Dead from Behind the Iron Curtain: Albert Glotzer: Stalin’s Place in History (1953): "Assessing the Social Role of the Great Assassin... https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/glotzer/1953/05/stalin.htm
Dead from Behind the Iron Curtain: Albert Glotzer: Stalin’s Place in History (1953): "Assessing the Social Role of the Great Assassin... https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/glotzer/1953/05/stalin.htm
Leon Trotsky's Not-Entirely-Reliable-Narrator View of Lenin's New Economic Policy of the 1920s http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/02/daily-economic-history-leon-trotskys-not-entirely-reliable-narrator-view-of-lenins-new-economic-policy-of-the-1920s.html: "With the bourgeois economists we no longer anything to quarrel over...
...Socialism has demonstrated its right to victory, not on the pages of Das Kapital, but in an industrial arena comprising a sixth part of the earths surface--not in the language of dialectics, but in the language of steel, cement and electricity. Even if the Soviet Union, as a result of internal difficulties, external blows and the mistakes of leadership, were to collapse--which we firmly hope will not happen--there would remain an earnest of the future this indestructible fact, that thanks solely to a proletarian revolution a backward country has achieved in less than 10 years successes unexampled in history.
"The retired monster" is Nikita Sergeyevitch Khrushchev. "Leonid Vitalevich" is Leonid Vitalevich Kantorovich. This is, I think, the heart of the ending:
When he awoke, beside the steady breathing of Nina Petrovna... out would come the other memories.... The groaning trees in the Western Ukraine in ‘45, when the NKVD hangmen had been at work, and the sight through an incautiously opened door in ‘37 where an interrogator had been demonstrating the possibilities of a simple steel ruler, and the starveling child vomiting grass during collectivisation. And more; and worse. So much blood, and only one justification for it... if it had been all prologue, all only the last spasms in the death of the old, cruel world, and the birth of the kind new one. But without the work it was so much harder to believe.... The garden came no closer, where the lion would lie down with the lamb and all could play at criticism after dinner, if they had a mind to.
He fumbled with the tape machine, and found the RECORD key his son had shown him. ‘Paradise’, he told the wheatfield in baffled fury, ‘is a place where people want to end up, not a place they run from. What kind of socialism is that? What kind of shit is that, when you have to keep people in chains? What kind of social order? What kind of paradise?’ He pressed STOP. Covered his mouth with his hand. And then, since he was tired of fear, of feeling it and of causing it, the retired monster sat very still on the bench by the field, and waited until Kava the rook hopped up onto his knee. A little wind came arrowing across the wheat and swayed the birches over his head. And the leaves of the trees said: can it be otherwise?
And here is the whole thing:
Live from the Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: So the New York Times is firing its awful public editor, Liz Spayd. Friday—that is, two days from now—cutting her three-year position down to one. It is also taking advantage of the opportunity to eliminate the position. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/business/media/new-york-times-buyouts.html
Jared Kushner beat sweetener by Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman and Sharon LaFraniere—all the news that flatters our sources, because we think being a trustworthy information intermediary is for real losers:
Scott Lemieux: Hey, Harvard Doesn't Sell Its Degrees to Just Anyone!: "Truly, the reincarnation of Machiavelli walks among us... http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/05/hey-harvard-doesnt-just-sell-degrees-anyone
Duncan Black: Eschaton: Almost Forgot: "Happy 'Suck On This Day'! Has it been 14 years already???..." http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/05/almost-forgot.html
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Ah. I see. Charles Murray, W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is once again trying to rehabilitate his Racial Science. Burn one cross and spend your life arguing that people with dark skin are genetically inferior, and people call you a racist. Is that fair?
