#smackdown Feed

Monday Smackdown: Todd van der Werff Gets Game of Thrones Wrong...

Battle of the bastards Google Search

This is wrong!:

Todd van der Werff: Game of Thrones season 6, episode 9: 5 winners and 6 losers in the “Battle of the Bastards”: "Winner 1: Jon Snow...

...Well, obviously. Jon doesn’t just win the titular battle. He also effectively wins a battle against the entire dramatic apparatus of the TV show he lives in.... Jon also earned his win. Yeah, he was saved at the last minute by his half-sister and Littlefinger (more on that in a second), but he kept his troops rallied, even when they were surrounded on all sides by men with shields who were slowly killing all of them.... Yeah, someone else saves the day, but Jon gets everybody to the point where the day can be saved...

John Snow was so completely out-generalled by Ramsey Bolton that it isn't even funny. Yes, Wun-Wun and Petyr Baelish's acceding to Sansa's request and showing up with the knights of the Vale saves the day. But all John Snow did was to not die while his strategic, operational, and tactical decisions got his army of Stark loyalists and Wildlings slaughtered.

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Todd van der Werff Gets Game of Thrones Wrong..." »


(Late) Monday Smackdown: David Brooks and the New York Times as 200-Proof Bilgewater

NewImage

Yastreblyansky: Amputated Love: "We all need some comic relief...

...Fortunately there's the opening sentence of today's David Brooks column, 'The Building Blocks of Learning':

The ancient Greeks had different words for different kinds of love — like Ludus (playful love), Pragma (longstanding love) and Agape (universal love).

That's a Radio Yerevan joke:

Question to Radio Yerevan: Is it correct that the ancient Greek words for different kinds of love included ludus (playful love), pragma (longstanding love), and agape (universal love)?

Answer: In principle, yes. But first of all, ludus is Latin, not Greek; second, ludus meant 'game, sport, play' or in the plural 'public entertainment', and pragma meant 'thing done, fact'; third, when they are used nowadays to mean a kind of love, pragma means 'practical' or 'convenient love', and agape means 'love that is altruistic towards one's partner'; and fourth, these uses come not from the ancients but from the Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee's Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973).

Continue reading "(Late) Monday Smackdown: David Brooks and the New York Times as 200-Proof Bilgewater" »


(Late) Monday Journamalism Smackdown

If a horse takes a four-length lead and holds it for the entire race, that's what a competent horse-race reporter reports. Even horse-race reporting has its standards. But journamalism...

In the middle of March Alex Seitz-Wald--a smart man--wrote a story:

Alex Seitz-Wald: Hillary Clinton Back on Track to Win Democratic Nomination

But when did HRC get off track?

She didn't: she was always on track:

Who s On Track For The Nomination FiveThirtyEight

But Alex Seitz-Wald wrote as if the default assumption was that Bernie Sanders' win in Michigan in early March had in fact knocked HRC "off track":

Alex Seitz-Wald: Hillary Clinton Back on Track to Win Democratic Nomination: "Bernie Sanders' upset in Michigan last week may have simply delayed the inevitable.... Tuesday was not a blowout, though.... If Sanders was going to suffer a major loss, now is a good time to do it...

Continue reading "(Late) Monday Journamalism Smackdown" »


(Late) Monday DeLong Smackdown: Robert Waldmann on the Dimensions of Inequality That Matter

NewImage

Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: The Davos Lie: "I edit Kevin O'Rourke:

A third implication is that this should lower the demand for unskilled workers [who live in developed countries], hence lowering unskilled wages [in developed countries] and increasing inequality [within developed countries, while make the worldwide distribution of income more equal]

Continue reading "(Late) Monday DeLong Smackdown: Robert Waldmann on the Dimensions of Inequality That Matter" »


(Early) Monday Smackdown: I Am Now Sorry I Ever Linked to Yves Smith...

Wile e coyote Google Search

Why, yes, Yves Smith is like Wile E. Coyote. Why do you ask?

Scott Lemieux does the intellectual garbage collection:

Scott Lemieux: Rarely Has An Argument Refuted Itself So Comprehensively: "The headline is…instructive: 'Why Some of the Smartest Progressives I Know Will Vote for Trump over Hillary.'

You must know a lot of really dumb, or at least really uninformed, people. I’m reminded of one of our commenters, who is fond of citing all of his unnamed friends and colleagues who totally agree with positions like ‘Maureen Dowd is a deep thinker and sparkling prose stylist’ and ‘someone who, coming out of rural southern Washington, became a Sterling Professor at Yale Law in his early 30s and was tabbed by FDR to head the SEC was an imbecile of no professional accomplishment.’ To the extent that these friends aren’t apocryphal and you’re stating their views correctly, so much worse for your friends!

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: I Am Now Sorry I Ever Linked to Yves Smith..." »


Monday Smackdown: Nick Kristof and the New York Times: Shakezulu Does the Intellectual Garbage Collection

MOAR bilgewater!

