Over at Equitable Growth: The very sharp Ravi Kanbur and Joseph Stiglitz move the ball forward on sources of rising inequality:
Ravi Kanbur and Joseph Stiglitz: Wealth and Income Distribution: New Theories Needed for a New Era: "Six decades ago, Nicholas Kaldor (1957) put forward...
...the constancy of the share of capital relative to that of labor.... Simon Kuznets (1955) put forward... while the interpersonal inequality of income distribution might increase in the early stages of development, it declines as industrialised economies mature. These empirical formulations brought forth a generation of growth and development theories whose object was to explain the[se] stylised facts.... However, the Kaldor-Kuznets stylised facts no longer hold for advanced economies....
It stands to reason that theories developed to explain constancy of factor shares cannot explain a rising share of capital... [or] the new trends, or the turnaround....
Indeed. This seems to me exactly right. READ MOAR
[Over at Equitable Growth]]1: Another well-written piece by an authorial team led by the very sharp Joel Mokyr--The History of Technological Anxiety and the Future of Economic Growth: Is This Time Different?--that in my mind fails to wrestle with the major question, and so leaves me unsatisfied. [READ MOAR]]1
J. Bradford DeLong on September 24, 2015 at 05:24 PM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Macro, History, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Science: Cognitive, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (52)
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Jeffrey M. Lacker, sole dissenter from the Federal Reserve's decision last week to keep the interest rates it controls unchanged:
I dissented because I believe that an increase in our interest rate target is needed, given current economic conditions and the medium-term outlook. Household spending, which has grown steadily since the recession, has accelerated in the last couple of years. Labor market conditions have steadily improved as well and have tightened considerably this year. With the federal funds rate near zero and inflation running between 1 and 2 percent, real (inflation-adjusted) short-term interest rates are below negative 1 percent. Such exceptionally low real interest rates are unlikely to be appropriate for an economy with persistently strong consumption growth and tightening labor markets...
This is remarkable. This is remarkable, of course, because I cannot think of a single case since he became Richmond Regional Federal Reserve Bank President in 2004 in which any of Lacker's dissents from the Federal Reserve have shown positive insight into the actual state of the economy.
Live from the World Trade Center: I must say, the amount of evil bullshit spouted by members of the Bush clan is rapidly approaching a singularity:
Matthew Yglesias: Jeb Bush is forgetting something important when he says his brother "kept us safe": "What does he think that's a photo of?
The highly-estimable Tim Duy is doing what he does best once again: worrying about the Federal Reserve's conduct of monetary policy:
Tim Duy: Some Thoughts On Productivity And The Fed: "Yellen is leaning in the direction of taking the productivity numbers at face value...
...and seeing low wage growth as consistent with the view that the productivity slowdown is real.... The unobserved component approach suggests that productivity growth decelerated to an annualized pace of just 0.82 percent by the second quarter of this year... [in line with] Fed staff estimates of potential GDP growth range from roughly 1.6 to 1.8 percent through 2020.... Yellen might think back to the 1990’s, when a surprise rise in productivity growth temporarily lowered the natural rate of unemployment... [and] reverse that logic now and think that the arguments for tighter policy are stronger....
Four times in the past 40 years, the Federal Reserve has begun what it expected at the start to be a substantial tightening of monetary policy: one that would leave interest rates markedly higher and asset prices significantly lower than when it started.
All four of these times--every single one--the tightening has triggered processes that reduced employment and production, and impoverished nations, by amounts significant larger than the Federal Reserve had anticipated when it began the tightening cycle.
Over at Equitable Growth: The arguments for raising interest rates right now are of appallingly low-quality.
Consider, for example, Bloomberg View:
Brad Brooks: Why the Fed Should Raise Rates Now: "Although the Fed hasn't raised interest rates in almost 10 years...
...sympathetic pundits say it's still too soon to raise them.... How did our financial system weaken to the point where a quarter of a percent increase in rates is more than it can handle?
