling going on, and is just asking questions? Does he want us to take him seriously?: Eric Levitz: Why Tucker Carlson Plays a Critic of Capitalism On TV: "Melinda Cooper... explains: 'Writing at the end of the 1970s, the Chicago school neoliberal Gary Becker remarked that the “family in the Western world has been radically altered—some claim almost destroyed—by events of the last three decades.”… Becker believed that such dramatic changes in the structure of the family had more to do with the expansion of the welfare state in the post-war era than with feminism per se... a consequence rather than an instigator of these dynamics.... Becker’s abiding concern with the destructive effects of public spending on the family represents a key element of his microeconomics... that is consistently overlooked'...

  3. Farmers, miners, merchants, assembly-line workers—four key categories of workers that at various times in the past had to be supported and nurtured in order to create the wealth of a nation. Now none of those categories seem likely to embrace any substantial proportion of any future workforce. So how, then, we inquire, are we to understand the nature and causes of the wealth of nations in our future?: David desJardins: "It's too Late for Industrialization and Manufacturing to be a Path to Increasing Returns for Developing Countries.: "he information economy... is where the real increasing returns are today.... The key question for developing economies today is whether they can take advantage of the information economy.... China has moved pretty darn quickly up the ladder. Basically created a significant number of rather productive information workers in a single generation... #globalization #economicgrowth #riseodftherobots

  4. David Cho: The Labor Market Effects of Demand Shocks: Firm-Level Evidence from the Recovery Act: "How do firms respond to demand shocks?... Leveraging two firm-level datasets... linked employer-employee administrative records for a subset of U.S. firms from ADP, LLC with a comprehensive database of transactions from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)... I compare firms that received ARRA funds to a counterfactual sample of employers that were not directly connected to the Recovery Act.... The magnitudes of these changes suggest that the labor supply to an individual firm is relatively inelastic, even in a deep recession, and provide evidence of monopsonistic wage-setting in U.S. labor markets... #fiscalpolicy

  5. Noah Smith: Unions Did Great Things for the American Working Class: "Politically and economically, unions are sort of an odd duck. They aren’t part of the apparatus of the state, yet they depend crucially on state protections in order to wield their power. They’re stakeholders in corporations, but often have adversarial relationships with management. Historically, unions are a big reason that the working class won many of the protections and rights it now enjoys... #equitablegrowth #labormarket #politicaleconomy

  6. Paul Krugman (1998): America the Boastful

  7. Jagdish Bhagwati (1998): The Capital Myth

  8. Sendhil Mullainathan: Using Machine Learning to Understand Health Care Systems: "Machine learning... can also be used to improve our understanding of the health system itself... contribute to empirical science and better grounded policy. I describe results from two projects where the predictive approach proves particularly illuminating, both on 'wasted' spending: one on over-testing and the other on the high concentration of spending at the end of life. I will also describe methodological issues that arise that are relatively neglected in the machine learning literature, such as measurement error and the impact of unobserved variables...

  9. Lyz Lenz: You Should Care That Richard Spencer's Wife Says He Abused Her: "Despite the so-called alt-right’s attempt to be respectable, violence seems to follow it everywhere—even, allegedly, into Spencer’s own home...

  10. Seems to me @biscuit_ersed and everybody else needs their first game-theory lecture to be (1) defect-defect as dominant-strategy Nash equilibrium in prisoner's dilemma, (2) the unraveling equilibrium in finite related prisoner's dilemma, and (3) this first prisoner's dilemma ever played: http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/economists/prisoners_dilemma.html https://twitter.com/biscuit_ersed/status/1084812993509105671... #economics

  11. UCLA Gymnastics: "A 🔟 isn't enough for this floor routine by @katelyn_ohashi...

  12. Marie Le Conte: "One of my favourite things about being alive in 2019 is vaguely remembering that someone once sent you something you now need and having to look through the conversation archives of four different social media platforms to find it...

  13. Flood and Dresher devised a simple game where Nash equilibrium wasn't such a good outcome......

  14. Welcome to the 21st-century, in which my coffee machine says that it is “booting”...

  15. The very sharp Jeet Heer traces David Brooks's intgellecutal panic back to the John Birch Society; Jeet Heer: A Few Thoughts on "Cultural Marxism," Marcuse, John Wayne, the John Birch Society, and Anti-Semitism: "Goobers in the Trump administration are worried about 'Cultural Marxism' in the 'Deep State' opposing Trump.... 'Cultural Marxism' is a big boogeyman on the alt-right: it's the people who are supposedly responsible for creating PC, feminism, etc. The actual historical 'cultural Marxists' (or 'Western Marxists') were the Frankfurt School: Adorno, Benjamin, Marcuse etc... sought to supplant and update Marx's economic system with recognition of cultural forces...

  16. Todd C. Neumann, Price V. Fishback, and Shawn Kantor: The Dynamics of Relief Spending and the Private Urban Labor Market During the New Deal: "Positive shocks to relief during the First New Deal were followed by increased private employment and earnings, consistent with demand stimulus in that period...