Live from the Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: Shakezulu: "Kristof isn’t arguing for or against more conservative voices around the university table...

...This is yet another round of You call yourself progressive? Then kiss this rabid skunk. Normal people know that kissing a rabid skunk, eating a peanut butter & crap sandwich or whatever the litmus test de l’heure happens to be, has zero to do with anything. But the Kristofs of the world like to devise these tests and shout J’accuse! when the subjects refuse to participate....

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Nick Kristof and the New York Times: Shakezulu Does the Intellectual Garbage Collection" »


Hoisted from Two Years Ago: Jack Goldsmith Tries Patience with Michael Kinsley and the New York Times

Jack Goldsmith: Tries Patience with Michael Kinsley: "Why Kinsley is Wrong About the Connection Between Democracy and the Publication of National Security Secrets:...

...Michael Kinsley, in his review of Glenn Greenwald’s book made the following claims about leaks of national security secrets:

The question is who decides.  It seems clear, at least to me, that the private companies that own newspapers, and their employees, should not have the final say over the release of government secrets, and a free pass to make them public with no legal consequences. In a democracy (which, pace Greenwald, we still are), that decision must ultimately be made by the government. No doubt the government will usually be overprotective of its secrets, and so the process of decision-making--whatever it turns out to be--should openly tilt in favor of publication with minimal delay. But ultimately you can’t square this circle. Someone gets to decide, and that someone cannot be Glenn Greenwald...

Continue reading "Hoisted from Two Years Ago: Jack Goldsmith Tries Patience with Michael Kinsley and the New York Times" »


Liveblogging World War I: May 25, 1916: Jutland

Andrew Gordon: The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command:

Two dramatic events at the end of April 1916 greatly weakened Sir John [Jellicoe]’s grip on the disputed [5th Fast-Battleship] Squadron. First, on the 22nd, the battlecruisers Australia and New Zealand illustrated his worry about fog by colliding in it.... The B[attle ]C[ruiser ]F[leet] entered a sudden fog-bank which made the flagship invisible. What should the individual ships do? Australia zagged by the clock while New Zealand held her course. The enquiry found BCF Signal Orders to be ambiguous, and Beatty himself shouldered the blame.... Australia had to go down to Devonport for repairs and would be absent for several weeks, diminishing Beatty’s margin of strength over Franz Hipper.

Continue reading "Liveblogging World War I: May 25, 1916: Jutland" »


Monday Smackdown: Fox Thinks Birds Are Mammals, or Mammals Are Birds, or Something...

Live from Rupert Murdoch's Employees' Self-Made Gehenna: News Hound Ellen: Fox & Friends Attacks Obama For Making The Bison The National Mammal: "Apparently... the Curvy Couch Crew suggested the bison was going to replace the bald eagle...

...which is a bird....

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Fox Thinks Birds Are Mammals, or Mammals Are Birds, or Something..." »


Pre-Monday Smackdown: Why Is There Still a New York Times?

Live from the New York Times Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: Yes. Reading the New York Times is like drinking bilgewater. Why do you ask?

Steve M.: "Jacob Weisberg and Walter Shapiro have spotted a piece...

...of bad journalism:

Jacob Weisberg: NYT again with the mistake of trying to figure out Trump's views, in this case on climate change. He has no views.

Walter Shapiro: This is the danger of false equivalence in fall campaign: Hillary's position papers vs. Trump's irrational ad libs.

I'm not sure they've pinpointed the problem, but they're right to complain about the story, which is here: [Erica Goode] "What Are Donald Trump’s Views on Climate Change? Some Clues Emerge"....

Continue reading "Pre-Monday Smackdown: Why Is There Still a New York Times?" »


Live from the New York Times Journamalists Self-Made Gehenna: The number of people who see very little of value indeed in David Samuels's profile of Ben Rhodes, or in New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein's choice of and backing of Rhodes, or in Dean Baquet's choice of and backing of Silverstein continues to grow...

I must say: bilgewater indeed:

Ron Kampeas: Did Ben Rhodes really dupe the media and the public about Obama’s Iran deal?: "A problem with [David Samuels's] profile...

Continue reading "" »


Monday Smackdown: Randy Barnett on the World-Historical Colossus That Is Macro Rubio!

I missed this piece of absolute idiocy when it came by two months ago:

Paul Campos: The paranoid style, part infinity: "Randy Barnett is a Georgetown University law professor...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Randy Barnett on the World-Historical Colossus That Is Macro Rubio!" »


Pre-Monday DeLong Smackdown: On Hayek, Hobbes, Smith (Adam), and Smith (Noah)

Comment of the Day Robert Waldmann: DeLong on Hayek, Smith, and Smith: "I will be contrarian...

...(1) On The Road to Serfdom. Science progresses as people develop testable hypotheses, test them and reject them. Like _Leviathan, The Road to Serfdom presented a plausible (if pessimistic) hypothesis which turned out not to correspond to reality.

