Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage:
If you voted for Trump, you are dead to me...
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848): The Communist Manifesto http://tinyurl.com/dl20161210h: This piece by Marx and Engels stands at the head of two traditions:
You cannot separate these two. You should not try.
Read with an eye toward what is going to flourish in later intellectual and political history.
Hoisted from the Archives: My Very Short Take on World War II...: From “September 1, 1939,” by W.H. Auden...
...I sit in one of the dives/On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid/As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:/Waves of anger and of fear
Circulate over the bright/And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;/The unmentionable odor of death
Offends the September night.
Accurate scholarship can/Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now/That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,/What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:/and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,/Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return...
A lot of intellectual energy in the early 2000s was a reaction to the installation by a five-to-four vote of a manifestly unqualified president--and the huge wave of justificatory bullshit that the Noise Machine generated around that in the form of clouds of misinformation to hide reality. People with platforms began calling it out, hoping to find other people to talk to to check whether they were being gaslighted or not.
The finest example of this I have ever seen was Belle Waring's Best Weblog Post EVAR from 2004. It's a thing to remember. If aspect of the Reagan presidency were real tragedy, and the entire Bush 43 presidency was tragic farce, what is this about to be?
Belle Waring (2004): If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride--A Pony!: "I think Matthew Yglesias' response to Josh Chafetz' exercise in wishful thinking was about right...
...even if Brad DeLong's is more nuanced.
I'd like to note, though, that Chafetz is selling himself short. You see, wishes are totally free. It's like when you can't decide whether to daydream about being a famous Hollywood star or having amazing magical powers. Why not--be a famous Hollywood star with amazing magical powers! Along these lines, John has developed an infallible way to improve any public policy wishes. You just wish for the thing, plus, wish that everyone would have their own pony!
January 16, 2017 at 05:12 AM in Information: Internet, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Monday) Smackdown Watch, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: (Wednesday) Economic History, Streams: (Weekend) Reading, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1)
Duncan Black: Eschaton: America's Worst Humans: "Chris Cillizza. I'm sure Cillizza got his career opportunities through nothing other than the pure meritocracy...
...that exists in our free market Nirvana. Certainly he got none of the breaks that blah people do. Still if he wasn't doing this, I don't see how he wouldn't be under a bridge somewhere.
Scott Lemieux: Love Is Always Scarpering, Or Cowering, Or Fawning: "This month’s Cillizza Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field Of Hackdom goes to… Chris Cillizza:
@TheFix: You should watch this Paul Ryan town hall on CNN. The guy is extremely impressive.
@OnceUponA: It is very difficult to have a working understanding of health policy and simultaneously be impressed by his answers on ACA. https://t.co/NTdpL9gTIw
J. William Ward (1962): Andrew Jackson: Symbol for an Age 0195006992 http://amzn.to/2jAbLvi: "IN the spring of 1822, Noah M. Ludlow, prominent in the beginnings of the theater in the western United States...
...was in New Orleans. One day early in May he received, as was the custom in the early theater, a ‘benefit’ night. Remembering the occasion some years later, Ludlow could not recollect what pieces had been acted on that evening but he did recall doing something that was as a rule ‘entirely out of [his] line of business.’ As an added attraction he had sung a song he thought might please the people. The song was ‘The Hunters of Kentucky.’
Comment of the Day: James: Nancy Letourneau: Republican Confusion Over Obamacare Repeal: "Hoisted from 2012 http://www.bradford-delong.com/2012/10/john-podhoretz-badly-needs-some-better-friends-than-fred-barnes.html...
...But there is something serious to be written here about Orwell, "1984", and the ability of the Inner Party to keep its understanding of the world separate from the propaganda they feed to the Outer Party and to the proles.
I always assumed they knew this and were just trying to figure out who to blame when they didn't pass a plan.
January 11, 2017 at 04:04 PM in Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Monday) Smackdown Watch, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Comment of the Day, Streams: Cycle | Permalink | Comments (2)
Can anybody give me a model-based or a framework-based on an empirical data- or observation-based rationale for what John Taylor was saying here about Japan in early 2009?
We have very little indication of what policies Donald Trump will try to follow or even what kind of president he will be. The U.S. press corps did an extraordinarily execrable job in covering the rise of Trump--even worse than it usually does. Even the most sophisticated of audiences--those interested in asset prices and how they are affected by government policies--have very little insight into Trump's views or those of his key associates.
Ah. Memories of 1981...
Back in 1981 the Reagan administration promised big tax cuts for the rich; higher defense spending; no spending cuts in programs that were really useful but only in rent-seeking waste, fraud, and abuse; and a balanced budget. They didn't add up. They went forward anyway.
The consequence was the huge full-employment Reagan budget deficit, and gave America a Hobson's choice between:
Live from Cyberspace: Noah Smith: On Twitter: "The history of Twitter in three tweets..."
A correspondent reminds me of [a moment] almost four years ago that powerfully drove home to me how low the intellectual standards are on the American right. This will be very important to remember over the next four years--especially since the Trumpists are not the brightest of the lights on the American right as it stands today, never mind how it stood before the ascendancy of George W. Bush fifteen years ago, and never never mind how it stood before the ascendancy of Newt Gingrich twenty-five years ago.
It takes some wind-up, however. Let's start with the (usually) very sharp Thomas Nagel:
Thomas Nagel (2012): Mind and Cosmos: "If I decide, when the sun rises on my right, that I must be driving north instead of south...
[a moment: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/why-oh-why-cant-we-have-a-better-press-corps-andrew-ferguson-of-the-weekly-standard-edition.html
The Age of Incompetence: BERKELEY – On January 20, 2017, US President-elect Donald Trump will take office having received almost three million fewer votes than his opponent; and he will work with a Republican Senate majority whose members won 13 million fewer votes than their Democratic opponents. Only the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, has any claim to represent a numerical majority of the 55% of Americans who voted on Election Day 2016. Trump will also begin his presidency with an approval rating below 50%. This is unprecedented – or “unpresidented,” as one of his semi-literate tweets put it (before he deleted it) – in the history of such ratings... **Read MOAR at Project Syndicate
"Ricardian Equivalence" Is a Claim That Tax Cuts Are Ineffective Stimulus, Not That Spending Increases Are: I learned this from Andy Abel and Olivier Blanchard, almost before my eyes first opened: increases in government purchases are ineffective at boosting real aggregate demand only if both (a) 'Ricardian Equivalence' holds, and (b) what the government buys (and distributes to households) is exactly what households would buy for themselves.
'Ricardian Equivalence' by itself simply does not do it.
What should I be doing that I am not doing?
In retrospect, I like my "The Economist as...?: The Public Square and Economists" paper for the Notre Dame "public intellectualism" conference (and the newly-published conference volume) very much indeed.
It would be very nice if more people read it, and talked about it...
A discussion page...
Plus my note on an unfavorable review of the book in the Wall Street Journal, and some recent musings on failures of economists as public intellectuals.
Michael C. Desch, ed.: Public Intellectuals in the Global Arena: Professors or Pundits? (South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press: 0268100241) http://amzn.to/2ifc7qn
Live from the Electoral College: KStreet607: Final Popular Vote Total Shows Hillary Clinton Won Almost 3 Million More Ballots Than Donald Trump: " Hillary Clinton won a total of 65,844,610 votes--48.2 percent--compared with Trump’s 62,979,636 votes--46.1 percent--according to David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report...
Hoisted from Others' Archives:
...was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century. The fifty-eight senators who voted against Bork for confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987 honored themselves, and the Constitution. In the subsequent quarter-century, Bork devoted himself to proving that his critics were right about him all along.
Stupidest Man Alive Nomination: Larry Kudlow: Hoisted from the Archives from 2008: One would think that National Review would want to maintain a smidgeon of a reputation, and hence at least edit Larry Kudlow for his biggest howlers. But no. Eschaton reader js informs Atrios of the stupidity:
John Holbo (2008): Shameless: "I know logically that Larry Kudlow has no shame, because...Larry Kudlow!...