  17. Delany Crampton: Veterans in the U.S. Labor Market Face Barriers to Success That Can and Should Be Addressed - Equitable Growth: "Anna Zogas of the University of Washington observes in her 2017 research that the U.S. military does an extremely effective job of training veterans to operate within the military and an extremely poor job of preparing them, especially young servicemembers, for post-military job...

  18. According to my Grandmother Florence Richardson Usher Lord, my Great-Great Uncle Abbott Payson Usher back in The Day used to teach—very boringly, she said—(1) Middle Ages, (2) Commercial Revolution, (3) Industrial Revolution, (4) Age of Modern Science, with growth accelerations in each of the four: Dietz Vollrath: Sustained growth and the increase in work hours: "Jane Humphries and Jacob Weisdorf... labor contract terms in England over several centuries... annual labor contracts starting seeing sustained growth in their value around 1650 or so, far sooner than the day wages indicated...

  19. Xavir Jaravel (2017): Product innovations and inflation in the U.S. retail sector have magnified inequality: "shifts in income distribution in the United States lead to product innovations that target high-income households, which increases purchasing-power inequality...

  20. Stephanie Victoria: "I'm a say this lil story then I'm gon' let'chall get back to tweeting...: Recently, I discovered a grocery story even bougie-er than Whole Foods in my new 'hood. My addition to the list of 'approved negroes after 6PM' recently went through so my neighbors have stopped staring at me & the resident coons only give disapproving looks on trash day instead of their usual 'don't start no trouble' slave talks in the hallway...

  21. David Rezza Baqaee and Emmanuel Farhi: The Microeconomic Foundations of Aggregate Production Functions: "We provide a general methodology for analyzing...aggregate production functions by deriving their first- and second-order properties... provide non-parametric characterizations of the macro elasticities of substitution between factors and of the macro bias of technical change in terms of micro sufficient statistics. They allow us to generalize existing aggregation theorems and to derive new ones. We relate our results to the famous Cambridge- Cambridge controversy...

  22. Equitable Growth Steering Committee member Karen Dynan and company point out a big problem. Should we be trying to pay down our debt now in order to create "fiscal space"? Our should we take secular stagnation seriously, and not fear the possibilty of a sudden downward valuation of government debt that would take fiscal space away?: Karen Dynan, Jay Shambaugh, and Eduardo Porter: What Tools Does the U.S. Have to Combat the Next Recession?: "Today's lower equilibrium interest rates make it more likely that monetary policy would need to make use of unconventional tools to spur the economy. On the fiscal front, we have a much larger level of government debt relative to GDP than we did prior to the financial crisis. However, viewing this level of debt to GDP as a reason to restrain stimulus spending in case of a crisis could make the problem worse. Whether the government uses fiscal policy to stimulate the economy will depend more on political willingness, than on the actual limits on fiscal policy...

  23. This book is fun!: Jeff Erickson: Algorithms: "'Algorithm' does not derive... from the Greek roots arithmos (αριθοσ), meaning “number”, and algos (αλγοσ), meaning 'pain'. Rather, it is a corruption of the name of the 9th century Persianm athematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi. Al-Khwarizmi is perhaps best known as the writer of the treatise Al-Kitab al-mukhtasar fihisab al-gabr wal-muqabala, from which the modern word algebra derives. In a different treatise, al-Khwarizmi described the modern decimal system for writing and manipulating numbers—in particular, the use of a small circle or sifr to represent a missing quantity—which had been developed in India several centuries earlier. The methods described in Al-Kitab, using either written figures or counting stones, became known in English as algorism or augrym, and its figures became known in English as ciphers...

  24. Abbott Payson Usher (1921): European Economic History: European Industry and Commerce in the Nineteenth Century. Half-course (second half-year). Tu., Th., Sat., at 9. Dr. Usher

  25. Irwin Collier presents my Great-Great-Uncle Abbott's 1922 exam: Abbott Payson Usher: Final Exam Questions for: European Industry and Commerce in the Nineteenth Century, 1922

  26. Nicholas Lardy: Xi Jinping’s Turn Away from the Market Puts Chinese Growth at Risk: "Credit is flowing to state-owned companies, not more productive private ones...


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

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  1. Note to Self: No, Apple! No Potty Mouth, Please!: Today I am disturbed that Apple voice recognition keeps hearing “slut“ when I say “slack“...

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

  3. Why Economic History?: Good theory is in the end nothing but distilled and crystallized economic history. It could, after all, be nothing else. And piling more and more computer power on to the analysis of nonhistorical data could only be an intellectual optimum if the world was created ex nihilo the instant of the first date of your panel. So this is why we are here. Welcome to economic history...

  4. Comment of the Day: Private-sector entities cannot migrate labor and capital into the business of creating money, for money is liquid trust and can only be created by institutions that are trusted to be, well, good for the money. So the solution is not to move resources out of creating currently-produced goods and services but to move demand into buying currently-produced goods and services. And—as long as it is good for the money—the government's borrowing-and-spending or printing-and-dropping works just fine: JEC: Keynesian Economics vs. Regular Economics: "The funny thing here is that Barro imagines this to be a killer rhetorical question, when it is in fact a crucial and open research question...

