Viscount Takahashi Korekiyo (高橋 是清?, 27 July 1854 – 26 February 1936) was a Japanese politician and the 20th Prime Minister of Japan from 13 November 1921 to 12 June 1922. He was known as an expert on finance during his political career, as he served as the Japanese Minister of Finance on five separate occasions before his assassination….
One of the wonderful things about the internet is how it plays the Glass Bead Game with one, bringing together disparate trains of thought in unexpected ways. In this case, it was my running across a piece about the church in Texas that discourages vaccinations--and the resulting disease outbreak--immediately before finding, once again, Henry David Thoreau's rant about the uselessness of the telegraph.
But, this time, "whooping cough" had a very different valence. And so I reacted much differently than when I first studied the passage in English class at the Sidwell Friends High School in the late 1970s…
From “Requiem” by Anna Akhmatova:
No, not under the vault of another sky, not under the shelter of other wings. I was with my people then, there where my people were doomed to be.
Instead of a Forward
During the years of the Yezhovschina, I spent seventeen months standing outside the prison in Leningrad, waiting for news. One day someone recognized me. Then a woman with lips blue from the cold, who was standing behind me, and of course had never heard of my name, came out of the numbness which affected us all. She whispered in my ear (for we all spoke in whispers there): “Can you describe this?”
I said, “I can.”
Then something resembling a smile slipped over what had once been her face…
I, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, am here today to claim that justice which is due to my people, and the assistance promised to it eight months ago, when fifty nations asserted that aggression had been committed in violation of international treaties.
There is no precedent for a Head of State himself speaking in this assembly. But there is also no precedent for a people being victim of such injustice and being at present threatened by abandonment to its aggressor. Also, there has never before been an example of any Government proceeding to the systematic extermination of a nation by barbarous means, in violation of the most solemn promises made by the nations of the earth that there should not be used against innocent human beings the terrible poison of harmful gases. It is to defend a people struggling for its age-old independence that the head of the Ethiopian Empire has come to Geneva to fulfil this supreme duty, after having himself fought at the head of his armies.
The first half of the nineteenth century prefigured what was going to come over the 1870-1914 period with the creation of the first true global economy.
The first half of the nineteenth century saw the creation of a much more limited form of trans-oceanic economic integration--the growth to maturity of the trans-Atlantic trade in the first industrial staple: cotton. The ménage a trois between the United States’s African-American slaves, the rich river valley cotton-growing soils of the American south, and Eli Whitney’s cotton gin together produced a cheap material input to an important manufacturing industry. This time the industry was dynamic enough and the raw material important and cheap enough that the presence of the Americas did change the shape of the leading European economy, that of Britain.
John Ball (1381):
When Adam delved and Eve span/Who was then the gentleman?
From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty…
You need to understand three things to grasp the state of the world economy outside the North Atlantic in 1870:
that the drive to make love is one of the very strongest of all human drives,
that living standards were what we would regard as very low for the bulk of humanity in the long trek between the invention of agriculture in 1870, and
that the rate of global and even leading-nation technological progress up to 1870—even in the heat of the Industrial Revolution itself—was, by our standards, glacial.
Kong Shangren, as quoted by Jonathan Spence:
White glass from across the Western Seas
Is imported through Macao:
Fashioned into lenses big as coins,
They encompass the eyes in a double frame.
I put them on—-it suddenly becomes clear;
I can see the very tips of things!
And read fine print by the dim-lit window
Just like in my youth!
In 1870 a part of the world was starting to become not-poor, yet not the obvious part. The technological and organizational edge of human civilization in 1870 was the North Atlantic. That was, in historical perspective, distinctly odd.
Homer, Iliad, 18:398, Lombardo translation:
Thetis' silver feet took her to Hephaestus' house,
A mansion the lame god had built himself…
She found him at his bellows, glazed with sweat
As he hurried to complete his latest project,
Twenty cauldrons on tripods to line his hall
With golden wheels at the base of each tripod.
…He was getting these ready,
Forging the rivets with inspired artistry…
Ta-Nehisi Coates: On the Death of Dreams:
If we are honest with ourselves we will see a president who believes in particular black morality, but eschews particular black policy.
Watching Barack Obama's speech yesterday, I thought of a young W.E.B. Du Bois who in 1897 authored the original Poundcake Speech:
We believe that the first and greatest step toward the settlement of the present friction between the races-commonly called the Negro Problem-lies in the correction of the immorality, crime and laziness among the Negroes themselves, which still remains as a heritage from slavery. We believe that only earnest and long continued efforts on our own part can cure these social ills.
Once again I find myself reading John Holbo, and immediately thinking: "Hey! This is really good. It will be easy to just excerpt two sentences, and point people to this excellent thing!"
5000 words later…
Read the whole thing:
John Holbo: How Moral Revolutions Happen (They Had A Nightmare):
Exception to the moral complacency point: these [pro-slavery] writers stand very firm when they seize the Biblical high ground… even a George F. Will-type needs moments of rhetorical firmness. (You can’t be effectively complacent, without sometimes seeming the very opposite of that.) But this produces very strange turns. Slavery is a horror, yes, but God says it’s ok… so if you say slavery needs to be abolished… you are holding yourself to a higher moral standard than God, which is surely some kind of Satanic pride on top of all the utopian dangers:
And when men, professing to be holy men, and who are by numbers so regarded, declare those things to be sinful which our Creator has expressly authorized and instituted, they do more to destroy his authority among mankind than the most wicked can effect, by proclaiming that to be innocent which he has forbidden.
(I’m using this one next time I teach "Euthyphro". Divine Command Theory buffs, this is one for the record books!)…
Steampunk!: Via Making Light: Sydney Padua: 2D Goggles » Lovelace: The Origin: Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace:
Richard Landes: David S. Landes, May his memory be a blessing:
This last Saturday afternoon, August 17, 2013, my father, David Landes died in Haverford PA. The following is a brief obit to which I will add when I have more time. He was the beloved husband of Sonia T. Landes, who died on April 12, 2013, after 69 years of marriage. He was the father of Jane Landes Foster, Richard Allen Landes and Alison Landes Fiekowsky, grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of nine.
Mark Thoma: The Great Lesson from the Great Recession:
Is there a similarly important policy lesson to be drawn from the Great Recession we’ve just experienced?… The Fed did avoid the big error of allowing massive bank failures and declines in banking reserves that were so problematic during the Great Depression, and many people give the Fed credit for avoiding a Great Depression type collapse…. I would not have wanted to experience a repeat of the Fed’s failures during the Great Depression…. When the recession hit this time around, we had a much, much higher level of societal wealth, and hence a much larger cushion to absorb the shocks than we had during the Great Recession. Second, and importantly, the presence of automatic stabilizers, particularly those that come in the form of social insurance programs, made a big difference…. Third, it’s not as though the Fed created a miracle recovery…. The improved response of monetary authorities and the existence of automatic stabilizers certainly made the downturn far less severe than it might have been, but a big lesson from our recent experience is that these policies alone are not enough to turn the economy around. Help from fiscal policy is needed…. Congress failed to implement a fiscal stabilization package that was large enough to address the big problems the economy was facing, and due to Republican opposition it refused to implement additional measures when it became clear the initial package was too small in both size and duration…. That failure was bad enough. But even worse is that fiscal policymakers actually began moving in the wrong direction--toward austerity--at a time when just the opposite policy was needed. The result has been a much slower recovery than we might have seen otherwise. After the Great Depression, the Fed learned from its mistakes…. But what about fiscal policy? Will fiscal policymakers in the US and Europe learn from the big mistakes they made recently--mistakes that have prolonged the recession and imposed permanent harm on some members of society? As much as I’d like to hope that somehow economists will speak with a strong, unified voice on the usefulness of fiscal policy in deep recessions, a position I believe is firmly supported by the empirical evidence, and that politicians--Republican politicians in particular--would follow their advice, it’s hard to imagine either of those things happening. That means, discouragingly, that the next time a severe recession hits fiscal policymakers will likely fail us once again and leave us with yet another unnecessarily slow, agonizing recovery.