Stop right there: it is not that "our financial system [is] weaken[ed] to the point where a quarter of a percent increase in rates is more than it can handle". No interest-rate dove says it is. The reason interest-rate doves oppose rate increases right now is not that the financial system cannot handle them, but that they come with a cost--lower employment and slower growth--and no compensating gain in the form of an appropriate curbing of excess inflationary pressures, since there are no excess inflationary pressures visible either her and now or as far out as the horizon we can see. READ MOAR
One of many, many reasons why Gabriel Snyder and The New New Republic have a nearly inexhaustible wellspring of credit to draw on...
Michael Crowley doesn't like public policy. It makes one wonder why he doesn't go and write about things that do interest him. Bill Clinton, you see, likes public policy and likes to talk about it. This makes Michael Crowley mad.
Crowley is, I think, one example of a larger trend:
J. Bradford DeLong on September 14, 2015 at 03:52 PM in Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Moral Responsibility, Politics, Strategy, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Over at Equitable Growth: Commercial bankers, you see, are not rentiers. Rather, they are intermediaries. And they are intermediaries who find an economy in which interest rates are likely to kiss the zero lower bound a very difficult environment in which to operate.
Thus if I were a commercial banker working for or advising the Federal Reserve, I would think like this: READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: As I said, my reading of the Great Depression era--FDR's New Deal, Neville Chamberlain's announcement that it was the policy of HMG to reverse the deflation that had occurred since 1929, Takahashi Korekiyo's policies in Japan before his very untimely murder by militarist-fascist captains and majors--had convinced me that expectational effects were a thing. Thus I anticipated that Abenomics was likely to be a substantial huge success. 1979-1984 had taught us the limits of the expectations channel: that at the worker- and the manager-level expectations of inflation and deflation were likely to be adaptive and backward-looking. But Roosevelt, Chamberlain, and Takahashi in the 1930s gave me confidence in the expectations channel as far as money demand and investment were concerned. Thus I believed that the announcement effect of Abenomics stood a very good chance of working very well indeed. READ MOAR
Live from DuPont Circle: Last Thursday two of the smartest participants at last Friday's Brookings Panel on Economic Activity conference--Martin Feldstein and Glenn Hubbard--claimed marvelous things from the enactment of JEB!'s proposed tax cuts and his regulatory reform program.
Over at Equitable Growth: Fall 2015 BPEA 8:30 AM Fr: Twenty-two years and one month ago, after an OEOB meeting I spent carrying spears for David Cutler in one of his hopeless attempts to warn certain Assistant to the President for Health Policy precisely what reception his policy proposals would get from a CBO where Doug Elmendorf piloted the health-care desk, I returned to my office at the Treasury, and one of our career economists lectured me thus about dynamic scoring:
"Brad, you people come in with your exaggerated belief in the productivity benefits of public investment. And so you command us to score your policies as having a very favorable impact on the deficit. They come in with their exaggerated belief in the benefits of tax cuts. They command us to score their policies as having a very favorable impact. We cannot say we disagree with our bosses' analytic judgments. But by holding the line and stating that we do not consider any macroeconomic effects of policies, we can at least prevent being whipsawed by this partisan rosy-scenario ratchet." Over at Equitable Growth
J. Bradford DeLong on September 11, 2015 at 03:48 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Information, History, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (4)
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Over at Equitable Growth: I score this for Larry Mishel...
Larry Mishel: Inequality is Central to the Productivity-Pay Gap: "The point is to show that the pay of a typical worker...
...has not grown along with productivity in recent decades, even though it did just that in the early post-war period... a substantial disconnect between workers’ pay and overall productivity... that has not always existed.... [Matthew] Yglesias argues that the major reason for the divergence is the different methods that must be used to adjust each line for inflation. This is flat wrong.... I quantified the factors behind the divergence of median hourly compensation and productivity for the period between 1973 and 2011.... The three wedges that are responsible for the productivity-pay gap are:
- Changes in labor’s share: an overall shift in how much income in the economy is received as compensation by workers and how much is received by owners of capital;
- Compensation inequality: growing gaps in wages, benefits, and compensations between the top 1 percent, and high–, middle-, and low–wage workers;
- “Terms of trade”: the faster growth of the prices of what workers buy relative to the prices of what they produce.
