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Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 28, 2018)

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  1. Reading: Homer, Odysseus, Emily Wilson, David Drake: Hoisted from the Archives: I am distressed to find myself somewhat more sympathetic than I want to be with Plato's recommendation that only "hymns to the gods and praise of famous men" be allowed in the Just City—because allowing more would lead to sensation and melodrama and would excite the baser instincts of men. And I have now opened up the following can of worms: How do we educate people to read—listen—watch—properly, so that they become their better rather than their worse selves?...

  1. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life VIII: "'The Worst Thing About Gay Marriage', by Sam Schulman, 2009: Here Sam Schulman first expresses amazement at the rapidity with 'which gays have attained the right to hold jobs — even as teachers and members of the clergy', and explains 'all these rights … have made gays not just ‘free’ but our neighbors'. (In the past all LGBT Americans were apparently sequestered away in underground caverns.) Also, the only reason for marriage is 'protecting and controlling the sexuality of the child-bearing sex'. Then Schulman frets that gay marriage will obviously lead to brothers marrying brothers and fathers marrying sons.... The upshot is that after the initial excitement of gay incest marriage, all the gay Americans will realize marriage is pointless and will stop getting married; this will cause marriage of all genres to collapse (?); and human society will evaporate... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  2. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life IX: "'He Was Honest, Eventually' by the Scrapbook, 2018: On its surface this is simply a banal unsigned post on a Weekly Standard blog about Barack Obama and Medicare for All. But it deserves recognition because it was published just as it was revealed that Facebook had chosen the Weekly Standard as one of five U.S. publications to which it would outsource factchecking. Hence the magazine showed real moxie here by managing to make three glaring factual errors in two sentences. First, Medicare would not entail 'the full-on nationalization of the health-care industry'. Rather, it would entail nationalization of much of the healthcare insurance industry. Anyone who doesn’t understand the difference doesn’t understand this issue at all. Second, Medicare is not 'America’s most expensive and worst-run health-care program' #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  3. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life X: "'Going Soft on Iran' by Reuel Marc Gerecht, 2004.... And as we know, there’s nothing neoconservatives care about more than democracy. In this article, former CIA case officer Reuel Marc Gerecht writes of his yearning for Iranians to experience it. If you want to read more about how much the Weekly Standard supports democracy in Iran, well, there’s a lot there for you... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  4. Harald Dale-Olsen: Wages, Creative Destruction, and Union Networks: "Do unions promote creative destruction?...

  5. Andreas Ferrara: World War II and African American Socioeconomic Progress: "This paper argues that the unprecedented socioeconomic rise of African Americans at mid-century is causally related to the labor shortages induced by WWII...

  6. Equitable Growth: Workers Re-entering : "Workers previously out of the labor force are re-entering at higher rates, continuing the long-term upward trend...

  7. Very much worth reading: Henry Farrell and Bruce Schneier: Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy: "Democracies draw upon the disagreements within their population to solve problems.... In a well-functioning democracy, each such group vies for political influence by persuading voters that its way of understanding problems and associated solutions is the best one. This is to the democracy’s benefit. It provides a mechanism through which a polity can harness the diversity of perspectives within it, the better to solve complex problems. This requires contestation over who the rulers should be, and what broad social goals they will seek to implement. Political parties and other collective actors hope that they (or their allies) will be in control for a given period, and each vies against others to win public support to that end.... Autocracies adopt a very different approach to common and contested knowledge...

  8. David Spiegel: 38% of Rich Republicans Would Not Re-Elect Trump: "Just 34 percent of America’s millionaires... say they would vote to re-elect President Trump if the election were held today...

  9. WTF!? Geoffrey Kabaservice? For one thing, the Democratic Party became the more fiscally-conservative party back in 1991 when the Republican Party was hijacked by Newt Gingrich. Do you really not know this? Why put it 45 years later, in 2036? Now I do realize that this is supposed, at some level, to be a joke: our geophysicists are not predicting catastrophic city-threatening sea-level rises by the 1930s; nor does value-added in infrastructure construction come from the "white working class of the heartland". But why tell this particular joke? What is gained, and for whom, by telling it?: Geoffrey Kabaservice: What Will History Books Say About 2018?: "By 2036, the Democratic Party—whose middle- and upper-class constituents were deeply disturbed by the impending threat of national bankruptcy—had become the fiscally conservative party. The Republicans, meanwhile, had become the party more supportive of government spending... on universal social benefits like Social Security and Medicare, as well as the spending programs that were the sole economic lifeline for the 30 percent of the population that still lived in the semi-inhabited small towns and environmentally ravaged rural areas of the American heartland. The peculiar arithmetic of the Electoral College meant that Republicans still commanded supermajorities in the Senate.... But the Grand Bargain of the 2030s rallied the whole country around the slogan, 'Build the Walls!'—the massive seawalls, constructed mostly by the white working class of the heartland, that saved the coastal cities from inundation by rising oceans...

  10. Jonah Goldberg appears to finally—finally!—wake up to the fact that America's conservatives have for sixty-three years identified themselves as the bad guys—as those entitled to not play fair and to break all the rules, in William F. Buckley's words back in 1955, "to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically"—to abandon any idea of "consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens" or of "bow[ing] to the demands of the numerical majority": Jonah Goldberg: Why the Trump Presidency Will End Poorly: "When I say President Trump is not a man of good character, I... preface it with a trigger warning for... my fellow conservatives. Most... do not wish to be reminded.... Others... have convinced themselves that Trump is a man of good character... rushes to rebut the claim... are redefining good character in Trump’s image, and they end up modeling it...

  11. Tony Yates is unhappy with Mervyn King: Tony Yates: Why Mervyn King’s Defence of Brexit “Isn’t Worthy of a Bank of England Governor”: "Mervyn King, Mark Carney’s predecessor as the governor of the Bank of England, has burnished his Brexit credentials in an opinion piece for Bloomberg. King has made his pro-Brexit views known already. The trigger for reprising them was the publication of the Bank of England’s assessment of different trajectories either through or without Brexit...

  12. Howard Gleckman: The TaxVox Lump of Coal Award For The Worst Tax Idea of 2018: "Trump’s promise to cut middle-class taxes by 10 percent.... The credulous response to Trump’s promised middle-class tax cut. Journalists and policy analysts just can’t help themselves. The president makes an off-the-cuff campaign promise and, like mice on a wheel, they chase after it as if it is a... real thing. They opine on what his phantom tax cut might look like. They prognosticate over the odds of Congress passing the non-existent plan. They even debate who exactly is the middle class.... he 2018 lump of coal (not a real thing) goes to the president who made an absurd, impossible-to-keep promise, and all those self-described experts who took him seriously. Congratulations, or something...

  13. Anna North: Facebook scandals: how they’re hurting Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In brand: "Facebook had hired the Republican-aligned PR firm Definers Public Affairs, which had promulgated the message that anti-Facebook protests were being backed by billionaire George Soros.... Sandberg initially said she didn’t know Facebook had hired Definers, but she admitted in a Facebook post the day before Thanksgiving that... she had 'received a small number of emails where Definers was referenced'...


Fall 2018—Smart Things I Wrote Here too Short to Be Highlighted Posts...

  • How did "Evangelicals" miss the memo that God saves you later only if you save the image of God in your neighbor today?.... It's not the white working class who have been totally grifted by Trump—it's those who call themselves "Evangelicals":
      6a00e551f080038834022ad3a6b13a200d

Continue reading "Fall 2018—Smart Things I Wrote Here too Short to Be Highlighted Posts..." »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 26, 2018)

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  1. We Are with Her!:

  2. No. The Fed Was Wrong to Raise Interest Rates

  3. Comment of the Day: Ebenezer Scrooge: "If I were in an unusually forgiving mood, I would say that many on the list are financial economists, not macroeconomists. Non-Dunning-Krueger people are stupidest when opining on a field near, but not precisely with, their own expertise. (xkcd's 'Physicists' cartoon is particularly on point.) But I'm not in an unusually forgiving mood...


  1. Brandi Neal: Illustrator Tyler Feder's ‘Work-From-Home Fashions’ Cartoon Is Relatable AF

  2. I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me...

  3. Legal Information Institute: Sutherland: Humphrey's Executor: "When Congress provides for the appointment of officers whose functions, like those of the Federal Trade Commissioners, are of Legislative and judicial quality, rather than executive, and limits the grounds upon which they may be removed from office, the President has no constitutional power to remove them for reasons other than those so specified. Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, limited, and expressions in that opinion in part disapproved...

  4. Christina's Cucina: Cranachan, A Lovely Scottish Dessert

  5. Google: Search operators you can use with Gmail

  6. Richard Feynman: Fire Is Stored Sunshine

  7. James Dean: Black and White Spanish Castle in Color Illusion

  8. Since 2007 growth in the Global North has totally cratered. Thus if you run convergence regressions for which the past decade is a considerable share of the sample, you find unconditional convergence. Why? Because the Global North has had a horrendous business cycle. The Global North is was initially rich. And the computer is smart enough to use initial wealth as an indicator that cyclical performance since 2008 has been abysmal. But for any regressions starting before 1990 even when they include 2008-2018 (and much more so when they do not), the divergence up until 2008 is larger than the convergence induced by the post-2007 cratering of the Global North. The big fact for the entire period since World War II remains: Divergence, Bigtime—at least when observations are countries. It's not "everything you know about cross-country convergence is (now) wrong". Estimated β over the entire period since 1960 is still -0.2. It's "catastrophic policy failure in the Global North since 2008". (Of course, if your unit of observation is people rather than nations, that China & India have done very well and have 2.3 billion matters a lot): Dietz Vollrath: New Evidence on Convergence: "Dev Patel, Justin Sandefur, and Arvind Subramanian posted the other day some new evidence on cross-country convergence... poor countries grow faster than rich ones, on average... #economicgrowth #convergence #divergence

  9. Sandy Darity (2016): The Latino Flight to Whiteness: "...Hispanics collectively are unlikely to share common cause with black Americans over a common racial identity.... If a coalition ever forms... it will not be on the basis of linked fate or fictive kinship anchored on race...

  10. Paul Krugman: The Ghost of Trump Chaos Future: "None of Individual-1’s tantrums, unpresidential as they are, have much direct economic impact.... Even trade war might not do that much harm.... The really big economic risk was that Trump might break up Nafta, the North American trade agreement: U.S. manufacturing is so deeply integrated with production in Canada and Mexico that this would have been highly disruptive. But he settled for changing the agreement’s name while leaving its structure basically intact, and the remaining risks don’t seem that large.... [But] it’s not so much what Trump is doing, as what he might do in the future — or, perhaps even more important, what he might not do... #orangehairedbaboons

  11. Starting from where we are now, I think that the best outcome is: (a) Trump tries to fire Powell, and (b) the Supreme Court immediately slaps him down 9-0, affirming Humphrey's Executor: Tim Duy: Markets In Crisis: Trump Has Damaged the Fed: "We are now well into uncharted and dangerous territory. It is not obvious that the government has the capacity to respond effectively to a financial crisis. That means that the Fed would have to shoulder an even greater role than in the last crisis. But now, the Fed may be less effective because of the damage inflicted by Trump...#orangehairedbaboons #monetaryopolicy

  12. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life VI: "'Campus Disrupter' by Naomi Schaefer Riley, 2018. It’s hard to remember in the age of Trump, but conservatives used to be fixated on the fear that American universities were no longer teaching the classics of Western civilization. This article is one of several of this type published by the Weekly Standard. Whatever the merits of the Western classics, read this from Book II, Chapter XXXI of Machiavelli’s “Discourses on Livy.” Then think about the Iraq War and ask yourself whether William Kristol, who has a Harvard Ph.D. in government, has ever actually read these old books.... 'A Prince, therefore, ought to go slowly in undertaking an enterprise upon the representations of an exile, for most of the times he will be left either with shame or very grave injury'...#journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  13. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life VII: "'Are Syria’s Chemical Weapons Iraq’s Missing WMD? Obama’s Director of Intelligence Thought So' by Mark Hemingway, 2017: It was inevitable that someone on the right would be stupid enough to write this, and the Weekly Standard would be the magazine stupid enough to publish it.... The CIA spent $1 billion investigating Iraq’s WMD programs, and found no evidence this happened... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility


We Are with Her!

WE ARE WITH HER!!

Looking Forward to Four Two More Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted:

  • With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi
  • Bunga-bunga governance
  • With a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters
  • And a major drag on the country
    • Except in states where his policies are neutralized.

Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!

Continue reading "We Are with Her!" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 24, 2018)

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  1. Note to Self: America's Equities Are Worth 20% Less than They Were Worth Three Months Ago...

  2. The Great American Tax Heist Turns One: No Longer Live at Project Syndicate: Let me hammer this point again: the failure of any of Barro, Bhagwati, Boskin, Calomiris, Cogan, Holtz-Eakin, Hubbard, Lazear, Lindsey, Mankiw, Rosen, Shultz, Taylor, and a hundred-odd others to write about—or even express curiosity about why—their confident predictions of a year ago that the Trump-McConnell-Ryan corporate tax cut would generate a huge investment boom—that silence speaks very loudly about the genre in which they viewed their forecasts back at the time...

  3. For the Weekend: Mary J Blige: Real Love

  4. Weekend Watching: Barry Eichengreen: The Economic Consequences of Mr. Trump


  1. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life V: "'Breaking the Climate Spell' by Rupert Darwell, 2017. The Weekly Standard has published dozens upon dozens of articles ridiculing anyone who believes climate change is real and a serious problem. But perhaps their best work on the subject is this.... 'Trump is breaking the spell of inevitability of the transition to renewable energy', Darwell writes excitedly. 'The impression of irresistible momentum has been one of the most potent tools in enforcing compliance with the climate catechism. Like socialism, the clean-energy transition will fail because it doesn’t work'. Don’t get mad, snowflakes, that’s just science... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  2. If the Fed had had a 4%/year inflation target for the past decade, odds are that right now the Federal Reserve would be in a situation without great workers. But it hasn't, and it isn't: Mohamed A. El-Erian: Fed Rate Hike: Powell Tries to Balance Growth and Volatility: "Fed’s No-Win.... Powell increasingly must make the best of factors mostly outside his control, increasing fears of a policy mistake... #monetarypolicy

  3. Narayana Kocherlakota: The Fed’s Risky Plan to Boost Unemployment - Bloomberg: "The Fed is planning to raise its interest-rate target above its long-run level of around 2.8 percent. We can actually see this happening in the Fed’s rate forecasts for the next three years.... The Fed is planning to eliminate over a million jobs — and put millions more at risk — in order to avoid a tiny deviation from its inflation target. I’ll leave it for readers to judge whether this is a desirable gamble... #monetarypolicy

  4. It was a huge mistake for the Federal Reserve to nearly invest the yield curve in 2007. In fact, I cannot think of any reason why a central bank with inflation not well above target would ever seek or tolerate such a near-inverted yield curve: Joe Rennison: Yield Curve Hits New Cycle Low in Wake of Fed Meeting: "The difference between two- and 10-year Treasury yields, a common permutation of the so-called yield curve, sank below 10 basis points for only the second time this year, and hit 9.87 basis points in morning trading on Thursday. It’s the lowest level for the measure since June 2007...

  5. Popehat: Alan Dershowitz Is Lying To You: "Trading on his reputation as a legal titan, he's offering normative views (what the law should be) as descriptive views (what the law is.)... Alan Dershowitz, in describing the Special Counsel investigation, is posing as a subject-matter expert but acting like an advocate—and a dishonest one... #orengehairedbabooons

  6. Josh Chafetz: "Never tweet is looking better and better as life advice: "'The entire party supports Trump, which is why we are considering canceling a party primary to make sure he doesn't lose it.' https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/south-carolina-gop-could-scrap-2020-primary-to-protect-trump. Special shout-out to all the people who thought... [this] was a sincere statement of my own views. Keep doing what you do. You make this website the wondrous place. Never tweet is looking better and better as life advice... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons

  7. Matthew Yglesias: Paul Ryan’s Farewell Address: Transcript Shows Nonsense on Poverty: "Leaving Congress with a legacy of empty words.... A perfect capstone to Ryan’s career: Rich people get tax cuts; poor people get pious words and misleading rhetoric.... It’s important... to correctly understand the hierarchy of Ryan’s priorities. Ideas to help the poor, like the EITC, need to take a back seat to deficit concerns. Tax cuts for the rich, however, are worth doing even when they increase the deficit. And when it comes time to cut the deficit, the best way to do it is to take away poor people’s health insurance. Under the circumstances, America’s struggling families should feel lucky that Ryan never really got around to implementing his vision for their future... #orangehairedbaboons

  8. The Fed ought to pursue a symmetric 4%/year inflation target. It cannot even successfully communicate and pursue a 2%/year symmetric inflation target. And Tim Duy is an unhappy camper: Tim Duy: Fed Hikes Rates, Market Tumbles: "The implication here is that there is substantial downside risk to the economy. So much that the Fed is reducing its forecasts across the board. So much so that the Fed anticipates they will fall short of their inflation target yet again. And yet they continue to hike rates and signal more rate hikes to come. It is an unnecessarily and explicit hawkish message that is an artifact of a communications strategy that only made sense when you could reasonably promise zero rates for an extended period... #monetarypolicy

  9. Antonio Fatas: How low is low for Chinese GDP growth? ~ Antonio Fatas on the Global Economy: "The deceleration of GDP growth rates in China can be seen as a natural evolution of the economy as it follows its convergence path, in particular if we use recent decades in South Korea as a benchmark...

  10. Barry Ritholtz: Transcript: Bethany McLean (Enron & Fracking): "I was naïve then. I never would’ve guessed that a company could be so riddled with overstatements and outright fraud as Enron was.... The piece was skeptical... pointed out problems in Enron’s business... lack of cash flow... burgeoning debt load... nobody understood how this company actually made its money. But if you would ask me at that time that I—would be bankrupt in six months or nine months, I would have said 'What? No'...

  11. James Montier: The Late Cycle Lament: The Dual Economy, Minsky Moments, and Other Concerns: "Clinical studies have found one group of people who perceive reality the way it truly is. These are the clinically depressed, which is of course why they are clinically depressed! This leaves us with an unenviable choice–either be happy and deluded, or sad and accurate...

  12. Karl Smith is correct: to solve the "skills gap", create an economy in which companies have an incentive to solve the "skills gap": Karl Smith: @karlbykarlsmith: "Meh. Turn demand up to 11, watch gap solve itself..." Noah Smith: @Noahpinion: "YESSSSS..." : Joe Nocera: How to Turn a Community College into an Economic Engine: "Bridging the skills gap starts with a conversation between community colleges and employers... #labormarkets #equitablegrowth

  13. Ernie Tedeschi: Unemployment Looks Like 2000 Again. But Wage Growth Doesn’t: "Trying to solve an economic mystery: This is, to put it mildly, a mystery. If workers are as scarce as the unemployment rate and many other measures suggest, employers should be raising wages to compete for them...#labormarkets #equitablegrowth

  14. Binyamin Appelbaum : "As the old saying goes, there are no efficient market hypothesists in foxholes. They gave a guy a Nobel Prize for writing that financial markets are efficient. I'll never find that not funny." *Noah Smith: "EMH is the best investing advice you or most people will ever receive."... *Brad DeLong: EMH is a reasonable theory of short run returns. It is a lousy theory of values. And it is an even lousy her theory of price movements. Fans and co’s inability to distinguish between those three at all was what convinced me they were morons... #twitter #economicsgonewrong #finance

  15. WTF?!?!? Steven Mnuchin on Twitter Today I convened individual calls with the CEOs of the nation s six largest banks See attached statement Paul Krugman: "This is amazing.: It's as if Mnuchin was trying to create a panic over something nobody was worried about until this release. Alternatively, Mnuchin could just be an idiot. Not just me... #finance #orangehairedbaboons

  16. And a happy Feast of Sunreturn to you too: Brendan Greeley: There's No Process Left at the White House: "Literally on the night before Christmas, after determining that a thing that is not a problem is not a problem, the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America is convening the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, an organisation that doesn't really exist. It doesn't have an office, or legal authority, or even employees. There's an executive order from 1988 that says the president can tell several department and agency heads to get together and talk... Whatever the working group used to periodically do, it's been replaced since the financial crisis by the formal work of the Financial Stability Oversight Council. Mr Mnuchin could just as easily call on the order of the garter to take up arms and defend the realm. He's throwing glitter on a football. This isn't how any of this is done... #oranghairedbaboons


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 19, 2018)

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  1. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life II: "'What to Do About Iraq' by Robert Kagan and William Kristol, 2002... 'If too many months go by without a decision to move against Saddam, the risks to the United States may increase exponentially.... We know... that Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of September 11, went out of his way to meet with an Iraqi intelligence official a few months before he flew a plane into the World Trade Center.... There is no debate about the facts'... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  2. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life III: "'Case Closed' by Stephen F. Hayes, 2004... Hayes spent years trying to prove that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were collaborators. 'Case Closed' is a perfect example of his work, in that Hayes successfully demonstrates two things: (1) Iraq had fewer ties to al Qaeda than any other Gulf state, and (2) he is the world’s most gullible human being. Here Hayes faithfully scribbled down the pensées of Douglas J. Feith, then Undersecretary of Defense, and known at the Pentagon as 'the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth'... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  3. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life IV: "'The Bumpy Road to Democracy in Iraq” by Fred Barnes, 2004. 'Operation Iraqi Freedom has gained impressive momentum', Barnes told us when he ventured to Baghdad a year after the Iraq War began. But like so many of history’s pith-helmeted white people, Barnes was concerned by the recalcitrance of the dusky natives. Iraqis, wrote Barnes, 'need an attitude adjustment.... Iraqis are difficult to deal with. They’re sullen and suspicious and conspiracy-minded.... Papers obsess on the subject of brutal treatment of innocent Iraqis by American soldiers.' But Barnes knew Iraqis were being treated well by U.S. troops, because the troops were super-nice to him. Barnes concluded by saying that he wanted to see Iraqis demonstrate 'an outbreak of gratitude for the greatest act of benevolence one country has ever done for another'... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  4. Paul Krugman (January 26, 2010): Obama Liquidates Himself: "A spending freeze? That’s the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback? It’s appalling on every level... bad economics, depressing demand when the economy is still suffering from mass unemployment... bad long-run fiscal policy... a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working for. Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world-view.... This looks like pure disaster... and

  5. Suresh Naidu: Imperfect Labor Markets Are a Hot Topic: "We are a long way from "concentration affects wages" and onto the much more precise "outside options affect wages" and it is awesome. Sydnee [Caldwell]... looks at variation in outside options given by hiring at firms that employ your ex-coworkers...

  6. Here at Equitable Growth, our Kate Bahn responds to Redwood Girl in Chico's puzzlement about why she is not seeing opportunity in the low-unemployment economy: @RedwoodGirl: On Twitter: "Does the U6 number also include self-employed folks like myself who need more work to afford to live?..." @LipstickEcon: "It does not, since it only includes unemployed workers plus workers who aren't looking for a job but say they would take one if offered plus workers who are part-time wage and salary workers but would rather be full-time. Under-employed self-employed workers aren't counted here. This is part of why economists like Blanchflower and Bell think U.S. statistics do not capture under-employment accurately, since it doesn't include people who wish they worked more (or fewer) hours but can't find a job that is the right fit of hours https://www.nber.org/papers/w24927...