Jon Schwartz (2011): A Tiny Revolution: "Without Fear or Favor. NOT!":
I'd never heard of [this] until right now. And considering how much media criticism I've plowed through in my life, that suggests almost no one else has heard of it either. It really goes to show how all the most important history just evaporates…. As you know if you're the right class in the U.S., the glorious reign of the New York Times began in 1896 when Adolph Ochs bought it and published a manifesto about the standards the Times would henceforth uphold: they would now:
give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.
Here's the whole paragraph:
It will be my earnest aim that The New-York Times give the news, all the news, in concise and attractive form, in language that is parliamentary in good society, and give it as early, if not earlier, than it can be learned through any other reliable medium; to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved; to make of the columns of The New-York Times a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.
Here's the next paragraph:
There will be no radical changes in the personnel of the present efficient staff. Mr. Charles R. Miller, who has so ably for many years presided over the editorial pages, will continue to be the editor; nor will there be a departure from the general tone and character and policies pursued with relation to public questions that have distinguished The New-York Times as a non-partisan newspaper — unless it be, if possible, to intensify its devotion to the cause of sound money and tariff reform, opposition to wastefulness and peculation in administering public affairs, and in its advocacy of the lowest tax consistent with good government, and no more government than is absolutely necessary to protect society, maintain individual and vested rights, and assure the free exercise of a sound conscience.
So… Ochs stated… bluntly that "We will be completely impartial, except for our intense devotion to this long list of issues"… all right-wing economic obsessions—-in 1896 and today.
Larry Summers (1983):
The first way to find a topic is to open Keynes's General Theory at random, read what's on that page, and math it up…
John Maynard Keynes (1936):
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: Clearly we do not mean by ‘involuntary’ unemployment the mere existence of an unexhausted capacity to work. An eight-hour day does not constitute unemployment because it is not beyond human capacity to work ten hours. Nor should we regard as ‘involuntary’ unemployment the withdrawal of their labour by a body of workers because they do not choose to work for less than a certain real reward. Furthermore, it will be convenient to exclude ‘frictional’ unemployment from our definition of ‘involuntary’ unemployment. My definition is, therefore, as follows: Men are involuntarily unemployed if, in the event of a small rise in the price of wage-goods relatively to the money-wage, both the aggregate supply of labour willing to work for the current money-wage and the aggregate demand for it at that wage would be greater than the existing volume of employment.
Robert Hall(2013): The Routes into and out of the Zero Lower Bound:
To the extent that high unemployment is an equilibrium, the stability of inflation in the presence of persistent high unemployment is less of a mystery. The tradition of regarding high unemployment as a disequilibrium that gradually rectifies itself by price-wage adjustment may rest on a misunderstanding of the mechanism of high unemployment….
Not, mind you, that I am complaining about the very-smart but never-conventional Hall: the paper worries about the right things, says a lot of things that are true, says a lot of things that might be true and that provoke insight, and says nothing that is known to be false.
But it is striking that useful and important frontier work in economics can still be done in 2013 by mathing-up pieces of the General Theory…
Belle Waring: A Woman Rice Planter — Crooked Timber:
After my grandmother died and before my dad sold the house (with much gnashing of teeth and wailing on my part) I nabbed some excellent books, in particular A Woman Rice Planter, by Patience Pennington, published in 1903. An unmarried woman living just to the north of my family home, she relates her trials as she attempts to keep her family plantation running after the end of the Civil War. This is just a taste of how much her former slaves, who now either work for her or are sharecroppers, hate her, and how much she completely doesn’t understand that they do, or why:
Paul Krugman: The (Lack of) Utility of Close Reading: :
In general, what people thought Keynes or Friedman meant ends up being more important than what they turn out, on close reading, to (maybe, possibly) actually have meant. For what it’s worth, I think Glasner makes a good case that Friedman was indeed more or less a Keynesian, or maybe Hicksian--certainly that was the message everyone took from his Monetary Framework, which was disappointingly conventional. And Friedman’s attempts to claim that Keynes added little that wasn’t already in a Chicago oral tradition don’t hold up well either.