The first two items are dimensions of rising inequality, while the third item is the one highlighted by Yglesias as the “big problem”: READ MOAR
Live from 30,000 Feet Over the Ohio River: Death of the net! Film at 11...
The very sharp Todd van der Werff is the latest to express horror and dismay at the loss of the webloggy and the coming of the social net:
The old internet was... communities... the idea that if you created a place where people could gather based around shared interests, they ultimately would. It was the ideal of the original internet made real, an actual, virtual web.... Now, however, our articles increasingly seem to be individual insects trapped in someone else's web...
He is far from alone. To pick one example: the very sharp Zeynep Tufekci also mourns the loss of the thick connectedness that was part of the bloggy web that she sees as having been lost in the move to the social web.
Must-Read: What will people in 3000 remember from the history 1700-2300? I would say:
But I am an optimist...
Charlie Stross: The Present in Deep History: "Assume you are a historian in the 30th century...
Over at Equitable Growth: The argument that ought to be decisive in convincing the Federal Reserve as currently structured to not tighten, but loosen, over the next year is this: in order to establish credibility that its 2%/year inflation target is an average, and not a ceiling, it needs to overshoot it for a period of time in the near future.
The other arguments--that the Federal Reserve should be aiming for 4%/year inflation or 6%/year nominal GDP growth, that it needs to explore the policy space in order to learn more about the current structure of the economy and the location and slope of the Phillips curve (if any), that it needs to act responsibly as the global monetary hegemon rather than irresponsibly as an organization with a narrow focus exclusively on the US internal balance--really ought to be decisive too if the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee were properly constituted. But given how the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is currently constituted, they are not.
But the need to establish credibility that the target is 2%/year rather than ≤2%/year really ought to be decisive. READ MOAR
UPDATE: I'm going to move this piece to "highlighted", not least because Reihan Salam is quite unhappy. But, after further rethinking and further reading, it seems to me that my reading of Reihan is correct--that he wants to see the coming of a Nixon who will be for "government programs that help the right people..." in the hope that that can then be transformed into a true Sam's Club Republicanism. And so my warning stands:
Over at Equitable Growth: I find the very sharp Marty Felstein engaging in a goalpost-moving effort that I cannot endorse:
There may be some powerful argument that the true consumer price index has risen more for the rich than for the middle class and the poor. But if there is, I am not aware off it. And so I think: The existence of downward bias from failure to measure the value of new good and new kinds of goods in official statistics of real income growth does not reduce the rise in inequality over the past generation--although it does mean that we collectively are richer now relative to our predecessors than we would be if official statistics were gospel.
Here I think we need to draw some distinctions. If you are not tech-savvy--if you are not a relatively intensive user of modern information, entertainment, and communication technologies--then you do not benefit from them. Then the official statistics showing declining median incomes over the past generation apply to you. And you are certainly much poorer now than you reasonably expected back then to be now. And it is wholly reasonable for you to believe that, while the economy has worked for the rich, it has not worked for you and somebody should be held accountable. READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: Let me pile on to something Paul Krugman published last week, and make fun of William Cohan for writing and the New York Times for publishing hopelessly confused austerity pseudonomics:
Paul Krugman: Artificial Unintelligence: "In the early stages of the Lesser Depression...
everywhere you looked, people who imagined themselves sophisticated and possessed of deep understanding were resurrecting 75-year-old fallacies and presenting them as deep insights.... [Now] I feel an even deeper sense of despair--because people are still rolling out those same fallacies... So here’s William Cohan in the Times, declaring that the Fed should ‘show some spine’ and raise rates.... READ MOAR
Manu Saadia, the author of the forthcoming book, Trekonomics, discusses the economic theories behind the creation of the Star Trek with J. Bradford DeLong, professor of Economics at UC Berkeley and former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Treasury. Inkshares' Adam Gomolin is the moderator:
Over at Project Syndicate: A Cautionary History of US Monetary Tightening:
BERKELEY JACKSON HOLE – The US Federal Reserve has embarked on an effort to tighten monetary policy four times in the past four decades. On every one of these occasions, the effort triggered processes that reduced employment and output far more than the Fed’s staff had anticipated. As the Fed prepares to tighten monetary policy once again, an examination of this history – and of the current state of the economy – suggests that the United States is about to enter dangerous territory. READ MOAR
Over at WorldPost: China's Market Crash Means Chinese Supergrowth Could Have Only 5 More Years to Run: Ever since I became an adult in 1980, I have been a stopped clock with respect to the Chinese economy. I have said -- always -- that at most, Chinese supergrowth likely has five more years to run.
