- Making Sense of the College Education Debate: Andrew Kelly Says Smart Things: Tuesday Focus for June 17, 2014 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Morning Must-Read: Aaron Carroll: Zombie Arguments Defending the US Healthcare System | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Evening Must-Read: Peter Orszag: Americans Are No Longer Moving to Opportunity | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Afternoon Must-Look At: Adrianna Macintyre: The Most Depressing Graph in American Health Care | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Afternoon Must-Read: Jonathan Chait: Today’s Obamacare Non-Train-Wreck News | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Afternoon Must-Read: Mark Thoma: What's the Penalty for Pundits Who Get It Wrong? | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Making Sense of the College Education Debate: Andrew Kelly Says Smart Things: Over at Equitable Growth: Tuesday Focus for June 17, 2014 (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
- What Does Kansas’ Botched Tax-Cut Experiment Portend for Other States?: Live from the Roasterie CXCVIII: June 17, 2014 (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
- Tuesday Hoisted from Other People's Archives from 2008: John Henley on Foreign Policy and the Middle East (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
- Liveblogging World War II: June 17, 1944: Hitler, Runstedt, and Rommel (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
- Twenty-Five Years After the End of History: Over at Equitable Growth: Monday Focus for June 16, 2014 (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
Steve Benen: Are our memories really so short?: "[Edward-Isaac Dovere of] Politico published a piece over the weekend about President Obama’s challenges in Iraq, which was otherwise unremarkable except for a quote.... That [Doug] Feith disagrees with the Obama administration hardly comes as a surprise, but what was striking... [was that] Politico presents Feith’s condemnations as if they have value... as a credible voice whose assessments of U.S. policy in Iraq have merit. The article never mentions, even in passing, that Feith was a national laughingstock during his tenure in the Bush/Cheney administration, getting practically everything about U.S. policy in Iraq backwards. General Tommy Franks, the former Commander of the U.S. Central Command, once famously referred to Feith as 'the dumbest f---ing guy on the planet'..."
Tim Duy: FOMC Preview: "My baseline expectation is minimal policy changes this week. Moreover, my baseline remains a still long period of low rates. I think the Federal Reserve would like to hold onto the 'low wage growth means plenty of slack and no inflation' story as long as possible. Watch also the geopolitical risk, as that will tend to reinforce the Fed's existing path. Overall, the situation altogether still argues for the first rate hike in the second half of next year. The Fed's low rate story, however, will come under increasing pressure as the Fed gets closer to reaching its policy goals. And that pressure will only intensify if growth does in fact accelerate. That leaves me feeling that the risk to my baseline assumption is that the first rate hike comes sooner than currently anticipated...'
Jose Pagliery: Comcast is turning your home router into a public Wi-Fi hotspot: "Anyone with an Xfinity account can register their devices (laptop, tablet, phone) and the public network will always keep them registered--at a friend's home, coffee shop or bus stop. No more asking for your cousin's Wi-Fi network password. But what about privacy? It seems like Comcast did this the right way.... What if you hate the idea of your private boxes turned into public hotspots? You can turn it off by calling Comcast or logging into your account online. The company says fewer than 1% of customers have done that so far."
Jared Bernstein: Labor Supply and the Poor: Some Facts That Might (or Might Not) Surprise You: "Of the about 21 million, non-disabled poor adults, half worked (and another 3 million did not work because they were in school).... It is definitely the case that the poor work less than the non-poor--which is one of the reasons they’re poor, of course. Among non-poor adults (again, 18-64), 81% worked in 2012.... Still... the idea that the poor don’t work, or work very little, is clearly wrong. Moreover, in the latter 1990s, when demand for low-wage workers was uniquely strong, employment rates and hours worked among the poor and near-poor reached historical highs.... These facts... belie the idea that our safety net is a hammock or that the structure of benefits* prevents the poor from working."
Should Be Aware of:
- Alec MacGillis: "The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker: A journey through the poisonous, racially divided world that produced a Republican star..."
- David Jacobs: "Most research examining growing income inequality in the United States has focused on economic causes, for seemingly obvious reasons. But a new study suggests... the politically-induced decline in the strength of worker unions may play a much more pivotal role... larger than many of the favorite explanations offered by economists, such as the education gap..."
- Dylan Matthews: The successful 70-year campaign to convince people the USA and not the USSR beat Hitler
- Sebastian Thrun: "Introducing Nanodegrees: Industry credentials for today's jobs in tech: Credentials built and recognized by industry leaders to advance your career..."
- Kate Erbland: Phil Lord and Chris Miller's Closing Credits Are Always Awesome
- Jim Edwards: This Google Search For 'Coconut Flour' Shows Why Amazon Needed To Make A Smartphone
- Jonathan Parker: "Governments around the world are searching for macro-stimulation instruments.... Rebate-type payments policies generate substantial increases in demand for goods and services. In particular, a large portion of tax rebates are spent rapidly on arrival..."
Athanasios Orphanides: The Euro Area Crisis: Politics Over Economics: "The dominant role of politics in decisions made by euro area governments during the crisis. Decisions that appear to have been driven by local political considerations to the detriment of the euro area as a whole are discussed. The domination of politics over economics has led to crisis mismanagement. The underlying cause of tension is identified as a misalignment of political incentives. Member state governments tend to defend their own interests in a noncooperative manner. This has magnified the costs of the crisis and has resulted in an unbalanced and divisive incidence of the costs across the euro area. The example of Cyprus is discussed, where political decisions resulted in a transfer of about half of 2013 GDP from the island to cover losses elsewhere. In the absence of a federal government, no institution can adequately defend the interests of the euro area as a whole. European institutions appear weak and incapable of defending European principles and the proper functioning of the euro. Political reform is needed to sustain the euro but this is unlikely to pass the political feasibility test with the current governments of Europe."
Lucas W. Davis and Catherine Hausman: The value of electricity transmission: Evidence from a power plant closure: "Estimating the economic value of energy transmission is difficult because investments in transmission capacity are endogenous to market conditions. This column presents recent research that takes advantage of a natural experiment to generate a credible counterfactual. The unexpected closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California increased generation costs by $350 million per year; it also led to increased carbon emissions worth $320 million annually..."
Matthew Yglesias: The mess in Iraq proves Obama was right to leave: "Iraq's government draws support from the country's majority Shiite community, possesses the considerable advantages of being an internationally recognized sovereign state, has access to vast oil revenue, and is able to avail itself of weapons and training provided by the United States of America during a years-long period of tutelage. So why is it unable to field a military force capable of standing up to the numerically smaller, poorer, worse-equipped, and less-trained fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)? Congressional Republicans know the answer: Barack Obama.... The logic on display here shows the toxic self-justifying nature of American military adventures. If a war accomplishes its stated objectives, that goes to show that war is great. If a war fails to accomplish its stated objectives — as the Bush-era surge miserably failed to produce a durable political settlement in Iraq — then that simply proves that more war was called for..."
Mark Thoma: What's the Penalty for Pundits Who Get It Wrong? "I would separate those who are honestly wrong from those who take a misleading position (or one they know is wrong) for political purposes. There should be consequences in both cases, those who are honestly wrong again and again should come to be ignored, but those who intend to mislead and deceive should face much higher penalties. As it stands, there's hardly any penalty at all for telling people what they want to hear even if there is no basis for it, or misleading people to accomplish a political agenda..."
Jonathan Chait: Today’s Obamacare Non-Train-Wreck News: "One of the many, many, many predictions of Obamacare failure made by conservatives is that insurance companies would systematically drop out of the exchanges. They made this prediction many, many, many, many, many times.... [But] insurance companies are joining the exchanges.... As Larry Levitt explains, this is a big deal for the success of the program.... I have made this point repeatedly, but it’s fundamental enough to bear repeating: The information environment surrounding Obamacare is fundamentally asymmetrical. The liberal policy wonks reporting on the program have made a good faith and highly successful effort to depict both the good and the bad news about the program in context. Conservatives, even the most wonkish ones, have engaged in a one-sided propaganda effort. If you get your news about Obamacare from conservative sources, you have heard an endless succession of horror predictions that, when not borne out, have gone uncorrected. The bottom line is that the program is doing what it was designed to do..."
Adrianna Macintyre: The Most Depressing Graph in American Health Care:
Peter Orszag: Why Have Americans Stopped Moving?: "Americans are much less mobile than we think. Almost 70 percent of us who were born in the U.S. still live in the state of our birth, as only 1.5 percent of population moves across state borders [each year], a rate lower even than that of our parents. When we do move, it is... [to] the sun... [for] housing... [but] the biggest draw... is a job.... In the late 1980s, about 3 percent of Americans moved to a new state each year.... Raven Molloy... Christopher Smith... and Abigail Wozniak... find a strong link between lessening interstate migration and downward trends in the share of workers who move from job to job. And... changing employers no longer leads to as much gain in wages.... One troubling possibility is that it may be a decline in dynamism in the U.S. economy. A more auspicious explanation is that workers are increasingly able to find an ideal employer early in their careers..."
Aaron Carroll: Zombie arguments defending the US healthcare system: "There’s a new Commonwealth Study that ranks the US pretty poorly. Nothing new there. Nothing new to some of ways that people defend the US. So let’s dispense with them in rapid fashion. 1) Survival rates shouldn’t be used to defend the US.... Now I’ve got a video.... 2) Infant mortality differences aren’t because of different measurements. I covered that here. 3) It’s fun, perhaps, to point out anecdotal evidence of England neglecting patients, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t beat us in quality metrics in some areas. Here’s a video on the NHS. If you want to argue the US is awesome, go ahead, I suppose. But don’t use these arguments. They’re zombies."