  7. Lawrence Mishel: Further Evidence That the Tax Cuts Have Not Led to Widespread Bonuses, Wage or Compensation Growth: "Following the bill’s passage, a number of corporations made conveniently-timed announcements that their workers would be getting raises or bonuses.... Newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data allow us to examine nonproduction bonuses in the first two quarters of 2018...

  8. Sarah Jane Glynn: Gender wage inequality: "Across countries, women’s labor force participation rates and per capita income have a U-shaped relationship...

  9. Rich Clarida: Data Dependence and U.S. Monetary Policy: "As the economy has moved to a neighborhood consistent with the Fed's dual-mandate objectives, risks have become more symmetric and less skewed to the downside than when the current rate cycle began three years ago. Raising rates too quickly could unnecessarily shorten the economic expansion, while moving too slowly could result in rising inflation and inflation expectations down the road that could be costly to reverse, as well as potentially pose financial stability risks. Although the real federal funds rate today is just below the range of longer-run estimates presented in the September SEP, it is much closer to the vicinity of r-star than it was when the FOMC started to remove accommodation in December 2015. How close is a matter of judgment, and there is a range of views on the FOMC...

  10. 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...

  11. Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Jeffrey J. Schott: Under the Hood, the USMCA Is a Downgrade for North America: "Trump... called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) the worst trade deal ever made. Trade negotiators have branded its intended replacement... a 'modernized' improvement.The upgrades draw heavily from the Trump-abandoned Trans-Pacific Partnership.... The deal also includes costly new regulations and requirements that discourage investment, especially in the auto sector... higher prices for cars at a time when auto sales are flagging. Ford and GM are already laying off workers.... The USMCA limits trade more than promoting it...

  12. Paul Krugman: How Democrats Can Deliver on Health Care: "What did the campaigns that led to a blue wave talk about? Above all, health care, which featured in more than half of Democrats’ ads. Which raises the question: Now that Democrats have had their big House victory and a lot of success in state-level races, can they do anything to deliver on their key campaign issue?Yes, they can...

  13. Dan W.: "Alan Dershowitz is trying to figure out why Netflix keeps recommending Woody Allen movies for him after it started reading his private messages...


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 18, 2018)

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  1. Hoisted from the Archives: The Democrats’ Deficit Line in the Sand: From ten years ago.... A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and it seems pointless to work to strengthen the Democratic links of the chain of fiscal responsibility when the Republican links are not just weak but absent...

  2. Hoisted from the Archives: An Unrealistic, Impractical, Utopian Plan for Dealing with the Health Care Opportunity of 2007: Think of it as a utopia—and think of it as a utopia coming from a guy who is not a real health economist but has an undeserved reputation because he was good at translating the economese spoken by real health economists like David Cutler, Sherry Glied, Ken Thorpe, Len Nichols, et cetera in a way that made it intelligible to senior Bentsen aides like Marina Weiss and Michael Levy...

  3. Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: Weekend Reading: Paul Krugman (2011): Mr Keynes and the Moderns: When I was in grad school in the '70s it was tacitly taught that the 'General' in the title was essentially Keynes' marketing—what we think of as 'Keynesian' economics was really a special, not general, case.... 2008 taught me otherwise.... Zero rigidities means something like absolutely continuous wage and price setting. That is the extraordinarily "special" case, not the existence of normal human behavior...

  4. Weekend Reading: David Brooks (2003): The Collapse of the Dream Palaces: It still amazes me that David Brooks has a paying job...


  1. Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life I: "'The Collapse of the Dream Palaces' by David Brooks, 2003. The top four places on this list rightfully belong to the Weekly Standard’s voluble case for, and defense of, the Iraq War. And this David Brooks article is unquestionably the most horrifying of them all.... What you may find is that it makes you feel as though a sweaty, middle-aged man is pointing a gun at you and fervently explaining that people like you who wear red shirts are human scum and you, all of you, are about to get what’s coming to you, at last. Then you look down and notice you are not wearing a red shirt, but the man with the gun is. When you’re finished reading the piece, remember that this was published just five months before the New York Times hired David Brooks as an op-ed writer. In other words, the Times saw this gibbering, so disconnected from reality it is functionally insane, and thought: This is exactly who we want explaining the world to our readers... #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

  2. Driftglass99 (2010): David F. Brooks Lying:

  3. Claudio Borio, Mathias Drehmann and Dora Xia: The Financial Cycle and Recession Risk: "Financial cycle booms can end in crises and, even if they do not, they tend to weaken growth. Given their slow build-up, do they convey information about recession risk? We compare the predictive performance of different financial cycle proxies with that of the term spread - a popular recession indicator. In contrast to much of the literature, our analysis covers a large sample of advanced and emerging market economies. We find that, in general, financial cycle measures provide valuable information and tend to outperform the term spread...

  4. Wikipedia: Colorado College

  5. The problem is that British politics is already poisoned by a "leave" campaign carried out by lying liars, and it will be further poisoned by the disruption that Brexit will generate, and by the natural tendency to blame future disruption that Brexit did not generate on Brexit: Robert Skidelsky: The Continuing Agony of Brexit: "It is playing with fire to seek a second vote on the ground that you did not like the result of the first one. And there’s one further issue to bear in mind: Leavers detest the EU more intensely than Remainers love it. If the Remainers win a second vote, a passionate resentment will sour British politics for years. So we must hope that May gets her amicable divorce when Parliament finally votes on it in January... #orangehairedbaboons #brexit #neofascism

  6. Interesting euphemisms in this twitter thread from the very sharp but strangely blinkered Geoff Kabaservice... Kabaservice sees conservative political energy back in the age of Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan coming from "liberal overreach and failure" on "crime, foreign policy, and the economy" plus "outraged public opinion" because of liberals' policies on "busing, affirmative action, welfare, and feminism". Jonathan Chait parries that the energy for conservatives' 1980s victories was racial—that it was no accident that Reagan started his campaign in Philadelphia, MS, and there did not say what he did not say—that "conservatism was always and everywhere thoroughly racist, morally bankrupt, and populated with hypocrites and authoritarians". Kabaservice's response? That he rejects Chait's formulation and "prefer[s Charles Sykes's]... 'recessive gene' theory". But the conservative whom Sykes holds up as "marginaliz[ing] those uglier voices on the right" is... William F. Buckley. William Fracking "The White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically" Buckley. Buckley does not say that measures then used to maintain white supremacy like lynching Blacks who try to vote and shooting civil rights activists in the head are "necessary to prevail". But he does not say that they are not necessary either. There was a pre-Barry Goldwater pre-James Buchanan smaller-government more-entrepreneurship Republicanism that did not try to harness racial animosity to the task of curbing the New Deal, and did not think that the right to discriminate against Black people was an important right that needed to be safeguarded from an overreaching federal government. Kabaservice needs to reach back to a Teddy Roosevelt who was eager to invite a Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House—not to a Ronald Reagan who takes his lines and directions from Lee Atwater and company—if he wants to see clearly what needs to be done: Geoff Kabaservice: "How should the left think about the right? The past week brought 4 examples of different approaches. Start with George Packer's historical overview.... Packer's... correct that the actions of the GOP-controlled state legislatures in MI & WI are textbook political corruption and a disgrace to US democracy, as well as further confirmation that Scott Walker has always been toxic. He's also correct that the GOP acts this way because it's the product of an ideological movement rather than traditional coalition-based politics...

  7. Jonathan Chait (2012): How the GOP Destroyed its Moderates: "Moderates... do continue to exist in the Republican Party. They merely do not exercise power.... They provide off-the-record quotations to reporters, expressing unease over whichever radical turn the party has taken at any given moment. They can be found in Washington and elsewhere rolling their eyes at their colleagues. The odd figure with nothing left to lose—say, a senator who has lost a primary challenge—may even deliver a forceful assault on the party’s uncompromising direction. For the most part, though, Republican moderation is a kind of secret creed, a freemasonry of the right. It lacks institutions that might legitimize it, or even a language to express itself...

  8. Martha Wells: The Future of Work: Compulsory: "IT’S NOT LIKE I haven’t thought about killing the humans since I hacked my governor module. But then I started exploring the company servers and discovered hundreds of hours of downloadable entertainment media, and I figured, what’s the hurry? I can always kill the humans after the next series ends. Even the humans think about killing the humans, especially here. I hate mines, and mining, and humans who work in mining, and of all the stupid mines I can remember, I hate this stupid mine the most. But the humans hate it more...

  9. Anna Cieslak and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen: The Economics of the Fed Put: "Low stock market returns predict accommodating monetary policy by the Federal Reserve.... a more powerful predictor of subsequent federal funds target rate changes than almost all macroeconomic news releases.... Stock returns cause Fed policy...

  10. Jacob Heilbrunn: ‘The Weekly Standard’: A Record of Failed Regime Change: "For most neocons, however, journalism has never been more than a Leninist means to an end—to form an intellectual vanguard.... Kristol, Podhoretz, Boot, and others belong to a second generation of neocons that never drifted away from the Democrats toward the Republican Party. Instead, they were right from the beginning.... Many seem simply politically adrift, like Russian exiles stranded in Paris after the Bolshevik revolution pining for the ancien régime.  A conference attended by about a hundred people last week at the Niskanen Center, a small think tank located near Capitol Hill, offered a timely reminder of their losses...

  11. Gillian Brunet: Stimulus on the Home Front: The State-Level Effects of WWII Spending: "WWII is viewed as the quintessential example of fiscal stimulus and exerts an outsized influence on fiscal multiplier estimates, but the wartime economy was highly unusual...

  12. The very sharp Simon Wren-Lewis lives in a Manichean world: good academic economists, bad "City" economists, and bad journalists who do not know or perhaps do not care to highlight the difference. The problem is that here in America we have not a lot of but we do have influential academic economists who manage to neutralize the voice of those who know what they are talking about: Simon Wren-Lewis: Experts and Elites: "The view of the overwhelming majority academic economists that Brexit will be harmful is going to be ignored by many.... The neoliberal right has had an interest in discrediting economic expertise, and replacing academic economists with City economists in positions of influence.... Right wing think tanks like the IEA are particularly useful in this respect.... Just look at how the media began to treat climate change as controversial...

  13. John Authers: Ferreting Out Three Fed Rate Scenarios: "Jerome Powell and his colleagues at the Federal Reserve are about to give us the last big market event of the year, with what will almost certainly be a fourth interest-rate rise, followed by what should be a fascinating press conference to explain it. Barring a major (and unpleasant) surprise, the central bank chairman will suggest that rates won’t be rising all that fast next year.... Meanwhile, the agonies for banks in the euro zone grow ever worse. The new reason for their problems, which have happened even though the European Central Bank, unlike the Fed, is still engaged in QE, seems to be a shortage of dollars. This is partly because of the Fed...


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 17, 2018)

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  1. Fama's Fallacy: Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: The economists who cheerled for the Trump-McConnell-Ryan tax cut and claimed it would rapidly and permanently boost annual investment in America by 800 billion had arguments—bad arguments. The economists who condemned Benanke's quantitative easing and claimed it would soon lead to high inflation and a debased dollar had arguments—bad arguments. I do not think any of them made those bad arguments in good faith: the failure of those in either group to acknowledge that they got a big one wrong and to engage in Bayeisan updating is interesting: that silence speaks volumes. But Fama and the others who claimed a decade ago that, while private decision to spend more boosted employment and production, public decisions to spend more—fiscal stimulus—not only would not, but could not possibly ever boost employment and production... they had no argument at all...

  2. Some Disconnected Thoughts Over the Years About Legal Realism and the Man Whom Judge Posner Calls "Disreputable": Chief Justice John Roberts: The dirty little secret is that serious legal arguments are those that lawyers pretend to take seriously. If enough Republican hacks decide to pretend that Judge Reed O'Connor is serious, he becomes serious. My forecast? The Fifth Circuit narrowly upholds O'Connor, and then it goes down 8-1 in the Supreme Court—unless one of the Democratic justices dies or retires before the decision is announced, it which case O'Connor is upheld 5-3...

  3. DeLong's Principles Of Neoliberalism: Thanks to Miniver Cheevy for Formatting: Hoisted from the Archives from 1999: The "neoliberalism" I was talking about then is a relatively distant cousin (but was a cousin) of what people are calling "neoliberalism" today...

  4. Weekend Reading: Paul Krugman (2011): Mr Keynes and the Moderns: Paul Krugman's distinction between Chapter 12er and Book 13 Keynesians is, I think, dead on...


  1. Abe “Bastard Keith” Goldfarb: "Phase One: 'Mexico will pay for the wall!'!
    Phase Two: 'Mexico will eventually pay through tariffs for the wall!'
    Phase Three: 'The US will pay for the wall!'
    Phase Four: 'We will shut down the government if American taxpayers don’t pay for the wall!'

  2. Lawrence Christon: Rita Rudner Is Svelte, Pretty, Original American Princess

  3. David Brooks remembers the Weekly Standard—how fun it was to convince people Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were close allies, and so trigger the Iraq War! They have their separate lives now, but they will always have Baghdad...: David Brooks: "This was the most concentrated collection of talent I’ve been around. And the most fun. Read the whole list... #orangehairedbaboons #journamalism

  4. Economic History Association: Prizes and Awards

  5. Aleksandar Hemon: Fascism is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It's a Set of Actions to Fight: "It is frightening to think we could be entering the civil war mode, wherein none of the differences and disagreements can be hashed out in discussion. It is quite possible that there is no resolution to the present situation until one side is thoroughly destroyed as an ideological power and political entity. If that is the case, the inescapable struggle requires that anti-fascist forces clearly identify the enemy and commit to defeating them, whoever they are, whatever it takes. The time of conversations with fascists is over, even if they might be your best friend from high school... #neofascism #orangehairedbaboons

  6. The dirty little secret is that serious legal arguments are those that lawyers pretend to take seriously. If enough Republican hacks decide to pretend that Judge Reed O'Connor is serious, he becomes serious. My forecast? The Fifth Circuit narrowly upholds O'Connor, and then it goes down 8-1 in the Supreme Court—unless one of the Democratic justices dies or retires before the decision is announced, it which case O'Connor is upheld 5-3. Jack Balkin wants to maintain two positions at once: 1. "The lesson of Sebelius is that if you give enough very smart lawyers enough time to work on a legal problem, they can come up with creditable arguments for many (but not all) legal positions, even if, when the task started, the position seemed hopeless..." 2. "I am most certainly not saying that legal argument and legal craft are mere disguises for political ideology or that they have no independent significance. I have been trained as a lawyer and I express opinions about the quality of legal arguments all the time. It is my job to do so. Thus, whether lawyers are willing to support a given claim depends on their perception of the quality of the legal reasoning and the quality of the legal arguments that can be advanced for it..."
     
    But the second means almost nothing if "creditable" arguments can be constructed for nearly everything, and the task of law professors is then to retrospectively justify whatever the judges pick. The first means little if the legal community does have strong standards for what is a strong argument. How to resolve this? By noting that whatever gets five votes on the Supreme Court is retrospectively turned into the strongest arguments. And Supreme Court justices are very good at convincing themselves that what upholds their ideology and partisan position is in fact the best-argued and best-crafted. Jack Balkin: Texas v. U.S: Off the Wall and On the Wall in the Age of Trump: "The judge's arguments are not even close to being persuasive given existing legal precedents. Does that mean that the position is 'off-the-wall'?... Asking whether a legal claim is 'off-the-wall' is a question of whether it is a reasonable claim, or at least one on which reasonable minds can differ.... But the perceived quality of legal reasoning and legal arguments are not exogenous from social influence...#orangehairedbaboons #judicialreview

  7. Sam Bagenstos: "My view on this is closer to Jesse's than to (my learned and valued colleague!) Nick's. The Fifth Circuit could reverse this ruling, but I don't have the confidence in them Nick does. I do think Roberts doesn't want to strike down the ACA 5-4 on this farkakte theory, though. But let's imagine one of the Dem appointees to the Court slips on a banana peel before the issue gets to SCOTUS. Then we really do have a direct threat to the ACA. So let's not breathe so easy...

  8. As I see it, Bernanke is right: the housing bubble and housing construction (maroon line) had FRED Graph FRED St Louis Fed collapsed—with its effects on household wealth and thus on consumption—before the recession began, and very few thought as of late 2007 that we were doomed to have a deep recession. So I do not see how Krugman and Baker could be correct. Then our slow recovery looks to me due in large part to two factors. The first is fiscal austerity (purple line), for which blame Republicans, economists who do not understand IS-LM but who insist on opening their mouths, and an Obama listening to Geithner, Orszag, and company and thinking that his job is to reach a grand entitlement bargain with Republicans. The second is the failure of housing to recover to normal—for which I blame Obama listening to Geithner and not making the revival of housing finance a priority: Paul Krugman: The Credit Crunch and the Great Recession: "Ben Bernanke argues that it was mainly about finance. I have (friendly) questions.... There’s an economic dispute underway about the causes of the Great Recession — but that’s not what’s weird. What’s so strange in these days and times is that it is being carried out among well-informed people who actually look at data and argue in good faith. Hey, guys, don’t you know that sort of thing went out a couple of decades ago?...

  9. The assumption driving the argument here is that the natural rate of interest varies one-for-one with productivity growth. That is probably right, but not certainly right. If it is right, the Federal Reserve's 2% inflation rate target is a huge mistake generating huge risks: Thomas Laubach and John C. Williams* (2001): Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest: “A key variable for the conduct of monetary policy is the natural rate of interest–the real interest rate consistent with output equaling potential and stable inflation. Economic theory implies that the natural rate of interest varies over time...

  10. Ed Luce: The Double Life of Trumpian Nationalism: "Mr Pompeo did the world a favour... crystallised the dissonance that runs through the Trump administration. Mr Trump’s aim is to contain China’s global rise. He also wants to remove the tools with which to blunt China’s rise. He offers with one hand what he removes with the other. Mr Pompeo called for a new global liberal order of 'noble nations'. In the same breath, he called on them to pursue their go-it-alone destinies. Nowhere in his speech did the words 'west' or 'western' occur. Countries that abandon mutual endeavours do not naturally see eye to eye...

  11. Joseph E. Gagnon (PIIE) and Takeshi Tashiro: Abenomics Is Working, Don't Stop Now: "Japan is on track for its longest postwar economic expansion, with female labor force participation and corporate profits at record highs and unemployment at a 25-year low.... [Is] the goal of raising inflation to 2 percent is really necessary?...

  12. Friedrich Engels (1843): Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy: "In the struggle of capital and land against labour, the first two elements enjoy yet another special advantage over labour–the assistance of science; for in present conditions science, too, is directed against labour. Almost all mechanical inventions, for instance, have been occasioned by the lack of labour-power; in particular Hargreaves’, Crompton’s and Arkwright’s cotton-spinning machines...

  13. Ramesh Ponnuru: Recession Is a Far Larger Threat Than Inflation: "We should use this moment of relative monetary calm to consider deeper questions, such as whether that target is the right one.... The real failing of the current monetary regime is not that it generates too much inflation. We haven’t had ruinous levels of inflation since the early 1980s (something for which Volcker’s own chairmanship deserves great credit)...


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 12, 2018)

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  1. The Great American Tax Heist Turns One: Live at Project Syndicate: Time has passed: a year's worth of water under the bridge. But I have not become less angry at and disappointed with how the Republican economists behaved in what my Project Syndicate editors call the Great American Tax Heist of last December...

  2. Comment of the Day (January 19, 2009): Robert Waldmann: Fama's Fallacy V: Are There Ever Any Wrong Answers in Economics?: "I'm not surprised that Fama is making a fool of himself. He has made similarly nonsensical arguments in his own field of expertise. He has been a tenured head of a school of thought for a long time, and has probably forgotten what it was like to make arguments which weren't accorded respect just because he made them...

  3. For the Weekend: Let's Have Another Cup Of Coffee (1932): "Irving Berlin and Waring's Pennsylvanians (1932): Let's Have Another Cup Of Coffee...

  4. Note to Self: Feeling sad Berkeley is not giving me access to: The Tocqueville Review: Vol 39, No 2: "Thinking with Raymond Aron and Stanley Hoffmann...


  1. David Blanchflower: 'Much More Global Slowing' by End of 2019

  2. Jonathan Stearns: EU, Japan Clinch Record Trade Accord in Shadow of Protectionism: "The European Parliament approved a draft free-trade agreement with Japan, removing the last political hurdle to the entry into force of Europe’s biggest market-opening accord. The European Union assembly’s green light on Wednesday paves the way for the pact to take provisional effect on Feb. 1. Already endorsed by EU governments and the Japanese parliament, the agreement will eliminate virtually all tariffs between the two partners, expand markets for services and public procurement, and bolster regulatory cooperation...

  3. The blockchain grifters have driven Nouriel Roubini into a state in which he is no longer his normal calm reasoned self: Nouriel Roubini*: The Big Blockchain Lie: "In cases where distributed-ledger technologies – so-called enterprise DLT – are actually being used, they have nothing to do with blockchain. They are private, centralized, and recorded on just a few controlled ledgers. They require permission for access...

  4. Simon Wren-Lewis: Helping the Left Behind: Its (Economic) Geography, Stupid: "Martin Sandbu points us to a report from the Brookings Institution.... 'For much of the 20th century, market forces had reduced job, wage, investment, and business formation disparities between more- and less-developed regions. By closing the divides between regions, the economy ensured a welcome convergence among the nation’s communities.' But from the 1980s onwards, they argue that digital technologies increased the reward to talent-laden clusters of skills and firms...

  5. This is a strange article by Joe Stiglitz. The first sentence is right. The second sentence is wrong: Joseph E. Stiglitz: The Myth of Secular Stagnation: "There are many lessons to be learned as we reflect on the 2008 crisis, but the most important is that the challenge was–and remains–political, not economic: there is nothing that inherently prevents our economy from being run in a way that ensures full employment and shared prosperity. Secular stagnation was just an excuse for flawed economic policies..." Larry Summers, I think, gets it 100% right here: Lawrence Summers: Setting the Record Straight on Secular Stagnation: "Echoing conservatives like John Taylor, the Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz recently suggested that the concept of secular stagnation was a fatalistic doctrine invented to provide an excuse for poor economic performance during the Obama years. This is simply not right...

  6. I keep saying that Equitable Growth should cozy up to these people: they are our mirror image—and not in an evil-Mr.-Spock-with-a-beard way: Brink Lindsey, Will Wilkinson, Steven Teles, and Samuel Hammond: The Center Can Hold: Public Policy for an Age of Extremes: "We need both greater reliance on market competition and expanded, more robust, and better-crafted social insurance... government activism to enhance opportunity... less corrupt and more law-like governance... a new ideological lens: one that sees government and market not as either-or antagonists, but as necessary complements... #moralphilosophy

  7. Josh Micah Marshall: Trump’s Telling Us Something (In Spite of Himself): "For going on two years I’ve been explaining that Michael Cohen was less a lawyer for Trump than a conduit for money from Russian and Ukrainian emigres and from those regions of the world. Yes, he was a fixer too. But there are lots of fixers. The channel of money came from the Brighton Beach emigre world Cohen grew up in and through the family he married into and the contacts that brought. A key player is Cohen’s father-in-law Fima Shusterman who federal law enforcement, a man who federal law enforcement apparently believed Trump had been in business with long before Michael Cohen came into the picture. All of this is known as far as it goes and we’ve discussed it... #orangehairedbaboons

  8. Tim Barker: "As an intellectual historian, I've found it puzzling that no one has scanned Ross Douthat's writings from the Harvard Salient, 1998-2002. So I checked out as much of it as I could and there's some pretty good stuff...