Continue reading "Pre-Monday DeLong Smackdown: On Hayek, Hobbes, Smith (Adam), and Smith (Noah)" »


Must-Read/Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Shame on Pete Peterson, the Pete Peterson Foundation, and the organizers of the Pete Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit. They could have given that time to somebody who had something to say--besides lies:

Matthew Yglesias: A Trump adviser's plan for a multitrillion-dollar budget surplus, explained: "Speaking at a Pete Peterson Foundation fiscal summit on Wednesday...

Continue reading "" »


Monday Smackdown: Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin of The New York Times

Live from the Journamalists Self-Made Gehenna: Yes. Reading Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin of the New York Times is like drinking bilge water. Why do you ask?

The smackdown is brought by Steve M.**: Dear New York Times: The Reason for Trump's Rise Wasn't the Tweets: "Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin... go a wee bit overboard blaming it all on new media:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin of The New York Times" »


Monday Smackdown: Dana Milbank of the Washington Post

Live from the Journamalists Self-Made Gehenna: Yes, reading Dana Milbank of the Washington Post is like drinking bilge water. Why do you ask?

The smackdown is brought by: Duncan Black**: I Don't Think the Potty Mouth is the Problem: "What has Mr. 'Mad Bitch Beer' incensed is that the Donald says bad words...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Dana Milbank of the Washington Post" »


(Early) Monday DeLong Self-Smackdown: My Twelve--Twelve!--Intellectual Nadirs

  1. In the early 1990s, that the rapid growth of the Japanese economy would continue...

  2. In the early 1990s, that the rapid privatization of Russian industry was more likely than not to set up a favorable political dynamic that would lead to very rapid economic and political recovery in Russia...

  3. In the early 1990s, that centrist bipartisan coalitions were possible...

  4. In the early 1990s, that NAFTA's encouragement of FDI in Mexico would outweigh portfolio diversification and cause the peso to strengthen...

  5. In the mid-1990s, that the U.S. unemployment rate would not be able to drop below six percent without generating rising inflation...

  6. At the end of the 1990s, that Clinton-era deficit elimination efforts would endure...

  7. In the mid-2000s, that central banks had the tools, the skill, and the political will to stabilize economies at high levels of employment and low levels of inflation, and thus that fiscal policy and financial institutions policy no longer had any compelling stabilization policy role to play...

  8. In the mid-2000s, that large, leveraged financial institutions had sufficient caution and sufficient control over their derivatives books that their derivative positions did not pose major systemic risk...

  9. In the mid-2000s, that one significant threat to the world economy would come from the fact that in a crisis the shaky long-term finances of the U.S. social insurance state might provoke a collapse of confidence in the long-term value of the dollar...

  10. In the mid-2000s, that there were significant equilibrium-restoring forces in the labor market...

  11. In the late-2000s, that academic macroeconomics was not in that bad shape...

  12. At the end of the 2000s, that there were expectational limits to old-line expansionary Keynesian policies that would manifest themselves relatively soon...

I think that is all the big ones...


Unprofessional: The University of Chicago and the Wall Street Journal Have Intellectual Quality Control Problems

UPDATE: There is demand for slides: http://tinyurl.com/del20160506c | http://www.bradford-delong.com/2016-05-06-cochrane-slides.html

Over in my Twitter feed, Matthew Yglesias reminds me that whatever sins committed against the Gods of Reality-Based Analysis by BernieBros pale in comparison to the total idiocy of the Wall Street Journal and modern Chicago-school economics...

Here is the scatter, for 2014, of GDP per capita levels across the world and the World Bank's "Doing Business" rating:

Untitled 12 numbers

The U.S. economy is best-of-breed in GDP per capita--even with Hong Kong and a hair below Switzerland--excepting, of course oil economies (UAE, Norway, Qatar, etc.) and money-laundering economies (Luxembourg). The U.S. business climate is very good at an 82--albeit the World Bank says that it is not as great as New Zealand's and Singapore's in the low 90s.

What do you think would happen if the U.S. were to undertake to push its "business climate" not just to Singapore's 93 but to be what the World Bank regards as entrepreneurial best-practice worldwide in all of its components?

What curve would you draw through these points and extend out to an x-axis value of 100?

And how much would you regard that curve as cause-and-effect, with "Doing Business" rating the cause and GDP per capita level the effect, and how much as effect-and-cause or both being results of other factors?

Continue reading "Unprofessional: The University of Chicago and the Wall Street Journal Have Intellectual Quality Control Problems" »


Monday Smackdown: Superfreakeconomists Are Back!

Across my twitter account comes a tweet reminding me that, to the best of my knowledge, I never got any answers to the six questions I asked of Stevens Dubner and Levitt seven years ago.

