Grasping Reality with Both Hands 2017-01-18 00:44:28

Live from Massively Dysfunctional California Hall: I can think of nothing worse for alumni relations, development, and fund-raising in the long run than this kind of disruptive nickel-and-diming of students.

Harvard finally realized this: it got rid of the infamous "red dot". Berkeley has not. You don't have to have been dropped from your courses and be unable to get them back for this to matter. All you have to have is a roommate or a friend who was. And all of a sudden you are not in a long-term gift-exchange relationship with Berkeley any more...

In my inbox right now:

The CalCentral system dropped 145 students last night at midnight for nonpayment of fees. They were dropped from all of their classes. And if the class had a waitlist (as many of ours do), their seat was immediately given away to someone on the waitlist.

I've talked with 3 students already.... In two of the three cases, it was a CalCentral glitch, not a true non-payment of fees.... Please be sympathetic and help these students re-enroll in your course.

Phil Mattingly on Twitter: „Asked Senate HELP Chair Lamar Alexander if he’d spoken to Trump or his team about the president-elect’s healthcare plan: „I have not.““

*Live from the Cage of the Orange-Haired Baboon: Phil Mattingly *: On Twitter: "Asked Senate HELP Chair Lamar Alexander if he'd spoken to Trump or his team about the president-elect's healthcare plan: 'I have not.'" Grasping Reality with Both Hands 2017-01-17 23:46:39

Live from Planet Gutenberg: The day's book haul. These both look very good. Unfortunately, the first day of classes is absolutely the last day you want your book showing up in my mailbox in the form of a review copy...

2017 01 17 09 4632 Scanner Pro jpg

James Kwak (2016): Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality (New York: Pantheon: 1101871199)

Daniel Wolff: Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913 (New York: Harper: 0062451693) Grasping Reality with Both Hands 2017-01-17 15:14:29

Live from the Orange Haired-Baboon Cage: Ken Miller: Understanding Our New President’s Priorities through Twitter: "Trump’s favorite individual topic... communications that disparage the media in some way (particularly the NY Times and CNN), and posts related to his “Thank You” rallies...

...8 percent of his attention each. Rounding out the top five individual topics are: (3) election bragging/disparagement of Hillary Clinton, (4) cabinet nominations and (5) Russian hacking intelligence disparagement or politicization.... Job creation, military, immigration and terrorism have only received a combined total of seven tweets... throughout the last two months--the same exact amount of attention he has dedicated to disparaging Saturday Night Live, Meryl Streep, President Obama and Vanity Fair.... Tweets either supporting Putin and Julian Assange or denigrating Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Hamilton cast combine to total 3.6 percent... more than the combined amount... on China, North Korea, Syria and the UN....

There are administration or policy related topics... setting up his cabinet (5.8 percent)... Trade/Tariffs/Moving Jobs and Obamacare have both received meaningful attention at 2.9 percent each... Grasping Reality with Both Hands 2017-01-17 15:00:41

Should-Read: Equitable Growth: Third Annual Class of Grantees: "Research on how economic inequality affects macroeconomic growth and stability...

...Jess Benhabib, Alberto Bisin, and Mi Luo.... Gauti Eggertsson and Neil Mehrotra.... Adriana Kugler and Ammar Farooq.... Further research on the macroeconomy: Alexander Bartik... John Coglianese... Andrew Elrod.... How economic inequality affects the development of human capital.... Christopher Jencks and Beth Truesdale.... Marta Murray-Close and Joya Misra.... Sydnee Caldwell... Mariana Zerpa.... Research on how economic inequality affects the quantity and quality of innovation.... Kyle Herkenhoff... Heidi Williams... Patrick Kline... Neviana Petkova... and Owen Zidar.... Two doctoral grants will support further research on innovation: Xavier Jaravel... Hannah Rubinton.... Research on how levels and trends in economic inequality affect the quality of social and political institutions.... Manasi Deshpande... Tal Gross... and Jialan Wang... Jane Waldfogel and Ann Bartel... Maya Rossin-Slater... and Christopher Ruhm.... Joan Williams... Susan Lambert... and Saravanan Kesavan.... One doctoral grant will support further research on governance and institutions: Ellora Derenoncourt... Grasping Reality with Both Hands 2017-01-17 14:54:14

Should-Read: João Amador and Sónia Cabral: Networks of Value-Added Trade: "Global Value Chains have become the paradigm...

...Bilateral gross trade flows no longer accurately represent interconnections among countries.... Examine... the profile of Germany, the US, China and Russia as suppliers of value added.... We took the World Input-Output Database (Timmer et al. 2015) and used network analysis.... Domestic and foreign value added are combined to produce exports.... In each year, the GVC is represented as a directed network of nodes (40 countries) and edges (value-added flows between them)... Grasping Reality with Both Hands 2017-01-17 14:50:03

Should-Read: JEC: The Next New Macro: "The seeds of disaster... lay... how easily New Classical-style models could be tweaked to get Keynesian behavior.... The mess in macro did not come about because some economists committed to a modelling style which turns out to yield little insight. The mess is a consequence of the... macro-mono-culture.... The fact is that, right now, we do not know the way forward, and no approach, no matter how promising (or how congenial to our pre-conceptions and policy preferences) should be allowed to dominate the field until it has proven itself empirically successful.... Why, then, did the entire discipline latch on to the New Classical approach? In a word: panic. Whatever the flaws in the New Classicals' positive program, their negative critique of existing econometric practice was both true and devastating...

Procrastinating on January 17, 2017

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

Interesting Reads:

And Over Here:

Perhaps Worth Looking at...

Reading: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848): The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848): The Communist Manifesto This piece by Marx and Engels stands at the head of two traditions:

  1. the political tradition of world communism that was the second-greatest political catastrophe to ever afflict the human race...
  2. the intellectual tradition of the analysis of history as driven by modern capitalism--a historical-economic process...

You cannot separate these two. You should not try.

Read with an eye toward what is going to flourish in later intellectual and political history.

On the positive intellectual side, Marx and Engels were:

  1. Among the very first to get the industrial revolution right and understand what it meant for human possibilities and human destiny.
  2. Got a lot about the economic history of the development of modern capitalism in England right--very much worth grappling with as an economic historian of 1500-1850.
  3. Believed, probably wrongly, that a capitaliist market economy with wage labor is an insult to humanity, delivered low utility, and was sociologically and psychologically unsustainable.
  4. Believed, certainly wrongly that a capitalist market economy with wage labor was incapable of delivering an acceptable distribution of income.
  5. Among the very first to recognize that the fever-fits of financial crisis and depression that afflict modern market economies were not a passing phase but rather a deep and chronic malady of the system.

On the more negative side, we have Marx (and Engels) as activist-prophets:

  1. Technological progress and capital accumulation would raise labor productivity but lower the market real wage--hence the necessity for revolution.
  2. Globalization would raise inequality--hence the necessity for revolution.
  3. Previous systems of hierarchy and domination had hypnotized the poor, but capitalism replaced masked exploitation by naked exploitation--hence the possibility of revolution
  4. The ruling class would never buy off the working class by sharing the fruits of economic growth----hence the necessity for revolution.
  5. Factory work would lead people to develop a sense of their common interest and of class solidarity--hence the possibility of revolution.
  6. Nationalism would succumb to cosmopolitanism as the working classes of different nations realized how much they had in common.
  7. What is needed is not argument and evolution, but rather revolution--the overthrow and punishment of the oppressors.

This is worth paying attention to for its role in 20th century history.



1 2 3 292