What were they thinking of, signing this? Wasn't Kevin Hassett's behavior since 100% predictable? Letter in Support of the Nomination of Kevin Hassett to be Chairman of the Council of Economic…: "Alan J. Auerbach... Martin N. Baily... Dean Baker... (TRUMP)
Olivier Blanchard and Lawrence Summers: Rethinking macro stabilization: Back to the future: "Lessons from past crises... (ECONOMICS)
Simon Wren-Lewis: The lesson monetary policy needs to learn: "The main problem with monetary policy... (MACRO)
Karl Smith: Pax Sinica: What Is To Be done?: "Tyler Cowen reminds me of an issue I used to think a lot about... (STRATEGY)
Jay Shambaugh et al.: Thirteen Facts About Wage Growth: "Economic and policy changes are both important for the division of economic gains... http://www.hamiltonproject.org/assets/files/thirteen_facts_wage_growth.pdf (LABOR)
Danny Quah: When Open Societies Fail: "Why is Wikipedia mostly OK, but so many comments at the end of newspaper articles make you weep for humanity’s future – when both are open for everyone to write?... (INTERNET)
Martin Wolf: A political shadow looms over the world economy: "Optimism about the global economy is tempered by fears of populism... (FASCISM)
Bruce Bartlett: I helped create the GOP tax myth. Trump is wrong: Tax cuts don’t equal growth: "Even if they had released a complete plan — not just the woefully incomplete nine-page outline released Wednesday... (PUBLIC FINANCE)
@delong @pseudoerasmus @leahboustan: On Twitter: What high skilled jobs did the domestication of the horse eliminate?: "@leah_boustan: @pseudoerasmus @de1ong To me, robot has connotation of 'artificial intelligence' so CNC would be robot-like but assembly line would not be... (ROBOTS)
Darrick Hamilton: Post-racial rhetoric, racial health disparities, and health disparity consequences of stigma, stress, and racism: "High achieving black Americans... still exhibit large health disparities... (HEALTH)
Some Fairly-Recent Links:
Tim Duy: Is The Fed Setting Itself Up To Fail In The Next Recession?: "The Federal Reserve remains committed to a December rate hike, persistent low inflation not withstanding.... The main risk... is that the US economy enters the next recession with diminished inflation expectations, which could further hobble central bankers already facing the prospect of returning to the effective lower bound in the next cycle..."
Liz Mair: Trump’s Big Bet—That Republican Voters Like Him More Than Their Party or Congress: "The president loathes his Republican ‘partners’ in the House and the Senate, and doesn’t much mind how unpopular he is so long as he remains more popular than them...."
Sean Illing: 20 of America's top political scientists gathered to discuss our democracy. They're scared: "If current trends continue for another 20 or 30 years, democracy will be toast..."
Richard Thaler: Anomalies Columns
Karen Weese: Behavioral economics has a plan to fight poverty—and it's all about redesigning the "cockpit": "'Scarcity'... changes the way we think. We get tunnel vision, able to focus only on the present problem—the thing we lack—in a kind of fire-fighting mode, leaving us with less bandwidth for everything else..."
Agnel Philip: Krugman Says Potential Fed Chair Warsh Is ‘Wrong About Everything’: "'It’s kind of almost awesome. You could almost make money by taking whatever he thinks is going to happen and betting the other way', according to Krugman. A spokesman at the Hoover Institution, where Warsh is now a fellow, did not immediately respond to a request for comment..."
Mike Monteiro: One person’s history of Twitter, from beginning to end: "When Donald Trump tweets us into war, the bombs don’t fall inside Twitter. When Donald Trump tweets us out of the social contract, citizens who’ve never used the service are left to suffer. What happens when the thing that might save you is also the thing that might destroy the world? What do you do? Where does your responsibility lie? Twitter set out to change the world. It did."
Gary Westfahl: The Joke Is on Us: The Two Careers of Robert A. Heinlein
David Anderson: Misunderstanding the No CSR World – Balloon Juice: "At least forty states have taken steps to protect all on-Exchange buyers from CSR costs in 2018... Bronze and Gold plans are significantly cheaper for subsidized buyers..."
David Ricardo's (1817) "comparative advantage" argument is actually remarkably complex. It is an argument with:
David Ricardo (1817): Principles of Political Economy and Taxation: "Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally devotes its capital and labour to such employments as are most beneficial to each...
