Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Live from the Roasterie: SUPERPOPCORN!! The curse of Goldwater, Nixon, Gingrich, and Murdoch: spend fifty years pandering to the racist, the resentful, and the unhinged, and then twenty-five years feeding their paranoia--and then expect them to be happy with yet another establishment Republican as a standard-bearer? It doesn't work like that, does it?
Brian Buetler: [What's at Stake in the Second Republican Debate: Full Panic in the GOP](http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122826/whats-stake-second-republican-debate-full-panic-gop?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New Campaign&utm_term=TNR Daily Newsletter): "The four... establishment-friendly... campaigns...
Periodically, Jon Chait and Kevin Drum worry about "the hack gap"--the willingness of conservative intellectuals to sacrifice their credibility by making transparently-false arguments to advance the interests of their political masters, and the lack of willingness of liberal intellectuals to do the same.
Today we have "good" news of a sort about the hack gap!
But, first, Jon and Kevin:
One of many, many reasons why Gabriel Snyder and The New New Republic have a nearly inexhaustible wellspring of credit to draw on...
Michael Crowley doesn't like public policy. It makes one wonder why he doesn't go and write about things that do interest him. Bill Clinton, you see, likes public policy and likes to talk about it. This makes Michael Crowley mad.
Crowley is, I think, one example of a larger trend:
J. Bradford DeLong on September 14, 2015 at 03:52 PM in Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Moral Responsibility, Politics, Strategy, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Live from Strada: Susan Carter: Confined to Chinatowns?: A New Look at Chinese American Geographic Redistribution in the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943:
Seminar 211, Economic History: September 14 | 2-4 p.m. | 597 Evans Hall
Scott Lemieux: F-----' Women, How Do They Work?: "If further shots were going to be fired into the corpse of parody...
it makes sense that Bobby Jindal’s minions are involved:
The task seems straightforward:
Live from DuPont Circle: Last Thursday two of the smartest participants at last Friday's Brookings Panel on Economic Activity conference--Martin Feldstein and Glenn Hubbard--claimed marvelous things from the enactment of JEB!'s proposed tax cuts and his regulatory reform program.
Andrew Sullivan (2009): Anecdote Of The Day: "'I remember back in the late 1990s, when Ira Katznelson, an eminent political scientist at Columbia...
...came to deliver a guest lecture. Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol during the first Bush administration.
The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle's chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics.
If I recall correctly, back in the 1950s, the then-president of the University of California, Clark Kerr, took a look at the situation and foresaw that come 2000 ten times as many students would be qualified to benefit from a University of California undergraduate education as in his day--50,000 a year rather than 5,000 or so. READ MOAR
As we all know, in the absence of the Maastricht Treaty a financial crisis like that of Portugal 2010 would have been dealt with by depreciation and an IMF program--both to provide funding to cushion the effect of the sudden stop on capital inflows and to take the blame for the policy changes inevitable to create external balance at whatever capital account conformed to the post-crisis tolerance of both foreigners and Portuguese for Portugal risk. READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: Fall 2015 BPEA 8:30 AM Fr: Twenty-two years and one month ago, after an OEOB meeting I spent carrying spears for David Cutler in one of his hopeless attempts to warn certain Assistant to the President for Health Policy precisely what reception his policy proposals would get from a CBO where Doug Elmendorf piloted the health-care desk, I returned to my office at the Treasury, and one of our career economists lectured me thus about dynamic scoring:
"Brad, you people come in with your exaggerated belief in the productivity benefits of public investment. And so you command us to score your policies as having a very favorable impact on the deficit. They come in with their exaggerated belief in the benefits of tax cuts. They command us to score their policies as having a very favorable impact. We cannot say we disagree with our bosses' analytic judgments. But by holding the line and stating that we do not consider any macroeconomic effects of policies, we can at least prevent being whipsawed by this partisan rosy-scenario ratchet." Over at Equitable Growth
J. Bradford DeLong on September 11, 2015 at 03:48 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Information, History, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (4)
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external creditors fared rather benignly in Greece, despite the many years of default. The real ex-post returns on the defaulted bonds were in the range of +1% to +5%, despite the losses due to haircuts and arrears... partly the result of the high yields... but also because partial debt service continued even in severe crisis years...