Eric Turkheimer, Kathryn Paige Harden, and Richard E. Nisbett: Charles Murray is once again peddling junk science about race and IQ - Vox: "Podcaster and author Sam Harris is the latest to fall for it... https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/5/18/15655638/charles-murray-race-iq-sam-harris-science-free-speech
Matthew Yglesias tweeted:
Matthew Yglesias: On Twitter: "It seems profoundly dysfunctional that the whole imperial court has to travel, lest some particular faction bend the king's ear. https://t.co/wb1X9G63mC" https://twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/865635638363660288
All I can say is: Matthew, I welcome you and I welcome the United States back to history.
After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality http://amzn.to/2q0TevJ
Themes worth noting from the After Piketty CUNY launch event—that I missed, being on the wrong coast.
Hoisted from the Archives: Are Commenters on the Tulipmania Rational?: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Weblogging http://www.bradford-delong.com/2013/10/are-commenters-on-the-tulipmania-rational-extraordinary-popular-delusions-and-the-madness-of-crowds-weblogging.html: Every once in a while someone is impelled to try to claim that one or the other of the more notorious bubbles in history was in fact not a bubble--that the market was in fact functioning efficiently, that asset prices were equal to fundamentals, that traders were behaving rationally given the information they had, and behaving rationally in their decisions to spend resources acquiring information, so that buyers and sellers were making investments that were good and appropriate from a rational ex ante perspective.
There is a big problem with this deluded enterprise.
Matt O'Brien: Liberal democracy is not dead, but it's not well...
...From Hungary to Poland to even the United States, far-right populists have won power, and, in a few cases, are busy consolidating it. In some sense, it shouldn't be too surprising that the worst economic crisis since the 1930s has led to the worst political crisis within liberal democracies since the 1930s. At the same time, though, it's not as if right-wing nationalists are winning everywhere. Just in the last six months, they've come up short in Austria, the Netherlands and now France. So why is it that these abundant raw materials for a far right — stagnant incomes and increased immigration—haven't always turned into a far right that wins elections? I talked to Harvard's Daniel Ziblatt, whose new book Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy http://amzn.to/2qxQXeJ traces the history of how the center-right often determines whether democracy lives or dies, about what's behind our populist moment and just how close a parallel we're running to some of history's darkest episodes.
His answer: It depends.
Live from the Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: I remember that it was in July 2005 that I realized that Michael Kinsley had no true friends...
Eric Miller: The Unnamed Behemoth: Review of "Public Intellectuals in the Global Arena" http://amzn.to/2pSZyVd: "Deep learning eloquently brought to bear on the contemporary moment has, quite evidently, not been enough to shore up the aging foundations of our republic... https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/unnamed-behemoth
...And a live-from-the-West-Wing Twitter feed is not likely to advance our fortunes, either.... Is the liberal democratic tradition up to the challenge—the challenge of disciplining an economic order that exists not to prosper democracy but itself? On such crucial questions this volume sounds an uncertain note—and a rather quiet uncertain note at that.... No thoroughgoing leftists (seemingly) number among the contributors—none, that is, disposed to warn of enlarging catastrophic conflict between democracy and capital...
(1) But I thought I had done so! Was I too elliptical?
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Sarah Kliff: Donald Trump has no idea what health insurance costs: "The Economist asked the president about the fact that many Americans are expected to lose coverage... https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/11/15624328/trump-health-insurance-costs
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Page In which I am pwned, decisively, on twitter:
Brad DeLong @delong: Replying to @Crutnacker @Tengrain: My advice: let Trump live rent-free in your head from 8:00 to 8:15 PM. That's enough. At other hours, evict him...
Jesus HidalgoCristos @JesusHCristos: Replying to @delong @Tengrain @Crutnacker: I've tried. But he continues screaming and banging on pans, & even after he's evicted, the stench of feces he's smeared on the walls lingers.
Mike Pence needs to be immediately impeached and removed from his office as Vice President of the United States for failing to carry out his constitutional duty.
Which constitutional duty?
His duty under Amendment 25 to "transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."
The latest two things to cross my screen:
I was about to post this to celebrate the publication of our After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality http://amzn.to/2ptneiD—the last thing Meltzer wrote I ever read. I think it is how he would like to be remembered. I think it speaks for itself:
Allan Meltzer (2014): The United States of Envy: "Support for the alleged social benefits of setting much higher marginal tax rates on the highest incomes...
