Highlights, and Just the Highlights: for those who only want to read the things that I have written that I believe are especially memorable...
Economics 24-1: The Financial Crisis and the Little Depression of 2007-2012: Fall 2011 U.C. Berkeley Freshman Seminar:/h3>
What Is Happening Across the Wide Missouri?: From DeKalb County Illinois south to St. Louis and over to Wichita, my ancestors moved to the Mississippi-Missouri Valley in the nineteenth century to build their civilization.
What has happened to the civilization that they--Judge James DeLong, Florence Richardson, Roland Usher, Grizzela Parkinson, an all the rest--built here?
BETA Equitablog Soft Launch:
The conversation--even the high-technocratic conversation--spends much-too-much time chasing rabbits flushed by the Pete Peterson Foundation (on the necessity for entitlement cuts), the Wall Street Journal editorial page (on the overwhelming need for low taxes on the rich), the John M. Olin Foundation (on how the New Deal erred in thinking that positive liberty is a thing), and so forth.
This is not the conversation our public sphere should be having.
So let us drive the conversation to what it should be about--equitable growth.
So: Suggestions as to what to cover? Recommendations as to how to cover it? Volunteers to cover it?
Noted: Things worth noting. Unfortunately, these are also things not commented upon. Ars longa, vita brevis, you know...
Econ 2: Spring 2014: Brad DeLong's One-Semester Go-Faster Do-More Principles of Economics Course:
Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog.... When an animal wants to obtain something either of a man or of another animal, it has no other means of persuasion but to gain the favour of those whose service it requires. A puppy fawns upon its dam, and a spaniel endeavours by a thousand attractions to engage the attention of its master who is at dinner, when it wants to be fed by him. Man sometimes uses the same arts with his brethren, and when he has no other means of engaging them to act according to his inclinations, endeavours by every servile and fawning attention to obtain their good will. He has not time, however, to do this upon every occasion. In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons....
Perhaps the most interesting argument about why the demographic crisis produced by the Black Death did not lead to the reemergence of serfdom in Western Europe (as lords discovered that, with population down by 1/3, they would rather be labor lords than landlords) is that made by Perry Anderson in his book Lineages of the Absolutist State. Anderson has two arguments. His first is that the particular role of Western European towns made a formal reimposition of servile bondage impossible:
the aristocracy had to adjust to a second antagonist: the mercantile bourgeoisie... towns... the intercalation of this third presence... prevented the Western nobility from settling its accounts with the peasantry in Eastern [European] fashion, by smashing its resistance and fettering it to the manor. The medieval town... hierarchical dispersion of sovereignties... feudal mode of production... freed urban economies from direct domination by a rural ruling class.... [Urban] economic and social vitality acted as a constant, objective interference in the class struggle on the land, and blocked any regressive solution to it by the nobles." Feudal lords could agree among themselves and with the king to reimpose serfdom, but they lacked the power to do so if peasants could still (as they could in Western Europe) run to the towns for protection.