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...
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...
Live from Havana: Eddy Elfenbein: @EddyElfenbein: "Look, I'm not wild about how the Alderaan thing was handled but the Empire made great strides in literacy and public health..."
Good Riddance to Fidel Castro!: Fidel Castro has retired. Good riddance!!
That the Lenin-Trotsky-Stalin Authoritarian Project of which Fidel Castro was the next-to-last exemplar was not an advance toward but a retreat from a better world was obvious long, long ago. Quite early--Kronstadt?--it was clear to all save the dead-enders that the project was a mistake.
As Rosa Luxemburg wrote in "The Russian Revolution":
November 26, 2016 at 06:32 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth | Permalink | Comments (6)
Ana Navarro: @ananavarro: "Why Miami celebrating? Ppl like my friend, Claudia Puig. Her dad killed by a Castro firing squad. Her uncle was a political prisoner 25 yrs."
Sean Carroll: @seanmcarroll: “'Universal health care' and 'other countries were worse' don’t make Castro worth celebrating. Repressive dictatorships are bad."
Adrian Monck: @amonck: "Channelling Public Enemy on Elvis:"
Stefan Leifert: @StefanLeifert: "Jean-Claude Juncker: 'With the death of Fidel Castro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many'."
For all of our stooges searching for a Stalin, half-wits hailing a Hitler, morons marching for a Mussolini, and clowns craving a Castro this morning. A suitable epitaph for Fidel Castro, from Gabriel Garcia Marquez:
A vast bureaucratic incompetence affecting almost every realm of daily life, especially domestic happiness... has forced Fidel Castro himself, almost thirty years after victory, to involve himself personally in such extraordinary matters as how bread is made and the distribution of beer...
Jacobo Timmerman (1990): A Summer in the Revolution: 1987: "When I read one of Gabriel Carcia Marquez's essays on the Commandante [Fidel Castro], I was remind of paeans to Stalin...
November 26, 2016 at 06:02 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Funny, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth | Permalink | Comments (1)
For all of our stooges searching for a Stalin, half-wits hailing a Hitler, morons marching for a Mussolini, and clowns craving a Castro this morning:
Jaybird: Vladimir, Joseph, and Zedong:
Has anybody here seen my old friend Vladimir?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lot of people,
But it seems the good they die young.
You know, I just looked around and he’s gone.
AP: Fidel Castro Dead at 90: "HAVANA (AP) — Cuban President Raul Castro has announced the death of his brother Fidel Castro on Cuban state media. Fidel Castro was 90 years old..."
Some teabaggers like Augusto Pinochet. Some herbal teabagger liked Fidel Castro. Peas in a pod:
Via Josh Marshall: On James Comey: "I'm sure you're getting a million takes on the Comey/email situation from former AUSAs...
Q: How hard will it be for Trump to produce jobs for the people he promised he would?
A: Fiscal expansion might rescue Trump by creating a high-pressure economy, if we are still far from full employment. Otherwise...
Bad trade deals are not the reason for the decline in American manufacturing employment and the stagnation of earnings outside the 10%.
There are, broadly speaking, three kinds of American patriotism. There is Kentucky, which is the standard ethno-linguistic nationalism of soil and blood (think: age of Andrew Jackson). There is Virginia, which is a peculiar form of libertarianism-of-adoption: "we" have come here so that nobody else can boss "us" or those we adopt to become "us" around (think: Thomas Jefferson). And there is New England, which is the utopian nationalism of election: those who elect to come here and help "us" to build utopia are "us", and are very welcome as long as they commit to building the City Upon a Hill.
To no one's surprise, I like the third kind. And here is its root, in John Winthrop's Arabella Sermon:
John Winthrop: From "A Model of Christian Charity": "We are entered into covenant with Him for this work...
The best thing I have seen on the mess that America has now gotten itself into:
Luigi Zingales: The Right Way to Resist Trump: Five years ago, I warned about the risk of a Donald J. Trump presidency. Most people laughed...
They thought it inconceivable. I was not particularly prescient; I come from Italy, and I had already seen this movie, starring Silvio Berlusconi, who led the Italian government as prime minister for a total of nine years between 1994 and 2011. I knew how it could unfold.
Alexander Hamilton (1778): Federalist No 68: "Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption...
J. Bradford DeLong :: U.C. Berkeley, NBER, and WCEG :: November 17, 2016 :: PIIE
We are highly unlikely to have any—not for the next two years, and probably not for the next four years. Thus the talk I had prepared and the powerpoint I had drawn up two weeks ago are now totally irrelevant.
Weekend Reading: The problem with this from the extremely smart and thoughtful Izabella Kaminska's argument here is that people pay for the New York Times--and they got Judy Miller, Whitewater!, and Emails!. People pay for the Washinton Post, and get Fred Hiatt--plus get told that Stanley Kaplan University is wonderful, and that Clarice Starling and Eliot Ness established the high reputation of the FBI. In pay-for journalism you may be the customer rather than the product, but that does not get you far enough:
Izabella Kaminska: Facebook and the manufacture of consent: "As to... what’s really wrong with the media, the simple adage that you get what you pay for and that if it’s free you are the product is... insightful...
...If you pay peanuts, you will get poorly balanced, poorly verified, poorly sourced and poorly scrutinised news. And if you condone the mass distribution of free news and normalise it by calling it a “business model” or an “eco-system” you will fan the propaganda war rather than abate it. Don’t make Facebook and Google filter fake news. If you value truly balanced and verified news; if you value comment which scrutinises vested interests, business models or government policy; or if you value being confronted by views which are different from your own but still well argued, pay for the news, don’t just get it from Facebook....
Should-Read: Why it's not just Facebook and Twitter that need to clean house. There are a great many organizations--the New York Times and the Washington Post and the networks high among them--that do not have "be a trustworthy information intermediary" anywhere on their mission statements:
Ben Thompson: Fake News: "Between 2001 and 2003, Judith Miller wrote a number of pieces in the New York Times asserting that Iraq had the capability and the ambition to produce weapons of mass destruction...
Whether Thomas Jefferson's vision of the future of America was coherent was unclear then and remains unclear now.
Jefferson, like most of his founding-father contemporaries, was steeped in one version of classical history: Roman history as a morality play. Jefferson and many, many of his revolutionary peers assumed that yeoman farmers--Cincinnati--were the only possible social class that could maintain a free republic. They all believed that Rome was a great, free Republic because of its fiercely-independent farmers who nevertheless loved their city and would--like Cincinnatus--drop their ploughs and instantly take up their swords to defend (and conquer), and then return to their ploughs after the war was over.
November 14, 2016 at 11:34 PM in Economics: Growth, 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 (31)
Weblogging was supposed to bring informed expert voices into the public sphere. Yet in the hands of the Washington Post it has all gone horribly wrong:
The FBI has long been an iconic institution in American life. From Eliot Ness to Clarice Starling, the image of the FBI -- unflappable, smart, and relentlessly fair--has been sterling. After...
Now it just reads:
The FBI has long been an iconic institution in American life. After...
Michael Kelly: Wishful in Defeat: The Democratic Party Has Come to Believe Its Own Propaganda: "Our Democratic story so far: George W. Bush is a usurper of power, an incompetent frat-boy fool and a radical extremist (or the incompetent frat-boy-fool pawn of the radical extremists who control him and his White House)...
Joachim Voth: Differences and Similarities: Trump and Hitler: "Here is my attempt to think through the troubling parallels with 1933...
...Trump is no Hitler, and history doesn't repeat itself.... [But] this is my small checklist of things that look, broadly speaking, similar - and those that do not:
Must-Read: The divide between Democrats and Republicans in the United States in 2016 is best conceptualized as a divide between those who think that an America in which black, brown, yellow, red, etc. people vote is great and in which they have a great deal to gain and those who think that an America in which black, brown, yellow, red, etc. people vote is no longer great and in which they have something--maybe not a great deal, but something--to lose:
Francis Wilkinson: [Race, Not Class, Dictates Republican Future]: "The class compositions of the Republican and Democratic parties keep evolving...
