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Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 20, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2019)

stacks and stacks of books

MUST OF THE MUSTS: James M. Buchanan: The "Social" Efficiency of Education: You have to be able to hold in your mind two things at once in order to understand economist James M. Buchanan: (1) He was a total loon: a strong believer in the de Maistrean trinity of Patriarchy, Orthodoxy, Autocracy as necessary for society—essential Noble Lies; a man who in 1970 wanted to shut down America's universities as teachers of evil, and regretted the failure of nerve that made that impossible; a man who saw Martin Luther King Jr. as a teacher of evil—whose response to the Civil Rights movement and its peaceful civil disobedience campaign was not Edmund Burke's "to make us love our country, our country must be lovely", but rather: how dare MLK claim that an African American should be "openly encouraged to use his own conscience"—rather than shutting up and accepting his subservient Jim Crow position in society! (2) A man who saw things that other economists did not and would not have without him...

Three Months Ago (May 1-6, 2019):

  • Historical Nonfarm Unemployment Statistics

  • An Intake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long Twentieth Century 1870-2016": The Great Depression

  • In the absence of global warming such a 95%-ile cyclone would have a maximum windspeed at landfall of 220 km/hr rather than 240...

  • It's not a disconnect between utility and happiness, its a disconnect between revealed preference and happiness. And a disconnect between revealed preference and happiness is properly solved via educating people to become their best selves—I do not think it poses grave philosophical conundrums...

  • Note to Self: Thomas Jefferson born in 1743; Sally Hemings born in 1773; she is pregnant by 1788...

Six Months Ago (February 1-6, 2019):

  • The first truly good conceptual framework I have seen on where the future of employment growth may lie: David Autor: The Future Of Work: ":'Frontier work'... 'Wealth work'... 'Last mile'... what's left after machines have eaten the tasks...

  • "Gunpowder Empire": Should We Generalize Mark Elvin's High-Level Equilibrium Trap?

  • ?????? it certainly seems to me as though Donald Trump wants there to be a Sino-American trade war—after all they are, as he says, easy to win. If the U.S. wants a tussle with China over intellectual property, the right strategy is for the U.S to back off now, go to the TPP members, apologize for its actions in rejecting the TPP in early 2017, join the TPP, and then negotiate as part of a United front with other TPP members. The U.S. by itself has no leverage —the IP China can grab is worth more than the cost of losing access to the U.S. market. So I have no idea what Marty thinks he is saying here: Martin Feldstein: There Is No Sino-American Trade War...

  • There is no merit-based case for David Malpass to run the World Bank. Ivanka would be a massively superior candidate: Dylan Matthews: David Malpass’s World Bank Nomination, Explained: "Malpass is... an infamously bad... forecaster...

One Year Ago (July 31-August 6, 2018):

  • Monday Smackdown: Who Wants Charles Murray to Speak on Their Campus, and Why?: I have a question for Stanford's Michael @McFaul: We know that "If the heritability of IQ were 0.5 and the degree of assortation in mating, m, were 0.2 (both reasonable, if only ballpark estimates), and if the genetic inheritance of IQ were the only mechanism accounting for intergenerational income transmission, then the intergenerational correlation of lifetime incomes would be 0.01..." (see Bowles and Giants (2002)). That is only two percent the observed intergenerational correlation—49/50 of the intergenerational transmission of status in America comes from other causes. Why, then, is it important to invite to your campus to speak someone whose big thing is the intergenerational transmission of intelligence through genes, and racial differences thereof? And if one were going to invite to your campus to speak someone, etc., why would you pick somebody who likes to burn crosses? Wouldn't a healthier approach be to regard such a person—who focuses on the intergenerational transmission of intelligence through genes, harps on genetic roots of differences between "races", and likes to burn crosses—as we regard those who know a little too much about the muzzle velocities of the main cannon of the various models of the Nazi Armored Battlewagon Version 4?...

  • A Question I Did Not Ask Condoleeza Rice: "Secretary Rice: Dual containment of Iran and Iraq—that always seemed to me like a good policy.... We broke dual containment.... Why we decided to launch such a war of choice in 2003 has always been opaque to me. Can you please make your thinking at the time less opaque to me?...

  • Mr. Justice McReynolds: NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel: "Mr. Justice McReynolds: NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel: "The Court... departs from well-established principles followed in Schechter... and Carter v. Carter Coal...

  • The Argument for Lots of Remaining Labor-Market Slack, Graphically...: Anybody have any good reason why the U.S. prime-age employment-to-population ratio could not rise another 2%-points with a high-pressure economy?...

  • Herbert Hoover: As Bad to Ally with Stalin and Churchill Against Hitler as to Ally with Hitler Against Stalin and Churchill...