: Department of "Huh!?": This Is All Cosma Shalizi's Fault Department...: When something comes across my RSS feed stating that it is:
2500 words of statisticians quarreling with econometricians about arcane points of statistical theory...
how am I supposed to resist getting sucked in?
Should-Read: Darrick Hamilton: Post-racial rhetoric, racial health disparities, and health disparity consequences of stigma, stress, and racism: "High achieving black Americans... still exhibit large health disparities...
Comment of the Day: A in CA: Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch: Still Looking for a High Quality DeLong Smackdown Over the Past Month (or Earlier) Kevin Hassett Edition: "So coauthoring the book "Dow 36,000" does not ever disqualify an economist...
Should Not Read: THE WHITE HOUSE: Office of the Press Secretary: Embargoed For Release Until 5:00 a.m. EDT, October 16, 2017: ON-THE-RECORD PRESS CALL BY COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS CHAIRMAN KEVIN HASSETT ON UPCOMING CEA REPORT
MS. STROM: Hey, everybody. Thanks for taking time out of your Sunday to join us on this call, as Kevin said, to preview the President's Council of Economic Advisers' upcoming report, "Corporate Tax Reform and Wages: Theory and Evidence."
Should-Read: And now Larry Summers has had it with Kevin Hassett. Me? I am not surprised that Kevin has taken this road. But, then, I read Dow 36000 20 years ago. I am surprised that people are surprised:
Larry Summers: Hassett’s flawed analysis of the Trump tax plan: "Kevin Hassett... accuses me of an ad-hominem attack...
Should-Read: What were they thinking of, signing this? Wasn't Kevin Hassett's behavior since 100% predictable?
Letter in Support of the Nomination of Kevin Hassett to be Chairman of the Council of Economic…: "Alan J. Auerbach... Martin N. Baily... Dean Baker...
Should-Attend: I think this paper is badly mistitled. It should be "
Indiana Jones Gojko Barjamovica, Thomas Chaney, A. Kerem Cosar, Ali Hortacsu, and the Lost Cities of the Cuneiform Administrative Documents":
Gojko Barjamovica et al.: Trade, Merchants and Lost Cities of the Bronze Age: "Seminar 211: Economic History | October 16 | 2-3:30 p.m. | 597 Evans Hall...
Polybius XXXI.23 ff.: "Now that the progress of my narrative and the date call our special attention to this family...
...I wish in order to satisfy the reader's curiosity to execute a promise I made in the previous book and left unfulfilled, and this was that I would tell how and why the fame of Scipio in Rome advanced so far and became so brilliant more quickly than it should, and to tell also how his friendship and intimacy with the author grew so great that this report about them not only spread to Italy and Greece, but that even further afield their liking and intercourse were a matter of common knowledge.
Should-Read: CPPC: Victory in California! Drug Price Transparency Bill Becomes Law: "California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 17, a drug price transparency bill, into law...
Should-Read: I share some of Carolyn Sissoko's concerns here. IMHO, there is great and enormous value in a "Talmudic" style of intellectual engagement.
But in order for it to work, it requires that:
The problem with macroeconomics, of course, is that people who can run such a properly "Talmudic" seminar are extremely rare. Tobin could. Dornbusch could. Solow can. Fischer is absolutely world class in his ability to do so. But both Stigler and Friedman were so-so. And Lucas and Prescott are awful:
Carolyn Sissoko: On the Value of an “Aggressive” Academic Culture [Updated]: "This morning’s procrastination included a few tweets and blogposts on the 'women in economics' debate, and the twist the discussion is taking concerns me... https://syntheticassets.wordpress.com/2017/09/11/on-the-value-of-an-aggressive-academic-culture/
Should-Read: Jay Shambaugh et al.: Thirteen Facts About Wage Growth: "Economic and policy changes are both important for the division of economic gains... http://www.hamiltonproject.org/assets/files/thirteen_facts_wage_growth.pdf
Must-Read: Smart meditations by the extremely sharp Danny Quah. I find myself wishing that he would engage with Habermas on the "public sphere" here, somehow...
Danny Quah: When Open Societies Fail: "Why is Wikipedia mostly OK, but so many comments at the end of newspaper articles make you weep for humanity’s future – when both are open for everyone to write?...