  9. Murray Waas: Mueller investigation news: Paul Manafort advised White House on how to attack investigation of Trump and Russia: "We now have details as to how the indicted former campaign manager worked with the president to undermine federal law enforcement...

  10. As the Weekly Standard closes, let us remember that it—like everything Bush-Chene-Rumsfeld—is a lying trash sheet staffed by lying liars: Spencer Ackerman: Fast and Loose With the Facts: "'The danger', said President George W. Bush on Sept. 25, 2002, 'is that Al Qaeda becomes an extension of Saddam’s madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world'. He proceeded to build on a lie.... 'The war on terror', Bush said, 'you can’t distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror'. Only if you’re a liar...

  11. John Authers: "The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has so far displayed none of the magical revenue-increasing properties that some of its supporters claimed for it... #orangehairedbaboons #fiscalpolicy

  12. Larry Mishel: Bonuses Are Up $0.02 Since the Gop Tax Cuts Passed: "the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act... tax cutters claimed that their bill would raise the wages of rank-and-file workers.... The Trump administration’s chair of the Council of Economic Advisers argued in April that we were already seeing the positive wage impact of the tax cuts: 'A flurry of corporate announcements provide further evidence of tax reform’s positive impact on wages. As of April 8, nearly 500 American employers have announced bonuses or pay increases, affecting more than 5.5 million American workers.'... New data allows us to examine nonproduction bonuses.... The $0.02 per hour (inflation-adjusted) bump in bonuses between December 2017 and September 2018 is very small.... The White House contention that corporate tax cut-inspired widespread provision of bonuses that led to greater paychecks through bonuses or wage increases for workers is not supported...

  13. It is not three Trump policies weighing on the stock market: it is four. Add to Barry's list: having your sole policy accomplishment be a tax cut tuned not to boost growth: Barry Ritholtz: Donald Trump Owns This Stock Market: "I assumed that Trump’s aggressive style, economic ignorance and personal peccadilloes wouldn’t leave a lasting mark on either stocks or bonds.... The chaos surrounding this presidency proves that was wishful thinking.... Consider three distinct policies of this administration, and how they are hurting the economy and markets.... Higher interest rates.... Powell’s leanings were well known... #orangehairedbaboon #finance


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 12, 2018)

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  1. Two Differences Between a Clinton Administration and a Trump Administration...: Overwhelmingy, those writing opeds and releasing studies boosting last year's Trump-McConnell-Ryan corporate tax cut knew that the forecasts they made last year were overwhelmingly likely to be wrong. So they are not surprised when they turn out to be wrong. And they do not even think it worthwhile to go through the motions of pretending to be surprised that the investment share of national income and product in 2012 dollars is 18% and not 22%. So I say to Binyamin Applebaum, and to other reporters who wrote up—much less critically then they should have—what the administration was saying and what corporate tax cut-boosting economists from Barro to Taylor and company were saying last year: remember: "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"...

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

  3. Fall 2018 Econ 101b Exam: U.C. Berkeley

  4. Note to Self: Watching Niskanen Center Live Stream: "Starting Over: The Center-Right After Trump...


  1. Cosma Shalizi (1998): Psychoceramics: "Psychoceramics could... play a... role... analogous to that of lesion studies in neuropsychology. A working intellectual discipline, like probability theory or Sanskrit philology, has mechanisms which keep it from going off the rails, and keep cranks from taking over; most of the time and on balance, they produce reliable knowledge. This is manifestly not the case outside the bounds of such disciplines... #orangehairedbaboons #publicsphere #cognitive

  2. Ezra Klein: Political Tribalism in Trump’s America: What Andrew Sullivan Gets Wrong: "I knew when we launched Vox that there would be criticisms I didn’t anticipate, but I’ll admit, I never foresaw one of them being that writing explainers doesn’t satisfyingly replace the role of religion in people’s lives. Yet here we are.... That’s Andrew Sullivan writing in New York magazine, and while the column caught my attention for that line, which I will now have needlepointed on a pillow, the broader piece is wrong in more important, less amusing, ways... #shouldread #orangehairedbaboons #journamalism

  3. Always remember that Andrew Sullivan glories in misleading the public by telling them lies: "The Krugmans and the Chaits will shortly have a cow, if not a whole herd of them.... To which my response is: Hoorah.... Commentators... get steamed because Bush has... claimed his tax cut will cost less than it actually will... is using Medicare surplus money today that will be needed tomorrow and beyond.... The fact that Bush has to obfuscate his real goals of reducing spending with the smoke screen of 'compassionate conservatism' shows how uphill the struggle is." When somebody tells you he is an evil, deceptive f---, believe him: HOLLYzoy: Besides @ezraklein 's Point About Andrew Sullivan, a Few Others: "'But the banality of the god of progress, the idea that the best life is writing explainers for Vox in order to make the world a better place, never quite slakes the thirst for something deeper'. I think that sneering at this impulse makes sense only if you don't ask the people involved what 'making the world better' means. Suppose you thought: democracy is the best political system. But it requires a reasonably informed citizenry to work. It's always hard for people to be adequately informed (they have lives.) But doubly so now, when entire networks etc. are actively trying to mislead them. Then those of us who have a knack for it should try to step up, and make it easier. How is this shallow or banal? If done right, it is a way of supporting democracy, and of empowering our fellow citizens. It also helps them to spot demagogues and charlatans. If you think that democracy is an inspiring ideal (I do), then this is an inspiring thing to do... #orangehairedbaboons #journamalism #publicsphere

  4. Philo: On the Cherubim: "Is my mind my own private possession? It is a creator of lies, a founder of wandering, of paranoia...

  5. How did Evangelicals miss the memo that God saves you later only if you save the image of God in your neighbor today?: "Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or a thirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?": Ronald Brownstein: Trump's Coalition Is Cracking: "Evangelical Christians this year comprised fully 45% of all white voters without a college degree, a substantial portion of the total electorate. By contrast, evangelicals represented only one-fourth of college-educated white voters. (In 2016, the exit polls found that evangelicals constituted slightly larger shares of each group.) In all of the southern states where the question was asked this year, evangelicals represented a majority of working-class white voters, including fully two-thirds in Georgia and Tennessee. Evangelicals were also a majority of white working class voters in West Virginia and Indiana and exactly half in Missouri... #orangehairedbaboons

  6. Principles of Neoliberalism: .Neoliberalism is many things...

  7. Allin Cottrell (2003): Word Processors: Stupid and Inefficient

  8. Kieran Healy: The Plain Person’s Guide to Plain Text Social Science

  9. Daniel Donner: Requiem for a California Dream: "It is especially delicious, then, to watch the real-time collapse of the Republican Dream in California—and specifically Orange County—as the state party’s power shrivels into a desiccated lump of greenish oatmeal. Meanwhile, California as a whole enjoys its status as one of the most diverse and dynamic states in the country, with a thriving combination of culture and creativity—and, yes, taco stands on many corners, if not every one—making it one of the most desired regions in the world in which to live, work, or play... #politics #california #orangehairedbaboons

  10. Paul Krugman: Botching the Great Recession: "The acute phase of the financial crisis... was relatively brief... scary and did immense damage—America lost 6 ½ million jobs in the year after Lehman fell. But... measures of financial stress fell off rapidly in 2009, and were more or less back to normal by the summer. Rapid financial recovery did not, however, produce rapid recovery for the economy as a whole. As the same figure shows, unemployment stayed high for many years...

  11. TV Tropes: [Literature/Badass Creed(https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/BadassCreed/Literature): "The millennia-old messenger golem Anghammarad remembers a badass version of the A-M Post Office motto from the dawn of time: 'Neither Deluge Nor Ice Storm Nor The Black Silence Of The Netherhells Shall Stay These Messengers About Their Sacred Business. Do Not Ask Us About Sabre-Tooth Tigers, Tar Pits, Big Green Things With Teeth Or The Goddess Czol.' Inevitable question: The Goddess Czol? Anghammarad: Do Not Ask...

  12. The first occurrence of "Be still my heart!": Homer: The Odyssey: "Ulysses lay wakefully brooding upon the way in which he should kill the suitors; and by and by, the women who had been in the habit of misconducting themselves with them, left the house giggling and laughing with one another.... His heart growled within him... But he beat his breast and said, 'Heart, be still, you had worse than this to bear on the day when the terrible Cyclops ate your brave companions; yet you bore it in silence till your cunning got you safe out of the cave...'

  13. Noah Smith: Trump's Embrace of Tariffs Hurts U.S. Consumers More Than China: "Trump’s goal of making the U.S. more competitive isn’t bad, but he needs to stop using bad tools. Tariffs... raise costs for American manufacturers and prices for American consumers. Tariff Man needs to cool his jets...


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 11, 2018)

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  1. John Holbo: Hack Gaps and Noble Lies: "I actually find that sort of thing very painful. If I were saying something so oversimple that It feels like a lie – rather than a partial truth–I wouldn’t say it. I would feel compelled to flag and label it as a heuristic model. You say ‘there’s a more complicated story but let’s start here, even though ultimately I think we end up thinking about it very differently.’ Some warning label like that. I never try to make my students believe a proposition that I myself think is just out-and-out false. I guess I just think it’s so rare for good ideas to be indefensible on the merits (because your audience is too morally/intellectually disordered) yet falsely defensible on the demerits, as it were...

  2. Paul Krugman: "The Paul Ryan question isn't why he has proved to be a phony. It's why so many commentators took him seriously in the teeth of his obvious fraudulence. I called him out from the beginning—but was dismissed and attacked as being 'partisan'. The irony was that the real judgment-distorting partisanship was on the part of centrists, whose ideology demanded that there be Serious, Honest Conservatives to justify bothsidesism. Ryan was neither serious nor honest, and it took almost no work to figure that out. But centrists needed someone to fill the box, so they promoted Ryan into that role. It was a massive moral as well as intellectual failure. Has anyone learned from it?...

  3. *Niskanen Center Live Stream *: Starting Over: The Center-Right After Trump

  4. Ian Dunt: Week in Review: All May's faults come home to roost: "For two and a half years we have been forced to watch Theresa May's cack-handed administration trundle on.... The agreement she's come back with... It hugs the EU tight enough to remove control, but keeps it distant enough to still take ruinous economic damage. It is like a recipe book on how to injure yourself with crockery.... Indeed it is hard to think of a single genuine supporter of it outside Downing Street...

  5. It is such a bad idea for a central bank to invert in the yield curve. If central bankers kendo only one thing, that is probably the thing they should know: Glenn D. Rudebusch and John C. Williams: Forecasting Recessions: The Puzzle of the Enduring Power of the Yield Curve: "For over two decades, researchers have provided evidence that the yield curve... contains useful information for signaling future recessions.... Professional forecasters appear worse at predicting recessions a few quarters ahead than a simple real-time forecasting model that is based on the yield spread...

  6. Note that the model also predicts that if bonds outperform stocks over the next 10 years, then strocks are nearly certain to outperform bonds by much more in the following 10 years: Christopher G. Collins and Joseph E. Gagnon: The Stock Market Correction in Context: Are Equities Cheap or Expensive?: "Stock prices are indeed expensive in historical context. Nevertheless, stocks are likely to outperform bonds over the next 10 years; the model implies about a 25 percent chance that stocks perform worse than bonds. Moreover, if earnings in 2018 and 2019 come in close to their levels after 2009 rather than their levels in 2008 and 2009, and if stock prices and bond yields remain at their October 31 level through the end of 2019, then the ex ante EP would rise to 2.1 and the model would suggest only a 20 percent probability that stocks would perform worse than bonds over the following 10 years...

  7. This is something that is not getting enough airplay: if Democrats do not win the House vote by more than 4%-points in 2020, they lose the House. Things, of course, will change in 2022, but that is the map America faces in 2020. And that is without additional voter suppression: Paul Krugman: We Had a Narrow Escape. We're Still Very Much at Risk of Being Hungary Writ Large: "I've been doing some electoral math using the Cook House popular vote tracker, and it's kind of disturbing. Before the election, it was widely asserted that Dems had a big structural disadvantage due to gerrymandering and geographical concentration of minority voters. In the end, though, they turned an 8.6% lead in the popular vote into a roughly 8 percent lead in seats.... But Dems won the median seat by 4.1%—i.e., they probably would have failed to take control if their margin had been less than that. That's a couple of points lower than most pre-election analyses suggested, but still a lot... #politics #orangehairedbaboons #neofascism

  8. Chenzi Xu: Reshaping Global Trade: The Immediate and Long-Run Effects of Bank Failures: "The unexpected failure in May 1866 of Overend and Gurney, London’s largest interbank lender... led to widespread bank runs in London that caused 12 percent of British multinational banks to fail. These multinational banks played a dominant role in financing international trade during the 19th century... #economichistory #finance #financialcrises

  9. Paul Krugman: The Economic Future Isn’t What It Used to Be: "Lehman failed ten years... ago.... In honor of the anniversary, there have been approximately 1,000,000,000 pieces reflecting on the 2008 financial crisis and its effects. Many have suggested, rightly, that the political fallout continues to shape our world today. But as far as I can tell, surprisingly few have focused on the long-run economic effects.... These effects were huge.... Antonio Fatás and Larry Summers have been banging on this drum for years, as has Larry Ball.... More than 11 percent as of 2018.... The U.S. economy is as far below pre-crisis expectations now as it was in the depths of the Great Recession, even though we have supposedly recovered from the crisis... #hysteresis

  10. Continuing the project of assessing how huge of a deal the birth control pill was it is:* Martha Bailey*: Momma’s Got the Pill: : How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut Shaped US Childbearing: "The 1960s ushered in a new era in US demographic history characterized by significantly lower fertility rates and smaller family sizes. What catalyzed these changes remains a matter of considerable debate. This paper exploits idiosyncratic variation in the language of 'Comstock' statutes, enacted in the late 1800s, to quantify the role of the birth control pill in this transition. Almost 50 years after the contraceptive pill appeared on the US market, this analysis provides new evidence that it accelerated the post-1960 decline in marital fertility...

  11. A great interview with my Berkeley colleague the wise Hilary Hoynes: Equitable Growth: In conversation with Hilary Hoynes: "Our social safety net... very much moved toward toward work-contingent types of activity.... Some quantification or estimation of the question: Does providing more assistance through the social safety net, particularly aimed at children, lead to differences in where children end up in adulthood?... #socialinsurance #equitablegrowth

  12. Antonio Fatas: Global Rebalancing: "Prior to the Global Financial Crisis the world economy experienced a period of increasing global imbalances.... Today the world displays smaller imbalances than at the peak of 2008 but what it was more interesting is the extent to which rebalancing had happened between different country groups...

  13. Lend freely at a penalty rate on collateral that is good in normal times: David Warsh: What Have We Learned Since Bagehot?: "Fighting Financial Crises: Learning from the Past... by Gary Gorton and Ellis Tallman... offer five 'guiding principles' for dealing with financial crises in the future. Find the short-term debt.... Suppress bank-specific information... emergency lending facilities.... Prevent systemically important institutions from failing.... And consider that certain laws and regulations need not be applied during a financial crisis... #finance #centralbanking #monetarypolicy #financialcrises


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 10B, 2018)

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  1. Reasoning—Individual, Social, and Societal: I am all but certain to never teach a course on: Reasoning—Indivdual, Social, and Societal. But if I were to teach such a course, would this be the best reading list? And if not these readings, what would be better replacements?...

  2. Hoisted from the Archives from 2004: Mark Kleiman: Avodim Hayyinu l’pharoh b’Mitzrayim: "Linked to the commandments in Deuteronomy, that phrase comes to mean: 'We were slaves' and therefore must never, never, ever act like slaveowners. That makes sense of the empirical link between Judaism and liberalism. No, there’s no reason to think that the 'liberal' viewpoint on any given policy issue is superior to the “conservative” one. With respect to crime, which is my own study, I’d have to say that the liberal tendency over the past half-century has mostly pointed toward the wrong answers.... But...

  3. Hoisted from the Archives: "How an Economy Can Live Beyond Its Means on Its Wits...": Confront economists' theories of depressions and what (if anything) the government should do about them and you find yourself immediately confronted with what look to be at least seven different theories: Monetarism... Wicksellianism... Minskyism... Austrianism... Vulgar Keynesianism... Hickianism... Post-Keynesianism...

  4. Monday Smackdown: Ezra Klein Smacks Down Paul Ryan as a Grifter, and Himself for a Griftee...: Very welcome to see: Remember: Fool me once, shame on you; fool my twice, shame on me: Ezra Klein: Speaker Paul Ryan Retires: His Legacy Is Debt and Disappointment: "I took Ryan seriously.... I covered the arguments Ryan made, the policies he crafted, and I treated them as if they offered a guide to how Republicans would govern. I listened.... Now, as Ryan prepares to leave Congress, it is clear that his critics were correct and a credulous Washington press corps—including me—that took him at his word was wrong.... Ryan proved himself and his party to be exactly what the critics said: monomaniacally focused on taking health insurance from the poor, cutting taxes for the rich, and spending more on the Pentagon. And he proved that Republicans were willing to betray their promises and, in their embrace of Trump, violate basic decency to achieve those goals...

  5. Blogging: What to Expect Here...: The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading: "Bring expertise, bring a willingness to learn, bring good humor, bring a desire to improve the world—and also bring a low tolerance for lies and bullshit..." — Brad DeLong...

  6. Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from 2008: Why We Called Donald Luskin "The Stupidest Man Alive": Cargo-Cult economics. Or perhaps "TV economics". Going through motions sorta-kinda like what economists do without understanding why or what the calculations mean...


  1. Kate Bahn: Understanding the Importance of Monopsony Power in the U.S. Labor Market: "In a dynamic monopsony model, so-called search frictions—including imperfect information and other constraints to job mobility... would give employers more power to set wages below competitive levels, while still maintaining a sufficient supply of workers.... Doug Webber tests the hypothesis of widespread dynamic monopsony and whether search frictions appear to maintain low wages across the U.S. labor market in his 2015 paper, 'Firm market power and the earnings distribution'. Webber finds pervasive monopsony across the labor market, with the key finding that less monopsony power would lead to less income inequality...

  2. Elizabeth Jacobs: California’s Paid Family Leave Policy Is Decreasing Nursing Home Use and Saving Medicaid Dollars: "Kanika Arora and... Douglas Wolf provide the first-ever empirical study assessing the impact of paid family and medical leave... utiliz[ing] longitudinal, state-level data to assess whether California’s state paid family and medical leave policy led to a decrease in nursing home utilization. California enacted a comprehensive paid leave policy in 2004, providing access to six weeks of leave for both new parents and family caregivers.... The estimated effect of paid family and medical leave on nursing home utilization in California is a decline of more than 11 percent in the share of the elderly residing in nursing homes...

  3. Like wood fires and nuclear fusion, ideology is a very bad master. But also, like wood fire in nuclear fusion, it is a most excellent servant. Therefore I cannot sign-on for Jerry Taylor‘s decision to abandon “ideology“. The task, I think, is to make ideologies useful by making them self reflective. After all, if a libertarian founder like John Stuart Mill can say that Positive Liberty is essential—that the British working class of his day was "imprisoned" in spite of all their negative liberty by Malthusian poverty, there is ample space for a libertarianism that keeps its good focus on human choice, potential, and opportunity without blinding itself to a great deal of reality: Jerry Taylor: The Alternative to Ideology: "When we launched the Niskanen Center in January 2015, we happily identified ourselves as libertarians... heterodox libertarians... left-libertarianism concerned with social justice (a libertarian perspective that I’ve defended in debates with more orthodox libertarians here and here)...

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

  5. Antonio Fatás: Europe's fiscal policy doom loop: "The damage done by procyclical fiscal policy in the euro area between 2010 and 2014 is likely to be even larger.... Fiscal policymakers... created a 'doom loop', with unfounded pessimism feeding into policy... the consequences of those policies increasing pessimism... hysteresis, permanently reducing GDP...

  6. Go watch the video: Equitable Growth: Building a New Consensus on #Antitrust Reform

  7. You cannot understand either globalization or international migration without knowing the history. David and Jon know the history very very well: David S. Jacks and John P. Tang: Trade and Immigration, 1870-2010: “global merchandise trade and immigration from 1870 to 2010. We revisit the reasons why these two forces moved largely in parallel in the decades leading up to World War I, collapsed during the interwar period, and then rebounded (but with much more pronounced growth in trade than in immigration)...

  8. Absolutely remarkable: Erik Larson and Christopher Cannon: Madoff’s Victims Are Close to Getting Their $19 Billion Back: "A decade after Bernard Madoff was arrested for running the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme, the bitter fight to recoup investors’ lost billions has astounded experts and victims alike... #finance

  9. I have enormous respect for Ken, but I think he is largely wrong here. In any dystopian or failed state, why would you want to accept RogoffCoin? or DeLongCoin? Or any of the other ICOs coming down the pike. Yes, there is a space for a blockchain-supported anonymous currency. But the currency that will be adopted will be one that has substantial backing from somewhere—either some large organization with real asset and payments that decides it want to use it (a "cameralist" valuation), or a central focal point (which BitCoin might hold). I can see BitCoin being worth a hundred dollars in the long run because having been first mover is a potential focal point. I can't see anything else having value in the long run. It is not "cryptocurrency coins" that are "lottery tickets that pay off in a dystopian future"; it is (maybe) BitCoin. After all, the South Sea Company had detected a true market opportunity—there would be durable demand for standardized Gilts. But, as Ken says, "the private sector may innovate, but in due time the government regulates and appropriates": the profits were reaped not by the South Sea Company or any of its competitors but by the British Treasury. In the meantime, of course, there are Greater Fools for Fools to sell to, and so folly has a chance of looking wise ex post: Kenneth Rogoff: Betting on Dystopia: "The right way to think about cryptocurrency coins is as lottery tickets that pay off in a dystopian future where they are used in rogue and failed states, or perhaps in countries where citizens have already lost all semblance of privacy. That means that cryptocurrencies are not entirely worthless...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 10B, 2018)" »


Blogging: What to Expect Here...

Preview of Blogging What to Expect Here

The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...