...has now been endorsed by the International Monetary Fund, based heavily on research by two French economists named Thomas Piketty and Emanuel Saez. The two worked together on the faculty at MIT, where the current research director of the IMF, Olivier Blanchard, was a professor. Like Piketty and Saez, he is also French...
This is the illustration Meltzer chose for his piece:
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Eddie. Please: answer me. I am genuinely curious: what is the upside for you from trashing your academic reputation this way? For claiming that reasonable technocratic people can debate whether the nonexistent Trump tax plan will pay for itself?
Tax Reforms http://www.igmchicago.org/surveys/tax-reforms:
UPDATE: Alexia Fernández Campbell: "When I contacted the two economists whose opinions differed, they said that their answers were an error, and that they actually disagreed with the claim..." https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/4/15536394/american-economists-trump-tax-plan
I know of no works of theory or empirical analysis that says that the one page of tax reform talking points set out by Steve Mnuchin and Donald Trump is a "plan". And I know of no works of theory or empirical analysis that could lead a rational Bengt Hölmstrom or a rational Ken Judd to say that they "strongly agree" with the proposition that that one-page of talking points could be implemnted in a way that would likely pay for itself through higher economic growth: Can anybody explain to me why Bengt Hölmstrom and Ken Judd are being so unprofessional? Can anybody elucidate their thinking to me?
Live from the Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: David Weigel: This one Clinton quote shows why her supporters hate the media: "It's 2017, and a president who was opaque about many of his policy plans during the campaign is now being asked to fund rural broadband projects...
Hoisted from the Archives from 2013: Ta-Nehisi Coates and The Dark Art of Racecraft: Apropos of Heritage and AEI...
Andrew Sullivan says, apropos of Jason Richwine, the cross-burning Charles Murray, and company, that the racists are the real victims here…
Twenty-eight hours before Sullivan posts—thus showing that Ta-Nehisi Coates's worldline is capable of following closed timelike paths—Ta-Nehisi Coates delivers the smackdown.
And in the process Ta-Nehisi Coates says what Sandy Jencks, George Borjas, and Dick Zeckhauser really should have said to Jason Richwine when he first proposed his dissertation topic, and he lays out arguments that Richwine really should have been forced to acknowledge and grapple with before they signed off on his dissertation:
Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Dark Art of Racecraft: "Dave Weigel is one of my favorite reporters, but I think this piece on Jason Richwine, intelligence research, and "race" deserves a closer look...
Equitable Growth in Conversation: A recurring series where we talk with economists and other social scientists to help us better understand whether and how economic inequality affects economic growth and stability. Buy After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality
Heather Boushey, Brad DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum http://equitablegrowth.org/research-analysis/equitable-growth-in-conversation-brad-delong-and-marshall-steinbaum/: After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality: Heather Boushey: I am so excited that we are here finally to discuss After Piketty. Many of the people who may be reading this column may not actually have kept a copy of Piketty on their night stand and may not remember all the ins and outs, so I want to start off our conversation by asking you, first, what are the key takeaways from Piketty about the effects of inequality on our economy and our society, and second, how does the election of Donald Trump strengthen or weaken Piketty’s analytical, political, economic case? Read MOAR at Equitable Growth
April 27, 2017 at 08:24 AM in Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Twentieth Century Economic History | Permalink | Comments (7)
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(Late) Monday Smackdown: This, from eight years ago, still seems to me to be highly, highly unprofessional:
Robert Lucas (2009): In defence of the dismal science http://www.economist.com/node/14165405: "Fama tested the predictions of the EMH.... These tests could have come out either way...
...but they came out very favourably. His empirical work was novel and carefully executed.... [The] flood of criticism which has served mainly to confirm the accuracy of the hypothesis.... Exceptions and “anomalies”... for the purposes of macroeconomic analysis and forecasting... are too small to matter.
The main lesson we should take away from the EMH for policymaking purposes is the futility of trying to deal with crises and recessions by finding central bankers and regulators who can identify and puncture bubbles. If these people exist, we will not be able to afford them...
Alasdair Macintyre, at least in his After Virtue mode, believes that good civilizations are ones with moral consensus led by prophets, rather than ones with moral confusion managed by managers. It is Macintyre’s belief that we should hope for a civilization led by Trotskys (less preferred) or St. Benedicts (more preferred), but in either event it is to be preferred to managerial Keyneses.
Hoisted from the Archives from 2005: Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition): "Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition) I'm sitting here high above Berkeley in the Lipman Room of Barrows Hall...
...at a conference on 'The Changing Economics of News: Why Will Pay for Excellent Journalism in the Future?' And I'm thinking about another conference report from last month, here Matthew Yglesias reported on a panel in Virginia Beach that he was on along with the Washington Post's Mike Allen:
ACLU National: _On Twitter: "LOL" https://t.co/yS0QtsE2vG https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/853672747851030529:
We are, historically, both too late and too early for the Barrington Moore Project to make sense: both pre-Enlightenment freedoms and post mass-politics totalitarian dangers...
Weekend Reading/Hoisted (2010): The Barrington Moore Problematic and Its Discontents: John Stuart Mill was perhaps the last who was substantially at home in and competent in all the branches of moral philosophy.
Afterwards young scholars paying their dues found it impossible to learn everything and still have time to write anything.
April 15, 2017 at 05:45 PM in Berkeley, History, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: (Weekend) Reading, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (3)
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Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Donald Trump hires only the best people!
Richard R.J. Eskow: The Secret Republican History Of Sean Spicer’s Holocaust, In 7 Steps: "It’s possible to get carried away with outrage.... But... http://crooksandliars.com/2017/04/secret-republican-history-sean-spicer-s
This is an interesting, if an Aesopian, article by Olivier Blanchard...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Friends don't let friends be Republicans:
Jason Kottke: Climate change is shifting cherry blossom peak-bloom times http://kottke.org/17/04/climate-change-is-shifting-cherry-blossom-peak-bloom-times:
Weekend Reading: Ta-Nehisi Coates (2012): Slavery Is a Love Song https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/slavery-is-a-love-song/265808/: "A commenter sent me this piece from [David Post of the] The Volokh Conspiracy...
...responding to Paul Finkelman's op-ed on Thomas Jefferson. I made the mistake of reading it and thus stumbling on one the most immoral paragraphs I've read in a long long time:
Weekend Reading: Nate Silver (2009): Dow 36,000 Guy Kevin Hassett Accuses Obama of Sabotaging Economy https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/dow-36000-guy-accuses-obama-of/: "Nope, not an Onion headline. Kevin Hassett, co-author of Dow 36,000...
...which proffered exactly the sort of advice that you might reasonably infer from its title — has now penned a column accusing Barack Obama of deliberately attempting to sabotage the economy....
Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a “Manchurian Candidate” to destroy the U.S. economy once elected. What policies might that leader pursue?
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Alex Pareene: You Cretins Are Going To Get Thousands Of People Killed http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/you-cretins-are-going-to-get-thousands-of-people-killed-1792862225: "Here’s what you have to understand about the sort of people who become anchors, nonpartisan pundits, centrist columnists, and cable news political correspondents...
Bring it on: let us talk about his 1999 book Dow 36000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market http://amzn.to/2oaZZMU.
If he thinks that his late-1999 forecast that the Dow was about to triple in the next three-to-five years was a good forecast ex ante, he should be willing to defend it.
But he doesn't.
Because he can't.
The ten most major things wrong with the argument in Dow 36000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market are:
Paul Campos leads me to the water. It's the fact that Gorsuch does not acknowledge that he has even read the sources from which he borrows so heavily that makes me conclude definitively that he is unfit morally to be a judge. Saying "I didn't copy the descriptive passages, but I did write it with my secondary source open at my elbow" works only if you acknowledge that the secondary source exists, and that you used it.