I have only been on the same stage as Larry Kudlow twice in my life. In neither case did he provide any intellectual substance at all. This was the second time:
Hoisted from the Archives from 2007: I was sitting on the right end of an nine-person panel at the New School Friday morning http://www.cepa.newschool.edu/events/events_schwartz-lecture.htm#webcast. Bob Solow was sitting on the left end--Solow, Shapiro, Schwartz, Rohatyn, Kudlow, Kerrey, Kosterlitz, Hormats, DeLong. Bob Solow expressed concern and worry over the declines in the U.S. savings rate over the past generation. Larry Kudlow, in the middle of the panel, aggressively launched into an unbalanced and nearly fact-free rant...
Has macroeconomics gone right? After three years, how is this working out?...
Paul Krugman (2013): The Neopaleo-Keynesian Counter-counter-Counterrevolution: "OK, I can’t resist this one — and I think it’s actually important...
...Brad DeLong reacts to Binyamin Appelbaum’s piece on
Young FrankensteinStan Fischer by quoting from his own 2000 piece on New Keynesian ideas in macroeconomics, a piece in which he argued that New Keynesian thought was, in important respects, a descendant of old-fashioned monetarism. There’s a lot to that view.
Live from Trumpland: Look for a lot of this from the right over the next four years--people deliberately missing the point that Trump is not up to the job, and that his decision are at best random monkeyshines:
Scott Eric Kaufman: [Media Criticism: Tears Brent Bozell into Shreds and Gobbets, and then Eats the Gobbets...]: "And the Award for Missing the Point goes to...
...Brent Bozell, of the ironically named “Media Research Center,” who refuted Oliver Stone’s comment that “Nixon always said Reagan was a dumb son of a bitch” by quoting a number of prominent figures in Reagan’s administration who thought Reagan was really smart.... Bozell to Stone:
Live from Indianapolis: Erik Loomis: Trump's Lies to Workers: "Donald Trump’s absurd attacks on USW Local 1999 president Chuck Jones gives him the opportunity to respond...
Hoisted from the Archives: Robert Waldmann Has an Interpretation of Karl Marx that Is New to Me...: I would not have thought it was possible.
Robert Waldmann has an interpretation of Karl Marx's "Critique of the Gotha Program" that I have never seen before.
Robert argues that the correct interpretation of Marx's phrase "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," in context, is this:
Shorter Critique of the Gotha Program: We socialists cannot now--and probably never will--be able to inscribe on our banners the wacka-wacka primitive Christian slogan "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." And the Lasalleans are really stupid for thinking that we can and should do it now...
Scott Lemieux: Today in False Equivalence: "I am beginning to wonder why I subscribe.... [Anemona Hartocollis]...
Bias incidents on both sides have been reported. A student walking near campus was threatened with being lit on fire because she wore a hijab. Other students were accused of being racist for supporting Mr. Trump, according to a campuswide message from Mark Schlissel, the university’s president.
Yeah, pretty much the same thing. Why are those liberal students so mean!
Live from Tea Party Headquarters: Jonathan Chait: Donald Trump Has Proven Liberals Right About the Tea Party: "Conservatives insisted that what spurred protesters... were the timeless principles of conservative movement thought...
Time (1939): Adolf Hitler: Man of the Year, 1938: "What Adolf Hitler & Co. did to Germany in less than six years was applauded wildly and ecstatically by most Germans...
The Thursday night before the 2000 election I gave a talk at St. Mary's College, trying to present the Bush and Gore points of view as fairly as I could...
Q: Have BREXIT and Trump increased the probability of a breakup of the eurozone?
That Britain voted for BREXIT, even under the false pretense of an extra 350 million pounds a week for the health service, is a strong indication that the tide of globalization and integration is not irresistible. That Americans... well, Americans did not vote for Trump--they voted for Clinton. That the quirks of the electoral college have made Trump president-elect is a strong indication that the tide of globalization and integration is not irresistible.
Should-Read: Jamison Foser (2009): Milbank, Cillizza and the Washington Post still think calling Clinton a bitch is funny: "The Post pulled the video...
Mark Buchanan and Noah Smith: Debating What's Wrong With Macroeconomics: "*It wasn't very long ago that macroeconomics was being hailed for answering some of the big, perplexing questions about the workings of the economy...
..."The state of macro is good," one highly respected economist wrote in August 2008, just before much of the developed world came close to economic disaster. The failure to foresee the financial crisis now is considered one glaring sign of the field's limitations. Bloomberg View columnists Mark Buchanan and Noah Smith met online to debate how macroeconomics needs to change.*
Abraham Lincoln: State of the Union Address: "Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives...
In the midst of unprecedented political troubles we have cause of great gratitude to God for unusual good health and most abundant harvests.
Betty Cracker: Update on Faces vs. Leopards: "This is one of my favorite tweets from the post-election period:
...Via TPM, we now have a (metaphorically eaten) face and name to attach to that sentiment:
The unwillingness of David Brooks of the New York Times) and his ilk to tell their readers that Barack Obama was the centrist president they were looking for is one of the reasons we are in this mess--and one reason why, I think, David Brooks's career is now over:
Jonathan Chait: David Brooks and the Intellectual Collapse of the Center: "Of all the failures that have led to the historical disaster of the Trump presidency, perhaps the least-remarked-upon is the abdication of responsibility of the American center.
Live from Riga: Why not just say that the candidate is ignorant and underbriefed, rather than pretending that he is informed and briefed so you can try to play "gotcha"? You have a candidate who is trying to say that "the U.S. will not be a sap" and only that "the U.S. will not be a sap". But you push him into saying things that others will interpret very differently:
NYT: "[The Baltic Republics] are NATO members, and we are treaty-obligated..."
Donald Trump: "We have many NATO members that aren’t paying their bills."
Hoisted from the Archives from 2012: Eric Hobsbawm, RIP: Let me correct the late Tony Judt, who said: "If he had not been a lifelong Communist, [Eric Hobsbawm] would be remembered simply as one of the great historians of the 20th century."
It should read: "Even though he was a lifetime Communist, Eric Hobsbawm was one of the greatest historians of the 20th century."
A thousand years from now people are likely to still read The Age of Revolution and The Age of Capital. I have tried to write reviews of those two books, and so far I have failed--I have been unable to write anything that conveys just how good they are.
Kindred Winecoff also has some thoughts:
Hoisted from the Archives from 1984: Faith: Pascal's Wager, When the Odds Are a Thousand to One Against: Eric Hobsbawm says that he would have still been a communist in 1934 even if he had known about Stalin's slaughter and starvation in the Ukraine because Stalin might have been building a utopia.
May I guess that Eric Hobsbawm never read Rosa Luxemburg?
He got a larger percent of the popular vote than Donald Trump did...
Nelson D. Schwartz: Trump to Announce Carrier Plant Will Keep Jobs in U.S.:
Live from London: Yes, Britain's governance looks to be worse than America's over the next four years. Why do you ask?
Duncan Black: Good Luck With That: "The weird belief that there could be no negative consequences of Brexit while still actually undertaking Brexit is cute...
Project Syndicate: Missing the Economic Big Picture: BERKELEY – I recently heard former World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy paraphrasing a classic Buddhist proverb, wherein China’s Sixth Buddhist Patriarch Huineng tells the nun Wu Jincang: “When the philosopher points at the moon, the fool looks at the finger.” Lamy added that, “Market capitalism is the moon. Globalization is the finger.” With anti-globalization sentiment now on the rise throughout the West, this has been quite a year for finger-watching... Read MOAR at Project Syndicate
Understanding Trump: Even the Good Scenario Is Bad: Q: Are we in Europe misunderstanding Trump?
A: The non-legislative powers of the president are extremely large. Thus the risks of disaster-from-incompetence are quite high--even leaving to one side the chance of a Berlusconi bunga-bunga governance kleptocratic orgy...
Some people do have a more positive view of Reagan than I do. But when I look at Reagan I see:
Across the Wide Missouri: But we have been here before--albeit to a lesser extent. The huge gap between the Reagan and the George W. Bush that people encountered in the White House and elsewhere every single day and the Reagan and George W. Bush portrayed by the media was quite substantial. By contrast, with Obama, Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Carter, what you saw was what was reported:
James Fallows: A Reflexive Liar in Command: Guidelines for the Media: "Most people would hesitate before telling easily disprovable lies like these...
"I now know it is a rising, not a setting, sun" --Benjamin Franklin, 1787