"Bring expertise, bring a willingness to learn, bring good humor, bring a desire to improve the world—and also bring a low tolerance for lies and bullshit..." — Brad DeLong

"I have never subscribed to the notion that someone can unilaterally impose an obligation of confidentiality onto me simply by sending me an unsolicited letter—or an email..." — Patrick Nielsen Hayden

"I can safely say that I have learned more than I ever would have imagined doing this.... I also have a much better sense of how the public views what we do. Every economist should have to sell ideas to the public once in awhile and listen to what they say. There's a lot to learn..." — Mark Thoma

"Tone, engagement, cooperation, taking an interest in what others are saying, how the other commenters are reacting, the overall health of the conversation, and whether you're being a bore..." — Teresa Nielsen Hayden

"With the arrival of Web logging... my invisible college is paradise squared, for an academic at least. Plus, web logging is an excellent procrastination tool.... Plus, every legitimate economist who has worked in government has left swearing to do everything possible to raise the level of debate and to communicate with a mass audience.... Web logging is a promising way to do that..." — Brad DeLong

"Blogs are an outlet for unexpurgated, unreviewed, and occasionally unprofessional musings.... At Chicago, I found that some of my colleagues overestimated the time and effort I put into my blog—which led them to overestimate lost opportunities for scholarship. Other colleagues maintained that they never read blogs—and yet, without fail, they come into my office once every two weeks to talk about a post of mine..." — Daniel Drezner

Continue reading "Blogging: What to Expect Here..." »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 10, 2018)

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  1. Why Doesn't Italy Have Better Options?: If the past ten years ought to have taught the Great and Good of Europe anything, it is that ensuring prosperity, growth, and high employmennt is job #1. Figuring out how to dot the financial i's and cross the financial t's is distinctly secondary. But, as Adam Tooze writes, instead the Great and Good of Europe seem to wish to "hold the line on debt and deficits" without offering anything "positive in exchange, such as a common European investment and growth strategy or a more cooperative approach to the refugee question". He calls this, with great understatement, "a high-risk and negative strategy". I cannot see how anyone can disagree.

  2. Note to Self: Should I be the first person to see if I can get an airplane book entitled The Impeachment of Individual-1 on the shelves?

  3. Note to Self: Coffee with Brink Lindsey, co-author of The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality: "Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles identify a common factor behind... breakdowns in democratic governance that allow wealthy special interests to capture the policymaking process for their own benefit...

  4. Monday Smackdown: Revisiting the Trump-McConnell-Ryan Tax Cut Debate Assuming "the capital stock adjusts so that the after-tax marginal product of capital equals the exogenously given world interest rate r..." was unprofessional. That is not a relevant model for a large country with a floating exchange rate. If you want an investment boom, cut the deficit—like Clinton-Mitchell-Gephardt did over 1993-1996...

  5. Weekend Reading: J.R.R. Tolkien: The Bespelling of Morgoth: From The Lay of Leithian: Canto XIV: "For Lúthien hath many arts/for solace sweet of kingly hearts'...

  6. Weekend Reading: Robert Skidelsky on Writing the Biography of John Maynard Keynes: Fifteen Years Ago on the Internet Weblogging: "I don't want to argue the case for biography on utilitarian grounds. People do, of course, read biography partly to understand what formed the character and work of an outstanding person. But they also read it because it is the oldest form of story- telling, which long antecedes fiction. We want to know, and seem always to have wanted to know, how famous people lived their lives and to hear the stories of their exploits and the great events in which they were involved. There is no dimunition of this interest, which is why biography remains one of the most popular reading genres...


  1. Why we surf the internet: Abi Sutherland: Return of the Dreadful Phrases: "Seneca is (dubiously) said to have told us that errare humanum est (to err is human) sed perseverare diabolicum, but to persist [in error] is diabolical..." oldster: Can I get a citation for that Seneca quote? I cannot find it. And I think it is vanishingly likely that he would use the word "diabolicum", which gets into Latin as a transliteration of New Testament Greek. So maybe he said something like "errare humanum est" somewhere, but I strongly suspect that second half comes much later than Seneca. I feel bad for being so pedantic. But then again, the "dreadful phrases" threads are natural display-cases for pedantry, so maybe it is less out of place here?...

  2. I used to think that the fact that the Senate is an institution that has lost its purpose and now gives rural residents grossly excessive and illegitimate political power was no biggie. Yes, the constituents off a Senate majority would have to be bought-off in any significant piece of legislation. But rural populations were poor, relatively speaking, and becoming poorer—that their excessive political voice partially cushioned them from the signs and arrows of outrageous fortune was not the worst thing in the world. But that would require that they be rational and somewhat pubilc-spirited actors—not the easily-grifted victims of racist neo-fascist clowns. We need Senate reform. It should start with Senate committee chairships automatically going to the senators from the most populous states, and continue from there: Paul Krugman: The New Economy and the Trump Rump: "Why we went from regional divide to political chasm: ... A little over a year ago, Amazon invited cities and states to offer bids for a proposed second headquarters. This set off a mad scramble over who would gain the dubious privilege of paying large subsidies in return for worsened traffic congestion and higher housing prices. (Answer: New York and greater D.C.) But not everyone was in the running. From the beginning, Amazon specified that it would put the new facility only in a Democratic congressional district. O.K., that’s not literally what Amazon said. It only limited the competition to 'metropolitan areas with more than one million people' and 'urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent'... #politics #orangehairedbaboons

  3. Since 2008, it is clear to me, the unemployment rate has no longer served as a sufficient statistic for whether the labor market is loose or tight. We need to look, and look hard at those who do not have jobs and do not say that they are looking for jobs but who would take jobs if they existed. And we need to look very hard at hours: David Bell and David Blanchflower: Underemployment in the US and Europe : “The most widely available measure of underemployment is the share of involuntary part-time workers in total employment. This column argues that this does not fully capture the extent of worker dissatisfaction with currently contracted hours. An underemployment index measuring how many extra or fewer hours individuals would like to work suggests that the US and the UK are a long way from full employment, and that policymakers should not be focused on the unemployment rate in the years after a recession, but rather on the underemployment rate...

  4. Bill Janeway: This Is How the Unicorn Bubble Will Burst: "So-called 'unicorns' have become household names.... Bill Janeway... explains the lessons that all these companies must eventually learn and how the bubble will burst...

  5. Claire Montialoux and Ellora Derenoncourt: Minimum Wages and Racial Inequality: "The earnings difference between black and white workers fell dramatically in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s... the extension of the minimum wage played a critical role...

  6. An excellent paper from Fukui, Nakamura, and Steinsson about how how the American feminist revolution supported business-cycle recoveries in rather 1970s and 1980s. Back then there was a huge reservoir of women who would take jobs, and had not preciously held jobs only because of the lagging of social structure behind economic and cultural change. Thus increases in demand in recovery focused on this industrial reserve army could very easily find good matches between unfilled jobs and unemployed workers: Masao Fukui, Emi Nakamura, and Jon Steinsson: Women, Wealth Effects, and Slow Recoveries: "A female-biased shock generating a 1% increase in female employment leads to only a 0.15% decline in male employment (and this estimate is statistically insignificant). In other words, our estimates imply very little crowding out of men by women in the labor market.... 70% of the slowdown in recent business cycle recoveries can be explained by female convergence... #gender #businesscycles #macro

  7. Nick Bunker: "To use the language of Clarida’s speech, Powell seems to be signaling they being data dependent by updating estimate of r-star, not the current health of economy...

  8. It is a surprise to most economists to learn that the outbreak of inflation in the 1970s was not due to central bankers and governments trying to exploit the Phillips curve to run a high-pressure economy. The most important shocks were the oil shocks. The second most important shocks were those that caused the productivity growth slowdown. The third most important shocks were Johnson’s and Nixon‘s unwillingness to listen to their economic advisers, and Martin‘s and Burns’s unwillingness to pull a Volcker. Perhaps it is because it is such a surprise that so few have learned it, and how many forget it immediately after it is pointed out to the. And since the 1970s be strong belief that another 1970s is always and everywhere looking around the corner has been very damaging: and since the 1970s the strong believe that another 1970s is always been everywhere looking around the corner has been very damaging: Paul Krugman (2011): The Demand-Side Temptation: “[Nick] Rowe goes on to suggest that demand-side logic is dangerous... could lead to irresponsible policies. Well, there have been times and places.... But what I think Nick misses is the power of the contrary narrative, of the notion of the government as being like a family that must tighten its belt when the rest of us do, of the evils of printing money (hey, I can’t do that, why can Bernanke?)... #economicsgonewrong #inflation #economichistory #monetarypolicy

  9. Beatrice Cherrier: @Undercoverhist: "The second part of this article is totally accurate, but omitting key information in the first part seriously weakens the overall message (any resemblance to other Duke historians…) The CHOPE received money from conservative Pope and Earhart, which funded, among others, Van Horn’s anti-Hayekian research (https://t.co/v43aoW6L3N). Then got a large grant from progressive INET (https://t.co/mhYbtnkLPO) which funded, among other, Austrian research... #historyofeconomicthought #economicsgonerigh

  10. And another piece from grant recipient Ellora Derenoncourt: Ellora Derenoncourt: Can you move to opportunity? Evidence from the Great Migration: "The northern United States long served as a land of opportunity for black Americans, but today the region’s racial gap in intergenerational mobility rivals that of the South. I show that racial composition changes during the peak of the Great Migration (1940-1970) reduced upward mobility in northern cities in the long run, with the largest effects on black men... #equitablegrowth #race

  11. Eric Levitz: Tribalism Isn’t Our Democracy’s Problem. The GOP Is: "Ordinary Republican and Democratic voters don’t disagree about public policy much more than they used to, but they still fear and loathe each other more than at any point in our nation’s modern history.... electoral politics has always been 'identity' politics. What is new is how cleanly the two-party system currently divides Americans along lines of racial, religious, and regional identity.... Few rural white Evangelical Christians can vote for a Democrat in 2018 without betraying all of their definitions of who 'their people' are... #politics #orangehairedbaboons

  12. Adam Tooze: Italy: How Does the E.U. Think This Is Going to End?: "Over the past 10 years, Italy’s gross domestic product per capita has fallen... unique among large advanced economies.... More than 32 percent of Italy’s young people are unemployed. The gloom, disappointment and frustration are undeniable. For the commission to declare that this is a time for austerity flies in the face of a reality that for many Italians is closer to a personal and national emergency... #macro #finance #fiscalpolicy #austerity

  13. BLS: Minimum Wage: "The 1966 amendments also extended coverage to public schools, nursing homes, laundries, and the entire construction industry. Farms were subject to coverage for the first time if their employment reached 500 or more man days of labor in the previous year's peak quarter... #equitablegrowth #labormarket #minimumwage


Why we surf the internet: Abi Sutherland: Return of the Dreadful Phrases: "Seneca is (dubiously) said to have told us that errare humanum est (to err is human) sed perseverare diabolicum, but to persist [in error] is diabolical...

oldster: Can I get a citation for that Seneca quote? I cannot find it. And I think it is vanishingly likely that he would use the word "diabolicum", which gets into Latin as a transliteration of New Testament Greek. So maybe he said something like "errare humanum est" somewhere, but I strongly suspect that second half comes much later than Seneca. I feel bad for being so pedantic. But then again, the "dreadful phrases" threads are natural display-cases for pedantry, so maybe it is less out of place here?

Continue reading " " »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 8, 2018)

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  1. Tobias Renkin, Claire Montialoux, and Michael Siegenthaler: The Pass-through of Minimum Wages into US Retail Prices: Evidence from Supermarket Scanner Data: "We use high-frequency scanner data and leverage a large number of state-level increases in minimum wages between 2001 and 2012. We find that a 10% minimum wage hike translates into a 0.2% increase in grocery prices. This magnitude is consistent with a full pass-through of cost increases into consumer prices...

  2. If you believe Robert Barro, the nine less-than-professional Republican economists, or any of a host of others, we ought to be seeing annual investment spending leaping upward by $600 billion this year. We are not: Pedro Nicolaci da Costa: Tax cuts fail to boost corporate investment plans, Fed survey shows: "Trump claimed the tax bill would lead to a huge boost in business spending—but there's no sign of it yet...

  3. The best coverage of the bill that is actually not called "The Tax Cut and Jobs Act" was provided by Greg Leiserson of Equitable Growth. Now as we approach the one-year anniversary, we can actually begin estimating what the tax cut's effects truly were. To get ready to do so, remember Greg's primer on how to assess: Greg Leiserson: Assessing the economic effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: "An assessment... should focus on the impact of the legislation on wage rates for workers, the return on business investment, and the size of future federal budget deficits...

  4. Alix Gould-Werth: Getting Information We Need to Advance Conversation on Paid Leave: "The Washington Center for Equitable Growth brought together researchers who study paid leave and related topics, state data administrators, and experts in federal and private-sector data systems to talk about data.... Stay tuned for a report.... The attendees at the Equitable Growth event benefitted tremendously from the presence of paid leave administrators in states large (California, Washington) and small (Rhode Island, New Jersey)...

  5. Sam Bell: "Curiously, the Wall Street Journal editorial page no longer so enthusiastic about running down the balance sheet or hiking interest rates... and is suddenly interested in prime age epop... https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-feds-welcome-rethink-1543450104 #WelcomeToThePartyYouAreADecadeLate

  6. The Federal Reserve's public view of the likely path of the economy now lacks coherence. This is a bad thing. It may mean that the Federal Reserve's private view of the likely path of the economy now lacks coherence, in which case policy will lack coherence. It certainly means that market participants can no longer plan on the Federal Reserve having a known coherent view of the economy: Joe Gagnon: Tension Remains at the Heart of the Fed’s Forecast: "The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC, or Fed) surprised no one at its September meeting by raising the target for the federal funds rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 2.00 to 2.25 percent. The FOMC has been tightening monetary conditions very slowly since late 2015...

  7. I have never understood this argument. And—to my knowledge—there is no underlying model behind it at all. What is the mechanism by which raising interest rates now so you can lower them later beats keeping interest rates the same now and then lowering them later if both ultimately wind up at the same place?: Martin Feldstein: Raise Rates Today to Fight a Recession Tomorrow: "As I have argued in these pages since 2013, the Fed should have begun raising the fed-funds rate several years earlier. Doing so would have prevented the recent sharp increases in the prices of equities and other assets, which will collapse when long-term interest rates rise...

  8. Bradley L. Hardy, Trevon D. Logan, and John Parman: The Historical Role of Race and Policy for Regional Inequality: "Contemporary racial inequality can be thought of as the product of a long historical process with at least two reinforcing sets of policies: First are the policies governing the spatial distribution of the black population, and second are the policies that had a disparate impact on black individuals because of their locations...

  9. Scott Lemieux: A Randroid Fraud Departs In A Cloud of Pure Bulls---: "In order to facilitate his agenda of upper-class tax cuts, increasing funding for an already bloated military, and trying to strip healthcare from tens of millions of people, Ryan actively covered up for an unprecedentedly corrupt and unfit president and the ratf---ing campaign that helped put him in office. So...

  10. Paul Krugman writes: "As Greg Leiserson of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth points out, 'every month in which wage rates are not sharply higher than they would have been absent the legislation, and investment returns are not sharply lower, is a month in which the benefits of those corporate tax cuts accrue primarily to shareholders'. A tax cut that might significantly raise wages during, say, Cynthia Nixon’s second term in the White House, but yields big windfalls for stock owners with only trivial wage gains for the next five or 10 years, is not what we were promised..." See Greg Leiserson: Assessing the economic effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: "Key takeaways: An assessment... should focus on the impact... on wage rates... [on] the return on business investment, and... [on] future federal budget deficits, as these will determine the impact... and the fiscal sustainability of the law...

  11. Paul Krugman: The Economic Future Isn’t What It Used to Be: "The most compelling evidence, cited by both Fatás/Summers and Ball, is that the size of the Great Shortfall varies a lot between countries and the countries whose estimated economic potential has taken the biggest hit are precisely the countries that had the biggest slumps in the economic crisis. Indeed, the relationship between output decline in the crisis and the fall in long-run potential GDP is pretty much one-for-one... #hysteresis #macro

  12. Scott Lemieux: Cheneyism Is No Better Than Trumpism : "Good piece by Yglesias about how while the Weekly Standard is being euthanized for the wrong reason it represents a highly pernicious strain of thought in its own right...

  13. Matthew Yglesias: Weekly Standard vs. Trump: Neoconservatives Are The Most Dangerous Conservative Faction: "The most principled resistance to Trump comes from conservatism’s most dangerous faction.... The Weekly Standard... was most notably the creator of the preventive war doctrine that spurred President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Its current editor, Stephen F. Hayes, made his bones with the absurd 2004 book The Connection: How al-Qaeda’s Collaboration With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America...


If you believe Robert Barro, the nine less-than-professional Republican economists, or any of a host of others, we ought to be seeing annual investment spending leaping upward by $600 billion this year. We are not: Pedro Nicolaci da Costa: Tax cuts fail to boost corporate investment plans, Fed survey shows: "Trump claimed the tax bill would lead to a huge boost in business spending—but there's no sign of it yet...

Continue reading " " »


The best coverage of the bill that is actually not called "The Tax Cut and Jobs Act" was provided by Greg Leiserson of Equitable Growth. Now as we approach the one-year anniversary, we can actually begin estimating what the tax cut's effects truly were. To get ready to do so, remember Greg's primer on how to assess: Greg Leiserson: Assessing the economic effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: "An assessment... should focus on the impact of the legislation on wage rates for workers, the return on business investment, and the size of future federal budget deficits...

Continue reading " " »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 6, 2018)

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  1. The Business-Cycle History of the Past Thirty Years Through the Lens of Aggregate Demand: Four Components of Multiplier-Driving Spending

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

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

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


  1. Unfogged continues to be an oasis of sanity: Heebie-Jeebie: Post-WASP Sad Feels: "I feel like I ought to post on that dumb-dumb Douthat op-ed where he's teary about WASPS of yore and misses that time they ruled the country, but it's so dull that I can't get through it... #orangehairedbaboons #journamalism

  2. Anna Snider: Just Released: Interactive R-star Charts: "With the arrival of Bank President John Williams... we’re now running—and sharing the output of—models he helped develop to obtain estimates of the natural rate of interest, or r-star, for the United States and other advanced economies... the real interest rate that allows an economy to expand in line with its underlying potential while keeping inflation stable.... We’re providing quarterly estimates of r-star and related variables on our public website in downloadable Excel files plus the replication code and documentation for both the Laubach-Williams ('LW') and Holston-Laubach-Williams ('HLW/) models... #monetarypolicy #monetaryeconomics

  3. Barry Ritholtz: How to Use Behavioral Finance in Asset Management, Part III: "The ugly truth: there is an enormous contingency of players who do not have your best interests at heart... expert at pushing the hot buttons hard-wired into you that is part of your evolutionary inheritance.... This is why we try to teach how to think... [to] see through the bullshit machinery.... Beta vs Alpha: Beta is cheap and easy, Alpha is expensive and hard.... People who create alpha are exceedingly rare; people who can identify them in advance are rarer still. Why should any of us assume we are in either camp? Understanding this gives investors the greatest probability of succeeding... #finance #cognitive

  4. A first-class rant this morning! Yes, the New York Times is a sinkhole of sloth and depravity. What else is new?: Yastreblyansky: It's the Stupid, Economy!: "Hi, it's Stupid to say that it's still the economy, whatever David Brooks may think: Shorter David Brooks, 'It's Not the Economy, Stupid'.... 'The US economy is the best ever, so if you're not happy there must be something wrong with you, like not going to church or getting married often enough. This explains why life expectancy has declined three years in a row for the first time since 1915-18. It's your fault'. Looks like he thinks the Republicans might lose the election two weeks ago, but only time will tell... #journamalism #equitablegrowth

  5. Charlie Warzel and Ryan Ma: Facebook’s Internal Tensions Are Spilling Beyond The Company’s Walls: "'It’s the bunker mentality. These people have been under siege for 600 days now. They’re getting tired, getting cranky—the only survival strategy is to quit or fully buy in.'... Internally, the conflict seems to have divided Facebook into three camps: those loyal to Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg; those who see the current scandals as proof of a larger corporate meltdown; and a group who see the entire narrative—including the portrayal of the company’s hiring of communications consulting firm Definers Public Affairs—as examples of biased media attacks...

  6. Paul Krugman: "The funny part Kevin Hassett touted that slight blip upward in the first quarter as proof of tax-cut success.: "We've seen a plunge in foreign direct investment—that is, investment that involves control, rather than just being part of a portfolio. Also a plunge in US investment abroad, although that was an accounting reshuffle with little real meaning.... Kevin Hassett touted that slight blip upward in the first quarter as proof of tax-cut success; also failed to understand what the repatriation of earnings was about https://www.marketwatch.com/story/white-house-advisor-foreign-investment-is-skyrocketing-even-with-harley-davidsons-move-overseas-2018-06-26. Gotta say that Mr. Dow 36K doesn't disappoint. All of us are wrong sometimes, but he manages to be wrong every single time, about everything. Trump's kind of guy...

  7. Olivier Blanchard: The French "Yellow Vest" Movement and the (Current) Failure of Representative Democracy: "Go back to the end of communism and the failure of central planning as an alternative to the market economy.... With the end of communism, it became clear that there was no alternative, only a muddle between market intervention and free markets. So long as growth was strong, and all boats were indeed lifted, the problem was manageable. Then growth slowed down, and inequality and insecurity became more salient...

  8. Niskanen Center (December 11, 2018): Starting Over: The Center-Right After Trump: "Donald Trump has had a hurricane-like effect on the Republican Party. The 2018 midterm elections have forced center-right Americans to reconsider their relationship to the Trump-driven conservative populism that has come to dominate the GOP. The Niskanen Center will present an important public analysis of this new political reality... #politics

  9. Tom Nichols: "Counter-Intuitive Though It May Seem, Trump winning was a political disaster for the white working class, especially older whites. They were once pandered to in elections; now it's no longer possible to indulge the pretense that their concerns are economic-or fixable. That's because there's no ground for a policy fix or a compromise with people whose basic position is that they want America to be white, sorta Christian, and frozen in 1963-except with 2018's drugs, sexual liberty, government transfer payments, ESPN channels, and internet porn... #orangehairedbaboons

  10. Highly amusing. My complaint is that Brexit is hardly "Estalblishment"—it is, rather, counter-establishment, or ex-establishment. Maybe the connection is that Classics at Oxbridge is also ex-establishment. I think of PPE as establishment: Neville Morley: We Need To Talk About Classics: "The overall breakdown among MPs was 25% Leave, 75% Remain.... Those with degrees in... Classics... 6 out of 8 did (plus one who hasn’t disclosed how he voted)... #brexit #orangehairedbaboons

  11. Barry Ritholtz: Understanding Why You Think QE Didn't Work: "The right question isn't always what happened, but what might have happened in the absence of action...

  12. Julie Segal: Not One Ivy League Endowment Beat a Simple U.S. 60-40 Portfolio Over Ten Years: "A new report shows that the complex and expensive endowment model hasn’t proved its worth since the financial crisis: The performance of Ivy League endowments has trailed a passive portfolio of 60 percent U.S. stocks and 40 percent bonds over the past ten years—and has been more volatile to boot, according to a new report from research and analytics provider Markov Processes International...

  13. John Judis: The Key to Understanding America’s Red-Blue Split Isn’t Ideology or Culture. It’s Economics: "Those blue dots: Increasingly... large cities and the suburbs that surround them.... For two years, the main analytical lens for explaining the unshakable red-blue division in American politics has been culture and ideology.... Another lens, one that often gets short shrift... jobs. Red and blue America aren’t separated just by their cultural politics; they are separated by sharp differences in how their economies have developed over the past half-century. And those economic differences can, in turn, explain many of the cultural differences that so bedevil our political system...