From Abigail Lawlis Kuzma to Neil Gorsuch. Deletions by Gorsuch
struck out. Additions by Gorsuch bolded:
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: So Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is a plagiarist...
Southpaw on Twitter: "What Gorsuch did was steal the law review author's research--the source set she assembled--and descriptive writing w/o acknowledging her. Fitting for a man who seeks to occupy a stolen seat." https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/849611089176408068
An Open Letter to Michael Kinsley: Do you really think that there is nothing that you can find that would be better to see in the LA Times than this line of c---?
David Gelernter: You might argue that dark-skinned people are a special case, given the way the United States has treated them. I agree -- we have treated them so solicitously, and worked so hard to suppress racial prejudice, that dark-skinned people owe their country the benefit of the doubt...
It is not just his own reputation as a human being that he is shredding. It is your reputation as an editor that he is shredding as well
Weekend Reading: Simon Wren-Lewis: [Lessons from Brexit]: "Even if at some late hour Brexit does not happen for some reason...
...we will still have seen the country vote for and parliament approve a measure which inflicts substantial harm on its citizens. Anyone who still thinks otherwise should go through this Demos report on the opportunities and risks that Brexit creates, and ask whether the ‘opportunities’ are in fact things that we could have done anyway.  Yes Brexit may force us to train more doctors etc etc. The disadvantages of doing it after Brexit is that the government will be more strapped for cash.
Let us start with two texts this morning:
Paul Krugman: Don't Blame Macroeconomics (Wonkish And Petty): "Robert Skidelsky... argues, quite correctly in my view, that economists have become far too inward-looking...
...But his prime examples of economics malfeasance are, well, terrible.... [The] more or less standard model of macroeconomics when interest rates are near zero [is] IS-LM in some form.... [And] policy had exactly the effects it was “supposed to.” Now, policymakers chose not to believe this.... And yes, some economists gave them cover. But that’s a very different story from the claim that economics failed to offer useful guidance...
Simon Wren-Lewis: Misrepresenting Academic Economists: "The majority of academic macroeconomists were always against austerity...
Weekend Reading: Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson: Republicans’ Obsession with Tax Cuts for the Rich Drove Their Health Care Plan Over a Cliff: "Somehow, Republicans managed to craft a policy that simultaneously...
...raised premiums and out-of-pocket costs, lowered the quality of insurance plans, increased the chances of insurance market death spirals, put new pressure on state budgets, and massively increased the ranks of the uninsured.
Weekend Reading: Harold Meyerson: How California Hopes to Undo Trump: "America’s mega-state is now clearly its leftmost, too...
...and on social insurance, climate change, and immigrant rights, it has more capacity and desire to defeat Republican reaction than any other institution.
Live from the Rogue CBP Agency Line: Josh Marshall: Annals of the CBP (Good Times Edition): "That was fascinating. As a coda to our family vacation, when we came through customs at JFK last night...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Donald Trump declares war on the Tea Party—wants all the Teabaggers out of Congress after 2018:
Donald J. Trump: On Twitter: "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!"
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Let the record show that Paul Ryan has as little contact with reality as Donald Trump:
Jordan Weissman: Let us now appreciate Paul Ryan’s utter failure as a political leader: "The AHCA... somehow achieved the distinction of being panned by policy experts from the left, right, and center...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Steve M.: If You're Using Trump's Campaign Promises to Figure Out What He Might Do, You're Doing It Wrong: "Trump's agenda was never anything more than sucker's bait...
Must-Watch: Stephen Shortell, Jesse Choper, Brad DeLong, Ann O'Leary, Ann Marie Marciarille, and John Ellwood (2012): Reactions to the Supreme Court's Ruling on the Affordable Care Act:
Looking Forward to Four Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted
With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi: bunga-bunga governance, with a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters and a major drag on the country--except in states where his policies are neutralized.
Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!
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