It really would be nice if one of them responded--they have had seven years to do so, after all. All they have to say is: "1. No, you are not wrong. 2. No, he did not say that. 3. You can't--that was a pure arithmetic error on our part. 4. We are not clear on what definition of 'economic suicide' we were using, but we were wrong. 5. Yes, it is a small fraction. 6. No, you are not wrong':

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Superfreakeconomists Are Back!" »


Monday Smackdown: Scott Lemieux on Maureen Dowd's Greatest Bong Hits

You know. There is much too much good stuff out there--written by smart, hard-working people trying their best to inform me, many of whom have not gotten their fair chance because they did not make the right connections or flatter the right gatekeepers. The combination of Obama's saying what's what last night and the latest Maureen Dowd column... Actions should have consequences: bye, bye, New York Times. I'll whitelist Paul Krugman. But that's it. (However, anybody else who wants to be whitelisted drop me an email.)

Scott Lemieux: Maureen Dowd's Greatest Bong Hits, An Ongoing Series: "Sometimes, you hear that even if Dowd’s ideas are lame...

...you have to admit she can write. No I do not. It’s all cliches and references and phrases that seem to take the form of humor while never, ever being funny. Also, as Charlie Pierce said about Bill Simmons... Dowd’s ‘vaunted pop-cult knowledge is carved out of a very thin loaf of Wonder Bread.’ The one billionth lazy, meaningless reference to Lena Dunham--Dowd sure is on top of the zeitgeist.... Now we reach the point where the column stops becoming merely something too banal to be worthy of publishing alongside the onion dip recipes and profiles of B-list celebrities in the Sunday supplement in the local paper and becomes actively offensive:

‘It’s going to be nasty, isn’t it?’ says Obama Pygmalion David Axelrod. ‘Put the small children away until November.’

It sure is great that ‘Barry’ Obama knew a white guy who could teach the former president of the Harvard Law Review how to act in polite society....

We can only hope that Cruz, who croons Broadway show tunes, and Carly, who breaks into song at the lectern, will start doing duets from ‘Hamilton.’

I have to give her this: she never misses the opportunity to include the most obvious pop culture reference in a way that doesn’t say anything. It’s impressive in its own way. You’d think one of them would be funny one time if only my accident, but nope. Longtime Dowd watchers will note, however, that she’s been playing against type here, unprecedentedly arguing that Hillary Clinton is a woman. So you already know the twist that’s coming: in fact, all Democratic men are women and all Democratic women are men:

On some foreign policy issues, the roles are reversed for the candidates and their parties. It’s Hillary the Hawk against Donald the Quasi-Dove. Just as Barack Obama seemed the more feminized candidate in 2008 because of his talk-it-out management style, his antiwar platform and his delicate eating habits, always watching his figure, so now, in some ways, Trump seems less macho than Hillary. He has a tender ego, pouty tweets, needy temperament and obsession with hand sanitizer, whereas she is so tough and combat-hardened, she’s known by her staff as ‘the Warrior.’

The idea that a ‘tender ego’ and ‘needy temperament’ (or, for that matter, ‘obsession with hand sanitizer’) are inconsistent with masculine bluster is hilarious. One amazing thing about Dowd is how inept the Judy Miller of love is even on the only subject she actually cares about, gender stereotypes. And finally, what would a Maureen Down column be without a massive factual howler that benefits the Republican candidate:

The prime example of commander-in-chief judgment Trump offers is the fact that, like Obama, he thought the invasion of Iraq was a stupid idea.

Trump’s assertion that he opposed the Iraq War ex ante is an utter lie, and since it’s the sole basis for asserting that Trump is any kind of ‘dove’ that’s kind of a problem. But it’s a lie that fits the narrative, and that’s all the Pulitzer winner has ever needed.


(Early) Monday Self-Smackdown by the Often-Insightful Corey Robins

The often-insightful Corey Robin makes a huge fool of himself.

Sad!

Shorter Corey Robins: The Americans I call "neoliberals" are in fact actually what I call "neoliberals" only to the extent that they declared the fundamentals of their political program to be something very different than they did--i.e., not at all.

Corey Robin: Neoliberalism: A Quick Follow-up — Crooked Timber: "There was a moment in American history when a group of political and intellectual actors...

...under the aegis of [Charles] Peters, took on the name ‘neoliberal’ for themselves. That’s who I was talking about.... The term was coined by a group of mostly conservative free market intellectuals... to counter the rise of democratic socialism and welfare-state liberalism.... That group would coalesce after World War II as the Mont Pelerin Society.... That earlier coinage matters, and isn’t just a point of scholarly pedantry.... A program to rollback the welfare state and social democracy, to revalorize capital and the capitalist as a moral good, to proclaim the ideological supremacy of the market over the state.... Insofar as [Charles] Peters and his group of neoliberals in the United States declared the fundamentals of their political program to be: a) opposition to unions; b) opposition to big government (except for the military); and c) support for big business, I find the term “neoliberal” to be useful not only for describing Peters and his crew but also for relating that crew to the overall program of neoliberalism...


(Early) Monday Smackdown: Robert Waldmann: Requiring That One Have the "Correct Theory" Before Changing the World Is a Loser's Game

Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: A Comment on Henry Farrell commenting on Brad DeLong Commenting on Henry Farrell Commenting on Doug Henwood: "I didn't get the impression Brad claimed you are a Marxist...