Then there will come a crash.... After the crash, China will revert to the standard pattern of an emerging market economy without successful institutions that duplicate or somehow mimic those of the North Atlantic... convergence to the North Atlantic growth-path norm will be slow... and political risks... [cause] the most likely surprises. I have been wrong for 25 years straight -- and the jury is still out on the period since 2005. Thus, I'm very hesitant to count out China and its supergrowth miracle. But now 'a' crash -- even if, perhaps, not 'the' crash I was predicting -- is at hand. [READ MOAR]
Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging:
Live from Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: Hoisted from the Archives from Four Years Ago: Oh Dear… the Economist Should Be Doing Better Than This: Arguments for Expansionary Fiscal Policy Watch:
Poor Richard Koo talks sense. But his adversary in the pages of the Economist is… Allan Meltzer.
J. Bradford DeLong on August 26, 2015 at 11:09 AM in Economics: Macro, Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Moral Responsibility, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (0)
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We of What Recovery? and all of our friends at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Policy Conference and Drinking Party are not the only people up in Jackson Hole this week. There are also moose, elk, bison, cougars, and assorted other charismatic albeit dangerous megafauna. And bears--although most of the bears appear to be in Shanghai this week...
And then there is the American Principles Project down-valley somewhere--a conference that seems to me to be totally composed of grifters and goldbugs, with the accent on the first. They are there, charging their attendees a healthy sum, because, they say, current Federal Reserve policies are dangerously inflationary, and so they need to "bring sanity back to U.S. monetary policy":
American Principles Project: FIVE WEEKS: Historic Economic Summit to Take Place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming August 27-29: "The first official Jackson Hole Summit is just five weeks away...
Over at Equitable Growth: Note to Self: Several points to try to hit this week in Jackson Hole:
Over at Equitable Growth: Kevin Cirillo shows up in my inbox:
Kevin Cirilli: Activists Confront Fed Leaders to Warn Against Rate Hike
And my first reaction: Is he talking about former Treasury Secretary and Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers? Is he one of the "activists" in question?
Over at Equitable Growth: There have long been many who fear immigration--or people who look and speak differently--and who fear social change--or social difference--while not loving a market economy that leaves them without security and vulnerable to falling into poverty because of incomprehensible decisions made by bankers thousands of miles away. There has long been an argument about whether this mode of thought is primarily the foundation of the republican virtue tradition (cf. Edmund S. Morgan: American Slavery, American Freedom); primarily a con game run by the rich against the non-rich (cf. Franz Neumann: Behemoth; William Freehling: The Road to Disunion); or primarily simply a somewhat-confused but not insane set of political doctrines that was taken over by Hitler and has thus lost legitimate modes of expression since the end of World War II.
Whatever it is, this is Trumpism. And, since 1945, as Matthew Yglesias writes: READ MOAR
Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: Over at Equitable Growth: Lawrence Summers: The Fed looks set to make a dangerous mistake: "The Federal Reserve’s September meeting [might] see US interest rates go up... and...
...barring major unforeseen developments... will... be increased by the end of the year.... The Fed has been careful to avoid outright commitments. But... raising rates in the near future would be a serious error...
Summers says, correctly, that raising rates would threaten the Fed's ability to attain its 2%/year inflation target: READ MOAR
The Strange Story of Robert Lucas's "Support" for Obama's 2009 Recovery Act (with tweets): A twitter dialogue with--well, monologue at--smart young whippersnapper Marshall Steinbaum:
Today's Economic History: Paul Krugman muses:
...All pre-industrial societies, I thought, were Malthusian... at the edge of subsistence... [and] a small elite, 5 or 10 percent... liv[ing] on resources extorted.... This model still seems to me to be pretty good for the Roman Empire. But at least as Goldsworthy describes it, the Roman Republic at the time of the Punic Wars was something very different... social solidarity... loyal allies... strong commitment from a large fraction of the population... military manpower... durability.... Are there any other examples in history like this? And how did they do it?
