Long-Term Unemployment Turns into Structural Unemployment
Hoisted from the Archives: Why Are Conservatives at the American Spectator so Scared of Albert Einstein? (June 16, 1997)

links for 2009-11-01

  • Both have to be "handled with care".
  • Misguided deficit concerns have probably made aggressive fiscal moves politically difficult, and the Federal Reserve seems to be happy with its current policy path. That means that as American discontent grows, Congress will have to channel that anger in otehr directions, and we can imagine what those directions will be—popular but inefficient subsidies for homes and cars, protections from foreign competition, and a populist squeeze on high earners. That's a dangerous direction to travel.
  • REMEMBER when Casey Mulligan said that it was perhaps not a good thing, economically speaking, to give women in developing nations the ability to control family size, because larger populations increased the incidence of innovators, thereby boosting economic growth? That was kind of a silly thing to say. To understand why, you can turn to this week's print edition, which has a Briefing on demographic shifts in emerging markets. Here's a sample: "Falling fertility in poor and middle-income societies is a boon in and of itself. It means that, for the first time, the majority of mothers are having the number of children they want, which seems to be—as best one can judge—two. (China is an exception: its fall in fertility has been coerced.) It is also a boon in what it represents, which is greater security for billions of vulnerable people. Subsistence farmers, who live off their harvest and risk falling victim to rapine or drought, can depend only on themselves and their children. For..."
  • I've not wanted to say much about the Washington Post's "America's Next Top Pundit" contest. In part, I'm worried my opinion could be construed as self-serving. Or insulting. Or something. Who needs the trouble? But Jim Henley's entry changed my mind. The Washington Post kicked its contest off last week. But there's already a long-running and inordinately successful competition going on around it. It's called the blogosphere. And the thing about the blogosphere is it's actually a much better judge of certain crucial characteristics of a pundit. The blogosphere's advantage comes from something simple: It's not a contest. If you "win," you don't get a job at The Washington Post (well, I actually did get a job at The Washington Post, but I assure you that that was an unexpected outcome). You just get readers. You get heard. It tests, in other words, not whether you want to be famous -- no blogger got in expecting a gig on an op-ed page -- but whether you feel some underlying need to spe