By "very correct" you mean [that Friedman-Phelps's prediction that loose monetary policy was about to de-anchor inflation expectations] "corresponds to post WWII US data because all the other evidence is long ago or far away and irrelevant". The virtical long run Phillips Curve of Friedman (and Phelps) was a terrible approximation to European data from 70 something through now. Europe has not been in a liquidity trap all those decades.
Yes: the title is stolen from Paul Krugman, and from Styx--it is too good not to steal…
Cardiff Garcia writes:
The history of the robot future’s future history: The graph represents three decades of US middle class employment shrinking…. Frank Levy… and Richard Murnane….
The hollowing-out is… consistent with the idea… [of]computer substitution…. Low wage work--Personal Care, Personal Services, Food Preparation, and Building and Grounds Cleaning--have all grown… involve non-routine physical work that is hard to computerize. Technicians and Professional and Managerial Occupations also have grown… involve abstract, unstructured cognitive work that is hard to computerize…. Machine Operators, Production, Craft and Repair Occupations, Office and Administrative… have declined… [as] routine work… [following] deductive or inductive rules and so were candidates for computer substitution….
And the BLS expects these trends to roughly continue….
Rick Nevin: Race, Lead, and Juvenile Crime:
African-American boys disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system were also disproportionately exposed to lead contaminated dust as young children, because black children were disproportionately concentrated in large cities and older housing. In 1976-1980, 15.3% of black children under the age of three had blood lead above 30 mcg/dl (micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood), when just 2.5% of white children had blood lead that high. In 1988-1991, after the elimination of leaded gasoline, 1.4% of black children and 0.4% of white children under the age of three had blood lead above 25 mcg/dl.
When you got a certain class of Republicans of a generation ago--Meldrim Thomson comes immediately to mind--together in an arena where they feel comfortable--feel willing to let their hair down--and, I found, pretty soon they began to muse: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was certainly a Communist--look at how he gave eastern Europe to Josef Stalin. U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense George Marshall likewise--look at how he gave China to Mao Zedong. And Eisenhower--Marshall was Eisenhower's patron, did you know that? Typical of this class was science-fiction author Robert Heinlein. First, the setup--what Heinlein wrote in 1958 during the nuclear test-ban debate:
Freeman Dyson: J. Robert Oppenheimer::
I often wondered how it happened that Oppenheimer changed his character so suddenly, from the left-wing bohemian intellectual at Berkeley to the good soldier at Los Alamos. I believe that an important clue to this change is the story of Joe Dallet. In his autobiographical statement at the security hearings, Oppenheimer said:
It was in the summer of 1939 in Pasadena that I first met my wife…. I learned of her earlier marriage to Joe Dallet, and of his death fighting in Spain…. When I met her I found in her a deep loyalty to her former husband…
Elizabeth Anderson of U. Mich. makes me aware that the Social Security Administration has a copy of Tom Paine's "Agrarian Justice" social-insurance plan:
Author's Inscription- French Edition
To the Legislature and the Executive Directory of the French Republic:
THE plan contained in this work is not adapted for any particular country alone: the principle on which it is based is general. But as the rights of man are a new study in this world, and one needing protection from priestly imposture, and the insolence of oppressions too long established, I have thought it right to place this little work under your safeguard.
When we reflect on the long and dense night in which France and all Europe have remained plunged by their governments and their priests, we must feel less surprise than grief at the bewilderment caused by the first burst of light that dispels the darkness. The eye accustomed to darkness can hardly bear at first the broad daylight. It is by usage the eye learns to see, and it is the same in passing from any situation to its opposite.