That seems to explain why people lend to Greece--that when the crisis comes, they have enough control to squeeze the lemon hard, whatever the excess burden of the taxes imposed and its cost for the Greeks. READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: Fall 2015 BPEA 1:00 PM Th: I read House and Tesar. They say that attempting a 4%-point increase in government revenue as a share of GDP in Greece may well push you over the top of the Laffer curve:
We consider spending reductions or tax increases sufficient to generate an average flow increase in the primary balance of one percent of 2014 GDP... a quarter of the repayment required to fully meet the stream of debt payments.... We do not push the model to generate the full 4 percent increase in the primary balance as a share of 2014 GDP.... Policy shifts that satisfy (or attempt to satisfy) the full 4 percent increase could push capital and labor taxes into the downward sloping portions of the Laffer curve...
Does it not follow immediately that the excess burdens of a 1%-point increase are overwhelmingly large? READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: Fall 2015 BPEA Th 1:00 PM: Schumacher and Weder di Mauro's paper, "Diagnosing Greek Debt Sustainability: Why Is It so Hard?", confuses me. It is not at all clear to me what "sustainable" or "less than 20% chance of debt-distress" really mean--as, indeed, it has become a term a political art rather than one of economic analysis. READ MOAR
Live from DuPont Circle: The Curse of Teddy White: Once again we suffer from the fact that our press corps focuses on the rituals of republican government as if they were sports events, with politicians and their media aides as celebrity-athletes. The press could focus on voters, after all--voters are the real actors in elections, for it is voters who make the choice. Obama does not "win" a race. America's voters choose Obama...
Paul Krugman: Tea and Trumpism: "Memo to pollsters: while I’m having as much fun as everyone else watching the unsinkable Donald...
Must-Read: Nate Silver calls out David Brooks and George Packer and Jonah Goldberg. May I say that the New York Times made a major mistake when it decided to let Nate Silver but not David Brooks go? And that the New Yorker would be well-advised to give Nate Silver George Packer's inches?
Nate Silver: Stop Comparing Donald Trump And Bernie Sanders: "A lot [David Brooks] of people [Jonah Goldberg] are linking [George Packer] the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump...
J. R. Anderson: May 26, 1847:
To my late workmen at the "Tredegar Iron Works"
On Saturday last I received, by the hands of Gatewood Talley, information that you had determined by a mutual combination that you would not work for me again until I had discharged my negroes from the Squeeges & Puddle Rolls, where they have been working several Years, and until the Armory Iron Company had discharged theirs from the Puddling furnaces, and that the Puddlers and heaters required their pay to be increased.
Live from the Roasterie: All I can say is that the New York Times's ability to engage in quality control has not improved at all, and remains at the very low level we are used to:
Tom Levenson: In Which David Brooks Sets The World Record For Long Jump Over A Shark: "The problem Brooks has there is that Sanders...
UPDATE: I'm going to move this piece to "highlighted", not least because Reihan Salam is quite unhappy. But, after further rethinking and further reading, it seems to me that my reading of Reihan is correct--that he wants to see the coming of a Nixon who will be for "government programs that help the right people..." in the hope that that can then be transformed into a true Sam's Club Republicanism. And so my warning stands:
Live from the Roasterie: Josh Barro: Is Trump the Candidate Reform Conservatives Are Seeking?: "The reform conservative movement, to the extent it exists...
...is pointy-headed, technocratic and soft-spoken. Mr. Trump is none of those things. But his campaign has helped bolster a key argument from the reformocons: that many Republican voters are not devotees of supply-side economics and are more interested in the right kind of government than in a simply smaller one. “There were a lot of people who wanted to think the Tea Party is a straightforward libertarian movement,” said Reihan Salam, the executive editor of National Review. But he said Mr. Trump’s ability to lead the polls while attacking Republicans for wanting to cut entitlement programs showed that conservative voters are open to “government programs that help the right people”...
Scott Morgan Norm Ornstein: Why The New York Times' Clinton Error Is a Big Deal: "The huge embarrassment over the story claiming a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton...
Live from the Roasterie: John Cole: Deluded Old Man Dick Cheney Goes on Television: "I seriously think Cheney is suffering from pumphead and dementia...
I am now swinging into the camp of thinking that the only way to understand this--and by "this" I mean everything from Peter Schiff to Robert Lucas--is as a form of affinity fraud:
Across the Wide Missouri: Joe Biden, Robert Bork, and Clarence Thomas: In the inbox:
It's always worth considering, on the positive side of the ledger, that as chairman of Judiciary in 1987 [Joe Biden] organized hearings that calmly and effectively built the case against Robert Bork--who was then defeated 58 to 42. It's no exaggeration to say that the world is a different place because that seat now belongs to Anthony Kennedy.
Over at Equitable Growth: I find the very sharp Marty Felstein engaging in a goalpost-moving effort that I cannot endorse:
There may be some powerful argument that the true consumer price index has risen more for the rich than for the middle class and the poor. But if there is, I am not aware off it. And so I think: The existence of downward bias from failure to measure the value of new good and new kinds of goods in official statistics of real income growth does not reduce the rise in inequality over the past generation--although it does mean that we collectively are richer now relative to our predecessors than we would be if official statistics were gospel.
Here I think we need to draw some distinctions. If you are not tech-savvy--if you are not a relatively intensive user of modern information, entertainment, and communication technologies--then you do not benefit from them. Then the official statistics showing declining median incomes over the past generation apply to you. And you are certainly much poorer now than you reasonably expected back then to be now. And it is wholly reasonable for you to believe that, while the economy has worked for the rich, it has not worked for you and somebody should be held accountable. READ MOAR
Daniel Larison: Scowcroft, the GOP, and the Nuclear Deal:
Brent Scowcroft writes in favor of the deal with Iran:
Let us be clear: There is no credible alternative were Congress to prevent U.S. participation in the nuclear deal. If we walk away, we walk away alone. The world’s leading powers worked together effectively because of U.S. leadership. To turn our back on this accomplishment would be an abdication of the United States’ unique role and responsibility, incurring justified dismay among our allies and friends. We would lose all leverage over Iran’s nuclear activities. The international sanctions regime would dissolve. And no member of Congress should be under the illusion that another U.S. invasion of the Middle East would be helpful.
Live from Cahokia Mounds: Jeanne Kirkpatrick used to attack San Francisco for its "deviants". Now Bobby Jindal attacks New York for its non-Christians. The Republican Party is not aging well:
Anne Laurie: Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Speaking of Godwin…:
Gov. Bobby Jindal @BobbyJindal: Hey @realDonaldTrump you can't make America great again by throwing the Christians in jail. I understand asking forgiveness from God and respecting communion is a personal decision. But even really rich New Yorkers should oppose jailing Christians for their religious beliefs.
Must-Read: And so the chances that Tel Aviv and Tehran (and Damascus, and Cairo) become seas of radioactive glass in fifty years rise...
Jonathan Chait**: The Iran Deal and the End of the Israel Lobby: "Jewish Republicans have always believed that forcing Jews to pick sides...
Live from Cahokia Mounds: Bad as the Washington Post and the New York Times are showing themselves these days, it is always important to remember that the Wall Street Journal is considerably worse:
Steve M.: Peggy Noonan's Hilarious Effort to Peek into Donald Trump's Psyche: "Noonan goes on to write:
That of course would only happen if in his mind the White House, the office of the presidency, holds a certain mystique, certain historic vibrations: “Lincoln walked here.” “FDR found out about Pearl Harbor in this room.” I’m not sure everyone has those feelings anymore. They used to. Poor Nixon wouldn’t put his shoes up on a hassock unless he covered it with a towel, because it was White House furniture.
Live from the Roasterie: Note that when I say that reporters like Ylan Q. Mui of the Washington Post, who write "opinions of the shape of earth differ", are in the business of appeasing their sources rather than informing their readers because that is what their bosses want them to do. You can--and Duncan Black does--find the same thing from the New York Times's Jonathan Martin:
Duncan Black: Jeb "Anchor Babies" Bush: "An actual paragraph appearing in the...
Live from Eisenhower Pass: Does Xi Jinping really want the rest of the world to think that he is an idiot?
Rana Mitter: China’s History Parade: "In newspaper editorials and domestic conferences...
...over the past few weeks and months, new phrases have been used repeatedly to define the country’s war experience. China is described as ‘the major battlefield of World War II in the East’ (by implication downgrading the Pacific Theater, where the US was dominant), and August 1945 has become ‘the first occasion when China won a war completely against a foreign enemy.’
An inability to even say what facts are greatly inhibits the ability to seek truths from facts, and is a very bad sign for China's future.
Live from the Lucky Garden Restaurant in Burlington, KS: Nate Silver says that Donald Trump has a 4% chance of winning the Republican nomination. And he reminds us of Richard Berke of the New York Times:
Richard Berke** (1996): Dole Endorsed by Alexander and Lugar: "For the first time, Mr. Dole...
Over at Equitable Growth Martin Wolf calls himself a long-run China optimist--that China is more likely than not following the Korean road, is now where Korea was in the early 1980s, and:
South Korea’s real GDP per head has since nearly quadrupled in real terms, to reach almost 70 per cent of US levels. If China became as rich as Korea, its economy would be bigger than those of the US and Europe combined...
Last week for the Huffington Post I gave my case for China pessimism: that what Japan, Korea, Spain--even Singapore--demonstrate is that escaping the middle-income trap requires institutional convergence to the North Atlantic to generate education and flexibility and to greatly reduce the burdens of corruption and of one-party ossification as nobody dares tell those at the top what a further round of economic growth requires. READ MOAR
Must-Read: Matthew Yglesias: To Understand Donald Trump, Look to Europe['s] Far-Right: "Newish parties... are gaining support with platforms...
Live from Yellowstone Lake Lodge: The Washington Post has already lasted longer than I thought it would a decade ago--kept afloat by Jeff Bezos's willingness to commit money to it without doing a proper housecleaning.
It is a great pity:
Martin Longman: The Worst Ruth Marcus Column Ever: "We need to freeze this Ruth Marcus column in amber so that it never perishes...
...Future generations will not believe that it actually existed if they can’t see it with their own eyes.... I thought I had seen Peak Beltway Trolling, but I had not seen anything. How can I find the right analogy for her argument? Imagine if you will that there is a giant anvil hanging by a rope over your head and that the rope is on fire and the anvil will soon fall on you and kill you. Now, imagine that someone comes up with a plan to put out the fire before it burns through the rope and you die. Now imagine that some people are concerned that the rope might catch fire again at some future date and are therefore against putting out the fire right now and saving your life. I could expand on this analogy to make it more realistic, but I think it’s best to keep this really simple. What Ruth Marcus is saying is that of course we should put out this fire, but we shouldn’t be impatient with the people who say that we should not.
The period considered classical Greece (roughly the 4th through 5th century BC) had a profound effect on Western civilization, forming the foundations of politics and philosophy, as well as artistic and scientific thought. Why did Greece experience such economic and cultural growth—and why was it limited to this 200-year period? Josiah Ober, Professor of Political Science and Classics at Stanford University and author of The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece, took the time to explain the reasons behind Greece’s flourishing, and what its economic rise and political fall can tell us about our own world.
Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging:
We of Whose Recovery? and all of our friends at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Policy Conference and Drinking Party are not the only people up in Jackson Hole this week. There is the American Principles Project down-valley somewhere--a conference that seems to me to be totally composed of grifters and goldbugs, with the accent on the first. They are there, charging their attendees a healthy sum, because, they say, current Federal Reserve policies are dangerously inflationary, and so they need to "bring sanity back to U.S. monetary policy".
The top five speakers for the goldbug-grifter project: George Gilder, Steve Moore, Benn Steil, Peter Schiff, and Jim DeMint. There's no need to talk about Jim DeMint, is there? Let's talk instead some more about the conference organizer, Stephen Lonegan:
Andy Kroll (2013): 6 Crazy—and Cruel—Things Said by Cory Booker's New GOP Opponent: "Steve Lonegan... [from] 1996 to 2008...
Live from Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: We of What Recovery? and all of our friends at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Policy Conference and Drinking Party are not the only people up in Jackson Hole this week. There is the American Principles Project down-valley somewhere--a conference of grifters and goldbugs, charging their attendees a healthy sum, because, they say, current Federal Reserve policies are dangerously inflationary, and so they need to "bring sanity back to U.S. monetary policy". Their top five headlined speakers: George Gilder--Chairman, George Gilder Fund and former Reagan advisor. Steve Moore--Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Heritage Foundation. Benn Steil, PhD--Senior Fellow & Director of International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations. Peter Schiff--Financial Analyst. Jim DeMint--President, Heritage Foundation.
I have already dealt with conference organizer Steven Lonegan and the top three headliners: George Gilder, Stephen Moore, and Benn Steil. Now it is on to Peter Schiff: Let me outsource this to Nate Heckmann:
Nate Heckmann (2013): Peter Schiff is Wrong About Everything: "A libertarian friend of mine... sent me a video... [of] Peter Schiff...
Live from Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: Paul Krugman meditates on why the goldbug-grifters currently running and speaking at the APP Monetary Policy event down-valley here in Jackson Hole make such a good living--why they find so many marks, and why it does not matter that the predictions of the goldbug-grifter-con men have proven so false for so long:
Paul Krugman: [The Old Man and the CPI](http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/25/the-old-man-and-the-cpi/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs®ion=Body): "I was treated to a long ad from Ron Paul...
Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: As you will remember from yesterday, the grifter-goldbug conference featuring grifter-goldbug George Gilder, Steve Moore, Benn Steil, Peter Schiff, and Jim DeMint as its five top headliners is a production of the American Principles Project. We already told you why George Gilder his no business speaking about monetary policy. Briefly, he's not only a goldbug, but a grifter, who says that he faced a difficult choice back in 1999-2000 when he decided not to tell the truth about what he thought to the paying clients of his newsletter.
In short, he lies.
Live from Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: Our text this afternoon is from the fourth chapter of To Kata Loukan Evangelion, the Gospel According to St. Luke.
Chapter 13 of the Gospel According to St. Mark makes a false prophecy: that the destruction of the Jerusalem temple will be a very strong sign of the approaching Apocalypse. The Jerusalem temple was destroyed by the army of Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus in the year 70. The Apocalypse has not yet come. Thus chapter 13 of Mark tells us that the writer was highly likely to have been putting his gospel together in the aftermath of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, expecting the Apocalypse to begin any day, and writing soon enough after the destruction for the continuation of the world not to prompt a rethink--the year 75 or so. Luke uses Mark as a major source, so give Mark a few years to be copied and recopied and get into circulation--and we have Luke written in the 80s, or possibly later, by a man who had talked to people who had talked to people who had seen Yeshua bar Yosef.
The fourth chapter of Luke reports Jesus's very first public sermon thus:
Live from Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: From the standpoint of the arguments set forth by the far right--ensoulment the moment the sperm's DNA strands touch the egg's, original sin, hence eternal separation from the embrace of the Almighty for all those souls that were never baptized--a single IVF cycle is at least ten times blacker a mortal sin and crime than is an abortion. Yet First Things does not run debates about "Killing IVF Nurses". Bishops do not preach against IVF. The American Principles Project either is silent or at most whispers very quietly about its objections to IVF. Demonstrators do not harass IVF patients, or firebomb IVF clinics:
Duncan Black: Eschaton: IVF: "The lack of conservative opposition to IVF (there is some, but not much) demonstrates that it's just an anti-sex movement...
As you will remember from yesterday, the grifter-goldbug conference featuring grifter-goldbug George Gilder, Steve Moore, Benn Steil, Peter Schiff, and Jim DeMint as its five top headliners is a production of the American Principles Project.
What is the American Principles Project? It says:
Robert P. George – Founder: Dr. George is the Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He is also a McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University...
I have read one thing written by Robert P. George--one thing and one thing only:
Robert P. George: Killing Abortionists: A Symposium: "I am personally opposed to killing abortionists. However, inasmuch as my personal opposition to this practice is rooted in a sectarian (Catholic) religious belief in the sanctity of human life, I am unwilling to impose it on others who may, as a matter of conscience, take a different view...
We of What Recovery? and all of our friends at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Policy Conference and Drinking Party are not the only people up in Jackson Hole this week. There are also moose, elk, bison, cougars, and assorted other charismatic albeit dangerous megafauna. And bears--although most of the bears appear to be in Shanghai this week...
And then there is the American Principles Project down-valley somewhere--a conference that seems to me to be totally composed of grifters and goldbugs, with the accent on the first. They are there, charging their attendees a healthy sum, because, they say, current Federal Reserve policies are dangerously inflationary, and so they need to "bring sanity back to U.S. monetary policy":
American Principles Project: FIVE WEEKS: Historic Economic Summit to Take Place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming August 27-29: "The first official Jackson Hole Summit is just five weeks away...