Note to Self: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents: "Since the recession a decade ago, free-market economics (also known as neoliberalism) has been questioned on multiple fronts. As the dominant governing strategy for the past 40 years—including the Democratic administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama—the Left today is increasingly challenging neoliberalism. Indeed, as the primaries approach, many former Clinton and Obama officials are even openly challenging the ‘power of markets’ belief. In his new book, A Crisis Wasted, Reed Hundt, chair of the Federal Communications Commission under Clinton and a member of Obama’s transition team, makes the argument that Obama missed an opportunity to push for a new progressive era of governance, a miscalculation that ultimately hobbled hisRead More »
Articles by Bradford DeLong
Note to Self: I Want My Country Back!: It is a really strange situation. It has a lot of "if he were nots":
If he were not president, Trump’s family would already have moved for a guardianship ad litem…
If he were not so authoritarian, we would be profoundly sad that someone—hate him, love him, simply be amused by him—has been such an entertaining celebrity…
And if he were not so deranged, we would be in the streets demanding the constitutional order be observed and wondering just what we should do when someone begins taking him seriously and literally when he says that the Washington Post and Catherine Rampell are the enemies of the people, when he says what we really need to do is get rid of the judges, when he says we should let the guys in the mirrored sunglasses in the
John Haltiwanger: @jchaltiwanger: "In the past 24 hours Trump cancelled a trip to Denmark because it wouldn’t sell him Greenland, referred to American Jews who vote Democratic as disloyal, and tweeted Israeli Jews view him as the ‘second coming of God’ and the ‘King of Israel’…Read More »
Kevin Drum: Donald Trump Is Not Well: "Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark said today that talk of selling Greenland to the US was an “absurd discussion,” adding that Greenland Premier “Kim Kielsen has of course made it clear that Greenland is not for sale. That’s where the conversation ends.” Donald Trump responded by canceling his upcoming visit to Copenhagen: Donald J. Trump: ‘Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time…’ Can we finally start talking publicly about Trump’s mental state? This is the action of a child, not an adult in full control of hisRead More »
Hoisted from the Archives: _What Is This "White" You Speak of, Kemosabe?: One way to look at Nixon’s ‘Silent Majority’ strategy was that it involved the redefinition of lots of people as ‘white’—people who wouldn’t have been ‘white’ even thirty years before, back when they were seen as not-quite-real-American ethnic immigrants living in ghettos and serving the corrupt Democratic political machines against which the Republicans fought—probably entangled in organized crime, too.
And of these the champion example is, of course, Mark Krikorian and his defenses of ‘white’ American culture against the Hispanic Pizza Menace. Think of colonial Massachusetts, and my Bradford, Anderson, Lord, Winthrop, Sewall, Usher, etc. ancestors, I tell you—back in the Days when Benjamin Franklin wasRead More »
Ben Thompson: The WeWork IPO: "The ‘unsavoriness’… is hardly limited to the fact that WeWork can stiff its landlords in an emergency. The tech industry generally speaking is hardly a model for good corporate governance, but WeWork takes the absurdity an entirely different level. For example: WeWork paid its own CEO, Adam Neumann, $5.9 million for the ‘We’ trademark…. WeWork previously gave Neumann loans to buy properties that WeWork then rented. WeWork has hired several of Neumann’s relatives, and Neumann’s wife would be one of three members of a committee tasked to replace Neumann if he were to die or become permanently disabled over the next decade. Neumann has three different types of shares that guarantee him majority voting power…. Neumann has already reportedly cashed outRead More »
Harry Brighouse: Advice for New College Students: "Bear in mind that while there’s such a thing as getting into too much debt, there’s also such a thing as working too many hours. Seek balance (Finding it is easier said than done). Choose classes on the following bases: does the subject interest you?; how big is the class? (seek out small classes even if you are shy; especially if you are shy, because that’s how you’ll learn not to be); how good is the professor? How do you know who’s a good professor?… Do they engage?… Are they open to a full range?… Do they make you write a lot? (if so, that’s a positive, not a negative) Do they seem to enjoy teaching?… Find out from your friends. Or from your enemies if that’s the best you can do!…
Most people have to find whatRead More »
Donald Trump: That is why we need strong, sound, and steady [pause] leadership, at the United States Federal Reserve. I have nominated Jay to be our next Federal Chairman. [pause] And so important, because he will provide exactly that type of leadership. He’s strong. He’s committed. He’s smart. And, if he is confirmed by the Senate, Jay will put his considerable talents to work, leading our nation’s independent central bank. Jay has learned the respect and admiration of his colleagues for his hard work, expertise, and judgment. Based on his record, I am confident Jay has the wisdom and leadership to guide our economy through any challenges that our great economy may face…
Donald Trump: Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed, butRead More »
Introducing Partha Dasgupta: Economics: A Very Short Introduction
Back in 1800, nearly the entire world lived in dire poverty—what we today see as the dire poverty line of $1.90 a day, a level at which you are spending more than half your income on bare calories and essential nutrients, the minimum of heat and shelter, and the minimum of clothing. Below that line, certainly your health and perhaps your life is impacted: women become too skinny to reliably ovulate, and children become too malnourished to have healthy and effective immune systems. Back in 1800, there were only a few economies where the median household had a standard of living of more than $3 a day: Germany, France, Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, the U.K., the U.S., and thatRead More »
Ó Gráda, C. Famine. A Short History (Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ, 2009).