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 2, 2018)

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

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

  3. Monday Smackdown Watch: The New York Times and Bret Stephens Continue to Beclown Themselves Bigtime

  4. Weekend Reading: The Royal Proclamation of 1763

  5. From Berkeley's Blum Center: Whither 21st Century Development; and Other Topics?: A Q&A with Brad DeLon

  6. Contra Tim Duy, The Lack of Federal Reserve Maneuvering Room Is Very Worrisome...


  1. Von Hayek, to put it bluntly, loved Pincohet's shooting people in soccer stadiums: the "Lykourgan Moment" in which unconstitutional and illiberal actions create the space for future stable libertarian capitalism was a recurrent fantasy of his. Friedman saw his trips to Chile to be an opportunity to preach to the gentiles—to primarily preach free markets and small government, but also respect for individuals, for their liberty, and for democracy. And he had no tolerance for those who said it was evil to try to make the Chilean people more prosperous because that might reinforce the dictatorship. Buchanan... where was Buchanan on this spectrum, anyway? It's complicated: Andrew Farrant and Vlad Tarko: James M. Buchanan’s 1981 Visit to Chile: Knightian Democrat or Defender of the ‘Devil’s Fix’?: "Buchanan has repeatedly argued that the 'political economist should not act as if he or she were providing advice to a benevolent despot' (Boettke Constitutional Political Economy, 25, 110–124, 2014: 112), but an increasingly influential body of scholarship argues that Buchanan provided a wealth of early 1980s policy advice to Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship in Chile (e.g., Fischer 2009; Maclean 2017). In particular, Buchanan reportedly provided an analytical defense of military rule to a predominantly Chilean audience when he visited the country in late 1981... #buchanan #publicchoice

  2. Jo Johnson: The Inside Story of Brexit and Where It All Went Wrong: "My oldest brother Boris, one of the leaders of the Leave campaign, recently observed that the proposed arrangements were 'substantially worse than staying in the EU'. Iain Dale, a leading Conservative commentator, wrote in despair this week that the deal was 'so damaging to our country both in the short and long term that if I had to make a choice between voting for this deal or remaining in the European Union, I’d do the latter'. They are both influential thinkers in the party and they are both unquestionably right... #orangehairedbaboons

  3. Brink Lindsey: "Another election, another round of libertarians' dumping on the right to vote. I used to just find this inane and self-defeating, but now I think it's bad citizenship and affirmatively harmful...

  4. Steve M.: Hey, There's No Reason TO Get Worked Up—It's Only the Death of Democracy: "Leonhardt... is arguing that the electoral problems Democrats have complained about are much worse than what Republicans have cited (Republicans, in fact, are citing nonexistent acts of cheating)—but... that we should be quieter than the Republicans when they complain about nothing.... Yes, Kemp stole the election. But don't say so, because you might upset people...

  5. David Warsh: Situations Wanted: "The mood at Duke has been gloomy since its economics department failed to make a place last year for Steven Medema, of the University of Colorado at Denver, in a quarrel over resources.  Both sides became the loser. Medema, an expert on the law and economics movement and a stalwart of the discipline, was expected to join professors Bruce Caldwell and Kevin Hoover in the core faculty of the Center for the History of Political Economy...#historyofeconomicthought

  6. This may well be the most interesting working paper the WCEG released last month: Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett: Consequences of Routine Work Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Wellbeing: "Research... has overwhelmingly focused on the economic dimension of precarity, epitomized by low and stagnant wages. But the rise in precarious work has also involved a major shift in the temporal dimension of work such that many workers now experience routine instability in their work schedules... #equitablegrowth

  7. Paul Krugman: The Trump Tax Cut and the Balance of Payments=: "It seems likely that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will turn out to have been the only major piece of legislation enacted under Donald Trump.... The TCJA played almost no role in the midterms: Republicans dropped it as a selling point, focusing on fear of brown people instead, while Democrats hammered health care. But now... seems like a good idea to revisit the bill and its effects. What I want to focus on in this piece is the effects on the balance of payments. Why?... Because the theory of the case... depended crucially on claims about what tax cuts would do to international movements of capital... [via] the balance of payments... #fiscalpolicy #globalization #orangehairedbaboons

  8. Margaret Sullivan: The Media’s Eagerness to Discount the ‘Blue Wave’ Feeds a Dangerous Problem: "Democratic strategist James Carville... was among the first to make the proclamation... 'When you look at what’s going on here tonight, this is not a blue wave.'... On a stage Friday night in Manhattan, forecasting that Democrats would ultimately gain 37 House seats (not 29, as some early results had it), the data-oriented journalist Nate Silver said what happened certainly looked like a wave to him. Silver has been in a dust-up with New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who wrote a column last week titled 'The Midterm Results Are a Warning to the Democrats'. Silver said he was 'enjoying thinking about Bret Stephens knowing deep down how dumb his hot take was and cringing a little bit every time Dems win an additional House seat'... #journamalism

  9. Is there any chance for a revival of the California Republican Party? Not as long as the national party is Trumpist—or rather, Pete Wilsonesque. This is what Pete Wilson wrought, after all: Carla Marinucci: RIP, California GOP: Republicans Lash Out After Midterm Election Debacle: "‘There is no message. There is no messenger. There is no money. And there is no infrastructure,' says one top Republican.... even longtime conservative stronghold Orange County bereft of a single Republican in the House of Representatives, a growing chorus of GOP loyalists here say there’s only one hope for reviving the flatlining party: Blow it up and start again from scratch...

  10. Listening to Gabe Zucman last week on this reminded me that Heather Boushey said wise things about distributional national accounts before the U.S. Congress's Joint Economic Committee: Heather Boushey: Testimony Before the Joint Economic Committee: "The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis releases a new estimate of quarterly or annual GDP growth every month. Distributional national accounts would add to this release an estimate that disaggregates the topline number and tells us what growth was experienced by low-, middle-, and high-income Americans. Academics have already constructed such a measure. The so-called DINA dataset constructed by economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman... #equitablegrowth

  11. Joseph Schumpeter on the Ricardian and Keynesian vices. The echo of bdsm practices—le vice anglais—that you hear is intentional on Schumpeter's part, as is his feminization of Keynesians, and the misogyny. Schumpeter was a very smart but very interesting man: Joseph Schumpeter (1953): History of Economic Analysis https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1134838700: "Ricardo’s… interest was in the clear-cut result of direct, practical significance. In order to get this he... piled one simplifying assumption upon another until... the desire results emerged almost as tautologies... It is an excellent theory that can never be refuted and lacks nothing save sense. The habit of applying results of this character to the solution of practical problems we shall call the Ricardian Vice... #books #schumpeter #keynes #economicsgoneright #economicsgonewrong #historyofeconomicthought

  12. Jing Dong, Harold Pollack, and Rita Tamara Konetzka: Effects of Long‐Term Care Setting on Spousal Health Outcomes: "A large expansion in noninstitutional long-term care (LTC) use... shifting away from nursing homes toward home- and community- based services (HCBS).... The rationale... (a) LTC users generally prefer HCBS to institutional care, and (b) for nursing home residents with less intensive care needs, HCBS may be cheaper...

  13. Thiemo Fetzer: Did Austerity Cause Brexit?: "The rise of popular support for... UKIP... strongly and causally associated with an individual’s or an area’s exposure to austerity since 2010...

  14. Once again, the Trump administration does not have to be competent for its chaos-monkey nature to wind up doing enormous damage: Gabe Gutierrez and Annie Rose Ramos: Harley-Davidson workers stunned by plant closure after tax cut: "Tim Primeaux has worked at the Harley-Davidson plant in Kansas City, Missouri, for 17 years. He was sure he was going to retire from the company. That all changed when Harley-Davidson told its 800 employees in January that the plant will be closing next year. Operations will be shifted to the motorcycle manufacturer's facility in York, Pennsylvania...


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 2, 2018)

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  1. An Unfinished Note: The Vexed Question of Prussia in World History...
  2. Weekend Reading: The Royal Proclamation of 1763
  3. For the Weekend:: Recessional—Appropriate for the Trumpist End of the American Century...

  1. The first point here seems to be largely wrong: millennials may believe that America is hardly better than other countries—but they more strongly believe that America ought to be by far the best place on earth. Their view is not a rejection of American exceptionalism, but a doubling down on it. The second is also wrong—Trumpists think America needs to be exceptional, but exceptionally bad—call this "fascist exceptionalism". As for the third... Foreign-policy beltway bandits may talk about "containing China's global reach", but the failure to prioritize full recovery from the Great Recession and the election of the erratic Trump mean that that ship has sailed. China now confronts America as an equal, and cannot be "contained". And this end of the American century is due not to China's successes—mighty as they are—but to America's failures: Ivan Krastev: A European Goes to Trump’s Washington: "With his administration, Americans have lost confidence in their exceptionalism.... Millennials believe that America is hardly better than other countries, while Mr. Trump believes that if America wants to defend its global leadership, it has to be nastier than others.... Rivalry with China has become the organizing principle of American foreign policy.... If America fails to contain China’s geopolitical reach now, tomorrow it will be impossible to do so. America’s anxiety about China is in my view a realization of the fact that China’s market-friendly, big-data authoritarianism is a much more dangerous adversary for liberal democracies than Soviet Communism ever was... #strategy #Americanexceptioalism #oranagehairedbaboons

  2. Fintan O'Toole: The Paranoid Fantasy Behind Brexit: "In the dark imagination of English reactionaries, Britain is always a defeated nation–and the EU is the imaginary invader...

  3. Jane Coaston: How California Conservatives Became the Intellectual Engine of Trumpism: "The California GOP got wiped out in the midterms. But the heart of California-style conservatism is stronger than ever.... 'They keep coming': The story of conservative fears over demographic change in California began long before Trump. Take Proposition 187, a ballot initiative passed by voters in November 1994 that would have cut off undocumented Californians from public education and health care services and require teachers and health care providers to turn over the names of undocumented people to authorities (it was known as the “Save Our State” initiative), and to efforts to end bilingual education and establish “three strikes” laws. (A court ultimately found the initiative un-Constitutional.)...

  4. Possibly the finest thing I have read this year: Frank Wilhoit: The Travesty of Liberalism: "There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham’s Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation. There might be, and should be, anti-conservatism; but it does not yet exist. What would it be? In order to answer that question, it is necessary and sufficient to characterize conservatism. Fortunately, this can be done very concisely. Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect... #moralphilosophy #moralresponsibility

  5. Sarita Gupta, Stephen Lerner, and Joseph A. McCartin: It’s Not the 'Future of Work,' It’s the Future of Workers That’s in Doubt: "Nearly every discussion of labor’s future in mainstream media quickly becomes mired in a group of elite-defined concerns called 'The Future of Work'.... Rarely has a phrase been so ubiquitous in discussions of the economy or social policy.... [But] it is the concentration of wealth and power in this new economy, not computerization or artificial intelligence, that represents the gravest threat to our future... #riseoftherobots #labormarket #equitablegrowth

  6. Paul Krugman (November 1, 2018): A Party Defined by Its Lies: "Selling racial fear was easier in the 1980s and early 1990s, when America really was suffering from high levels of inner-city crime. Since then, violent crime has plunged. What’s a fearmonger to do? The answer is: lie. The lies have come nonstop since Trump’s inauguration address, which conveyed a false vision of 'American carnage'... #orangehairedbaboons

  7. This is remarkably nihilistic from Bob Solow. The fact is that over my career academic macroeconomics, at least as it has been read why journalists and politicians, has been of little or no or negative help to fiscal authorities and central bankers trying to manage economic prosperity. The reception and influence of Friedman's "The Role o Monetary Policy" has been a big part of that process. In so doing, economics failed of its promise. Figuring out why is really important: not just something to muse about while toasting marshmallows: Robert Solow: A Theory Is a Sometime Thing: "One can speculate. Maybe a patchwork of ideas like eclectic American Keynesianism, held together partly by duct tape, is always at a disadvantage compared with a monolithic doctrine that has an answer for everything, and the same answer for every thing. Maybe that same monolithic doctrine reinforced and was reinforced by the general shift of political and social preferences to the right that was taking place at about the same time. Maybe this bit of intellectual history was mainly an accidental concatenation of events, personalities, and dispositions. And maybe this is the sort of question that is better discussed while toasting marshmallows around a dying campfire. #economicsgonewrong

  8. Peter Spiegel: On Twitter: "This @BuzzFeedNews story from May appears to be the issue that Michael Cohen is admitting to today: that he worked for @realDonaldTrump on a Trump Tower Moscow into May-June...just before Republican Nat'l Convention. https://t.co/7b2bqO9tDb": "This @BuzzFeedNews story from May appears to be the issue that Michael Cohen is admitting to today: that he worked for @realDonaldTrump on a Trump Tower Moscow into May-June... just before Republican Nat'l Convention... #orangehairedbaboons

  9. Réka Juhász: Réka Juhász and Claudia Steinwender: Spinning the Web: Codifiability, Information Frictions and Trade: "Information frictions matter for trade in differentiated goods.... We estimate the effect of a reduction in communication time on imports of three product categories in 19th century cotton textile trade; yarn, plain cloth, and finished cloth...

  10. John Holbo: Abusive Legalism: "Andrew McCarthy... objects to Mueller’s investigation.... 'There are many wrongs that are not crimes... wrongs should be made right. But prosecutors do not operate in a cosmic-justice system..... The only wrongs they are authorized to address—the only wrongs it is appropriate for them to address—are crimes'.... If awful stuff comes to light in l’affaire Russe... anyone who is upset about corruption is just some kooky, wild-eyed cosmic justice warrior. The position is self-undermining within the scope of the piece itself. McCarthy is indignant that Mueller is violating prosecutorial norms–not breaking laws. But McCarthy doesn’t, therefore, chalk Mueller’s wrongdoing up to the cosmos’ injustice tab and shrug it off... #orangehariedbaboons

  11. Daily Kos Elections: "#KS03 Rep. Kevin Yoder argued Dem foe wouldn't stand up to Trump because... she'd worked in the Department of Transportation as a White House fellow, and her program continued into the first year of Trump’s presidency. We had a LOT of competition for the John Mica award for most clueless incumbent this year. Here are the finalists... #orangehairedbaboons #politics

  12. Worth more than all the rest of the Washington Post opinion section put together. The Queen of Prose and Snark" Alexandra Petri: I’m Fine with Women in Power, Just Not This One Specific Woman Currently in Power: "What I want is not impossible! I want someone who is not tainted by polarizing choices in the past, but who also has experience, who is knowledgeable but doesn’t sound like she is lecturing, someone vibrant but not green, someone dignified but not dowdy, passionate but not a yeller, precise but not mechanical, someone lacking in off-putting ambition but capable of asking for what she wants, not accompanied but not alone, in a day but not in a month or a year, when the moon is neither waxing nor waning, carrying a sieve full of water and a hen’s tooth. Easy! That’s why I’m so worried about our current slate of choices. A woman, sure, but — Kamala Harris? Elizabeth Warren? Kirsten Gillibrand? There are specific problems with each of them, entirely personal to each of them, all insurmountable. We need someone fresh. Someone without baggage. Joe Biden, maybe. But female!...

  13. You see the problem here? What used to be the Republican base—the upper middle class in prosperous states—are now excluded from "everyone" in steve Moore's mind: Stephen Moore (2017): Tax Plan Is a Cut for Everyone: "Whenever I'm asked if the Trump tax cut is for the rich, I say yes. It is a tax cut for the rich. It is a tax cut for the middle class. It is a tax cut for small businesses. It is a tax cut for the Fortune 100. If you pay federal income taxes, you will, in almost all cases, be getting more take-home pay come Jan. 1. One of the ironies of the left's 'these are tax cuts for the rich' mantra is that many upper-income people I know in states such as California, New Jersey and New York complain to me they are getting a sizable tax increase... #orangehairedbaboons #fiscalpolicy #politics


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (December 1, 2018)

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  1. A short version of my review of Adam Tooze's excellent Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate: Blame the Economists?: Ever since the 2008 financial crash and subsequent Great Recession, economists have been pilloried for failing to foresee the crisis, and for not convincing policymakers of what needed to be done to address it. But the upheavals of the past decade were more a product of historical contingency than technocratic failure... #tooze #greatrecession #financialcrisis #highlighted

  1. One interesting thing here is that Jonathan Swift was one of the biggest political liars of his generation—the anti-Whig Breitbart of his day, in some respects: Jonathan Swift (2010): Political Lying: "A political liar... ought to have but a short memory.... The superiority of his genius consists in nothing else but an inexhaustible fund of political lies, which he plentifully distributes every minute he speaks, and by an unparalleled generosity forgets, and consequently contradicts, the next half hour. He never yet considered whether any proposition were true or false, but whether it were convenient for the present minute or company.... You... will find yourself equally deceived whether you believe or not: the only remedy is to suppose, that you have heard some inarticulate sounds, without any meaning at all... #orangehairedbaboons #publicsphere

  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.... Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik... murdered sixty-nine people... William Lind... associated with both the Free Congress Foundation and Lyndon LaRouche... Lind’s conception of Cultural Marxism was explicitly anti-Semitic.... Over the course of these years, the idea of Cultural Marxism spread across the American far right... [with] a big boost from Andrew Breitbart.... Why would a columnist like David Brooks, who is himself Jewish in background (if, perhaps, no longer in faith) and who has tried to build his brand identity by peddling in respectability and civility, adopt the term?...

  3. Ken Rogoff: Why Human Chess Survives: "At one time, it seemed that computers would sound the death knell for chess, not to mention all human mind games. Yet for followers of the game, the just-concluded world championship in London, won by the 27-year-old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, was as exciting as any great soccer match...

  4. Heather Caygel: Pelosi Creates Leadership Position for Barbara Lee: "Rep. Barbara Lee will be joining the House Democratic leadership team.... Lee is expected to fill a new position being created by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to oversee the Steering and Policy Committee, the panel that determines committee assignments for Democrats. Pelosi’s decision expands leadership of the panel from two co-chairs to three...

  5. Nathaniel Rakich: What The Heck Is Happening In That North Carolina House Race?: "Affidavits... in which voters said that people came to their doors to collect their unsealed absentee ballots. One voter alleged that her ballot was incomplete at the time and that the collector said 'she would finish it herself'. Another claimed to have received an absentee ballot that she did not request.... Something unusual happened in absentee-by-mail voting in Bladen County.... In six of the district’s eight counties, fewer than 3 percent of total votes were absentee-by-mail ballots. But in Bladen County, that number was 7.3.... Absentee-by-mail ballots tended to be much better for McCready than other ballots—except in Bladen County... [where] absentee-by-mail ballots were more Republican-leaning than the rest of Bladen’s votes by 8 percentage points. But if we look at the whole district, absentee-by-mail ballots were 24 points more Democratic-leaning... #orangehairedbaboons #politics #voterfraud

  6. Berkeley Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging: Inequality in Life and Death: Policy and Prospect: "Featured Speaker:  Peter Orszag.... Speakers:  Yuriy Gorodnichenko... Hilary Hoynes... Ronald Lee... Gabriel Zucman.... Moderator:  Alan Auerbach.... Inequality has become a central focus of policy discussions, but inequality has multiple dimensions and correspondingly many potential policy interventions. This mini-conference will consider inequality from this broad perspective...

  7. Samuel Moyn: The Alt-Right’s Favorite Meme Is 100 Years Old: "What is 'cultural Marxism'? And why does Mr. Lind fantasize about its slaughter? Nothing of the kind actually exists. But it is increasingly popular to indict cultural Marxism’s baleful effects on society—and to dream of its violent extermination... #orangehairedbaboons #neofascim #fascism

  8. Hold on, every day, to the fact that this is not normal: Matthew Yglesias: Trump Wall Street Journal Interview: Transcript Shows Trade Ignorance: "He confuses tariffs and interest rates, and invents phantom new steel plants.... One of Trump’s earliest trade moves was to impose broad new taxes on imported steel and aluminum, which has allowed him to hand out exemptions as political favors.... It’s been bad for American companies that manufacture things made out of metal. Trump’s view, however, is that this policy has been a stunning success that’s made America’s steel industry 'vibrant'.... 'You know, they’re building plants all over the country because I put steel—because I put tariffs, 25 percent tariffs, on dumping steel'... #oranagehairedbaboons #tariffs #globalization

  9. I really wish that they had included something like my full quote—that: "It is Trump's policies that have created a situation in which a Federal Reserve headed by Jay Powell cannot do otherwise than raise interest rates, and so raise the value of the dollar and increase the trade deficit. So what is he complaining about, really?" Philip Rucker et al.: Trump Says He's Not Happy with Chairman of Fed: "Trump says he's not happy with chairman of Fed: 'I'm doing deals, and I'm not being accommodated by the Fed', Trump said. 'They're making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me'... #orangehairedbaboons #macropolicy

  10. Paul Krugman: The Bank of England's Dire Estimates of Brexit: "Another trade discussion where I would like to believe the worst but not convinced: Brexit. The Bank of England just released some very dire scenarios...

  11. Tim Fetter: Research

  12. Tyler Feder: Time for a New Installment of Work-From-Home L👀ks…

  13. Marcy Wheeler: Mueller Just Guaranteed He Can Issue a Public Report: "Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them.... Giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors... while reporting... to Trump ... increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers... full of lies.... That 'detailed sentencing submission'... Mueller mentions?... There’s your Mueller report, which will be provided in a form that Matt Whitaker won’t be able to suppress... #orangehairedbaboons


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (November 26, 2018)

6a00e551f080038834022ad37c5cc6200c

  1. Monday Smackdown: Hoisted: Cliff Asness Department: Cliff Asness spent 82 minutes talking to Tyler Cowen. The phrase "Federal Reserve" does not appear in the transcript. The phrase "quantitative easing" does not appear in the transcript. The word "monetary" does not appear in the transcript. The word "debasement" does not appear. Tyler Cowen does not ask questions using any of those words. Cliff Asness does not use any of those words in answering questions. Seems to me Cliff Asness owes Ben Bernanke a big apology for this. And perhaps he could give us some clues as to whether he has learned anything from looking back at his wrong claim that Bernanke did not understand what the Federal Reserve should be doing?...

  2. Weekend Reading: Hilzoy: Liberating Iraq (from 2007)


  1. Elizabeth Bear: Shoggoths in Bloom

  2. Samantha Henderson: Maybe the Stars

  3. Wikipedia: United States Floating Battery Demologos

  4. Roger Farmer: How New Keynesian Economics Betrays Keynes: "Self-fulfilling beliefs could explain business cycle fluctuations at least as well as the real- business- cycle paradigm that came to dominate graduate programs for the next thirty- five years. But, the sun spot agenda did not have a single strong leader and the figures who wrote the first two papers in the area, Azariadis, and Cass and Shell, were dismissive of the practical and empirical relevance of their ideas...