Josh Blackman is the latest scholar to sort of try to defend the Supreme Court’s evisceration of the Voting Rights Act. It shares something in common with every defense I’ve seen, including John Roberts’s — that is, it cannot identify any constitutional provision that the law violates, a rather serious problem given that the power being exercised by Congress was expressly delegated to it by the 15 Amendment. The defense, then, comes down to a vague structuralism and some highly contestable paeans to the glories of federalism…. So Blackman, at least, all but concedes that the 10th Amendment is irrelevant to this case, a good thing since it clearly is. The 10th Amendment just says that any powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved by the states; the 15th Amendment delegates powers to the federal government, so the 10th Amendment is beside the point…. What is it about the structure of the Reconstruction Amendments that implies a “congruence and proportionality” requirement? The preservation of “freedom”? Well, the freedom the states are seeking in this case is the “freedom” to discriminate in the allocation of the franchise. Not only is this “freedom” not structurally implicit in the 15th Amendment, it’s specifically the “freedom” the amendment sought to defeat. The framers of the 15th Amendment anticipated that leaving states the “freedom” to enforce voting rights without federal supervision would be a disaster, and the subsequent near-century of states being allowed the freedom and dignitude to enforce voting rights in the majesty of their sovereign powers proved the framers highly prescient. So, really, the argument is that we need extracosnstitutional standards to limit the reach the 15th Amendment, an argument that is both ahistorical and normatively unattractive. What value is there, exactly, in preserving the “freedom” of the states to discriminate in the allocation of the franchise? None that I can see, and certainly none that are reflected in the 15th Amendment.
Alexander Hamilton (1790): From Report on the Public Credit:
To these more direct expedients for the support of public credit, the institution of a national bank presents itself, as a necessary auxiliary. This the Secretary regards as an indispensable engine in the administration of the finances. To present this important object in a more distinct and more comprehensive light, he has concluded to make it the subject of a separate report.
In my rare coffees and phone calls with Milton Friedman, I found I could distract him whenever I was losing an argument by saying: "Why is it that the government needs to intervene and keep the flow of liquidity services provided to the economy growing along a smooth path? Why must there be a quantitative target achieved by government for the path of the liquidity services industry--commercial banking--when there must not be a quantitative target for kilowatt hours or freight-car loadings?"
Alexander Hamilton: From First Report on the Public Credit:
The Secretary has too much deference for the opinions of every part of the community not to have observed one which has, more than once, made its appearance in the public prints, and which is occasionally to be met with in conversation. It involves this question, whether a discrimination ought not to be made between original holders of the public securities and present possessors by purchase. Those who advocate a discrimination are for making a full provision for the securities of the former, at their nominal value, but contend that the latter ought to receive no more than the cost to them and the interest: And the idea is sometimes suggested of making good the difference to the primitive possessor.
John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, June 30, 1813
You never felt the terrorism of Shays’s Rebellion in Massachusetts. I believe you never felt the terrorism of Gallatin’s Insurrection in Pennsylvania.… You certainly never felt the terrorism excited by Genet in 1793, when ten thousand people in the streets of Philadelphia, day after day, threatened to drag Washington out of his house and effect a revolution in the government, or compel it to declare war in favor of the French Revolution and against England. The coolest and the firmest minds, even among the Quakers in Philadelphia, have given their opinions to me that nothing but the yellow fever… could have saved the United States from a total revolution of government.
I have no doubt you was fast asleep in philosophical tranquility when ten thousand people, and perhaps many more, were parading the streets of Philadelphia on the evening of my Fast Day [25 April 1799]; when Governor Mifflin himself thought it his duty to order a patrol of horse and foot to preserve the peace; when Market Street was as full as men could stand by one another, and even before my door; when some of my domestics, in frenzy, determined to sacrifice their lives in my defense; when all were ready to make a desperate sally among the multitude and others were with difficulty and danger dragged back by the others; when I myself judged it prudent and necessary to order chests of arms from the War Office to be brought through bylanes and back doors, determined to defend my house at the expense of my life and the lives of the few, very few, domestics and friends within it. What think you of terrorism, Mr. Jefferson?