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: Robert Waldmann: Requiring That One Have the "Correct Theory" Before Changing the World Is a Loser's Game" »


(Early) Monday Smackdown: Scott Lemieux vs. Emmett Rensin

Scott Lemieux: Is Liberal "Smugness" A Meaningful Causal Factor In American Politics? (SPOILER: Still No.): "Emmett Rensin.... Based on some of his tweets, I fully expected the move in the...

...‘the two-step of terrific triviality’ in which he backed off his transparently erroneous causal claims and historical assumptions and reduced his argument down to some unexceptionable banality like ‘liberals should take people who disagree with them seriously.’ And we do got both steps here. But ultimately, for better or worse, he means it. This... does not go well....

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: Scott Lemieux vs. Emmett Rensin" »


Live from La Farine: Duncan Black is anxious:

Duncan Black**: Hard to Kick the Habit: "Hope to be wrong, but suspect that team Clinton (very broadly defined)...

...will still be talking about BernieBros in September. I'm quite happy for Hillary Clinton to be the nominee, as I always thought she would be. I'm not happy with the months of 'we would have won it easy if not for these meddling kids who won't vote in November' rhetoric. Better figure out how to appeal to them. Stop calling them immature and stupid. The goal is to win, not to make early excuses for why you're going to lose.

Nah. After yesterday the word--and the obvious thing--is to stand down.

Mind you: The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for Guevarista fantasies about what their policies are likely to do. The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for advocating Comintern-scale lying to voters about what our policies are like to do. And it will be important to do so then--because overpromising leads to bad policy decisions, and overpromising is bad long-run politics as well.

But that day is not now. That day will be mid-November.


Live Drunkblogging/Monday Smackdown: The Execrble Jim VandeHei

Little sumpin ipa Google Search

Live Drunkblogging from the Claremont Hotel Bar: Watching the sunset over San Francisco Bay out the big picture windows. My drinking companions have gone. I am not yet drunk enough to have forgotten that I shouldn't blog drunk. But I have drunk enough that I do not care. In other words, I have had one Lagunitas "Little Sumpin Extra" ale. (Hey: cut me a break1! It's 17 proof! And lots of it!~)

This isn't even Anglisc!

Jim VandeHei: Bring on a Third-Party Candidate: "A third-party candidate could build on death-by-drones by outlying...

...the type of modern weapons, troops and war powers needed to keep America safe. And make plain when he or she will use said power. Do it with very muscular language--there is no market for nuance in the terror debate...

Did it ever occur to Jim VandeHei that George W. Bush and Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice and Colin Powell's idiocy has killed many more innocent peope than died on 9/11? And that all of their relatives are rightfully pissed?!


Live Drunkblogging/Monday Smackdown: The Execrble Jim VandeHei

Little sumpin ipa Google Search

Live Drunkblogging from the Claremont Hotel Bar: Watching the sunset over San Francisco Bay out the big picture windows. My drinking companions have gone. I am not yet drunk enough to have forgotten that I shouldn't blog drunk. But I have drunk enough that I do not care. In other words, I have had one Lagunitas "Little Sumpin Extra" ale. (Hey: cut me a break1! It's 17 proof! And lots of it!~)

Jim VandeHei: Bring on a Third-Party Candidate: "I have spent the past two decades in the Washington, D.C., bubble...

...the heart of Establishment America--covering politics and building a company, Politico, focused solely on politics. But I’ve also spent a lot of time in my hometown of Oshkosh, Wis., and my adopted hometown of Lincoln, Maine, two blue-collar towns in the heart of Normal America.

Let's stop right there:

Continue reading "Live Drunkblogging/Monday Smackdown: The Execrble Jim VandeHei" »


(Early) Monday DeLong Smackdown (Perhaps?): Carbon Pricing, Coal, Free Trade, Comparative Advantage, and Technology Transfer

Over at Equitable Growth: Typically smart thoughts by Paul Krugman on carbon pricing:

Paul Krugman: 101 Boosteris: "I see that @drvox is writing a big piece on carbon pricing...

...I don’t want to step on his forthcoming message, but what he’s said so far helped crystallize something I’ve meant to write about... ‘101 boosterism’... a takeoff on Noah Smith’s clever writing about ‘101ism’, in which economics writers present Econ 101 stuff about supply, demand, and how great markets are as gospel, ignoring the many ways in which economists have learned to qualify those conclusions in the face of market imperfections. His point is that while Econ 101 can be a very useful guide, it is sometimes (often) misleading.... My point is... even when Econ 101 is right, that doesn’t always mean that it’s... the most important thing.... Economists... delight in talking about issues where 101 refutes naïve intuition, but that doesn’t... mean... these are the crucial policy issues.... Read MOAR

Continue reading "(Early) Monday DeLong Smackdown (Perhaps?): Carbon Pricing, Coal, Free Trade, Comparative Advantage, and Technology Transfer" »