  5. Philosopher Alex Rosenberg's actions are incomprehensible until you realize that he believes and desperately desires to convince us that there are no such thing as human beliefs or desires. Also: That Henry Kissinger is a bad man. You see the problem? The neurology level is useless if you want a better theory than the folk theory of mind. The behavioral economics level may be becoming useful. But for the life of me I do not see what Rosenberg has to add here. His book begins with a big song-and-dance about how narrative military history is useless because the Germans' opponents were flummoxed all four times the Germans attacked at Sedan between 1870 and 1940, thus—he claims—proving that it is impossible to learn lessons from narrative military history. It's clear why one might think the French (and their allies) failed to learn anything useful from narrative military history. It is much less clear why Rosenberg is so sur his example shows that the Germans- failed to learn from narrative military history: Alex Rosenberg: _How History Gets Things Wrong: "The Kaiser wasn’t thinking about anything at all when he gave the 'blank-check' to the Austrians. He didn’t have any desires about how matters should turn out, or any beliefs about how to organize things to make them turn out that way. He didn’t because no one has such thoughts... #cognitive

  6. Alan L. Olmstead and Paul W. Rhode: Cotton, Slavery, and the New History of Capitalism

  7. Isaiah Andrews and Maximilian Kasy: Identification of and Correction for Publication Bias: "Some empirical results are more likely to be published than others. Selective publication leads to biased estimates and distorted inference. We propose two approaches for identifying the conditional probability of publication as a function of a study’s results... #minimumwage #equitablegrowth #cognitive #statistics

  8. Overlord

  9. Bad Times at the El Royale

  10. Rory Appleton: Cox Now 447 Votes Behind Valadao

  11. Max Boot: Trump Goes to France and Dishonors U.S. War Dead

  12. This seems to me to pretty much get it wrong. The right way to talk about what is to be called “rational“ is to imbed the problem of thinking in its proper context. I think thought should proceed thus: (1) Do we have time and resources to gather more information before we have to make a decision? If the answer to this question is “yes”, we then face a second question: (2) would gathering more information increase our knowledge enough to make it worthwhile to do so before making our decision? Answering that question requires very un-Bayesian modes of thought. But that question must be answered. And, having answered it, we either go and gather more information or we proceed to question: (3) Are we playing some kind of game against nature, or are we playing against another mind? If the answer is “we are playing against nature”, then it is appropriate to go full Bayesian. If the answer is “we are playing against another month“, then there is yet another question: (four) what is the other morning that we are playing against thinking that makes it willing to enter into this strategic interaction with us? The answer will probably be: “at least one of the two of us is wrong in our understanding of the situation“—as Warren Buffett says: “if you do not know who is the fool in the market, you are the fool in the market”. Attempting to understand the implications of this question also leaves us down very un-Bayesian roads of thought. But understanding the implications of this question is essential to making a rational assessment of the situation. My problem with Gilboa et al. is that their criticisms of Bayesian Savagery do not provide any gruel at all to nourish us and thus help us in our task of figuring out what to do when Bayesian Savagery breaks down, either for information-gathering or for other-mind reasons: Itzhak Gilboa, Andrew Postlewaite, and David Schmeidler (2009): Is It Always Rational to Satisfy Savage’s Axioms?: "To explain our notion of rational choice, consider the following scenario. You are a public health official who must make a decision about immunization of newborn babies. Specifically, you have a choice of including another vaccine in the standard immunization package. This vaccine will prevent deaths from virus A. But it can cause deaths with some probability. The exact probabilities of death with and without the vaccine are not known. Given the large numbers of babies involved, you are quite confident that some fatalities are to be expected whatever your decision is...

  13. I cannot help but thinking that this line of thought misses the elephant in the room. To reset the stories that have been told to us and seek for better stories ought to begin with more thought about why these stories we have inherited are the stories that have been told to us: Amal El-Mohtar (2017): WisCon Guest of Honour Speech: "I am their fury, I am their patience, I am a conversation...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (November 26, 2018)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (November 20, 2018)

6a00e551f080038834022ad39f5903200b 1. Review of "Capitalism in America: A History" by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge: Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge’s “Capitalism in America: A History” argues that it is the American love and embrace of capitalism, the resulting entrepreneurial business culture, and the creative destruction inherent in the capitalist-market system that have given America its special, unique edge in economic wealth...

  1. Across the Wide Missouri: FiveThirtyEight's ultimate Thanksgiving dinner menu is: "Tofurky... Frog eye salad... Jell-O salad... Yorkshire pudding... Snickers salad...

  1. 175 years ago Friedrich Engels put his finger on the major flaw in economics that Paul Romer has tried to repair over his career: Friedrich Engels (1843): Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy: "According to the economists, the production costs of a commodity consist of three elements: the rent for the piece of land required to produce the raw material; the capital with its profit, and the wages for the labour required for production and manufacture.... A third factor which the economist does not think about–I mean the mental element of invention, of thought...

  2. I would find the wise and public-spirited Ricardo Haussmann more convincing here if he'd had an explanation for why mandated wage compression by John Dunlop in the U.S. during World War II was not a huge success: Ricardo Hausmann: How Not to Fight Income Inequality: "Trying to combat income inequality through mandated wage compression is not just an odd preference. It is a mistake, as Mexico's president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will find out in a few years, after much damage has been done...

  3. I highlighted this two years ago. I am highlighting it again, as I think it has not received the attention it deserves. Ernest Liu: Industrial Policies in Production Networks: "Many developing countries adopt industrial policies favoring selected sectors. Is there an economic logic to this type of interventions?..

  4. Seth Godin: Throat-Clearing: "Begin in the middle. The first paragraph, where you lay out what's about to happen. The half-apology you use to preface your comments at the meeting. The email that takes a paragraph or two to get to the point…. You can skip those. Throat clearing is a good way to make sure that people are looking at you. And an even better way to give yourself time to collect your thoughts, to indulge your fears or to get yourself warmed up. But we're already looking at you. We've clicked through to your link, given you the microphone, read your note…. Say all that stuff in your head, but, we'd really like to hear the best part first. Begin in the middle...

  5. Another very good "Equitable Growth in Conversation" piece: Ioana Marinescu, Herbert Hovenkamp, Kate Bahn, and Michael Kades. In modern antitrust policy, the monopoly and the monopsony analyses need to proceed on two separate tracks: Equitable Growth: In conversation with Herbert Hovenkamp and Ioana Marinescu: "You can’t just do a workup on the product side and then assume you’ve gotten all the work done. If you’ve got a special class of employees, like computer engineers, those engineers might work for firms that don’t compete with each other at all on the product side, and that means that that market will end up having different boundaries than the product market has for those same firms...

  6. Equitable Growth's Will McGrew makes a good catch here, and direct us to Brendan Greely: Will McGrew: Weekend Reading: “Monopsony and Mobility” Edition: "Brendan Greely of the Financial Times dives into another aspect of the mobility divide: social capital. Using frequent Equitable Growth guest authors and economists Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, and John Friedman’s recently published Opportunity Atlas as a starting point, Greely explains why relationships and communities are more important than the mere availability of jobs in determining economic mobility. Beyond enhancing a neighborhood’s services and amenities such as public schools, growing up in proximity to people with a diversity of highly paid jobs provides children with role models and connections to higher quality jobs and more numerous economic opportunities... #equitablegrowth

  7. It may finally be the time that we get some traction on better measures of economic growth and prosperity than GDP. So go back and reread this from 290016: homas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman: Distributional national accounts: Methods and estimates for the United States: "This paper combines tax, survey, and national accounts data to estimate the distribution of national income in the United States since 1913. Our distributional national accounts capture 100% of national income, allowing us to compute growth rates for each quantile of the income distribution consistent with macroeconomic growth... #economicgrowth

  8. This from eight years ago is still the best thing I have seen about "sustainability" and its proper role in economic analysis: Kenneth J. Arrow, Partha Dasgupta, Lawrence H. Goulder, Kevin J. Mumford, and Kirsten Oleson (2010): Sustainability and the Measurement of Wealth: "We develop a consistent and comprehensive theoretical framework for assessing whether economic growth is compatible with sustaining well-being over time. The framework focuses on whether a comprehensive measure of wealth–one that accounts for natural capital and human capital as well as reproducible capital–is maintained through time... #sustainability #equitablegrowth

  9. Getting deeply into the weeds on whether much observed social mobility is actually error in measuring "true status". The answer ape to be "no": Martin Nybom and Kelly Vosters: Intergenerational Transmission of Socioeconomic Status: "There is no simple law of mobility: In 2014, Gregory Clark proposed a ‘simple law of mobility’ suggesting that intergenerational mobility is much lower than previously believed, and relatively uniform across countries.... This column tests this... using US and Swedish data... no evidence of a rise in intergenerational persistence and no evidence of uniformity across countries...

  10. One might, naively, think that the economies of scale that companies like Wal-Mart possess should redound to the benefit of workers as well as consumers. More efficiencies from economies of scale should leave a bigger pie for everyone else, which would be shared, right? Apparently not. When a business earns more by selling to large buyers, its workers wages appear not to go up but to go down. Something to watch very closely. Sharon Nunn sends us to Nathan Wilmers: Sharon Nunn: Big Businesses Push Down Prices, and Perhaps Wages: "As large firms... command increasing market share in the retail industry, they narrow the field of buyers for companies that make and move consumer products.... [Nathan] Wilmers found that since the late 1970s... a 10% increase in [corporate] earnings that depend on larger buyers is associated with a 1.2% decline in wage growth... #equitablegrowth #inequality

  11. Dan Davies on financial fraud is certainly the most entertaining book on Economics I have read this year. Highly recommend itcold Chris Dillow: Review of Dan Davies: Lying for Money: "Squalid crude affairs committed mostly by inadequates. This is a message of Dan Davies’ history of fraud, Lying For Money.... Most frauds fall into a few simple types.... Setting up a fake company... pyramid schemes... control frauds, whereby someone abuses a position of trust... plain counterfeiters. My favourite was Alves dos Reis, who persuaded the printers of legitimate Portuguese banknotes to print even more of them.... All this is done with the wit and clarity of exposition for which we have long admired Dan. His footnotes are an especial delight, reminding me of William Donaldson. Dan has also a theory of fraud. 'The optimal level of fraud is unlikely to be zero' he says. If we were to take so many precautions to stop it, we would also strangle legitimate economic activity...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (November 20, 2018)" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (November 20, 2018)

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Comment of the Day: The Fall of Rome: Am I too Much of a Malthusian-Ricardian to Understand It Properly?

  2. Journamalism: The most both-sidesee bothsidism ever is in—where else?—the New York Times!... And it is Ross Douthat!...

  3. _[Review of "Capitalism in America: A History" by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge](https://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/

  4. Perhaps Facebook's Top Management Should Give Their Shares in the Company to the Open Society Foundationt?

  5. Hoisted from 2012: Why Next to No Political Reaction to the Second Gilded Age?


  1. Applause from Noah Smith for Equitable Growth's attempt to focus on the broader implications of rising monopoly: Noah Smith: Economists Gear Up to Challenge the Monopolies: "The antitrust movement is making a comeback.... Think tanks like the Washington Center for Equitable Growth are starting to zero in on the issue as well": Jacob Robbins: How the rise of market power in the United States may explain some macroeconomic puzzles: "Gauti Eggertsson, Ella Getz Wold, and I at Brown University argue that these diverse trends are closely connected, and that the driving force behind them is an increase in monopoly power together with a decline in interest rates...

  2. The most important thing for you to read: the deadline for Equitable Growth's next set of grant proposals over at Equitable Growth is January 31, 2019: WCEG: Request for Proposals: "The Washington Center for Equitable Growth seeks to deepen our understanding of whether and how inequality affects economic growth and stability. Our academic grants program is building a portfolio of cutting-edge scholarly research investigating the various channels through which economic inequality may or may not impact economic growth and stability, both directly and indirectly...

  3. My read of the evidence is somewhat different here: my view is that forward guidance did something, but quantitative easing did very, very little. And the idea that quantitative easing made forward guidance more credible? I do not see that. Yes, quantitative easing was a big deal for the financial professionals Who otherwise would have held the treasury bonds that the Federal Reserve bought. But I do not see any channels through which their attempt to compensate add large affects and the real economy of productions and demand: Ken Kuttner: Outside the Box: Unconventional Monetary Policy in the Great Recession and Beyond: “A preponderance of evidence nonetheless suggests that forward guidance and quantitative easing succeeded in lowering long-term interest rates. Studies using micro data have documented tangible effects of quantitative easing on firms and financial intermediaries. Macro models suggest that the interest rate reductions are likely to have had a meaningful impact. The adverse side effects appear to have been mild, and are dwarfed by the costs of the more protracted recession in the United States that likely would have occurred in the absence of the unconventional policies. The benefits of unconventional policy therefore probably outweighed the costs... #monetaryeconomics #monetarypolicy

  4. For whom was the decline and fall of the western Roman Empire that commenced with the Antonine Plague a decline and fall? It was a decline and fall for: 1. Those at the top of the state apparatus who saw their resources collapse, and their ability to avoid barbarian power projection into the empire decline. 2. Those who were rich. 3. Those who were urban, dependent on the flow of resources from the countryside to the city. 4. Those in the countryside who had been prosperous and free, and who were now enserfed. 5. Those who benefited from large-scale efficient production and distribution of conveniences. 6. Those for whom the maintenance of the pax Romana was really important. The question is: what happened to those on the bottom in the countryside? They now are much more productive. Yet they face increased pressures from above to exploit them more in order to compensate for the reduced rent flow from depopulation, and they suffer from increased dissipative violence—both from their superiors and from barbarian invasions. Yet on the other hand their increased value might have given them increased leverage: that was the case for western European serfs in the aftermath of the Black Death. My view: slave —> serf a definite improvement. For everyone else, a decline: loss of conveniences with the end of large-scale efficient production, loss of resource flow to city-dwellers, loss of resources that had underpinned the pax Romana. What is uncertain is the relative numbers of the winners and losers—and whether even the winners in terms of consumption were better off facing the barbarian rather than the slavemaster. In any event, very interesting: Willem Jongman (2006): Gibbon Was Right: The Decline and Fall of The Roman Economy: "For the naive historian, it would seem that we now have all we need: we have a range of examples of catastrophic decline, and some potential causes. What we do not yet have, however, are the mechanisms by which this shock propagated through the economic and social system. Imagine a pre-industrial and largely agricultural economy in a fairly stable equilibrium. Next that equilibrium is disturbed by mortality.... The biggest economic and social change, however, was to the land-labour ratio...

  5. FiveThirtyEight: Yes, It Was A Blue Wav | FiveThirtyEight: "natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): The arguments that it ISN’T a blue wave are dumb. Can we end the chat now and get lunch?.... sarahf: Haha, no. We’re here to tell readers why it’s dumb—although Nathaniel did do a pretty good job of convincing me. nrakich: People seem to be defining “blue wave” as, “Did Democrats outperform expectations?” They’re forgetting that expectations were already for a blue wave. natesilver: What is the argument that it isn’t a blue wave? That Democrats didn’t win the Senate?...

  6. Perhaps Facebook's top management should give their shares in the company to the Open Society Foundationt?: Patrick Gaspard: Letter to Sandberg...

  7. Rafael Behr: The Brexit wreckers Are Slinking Away from the Rancid Mess They’ve Made: "Dominic Raab and Esther McVey have resigned because they know Brexit is intrinsically dysfunctional.... There is now no Brexit true believer prepared to take an author’s credit on the deal that is about to come before parliament.... These resignations confirm a fundamental structural problem with the whole leave prospectus: it was a fantasy, and as such incompatible with the mundane fulfilment of ministerial responsibility. Raab has come to the same conclusion that David Davis and Boris Johnson reached earlier in the year: it is easier to be on the team that accuses the prime minister of failing to deliver majestic herds of unicorns than it is to be stuck with a portfolio that requires expertise in unicorn-breeding...

  8. Adam Gopnik: Wine, War, Donald Trump, and Emmanuel Macron: "Macron made a speech... as clearly directed at and against Trump as any he could have made... distinguished between nationalism (bad) and patriotism (good)... in eloquent terms... #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility #history

  9. Jason Kottke: The Odyssey of Reading "The Odyssey": "In this clip from the TV show Articulate (which airs on PBS), host Jim Cotter talks with Emily Wilson and Daniel Mendelsohn about The Odyssey, different versions of the self, translations, and more...

  10. The chances for equitable growth in America over the next three years may or may not be crippled by the trade war that Donald Trump is now trying to launch. What should you be reading and watching to try to figure out what is going on? I believe that the Peterson Institute of International Economics is the place to go for up-to-date analysis on the trade war that Donald Trump is trying to launch, over the—not dead bodies, but—active opposition and passive resistance of pretty much everybody in his administration save Peter Navarro and Robert Lighthizer. This is not being driven by any interest groups outside the administration. It is being driven by three people inside the administration: Navarro, Lighthizer, and Trump: Navarro... On the few occasions that I have interacted with Navarro he has seemed to me to be... not quite all there. The kindest thing I have heard said about him comes from Paul Krugman: "Peter Navarro predicted that nobody would retaliate.... Trump’s tariffs are badly designed even from the point of view of someone who shares his crude mercantilist view.... Unlike Trump, the Chinese and other targets of his trade wrath seem to have a clear idea of what they’re trying to accomplish. The key point is that the Navarro/Trump view, aside from its fixation on trade balances... seems to imagine that the world still looks the way it did in the 1960s, when trade was overwhelmingly in final goods like wheat and cars..." Lighthizer... I do not understand at all. The policies that he is pushing forward are pretty much 180 degrees reversed from those he worked for in his previous stints in government. He is now too old—70—to be anything other than a rainmaker at his old law firm of Skadden Arps after he departs from government. And businesses with international trade legal needs will think that the guy who launched a trade war is not a rain but a drought maker. His actions do not compute on any rational-actor decision theory... Trump... There is little to understand. Somehow he has become convinced that running a bilateral trade deficit with a country means that we are "losing" to them, and that this should stop. Why he believes this we do not know, and he cannot explain it. We do know that none of those working for him—not Priebus, not Mnuchin, not Kudlow, not Ross, nor any of the others—have been able to change his knee-jerk instincts. Currently the best place to go to figure out what, concretely, has actually happened is to the PIIE's trade-war timelines: Chad P. Bown and Melina Kolb: Is Trump in a Trade War? An Up-to-Date Guide: "The timelines below track the development of the most pressing trade conflicts with links to the latest available data and PIIE analysis... #orangehairedbaboons #globalization #tradewar

11.You should go see this, if you are in DC tomorrow: Equitable Growth: Building a New Consensus on Antitrust Reform Tickets, Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM: "Please join the Washington Center for Equitable Growth on Wednesday, November 14, at noon for a conversation on reforming federal antitrust law.... Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, will deliver keynote remarks.... RSVP is required by Friday, November 9... #monopoly

  1. New computer and communications technologies were supposed to democratize information—route around corrupt media and data-centrer oligarchies, and allow a flourishing of the public sphere. Yes... and no...: Joi Ito: The Next Great (Digital) Extinction | WIRED: "SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 2 and 3 billion years ago, what scientists call the Great Oxidation Event, or GOE, took place, causing the mass extinction of ... the dominant life form at the time.... Cyanobacteria... had the photosynthetic ability to produce glucose and oxygen out of carbon dioxide and water using the power of the sun. Oxygen was toxic to many anaerobic cousins... #riseoftherobots

  2. Pascal Michaillat and Emmanuel Saez: A New Keynesian Model with Wealth in the Utility Function: "Wealth... [in] the utility function. The extension modifies the Euler equation: in steady state the real interest rate is negatively related to consumption instead of being constant... Thus, when the marginal utility of wealth is large enough, the dynamical system representing the equilibrium is a source not only in normal times but also at the zero lower bound. This property eliminates the zero-lower-bound anomalies of the New Keynesian model, such as explosive output and inflation, and forward-guidance puzzle... #monetaryeconomics


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (November 12, 2018)

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Economists' Models: Analysis Pumps or Filing Systems? And Do Countries with Reserve Currencies Need to Fear Solvency Crises?

  2. Note to Self: Why isn't the first rule of Federal Reserve policy "thou shalt not come even close to inverting the yield curve!"?

  3. Weekend Reading: The Riot Act of 1714

  4. Weekend Reading: John Maynard Keynes on the Baneful Consequences of Ricardo's Rhetorical Victory Over Malthus

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

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

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

  8. Note to Self: I had thought that the question of where the sun will be in the sky so you know where to erect the sunshades was a solved problem—a problem solved in 3000 BC by the Babylonians. Apparently not...

  9. Hoisted From the Archives: The Grand Strategy of the United States of America: From 2003


  1. What is the counterfactual here? The demand factors they are talking about here are all microeconomic and not macroeconomic factors. Thus it seems to me that—unless they are assuming that the Federal Reserve is a potted plants—they affect the distribution of employment but not its overall magnitude. Remember! The economy is a general equilibrium system!: Katharine G. Abraham and Melissa Kearney: The Secular Decline in Us Employment over the Past Two Decades: "This column reviews the evidence on the main causes of the secular decline in employment since the turn of the century. Labour demand factors–notably import competition from China and the rise of industrial robots–emerge as the key drivers. Some labour supply and institutional factors also have contributed to the decline, but to a lesser extent... #labormarket

  2. Friedrich Engels (1843): Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy: "According to the economists, the production costs of a commodity consist of... rent... capital with its profit, and the wages for the labour.... A third factor which the economist does not think about–I mean the mental element of invention, of thought...

  3. Nick Rowe: Bicycle Disequilibrium Theory: "Suppose you need a bicycle to get to work. Suppose bicycles are a common property resource, because bike locks don't work. Every night the workers deposit their bicycles in the bike bank, and in the morning it's first come first served. And suppose that sometimes there aren't enough bicycles to go around. So sometimes the level of employment is determined by the number of bicycles, and not by all the usual stuff. Any individual can always get a bicycle in the morning, simply by getting up early enough. But in aggregate they can't. Fallacy of composition. A theory of when workers wake up might be interesting, and useful for microeconomists wanting to understand the distribution of employment, but it won't help us understand what determines the aggregate level of employment... #monetaryeconomics

  4. Joseph Schumpeter on the Ricardian and Keynesian vices. The echo of bdsm practices—le vice anglais—that you hear is intentional on Schumpeter's part, as is his feminization of Keynesians, and the misogyny. Schumpeter was a very smart but very interesting man: Joseph Schumpeter (1953): History of Economic Analysis https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1134838700: "Ricardo’s… interest was in the clear-cut result of direct, practical significance. In order to get this he... piled one simplifying assumption upon another until... the desire results emerged almost as tautologies... It is an excellent theory that can never be refuted and lacks nothing save sense. The habit of applying results of this character to the solution of practical problems we shall call the Ricardian Vice... #books #schumpeter #keynes #economicsgoneright #economicsgonewrong #historyofeconomicthought

  5. The New York Times is a sad, sad thing: Kevin Drum: Hey David: It Wasn’t “We” Who Screwed the Working Class: "I get so tired sometimes. Here is David Brooks today...

  6. Ian Buruma (2001): Class Acts: "According to Cannadine, race was not everything in the British Raj. It was not even the main point. Class was the main point. Class, status, and rank were more important than skin color, the shape of one's eyes, or the dimensions of one's skull. A Sultan, a Nizam, or a Pasha was equal to British royalty...

  7. Shane White (2015): The Story of Wall Street's First Black Millionaire: "Jeremiah Hamilton made white clients do his bidding. He bought insurance policies on ships he purposely destroyed. And in 1875, he died the richest black American...

  8. Joseph Schumpeter (1953): History of Economic Analysis https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1134838700

  9. Angus Deaton: The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem: "According to the World Bank, 769 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2013; they are the world’s very poorest. Of these, 3.2 million live in the United States, and 3.3 million in other high-income countries (most in Italy, Japan and Spain)... #poverty #equitablegrowth

  10. Back at the end of the nineteenth century the quest for better economic statistics was a bipartisan, bi-ideology, bi-analytic approach effort. Liberals and conservatives, reactionaries and social democrats, socialists and centrists in America all thought that good statistics would reveal that America matched their images of it and would show that their policies were good ones. We need to recover that: Austin Clemens: In an age of inequality, aggregate and mean economic statistics don't tell us enough: "I have argued that we should disaggregate the reporting of GDP growth so we can understand who prospers when the economy grows. But we don’t need to stop there. As income inequality increases and we increasingly see two Americas—one for rich and one for everyone else—it is more important than ever to see more granular breakdowns...