The problem is that it's not the "most febrile" elements of the Republican Party that joined Trump. It's the whole damned thing... (Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Trump Hell)
Julie Lythcott-Haims: My Conversation with Peter Thiel about Apartheid… And its Unfolding Aftermath: "'Gotta say I wasn’t surprised when tech billionaire Peter Thiel endorsed Trump... (Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Trump Hell)
As of now, an estimated 2.2 million vote edge for Hillary Clinton...
And that's without adding in the effects of 2nd Jim Crow voter suppression...
The big stories of last Tuesday are two:
Big Story: Hillary Rodham Clinton won the vote--more Americans chose her for their leader than chose Donald Trump.
Big Story: The electoral college failed to do its proper democratic job for the sixth time in 58 elections--and a 10.6% failure rate is much too high.
Anybody who does not focus on those two big stories is not being your friend.
Must-Read: Philip Stephens: America Can Survive Trump. Not so the West: "History can veer off course... in 1914... the first age of globalisation was consumed in the flames of the Great War... [in] the 1930s when economic hardship, protectionism and nationalism nurtured the rise of fascism...
Must-Read: Bret Stephens: 2016’s Big Reveal: "The awful election of 2016... was the Big Reveal... the guiding spirit of the modern conservative movement is neither Burke nor Lincoln...
Must-Read: As I said yesterday, President-elect Trump is probably a Schwarzenegger--in which case the next four years will see for the most part a loss of opportunity to make America greater, which is a disappointment but not a total disaster. Trump is perhaps a Berlusconi--which would be a disaster: think of the damage Berlusconi's bunga-bunga rent-seeking rule did to Italy. And Trump is highly unlikely to be a Mussolini.
But there are Mussolinis out there, and worse. And, as Ezra Klein notes, the rise of Trump reveals that our political system is frighteningly vulnerable to them:
Ezra Klein: Donald Trump’s Success Reveals a Frightening Weakness in American Democracy: "The belief that Trump is a predictable reaction to acute economic duress crumbled before the finding that his primary voters had a median household income of $72,000 — well above both the national average and that of Clinton supporters...
Must-Read: This by Josh Barro was, I think, the best take on what the 2016 presidential election was really about: telling it like it is. I do, however, have several caveats:
Josh Barro's analysis is correct only for high-information Trump voters. For low-information Trump voters, the calculus is: "Gee, there's more of an uproar in the media about this election! Maybe it's because of social changes produced by the internet? Whatever, I'm a Republican, and the Republican convention nominated Trump, and the Republican establishment says to vote for Trump. So I will vote for Trump." Things aren't as dire about all--or most--of those of our fellow citizens who pull the lever for Trump as Barro believes. There is a weak duty not to be a low-information voter, but not a strong duty not to be one.
A great many high-information voters who usually vote Republican are not voting for Trump. That is, I think, a good sign.
Where the news is much worse than Barro says is with respect to the Republican establishment that has fallen in line behind Trump. That is a very worrisome problem for the future, whatever the next four years bring us.
Josh Barro: Final Thoughts on 2016: "The core question of the 2016 election is stupidly simple...
Must-Read: If "fascist" means anything, it means somebody who claims to be a strong leader who will (a) solve problems, (b) eliminate the cretinism of parliaments, and (c) identify the enemies of the people--internal and external--and deal with them harshly. If you want to say that "fascism" proper is a disease of the twentieth century, and that the twenty-first century has "neo-fascism", I will not complain:
Gideon Rachman: Is Donald Trump a Fascist?: "Labeling a politician a fascist is not usually helpful...
"I now know it is a rising, not a setting, sun" --Benjamin Franklin, 1787