Fogel, R. W. The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100: Europe, America, and the Third World (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2004).
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017: Building Resilience for Peace and Food Security (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2017).
Sen, A. Poverty and Famine: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1981).
Fogel, R. W. in Nutrition and Poverty (ed. Osmani, S. R.) 243–286 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992).
de Waal, A. Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine (Polity Press, Cambridge, 2018).
Ehrlich, P. R. & Ehrlich, A. H. The population bomb revisited.
Project Syndicate: Brad DeLong for PS Say More: "Welcome to Say More, a new weekly newsletter that brings Project Syndicate’s renowned contributors closer to readers. Each issue invites a selected contributor to expand on topics covered in their commentaries, delve into new ones, and share recommendations, offering readers exclusive insights into the ideas, interests, and personalities of the world’s leading thinkers. This week, Project Syndicate catches up with Brad DeLong…Read More »
I missed this too when it came out three years ago: Chris Blattman: Black Lives Matter, Economic History Edition: "Trevon Logan’s Presidential address to the National Economics Association. Partly he calculates the productivity of his sharecropping ancestors relative to slave holding estates a century before (a persistent question in American economic history). But mainly he makes an argument for doing more qualitative interviews, which seems like an obvious point, except that systematic qualitative work is the exception in economic history (as it is in development economics): ‘That richer, fuller picture reveals that the work behind the estimates came to define the way that the Logan children viewed racial relations, human capital, savings, investment, and nearly every aspect of theirRead More »
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (J.A. Giles and J. Ingram trans.): Death of Penda: "A.D. 655. This year Penda was slain at Wingfield, and thirty royal personages with him, some of whom were kings. One of them was Ethelhere, brother of Anna, king of the East-Angles. The Mercians after this became Christians…
…From the beginning of the world had now elapsed five thousand eight hundred and fifty winters, when Peada, the son of Penda, assumed the government of the Mercians. In his time came together himself and Oswy, brother of King Oswald, and said, that they would rear a minster to the glory of Christ, and the honour of St. Peter. And they did so, and gave it the name of Medhamsted; because there is a well there, called Meadswell. And they began the groundwall, and wrought thereon;Read More »
Tim Duy: Paving The Way To Rate Cuts: "The Fed will cut interest rates at least 25bp in September…. The manufacturing sector is weak…. Still… the slowdown in the sector has yet to match that of 2015-16 nor does it even approach something consistent with a recession. I have said this before, but it should be said again: As manufacturing becomes a smaller portion of the economy, we should expect more instances of manufacturing downturns or even manufacturing recessions being separate from the overall business cycle. In contrast, the much larger consumer sector of the economy continues to power forward. Retail sales sustained the rebound from turn-of-the-year weakness and core sales are again growing at a roughly 5% year-over-year rate…. The general continued strength in spendingRead More »
DRAFT: Ancient Economies: A Malthusian Model : The math for complicating the standard Solow Growth Model with (a) a rate of population growth that depends positively on the excess of spending on necessities above "subsistence" and (b) a level of the efficiency-of-labor that depends inversely on population, as a higher population induces resource scarcity that makes labor less productive. For understanding both the long-term apparent stagnation of living standards between the Neolithic and the Industrial Revolutions, and for understanding the rise and fall of ancient civilizations. Question: How should we add on to the Python class for the Solow Growth Model to turn this into a tool for doing problem sets for Econ 101b (and perhaps 135):Read More »
DRAFT: A Competitive Market: A Python class for a competitive market equilibrium with linear supply and demand curves—equilibrium price, equilibrium quantity, producer surplus, consumer surplus, total surplus. Looks for input parameters giving the slopes of the demand and supply curves, plus the maximum willingness-to-pay of the most eager demander and the minimum opportunity cost of the most efficient supplier. Now ready to hand over to others for editing, tightening, and additions.
#berkeley #economics #highlighted #jupyter #notebook #python #teaching #teachingeconomicsRead More »
CANDIDATE: Solow Growth Model Derived and modified from Stachurski-Sargent http://quantecon.org. A Python class for simulations using the Solow Growth Model, with additional code for performing simulations with baseline- and alternative-scenario parameter values. Focuses on the capital-output ratio κ as the key state variable, as it is (a) observable, and (b) with constant growth-model parameter values converges exactly (in continuous time at least) as an exponential. Now ready to hand over to others for tightening and additions:
#berkeley #highlighted #jupyter #macro #notebook #python #teaching #teachingmacroRead More »
Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Nowcasting Report: Aug 16, 2019: : "The New York Fed Staff Nowcast stands at 1.8% for 2019:Q3. News from this week’s data releases increased the nowcast for 2019:Q3 by 0.2 percentage point. Positive surprises from building permits and retail sales were only partially offset by negative surprises from industrial production and capacity utilization…Read More »
There was little news about real GDP last week: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York nowcast continues to stand at 1.8% for 2019:Q3. The real news was:
A change from one week ago: The market continues to lower interest rates at the long end of the yield curve.
A change from 1 month ago: The Trump trade war picture becomes increasingly confused and irrational.
* **A change from 3 months ago: A no-deal Brexit is now not just a possibility, but more likely than not.
A change from 6 months ago: The Federal Reserve has—behind the curve—become convinced that it raised interest rates too much in 2018, and is now likely to cut them.
A change from 6 months ago: Trump trade-war tensions are higher.
We saw another twenty-five basis points of market easing at the long end of the yield curve:
Worthy Reads Elsewhere…Dan Drezner: The invisible heroism of Paul Ryan: "Back in March, I wrote…. ‘Why, exactly, is Paul D. Ryan being so quiet? What does he hope to accomplish at this point? I don’t know. I would love to hear from someone who does’…
The utility of history for rational self-government: David Walsh: "That Twitter is the major forum for this says a lot about the pitiful state of our institutional capacity…
Erica Groshen and Robert Groves: Better Data for a Better Economy: "Mov[ing] the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the source of statistics on jobs, wages, working conditions, productivity and prices—from the Labor Department to the Commerce Department…
Nancy L. Yu, Preston Atteberry, Peter B. Bach: Spending On Prescription Drugs In The US: Where Does All The Money
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (J.A. Giles and J. Ingram trans.): Conversion of the Middle-Angles: "A.D. 652. This year Kenwal fought at Bradford by the Avon. A.D. 653…
…This year, the Middle-Angles under alderman Peada received the right belief.
A.D. 654. This year King Anna was slain, and Botolph began to build that minster at Icanhoe. This year also died Archbishop Honorius, on the thirtieth of September…
#liveblogging #history #anglosaxonchronicleRead More »
That’s a 2.5% reduction in suicides for a 10% rise in two dimensions of the safety net. That seems to me to be large effect: William H. Dow, Anna Godøy, Christopher A. Lowenstein, and Michael Reic: Can Economic Policies Reduce Deaths of Despair?: "Midlife mortality has risen… largely reflect [ing]increased mortality from alcohol poisoning, drug overdose and suicide…. We leverage state variation in policies over time to estimate difference-in-differences models of drug overdose deaths and suicides, using data on cause-specific mortality rates from 1999-2015…. Higher minimum wages and EITCs significantly reduce non-drug suicides…. Increasing both the minimum wage and the EITC by 10 percent would likely prevent a combined total of around 1230 suicides each year…Read More »
I would say that Martin Wolf grossly understates his point here. It is not just that the case for a sane globalism remains strong. Rather, the case for a sane globalism has never been stronger and grows stronger every day. With each passing day, the world needs more and more powerful international public goods in order to remain healthy and sane, and only globalists have a chance of providing them:
Martin Wolf: The Case for Sane Globalism Remains Strong: "We are now close to eliminating extreme human destitution…. The decline in the proportion of humanity living in absolute poverty, to less than 10 per cent, is a huge achievement. I make no excuses for continuing to support policies and programmes, including trade-oriented development, that helped accomplish this. The notion thatRead More »
Remember: the Trump-McConnell-Ryan tax cut did absolutely nothing to boost investment in America, and thus has no supply-side positive effects on economic growth. And it is another upward jump in inequality: Greg Leiserson: U.S. Inequality and Recent Tax Changes: "Slides from a presentation by Greg Leiserson for a panel ‘U.S. Inequality and Recent Tax Changes’ hosted by the Society of Government Economists on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. In the presentation, Leiserson argues that the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will likely increase disparities in economic well-being, after-tax income, and pre-tax income…Read More »
Paul Krugman (2015): Artificial Unintelligence: "In the early stages of the Lesser Depression, those of us who knew a bit about the macroeconomic debates of the 1930s… felt a sense of despair…
…Everywhere you looked, people who imagined themselves sophisticated and possessed of deep understanding were resurrecting 75-year-old fallacies and presenting them as deep insights. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then…. I feel an even deeper sense of despair…. People are still rolling out those same fallacies, even though in the interim those of us who remembered and understood Keynes/Hicks have been right about most things, and those lecturing us have been wrong about everything. So here’s William Cohan in the Times, declaring that the Fed should “show someRead More »
An absolute must-read, from Leiserson, McGrew, and Kopparam. It is excellent. I would note that it does not get much into the political economy of wealth taxes—that one goal of them is to persuade the wealthy to distribute their wealth, and thus reduce the amount of control over society that they exercise:
Greg Leiserson, Will McGrew, and Raksha Kopparam: Net Worth Taxes: What They Are and How They Work: "New from @equitablegrowth: “Notably, a business does not pay tax on its assets. Instead, shareholders pay tax on the value of the business…. The revenue potential of a net worth tax in the United States is large, even if applied only to the very wealthiest families. The wealthiest 1 percent of families holds $33 trillion in wealth, and the wealthiest 5 percent holds $57 trillion.Read More »
The labor requirements for this kind of farming were already absurdly low. And one swallow does not make a spring. Nevertheless, the age of intelligent tools draws closer:
Ashley Robinson, Lydia Mulvany, and David Stringer: Robots Take the Wheel as Autonomous Farm Machines Hit Fields: "The first fully autonomous farm equipment is becoming commercially available…. Tractors will drive with no farmer in the cab, and specialized equipment will be able to spray, plant, plow and weed cropland. And it’s all happening well before many analysts had predicted thanks to small startups in Canada and Australia…. Saskatchewan’s Dot Technology Corp. has already sold some so-called power platforms for fully mechanized spring planting. In Australia, SwarmFarm Robotics is leasing weed-killingRead More »
…These newly assembled vehicles, part of a family of SUVs called the Tang that retails from about 240,000 yuan (35,700), are aimed squarely at middle-class drivers in the world’s largest electric vehicle market, China. Their manufacturer, BYD Co., is in turn the No. 1 producer of plug-in vehicles globally… powering, to a significant extent, a transition to electrified mobility that’s moving faster in China than in any other country. Founded in Shenzhen in the mid-1990s as a manufacturer of batteries for brick-size cellphones and digital cameras, BYD now has about a quarter-million employees and sells as many as 30,000 pure EVs or plug-in hybrids in China every month, most of them anything but status symbols. Its cheapest model, the e1, starts at 60,000 yuan (8,950) afterRead More »
We do not really know how we would collect and enforce a net-worth tax—but we did not really know how we would collect and enforce a broad income tax either until Milton Friedman came up with payroll withholding. In some ways the administrative burdens of a net-worth tax will be a lot easier since it is designed to catch only the upper tail: Greg Leiserson, Will McGrew, and Raksha Kopparam: Net worth taxes: What they are and how they work – Equitable Growth: "The wealthiest 1 percent of households owns about 40 percent of all wealth…. Taxes on wealth are a natural policy instrument to address wealth inequality and could raise substantial revenue, while shoring up structural weaknesses in the current income tax system…Read More »
Looking Backwards from This Week at 24, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2, and 1/4 Years Ago (August 7-August 13, 2019)7 days ago
Where Frank Fukuyama Went Wrong; or, Zombie Fascism!!: Francis Fukuyama wrote an excellent article about how really-existing-socialism—public ownership of the means of production, hopefully leading someday to the free society of associated producers—had crashed and burned, and that the only big idea left about how to organize society was that of liberal market democracy. But Fukuyama made a key mistake: there had been a third option. That is the basically-Roman idea thateach of us is individually a stick, very weak, but if we can unite ourselves in a big bundle of sticks and if we can tie ourselves together in leather thongs, we then become a powerful force that, in the hands of our strong leaders, could bruise our enemies. Francis Fukuyama thought that this political movement had beenRead More »