Two Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2017):

  • James M. Buchanan: The "Social" Efficiency of Education: You have to be able to hold in your mind two things at once in order to understand economist James M. Buchanan: (1) He was a total loon: a strong believer in the de Maistrean trinity of Patriarchy, Orthodoxy, Autocracy as necessary for society—essential Noble Lies—a man who in 1970 wanted to shut down America's universities as teachers of evil, and regretted the failure of nerve that made that impossible; a man who saw Martin Luther King Jr. as a teacher of evil—whose response to the Civil Rights movement and its peaceful civil disobedience campaign was not Edmund Burke's "to make us love our country, our country must be lovely", but rather: how dare MLK claim that an African American should be "openly encouraged to use his own conscience"—rather than shutting up and accepting his subservient Jim Crow position in society! (2) A man who saw things that other economists did not and would not have without him...

  • Paul Krugman: STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT: YES, IT WAS HUMBUG: "Ancient history... but five years ago there was a remarkable Beltway consensus that high unemployment was structural...

  • Hoisted from the Archives from 2007: Who Gets a Seat at the Table?: More Dred Scott v. Sanford Blogging: : "Mark Graber has gotten himself to the right of John C. Calhoun... a position painful and ludicrous... that... 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...

  • A Historical Document from 1993: Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal Predicts the Failure of Clintonomics: One evasion in Ken Auletta's piece on the Wall Street Journal stands out: his quoting without comment of Norman Pearlstine's claim that Paul Gigot “was a first-rate reporter"...

  • Open Letter from 1470 Economists (Including Me) on Immigration

  • Yes: The CBO's Growth Forecasts Are Not Unreasonable...: The Trump administration (I won't say "Donald Trump", because I am not convinced that Donald Trump knows what the Congressional Budget Office is) wants people to take on the CBO's projections that real GDP growth is likely to average a hair less than 2 percent per year. And professional Republicans John Cogan of Stanford, Glenn Hubbard of Columbia, John Taylor of Stanford, and Kevin Warsh of Stanford deliver...

Four Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2015):

  • Hoisted from the Archives: I See the Stars at Bloody Warrs in the Wounded Welkin Weeping (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...): For me, the frustrating narrative hole was always Flandry's insufficient motivation: Why is this decadent sybarite also Horatius at the Gate? (Let's not ask why Macaulay is impelled to write the poems that Romans would have written had the Romans been illiterate Scots.)... A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows did not lift any burden, but seemed more like a bizarre hall of mirrors. Dominic Flandry falling in True Love? The lifetime appreciator of High Culture and defender of the possibility of civilization turning into the Greatest Cultural Vandal of All Time? Flandry in this book is a different man from the Flandry in earlier books. It's not good to write a story in which a new character inhabits the skin and bears the name of an old one...

  • Hoisted from the Archives: Feeling Bad About Chet Compensation Levels: A bigger part of this answer is that there are four relevant human capabilities here: (1) the ability to master details, (2) the ability to quickly grasp what the salient issues are and follow them through to their conclusion, (3) the ability to work like a dog, and (4) the ability to size up people—figure out quickly who will actually produce something useful and who will not, who will hang tough and who will easily bid more, who will soften if wooed and who will stay hard-nosed.... For someone who has one of the other three—mastery of detail or skill at analysis or the ability to work like a dog for ungodly periods of time—mastery of Chet-hood is a very valuable and lucrative skill...

  • Oddities in the Rhetoric of Economics: Paul Romer Confronts the "Adversarial Method" in the Presentation of Economic Theory: At the time I thought that Prescott might simply not be good at communicating. It never crossed my mind that this game of hide-the-ball might be a deliberate strategy, let alone that some economists thought that all economists played--or should play--this game of trying to draw a large wedge between the narrow conclusions readers should actually draw from the model presented and the sweeping conclusions authors hoped to fool readers into drawing from the model. But Romer is not the only one who is now very annoyed at this mode of "argument". Cf.: Pfleiderer on "chameleons"...

  • Trekonomics Teaser Videos: Brad DeLong, Adam Gomolin, Manu Saadia:"Manu Saadia, the author of the forthcoming book, Trekonomics, discusses the economic theories behind the creation of the Star Trek with J. Bradford DeLong, professor of Economics at UC Berkeley and former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Treasury. Inkshares' Adam Gomolin is the moderator...

Eight Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2011):

  • And the Invisible Bond Market Vigilantes Are Still Missing as Well...

Sixteen Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2003):

  • Mercy, Mercy, Lord Jeebus! Mercy!: As is nearly always the case with Moore, it is hard to tell what of his ignorance is genuine and what is feigned...

  • 20-20 Hindsight:: Paul Blustein of the Washington Post has a nice article (washingtonpost.com: Argentina Didn't Fall on Its Own) on Argentina, the inflow of foreign capital, and its recent collapse. I do, however, think that he overplays the "poor investors" and the "poor Argentinian government" line.... Argentina's politicians were told at extraordinary length by their own economic advisers, by the U.S. Treasury, and by the IMF of the risks they were running by combining a hard fixed exchange rate with large unbalanced budget deficits...