Alexander Hamilton (1790): Report on the Subject of Manufactures:
The Secretary of the Treasury, in obedience to the order of the House of Representatives of the 15th day of January, 1790, has applied his attention, at as early a period as his other duties would permit, to the subject of manufactures; and particularly to the means of promoting such as will tend to render the United States independent on foreign nations for military and other essential supplies. And he thereupon respectfully submits the following Report: —
The expediency of encouraging manufactures in the United States, which was not long since deemed very questionable, appears at this time to be pretty generally admitted. The embarrassments which have obstructed the progress of our external trade have led to serious reflections on the necessity of enlarging the sphere of our domestic commerce; the restrictive regulations, which in foreign markets abridge the vent of the increasing surplus of our agricultural produce, serve to beget an earnest desire that a more extensive demand for that surplus may be created at home; and the complete success which has rewarded manufacturing enterprise, in some valuable branches, conspiring with the promising symptoms which attend some less mature essays in others, justify a hope that the obstacles to the growth of this species of industry are less formidable than they were apprehended to be; and that it is not difficult to find, in its further extension, a full indemnification for any external disadvantages which are or may be experienced, as well as an accession of resources favorable to national independence and safety…
The fourth remark concerns a very great and important advantage, which perhaps will hardly be believed. It is that we could go with facility to Florida in a barque, and by very easy navigation. It would only be necessary to make a canal, by cutting through but half a league of prairie, to pass from the foot of the Lake of the Illinois [Lake Michigan] to the river St. Louis [Illinois River].
Here is the route that would be followed: the barque would be built on Lake Erie, which is near Lake Ontario, it would easily pass from Lake Erie to Lake Huron, whence it would enter Lake Illinois [Lake Michigan]. At the end of that lake the canal or excavation of which I have spoken would be made, to gain a passage into the River St. Louis [Illinois River], which falls into the Mississipi. The barque, when there, would easily sail to the Gulf of Mexico. Fort Catarokouy, which Monsieur de Frontenac has had built on lake Ontario, would greatly promote that undertaking; for it would facilitate communication between Quebec and Lake Erie, from which that fort is not very distant. And even, were it not for a waterfall [Niagara Falls] separating Lake Erie from Lake Ontario, a bark built at Catarokouy could go to Florida by the routes that I have just mentioned….
Steven Kaplan finds that your average large-company CEO has, historically, received a little more money personally than the average household in the top 0.1%. And he finds that, surprisingly, this does not hold true for the past decade and a half. Over the past decade and a half large-company CEOs have received more than double their standard ratio to the rest of the top 0.1%:
So why, then, do Steve Kaplan and Joseph Ruah write that CEOs are riding the tide of:
technological change, particularly in information and communications, [which] can increase the relative productivity of highly talented individuals, or “superstars”… [as they] become able to manage or to perform on a larger scale, applying their talent to greater pools of resources and reaching larger numbers of people…. Other explanations of the rise in inequality have been offered… managerial power has increased… social norms against higher pay levels have broken down… tax policy affects the distribution of surplus…. We believe that the US evidence on income and wealth shares for the top 1 percent is most consistent with a “superstar”-style explanation rooted in the importance of scale and skill-biased technological change… less consistent with an argument that the gains to the top 1 percent are rooted in greater managerial power or changes in social norms about what managers should earn
Yes, there is a superstar economy--of entertainers like Oprah Winfrey and J.K. Rowling, and of entrepreneurial visionaries like Steve Jobs and Sam Walton. But what has this to do with the career ladder-climbing heads of large bureaucracies? The CEO pay fact looks to be broadly separate from the superstar economy fact, which looks to be broadly separate from the education premium fact.
Belle Waring: Letter from the Eugene Talmadge Bridge:
The only time I ever felt a twinge of human fellow-feeling towards Mitt Romney was when he went back to Michigan where he grew up and said “the trees are the right size.” That’s right, dammit! The huge old water oaks that meet over the road to Bluffton, making it a beautiful tunnel, are The Right Size. The view from the top of the Eugene Talmadge Bridge, where you see all the marshland spread out before you like a tablecloth someone has shaken out perfectly over a still pond, but which has not yet begun to sink, is The Right View. And the levees and bunds and old, old paddies you can still see cut into the marsh from when the whole area was used for wet rice cultivation and growing long-staple cotton are The Right Thing to see.
David Glasner: Second Thoughts on Milton Friedman:
Friedman holds up Jacob Viner as an exemplar of the Chicago quantity theory oral tradition…. Friedman writes: “as I have read Viner’s talk for purposes of this paper, I have myself been amazed to discover how precisely it foreshadows the main thesis of our Monetary History for the depression period, and have been embarrassed that we made no reference to it in our account.” OMG! This is the oral tradition that exerted such a powerful influence on Friedman and his fellow students? Viner explains how to get out of the depression in 1933, and in 1971 Friedman is “amazed to discover” how precisely Viner’s talk foreshadowed the main thesis of his explanation of the Great Depression? That sounds more like a subliminal tradition than an oral tradition.
Responding to Patinkin’s charge that his theory of the demand for money – remember the quantity theory, according to Friedman is a theory of the demand for money — is largely derived from Keynes, Friedman plays a word game:
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: H.N. Turteltaub (2001), Over the Wine-Dark Sea: A Sea Adventure of the Ancient World (New York: Forge: 0312876602).
I picked this book up from the Barnes and Noble front table on my way down to Monterey for vacation. I had been looking for something light. Instead, I found myself engaged in the book for perhaps four times as many hours as I would usually spend on a book this length. I was entranced because the subject was interesting, because the writing did not get in the way of the story, and because I found myself greatly admiring the project--the historical, educational project--that the author is engaged in.
That is all…
Philip Aldrick: Was Montagu Norman a Nazi sympathiser?:
Norman was Britain’s… central banker… for… 24 years until 1944…. But he was also an economic dinosaur…. Adam Posen, a former Bank’s rate-setter, has said that when he could not decide which way to vote he would look at the giant portrait of Norman hanging in the Monetary Policy Committee’s meeting room and ask himself “What would Montagu do?”. Then do the opposite. So Mark Carney’s decision to remove the heirloom [portrait]… was loaded with symbolic significance. What he could not have known, though, was that another--more damaging--gold scandal involving Norman was about to erupt…. The Bank revealed that it had helped the Nazis sell gold looted from Czechoslovakia in March 1939….
I said before that I am not evaluating these shows for their historical accuracy. Shows ignoring history or changing it around does bother me sometimes…. The superb HBO series Rome, which does an absolutely unparalleled job presenting Roman social class, slavery, and religion, nonetheless left me baffled as to why a studio making a series about the Julio-Claudians would feel driven to ignore the famous historical allegations of orgies and bizarre sex preserved in classical sources and substitute different orgies and bizarre sex. The original orgies and bizarre sex were perfectly sufficient! But in general I tend to be extremely patient…. I have learned to relax and let it go.
Back in 1883, the authoritarian and imperial government of Prince Otto von Bismarck--he whose most famous sentence is "It is not by speeches and majority votes that the great issues of our time will be decided, but by blood and iron--the Chancellor of the German Empire, established universal and national health insurance for Germany.
The reasons to have national health insurance are as clear now as to Prince Otto more than a century ago: The success of a nation--whether that success is measured by the glory of its Kaiser, by the expansion of its territory, by the security of its borders, or the well-being of its population rests on the health of its population. Serious illness can strike anyone. Seriously ill people, as a rule, don't make very much money. The longer the seriously ill are untreated the more costly does their treatment and maintenance become. Private savings, as a rule, can pay the costs of treatment only for the thrifty and previously well-off. Unless, therefore we adopt the view that the seriously-ill without ample savings should quickly die and so decrease the surplus population, a country with national health insurance will be a wealthier and more successful country. These arguments were entirely 1sza`convincing to Prince Otto. They are equally convincing today.
declaring that it’s not about Republicans threatening to shut down the government unless Obama defunds heath reform; it’s about Obama threatening to shut down the government unless he gets to implement the law. No, really. Rubio: "I think the real question is: Is Barack Obama willing to shut down the government over ObamaCare?"… Where have I heard that before?… Lincoln… talks of slave interests declaring that they will break up the Union if Northerners vote in a Republican, which will make secession the fault of… anti-slavery forces: "That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, 'Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”'" Old Abe would have recognized today’s Republicans.
It's The Racism, Stupid: National Review's Victor Davis Hanson takes on the president's comments with predictable results. Here Hansen counters The Talk which African-Americans parents give their children about the police, with his own version of The Talk….
For every lecture of the sort that Holder is forced to give his son, millions of non-African-Americans are offering their own versions of ensuring safety to their progeny…. My father was a lifelong Democrat. He had helped to establish a local junior college aimed at providing vocational education for at-risk minorities…. In middle age, he and my mother once were parking their car on a visit to San Francisco when they were suddenly surrounded by several African-American teens. When confronted with their demands, he offered to give the thieves all his cash if they would leave him and my mother alone. Thankfully they took his cash and left.
John Paul Stevens: The Court & the Right to Vote: A Dissent:
The Supreme Court, on June 25, 2013, issued its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, invalidating the portion of the 2006 enactment that retained the formula used in the 1965 act to determine which states and political subdivisions must obtain the approval of the Department of Justice, or the US District Court in the District of Columbia, before changes in their election laws may become effective. That formula imposed a “preclearance” requirement on states that had maintained a “test or device” as a prerequisite to voting on November 1, 1964, and had less than a 50 percent voter registration or turnout in the 1964 presidential election…. State election laws that were enacted after 1877 were disastrous for black citizens. Whereas 130,000 blacks had been registered to vote in Louisiana in 1896, only 1,342 were registered to vote in 1904. In Alabama only 2 percent of eligible black adults were registered, and they risked serious reprisals if they attempted to exercise their right to vote. Black disenfranchisement, like segregation, was nearly complete throughout the South for well over sixty years. It was enforced not only by discriminatory laws, but also by official and unofficial uses of violence.
Writing for the five-man majority in Shelby County, the recently decided Supreme Court case challenging the VRA, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that “times have changed” since 1965. The tests and devices that blocked African-American access to the ballot in 1965 have been forbidden nationwide for over forty-eight years; the levels of registration and voting by African-Americans in southern states are now comparable to, or greater than, those of whites. Moreover, the two southern cities, Philadelphia, Mississippi and Selma, Alabama, where the most publicized misconduct by white police officials occurred in 1964 and 1965, now have African-American mayors. In view of the changes that have occurred in the South, the majority concluded that the current enforcement of the preclearance requirement against the few states identified in the statute violates an unwritten rule requiring Congress to treat all of the states as equal sovereigns.
Some more Constitution-in-Exile weblogging:
The United States Junior Chamber (JCs or more commonly Jaycees) is a leadership training and civic organization for people between the ages of 18 and 41. Areas of emphasis are business development, management skills, individual training, community service, and international connections. The U.S. Junior Chamber is a not-for-profit corporation/organization as described under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(4).
Established January 21, 1920 to provide opportunities for young men to develop personal and leadership skills through service to others, the Jaycees later expanded to include women after the United States Supreme Court ruled in the 1984 case Roberts v. United States Jaycees that Minnesota could prohibit sex discrimination in private organizations.
Apropos of Corey Robin's Libertarianism, the Confederacy, and Historical Memory:
What’s striking about this set of observations [by Randy Barnett] is that with some minor exceptions it has been pretty much the historiographical consensus for decades. Indeed, I learned much of it in high school and in my sophomore year at college. Yet Barnett, by his own admission, has only discovered it in recent years.
Jacob T. Levy comments:
I can understand your mistake here, but it’s a mistake. Randy [Barnett] started out in the Lysander Spooner camp (and he was a longtime champion of Spooner’s philosophical as well as historical importance). That abolitionist anarchism has a hard time treating the Union or the Republican Party as morally serious about slavery, but not in the confederatista “Lincoln was a racist too, so there” kind of way. It’s not that he spent time in the “maybe slavery mattered, maybe it didn’t” cloud of ignorance. It’s that he… started to respect the Republican Party’s initial stance as being a genuinely antislavery one rather than only being culpable compromises… 2004 is the latest date one could pick here, as these arguments start to appear in Restoring the Lost Constitution.
In 2004 Randy Barnett was 52, not 15.
And Lysander Spooner was a real piece of work. Lysander Spooner, ranting that defeating the Republican Party in the election of 1860 is job #1: