Should-Read: Anton Howes: Why study Economic History?: "What is Economic History? It is about asking some of the biggest and most interesting questions imaginable... https://medium.com/@antonhowes/why-study-economic-history-ef747767be25
Should-Read: Anton Howes: Why study Economic History?: "What is Economic History? It is about asking some of the biggest and most interesting questions imaginable... https://medium.com/@antonhowes/why-study-economic-history-ef747767be25
Kindly General Lee, meet kindly Comrade Vladimir:
If the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly is not your Kronstadt, there is something profoundly wrong with you
"For a certain kind of leftist hipster or wannabe hipster, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet six o'clock on that October afternoon in 1917...
Pat Garofolo: FLASHBACK: In 1993, GOP Warned That Clinton’s Tax Plan Would ‘Kill Jobs,’ ‘Kill The Current Recovery’: "Republicans... have been apoplectic about Obama’s plan, claiming that it will kill jobs and cripple small businesses... https://thinkprogress.org/flashback-in-1993-gop-warned-that-clintons-tax-plan-would-kill-jobs-kill-the-current-recovery-96adb3663484/
September 27, 2017 at 05:33 PM in Economics: Finance, Economics: Growth, Economics: History, History, Moral Responsibility, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (6)
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Supply-Side Amnesia https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/republican-tax-cuts-budget-deficit-by-j--bradford-delong-2017-09: In the spring of 1980, Martin Feldstein co-taught (with Olivier Blanchard) the second-best macroeconomics class I ever took. (The best was a class I took from Olivier alone three years later.) From 1982-1984 Martin Feldstein served in Ronald Reagan's cabinet as Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. There he waged an effective if lonely bureaucratic war for the proposition that the size of the Reagan tax cut of 1981 had been a big policy mistake, and that America would suffer if that mistake was not repaired. That position was unpopular inside the Reagan White House: chief-of-staff James Baker tried to get everybody on to the page of delay, in the hope that something would turn up, and avoid the administration having to admit that its signature tax-cutting initiative was, at least in part, a mistake.
On fiscal policy, for my entire adult life, Republicans have fallen into four groups:
The few who care about a smaller government and about properly financing that government now and into the future.
Rather more who want a smaller government and who regard the higher debts and large deficits that result from tax-cutting policies misleadingly sold as not a bug but the feature: once the debt and deficit are created, some Democrats who sincerely believe in budget balancing will come over to the spending cut side.
Those who want to tax cuts and really don't care very much and whether they are good or sustainable policies.
Those who see an opportunity to profit personally by selling misleading rationales for tax cuts.
Apropos of Janet Napolitano's : The future of NAFTA and the state of U.S.-Mexico relations: "A forum hosted by the University of California and Tecnológico de Monterrey..." https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/initiative/uc-mexico-initiative/nafta-conference...
My present thoughts about NAFTA:
Nearly a quarter century ago, early in the Clinton administration, I was one of the leads on the team responsible for constructing estimate of the economic impact of NAFTA. And I definitely have some explaining to do.
Sigh: See what I meant http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/monday-smackdown-smackdown.html about Monday Smackdowns? Such a target-rich environment...
Must-Read: There are, as is always the case these days, a lot of lies in Avik Roy's latest on health care "reform".
But there is one nugget of important truth. Here it is:
Avik Roy: Take Two: Inside Bill Cassidy's Plan To Replace Obamacare: "Because Graham-Cassidy repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, and the Congressional Budget Office views the individual mandate as driving the majority of Obamacare’s coverage expansion, the CBO is likely to view Graham-Cassidy the same way it has viewed other GOP bills..." https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2017/09/17/take-two-inside-bill-cassidys-plan-to-replace-obamacare/#5703ca351181
And now, moving from the twenty-first century back 2500 years to a much earlier age of information technology: John Ma https://twitter.com/Nakhthor/status/908024914011193344—much peace and strength attend him!—reminds me of his "accessible edition of some letters of a member of the Achaimenid elite, the actual satrap of Egypt", Prince Arshama, quite possibly the great-grandson of King of Kings Darayavush I, writing in the late 400s B.C. to various of his subordinates http://arshama.bodleian.ox.ac.uk:
Should-Read: Nancy MacLean: DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: THE DEEP HISTORY OF THE RADICAL RIGHT'S STEALTH PLAN FOR AMERICA http://amzn.to/2voi3qD: "As 1956 drew to a close, Colgate Whitehead Darden Jr., the president of the University of Virginia, feared...
...second Brown v. Board of Education ruling, calling for the dismantling of segregation in public schools with “all deliberate speed.” In Virginia, outraged state officials responded with legislation to force the closure of any school that planned to comply.... Darden... could barely stand to contemplate the damage.... Even the name of this plan, “massive resistance,” made his gentlemanly Virginia sound like Mississippi. On his desk was a proposal, written by the... chair of the economics department... James McGill Buchanan [who] liked to call himself a Tennessee country boy. But Darden knew better....
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: After World War I: Weber: Marxism, liberalism, and what we will here call "nationalism"—just to be polite... http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/09/lecture-notes-f.html
We read Norman Angell: We did not read Max Weber: nationalism as social-darwinist doctrine:
Weekend Reading: Dean Acheson: A Historical Document: A Lawyer's Brief for the Mid-Twentieth Century Democratic Party: From Dean Acheson (1955), A Democrat Looks at His Party:
p. 23 ff: From the very beginning the Democratic Party has been broadly based... the party of the many... the urban worker; the backwoods merchant and banker; the small farmer... the large landowners of the South, who saw themselves as being milked by the commercial and financial magnates gathered under Hamilton's banner; the newly arrived immigrants... the party of the underdog.... The many have an important and most relevant characteristic. They have many interests, many points of view, many purposes to accomplish, and a party which represents them will have their many interests, many points of view, and many purposes also. It is this multiplicity of interests which, I submit, is the principal clue in understanding the vitality and endurance of the Democratic Party....
Hoisted from 2013: Apropos of David Glasner http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/should-read-in-which-david-glasner-argues-that-john-maynard-keynes-passed-up-a-very-valuable-opportunity-to-preach-about.html and John Maynard Keynes's:
Now "in the long run" this is probably true.... But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again...
2013: Why Did Keynes Write "In the Long Run We Are All Dead"? Weblogging http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/05/niall-ferguson-is-wrong-to-say-that-he-is-doubly-stupid-why-did-keynes-write-in-the-long-run-we-are-all-dead-weblogging.html: "Niall Ferguson:
September 06, 2017 at 07:57 AM in Economics: Finance, Economics: History, Economics: Macro, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
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Project Syndicate: Supply-Side Amnesia: While in the White House, Feldstein waged a persuasive but lonely bureaucratic campaign against the Reagan administration’s 1981 income-tax cuts, arguing that they had been too big, and would prove economically painful if not corrected.... If Feldstein’s warning had been heeded in 1982-84, America would be stronger and happier today. I was thus dismayed at his recent expression of optimism that under today’s Republican-led Congress, “a tax reform serving to increase capital formation and growth will be enacted,” while arguing that “any resulting increase in the budget deficit will be only temporary”... Read MOAR at Project Syndicate
Just look at this:
Kansas is—in some strong sense—unbelievably loony.
No sooner does Sam Brownback manage to plant his behind in the Governor's chair in Topeka, KS than does Kansas's share of American nonfarm jobs and people start to drop like a stone.
If I were you, if I were trying to understand Washington, DC today, I would hold tight to four points:
On Twitter https://twitter.com/de1ong/status/899444987896770561: The hard-working and intelligent Jim Tankersley sends me to:
Reihan Salam https://twitter.com/reihan/status/899428435508043777: "The best 'Why I'm running' statement I've ever read from a GOP candidate": Randy Boyd: Why I'm Running https://randyboyd.com/why-im-running/.
But Boyd is a joke:
Live from "My Kronstadt was the Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly": WTF, Tony Barber?! The "masses" did not "seize the initiative" in 1917. The Bolshevik Faction of the RSDP did. The "masses" were, as Lenin said, vacillating, and needed to be led by the halter and driven by the knout:
Let's give the mic first to Comrade Ulyanov:
Vladimir Lenin: The Constituent Assembly Elections and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/dec/16.htm: "The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks formed a bloc during the whole period of the revolution from February to October 1917...
Gavin Wright: Review of "Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development": https://eh.net/book_reviews/slaverys-capitalism-a-new-history-of-american-economic-development/
Stephanie McCurry: Slavery and economics http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/slavery-economics/
Hoisted from the Archives: More Dred Scott v. Sanford Blogging for 2007's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend! http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/01/more_dred_scott.html: Mark Graber has gotten himself to the right of John C. Calhoun. This is a position painful and ludicrous for a twenty-first-century American legal academic to assume.
It is a position so painful and ludicrous that it should induce any twenty-first-century American academic to undertake an agonizing reappraisal—particularly over Martin Luther King holiday weekend. But Mark Graber doesn't. Let's turn the mike over to him:
August 05, 2017 at 10:27 AM in Berkeley, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (0)
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https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/universities-in-the-age-of-trump-by-j--bradford-delong-2017-07: Let me take a break in this column from our usual economics to worry about our institutions: What have we to say—to hope and fear—about the role and the future of the independent—ideologically and intellectually—university?