  5. What Will Cause the Next US Recession?: Live at Project Syndicate: Needless to say, the particular nature and form of the next financial shock will be unanticipated. Investors, speculators, and financial institutions are generally hedged against the foreseeable shocks.... The death blow to the global economy in 2008-2009 came not from global imbalances or from the collapse of the mid-2000s housing bubble, but from the concentration of ownership of mortgage-backed securities...

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

  7. Betting That Nobody Will Check the References as an Intellectual Style: Monday Smackdown: Never mind that Himmelfarb cuts off her quote from Keynes just before Keynes writes that he approves of this Puritan fallacy—that he is not, as Himmelfarb claims, ridiculing it, but rather praising it...


  1. Paul Campos: Tucker Carlson Utters More Than Fourteen Words Evincing Skepticism About Finance Capitalism: Conservative Pundits Blanch In Pure Horror: "white ethno-nationalism, which is what both Carlson and Trump actually market to their respective, heavily overlapping audiences, is likely to become even more successful if it manages to morph into a kind of welfare=state herrenvolk democracy, in which 'real Americans' receive genuine protection from the depredations of capitalism, while a permanently disenfranchised underclass of guest workers and the like gets to live in the libertarian utopia envisioned by the Koch brothers...

  2. Ben Alpers: A Far-Right Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory Becomes a Mainstream Irritable Gesture: "At the heart of this largely rote piece of Brooksian pablum is a claim that deserves a closer look. 'The younger militants', writes Brooks, 'tend to have been influenced by the cultural Marxism that is now the lingua franca in the elite academy'. This is interesting both for what Brooks appears to be trying to say and, more immediately, how he has decided to say it... #orangehairedbaboons #publicsphere

  3. Alexander Zubatov: "I think YOU'RE misusing Blackford.... Remember, the whole point of my Tablet article was to respond to Sam Moyn's utterly misleading NYT article claiming cultural Marxism simply doesn't exist and is no more than anti-Semitic right-wing phantasmagoria...

  4. Ben Alper: Fun With Primary Sources: The Free Congress Foundation's "History of Political Correctness": "The notion that the Frankfurt School was responsible for creating 'Political Correctness', 'Cultural Marxism', and a related plot against Western civilization itself emerged from the circle around Lyndon LaRouche from the 1970s (when LaRouche’s attacks on the Frankfurt Institute apparently began) through the early 1990s...

  5. Dave Niewertr: Norway Terrorist Breivik Was An Ardent Subscriber To Theories Of 'Cultural Marxism': "The picture that's emerging is of an ordinary right-wing man stoked into anger by theories about "Cultural Marxism" that originated on the anti-Semitic far right but have in recent years been spreading into more mainstream venues, promoted by the likes of Andrew Breitbart, among others...

  6. Ben Alpers: The Frankfurt School, Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories, and American Conservatism: "There are obviously a lot of threads that one might pull in this story, regarding, among other things, the relationship between mainstream conservatism and the violent radical right, the strong base of antisemitism that (often silently) underwrites a lot right-wing rhetoric, the deep anti-intellectual and anti-academic tendencies in these modes of thought, and the peculiar role that Lyndon LaRouche and his minions have played in encouraging conspiracy theories of all sorts (they are also an important source for left-wing conspiracy theories about Leo Strauss and the Straussians)...

  7. Samuel Moyn: The Alt-Right’s Favorite Meme Is 100 Years Old: "‘Cultural Marxism’ might sound postmodern but it’s got a long, toxic history...

  8. Russell Blackford: Cultural Marxism and our current culture wars: Part 1: "In everyday contexts, those of us who do not accept the narrative of a grand, semi-conspiratorial movement aimed at producing moral degeneracy should probably avoid using the term 'cultural Marxism'. Unfortunate cultural tendencies, including those that manifest a left-wing style of authoritarianism, can usually be labelled in less confusing, more effective, more precise ways. By all means, let’s develop useful terminology to express whatever concerns we have about tendencies on the Left, but 'cultural Marxism' carries too much baggage...

  9. Jana Winter and Elias Groll: Here’s the Memo That Blew Up the NSC: "Fired White House staffer [Rich Higgins] argued 'deep state' attacked Trump administration because the president represents a threat to cultural Marxist memes, globalists, and bankers...

  10. Jeet Heer: Let's Talk about Anti-Semitic Ideology: "Bowers... belonged to the far right faction that sees Trump as... claim[ing] to stand for white America but actually works for 'the Jews'.... The idea that George Soros (symbol for many on right of Jewish conspiracy) is behind Caravan isn't confined to Nazis.... Congressman Matt Gaetz... popular Trumpist cartoonist Ben Garrison... House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy.... The Soros stuff is just one of many manifestations of the the grand anti-Semitic trope.... The Soros of right-wing mythology (globalist intent on destroy cohesive nations) fit the long history of blaming internal discord on outside agitators as well as the Dolchstoßlegende. The nationalist needs a cosmopolitan nemesis...

  11. Zack Beauchamp: A Trump Voter Hurt by the Shutdown’s Incredibly Revealing Quote: "Think about that line for a second. Roll it over in your head. In essence, Minton is declaring that one aim of the Trump administration is to hurt people—the right people. Making America great again, in her mind, involves inflicting pain. This is not an accident. Trump’s political victory and continuing appeal depend on a brand of politics that marginalizes and targets groups disliked by his supporters. Trump supporters don’t so much love the Republican party as they hate Democrats...

  12. Jeet Heer: Let's Talk about Anti-Semitic Ideology: "The idea that George Soros (symbol for many on right of Jewish conspiracy) is behind Caravan isn't confined to Nazis. Here's Congressman Matt Gaetz. Here is popular Trumpist cartoonist Ben Garrison—again, someone with an audience outside the Nazi right but circulating idea that Soros is working to destroy America. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy...

  13. Tamara Strauss: Blum Center News Digest, Jan. 7: "A selection of articles and reports pulled from the last two/three weeks...

  14. Raj Kumar: Facing Harsh Realities, the Global Development Community Confronts Another Fraught Year: "The outlines of an established global politics on aid are beginning to come into focus, and it’s a fraught landscape. Aid is now openly and directly discussed as a tool to stem migration, achieve foreign policy objectives, and derive domestic economic benefits, particularly for major donors including the U.S., China, Germany, and the U.K...

  15. Paul Krugman: The Economics of Soaking the Rich: "Diminishing marginal utility is the common-sense notion that an extra dollar is worth a lot less in satisfaction to people with very high incomes than to those with low incomes. Give a family with an annual income of $20,000 an extra $1,000 and it will make a big difference to their lives. Give a guy who makes $1 million an extra thousand and he’ll barely notice it. What this implies for economic policy is that we shouldn’t care what a policy does to the incomes of the very rich. A policy that makes the rich a bit poorer will affect only a handful of people, and will barely affect their life satisfaction, since they will still be able to buy whatever they want... #equitablegrowth #fiscalpolicy

  16. Steve Richards: Theresa May’s Survival Has Become Dependent on Denying Political Reality: "After the long cabinet meeting on the Brexit deal, the prime minister declared outside Number 10 that ministers had backed her plans. The next day the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, resigned. Mrs May appointed a successor as if the words she had uttered the night before had never been spoken.... She has, in the intervening weeks, insisted that there is space for a significant negotiation with the EU before the approaching Commons’ vote on her deal, expected within the next fortnight. The EU has made clear there is no room for such revision. The disconnect between the prime minister’s public words and what is happening around her is stark. Other prime ministers sought words to make sense of chaotic situations. Alternatively, they tried to change the situation. But Mrs May does neither. She presses on. But her indifference to words and persuasion, these essential arts of leadership, is a fatal flaw...

  17. Patrick Kline, Neviana Petkova, Heidi Williams, and Owen Zidar: Who Profits from Patents? Rent-Sharing at Innovative Firms: "An initial allowance of an ex-ante valuable patent generates substantial increases in firm productivity and worker compensation. By contrast, initial allowances of lower ex-ante value patents yield no detectable effects on firm outcomes.... On average, workers capture roughly 30 cents of every dollar of patent-induced surplus in higher earnings... concentrated among men and workers in the top half of the earnings distribution, and are paired with corresponding improvements in worker retention among these groups. We interpret these earnings responses as reflecting the capture of economic rents by senior workers, who are most costly for innovative firms to replace...

  18. David Weil (2014): The Fissured Workplace: "Large corporations have shed their role as direct employers of the people responsible for their products, in favor of outsourcing work to small companies that compete fiercely with one another...

  19. Jag Bhalla: Judea Pearl's 'The Book of Why' Shakes Up Correlation vs. Causality

  20. Uncle Judea, Melanin, Genetics, and Educational Attainment...: Am I profoundly stupid, or is Uncle Judea's framework of causal confounders—colliders—mediators a huge advance, perhaps not in helping those of you who think carefully do non-stupid statistics, but in helping those of us who do not think carefully do non-stupid statistics, and in providing a royal road to teaching people how to do not-stupid statistics...

  21. This point is absolutely cognitive science-statistics-philosophy of probability gold!: Judea Pearl, Madelyn Glymour, and Nicholas P. Jewell (2016): Causal Inference in Statistics: A Primer (New York: John Wiley & Sons: 978119186847): "Inquisitive students may wonder why it is that dependencies associated with conditioning on a collider are so surprising to most people—as in, for example, the Monty Hall example. The reason is that humans tend to associate dependence with causation...

  22. Lisa R. Goldberg: Review of The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect: "The graphical approach to causal inference that Pearl favors has been influential, but it is not the only approach.... The Neyman (or Neyman–Rubin) potential outcomes model... James Heckman, whose concept of 'fixing' resembles, superficially at least, the do operator that Pearl uses. Those who enjoy scholarly disputes may look to Andrew Gelman’s blog... or to the tributes written by Pearl and Heckman to the reclusive Nobel Laureate, Trygve Haavelmo, who pioneered causal inference in economics in 1940...

  23. Ride | Austin: Frequently Asked Question: "The previous rideshare companies spent millions of dollars then chose to abandon the 'factory' (drivers & riders) they built. We believed with the backing of the community-RideAustin could quickly harness this infrastructure-build the right solution and fill the void and provide a great, safe service.... The tech community contributed technology to power the app that costs millions to develop-but it also took over $7 million in cash donations and significant in-kind services donations to make RideAustin what it is today...

  24. Counterfactuals! There is currently a mishegas at Andrew Gelman's place about Pearl and Mackenzie's Book of Why, which has a reference to this and has led me to the conclusion that I really need to find time to work my way through this entire book: Cosma Shalizi: Advanced Data Analysis from an Elementary Point of View: "The distributions we observe in the world are the outcome of complicated stochastic processes. The mechanisms which set the value of one variable inter-lock with those which set other variables. When we make a probabilistic prediction by conditioning—whether we predict􏰁 E[Y|X=x] or Pr (Y|X=x) or something more complicated—we are just filtering the output of those mechanisms, picking out the cases where they happen to have set X to the value x, and looking at what goes along with that. When we make a causal prediction, we want to know what would happen if the usual mechanisms controlling X were suspended and it was set to x. How would this change propagate to the other variables? What distribution would result for Y? This is often, perhaps even usually, what people really want to know from a data analysis, and they settle for statistical prediction either because they think it is causal prediction, or for lack of a better alternative... #reasoning

  25. Yes, lots of conservative males feel unmanned because women can now get jobs and contraceptives and so are not (a) desperate to find a man to support them while (b) terrified of getting pregnant. The best answer would be teaching young males that while their grandfathers and male their fathers could be real dicks without it ruining their lives, that is no longer tru: Josh Barro: "I think a big problem with the 'economic and social change undermined marriage and family for the working class' frame is that a main way it did this is by making women less dependent on men...

  26. Jane Coaston: Tucker Carlson Has Sparked The Most Interesting Debate In Conservative Politics: "Carlson... greed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke.... Carlson wanted to be clear: He’s just asking questions.... In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn’t look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It’s not their fault that, in Carlson’s view, marriage is inaccessible to them.... Someone, or something, did this to them.... Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes—civil rights, women’s rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc.—and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you. And that was my biggest question about Carlson’s monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic. Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy...


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

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  1. What Is Going on This Morning Over at "National Review"? Is It Worth Reading? No.: I read 10 articles, and graded each ops 0-to-10 scale. Total score (out of 100); -45. Beam me up, Scotty. There is no intelligent life there at all...

  1. Lindsay Ellis: Death of the Author #movies

  2. Andrew Gaudion: Ranking Every Training Montage in the ‘Rocky’ Franchise

  3. Bruce Springsteen: Tougher Than the Rest #music

  4. Bruce Springsteen: Brilliant Disguise #music

  5. I now think the right dates for the "long" 20th Century are: May 10, 1869-November 8, 2016: Frederick Studemann: The New Year Could Mark the Beginning of a New(ish) Century: "There are those, such as the economic historian Brad DeLong, who wonder whether Hobsbawn may have short-changed the 20th century. Can a case can be made, they ask, for the 20th century to run from 1870, when the wider impact of the industrial revolution became clear, political economics became central and liberal democracy took hold, to just after the global financial crisis?...

  6. Noah Smith: China's Economic Growth at Risk From Reversing Reforms - Bloomberg: "There already are some signs that the country is making mistakes that will hobble economic growth.... By many measures, China is the world’s largest economy. This means a number of benefits will now flow—and indeed are already flowing—to China that used to go to the U.S. and Europe. Chief among these is agglomeration.... But... it might easily make mistakes that would prevent the country from leveraging that size for maximum economic benefit. Chief among these self-inflicted wounds would be closing the country to foreign investment, extending state control of the economy and adopting an adversarial relationship with neighboring nations. Ominously, the country seems to doing all of these now, to one extent on another... #economicgrowth

  7. Richa Gupta and Umang Aggarwal: Is there a “Late Converger Stall” in Economic Development? Can India Escape it?: "A major driver of these good times is 'economic convergence', whereby poorer countries have grown faster than richer countries and closed the gap in standards of living. The convergence process has been broadening and accelerating for the last 20-30 years.... [But] the possibility of... a 'Late Converger Stall'... #economicgrowth #economichistory #globalization

  8. Liz Bruenig: Falwell’s entire view of Christianity and politics... I suspect... stems from a mistaken reading of Augustine, the fourth-century African saint who wrote 'The City of God'... #moralphilosophy

  9. Francis Crick (1967): To James Watson

  10. Guinness: noitulovE

  11. Kate Riga: GOP Senator Calls For End Of Shutdown Without Deal On Trump’s Border Wall: "Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).... 'I think we should pass a continuing resolution to get the government back open. The Senate has done it last Congress, we should do it again today', Gardner said.... Gardner is up for reelection in 2020 in a purple state...

  12. Yes, it was a mistake for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates last month: Chris Matthews: Dow Tumbles 650 points as Apple News, Manufacturing Data Spark Fears of Global Slowdown: ".S. stock indexes closed sharply lower Thursday, after a survey of American manufacturers showed the sector growing at its slowest pace in two years, and after a sales forecast cut by Apple Inc AAPL, -9.96% intensified fears of a slowing Chinese economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -2.83% fell 661.58 points, or 2.8%, to 22,684.66, the S&P 500 index SPX, -2.48% , shed 62.18 points, or 2.5%, to 2,447.87, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -3.04% tumbled 202.43 points, or 3%, to 6,463.50...