J. Bradford DeLong on August 20, 2015 at 03:17 PM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Wednesday) Economic History, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Twentieth Century Economic History | Permalink | Comments (44)
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Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: Over at Equitable Growth: The highly-estimable Tim Duy is doing what he does best once again: worrying about the Federal Reserve's conduct of monetary policy:
Tim Duy: Some Thoughts On Productivity And The Fed: "Yellen is leaning in the direction of taking the productivity numbers at face value...
...and seeing low wage growth as consistent with the view that the productivity slowdown is real.... The unobserved component approach suggests that productivity growth decelerated to an annualized pace of just 0.82 percent by the second quarter of this year... [in line with] Fed staff estimates of potential GDP growth range from roughly 1.6 to 1.8 percent through 2020.... Yellen might think back to the 1990’s, when a surprise rise in productivity growth temporarily lowered the natural rate of unemployment... [and] reverse that logic now and think that the arguments for tighter policy are stronger.... READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: The scarily-sharp Josh Barro tweets:
Walker and Rubio plans show the dream of repealing Obamacare is dead; now we're just haggling over price. http://t.co/UJdHKi3azA— Josh Barro (@jbarro) August 19, 2015
And he sends me to an interesting, but I think largely-wrong, piece from Megan McArdle:
Hoisted from the Archives: Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Excess Supply: In our normal, microeconomic world it is not a big deal when excess demand emerges in one market and excess supply emerges in another--it is, in fact, a good thing, because it induces shifts in production that make the structure of what is made correspond more closely to what people want (or perhaps to what the people with money want).
Over at Equitable Growth: The extremely sharp Paul Romer gets something, I think, very very wrong in paragraph 3 of his latest weblog post. Paul is, I think, the captive of a folk story about the economy and economics that only survives--that could only survive--only within the epistemically-closed empirically-irrelevant calibration-scholastic hothouse that is the post-Friedman Chicago School:
Paul Romer: Solow’s Choice: "Robert Solow’s had a choice about how to respond...
...He chose sarcastic denial over serious engagement. His optimistic assessment of the prospects for the simulation models, a grade of B or B- but nothing ‘in that record that suggests suicide,’ is hard to reconcile with the decision by virtually all macroeconomists to abandon work on them...
That seem to me to be pretty completely wrong. READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: Two years ago today we noted Daniel Keuhn saying smart things about Friedrich von Hayek and Paul Krugman saying smart things about Milton Friedman. Keuhn's major point was that Hayek is inconsistent and incoherent on both macroeconomic political economy issues, and we should recognize that incoherence. Krugman's is that Friedman's the-market-is-perfect-except-we-need-a-k%-money-growth-rule is deeply incoherent. Both are very smart points, but... READ MOAR
Ta-Nehisi Coates (2011): 'I Have Since Heard of His Death': "Frederick Douglass's initial attempt to escape bondage failed...
He was put up in the jail, where he was daily visited by slave-traders who inspected him, mocked him and joked about how much money they could make selling him down South. Being sold into the Deep South was effectively considered a death sentence among the slaves in the border states.
J. Bradford DeLong on August 12, 2015 at 09:30 AM in Economics: History, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Wednesday) Economic History, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (4)
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Over at Equitable Growth: About every 10 years since 1975, I have forecast a reversion of China's economic growth rate to the standard pattern of hesitant and, at best, slow convergence to the United States frontier. A great deal of China super-growth has seemed to me to be catch-up to the norm one would expect given East Asian societal-organizational capabilities, a norm below which China had been depressed by the misgovernment of the Qing, the civil wars of the first half of the twentieth century, the Japanese conquest, and the manifold disasters of Mao Zedong's Parkinson's Disease. The rest has seemed to me to be due to luck, and to China's ability to apply the standard Hamiltonian gaining-manufacturing-technological-capability-through-exports on a world-historical scale and thus reap economies of scale from the doing. READ MOAR
Multiple Comments of the Day: What I, at least, regard as an interesting discussion in the comments to my A Very Brief Sokratic Dialogue on Website Redesign: From that post:
Platon: Five requirements?