Anybody have any suggestions?
UPDATE: OK. There are no suggestions for high quality DeLong smackdowns. And there is one request in comments for a Kevin Hassett smackdown, with a link. So here goes:
Jim Tankerley: Trump’s Top Economist Says Corporate Tax Cuts Will Lift Workers’ Wages: "[Kevin Hassett of] the Trump administration on Monday... ignor[ed]... studies that showed few benefits from corporate tax cuts for average workers and relyi[ed]... on research that supported a politically desirable result...
Should-Read: David Anderson: State Approaches to Handling CSR Uncertainty for 2018 Premiums – Balloon Juice: "The 2018 ACA Marketplace that begins on November 1, 2017...
For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster VII http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602901h.html: "'Foreign?' said the stranger. 'And who calls me a foreigner?'...
..."Well, I never yet heard of the dev—of your claiming American citizenship," said Dan'l Webster with surprise.
"And who with better right?" said the stranger, with one of his terrible smiles. "When the first wrong was done to the first Indian, I was there. When the first slaver put out for the Congo, I stood on her deck. Am I not in your books and stories and beliefs, from the first settlements on? Am I not spoken of, still, in every church in New England? 'Tis true the North claims me for a Southerner, and the South for a Northerner, but I am neither. I am merely an honest American like yourself—and of the best descent—for, to tell the truth, Mr. Webster, though I don't like to boast of it, my name is older in this country than yours."
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Matthew Yglesias: Establishment Republicans mystified by their base should look at Ed Gillespie’s campaign: "Gillespie and his campaign feel that a hysterical racialized scare campaign about gang rape with zero grounding in policy reality will sell better than some kind of tedious seminar about immigration’s impact on wages...
Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:
Should-Read: Bruce Bartlett: I helped create the GOP tax myth. Trump is wrong: Tax cuts don’t equal growth: "Even if they had released a complete plan — not just the woefully incomplete nine-page outline released Wednesday...
Should-Read: @delong @pseudoerasmus @leahboustan: On Twitter: What high skilled jobs did the domestication of the horse eliminate?: "@leah_boustan: @pseudoerasmus @de1ong To me, robot has connotation of 'artificial intelligence' so CNC would be robot-like but assembly line would not be...
Should-Read: This piece by the interesting Geoffrey Pulham seems to start out non-optimally.
There is a difference between (1) true "AI" on the one hand and (2) successful voice/text interface to database search on the other. At the moment (2) is easy. And we should implement (2)—which requires that humans do a little bit of adjusting in order not to use "not", for figuring out within which superset of results any particular "not" is asking for the complement is genuinely hard, and does require true or nearly-true "AI".
Thus to solve Pulham's problem, all you have to do is ask two queries: (i) "Which UK papers are part of the Murdoch empire?"; (ii) "What are the major UK papers?"; take the complement of (i) within (ii) and you immediately get a completely serviceable and useful answer to your question.
That you need to do two rather than one query is because Google has not set itself up to produce short lists as possible answers to (ii) and (i), and then subtract (i) from (ii), and that the reason that it has not done that is a hard AI problem rather than the brute-force-and-massive-ignorance word-frequency-plus-internet-attention that is Google shtick.
But what amazes me is that Google can get so close—not that "true AI" is really hard.
And maybe that is Pelham's real point:
Geoffrey Pulham (2013): Why Are We Still Waiting for Natural Language Processing?: "Try typing this, or any question with roughly the same meaning, into the Google search box... http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2013/05/09/natural-language-processing/
Should-Read: Luigi Iovino and Dmitriy Sergeyev: Quantitative Easing without Rational Expectations : "We study the effects of risky assets purchases financed by issuance of riskless debt by the government (quantitative easing) in a model without rational expectations...
Should-Read: Paul Krugman: Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies: "Modern conservatives have been lying about taxes pretty much from the beginning of their movement...
Should-Read: I really wish that the FT would stop calling it "populism" and start calling it "fascism". "Populism" is a set of policies—some good on net, some bad—to redistribute income downward. Fascism is something much uglier. Fascism is what we have. Nobody thinks Trump or his Republican enablers or their allies and fellow travelers elsewhere are interested in redistributing income downward:
Martin Wolf: A political shadow looms over the world economy: "Optimism about the global economy is tempered by fears of populism...
Should-Read: Simon Wren-Lewis: How Neoliberals weaponise the concept of an ideal market: "I would tend to suggest...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Peter Suderman: The G.O.P. Is a Mess. It’s Not All Trump’s Fault: "When the year began, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, cited health care and taxes as his top legislative priorities...
Should-Read: Bridget Ansel: Weekend reading, “racial health disparities, wealth inequality, and labor market tightness” edition: "Equitable Growth released three new working papers...
Must-Read: I read this as saying, in one respect: "the neoclassical synthesis, and the resulting decision by MIT Keynesians to focus on the errors of Cambridge Keynesians and to build bridges not to them but to Chicago monetarists was, in retrospect, a big mistake". I remember Larry saying in, I think 1981, "there are a lots of careers to be made and knowledge to be gained by mathing up Keynes's General Theory properly". Yet, the honorable examples of Roger Farmer and a number of others notwithstanding, too much macro has instead been off chasing squirrels for two generations:
Olivier Blanchard and Lawrence Summers: Rethinking macro stabilization: Back to the future: "Lessons from past crises...
Should-Read: Anybody like John Taylor who has been wrong about just about everything since 2007—and who has refused to do anything to mark his beliefs to market—would be a really lousy choice as Federal Reserve Chair:
Paul Krugman (2015): QE Truthers: "Everyone knows about the infamous open letter warning Ben Bernanke not to engage in quantitative easing...
Should-Read: Nick Bunker: Just how tight is the U.S. labor market?: "From the end of the 1991 recession until the second quarter of 2017, the prime employment rate explains about 80 percent of the variation in nominal wage growth...
Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Matthew Yglesias: If this kept happening with a septuagenarian colleague at your work:
@mattyglesias: If this kept happening with a septuagenarian colleague at your work, there’d be some difficult conversations with HR.
Live from Timeless Coffee: Let the record show that even though I live in what is supposed to be Avocado Toast Central, this is the first time I have ever seen the phrase "avocado toast" used non-ironically:
Should-Read: Our political democracy has not been obviously covering itself in glory since... I would argue 1981, when the Republican Party made what then-senator Howard Baker called the "riverboat gamble" on big deficits and tax cuts, on which it has then doubled down and subsequently reinforced with foreign wars to busy giddy minds and what can now only be called authoritarian white supremacy. But others can blame the downward political spiral on other, later events: the rise of Newt Gingrich in 1993, the coalescence behind the unqualified George W. Bush in 2000, the embrace of Mitch McConnell's destructive opposition strategy in 2009, or the embrace of Donald Trump in 2016. Why should any in China's leadership class today believe that it should be moving toward our kind of political democracy? That authoritarians have a much worse lower tail is true. But the Chinese government can argue that its controls on that bad lower tail are now at least as good as ours. And what do we see back? I believe that our system is better, but what arguments convincing to them can I make? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
The very sharp Karl Smith:
Karl Smith: Pax Sinica: What Is To Be done?: "Tyler Cowen reminds me of an issue I used to think a lot about...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: I endorse Duncan Black here. I am not going to ignore that this is a situation that calls for the removal of the President immediately via the Amendment 25 process. And shame on everybody else who pretends not to notice this:
May 11, 2017: Degenerative: "Time keeps on ticking..."
October 12, 2017: Sundown: "It's a bit more... mainstream... now...
...but I posted this at the time because it was obvious and no one in "serious" journalism could say it or even really suggest it. I don't mean I'm a sort of brave truthteller, I just mean I'm a dumb blogger who can say what he wants and journalists, for better or for worse, "can't" always (sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not).
Must-Read: Yes, I know that every serious Republican interested in monetary policy is whispering that Kevin Warsh would be a disastrous Fed Chair appointment unless the technostructure could rein him in. And I even know that some non-serious Republicans interested in monetary policy are adding to the whispers—John Taylor, for example (but he may want it for himself). But more strong, open, public opposition from Republicans and bipartisans would be very welcome now.
Tim Duy readeth the lesson:
Tim Duy: Kevin Warsh, Very Serious Person: "Scott Sumner is perplexed by... Kevin Warsh['s in 2010]...
Looking Forward to Four 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!
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...
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