Dean Acheson: A Democrat Looks at His Party: "From Dean G. Acheson: "At the end of the [nineteenth] century there was a lesser, but serious, missed opportunity... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/dean-acheson-on.html
Let me say that in Taylor's case, at least, this type of bullshit misrepresentation of what we know and what the evidence says has now been going on for a very long time:
I, at least, am as tired of it as are the more senior real economists who are John Taylor's peers.
Why John Taylor thinks he is still entitled to call himself an "economist" is beyond me. It has been beyond me for eight years:
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: The twelve not completely crazy Republican senators who might be open to some form of not-insane health care legislation over the next fifteen months:
When I read this by David Glasner, I wonder whether the shift in Hayek's beliefs between the 1930s and the 1980s was an improvement. In the 1930s, he believed in big depressions—"secondary deflation"—as a way of breaking "nominal rigidities", which I understand as the power of labor to resist being forced to accept declines in real wage rates. By the 1980s, he seemed to believe in shooting people like me in soccer stadiums, and throwing them out of helicopters into the South Atlantic. See: Pinochet, Augusto
David Glasner: Hayek, Deflation and Nihilism: "Hayek argued that... neutral money was... constant total spending (MV)... https://uneasymoney.com/2017/07/23/hayek-deflation-and-nihilism/
...Once the downturn started to accelerate, causing aggregate spending to decline by 50% between 1929 and 1933, Hayek, totally disregarding his own neutral-money criterion, uttered not a single word in protest of a monetary policy that was in flagrant violation of his own neutral money criterion. On the contrary, Hayek wrote an impassioned defense of the insane gold accumulation policy of the Bank of France, which along with the US Federal Reserve was chiefly responsible for the decline in aggregate spending.... Hayek’s policy advice was... relentlessly pro-deflation. Why did Hayek offer policy advice so blatantly contradicted by his own neutral-money criterion?...
The puzzle about just how and why the brain eater ate Clive Crook's brain—how it was that, starting about a decade ago, one of the most interesting (and intelligent) of the Tories simply lost his grip on reality—remains, to me at least, a mystery.
Here I am hoisting from one of the first full-blown signs of it in 2007.
A little background: By 2008 the brain-eating was overwhelming. For example we had Clive Crook on the "huge success" of the nomination of Sarah Palin—meaning, that is, that she was highly qualified to be Vice President and would attract lots of new votes to the McCain-Palin ticket:
Clive Crook (2008): Democrats must learn some respect: "The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him... https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/09/democrats-must-learn-some-respect/8803/
July 21, 2017 at 07:38 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
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John Maynard Keynes: John Maynard Keynes was brought up a classical liberal and a classical economist. He believed in free trade, economic progress, cultural uplift, and political reason. He then found himself working for the British Treasury during World War I, unable to stop what he thought were disastrous post-World War I political decisions. He then found himself watching as the classical economic mechanisms he had been taught to admire all fell apart.
He then picked himself up.
After World War I Keynes used what power he had to—don't laugh—try to restore civilization.
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: Europe's Post-World War I Crisis Through the Lens of the Life of John Maynard Keynes http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/09/lecture-notes-f.html?asset_id=6a00e551f08003883400e552211a228833: World War I makes it impossible to be a liberal believer in progress, peace, rationality, equilibrium, the benevolence of the market, the triumph of reasoned discussion, et cetera.
So what do you do?
The answer is "managerialism." Muddling through. Trying desperately to somehow cobble together something like pre-WWI liberalism—to make it true in practice even though it isn't true in theory, and to do so somehow.
The night watchman state that supports the fully-developed market economy is one of the most strange and significant historical development in political economy. Any analysis of it requires that one view hit in perspective—that one examine other the other alternative forms that state power and authority can and do take and have taken.
And the greatest sociologist-political scientist-historian of our age analyzing such things is James C. Scott. I have often wished that I had a reading list on Scott-stuff to hand. And I wish somebody would construct an annotated one:
Here are my thoughts:
Hoisted from the Archives: Yesterday I was bitching to the team at "ParsonsTKO | A Digital Transformation Agency" http://parsonstko.com/, which is in charge of thinking about the redesign of the Equitable Growth Website http://equitablegrowth.org, about not just our failure but the general failure of the internet to bring things from the stock into the flow—to have a memory. The original hope was that Google http://google.com would be that memory, but full-text combined with word-nearness search plus pagerank does not do the job. So I was arguing that Equitable Growth should hire somebody whose job—at least part of whose job—is to ask: what is the thing that Equitable Growth has ever published that is most relevant to live concerns and issues today?; and then repost and highlight that thing. Plus we need an indexing grammar, ontology, whatever, that makes the most relevant thing easy to search for and find.
But I can do this for my own website, myself—if I find time. So here we are: what the country should be doing about ObamaCare right now, hoisted from my archives from 2004:
Reading Reihan Salam's "Why I signed up for Obamacare": The Honest Broker for the Week of May 10, 2014: So this morning I am reading the highly-intelligent Reihan Salam's bill of indictment against ObamaCare... http://delong.typepad.com/delong_long_form/2014/05/reading-reihan-salams-why-i-signed-up-for-obamacare-the-honest-broker-for-the-week-of-may-10-2014.html
July 13, 2017 at 06:18 AM in Economics: Health, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Hoisted from 2007: My Little Golden Book of Neoconservatism http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/my-little-golde.html: Jeff Weintraub worries that people don't know what neoconservatives are... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/my-little-golde.html
...Jeff Weintraub: "Neocons," "very liberal Communists," and other scare-words: As Patrick Porter correctly points out, "neocon" (or "neoconservative") is expanding into an all-purpose term of abuse without much concrete content, historical specificity, or political substance.... This increasingly promiscuous use of the increasingly elastic scare-word "neocon" reminds one of the equally promiscuous way many right-wingers used to call anyone they didn't like a "communist."... [T]he word "liberal" often serves a similar function in some right-wing circles ...... though that's not entirely new, either. Back in 1973 Martha Mitchell, the wife of Nixon's Attorney-General John Mitchell, said that her husband often warned against the threat posed by the "very liberal Communists"...
I think I have the answers. Here are what I think are good takes on the neoconservative ideas and their vicissitudes, and on the neoconservatives--my takes and others':
China and Economic Growth: Hoisted from the Archives (What I Am Thinking About Right Now Department) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/china-and-econo.html: Hoisted from the archives: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/01/china_and_econo.html: A somewhat different take on Ben Friedman's Moral Consequences of Economic Growth than the review I wrote for Harvard Magazine. Written for Caijing:
Hoisted from 2007: Arnold Kling vs. Brad DeLong on the New Deal http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/02/arnold_kling_vs.html: UPDATE: Bruce Bartlett writes:
I just read your WSJ piece and you make one mistake. If Hoover had been re-elected in 1932, Ogden Mills would have been Treasury secretary, not Andrew Mellon. Mills became secretary on Feb. 13, 1932.
Fallen to Linkrot: Arnold Kling vs. Brad DeLong on the New Deal at the Wall Street Journal's website.
Here are my first drafts for the exercise:
Introduction to: After Piketty: The Research Program Starting from Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century http://delong.typepad.com/2016-08-31-piketty-volume-intro_hb052516.pdf
Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is an astonishing, surprise bestseller.
Its enormous mass audience speaks to the urgency with which so many wish to hear about and participate in the political-economic conversation regarding this Second Gilded Age in which we in the Global North now find ourselves enmeshed.1 C21’s English-language translator Art Goldhammer reports (this volume) that there are now 2.2 million copies of the book scattered around the globe in 30 different languages. Those 2.2 million copies cannot and should not but have an impact. They ought to shift the spirit of the age into another, different channel: post-Piketty, the public-intellectual debate over inequality, economic policy, and equitable growth ought to focus differently. We have assembled our authors and edited their papers to highlight what we, at least, believe economists should study After Piketty as they use the book to trigger more of a focus on what is relevant and important.
I think the answer is "probably". I think he is probably not feigning. I think he probably has no clue of what goes down at the Finland Station.
At the Finland Station, you see, elections are fine only as long as they produce socialist results. When push comes to shove, it is indeed the case at the Finland Station that, as Lenin wrote: "Every direct or indirect attempt to consider the question of the [election] from a formal, legal point of view, within the framework of ordinary bourgeois democracy and disregarding the class struggle and civil war, would be a betrayal..." Sunkar can see this not as the act of "crazed demons", and instead choose—and it is a choice—to see Lenin and company as "well-intentioned people trying to build a better world out of a crisis". But on-the-ground really-existing "ordinary bourgeois democracy" is and always has been of little value to Lenin's flavor of socialists.
Weekend Reading: Aristotle: Politics: Property and Wealth: "Let us first speak of master and slave, looking to the needs of practical life and also seeking to attain some better theory of their relation than exists at present... http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.1.one.html
Time to hoist this again, and think about it some more, for the very sharp Neville Morley reports from 1600 Pylos & Sphacteria Avenue:
Neville Morley: 1600 Pylos & Sphacteria Avenue: "Here we are again, with a new article on ‘Why everyone in the White House is reading Thucydides’... https://thesphinxblog.com/2017/06/22/1600-pylos-sphacteria-avenue/
Hoisted from the Archives: How Supply-Side Economics Trickled Down... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/04/how_supplyside_.html: Bruce Bartlett's piece on supply-side economics:
How Supply-Side Economics Trickled Down - New York Times: AS one who was present at the creation of “supply-side economics” back in the 1970s, I think it is long past time that the phrase be put to rest. It did its job, creating a new consensus among economists on how to look at the national economy. But today it has become a frequently misleading and meaningless buzzword that gets in the way of good economic policy...
sparked an interesting and useful debate at Mark Thoma's Economist's View (which I previously noted).
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: FoucaultAlthusserDerridaJameson http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/foucaultalthuss.html: In comments and elsewhere, those with a sharp distaste for cultural studies "theory" in moral philosophy see it as one undifferentiated reactionary mass: FoucaultAlthusserDerridaJameson.
I want to draw some distinctions:
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: Still, I think, true today. Thus I continue to hoist my neoliberal freak flag here: Is It Really Harder to Make the Case for Free Trade These Days? http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/04/is_it_really_ha.html: Paul Krugman wonders if it is harder to make the case for free trade these days. There are more losers from trade liberalization, he thinks, and it is much less clear that the losers are in some sense "undeserving".
June 13, 2017 at 09:03 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (12)
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(2007): http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/dealing_with_th.html: Felix Salmon deploys me as a weapon in an internecine struggle with his fellow Portfolio magazine writer
Russ Mitchell Kevin Maney by blogging a piece of our coffee yesterday at Strada, at the corner of Bancroft and College, in Berkeley:
Hoisted from June 4, 2007: Neil Henry vs. Jay Rosen Future-of-Journalism Smackdown! http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/neil_henry_vs_j_1.html: "Excuse me, I need to worship my idol a bit more... There... That's better...
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.
I do not believe that the very sharp Branko Milanovic ever studied George Kennan's "Long Telegram": his 8000-word message in 1946 back from Moscow, where he was then U.S. ambassador, to the State Department in Washington.
In Kennan's view, what was required was containment. And, indeed, containment was the keystone, indeed the whole arch, of U.S. policy from 1946 all the way up to 1989. Remember that really-existing socialism—Soviet communism—is attractive only to those who do not have to live under it. Remember to keep the competition on the economic, personal freedom, and ideological levels, using force only to preserve post-WWII boundaries and limits. Remember that we have the better system—in choosing leaders, in deciding on policies, in guiding economic growth. And if, when the competition is carried out on the economic, personal freedom, and ideological levels, it turns out that we do not have the better system? Then, as Kennan wrote:
The issue of Soviet-American relations is in essence a test of the overall worth of the United States... [which] need only measure up to its own best traditions.... Surely, there was never a fairer test of national quality than this.... The thoughtful observer... will find no cause for complaint in the Kremlin's challenge to American society...
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.
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.
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?
The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...
"Bring expertise, bring a willingness to learn, bring good humor, bring a desire to improve the world—and also bring a low tolerance for lies and bullshit..." — Brad DeLong
"I have never subscribed to the notion that someone can unilaterally impose an obligation of confidentiality onto me simply by sending me an unsolicited letter—or an email..." — Patrick Nielsen Hayden
"I can safely say that I have learned more than I ever would have imagined doing this.... I also have a much better sense of how the public views what we do. Every economist should have to sell ideas to the public once in awhile and listen to what they say. There's a lot to learn..." — Mark Thoma
"Tone, engagement, cooperation, taking an interest in what others are saying, how the other commenters are reacting, the overall health of the conversation, and whether you're being a bore..." — Teresa Nielsen Hayden
"With the arrival of Web logging... my invisible college is paradise squared, for an academic at least. Plus, web logging is an excellent procrastination tool.... Plus, every legitimate economist who has worked in government has left swearing to do everything possible to raise the level of debate and to communicate with a mass audience.... Web logging is a promising way to do that..." — Brad DeLong
"Blogs are an outlet for unexpurgated, unreviewed, and occasionally unprofessional musings.... At Chicago, I found that some of my colleagues overestimated the time and effort I put into my blog—which led them to overestimate lost opportunities for scholarship. Other colleagues maintained that they never read blogs—and yet, without fail, they come into my office once every two weeks to talk about a post of mine..." — Daniel Drezner
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!
"I now know it is a rising, not a setting, sun" --Benjamin Franklin, 1787
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