Sokrates: Yes.... The stream... so... who want to either read what is new or to treat the site as a weblog--that is, have a sustained engagement and conversation with the website considered as a Turing-class hivemind--can do so.... The front-end... to give each piece of content a visually-engaging and subhead-teaser informative welcome mat.... The syndication... to propagate the front-end cards out to Twitter and Facebook.... The stock... a pathway... by which people can pull things written in the past... relevant... to their concerns today.... The grammar: The visually-interesting and subhead-teaser front-end... needs to lead the people who would want to and enjoy engaging with the content to actually do so.... [But,] as William Goldman says, nobody knows anything.
Platon: Is there anybody whose degree of not-knowingness is even slightly less than the degree of not-knowingness of the rest of us?...
Sokrates: My guess... http://www.vox.com--Ezra Klein and Melissa Bell and company--are most likely to be slightly less not-knowing than the rest of us....
Over at Equitable Growth: Paul Romer has a long post that seems to me to get some elements of the story right, some elements of the story wrong, and to miss some elements of the story completely:
Paul Romer: What Went Wrong in Macro--Historical Details: "During my time at MIT, Robert Solow was harshly critical...
...of the new classical macro models pioneered by Robert Lucas, dismissive in a way that seemed to me to skirt uncomfortably close contempt. I recall hearing the same type of criticism from Frank Hahn.... If it sounded like contempt to me, others may have heard it the same way.
At this point, Romer should say what Solow's and Hahn's criticisms were ca. my freshman college year 1978-1979. The argument, as I remember it, went like this: READ MOAR
Platon: So, Sokrates, now you have taken a look at and had a test drive of our forthcoming website redesign. What do you think of it?
Sokrates: May I say that piece of scene-setting inclueing is awful?
Platon: You can say what you want. You are Sokrates. But we do the best we can in limited space. Now, might you address the substance, perhaps?
Sokrates: The website all looks very good. A lot of thought and experimentation has clearly gone into it. If you ask me, it looks to me to have right now to have successfully nailed three of what I guess are the five essential requirements of a modern year-2015 website. And it may well turn out in the end to have what I guess are the other two requirements nailed as well. But that really depends on implementation. We cannot even guess at whether it has those nailed right now.
Over at Equitable Growth: I had thought we were well-past the interwar watershed in economic policy. The interwar watershed had three parts:
The last of these robbed the gold standard and its cousins of much if not all of its practical policy virtue. The second of these moved the extremely powerful interest group of accumulated wealth away from the hard-money side, for their wealth was no longer overwhelmingly concentrated in nominal bonds and lands let out for long terms at fixed nominal rents. The first brought into a politics a very large group for whom high employment was a great good and high inflation at most a minor substantive injury. READ MOAR
...[with Ryan Silvey from Missouri, John B. Taylor from Stanford, and Chris Edwards from Cato], and have many excellent war stories to share. But no time to do so now.
Well! Jared, where are the war stories? We demand them. READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: Back in 2007 I used to have an applause line: that because the North Atlantic had lived through the Great Depression, we would not make the same mistakes in dealing with our current crisis that the policymakers of the 1930s had made. Instead, I said, we would make our own, different mistakes.
Boy, was I wrong with respect to Europe! READ MOAR
Noah Smith: Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science: "I grew up watching 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' (easily the best of the Star Trek shows)...
...There’s one big, obvious thing missing from the future society depicted in the program. No one is doing business. There is almost no one buying and selling, except for a few species for whom commerce is a form of traditional religion. Food and luxuries are free, provided by ‘replicators’.... Scarcity... seems to have been eliminated. Is this really the future? Is it possible? Is it something we want?... Current world annual gross domestic product per capita, in purchasing power parity terms, is only about $13,000--enough to put food on the table and a roof over one’s head. What happens when it is $100,000, or $200,000? It would seem ridiculous to limit this incredible plenty to a few people. When the world gets rich enough, a trivial tax on the rich would be enough to provide everyone on Earth with a basic income that would allow them to lead lives of leisure.... READ MOAR: