"I esteem DeLong's writings very highly, have learned much from them, and think he is on balance very much a force for good, but there are times when I simply cannot understand how his mind works, and do not particularly want to..." --Cosma Shalizi
I gotta say, I really do not think David Bell has a clue how badly he looks to every liberal under 40--and even to some of us who are 54--when he feels he has to:
cut all ties with The New New Republic upon the firing of Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier and their replacement by Gabriel Snyder;
proudly and blithely and without protest continued his association with The Old New Republic when its editor-and-chief Martin Peretz writes: "Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse."
To be the kind of person who doesn't quit in protest but stays to influence is one thing. But if one is the kind of person who quits in protest, when one does not do so ones silence speaks loudly indeed.
Yes, I am happy that I am able to postpone reading further in chapter 11 of David Graeber's Debt: My First 5000 Mistakes for another week...
Because Joe Wiesenthal wants me to react to this, which has to be read in parallel with this, of which the best paragraph is:
Amity Shlaes: What triggered Krugman’s pulling some kind of imagined rank on Asness was that Asness, along with me and others, signed a letter a few years ago suggesting that Fed policy might be off, and that inflation might result. Well, inflation hasn’t come on a big scale, apparently. Or not yet. Still, a lot of us remain comfortable with that letter, since we figure someone in the world ought always to warn about the possibility of inflation. Even if what the Fed is doing is not inflationary, the arbitrary fashion in which our central bank responds to markets betrays a lack of concern about inflation. And that behavior by monetary authorities is enough to make markets expect inflation in future...
I will react by asking, to the air, one and only one four-part question:
Consider whether one should line up with Amity Shlaes--along with William Kristol, Niall Ferguson, James Grant, David Malpass, Dan Señor, and the rest of that motley company--against Ben Bernanke. Suppose that one has no special expertise on the issue. Suppose that Ben Bernanke has studied that issue for his entire adult life.
Wouldn't anybody with a functioning neural network greater than that of a moderately-intelligent cephalopod recognize that such a lining-up was an intellectual strategy with a large negative prospective α?
Wouldn't--after the intellectual strategy's large negative-α returns have been realized--anybody with a functioning neural network equal to that of a moderately-intelligent cephalopod recognize that it was time to perform a Bayesian updating on one's beliefs, rather than doubling down and claiming that: it's not over--the inflationary pressures are building minute-by-minute?
Wouldn't--when thinking about how to double-down on one's negative-α intellectual strategy, and placing even more of one's mental and reputational chips on the claim that expanding and keeping the Federal Reserve's balance sheet beyond $1.5T generates excessive and dangerous risks of inflation, and that any such expansion ought to be stopped and reversed--anybody with a functioning neural network even less than that of a moderately-intelligent cephalopod recognize that phrasing one's doubling-down in the voice of John Belushi on a very bad day would be unwise, would be likely to call forth mockery and scorn on the same rhetorical level that one had chosen, and would make one a figure of fun and merriment?
And, when the readily-predictable tit-for-tat responses at the rhetorical level one chose do in predictable and due course manage to arrive, that to respond by whinging and sniveling and feeling offense would be unwarranted--would demonstrate only that whatever functioning neural network one does have was not fully connected to reality?
Responding to Krugman is as productive as smacking a skunk with a tennis racket.... Let's not be fooled by chicanery (silly Paul, you are no Rabbit).... An honest Paul Krugman (we will use this term again below but this is something called a "counter-factual").... Also remember, much like when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, nothing is over yet. The Fed has not undone its extraordinary loose monetary policy and is just now stopping its direct QE purchases.... Paul, and others, should by now know the folly of declaring victory too early....
This isn't a screed where I claim to have invented my own consumption basket showing inflation is rising at 25% per annum - though some of those screeds are interesting.... We have indeed observed tremendous inflation in asset prices.... If one counts asset inflation it seems we've indeed had tremendous inflation.... Where effects did show up, it actually caused rather a lot of inflation....
Mostly Paul is wrong, and twisting the facts, and doing so as rudely and crassly as possible, yet again. The rest of the JV team of Keynesians who have also jumped on board are doing the same thing, just with more class and less entertainment value than the master.... Paul will continue to be mostly wrong, mostly dishonest about it, incredibly rude, and in a crass class by himself (admittedly I attempt these heights sometimes but sadly fall far short). That is a prediction I'm willing to make over any horizon, offering considerable odds, and with no sneaky forecasts of merely 'heightened risks'. Any takers?
...for any Republican putting him or herself forward to beat Clinton is this: what states can you win that Romney lost? For [Jeb] Bush, the easy answer includes Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Virginia. If he runs a strong campaign, Bush could perhaps compete in California and possibly New Jersey and Michigan.
In response to this:
Is there a reason why Mark Halperin thinks that Jeb Bush could not take Pennsylvania? Or is Halperin just a bullshit artist who couldn't be bothered to consult his notes? Any Republican who runs strong against a Democrat will in all likelihood win Florida and Ohio, and make Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Wisconsin competitive. How--aside from this omission of Pennsylvania--is this list of additional states that Jeb Bush could win different from the list of states that any Republican nominee could win if things broke their way?
California? A Republican who takes California in all likelihood has 474 electoral votes. If you are going to claim that Jeb Bush could compete in California, why not claim Massachusetts, Delaware, and Maryland as well? If you are going to claim that Jeb Bush could compete in New Jersey, why not claim Connecticut and Illinois too? And why Michigan rather than Minnesota and New Mexico?
Bloomberg Politics has managed a remarkable launch: a day-one declaration of analytical and intellectual bankruptcy...
...late, just ending a dream about how you run into Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger at the Pilot Travel Center truckstop on I-29 in Council Bluffs. They then buy you beer for two hours and tell you everything they know about how asset pricing works in the real world. When you wake up, you hasten to write it all down. But because you woke up late you have to rush to the gym, and by the time gym finishes it's all gone...
Three months ago, I speculated that Jonah Goldberg's forthcoming book, then titled Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation From Mussolini to Hillary Clinton, was the victim of a swift and violent paradigm shift. The 2006 elections and the right's critical drubbing of Dinesh D'Souza's The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11--which proposed a strategic alliance between Muslim theocrats and the American right against the degenerate American left—had rendered conservatism's lunatic fringe suddenly unfashionable. This couldn't, I thought, be good news for a book that portrayed Hillary Clinton as a goose-stepping brownshirt.
We are interrupting our DeLong Smackdown Watches (and other things to bring you news that International Economy is now in the running for the Washington Post for the title of publication that exercises the very least quality control--that takes the least care to make sure that the articles it publishes inform rather than mislead their readers.
Chomsky: The film opens with Galadriel speaking. “The world has changed,” she tells us, “I can feel it in the water.” She’s actually stealing a line from the non-human Treebeard. He says this to Merry and Pippin in The Two Towers, the novel. Already we can see who is going to be privileged by this narrative and who is not.