Franklin Delano Roosevelt (March 4, 1933): I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels...
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (March 4, 1933): I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels...
March 13, 2018 at 05:20 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Macro, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Twentieth Century Economic History | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Real GDP per Worker:
Books to Reread: John Maynard Keynes (1931): Essays in Persuasion: "Here are collected the croakings of twelve years—the croakings of a Cassandra who could never influence the course of events in time...
Something that has puzzled me for quite a while: Keynes's General Theory contains remarkably few references to fiscal policy in any form:
"Government spending": no matches...
"Government purchases": no matches...
Everybody interested in macroeconomics or macroeconomic policy should know this topic backwards and forwards by heart. My problem is that I do not see how I can add value to it. The only thing I can think of to do is to propose two rules:
I do wish that those who were not bad actors who made mistakes would 'fess up to them. Those who don't will get moved to the "bad actor" category: and, yes, I am looking at you, Marvin Goodfriend.
The only remaining question, I think, is whether these should all be read in chronological or reverse chronological order. I find myself torn, with arguments on both sides having force:
Paul Krugman (2018): It’s Baaack, Twenty Years Later https://www.gc.cuny.edu/CUNY_GC/media/LISCenter/pkrugman/Its-baaack.pdf
Olivier Blanchard and Daniel Leigh (2013): Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers http://delong.typepad.com/wp1301.pdf
Paul Krugman (2011): Ricardian Confusions() https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/ricardian-confusions-wonkish/
Paul Krugman (2009b): One more time https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/one-more-time/
Paul Krugman (2009a): A Dark Age of macroeconomics https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/a-dark-age-of-macroeconomics-wonkish/
Ben Bernanke (1999): Japanese Monetary Policy: A Case of Self-Induced Paralysis? https://www.princeton.edu/~pkrugman/bernanke_paralysis.pdf
Hoisted from the Archives: Economics as a Professional Vocation: The very sharp Binyamin Applebaum had an interesting rant....
Binyamin Applebaum: @BCAPPELBAUM ON TWITTER: "I am not sure there is a defensible case for the discipline of macroeconomics if they can’t at least agree on the ground rules for evaluating tax policy. What does it mean to produce the signatures of 100 economists in favor of a given proposition when another 100 will sign their names to the opposite statement? How does Harvard, for example, justify granting tenure to people who purport to work in the same discipline and publicly condemn each other as charlatans? How are ordinary people, let alone members of Congress, supposed to figure out which tenured professors are the serious economists?...
I would say, first, that journalists (and others) are supposed to use their eyes and their brains. They can take a look at the Nine Unprofessional Republican Economists who placed their letter in the Wall Street Journal... [on a] Saturday containing:
Does this belong in the next edition of Martha Olney's and my Macroeconomics textbook?
Box 4.4.6: Estimating the Effects of Policy Changes: An Example
In late 2017 and early 2018 the Trump administration and the Republican congressional caucuses pushed through a combined tax cut and a relaxation of spending caps to the tune of increasing the federal government budget deficit by about 1.4% of GDP. These policy changes were intended to be permanent.
Not the consensus but the center-of-gravity analysis by informed opinion in the economics profession of the effects on long-run growth of such a permanent change in fiscal policy would have made the following points:
No Longer Fresh Over at Project Syndicate: Why Low Inflation in the Global North Should Be No Surprise: Late last summer the thoughtful and very sharp Nouriel Roubini used his space here at Project Syndicate to attribute the stubborn and, by many, unexpected persistence of low inflation in the Global North to "positive" (so-called, even though a number of them are on balance unwelcome) shocks to aggregate supply: Nouriel Roubini: The Mystery of the Missing Inflation:
The recent growth acceleration in the advanced economies would be expected to bring with it a pickup in inflation.... Yet core inflation has fallen.... Developed economies have been experiencing positive supply shocks.... The Fed has justified its decision to start normalizing rates... by arguing that the inflation-weakening supply-side shocks are temporary.... Central banks aren’t willing to give up on their formal 2% inflation target, [but] they are willing to prolong the timeline for achieving it...
Live at Project Syndicate: Donald Trump Is Playing to Lose: America certainly has a different kind of president than what it is used to. What distinguishes Donald Trump from his predecessors is not just his temperament and generalized ignorance, but also his approach to policymaking. Consider Bill Clinton, who in 1992 was, like Trump, elected without a majority of voters. Once in office, Clinton appealed to the left with fiscal-stimulus and health-care bills (both unsuccessful), but also tacked center with a pro-growth deficit-reduction bill. He appealed to the center right by concluding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which had been conceived under his Republican predecessors; and by signing a major crime bill. And he reappointed the conservative stalwart Alan Greenspan to chair the US Federal Reserve. Clinton hoped to achieve three things with this “triangulation” strategy... READ MOAR at Project Syndicate
*Milken Institute Review: When Globalization is Public Enemy Number One: The first 30 years after World War II saw the recovery and reintegration of the world economy (the “Thirty Glorious Years,” in the words of French economist Jean Fourastié). Yet after a troubled decade — one in which oil shocks, inflation, near-depression and asset bubbles temporarily left us demoralized — the subsequent 23 years (1984-2007) of perky growth and stable prices were even more impressive as far as the growth of the world's median income were concerned.
February 11, 2018 at 08:51 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Macro, History, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
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I am going to want my American Economic History students this semester to be able to handle three sets of economic tools:
Supply and demand, with the calculation of equilibrium prices and quantities, consumer and producer surplus, tax (and other) wedges, and deadweight losses
Keynesian national income accounting/monetarist quantity theory, for depressions and inflationary gaps
Compound growth, with doubling and thousand-fold times for constant compounding rates
So I will park the calculations file for the lecture of (3) here for convenience...
Project Syndicate: Why Low Inflation Is No Surprise by J. Bradford DeLong: BERKELEY – The fact that inflation has remained stubbornly low across the global North has come as a surprise to many economic observers. In September, the always sharp and thoughtful Nouriel Roubini of New York University attributed this trend to positive shocks to aggregate supply.... In my view, interpreting today’s low inflation as a symptom of temporary supply-side shocks will most likely prove to be a mistake. This diagnosis seems to misread the historical evidence from the period between the early 1970s and the late 1990s... Read MOAR at Project Syndicate
Susan Collins on Meet the Press, December 4, 2017:
SUSAN COLLINS: Apply [that] to [the] four-tenths of one percent increase in the GDP generates revenues of a trillion dollars, a trillion dollars.... I’ve talked four economists, including the Dean of the Columbia School of Business and former chairs of the councils of economic advisors and they believe that it will have this impact. So I think if we can stimulate the economy, create more jobs, that does generate more revenue...
J. Bradford DeLong
U.C. Berkeley and NBER
September 2013 :: University of Missouri—Columbia
Should-Read: The very sharp Binyamin Applebaum had an interesting rant yesterday: Binyamin Applebaum: @BCAppelbaum on Twitter: "I am not sure there is a defensible case for the discipline of macroeconomics if they can’t at least agree on the ground rules for evaluating tax policy...
November 30, 2017 at 06:15 AM in Berkeley, Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Macro, Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Information: Internet, Moral Responsibility, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (26)
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Hoisted from the Archives: Marvin Goodfriend Blogging: In Which I Try and Fail to Understand the Current State of Right-Wing Monetary Economics: Wednesday Focus: March 19, 2014: Josh Bivens sends us a link to a House of Representatives hearing he participated in, with a striking discussion that takes place at the 45:00 mark… On the panel, in addition to Josh, were Larry White, Marvin Goodfriend, and Paul Kupiec. Congressman Bill Foster asked why predictions five years ago that the Federal Reserve’s expansion of its balance sheet would produce runaway inflation had been wrong...
The smart and snarky Sam Bell wants to taunt me into rising to his bait by twittering https://twitter.com/sam_a_bell/status/872116967070732288 a quote from likely Fed nominee Marvin Goodfriend: "I don't teach IS-LM". He succeeds. Here is the quote:
Project Syndicate: Keeping US Policymaking Honest: Last month here at Berkeley I heard great optimism from the illustrious Alice Rivlin. What “technocracy” in the good sense the United States has—what respect is paid to sound analysis and empirical evidence in the making of policy—is due more to Alice Rivlin than to any other living human.
Note to Self: Getting in Touch with My Inner Austrian: Memo to Self: A Start of a Model...: How can you be an Austrian, and yet have big swings in the desired capital stock—and thus bigger swings in the desired rate of investment—without having to have massive shocks to the current level of technology? How can you get a big downward shock to desired investment without committing yourself to massive technological amnesia?
This is how:
That I never figured out how to write this paper is deserving of a smackdown. Why did I never figure out how to write it? Because I never figured out what to say, or what the answer was:
Hoisted from 2004: Getting in Touch with My Inner Austrian: A Still-Unwritten Paper: Fragment of an Unfinished Ms.: Part II of an unfinished paper, "After the Bubble." The paper currently lacks Parts I, III, IV, V, and VI:
II. Aggressively Expansionary Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Vulnerabilities:
Note to Self: Spent the Berkeley Econ faculty lunch talking to Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, St. Matthew the Greater, Dmitriy Sergeyev, and a couple of others about a very wide range of topics, ending with r-star (which Yuriy has to discuss Saturday at the Clausen Center Conference). I left the conversation desperate to figure out how Shiller's stock-market CAPE index which currently suggests substantial stock market valuation even with a low fundamental safe real interest rate r-star is affected by the low earnings of the crisis years 2008-2011...
Yes, it makes a significant difference:
A correspondent asks whether or not this is unfortunate:
Lawrence J. Christiano, Martin S. Eichenbaum, and Mathias Traban: On DSGE Models: "Macroeconomic policy questions involve trade-offs between competing forces in the economy...
With no high-quality smackdowns of DeLong on offer, let us turn to Robert Lucas's extremely bizarre reaction to the Volcker Disinflation...
At the Milken Review: When Globalization is Public Enemy Number One: The first 30 years after World War II saw the recovery and reintegration of the world economy (the “Thirty Glorious Years,” in the words of French economist Jean Fourastié). Yet after a troubled decade—one in which oil shocks, inflation, near-depression and asset bubbles temporarily left us demoralized—the subsequent 33 years (1984-2007) of perky growth and stable prices were even more impressive... Read MOAR at Milken Review
Over on the Twitter machine, the learned and incredibly sharp Owen Zidar writes, about the picky model-based incidence analysis points:
@omzidar: On Twitter: The number of tweets needed to describe this issue suggest more clarification/ a detailed step by step post would be useful...
My view is that in the end all this—Krugman (2017b) and (2017a); DeLong (2017d), (2017c), (2017b), and (2017a); Bernstein (2017); Furman (2017); and Mankiw (2017)—when unpacked, boils down to Econ 1-level tax incidence, and an algebraic mistake in calculating overelaborated and overcomplicated versions thereof.
I seem to have a disagreement with Jason Furman here:
@jasonfurman: Not seeing the math error. Mankiw said static. His soln is right for static (defined as unchanged base)... And dynamic version is higher.
I was taught the definition of "static" by the Jedi Masters at OTA in the early 1990s...
Note to Self: Greg Mankiw Providing Backup for Kevin Hassett Department: Larry Summers One last time on who benefits from corporate tax cuts: "Mankiw’s blog is a fine bit of economic pedagogy...
I have just spent four hours on a plane to Edinburgh—four hours when I should have been sleeping—chasing my own analytic tail in a counterproductive way.
It was me demonstrating that I am indeed a Bear of Very Little Brain in ways too numerous to enumerate...
It started when I ran across an excellent twitter thread from Jason Furman:
Some talk lately of Ramsey models and their implications for wage increases under the Unified Framework (warning: irrelevant nerdy thread)...
In the middle of saying a number of smart things, Jason said something that confused me—that a calculation comparing Ramsey model steady—states suggested that a 200b corp tax cut [would bring a] 300b wage increase", at least in "Greg Mankiw’s toy example", which Jason wanted to "stipulate... is right..."
I did not understand where such a conclusion could come from.
Paul Krugman: The Schlock Of The New: "I’m still thinking about Kevin Hassett’s appearance at the Tax Policy Center...
Insults aside, he offered a new analysis of corporate tax incidence – an approach that is novel, innovative, and completely boneheaded. Oh, and it just happens to say what his political masters want to hear. As I see it, this is part of a broader pattern.
What Will (Probably) Happen?
Ah. A correspondent informs me that he has John Cochrane's response to my claims that:
Could somebody at Hoover please do an intervention?
And if Hoover won't, could somebody at Stanford please do an intervention on Hoover?
Comment of the Day: Marc C.: Monday Smackdown: The Elementary Arithmetic of a Value-Added Tax (VAT): "Asked Cochrane if he would respond. [Cochrane wrote]:
No. The response is obvious and elementary. It's easy to calculate the VAT rate under various assumptions. Brad's insults, slanders, ad hominem attacks, and outright lies do not merit responses.
Supply-Side Amnesia https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/republican-tax-cuts-budget-deficit-by-j--bradford-delong-2017-09: In the spring of 1980, Martin Feldstein co-taught (with Olivier Blanchard) the second-best macroeconomics class I ever took. (The best was a class I took from Olivier alone three years later.) From 1982-1984 Martin Feldstein served in Ronald Reagan's cabinet as Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. There he waged an effective if lonely bureaucratic war for the proposition that the size of the Reagan tax cut of 1981 had been a big policy mistake, and that America would suffer if that mistake was not repaired. That position was unpopular inside the Reagan White House: chief-of-staff James Baker tried to get everybody on to the page of delay, in the hope that something would turn up, and avoid the administration having to admit that its signature tax-cutting initiative was, at least in part, a mistake.
No: They did not publish this. But worth noting is that they did not even try to get it right. And they still don't try:
Professor J. Bradford DeLong
Department of Economics
601 Evans Hall, #3880
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
September 15, 1997
Letters to the Editor
The Wall Street Journal
1155 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY
Dear Mesdames and Sirs:
Weekend Reading: Stanley Fischer (1973): Chicago Undergraduate Macro: "ECONOMICS 202 Reading List... http://www.irwincollier.com/chicago-undergraduate-macro-stanley-fischer-1973/
- Branson: Macroeconomic Theory and Policy, Harper and Row, 1972.
- Friedman: An Economist’s Protest, Thomas Horton, 1972.
Weekend Reading: Lael Brainard: Understanding the Disconnect between Employment and Inflation with a Low Neutral Rate: "Overall, the U.S. economy remains on solid footing, against the backdrop of the first synchronized global economic growth we have seen in many years and accommodative financial conditions... https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/brainard20170905a.htm
...This benign outlook is clouded somewhat by uncertainty about government funding and the fiscal outlook, and geostrategic risk has risen. While the heartbreaking human toll exacted by Hurricane Harvey is already all too clear, it will take some time to assess the macroeconomic impact.
Hoisted from 2013: Apropos of David Glasner http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/should-read-in-which-david-glasner-argues-that-john-maynard-keynes-passed-up-a-very-valuable-opportunity-to-preach-about.html and John Maynard Keynes's:
Now "in the long run" this is probably true.... But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again...
2013: Why Did Keynes Write "In the Long Run We Are All Dead"? Weblogging http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/05/niall-ferguson-is-wrong-to-say-that-he-is-doubly-stupid-why-did-keynes-write-in-the-long-run-we-are-all-dead-weblogging.html: "Niall Ferguson:
September 06, 2017 at 07:57 AM in Economics: Finance, Economics: History, Economics: Macro, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
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Project Syndicate: Supply-Side Amnesia: While in the White House, Feldstein waged a persuasive but lonely bureaucratic campaign against the Reagan administration’s 1981 income-tax cuts, arguing that they had been too big, and would prove economically painful if not corrected.... If Feldstein’s warning had been heeded in 1982-84, America would be stronger and happier today. I was thus dismayed at his recent expression of optimism that under today’s Republican-led Congress, “a tax reform serving to increase capital formation and growth will be enacted,” while arguing that “any resulting increase in the budget deficit will be only temporary”... Read MOAR at Project Syndicate
Live from Federal Reserve Economic Data: Brad DeLong's FRED Economic Statistics Dashboard https://research.stlouisfed.org/useraccount/dashboard/215: What I want my Econ 101b students to see and think about before they come to class next January:
Weekend Reading: Paul Romer (2016): The Trouble with Macroeconomics https://paulromer.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/WP-Trouble.pdf: "Abstract: For more than three decades, macroeconomics has gone backwards. The treatment of identification now is no more credible than in the early 1970s but escapes challenge because it is so much more opaque. Macroeconomic theorists dismiss mere facts by feigning an obtuse ignorance about such simple assertions as 'tight monetary policy can cause a recession'. Their models attribute fluctuations in aggregate variables to imaginary causal forces that are not influenced by the action that any person takes. A parallel with string theory from physics hints at a general failure mode of science that is triggered when respect for highly regarded leaders evolves into a deference to authority that displaces objective fact from its position as the ultimate determinant of scientific truth.
The Trump administration (I won't say "Donald Trump", because I am not convinced that Donald Trump knows what the Congressional Budget Office is) wants people to take on the CBO's projections that real GDP growth is likely to average a hair less than 2 percent per year.
And professional Republicans John Cogan of Stanford, Glenn Hubbard of Columbia, John Taylor of Stanford, and Kevin Warsh of Stanford deliver.
Michael Strain provides them with a warning—which they do not and will not heed:
From November 2008: Why I Was Wrong... http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2008/11/why-i-was-wrong.html: Calculated Risk issues an invitation:
Calculated Risk: Hoocoodanode?: Earlier today, I saw Greg "Bush economist" Mankiw was a little touchy about a Krugman blog comment. My reaction was that Mankiw has some explaining to do. A key embarrassment for the economics profession in general, and Bush economists Greg Mankiw and Eddie Lazear in particular, is how they missed the biggest economic story of our times....
Let me say that in Taylor's case, at least, this type of bullshit misrepresentation of what we know and what the evidence says has now been going on for a very long time:
I, at least, am as tired of it as are the more senior real economists who are John Taylor's peers.
Why John Taylor thinks he is still entitled to call himself an "economist" is beyond me. It has been beyond me for eight years:
Brad DeLong: （経済教室）グローバル化を巡る攻防(下)偏りない成長で不安払拭 市場経済の経験を生かせ Ｂ・デロング カリフォルニア大学バークレー校教授 ：日本経済新聞 http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGKKZO19272800W7A720C1KE8000/
(Battle over globalization (down) Uneasy with unbiased growth Leverage the experience of market economy)
When I read this by David Glasner, I wonder whether the shift in Hayek's beliefs between the 1930s and the 1980s was an improvement. In the 1930s, he believed in big depressions—"secondary deflation"—as a way of breaking "nominal rigidities", which I understand as the power of labor to resist being forced to accept declines in real wage rates. By the 1980s, he seemed to believe in shooting people like me in soccer stadiums, and throwing them out of helicopters into the South Atlantic. See: Pinochet, Augusto
David Glasner: Hayek, Deflation and Nihilism: "Hayek argued that... neutral money was... constant total spending (MV)... https://uneasymoney.com/2017/07/23/hayek-deflation-and-nihilism/
...Once the downturn started to accelerate, causing aggregate spending to decline by 50% between 1929 and 1933, Hayek, totally disregarding his own neutral-money criterion, uttered not a single word in protest of a monetary policy that was in flagrant violation of his own neutral money criterion. On the contrary, Hayek wrote an impassioned defense of the insane gold accumulation policy of the Bank of France, which along with the US Federal Reserve was chiefly responsible for the decline in aggregate spending.... Hayek’s policy advice was... relentlessly pro-deflation. Why did Hayek offer policy advice so blatantly contradicted by his own neutral-money criterion?...
Clueless DeLong Was Clueless: Hoisted from February 2007: The Domestic Macroeconomic Outlook: February 28, 2007 http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/02/the_domestic_ma.html: It looks like I'm not going to get to give my short talk on the domestic macroeconomic outlook up at Lake Tahoe this weekend:
That's too bad, because such talks quickly grow stale.
One of the major points of my schtick is that the macroeconomic outlook rarely changes suddenly, so that 90% of the time it is perfectly OK to say, "things are like they were, only three months ago." Nevertheless such talks have a very short half life: people like to know how the most recent news affects things, even if the usual answer is "not much"--except, of course, for those turning points where things do change a great deal, and which we usually see clearly only in retrospect.
I was going to hit three big points:
Clueless DeLong Still Clueless—Albeit Slightly Less So: High-Grade Structured Credit, and Time for the Fed to Start Cutting Interest Rates: Hoisted from Ten Years Ago http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/high-grade-stru.html: BondDad writes:
Daily Kos: $10 Billion Hedge Fund Now WORTHLESS: $10 Billion Hedge Fund Now WORTHLESS: From CBS Marketwatch:
I cannot think of anything better than Robert Skidelsky's Keynes: A Very Short Introduction http://amzn.to/2usYwWl, possibly paired with Keynes's own 1931 Unemployment as a World Problem http://www.bradford-delong.com/2016/05/todays-economic-history-john-maynard-keynes-1931-unemployment-as-a-world-problem.html
But there must be something better. What might it be?
I have long had a "thinking like an economist" lecture in the can. But I very rarely give it. It seems to me that it is important stuff—that people really should know it before they begin studying economics, because it would make studying economics much easier. But it also seems to me—usually—that it is pointless to give it at the start of a course to newBs: they just won't understand it. And it also seems to me—usually—that it is also pointless to give it to students at the end of their college years: they either understand it already, or it is too late.
By continuity that would seem to imply that there is an optimal point in the college curriculum to teach this stuff. But is that true?
What do you think?
Hoisted from 2007: Arnold Kling vs. Brad DeLong on the New Deal http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/02/arnold_kling_vs.html: UPDATE: Bruce Bartlett writes:
I just read your WSJ piece and you make one mistake. If Hoover had been re-elected in 1932, Ogden Mills would have been Treasury secretary, not Andrew Mellon. Mills became secretary on Feb. 13, 1932.
Fallen to Linkrot: Arnold Kling vs. Brad DeLong on the New Deal at the Wall Street Journal's website.
Here are my first drafts for the exercise:
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...
"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
"I now know it is a rising, not a setting, sun" --Benjamin Franklin, 1787
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