  11. 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... #gender

12.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

  1. Simon Jäger, Benjamin Schoefer, Samuel G. Young, Josef Zweimüller: Wages and the Value of Nonemployment: "Nonemployment is often posited as a worker's outside option in wage setting models such as bargaining and wage posting. The value of this state is therefore a fundamental determinant of wages... #labormarket

Blogging: What to Expect Here...

Blogging we are going to need more monkeys Google SearchBlogging we are going to need more monkeys Google SearchBlogging we are going to need more monkeys Google Search

The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...

"Bring expertise, bring a willingness to learn, bring good humor, bring a desire to improve the world—and also bring a low tolerance for lies and bullshit..." — Brad DeLong

"I have never subscribed to the notion that someone can unilaterally impose an obligation of confidentiality onto me simply by sending me an unsolicited letter—or an email..." — Patrick Nielsen Hayden

"I can safely say that I have learned more than I ever would have imagined doing this.... I also have a much better sense of how the public views what we do. Every economist should have to sell ideas to the public once in awhile and listen to what they say. There's a lot to learn..." — Mark Thoma

"Tone, engagement, cooperation, taking an interest in what others are saying, how the other commenters are reacting, the overall health of the conversation, and whether you're being a bore..." — Teresa Nielsen Hayden

"With the arrival of Web logging... my invisible college is paradise squared, for an academic at least. Plus, web logging is an excellent procrastination tool.... Plus, every legitimate economist who has worked in government has left swearing to do everything possible to raise the level of debate and to communicate with a mass audience.... Web logging is a promising way to do that..." — Brad DeLong

"Blogs are an outlet for unexpurgated, unreviewed, and occasionally unprofessional musings.... At Chicago, I found that some of my colleagues overestimated the time and effort I put into my blog—which led them to overestimate lost opportunities for scholarship. Other colleagues maintained that they never read blogs—and yet, without fail, they come into my office once every two weeks to talk about a post of mine..." — Daniel Drezner

Continue reading "Blogging: What to Expect Here..." »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (November 7, 2018)

stacks and stacks of books

  1. I Want a FiveThirtyEight Post-Mortem! #politics

  2. The first news: FiveThirtyEight's forecast goes from H+36 S-1 to H+42 S+0...

  3. Was the Great Recession More Damaging Than the Great Depression?: Over at the Milken Review

  4. Note to Self: Yes the American right wing is strongly anti-semitic. Any questions?

  5. Weekend Reading: Keynes Quoting Malthus

  6. Weekend Reading: Jan Christian Smuts to M.C. Gillett: The Griqua prayer...


  1. Jiahua Che and Yingyi Qian: Insecure Property Rights and Government Ownership of Firms>: "The ownership of firms in an environment without secure property rights against state encroachment. 'Private ownership' leads to excessive revenue hiding, and 'state ownership' (i.e., national government ownership) fails to provide incentives for managers and local governments in a credible way.... 'Local government ownership'... may better serve the interests of the national government...

  2. Neel Kashkari: Pause Interest-Rate Hikes to Help the Labor Force Grow: "The Fed has raised the federal-funds rate eight times in the past three years, and inflation now stands right at the 2% goal. A hard inflation ceiling would justify pre-emptive rate increases to ensure inflation doesn’t climb any higher. But the symmetric objective gives the Federal Open Market Committee the flexibility to see how the economy evolves before determining if further rate increases are necessary. The FOMC should seize this opportunity for a pause...

  3. Ricardo Hausmann: The Venality of Evil: "Paul Samuelson once commended macroeconomics for having transformed 'the pre-war dinosaur into a post-war lizard'. The discovery of the mechanisms by which large economic fluctuations occur had led to an understanding of how to use fiscal and monetary policies, to tame, if not to prevent, crises such as the Great Depression...

  4. Seth Godin: Writing for People Who Don’t Read: "Right there, there’s your problem. I know you’d like to reach more people, and most people don’t read. But if you’re going to write, the only choice you have is to reach people who will choose to engage with you. Do it properly, and there’s a chance that those voluntarily literate people will tell their friends and colleagues...

  5. If you believe in the "plucking model", by which the economy when "plucked" into a state below normal employment by a negative shock then returns to normal, there is not strong reason to begin a recession watch until normal employment has resumed or has almost resumed. It has. So it is time to start a "what will cause the next recession?" watch. Tim Duy says: it will not be weakness in housing. I concur: the current weakness in housing is what the Federal Reserve wants to see, and is the intended effect of its raising interest rates—a little less employment in housing construction producing a little more room for higher employment in other sectors: Tim Duy: Decision Time: "Remember the recession calls in 2016 when manufacturing rolled over? The thinking was that every time industrial production falls by 2%, a recession followed, and this time would be no different. But it was different. Those calls did not play out because the shock was largely contained to that sector; recessions stems from shocks that hit the entire economy. And even if a recession could be boiled down to a single indicator, I would pick the yield curve over housing...

  6. I have never believed the critics of Whorfianism—those who claim that the language you speak does not shape what you see and how you think. Non-native speakers have a very hard time even hearing the native phonemes of a language, so how can their thoughts be unaffected? Linguistic sources of gender essentialism: Pamela Jakiela and Owen Ozier: Gendered Language: "At the cross-country level, this paper documents a robust negative relationship between the prevalence of gender languages and women’s labor force participation...

  7. James Cloyne: Taxes and Growth: New Narrative Evidence from Interwar Britain: James Cloyne, Nicholas Dimsdale, and Natacha Postel-Vinay: Taxes and Growth: New Narrative Evidence from Interwar Britain: "The impact of fiscal policy on economic activity is still a matter of great debate. And, ever since Keynes first commented on it, interwar Britain, 1918-1939, has remained a particularly contentious case, not least because of its high debt environment and turbulent business cycle...

  8. James Davis Nicoll: Sorry to Crush Your Dreams, But We’re Not Colonizing Space Anytime Soon: "Of course, the initial success of the Darien Scheme proves that you can attract investors by targeting rich idiots. Such schemes are most successful when they are intended to attract cash rather than deliver a shiny space colony. Just make sure to buy your ticket for a nation without extradition well in advance. And you may want hire bodyguards. Loyal bodyguards...

  9. Nathaniel Rakich: How To Watch The Midterms: An Hour-By-Hour Guide: "6 p.m.: Polls close in: most of Indiana, eastern Kentucky. As the first polls close, we’ll start to see results in two districts that could hold clues for how the rest of the night will unfold: the Kentucky 6th and Indiana 9th. The Kentucky 6th is rated1 as Toss-Up in the Classic version of our model. If Democratic challenger Amy McGrath is able to oust GOP Rep. Andy Barr, it will be an early sign of a Democratic wave, as the Kentucky 6th is about 10.5 points more Republican-leaning than the nation as a whole, according to FiveThirtyEight’s partisan lean metric. On the other hand, our model rates the Indiana 9th as Likely Republican, so if Democrat Liz Watson somehow pulls off an upset against Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, it may point to a very long night for Republicans. The 6 p.m. poll-closing hour will also yield early returns in the Indiana U.S. Senate race, a seat that Democrats must hold in order to have any hope of capturing the Senate. Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly currently has a 7 in 10 chance there... #politics

  10. Lyndon Johnson: "I can think of nothing more dangerous, more divisive, or more self-destructive than the effort to prey on what is called 'white backlash.' I thought it was a mistake to pump this issue up in the 1964 campaign, and I do not think it served the purpose of those who did. I think it is dangerous because it threatens to vest power in the hands of second-rate men whose only qualification is their ability to pander to other men's fears. I think it divides this nation at a very critical time—and therefore it weakens us as a united country... #politics #orangehairedbaboons #history

  11. And, of course, in 2016 three million more voters cast their votes for Democratic than for Republican Senate candidates. And the 2018 House vote went Democratic by 9.2 percentage point:: FiveThirtyEight: Significant Digits For Wednesday, November 7, 2018l: "Voters cast 44.7 million votes for Democratic Senate candidates and 32.9 million votes for Republican Senate candidates... 57 percent of Senate votes went for Democrats...

  12. Wikipedia: Beto O'Rourke

  13. Matthew Yglesias: Austin Can't Stay Weird: "One could go on and on about this stuff—bus lanes, a modest Inclusionary Zoning requirement, etc.—but the details aren’t especially different from what I’d say about anything else. The key point is that the mentality would have to be, 'Hey, Austin is really great, and so a lot of people want to live here or locate businesses here. We should build lots of houses and office buildings and transportation infrastructure and schools to accommodate them...' #nimbyism


 #shouldread #weblogging

Seth Godin: Writing for People Who Don’t Read: "Right there, there’s your problem. I know you’d like to reach more people, and most people don’t read. But if you’re going to write, the only choice you have is to reach people who will choose to engage with you. Do it properly, and there’s a chance that those voluntarily literate people will tell their friends and colleagues...

Continue reading "" »


Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings...

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Blame the Economists?: Fresh at Project Syndicate: Ever since the 2008 financial crash and subsequent recession, economists have been pilloried for failing to foresee the crisis, and for not convincing policymakers of what needed to be done to address it. But the upheavals of the past decade were more a product of historical contingency than technocratic failure...

  2. Weekend Reading: Robert Solow: A Theory Is a Sometime Thing: "Milton Friedman... aims to undermine the eclectic American Keynesianism of the 1950s and 1960s... goes after two... lines of thought. His first claim is that the central bank, the Fed, cannot ‘peg’ the real interest rate... to undermine the standard LM curve.... The Fed can peg the nominal federal funds rate, but not the real rate.... My mind kept returning to a famous line of dramatic verse: was this the face that launched a thousand ships?.... A few major failures like those I have registered in this note may not be enough for a considered rejection of Friedman's doctrine and its various successors. But they are certainly enough to justify intense skepticism, especially among economists, for whom skepticism should be the default mental setting anyway. So why did those thousand ships sail for so long, why did those ideas float for so long, without much resistance? I don't have a settled answer...

  3. Building Blocks of "Flexprice" Business-Cycle Macroeconomics: Checkpoint of Chapter 6 of Next Edition of Marty Olney's and My Macro Textbook

  4. Solving the Flexprice Model: Checkpoint of Chapter 7 of Next Edition of Marty Olney's and My Macro Textbook

  5. Introducing the Sticky-Price Model: Checkpoint of Chapter 9 of Next Edition of Marty Olney's and My Macro Textbook


  1. Ricardo J. Caballero: Risk-Centric Macroeconomics and Safe Asset Shortages in the Global Economy: An Illustration of Mechanisms and Policies: "In these notes I summarize my research on the topic of risk-centric global macroeconomics. Collectively, this research makes the case that a risk-markets dislocations perspective of macroeconomics provides a unified framework to think about the mechanisms behind several of the main economic imbalances, crises, and structural fragilities observed in recent decades in the global economy. This perspective sheds light on the kind of policies, especially unconventional ones, that are likely to help the world economy navigate this tumultuous environment... #monetarypolicy #monetaryeconomics #finance

  2. Up until 2000, it looks like we have an unemployment-rate (or vacancy-rate) adaptive-expectations price Phillips curve. Since the mid-1990s, we have a non-employment-rate static-expectations wage Phillips curve. How long before another structural shift we do not know. But right now Team Slack has the empirical evidence. And Team Slack says: the economy still has plenty of room to grow: Jay C. Shambaugh: Score One for Team Slack: "As @ModeledBehavior notes, it is not clear how long this relationship will hold, but it looks really good in 2018 (even better than in 2017). Almost impossible to argue slack is not part of wage growth story even if you don't think it is whole story... #labormarket #monetarypolicy #phillipscurve

  3. Cosma Shalizi (1998): Deborah Mayo, Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge: "Mayo's key notion is that of a severe test... the severity of a passing result is the probability that, if the hypothesis is false, our test would have given results which match the hypothesis less well than the ones we actually got do.... If a severe test does not turn up the error it looks for, it's good grounds for thinking that the error is absent... #books #cognition

  4. Rodney Brooks: The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions: "Imagine we had a time machine and we could transport Isaac Newton from the late 17th century to today, setting him down in a place that would be familiar to him: Trinity College Chapel at the University of Cambridge. Now show Newton an Apple. Pull out an iPhone from your pocket, and turn it on so that the screen is glowing and full of icons, and hand it to him... #riseoftherobots

  5. Michael Strain: Protect the Gains Made by Low-Skilled Workers: "Inflation-fighting is important. But so is the progress made by the most vulnerable U.S. workers...

  6. Michael Kremer (1993) The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development http://www.jstor.org/stable/2118400: "People in business talk about quality all the time.... This paper makes a stab at modeling quality... proposes an O-ring production function in which quantity cannot be substituted for quality.... Under this production function, small differences in worker skill lead to large differences in wages and output... #economicgrowth

  7. Neel Kashkari: Pause Interest-Rate Hikes to Help the Labor Force Grow: "The Fed has raised the federal-funds rate eight times in the past three years, and inflation now stands right at the 2% goal. A hard inflation ceiling would justify pre-emptive rate increases to ensure inflation doesn’t climb any higher. But the symmetric objective gives the Federal Open Market Committee the flexibility to see how the economy evolves before determining if further rate increases are necessary. The FOMC should seize this opportunity for a pause... #monetarypolicy

  8. Abhay Aneja: The Effect of Political Power on Labor Market Inequality: Evidence from the 1965 Voting Rights Act #rqce

  9. James Heckman and Sidharth Moktan: The Tyranny of the Top Five: "The appropriate solution requires a significant shift from the current publications-based system of deciding tenure to a system that emphasises departmental peer review of a candidate's work. Such a system would give serious consideration to unpublished working papers and to the quality and integrity of a scholar's work... #berkeley #economicsgonewrong

  10. Adam Ozimek: The Main Story: We Aren't at Full-Employment Now: "The main story here is we aren't at full-employment now. And we sure as hell weren't at full employment in 2015, 2016, 2017 when so many leading economists said we were... #monetarypolicy #labormarket

  11. Halloween Whiteboard: The Undead Generals: ROB FARLEY, SENIOR LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY: BILLY MITCHELL (COURTESY NAGASAKI PILOT CHARLES SWEENEY)... #halloween #security

  12. Michael Kremer (1993) The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development http://www.jstor.org/stable/2118400: "People in business talk about quality all the time.... This paper makes a stab at modeling quality... proposes an O-ring production function in which quantity cannot be substituted for quality.... Under this production function, small differences in worker skill lead to large differences in wages and output... #economicgrowth

  13. Scam o Rama: Quit While You're Ahead: "Another missive from Thomas Mallory, last heard from in The Flying Savimbi Brothers. Note: Just so you know: Mr. Mallory's attorney, Melanie Rourke, is possibly meaner than Lonslo Tossov. We actually edited some of her dialogue. We just felt the need. Mr. Mallory was very nice about it. Call us politically correct if you like. Just don't call us late for dinner...

  14. Richard Woodward (2003): Too Much of a Good Thing - The Atlantic: ".The theoretical physicist who ignited the biggest firestorm in the history of the American photography market was simply trying to figure out if his vintage photos were genuine. By the time he learned the answer, two of the country's best-known photography scholars had come under a cloud of suspicion...

  15. Five-Thirty-Eight: Geoffrey Skelley: House Update: Keeping An Eye On Democratic ‘Reach’ Districts: "the battleground for the House is quite large: In the Classic version of our House forecast, there are 111 districts where both parties have at least a 5 percent chance of winning, as of 8 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 3. But Republicans are defending most of these districts — 102 of them, in fact. So one possibility on Election Day is that Democrats end up winning a few “reach” districts (in which their odds of winning are greater than 5 percent but less than 35 percent). Under those conditions, Democrats are underdogs in 63 of the 102 districts Republicans are defending... #politics #statistics #acrossthewidemissouri

  16. Barry Ritholtz: Trump the Revealer: "President Trump... has revealed (or reminded) many great truths to us.... We can learn a great deal about many things simply from watching his effects on the world. There is no guile, just a super-natural tendency to appeal to people’s basest instincts–supporters, opponents, media, everyone.... Racism is not even well-hidden or contained.... my naïveté assumed it was only insane people shooting up black churches in the deep south.... We learned thanks to Trump–that White Supremicists/Nationalism is a real thing across America, and full equality is still years or decades away for people of color. #orangehairedbaboon #politics

  17. Steve M.: Democrats Would Really Be In Trouble If Trump Were A Totally Different Person!: "Douthat's argument seems to be: 'Imagine if we Republicans had all of our current advantages, none of our current disadvantages, and quite a few advantages we don't have now. Then the Democrats would be in trouble! And that just shows how weak the Democrats really are!' Yeah, I guess...

  18. Atrios: Hard to Beat a Foe That Doesn't Give a ----: "Chinese politics.... They can probably figure out how to get soy from elsewhere. Any one good might not matter that much for our economy overall, but it's pretty easy to inflict pain on certain geographic populations/areas.... 'American soybean sales to China have declined by 94 percent from last year’s harvest.'... President Deals isn't going to 'win' any trade wars...

Continue reading "Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings..." »


Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

  1. (Late) Monday Smackdown: Why Does Clive Crook Think the EU Has a Duty to Sacrifice the Interests Rights of Its Constituents in Brexit Negotiations?: I did not punish this a year ago because it seemed... intemperate. Now it seems not extreme enough. Perhaps if Clive Crook and his colleagues had dared to say: "The Brexiters are bad people pursuing bad policies. They need to be stopped." Instead he and his ilk talked about how important it was that the U.K . have "a fundamentally new relationship" with the E.U., and that the E.U. should bend over backward to make the Brexiters look as good as possible. Not a good look... #globalization #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons

  2. Sigh Yet More Cleaning Up After the Cockroaches: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: Only one of the many economists quoted by Weisman would sign on to the claims that "deficits don't matter" and that "the argument against deficits is more about self-righteous moralism than economics": Kevin Hassett. Eric Engen wouldn't. Glenn Hubbard wouldn't. I certainly wouldn't. Ben Friedman wouldn't. Peter Orszag wouldn't. Bill Gale wouldn't. Bill Niskanen wouldn't. If Weisman had bothered to read the last paragraph of the Engen-Hubbard paper he cites, he would have noted that they explicitly reject the claim that "deficits don't matter"... #journamalism

  3. Note to Self: machine learning is no better than the people it is learning from... #notetoself #riseoftherobots

  4. Note to Self: Griqua's Prayer https://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/06/what-is-griguas-prayer.html... #history #notetoself


  1. Wayne La Pierre, the rest of the National Rifle Administration, and Kevin McCarthy are very happy with the press reaction to the Pittsburgh murders. Just saying: Shakezula: It's Not Tone Deaf When They Know Exactly What Tone They're Setting: "The leaders of America’s white supremacist movement wants more implausibly deniable murders of people who aren’t acceptably white. A combination of arrogance and seeing how the press willingly leaps into the 'Who’s to blame? Who can say?' trap is why organizations like the NRA don’t see a downside to publishing this sort a thing, even as the victims of man well-versed in anti-Semitic propaganda are being buried. And the cycle of incitement and death won’t stop until white supremacy is stamped out of existence, not allowed to fester and emerge again in another decade or generation... #orangehairedbaboons #neofascism

  2. Steve Rathje: When Correcting a Lie, Don't Repeat It. Do This Instead: "Correcting false claims can often backfire, spreading them even further.... Talk about the truth first. Then, we should briefly note the lie before going back to the truth... a #truthsandwich... #orangehairedbaboons #publicsphere #cognition

  3. Martin Sandbu: The US’s Lost Decade: "The wasted economic output thus begins to approach 50 per cent of annual GDP. And this is still conservative. It does not consider that even faster demand growth might have been met by increased hours worked. Nor does it consider that overall or 'total factor' productivity (above that gained from simply having more capital) could have responded positively to a 'high-pressure economy'... #hysteresis #greatrecession #monetarypolicy

  4. Laura McGann: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is being held to a higher standard than men: "Male politicians aren’t told to put training wheels back on after a fact check... #gender #journamalism #politics

  5. My take was always that this was overwhelmingly that "feminized" occupations have low pay. But Folbre and Smith make a strong case that other causes are also important: Nancy Folbre and Kristin Smith: The wages of care: Bargaining power, earnings and inequality: "The earnings of managers and professionals employed in care industries (health, education, and social services), characterized by high levels of public and non-profit provision, are significantly lower than in other industries... #gender #labormarket

  6. U.S. Constitution: Emolument Clause: "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State... #orangehairedbaboon

  7. Sendhil Mullainathan: Using Machine Learning to Understand Health Care Systems: "Machine learning is earnestly being applied to automate tasks in medicine—in effect as a medical technology. The same tools, though, can also be used to improve our understanding of the health system itself... #riseoftherobots #berkeley

  8. Jamelle Bouie: Trump’s Embrace of Racial Bigotry Has Shifted What Is Acceptable in America: "Racial violence exists on a continuum. Trump’s use of racially violent language enables racially violent acts... #orangehairedbaboons

  9. David Anderson: Electoral victories and Medicaid: "In seventeen hours, Virginia will start accepting enrollment for their new Medicaid expansion. Coverage goes live on January 1, 2019. Virginia is expanding Medicaid because of a massive electoral victory of a coalition that highly values Medicaid expansion.... If you want to see Medicaid expanded, voting for candidates who, when they win, want to expand Medicaid is the best way of doing that...

  10. Susquehanna Polling and Research: PA Congressional District 16: "Brushfire Poll Conducted October 29-30, 2018 Sample Size: 405 Likely Voters.... In the election for United States Congress, if the election were held today would you vote for Republican Mike Kelly or Democrat Ron DiNicola?... Republican Mike Kelly 189 47%. 2. Democrat Ron DiNicola 205 51%... #politics

  11. Paul Gilster: ‘Oumuamua, Thin Films and Lightsails

  12. Jan Christian Smuts: Selections from the Smuts Papers: Volume 4, November 1918-August 1919: "The Griqua Prayer...

  13. Michael Mussa: Argentina and the Fund: From Triumph to Tragedy

  14. Doug Jones: “The Aryans”: "For most of the later twentieth century Anglo-American archeologists went out of their way to avoid topics like migration, barbarian invasions, and population replacements...

  15. Austin Clemens: Schumer and Heinrich Introduced a Bill to Create New Measures of Economic Growth: "Very excited.... @HBoushey and I have written extensively about the need to track growth not just for the economy as a whole but for Americans at every point along the income curve...

  16. Equitable Growth alumnus Nick Bunker: That’s Not to Say That Wage Growth Is Now Adequate or at a Healthy Level: "Time for our quarterly check-in on wage and compensation growth with the ECI. And here we are!...


#shouldreads

Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads...