  13. Maybe now that Trump has embraced lowering corporate profits as a policy goal, Mike Pence will be willing to invoke Amendment 25: Josh Barro: China Is Losing Trump’s Trade War—and So Are We: "This is the insanity of the president’s trade war policy: it’s negative-sum.... Trump’s own economic adviser is going on television and saying his policy is going to reduce corporate profits. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the strange disconnect between financial markets and economic data.... Well, as Bloomberg put it in a headline this morning, 'Bad Stuff the Stock Market Worried About Is Starting to Happen'.... The economy is weakening, and market participants know it, but the weakened performance has not yet shown up in lagging economic data...


REMIND YOURSELF: Representation

Keep this near the top of working memory...

  • 180.8 million people are represented by the 49 senators who caucus with the Democrats.
  • 141.7 million people are represented by the 52 51 senators who caucus with the Republicans.
  • 65.9 million people voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Kaine to be their president and vice president
  • 63.0 million people voted for Donald Trump and Mike Pence to be their president and vice president.

Continue reading "REMIND YOURSELF: Representation" »


Lawrence Wilkerson: Cheney wanted new cold war with China: "Cheney used various bureaucratic techniques to deal with each of these national security issues. He lost on China. He won on Iraq. He won on Afghanistan. He won on Iran, but he didn’t win on Iran by getting a presidential decision; he won on Iran by exploiting the dysfunctionality of Condi Rice, the national security adviser...

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Ashlie Jensen (2013): Mendoza is Dismissed from Court: "In 1583 Queen Elizabeth I hosted her last Spanish Ambassador.... It became known to Elizabeth's intelligence network that Bernardino de Mendoza was conspiring.... He was ordered to leave England... [because] his involvement in the Throckmorton Plot [had] 'disturbed the realm of England'. Directly before his departure, Mendoza ordered the English officials seeing him off to go and, 'tell your mistress that Bernardino de Mendoza was born not to disturb kingdoms, but to conquer them'...

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A Baker's Dozen of Fairly-Recent Links

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Michael Bröning: Germany’s Socialism of Fools: "By adopting a program based on "identity and solidarity," Germany's far-right AfD is harking back to classic National Socialism. It is likely to be a winning formula in this month's state elections in Bavaria and Hesse...
  2. Anjana Ahuja: Climate catastrophe warnings were greeted with global silence: "hortsighted folly of ignoring the IPCC will lead to drastic future policies...
  3. Brad W. Setser: Russia, China, and (the Absence of) Global Funding of the U.S. Fiscal Deficit…
  4. Robert Wilde: The Chevauchée: Organised Medieval Murder 5, N.S. Gill: Rome 1st Century B.C. Chronology
  5. Wikipedia: Legio X Equestris
  6. Nicola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer: A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility
  7. Timur Kuran and Dani Rodrik: The Economic Costs of Erdoğan : "For more than a decade, financial markets gave Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the benefit of the doubt and supplied the Turkish economy with easy credit. Such debt-fueled growth almost always ends badly, and now it has...
  8. Wikipedia: Peace of Westphalia
  9. William Shakespeare: The Second part of King Henry the Fourth
  10. Daniel W. Drezner (20070: The New New World Order
  11. (2004): Eric Alterman Told Us So
  12. Matthew Buckley: @physicsmatt: "Are we going to do anything about our allies murding a journalist? No, because a) Prince Jared still needs a loan, and b) murdering journalists is a GOP party plank now. All the US will do is ask the Saudis for how-to tips...

"You don’t get to claim that you’re not attacking the university when your first few sentences read like that. It suggests a lack of clarity in the argument—a sentence I would have written if I had been asked to peer-review this essay". Dan Drezner mocks the anti-humanities industry, and, boy, is it mockable: Daniel Drezner: A Paper That Would Never Have Gotten Past Peer Review Criticizes the Academy. Film at 11: "Last year scholars James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian proudly declared that they had hoodwinked a peer-reviewed journal into publishing nonsense.... That... was riddled with problems, not the least of which was that the journal they had hacked was a pay-for-play scam...

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Nathaniel Rakich: A Big Blue Wave Could Overwhelm The GOP’s Advantage In The House: "A switch is thrown at D+8 that causes actual Democratic seat gain to go from behind their popular-vote gain pace to well ahead of it. So what happens at D+8? Republicans’ structural advantage in how districts are drawn (gerrymandering, as well as the phenomenon of self-sorting, whereby Democrats tend to cluster in cities, which are already heavily Democratic) begins to erode. That advantage normally allows Republicans to keep control of the House while still losing the popular vote by a modest margin. But if Republicans lose the popular vote by too much, their firewall might break all at once, and Democratic gains could multiply...

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Oh, f---! It was only a bunch of bottles of wine, and some undesired asset liquidations. It was a pretty big deal in terms of social power, but not of human well-being, or lives. It was ultimately a very funny story—until now; Laura Noonan: Assistant Accused of Stealing Wine from Goldman Sachs CEO Jumps to Death: "Nicolas de Meyer was due to plead guilty to 1.2m fine wine theft from David Solomon.... The personal assistant accused of stealing... from Goldman Sachs’ chief executive David Solomon has jumped to his death from a 33rd floor Manhattan hotel instead of appearing in court to plead guilty to the charges...

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Noah Smith baits earnest ideologues on Twitter: Ryan Hauntedhouse: @ryandhous_: "Dismantling capitalism =! becoming the USSR."

...Noah Smith: @Noahpinion: Maybe not, but what the heck DOES it mean??

Ryan Hauntedhouse 🎃👻💀 on Twitter Dismantling capitalism becoming the USSR

Ryan Hauntedhouse: @ryandhous_: It means that an economy based on creating value for shareholders based primarily on profit as a metric will not be able to solve the oncoming catastrophe of climate change.

...Noah Smith: @Noahpinion: No, you just said what it doesn't mean. What does it mean?...

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Newly-arrived at Equitable Growth, Will McGrew retweets Matthew Yglesias quoting Ryan Cooper: Will McGrew: Matthew Yglesias: "Ryan Cooper: 'There was no skills gap, nor an innovation shortage, nor an explosion of stay-at-home dads. There was a collapse in aggregate demand that was left to rot, while a lot of people who should have known better made things worse...'

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Homeowner bankruptcy and foreclosure are liquidity events, not solvency events: Peter Ganong and Pascal Noel: Liquidity vs. wealth in household debt obligations: Evidence from housing policy in the Great Recession: "We use variation in mortgage modifications to disentangle the impact of reducing long-term obligations with no change in short-term payments ('wealth'), and reducing short-term payments with approximately no change in long-term obligations ('liquidity')...

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A Baker's Dozen of Fairly-Recent Links

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Marshall Berman: All That's Solid Melts into Air http://delong.typepad.com/files/berman_marshall_all_that_is_solid_melts_into_air_the_experience_of_modernity.pdf
  2. Karen S. Freeman: How to View Web Pages on Apple Watch in Watchos 5: "Yes, you can access web pages on your Apple Watch now...
  3. Wikipedia: Darien scheme
  4. Caroline M. Yoachim: Carnival Nine: #sciencefiction
  5. James Nicoll: The Company of Strangers: "The Ginger Star—Leigh Brackett, Skaith, book 1... #sciencefiction
  6. Steven Pulvirent: A Week On The Wrist: Apple Watch Series 4: "The future of the Apple Watch is coming into focus–and I like what I'm starting to see...
  7. William Poundstone: Prisoner's Dilemma https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0307763781 #books
  8. Merrill M. Flood: Experimental Games
  9. Paul Romer (1989): Endogenous Technological Change: "Growth in this model is driven by technological change that arises from intentional investment decisions made by profit maximizing agents. The distinguishing feature of the technology as an input is that it is neither a conventional good nor a public good; it is a nonrival, partially excludable good...
  10. Paul Romer (2015): Economic Growth: "Every generation has perceived the limits to growth that finite resources and undesirable side effects would pose if no new recipes or ideas were discovered. And every generation has underestimated the potential for finding new recipes and ideas...
  11. William D. Nordhaus (1996): Do Real-Output and Real-Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not: "During periods of major technological change, the construction of accurate price indexes that capture the impact of new technologies on living standards is beyond the practical capability of official statistical agencies. The essential difficulty arises for the obvious but usually overlooked reason that most of the goods we consume today were not produced a century ago...
  12. William D. Nordhaus (2007): A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change: "How much and how fast should we react to the threat of global warming? The Stern Review argues that the damages from climate change are large, and that nations should undertake sharp and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions...
  13. Nick Stern et al.: The Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change

#shouldread

Just in time for midterm exams: M. Aurelius Antoninus: :M. Cornelius Fronto: "To my teacher: I received two letters from you at the same time. In one of them, you were criticizing me and you were showing that I wrote a sentence rashly; in the second, however, you were trying to approve my work with praise. Still, I swear by my mother and by my health that I got more joy from the first letter...

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Note to Self: Prisoners' Dilemma Tweets...

https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048597577229373440
https://twitter.com/XLProfessor/status/1048599003821047809
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048609562217996288
https://twitter.com/JonWalkerDC/status/1048610059926700032
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048610236418772993
https://twitter.com/akcayerol/status/1048609883036299264
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048610846014763008
https://twitter.com/laseptiemewilay/status/1048610348583010305
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048610963497209856
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048611584552009728
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048612380895105024
https://twitter.com/thorgamma/status/1048614023552552966
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048614093270081536
https://twitter.com/oliverbeige/status/1048613269487980545
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048614520242020352
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048614537962770432
https://twitter.com/MarkARKleiman/status/1048614352067149825
https://twitter.com/MarkARKleiman/status/1048614353640022017
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048615646743785472
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048616583784873984
https://twitter.com/delong/status/1048624515289436162
https://twitter.com/MarkARKleiman/status/1048615957189611520
https://twitter.com/dannyschwab/status/1048629320393084929
https://twitter.com/MarkARKleiman/status/1048630608476426241
https://twitter.com/dannyschwab/status/1048632117171838976

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A Baker's Dozen of Fairly Recent Links

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Wolfenoot: "Eat roast meat (because wolves eat meat) and cake decorated like a full moon. A holiday to the spirit of wolves that celebrates people who are kind to dogs? I can 100% get behind this. So we will be celebrating Wolfenoot. It’s on the 23rd November.... If you’re posting publicly about it, use #wolfenoot...
  2. Emma Christensen: Recipe: Chili-Rubbed Ribeye Steak with Maple-Bourbon Butter | Kitchn: "For the steaks: 1 tablespoon cacao nibs 1 tablespoon chili powder 2 teaspoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional) Black pepper 2 (1-pound) boneless ribeye steaks. For the maple-bourbon butter: 1 tablespoon bourbon 1 teaspoon maple syrup 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, very soft...
  3. John Bell: +Against Measurement_
  4. Daniel Swain: Substantial early-season rainfall in California to dampen explosive wildfire conditions: "Significant rainfall now appears likely from about the SF Bay Area south to Los Angeles County, with at least some precipitation pretty much statewide...
  5. John Williams: 'Normal' Monetary Policy in Words and Deeds: "We could return to a system... in which the supply of reserves... was kept relatively scarce, and the interest rate was set by... open market operations.  Alternatively, we could continue with the system that we’ve been using since the crisis, in which bank reserves are abundant and the federal funds rate target is achieved through adjustments to administered rates...
  6. Doug Jones: Logarithmic History: "The history of the universe—from the Big Bang to the end of the year—day by day...
  7. Great China Restaurant
  8. Zach Weinersmith: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: "The Program...
  9. Wikipedia: Hexapodia Is the Key Insight!
  10. Noah Smith: Why Millennials Are Sour on the Economy: "Lack of mobility, stagnant incomes and thwarted expectations is a painful mix...
  11. Noah Smith: How to Fill the Gaps in the U.S. Economy: "Many of these advances have come through a single agency—the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA (also known as ARPA at some points in its history)...
  12. Jason Snell: Why Are Apple Watch Faces Such a Mess?: "a lot of Apple Watch users have been surprised that they can’t add older complications to those faces. Apps need to be updated to explicitly support the new complication style, which was only introduced to developers on the day the Apple Watch Series 4 was announced...
  13. Moses Abramovitz (1986): Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind

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The search for "robust determinants" has always seemed to me to be wrong-headed. We should be searching for effective policies. And which determinants are "robust" will depend on what other determinants are in the mix. And an effective policy is likely to shift the values of more than one "determinant": Dani Rodrik: "Is 'export sophistication' (as in Hausmann, Hwang, and Rodrik 2007) the only robust determinant of economic growth? Robust, that is, to correcting for endogenity and OVB as best as possible? This new paper from the IMF says yes https://t.co/C3DkRzqr8d...

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Lars Svensson: Can Monetary Policy Still Deliver? A Natural Experiment: "Riksbank policy-rate hikes 2010-2011, from 0.25% to 2%. What happens to inflation and unemployment when the central bank (for no good reason) raise the policy rate by 175 bp?... Monetary policy works like clockwork in Sweden. Neo-Fisherian view rejected. What contributes to powerful monetary policy in Sweden? 1. Strong exchange-rate channel 2. Strong household cash-flow channel...

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Our Kate Bahn Reminds us: Kate Bahn: "This needs to be screamed from the rooftops.... We cannot have a substantive conversation about how tight the labor market is without examining demographic disparities..." ands sends us to Equitable Growth alumnus John Schmitt quoting Janelle Jones at: Laura Maggi: Despite Drop in Black Unemployment, Significant Disparities Remain: "The African-American unemployment rate... low—compared to historic numbers. In July, it was 6.6 percent...

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Joseph E. Gagnon and Brian Sack: QE: A User's Guide: "Central banks should characterize QE in terms of the stock of long-term asset holdings and should announce purchases of assets in discrete increments that are designed to deliver macroeconomic stimulus equivalent to the policy rate cut that they would otherwise desire to implement...

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Scarce: Sharice Davids (D) and Kevin Yoder (R) in KS-03: "It's a bit surprising that the Republicans are pulling out this early in a nominally red district (R+4), but early polling had Davids already up by 8. Yoder, who had been endorsed by Trump, committed the grievous crime earlier this summer of supporting asylum for migrants who were victims of domestic violence. Unforgivable for the cultists...

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Very clever by Sedláček et al.. And this certainly looks right: 2% of GDP as the (ongoing) cost of the Boris Johnson BREXIT clown show: Benjamin Born, Gernot Müller, Moritz Schularick, and Petr Sedláček: £350 Million a Week: The Output Cost of the Brexit Vote: "The current cost of Brexit... counterfactual... a matching algorithm... combination of comparison economies best resembles the pre-referendum growth path of the UK economy.... The negative drag from the Brexit vote now appears to be roughly £350 million a week...

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