  • Would Somebody Please Explain to Me...: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: Would somebody please explain to me how it can be that Fox polls routinely have George W. Bush's approval-minus-disapproval rating twenty percentage points higher than Zogby? I mean, this isn't rocket science: this is polling. If I wanted to generate such huge differences--differences that dwarf sampling standard deviations at least five-fold--I wouldn't know how to go about it. How do they do it?...

  • Mutual Amazement: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: Arnold Kling is amazed that anyone can understand the decentralized libertarian internet and still be a non-libertarian "statist".... Conversely, it amazes me that people who understand the incredibly complicated social division of labor that is the government-supported, standards-based, cooperative, information-sharing internet and not understand that agoric systems can only be built on top of a powerful and appopriate foundation of... ahem... "regulation"...

  • Edward Said Pledges Allegiance: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: To poverty, dictatorship, and keeping women illiterate and barefoot: "There has been so massive and calculatedly aggressive an attack on contemporary Arab and Muslim societies for their backwardness, lack of democracy, and abrogation of women's rights that we simply forget that such notions as modernity, enlightenment, and democracy are by no means simple and agreed-upon concepts that one either does or does not find like Easter eggs in the living-room..." Of course, still bigger howlers come earlier in the article. One is the passage where Said mourns the tragedies of the Middle East: "...Lebanese civil war... violence... ugly shedding of human blood continues up to this minute. We have had the failure of the Oslo peace process..." without deigning to mention that Said worked as hard as he could for a decade to try to ensure the failure of the Oslo peace process...

  • Eric Alterman Bangs His Head Against the Wall: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: Eric Alterman bangs his head against the wall. Not only does Condi Rice not read her own briefing materials, she doesn't listen to (or read) here boss's speeches.... "He's trying to acquire nuclear weapons. Nobody ever said that it was going to be the next year." - Condoleeza Rice in PBS interview, 7/30/03. "[Iraq] could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year." - George Bush, 10/8/02...

  • Why Is Our Press Corps So Bad? Part CCCXIV: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall in despair at the quantitative illiteracy--the innumeracy--of those who feel appointed to try to contribute to the debate on economic policy. What is it this time? This time it is that Andrew Sullivan thinks that federal spending jumped by 25 percent between the first and the second quarters of 2003: "HEY, BIG SPENDER: In one quarter, federal spending jumped 25 percent. As often, wars are good for economies..." Of course it did not. U.S. federal spending is currently running at $500 billion a quarter. It did not suddenly jump to $625 billion a quarter. What happened instead was that federal government purchases of goods and services (a much smaller total, running at $180 billion a quarter or so) grew at a 25 percent per year annual rate--which means that in a quarter it grows at a hair over 6 percent...

  • Yes! Good GDP News!: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: Yes! The second quarter (April-June) showed significantly faster real GDP growth than I (and everybody else) had been expecting: GDP grew at a 2.4% per year annual rate (meaning that second-quarter real GDP was 2.4%/4 = 0.6% higher than first-quarter real GDP. Now IIRC, average hours worked were down 0.2% in the second quarter vis-a-vis the first quarter, and employment was down in the second quarter by 0.2%, meaning that Americans worked 0.4% fewer hours in the second quarter than the first quarter--that labor input shrank at a 1.6% per year annual rate. Combine a 2.4% per year rate of growth of real GDP with a -1.6% per year rate of growth of labor hours, and you have a 4.0% per year rate of growth of labor productivity. That's a very impressive number for the long run. But in the short run it drives a big wedge between the (relatively good) production news and the (relatively bad) employment news...

Twenty Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 1999):

  • Readings:
    • Paul David (1985): Clio and the Economics of QWERTY http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/teaching_folder/Econ_210a_f99/Readings/David_QWERTY.pdf
    • Moses Abamovitz and Paul David (1973): Reinterpreting Economic Growth: Parables and Realities http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/teaching_Folder/Econ_210a_f99/Readings/Abramovitz_David.pdf
    • Gavin Wright (1990): The Origins of American Industrial Success, 1879-1940 http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/Teaching_Folder/Econ_210a_f99/Readings/Wright.pdf
    • Willem Buiter and Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou (199): Liquidity Traps: How to Avoid Them, and How to Escapte Them http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/refs/Safari_Scrapbook2/55382-w7245.pdf

Twenty-Four Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 1995):

  • The Shock of the Virtual: How the Website of the U.C. Museum of Paleontology Feels More "Real" than the Museum Itself: I am not at all sure that this is the right place to put this. I can already hear Chuq Von Rospach saying "Now, if this were apple-philosophy-internet-virtuality..." Nevertheless, the experience was profoundly disturbing, and made we want to consult a philosophical professional (in the same way that a health problem makes me want to consult a medical professional...)

#highlighted #weblogs #hoistedfromthearchives


This post first appeared on Bradford-delong.com: Grasping Reality With The Invisible Hand..., please read the originial post: here

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Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 20, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (July 31-August 6, 2019)

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