  1. The Wrong Financial Crisis: Hoisted from the Archives (October 2008) #hoistedfromthearchives #highlighted #greatrecession #finance #behavioral #monetaryeconomics

  2. Dean Acheson's Lawyer's Brief for the Mid-Twentieth Century Democratic Party: A Historical Document: Weekend Reading #weekendreading #history

  3. Monday Smackdown: What Tobin Harshaw of the New York Times Wants to Be Remembered For: "I Am Not Authorized to Explain Why I Am Not Authorized..." #journamalism #hoistedfromthearchives #globalwarming #orangehairedbaboons #mondaysmackdown

  4. Self-Fulfilling Financial Crises: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate #projectsyndicate #economicsgoneright #monetaryeconomics #behavioral #finance

  5. Tweed Jackets and Natural Disasters: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate #projectsyndicate #globalwarming #highlighted

  6. Hoisted from the Archives: “Unknown Unknowns”: High Public Debt Levels and Other Sources of Risk in Today’s Macroeconomic Environment #hoistedfromthearchives #finance #behavioral #monetarypolicy #monetaryeconomics #fiscalpolicy #highlighted

  7. Monday DeLong Smackdown: Alan Kirman on Self-Fulfilling Financial Crises #commentoftheday #behavioral #finance #mondaysmackdown

  8. 8.

  1. Lily Batchelder: The “Silver Spoon” Tax: How to Strengthen Wealth Transfer Taxation: "30 percent of the correlation between parent and child incomes—and more than 50 percent of the correlation between the wealth of parents and the wealth of their children—is attributable to financial inheritances. This is more than the impact of IQ, personality, and schooling combined... #equitablegrowth #inequality #plutocracy

  2. Sarita Gupta, Stephen Lerner, and Joseph A. McCartin: It’s Not the 'Future of Work,' It’s the Future of Workers That’s in Doubt: "Nearly every discussion of labor’s future in mainstream media quickly becomes mired in a group of elite-defined concerns called 'The Future of Work'.... Rarely has a phrase been so ubiquitous in discussions of the economy or social policy.... [But] it is the concentration of wealth and power in this new economy, not computerization or artificial intelligence, that represents the gravest threat to our future... #riseoftherobots #labormarket #equitablegrowth

  3. I am keenly aware that since, say, 1997 one disagrees with Paul Krugman at one's grave intellectual peril. But I am not as confident as Paul Krugman is that "the past decade has been a huge validation for textbook macroeconomics". A large component of what Krugman calls "good old-fashioned macro" was that expectations were, if not rational, adaptive. Keynes's "speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done..." had no place in "old-fashioned macro". And it is not as though this was a flaw and could be quickly, coherently, and satisfactorily patched. The integration of behavioral finance and macro is still not done—which is why I am such a booster of Nicola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer (2018): A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0691184925. (That, and Andrei is my friend.) They are at least looking in the right direction: Paul Krugman: What Do We Actually Know About the Economy?: "Among macroeconomists, the self-criticism seems to me to be mainly too narrow: people berate themselves for, say, not giving financial markets a bigger role in their models, but few have done what they should, which is to question the whole direction macroeconomics has gone these past four decades or so... #economicsgonewrong #monetaryeconomics #finance #economicsgoneright

  4. THE MUST-READ OF MUST-READS on the links between behavioral finance and macro: John Maynard Keynes (1936): The State of Long-Term Expectation: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: Chapter 12: "If I may be allowed to appropriate the term _speculation for the activity of forecasting the psychology of the market, and the term enterprise for the activity of forecasting the prospective yield of assets over their whole life, it is by no means always the case that speculation predominates over enterprise. As the organisation of investment markets improves, the risk of the predominance of speculation does, however, increase... #johnmaynardkeynes #books #behavioral #finance #monetaryeconomics

  5. But, says Mohammed bin Sultan, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times told me I had carte blanche that I was the real Arab Spring. And Jared Kushner assured me that America was eager for me to do hat was necessary. So why, suddenly, are they claiming that Khashoggi was not one of the torturable class?: Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1504052536: ".‘How are you so certain that Cifuentes is not my agent?’ ‘By the way you play checkers, Mr Wormold, and because I interrogated Cifuentes.’ ‘Did you torture him?’ Captain Segura laughed. ‘No. He doesn’t belong to the torturable class.’ ‘I didn’t know there were class-distinctions in torture.’ ‘Dear Mr Wormold, surely you realize there are people who expect to be tortured and others who would be outraged by the idea. One never tortures except by a kind of mutual agreement’... #books #torture #security #orangehairedbaboons

  6. I don't know why Paul Krugman is tweeting about Marvin Goodfriend's stalled Federal Reserve nomination again, but his main point is worth highlighting: Rand Paul's opposition to Goodfriend is not a bad thing for the country in itself But it is a very bad thing as a sign of the craziness of the Republicans because of the reasons that Rand Paul objects: Paul Krugman: Characteristic: "[Marvin] Goodfriend['s Federal Reserve nomination] is in trouble, not for constantly predicting inflation that never materialized, but because of what he got right: acknowledging that the zero lower bound on interest rates can be a problem... #monetarypolicy

  7. Dictionary of National Biography: Fitzurse, Reginald: "The eldest son of Richard Fitzurse, on whose death about 1168 he inherited the manor of Williton, Somersetshire (Collinson, iii. 487); he also held the manor of Barham,Kent (Hasted, iii. 536), and lands in Northamptonshire (Liber Niger, p. 216). He is sometimes called a baron, for he held of the king in chief. He was one of the four knights who were stirred up by the hasty words of Henry II to plot the archbishop's death... #orangehairedbaboons #history

  8. Depressing news: hints that we are not still far from "full employment" and thus have little room to grow rapidly: Rob Valletta and Nathaniel Barlow: The Prime-Age Workforce and Labor Market Polarization: "U.S. labor force participation by people in their prime working years fell substantially... and it remains depressed... #monetarypolicy #labormarket

  9. Elisabeth Jacobs and Liz Hipple: Are Today’s Inequalities Limiting Tomorrow’s Opportunities?: "An individual’s place on the economic distribution is supposed to reflect individual effort and talent, not parental resources and privilege. Yet this perspective ignores the mounting evidence of the myriad ways that poverty and economic inequality foreclose equality of opportunity... Elisabeth Jacobs and Liz Hipple: Are Today’s Inequalities Limiting Tomorrow’s Opportunities?: "An individual’s place on the economic distribution is supposed to reflect individual effort and talent, not parental resources and privilege. Yet this perspective ignores the mounting evidence of the myriad ways that poverty and economic inequality foreclose equality of opportunity... #equitablegrowth

  10. EPI: Interactive: The Unequal States of America: "Income trends have varied from state to state, and within states. But a pattern is apparent: the growth of top 1% incomes. Explore inequality in this interactive feature.... Adapted from Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price, The New Gilded Age: Income Inequality in the U.S. by State, Metropolitan Area, and County... #regionaleconomics

  11. John Bell: Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics: "Einstein declares the notions ‘really resting’ and ‘really moving’ as meaningless. For him only the relative motion of two or more uniformly moving objects is real. Lorentz, on the other hand, preferred the view that there is indeed a state of real rest, defined by the ‘aether’, even though the laws of physics conspire to prevent us identifying it experimentally. The facts of physics do not oblige us to accept one philosophy rather than the other. And we need not accept Lorentz’s philosophy to accept a Lorentzian pedagogy... #science #relativity

  12. Neo-fascism in Brazil: "a crusade of second-class citizens against non-citizens, orchestrated by those who rights and privileges are never in doubt": Matthew Richmond: Understanding “Bolsonarismo Popular”: "People who work long hours for low pay, struggle to continue their studies, despair about the healthcare of their parents and schooling of their children. Their lives are hard and they believe they are doing the right thing. Then they look around themselves and see those they believe are undeserving... #orangehairedbaboons #neofascism

  13. Will McGrew sends us to Allegretto, Godoey, Nadler, and Reich taking a narrow look at food services and drinking places and the minimum wage. Back when David Card and Alan Krueger wrote their Myth and Measurement about how the costs of rising minimum wages had been vastly overstated, many—I might even say most—American economists believed that their claim that the evidence showed that recent minimum wage increases had raised rather than lowered business demand for employees was overstated. Now I believe that is no longer the case: the majority view is that employers have market power, so a minimum wage is much more like good rate regulation of a monopoly utility rather than an anti-competitive "interference" in a well-working competitive market: Will McGrew: The latest research on the efficacy of raising the minimum wage above $10 in six U.S. cities: "Sylvia Allegretto, Anna Godoey, Carl Nadler, and Michael Reich... local labor markets... particularly affected by... local legislative changes... food services and drinking places... six cities... substantial earnings growth and inconsistent employment effects... #labormarket

Continue reading "Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads..." »


Baker's Dozen of Fairly-Recent Links

stacks and stacks of books

  1. "Listen to the yell of Leopold's ghost/Burning in Hell for his hand-maimed host./Hear how the demons chuckle and yell/Cutting his hands off, down in Hell..." Sara Lowes

  2. Galileo Galilei: And Yet It Moves

  3. Wikipedia: Myth of Er

  4. 2017: Reading Notes for Robert Skidelsky: "Keynes: A Very Short Introduction"...: John Maynard Keynes was brought up a classical liberal and a classical economist. He believed in free trade, economic progress, cultural uplift, and political reason. He then found himself working for the British Treasury during World War I, unable to stop what he thought were disastrous post-World War I political decisions. He then 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. He had, all things considered, amazing success and an amazing impact...

  5. Andrew Kent: Faithful Execution of the Office and Laws: New Research on the Original Meaning of Article II: "Since President Trump’s inauguration, we have seen him time and again prove correct the most pessimistic predictions about his character and the manner in which he would use the office. New research on the original meaning of the Constitution suggests that actions taken in bad faith—as many of President Trump’s actions appear to be—are not authorized by, and hence violate, Article II...

  6. Allison C. Morgan, Dimitrios J. Economou, Samuel F. Way, and Aaron Clauset: Prestige Drives Epistemic Inequality In The Diffusion Of Scientific Ideas: "We consider comprehensive data on the hiring events of 5032 faculty at all 205 Ph.D.-granting departments of computer science in the U.S. and Canada, and on the timing and titles of 200,476 associated publications.... Research from prestigious institutions spreads more quickly and completely than work of similar quality originating from less prestigious institutions...

  7. Don Kuehn: A few more thoughts on monopsony and the minimum wage: "Monopsony is definitely not the only and not even really the best theoretical argument for why we see no disemployment effects.... We have work that suggests there is monopsony power in low wage labor markets, and we know that under certain conditions (but not all conditions) dynamic monopsony can explain the no disemployment effect result, so it seems reasonable to me to keep it on the table...

  8. John Stuart Mill (1829): Of the Influence of Consumption on Production: "Those who have, at periods such as we have described, affirmed that there was an excess of all commodities, never pretended that money was one of these commodities; they held that there was not an excess, but a deficiency of the circulating medium. What they called a general superabundance, was not a superabundance of commodities relatively to commodities, but a superabundance of all commodities relatively to money. What it amounted to was, that persons in general, at that particular time, from a general expectation of being called upon to meet sudden demands, liked better to possess money than any other commodity. Money, consequently, was in request, and all other commodities were in comparative disrepute...

  9. Òscar Jordà, Moritz HP. Schularick, and Alan M. Taylor (2014): Betting the House: "Is there a link between loose monetary conditions, credit growth, house price booms, and financial instability? This paper analyzes the role of interest rates and credit in driving house price booms and busts with data spanning 140 years of modern economic history in the advanced economies. We exploit the implications of the macroeconomic policy trilemma to identify exogenous variation in monetary conditions: countries with fixed exchange regimes often see fluctuations in short-term interest rates unrelated to home economic conditions. We use novel instrumental variable local projection methods to demonstrate that loose monetary conditions lead to booms in real estate lending and house prices bubbles; these, in turn, materially heighten the risk of financial crises. Both effects have become stronger in the postwar era...

  10. Pia Ceres: 3 Smart Things About Animal-Inspired Robotics: "When turkeys strut, their leg muscles work as shock absorbers to boost energy efficiency.... Though it has a brain, the lamprey—an eel-like beast—doesn’t need it to wiggle about.... Cockroaches can react in 1⁄50 of a second and skitter 25 body lengths per second...

  11. Karl Polanyi: Aristotle Discovers the Economy https://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/06/notes-polanyi-aristotle-discovers-the-economy-hoisted-from-the-archives.html http://delong.typepad.com/polanyi-aristotle.pdf https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0GwzWFlWB8EGxTiETO8L6-OkA

  12. Notes: Polanyi: Aristotle Discovers the Economy: Hoisted from the Archives

  13. Dylan Matthews: Human Extinction: How To Help People Millions Of Years From Now: "A few brief thoughts on the very, very distant future...


#shouldread
#weblogging

A Baker's Dozen of Fairly-Recent Links

stacks and stacks of books

  1. Joe Nocera: Forsyth Tech Shows How Community Colleges Can Help Middle Class: "Partnerships between schools and employers can better train students for available jobs.... Forsyth Tech under Green has become an exemplar of what a community college ought to be. Let me rephrase that: In this era when even blue-collar labor requires knowledge and training to make a decent wage, it is what community colleges have to be...

  2. Tim Duy: Monday Morning Notes: Fed Week: "The reason the Fed continues to press on with the rate hike campaign is quite simple – the economy refuses to catch a cold, let along give up the ghost. As long as that is the case, the Fed will continue to ratchet up the pressure with gradual rate hikes. To be sure, there is plenty to worry about. Trade wars. Oil prices. Emerging markets. Political crisis in the U.S. It is reasonable to be concerned that these factors will eventually cause a real dent in the U.S. economy, but so far the economy and financial markets have remained remarkably resilient...

  3. Joe Peek, Eric S. Rosengren, and Geoffrey M.B. Tootell: Some Unpleasant Stabilization Arithmetic: "Likely that FFR will hit ELB, short-circuiting countercyclical MP. Effects will not fall evenly on states. Limitations on what has been the first, and often the last, resort for countercyclical policy heightens importance of establishing adequate buffers for nonmonetary policy tools. Concerns about rising federal debt, limited state and local fiscal policy buffers, and any weakening of bank capital regulations...

  4. Rev Rabia: Music Earthy and Spiritual

  5. Baker and Commons: 2900 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

  6. Abbey Perreault: How Fish and Chips Migrated to Great Britain: "The fried fish was introduced by Jews fleeing religious persecution...

  7. Courtney Lichterman: The Hidden History of Shanghai's Jewish Quarter: "... >As Hitler’s bid to rid the world of Jews escalated, so did the world’s refusal to let them in. What’s not well known is that when those borders, ports, doors, windows, and boundaries began shutting Jews out, in part by refusing to issue them visas, Shanghai, though already swollen with people and poverty, was the only place on Earth willing to accept them with or without papers...

  8. Walter Jon Williams: Lifestyles of the Rich and Stupid: ".One of the joys of reading contemporary literary fiction is enjoying... close observation... done right, is delightful, but you have to hope that whatever is being observed is worth the effort, and so often it isn’t, as (for example) when the subject is adultery among the white American upper middle classes. (If you’re going to write about sex, why set it among the most boring people in the world?  But I digress.)... East Coast white upper-middle class (which is one of the rules of literary fiction since the CIA’s cultural coup in the 1950s, meant to assure that serious writers would not insert political content into their works)...

  9. Jenna Chandler: Proposition 10: California’s Rent Control Ballot Measure, Explained: "Who’s behind it, who’s against it, and what it will mean for Los Angeles...

  10. Nicola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer: A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0691184925

  11. Wikipedi: Recessional: "Deuteronomy 6,12: 'Then beware lest thou forget the Lord which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt...'

  12. John Stuart Mill: Of the Influence of Consumption on Production

  13. Nick Maggiuli: Why The Best Predictor of Future Stock Market Returns is Useless: "When average investor allocation to stocks is high, returns for the next 10 years are low, and when average investor allocation to stocks is low, returns for the next 10 years are high...

Continue reading "A Baker's Dozen of Fairly-Recent Links" »


Stagnant Real Wages and Secular Stagnation Are Not Closely Related: DeLong FAQ

EconSpark: Derrick Miedaner asks: What role, if any, does secular stagnation play in the flat growth of wages since the recovery?": I reply: I think Ed Lambert is correct. "Secular stagnation" is probably not the best label for the worry. The worry is that financial markets have gotten themselves wedged into a situation in which frequently and for sustained periods of time it is the case that the full-employment real safe short-term Wicksellian neutral rate of interest turns out to be less than the negative of the central bank's inflation target. In a flexible-price full-employment economy, the economy deals with this and maintains full employment by having the price level drop instantaneously and discretely whenever this occurs in order to generate the extra inflation needed to get the market rate at the zero lower bound to its value needed for full employment, the real safe short-term Wicksellian neutral rate of interest. This was one of the major (but I think often overlooked) points of Krugman (1998) https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/1998/06/1998b_bpea_krugman_dominquez_rogoff.pdf.

Continue reading "Stagnant Real Wages and Secular Stagnation Are Not Closely Related: DeLong FAQ" »


Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads...

  1. Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett: Consequences of Routine Work Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Wellbeing: "The rise in precarious work has also involved a major shift in the temporal dimension of work, a fundamental and under-appreciated manifestation of the risk shift from firms... #labormarket #equitablegrowth

  2. Is there any intellectual and moral crime against journalism a New York Times employee can commit that will get him bounced? It appears not: Tom Friedman: Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last: "The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today is in Saudi Arabia... its own Arab Spring... led from the top down by the country’s 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.... If it succeeds, it will not only change the character of Saudi Arabia but the tone and tenor of Islam across the globe. Only a fool would predict its success—but only a fool would not root for it... #journamalism

  3. Wikipedia: Aztec Myth: "Ometeotl gave birth to four children, the four Tezcatlipocas, who each preside over one of the four cardinal directions.[citation needed] Over the West presides the White Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl, the god of light, mercy and wind. Over the South presides the Blue Tezcatlipoca, Huitzilopochtli, the god of war. Over the East presides the Red Tezcatlipoca, Xipe Totec, the god of gold, farming and Spring time. And over the North presides the Black Tezcatlipoca, also called simply Tezcatlipoca, the god of judgment, night, deceit, sorcery and the Earth... #security

  4. Lisa D. Cook is worried that the quantity of Big Data cannot compensate for its low quality. Statistics gives us lots of power with representative random samples. Nothing can give us power without the tools to do what representativeness does: Lisa D. Cook: @drlisadcook: "'Without taking data quality into account, population inferences with Big Data are subject to a Big Data Paradox... #statistics #riseoftherobots

  5. Suresh Naidu, Eric A. Posner, and E. Glen Weyl: Antitrust Remedies for Labor Market Power: "Labor market power has contributed to wage inequality and economic stagnation... #monopoly

  6. Vijay Govindarajan, Shivaram Rajgopal, and Anup Srivastava: Why We Need to Update Financial Reporting for the Digital Era: "The market caps of just four companies, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft, now exceed $3 trillion... #finance

  7. Scott Jaschik: Author discusses his new book on anti-intellectualism and fascism: "A country that is not fascist may still experience fascist politics... efforts to divide society and demonize groups.... How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley... #books #neofascism

  8. Matt O'Brien: Inequality is worse than we know. The super-rich really do avoid a lot of taxes: "On the legal end of the spectrum... companies shift their profits to show up in low-tax jurisdictions.... According to Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman and his co-researchers... as much as 40 percent of all multinational profits and 50 percent of U.S. ones... #inequality #equitablegrowth

  9. A search model that (a) produces the right cyclical elasticity of wages but (b) does not produce the right cyclical volatility of employment has the wrong microfoundations. It is producing the right cyclical elasticity of wages because it is producing the wrong cyclical volatility of employment. Thus I think this approach is pretty much tapped out: Christopher A Pissarides: The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?: "An equilibrium search model... focus on the model’s failure to match the observed cyclical volatility of unemployment... #labormarket #monetaryeconomics

  10. Martin Wolf: How To Avoid the Next Financial Crisis: "The proximate explanations for the huge shortfalls in output were collapses in investment.... This weak investment must also help explain low rates of innovation, which is particularly visible in directly-hit countries. New technology is often embodied in new equipment... #greatrecession #finance

  11. I endorse Steve Teles here—except that I have a hard time calling any book that I learned as much as I learned from MacLean's Democracy in Chains "very poor". MacLean should engage Teles and Farrell on the merits. And she can: When Farrell and Teles rule out-of-order James Buchanan's memos on the grounds that "correspondence with... donors... is inherently problematic... as a guide to underlying intent..." they are guilty of strongly motivated reasoning. Perhaps your claims to donors that you are in the business of trying to create an ideological, extremist, and partisan movement to roll back the New Deal and destroy the "Labor Monopoly Movement" are "problematic". Perhaps your claims to liberal scholars that you are in the business of honest intellectual inquiry are "problematic". MacLean ignores the second. Teles and Farrell ignore the first. IMHO, MacLean is closer to right on this point. But MacLean's unwillingness to engage the substance here and elsewhere is, I think, characterized as simply stupid at best: Steve Teles: A Response to Nancy MacLean: "Wearing my scholar’s hat, I came to the same impression as Professors Berman, Farrell and Burns—that Prof. MacLean had written a very poor piece of scholarship... #publicchoice

  12. Economic agents as harried triage nurses grabbing for an immediate diagnosis from the salient features of the case in front of them; Nicola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer: Diagnostic Expectations: "Diagnostic expectations are represented by a linear combination of the rational expectations of 𝜔𝑡+1 held at 𝑡 and at 𝑡 − 1.... It is not that decision-makers compute rational expectations and combine them.... Rather, oversampling representative future states yields the linear combination in (4). This formula reflects a “kernel of truth” logic: diagnostic expectations differ from rational expectations by a shift in the direction of the information received at 𝑡, given by [𝔼𝑡(𝜔𝑡+1) − 𝔼𝑡−1(𝜔𝑡+1)]... #expectations #economicsgoneright

  13. It is not going to happen. The throne is not going to be kept warm. The American century-and-a-half of potential and century of actual global diplomatic preeminence is over. The question is whether there will be no hegemony, a Chinese hegemony, or an inner alliance of western Europe plus Canada, Japan, and Australia that set the pace: Dan Froomkin: Daalder and Lindsay Say: U.S. Allies Should Keep The Global Leadership 'Throne' Warm For Trump's Successor: "Ivo H. Daalder, who served as Barack Obama’s ambassador to NATO, and James M. Lindsay, a senior vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations, are out with a new book: The Empty Throne: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership. They outline their plan for an interregnum in a companion piece entitled The Committee to Save the World Order published by Foreign Affairs... #security


A search model that (a) produces the right cyclical elasticity of wages but (b) does not produce the right cyclical volatility of employment has the wrong microfoundations. It is producing the right cyclical elasticity of wages because it is producing the wrong cyclical volatility of employment. Thus I think this approach is pretty much tapped out: Christopher A Pissarides: The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?: "An equilibrium search model... focus on the model’s failure to match the observed cyclical volatility of unemployment...

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2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: As C.S. Lewis said: “I pray, my Lord, that I never believe I see my own face on the one seated on the judgment throne”. American religion, at least white Protestant and Catholic religion, is overwhelmingly a self-righteousness multiplier—not an independent influence. You could perhaps make an exception for Jewish and African-American religion, with their focus on _ avadim hayinu l’pharo b’mitzrayim_ and thus our need to succor the orphan and the stranger and be the hands of The One Who Is in the liberation of others. But those are minor currents in what is called “American religion”.

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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" »