Monday Smackdown: Benn Steil and the Council on Foreign Relations

Hoisted from 2011: Department of "Huh?!": Unclear on What Central Banks Are Department:Benn Steil, a student of "geoeconomics" at the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, is trying to scare his listeners into thinking that something very bad might happen because (i) the ECB is "undercapitalized" and (ii) the ECB is busy buying up the bonds of europeriphery sovereigns:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Benn Steil and the Council on Foreign Relations" »


Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from Others' Archives: The Young Ezra Klein a Decade Ago on a Component of the Right-Wing Noise Machine

Hoisted from Other People's Archives: Ezra Klein: End of the Powerline: "With the Schiavo memos proven to be from a Republican source and Powerline not apologizing for their truthless innuendo and slander...

...it's time to break out the popcorn and see if Big Trunk and Hindrocket can clear the shark. Odds are on massive carnage.... It's not just that they have no shame, it's that they once met shame on a street, beat the shit out of him, rolled him up in a carpet, and threw him off a bridge. And don't even ask me about the nightmare they put truth through. To paraphrase Marv in Sin City, after what they did to poor honesty, hell must have seemed like heaven.

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from Others' Archives: The Young Ezra Klein a Decade Ago on a Component of the Right-Wing Noise Machine" »


Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from 4 Yrs Ago/April Fools All Year/David Graeber Blogging: No, Silicon Valley Did Not and Does Not Partake of the Anarchist Utopian Nature. Why Did You Imagine It Did?

Screenshot 2 10 13 6 29 PM

Brad DeLong : No, Silicon Valley Did Not and Does Not Partake of the Anarchist Utopian Nature. Why Did You Imagine It Did?: I would be smarter if I read more Unfogged comment threads...

Courtesy of an unknown lurker informing the Mineshaft that "Graeber, on Twitter, sourced [his] Apple claim to his memory of a lecture by Richard Wolff", and of bjk commenting on More on Graeber, I am led to the… unusual opinions… of neo-Althusserian structuralist wingnut--and guy who made it pleasant to be at U.Mass--Richard D. Wolff:

Economic Crisis from a Socialist Perspective: Beginnings for the "reform plus" strategy: The contradictions of capitalism offer us partial yet useful examples of the democratization of enterprise advocated by this “reform plus” agenda. One of these, recurring in California for decades, can illustrate our argument.

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from 4 Yrs Ago/April Fools All Year/David Graeber Blogging: No, Silicon Valley Did Not and Does Not Partake of the Anarchist Utopian Nature. Why Did You Imagine It Did?" »


MOAR Niall Ferguson: January 04, 2015: Hard Power, Soft Power, Muscovy, Strategy, and My Once-Again Failure to Understand Where Niall Ferguson Is Coming From: Live from Le Pain Quotidien

January 04, 2015: Hard Power, Soft Power, Muscovy, Strategy, and My Once-Again Failure to Understand Where Niall Ferguson Is Coming From: Live from Le Pain Quotidien: NewImage

In which I once again fail to understand where Niall Ferguson is coming from...

Niall Ferguson: The ‘Divergent’ World of 2015: "Hard power is resilient...

...Having annexed Crimea to Russia, President Putin still has forces camped out in eastern Ukraine. And all over the Muslim world, myriad Islamist organizations, from Islamic State to the Taliban, are using violence to pursue their atavistic goals. In practice, the Obama administration has had little choice but to keep using hard power, from the airstrikes on Islamic State to the economic sanctions on Russia...

And I think: Of course hard power can be decisive--but one needs to have a lot of it, and be willing not just to threaten to use it but to actually use it, and not care that one's use of it may lead the abyss to look into you, and turn you into something you did not want to be, and so cause you to lose even as you "win".

Continue reading "MOAR Niall Ferguson: January 04, 2015: Hard Power, Soft Power, Muscovy, Strategy, and My Once-Again Failure to Understand Where Niall Ferguson Is Coming From: Live from Le Pain Quotidien" »


Monday DeLong Smackdown: Paul Krugman on Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand

I think Paul Krugman gets this one right:

Paul Krugman: Aggregate Supply and Depression Economics: "Robert Waldmann follows up on the question of who got what wrong in the late 1990s analysis of Japan’s liquidity trap...

...As he says, the extremely stripped-down nature of the model I used may have led some readers — like, surprisingly, Brad DeLong — to suppose that I had forgotten about the supply side. Actually, though, I still don’t really understand the confusion — I explicitly began with a flexible-price model, then considered the effects of temporarily fixed prices, so how could that have been unclear [to people like Brad DeLong]?

Continue reading "Monday DeLong Smackdown: Paul Krugman on Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand" »


Monday Smackdown: Robert Waldmann Marks Brad DeLong's Beliefs about "The Return of Depression Economics" to Market

NewImage

Robert Waldmann: Brad DeLong Marks His Beliefs about "The Return of Depression Economics" to Market: "Brad DeLong...reposted his review of Krugman's 'The Return of Depression Economics' from 1999...

...'Just in case I get a swelled-head and think I am right more often than I am ...' Way back in the last century, Brad thought he had a valid criticism of Paul Krugman's argument that Japan (and more generally countries in a liquidity trap) need higher expected inflation. I think the re-post is not just admirable as a self criticism session, but also shows us something about the power of Macroeconomic orthodoxy. Brad is just about as unorthodox as an economist can be without being banished from the profession, but even he was more influenced by Milton Friedman and Robert Lucas than he should have been.... Japan had slack aggregate demand at a safe nominal interest rate of 0--that i,s it was in the liquidity trap. Krugman argued that higher expected inflation would cause negative expected real interest rates and higher aggregate demand and solve the problem. Brad was unconvinced (way back then):

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Robert Waldmann Marks Brad DeLong's Beliefs about "The Return of Depression Economics" to Market" »


Weekend Reading: Justin Fox and Dan Drezner: Niall Ferguson and the Rage Against the Thought-Leader Machine: Hoisted from Their Archives

Justin Fox: Niall Ferguson and the Rage Against the Thought-Leader Machine: "Harvard historian Niall Ferguson ran into an online buzzsaw this week...

...He says the ‘liberal blogosphere’ was out to do him in, and that was part of it. But there’s something bigger at work: a groundswell of resentment for and frustration with the ‘thought leaders’ who craft our conventional wisdom, get paid big speaking fees for it, yet often behave in ways that don’t accord with this status. First Jonah Lehrer, then Fareed Zakaria, now this — and surely there will be more such brouhahas to come. It may be that this groundswell is driven entirely by frustrated would-be speechmaking thought leaders. But I think it’s more than that (then again, as a would-be speechmaking thought leader, I would).

Continue reading "Weekend Reading: Justin Fox and Dan Drezner: Niall Ferguson and the Rage Against the Thought-Leader Machine: Hoisted from Their Archives" »


And One Last Sardonic The-Clown-Show-That-Is-the-Washington-Post April Fools' Day Post...

Dan Balz of the Washington Post finally, finally says: I have not been doing my job! I'll admit to more than four years, but actually it's been a lot longer!

So what are you going to do to gain a reputation as a trusted information intermediary, Dan?

Dan Balz: Can Paul Ryan and Donald Trump Coexist within the Republican Party?: "Four years ago... Thomas Mann... and Norman Ornstein...

...took aim at the gridlocked and dysfunctional politics of Washington and the broader issue of political polarization that has become endemic in recent years. They were unsparing but not even-handed in their critique. They were ahead of others in describing the underlying causes of polarization as asymmetrical, with the Republican Party--in particular its most hard-line faction--as deserving of far more of the blame for the breakdown in governing.

Continue reading "And One Last Sardonic The-Clown-Show-That-Is-the-Washington-Post April Fools' Day Post..." »


Warming Up for April Fools' Day: Hoisted from Matthew Yglesias's Archives: Niall Ferguson Debates Himself

Matthew Yglesias: Niall Ferguson Debates Himself: "I’ve been known to remark on the conservative movement’s strong adherence to Keynesian arguments...

...as a justification for tax cuts in the wake of the mild 2001 recession, adherence that seems puzzling in light of their contrary rhetoric in the wake of the cataclysmic 2008-2009 downturn. Brad DeLong observes that one particularly hilarious example of this is historian-turned-pundit Niall Ferguson who wrote a December 12, 2003 article on the Bush administration that’s in considerable conflict with his contemporary take on things. DeLong requests a Ferguson v Ferguson debate, and with assistance from Ryan McNeely I’m prepared to unveil one.

Continue reading "Warming Up for April Fools' Day: Hoisted from Matthew Yglesias's Archives: Niall Ferguson Debates Himself" »


Monday Smackdown: An Excellent Rant from the Highly-Estimable Bill Black!

Bill Black: Chinese Communists and Wacko U.S. Right Want to Save us from Effete Males: "The New York Times has produced a wonderful, unintended, juxtaposition in their pages on February 6, 2016...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: An Excellent Rant from the Highly-Estimable Bill Black!" »


Yet Another Monday Smackdown: Josh Barro on How the Rumpublicans Smashed and Burned Their Own Furniture, and Now Complain That They Have Nowhere to Sit

Live from the Rumpublicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Josh Barro: How the GOP 'Establishment' Created Trump: "Here is my suggestion.... If you want to understand how Trump invaded your party...

Continue reading "Yet Another Monday Smackdown: Josh Barro on How the Rumpublicans Smashed and Burned Their Own Furniture, and Now Complain That They Have Nowhere to Sit" »


Monday Smackdown: David Weigel on Stephen Moore's "Club for Growth"

David Weigel: Trump and ‘universal health care': the silver bullet that never connects: "The Club for Growth was the first conservative group to strap on 'Stop Trump' spurs...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: David Weigel on Stephen Moore's "Club for Growth"" »


Monday Smackdown: Charles Pierce Brings the Hammer to David Brooks

Charles Pierce: David Brooks Says Trump Is 'Epically Unprepared', Supported George W. Bush and Iraq War: "Moral Hazard, the Irish setter owned for photo op purposes by New York Times columnist David Brooks, was worried...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Charles Pierce Brings the Hammer to David Brooks" »


(Early) Monday Smackdown: Brendan Nyhan on David Brooks

Brendan Nyhan (2008): David Brooks on Obama and salad bars - : "It's easy to be a pop sociologist because you can just make things up:

...On MSNBC, David Brooks asserted that 'less educated' and 'downscale' people 'look at [Sen. Barack] Obama, and they don't see anything,' adding: 'And so, Obama's problem is he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who could go into an Applebee's salad bar, and people think he fits in naturally there.'

Applebee's officials have confirmed to Media Matters that its restaurants do not have salad bars.

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: Brendan Nyhan on David Brooks" »


(Late) Monday Smackdown: John Holbo Looks at Tea Party Founder Rick Santelli

Live from La Farine: John Holbo: I wouldn’t even know where to insert underpants gnomes into that argument:

P1: Colorado exists.
P2: Rearden Metal exists.
P3: Rearden Metal is magic.
C: Libertarianism?

Rick Santelli: "You know what that big number was? It was 1957...

Continue reading "(Late) Monday Smackdown: John Holbo Looks at Tea Party Founder Rick Santelli" »


Monday Smackdown: Martin Longman on Clive Crook

Martin Longman: Don’t Call it Fascism?: "Prepare to be concern-trolled by Clive Crook...

Donald Trump’s critics are making two kinds of mistake when they call him a fascist, or a proto-fascist, or a kind of fascist, or complain that his rallies evoke images of Nazi Germany and so forth. The first mistake is that he isn’t any kind of fascist. The second is that this line of attack at best serves no purpose, and at worst makes him stronger.

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Martin Longman on Clive Crook" »


Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch: Paul Krugman--Are the Principal Benefits from Globalization to Be Found in "Technology" Diffusion

Taking "technology" in the broadest possible sense as including everything that affects productivity that is not a direct resource- or investment-produced factor of production, that is...

Must-Read: Paul Krugman: Globalization and Growth: "Brad DeLong... arguing that the really big benefits of globalization come from technology diffusion...

...which make it a much more positive force than I suggest. I used to believe the same thing, and still find myself thinking along those lines now and then. But I’d argue that economists need to be, at the least, upfront about the argument’s limitations. First, it doesn’t come out of the models. As Brad says, the map is not the territory; but guesses about such things are, well, guesses. There was a time when everyone knew that import-substituting industrialization was the key to economic takeoff, based on loose historical reasoning (America and Germany did it!). Then developing countries tried it en masse, and the results weren’t great.

Continue reading "Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch: Paul Krugman--Are the Principal Benefits from Globalization to Be Found in "Technology" Diffusion" »


(Early) Monday Smackdown: Ezra Klein on the Execrable Josh Kraushaar: Obamacare Didn’t Pave the Way for Donald Trump. The GOP’s Response to it Did

Barack Obama promised his supporters that he would run a government not for Blue States or Red States but for the United States. And to that end Obama has attempted to adopt:

  • John McCain's global-warming policy,
  • Mitt Romney's healthcare policy,
  • George H.W. Bush's foreign policy,
  • Bill Clinton's tax policy,
  • Ben Bernanke's preferred fiscal policy--and
  • kept Ben Bernanke on at the Fed to run monetary policy--while
  • continuing the George W. Bush/Henry Paulson banking- and housing-crisis policy.

Thoroughly centrist governance.

Thoroughly technocratic governance.

And yet the execrable Josh Kraushaar claims that the radical-left policies of the Kenyan Muslim Socialist have driven the Republican Party justifiably mad...

Ezra Klein delivers the proper smackdown:

Ezra Klein: Obamacare didn’t pave the way for Donald Trump. The GOP’s response to it did: "Political Twitter fell all over itself mocking this article [by Josh Kraushaar] blaming Al Franken for the rise of Donald Trump...

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: Ezra Klein on the Execrable Josh Kraushaar: Obamacare Didn’t Pave the Way for Donald Trump. The GOP’s Response to it Did" »


Monday Smackdown: David Remnick on How the Rumpublicans Created the Trumpublicans

In their eagerness to fall victim to the twin curses of Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, the Rumpublicans danced up to and over the line--and now are watching as Donald Trump takes their entire organizational base away from them...

David Remnick: American Demagogue: "Trump is... the beneficiary of a long process of Republican intellectual decadence...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: David Remnick on How the Rumpublicans Created the Trumpublicans" »


(Early) Monday Smackdown: Jonathan Chait on Bobby Jindal

Jonathan Chait: On Twitter: "Jindal: By being too calm & intellectual, Obama forced Republicans to nominate angry moron: