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  #41  
Old 09-01-2011, 11:11 PM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Morris View Post
Ah, so it's one of those things for people with a bit of a martyr complex or maybe I should say martyr schtick who always imagine they're fighting the overwhelming forces of ignorant orthodoxy --
I've never bought in to the supposed qualities of martyrdom. They're usually celebrated by someone advocating policies with a history of failure and corruption. I guess however if you dangle the carrots of 70 underage virgins or immortality on revolutionary chic t-shirts, you may find a few takers among the less enlightened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Morris View Post
Funny, that used to be a liberal vice/pose, but then the right has acquired all the vices of 60s "Underground newspaper" writers, without giving up any of their original vices in exchange.
You mean like giving up self-reliance? And don't sell liberals short, they still promote vice and posing at expert levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myceelf
Whether the so-called cw was true or not, the 2010 elections and the debt ceiling talks would have done nothing to disprove it. Certainly, the tea partiers demonstrated truly historic levels of recklessness and irrationality. Whatever motivated that (racism or partisanship or just plain psychopathology), it certainly shouldn't have reassured anyone who was paying attention that they were behaving in good faith.
Here is a great example of the pockets of delusion that still inhabit the population. We have a president who has dawdled two and half years (two of those with his party in complete control of the Congress) and either ignored or exacerbated the problems of overspending, unemployment and corruption, who could not be bothered to interrupt his vacation but insisted that a joint session of congress was needed on the night of the Repub debates so Chairman Mulligan himself could once again showcase his ability to talk for over an hour and deliver zero substance (this time on the unemployment problem, the same problem he promised to work on with laser-like concentration last summer). When called out for his rudeness (on the speech timing), his excuse was that they hadn't considered the debate schedule and it was a complete coincidence. I'm not sure who should be ridiculed more, the administration that says it or the supporters who believe it (even some of the pundits on MSNBC tagged it for the BS it was). And this coming from a man who wants to deliver almost a tenth of the economy into the hands the statists who are currently bankrupting the country.......

I truly believe that the only reason Obama hasn't appointed a blue-ribbon commision to look into the problems of unemployment and a stagnated economy (with results and recommendations to be delivered after the 2012 election of course) is because nobody believes anything this guy says anymore and the glaring obviousness of the ploy would hurt his already cratering poll numbers. I even doubt most of the die-hard leftist idealogues believe him, but since they bought into the franchise in 2008 when he was just as vacuous, they really can't start complaining now, it would be too close to facing reality.

The current admin is the very essence of recklessness and irrationality. And yet the squeals from myceelf are directed at those who seek fiscal sanity, with the garnish that their motives are based in racism or craziness.........it's the only card they have left (they certainly can't counter with examples of his results) and even though it's been trumped repeatedly, they keep playing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myceelf
I kind of assumed that harkin simply hated teenage vampires and hot Asian female spies. Not to mention Tyra Banks.
I have no idea what the connection is but since it's apparently a pop culture reference I hope you'll allow me to observe that Starwatcher's post title reminded me of Dave Seville......and hula hoops.
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  #42  
Old 09-01-2011, 11:35 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
I have no idea what the connection is but since it's apparently a pop culture reference I hope you'll allow me to observe that Starwatcher's post title reminded me of Dave Seville......and hula hoops.
Sorry, that was my attempt to show off the fact taht I still know people who are young and cool, even though I am no longer one of those people.

The CW is a television station that caters to teens, primarily, it seems, and features such shows as The Vampire Diaries, Nikita, and America's Next Top Model.
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  #43  
Old 09-01-2011, 11:43 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

Also, I had to point this out:

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
Here is a great example of the pockets of delusion that still inhabit the population.

...

the squeals from myceelf are directed at those who seek fiscal sanity, with the garnish that their motives are based in racism or craziness.........it's the only card they have left
I also suggested partisanship as an explanation, as you'll note.

Finally, it's such an odd misspelling of my name, I have to ask- why?
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  #44  
Old 09-01-2011, 11:55 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
Richard Fisher who was one of the 3 dissenters in the last FOMC decision only has bachelors degree in economics. Now according Megan, not only he is fit to take monetary policy decisions, but his dissent shows subtle assessments of future inflation expectations. However when it comes to Kenneth Rogoff who is an economics proffessor at Harvard she brushes Rogoff's call for a 6% inflation with a 'but his field is not exactly monetary theory'. And that is journalism in US.
This is a good point as far as the Fisher / Rogoff treatment. However, accusing Megan of poor journalism for dismissing hyperinflation is actually weird when you step back from the plain logic of the argument. Also, Krugman already suggested targeting 5% inflation at MIT in January. There were crickets in the room from the other distinguished economists. I'd say it's pretty unfair to call this a journalism problem.

Quote:
Beside bankers there is another class of people who hate inflation and that is those who save a lot and don't have much debt. Everyone who reads Megan's blog knows that she does not have that much debt (beside the residential mortgage she and her husband both pay) and that in fact she hates debt.
While I certainly understand the argument in favor of inflation, don't you think it's a problem that the government has been disincentivizing and punishing traditional saving for decades? Remember when saving was the responsible thing to do and people who took risky bets needed to suffer the consequences? At some point, that's the policy we should return to.

Quote:
If I recall correctly she even had a post where she described not using credit cards anymore and paying cash for everything. So her not liking a little more inflation when she and her husband are both gainfully employed with low debt is quite understandable as a case of holding self serving beliefs.
She could just as easily load up on TIPS if inflation were imminent.
Quote:
Fed's current policy of sitting on their hands is irresponsible, indefensible and unforgivable.
The only people that are absolutely sure about this seem to be Keynesians. And yet, Europe renounced Keynes and went for austerity. Japan just appointed a new PM who seems to be in favor of austerity. I don't think it's that clear, even if I, personally, favor spending now.

Quote:
PS-2: Megan also repeated the nonsense about people not buying treasuries.
What do you mean by this?
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  #45  
Old 09-02-2011, 09:05 AM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
I think the smug judgment was nearly universal. I think that the "better arguments" piece is almost completely dependent on what commenters thought before the diavlog. Those who already agreed with Williamson would have been inclined to see the wisdom of his arguments. Those who didn't already agree with him would have been inclined to see the folly of said arguments.
I only really remember him saying how great capital punishment is as a government program. I cannot think of something I could possibly disagree with more.
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  #46  
Old 09-02-2011, 09:23 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: harkin, Harkin, ... HARKIN!

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
It's his normal pattern and I'm starting to like it (as I stated above) because it showcases a larger truth. It's right up there with the Ezra Klein tactic of being totally refuted and countering with his variation on 'that's what I was just saying' and changing subjects.
I've been trying for a while to figure out that little thing that Ezra does. However, he normally appears an an expert about something or other and never gets much pushback. He is usually just given a big thank you for helping us drill down into whatever subject he is elucidating.

Quote:
Hoping to get back out there before the snow flies
Hopefully that won't be real soon.
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  #47  
Old 09-02-2011, 09:50 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: harkin, Harkin, ... HARKIN!

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
I've been trying for a while to figure out that little thing that Ezra does. However, he normally appears an an expert about something or other and never gets much pushback. He is usually just given a big thank you for helping us drill down into whatever subject he is elucidating.



Hopefully that won't be real soon.
harkin's definition of "totally refuted" seems dependent on whom he's talking about. If it's somebody like Ezra, then apparently "totally refuted" mean "has been responded to with an argument harkin likes." The idea that Ezra doesn't get pushback from opponents seems a little strange. (Try searching for his name on he NRO site, e.g.)
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  #48  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:05 AM
aajax aajax is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

The government cannot be held accountable? I think you may change your mind in November 2012.

Ron
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  #49  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:11 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: harkin, Harkin, ... HARKIN!

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
harkin's definition of "totally refuted" seems dependent on whom he's talking about. If it's somebody like Ezra, then apparently "totally refuted" mean "has been responded to with an argument harkin likes." The idea that Ezra doesn't get pushback from opponents seems a little strange. (Try searching for his name on he NRO site, e.g.)
As far as the pushback I was refering to, it occurs when he appears on MSNBC in his expert on the subject role. He is fed questions and his analysis is not questioned because he's trotted out as an expert and generally agrees with the mission of that station. I would agree that pretty much nowhere is anyone totally refuted, except in the minds of the audience. All kinds of crazy views get traction these days depending on which station you're tuned in to. (and I'm not saying that Ezra's views are crazy)
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  #50  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:28 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: harkin, Harkin, ... HARKIN!

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
As far as the pushback I was refering to, it occurs when he appears on MSNBC in his expert on the subject role. He is fed questions and his analysis is not questioned because he's trotted out as an expert and generally agrees with the mission of that station. I would agree that pretty much nowhere is anyone totally refuted, except in the minds of the audience. All kinds of crazy views get traction these days depending on which station you're tuned in to. (and I'm not saying that Ezra's views are crazy)
MSNBC is a friendly environment for someone like Ezra. It'd be like expecting Ramesh to get a lot of direct challenge appearing on Fox, I think. I watch Maddow's show sometimes, and Hardball often; but I really don't think there's much there that's especially interesting otherwise.
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  #51  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:39 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: harkin, Harkin, ... HARKIN!

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
MSNBC is a friendly environment for someone like Ezra. It'd be like expecting Ramesh to get a lot of direct challenge appearing on Fox, I think. I watch Maddow's show sometimes, and Hardball often; but I really don't think there's much there that's especially interesting otherwise.
Don't forget Al Sharpton.

I make it a habit to watch MSNBC. The other night I was watching the opening segment of the Ed show and he was outraged that Boehner had dissed the president when he refused to convene a joint session. Then I flipped to Fox and Hannity was being outraged with Ann Coulter that the president wanted to address the Congress on the same night as the debates.

It's pretty funny actually. But one wonders if any of this is healthy and how it will all turn out.
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  #52  
Old 09-02-2011, 10:57 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by osmium View Post
I only really remember him saying how great capital punishment is as a government program. I cannot think of something I could possibly disagree with more.
Did he really say that? Yeah, that's just... off. Just in terms of money it costs a huge amount in due process to execute a person.
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  #53  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:17 AM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Did he really say that? Yeah, that's just... off. Just in terms of money it costs a huge amount in due process to execute a person.
In all fairness, I'm hyperbolizing. They got to talking about the question of whether or not Texas executed an innocent man, re: that guy who was convicted for arson. The argument came down to something about how a writer for the New Yorker might not be trusted by people from Texas. Kevin said he trusted the courts that the guy was guilty. Tim said "You have a lot of faith in government as long as it's on your side."

(I made a link to it, but I put it on that contest thing, and I don't know how to find it again.)

I read that New Yorker article, and it really made it sound like you should doubt forensic evidence having to do with arson. The writer asked an arson investigator from Texas (I think the one who had studied this case) what percentage of cases turned out to be arson, and he said all of them. It was quite unnerving.

The amateur psychology you can play with people's political opinions is sometimes too seductive. Kevin was indeed saying all kinds of "less government" type things, until it came to the government doing something tough, like executing people. Then it was doing a good job.
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  #54  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:24 AM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Did he really say that? Yeah, that's just... off. Just in terms of money it costs a huge amount in due process to execute a person.
This is the New Yorker article. It is quite long, but I was glad I read it. It really makes it sound like you can be sentenced to death essentially for liking Iron Maiden, and then you can get executed simply because they have to go through with it.

In fairness here, I didn't mistrust the article until the very end, when it sanitizes the dude's last words to make him seem like more a peaceful sort than he was.

But still, as a man of science I find the descriptions of forensic testing shocking and horrifying.

The place to debate this would probably have been after that diavlog. Osmium: always doing it wrong.
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  #55  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:30 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by osmium View Post
In all fairness, I'm hyperbolizing. They got to talking about the question of whether or not Texas executed an innocent man, re: that guy who was convicted for arson. The argument came down to something about how a writer for the New Yorker might not be trusted by people from Texas. Kevin said he trusted the courts that the guy was guilty. Tim said "You have a lot of faith in government as long as it's on your side."
Yeah, that's more in line with what I remember. Tim's criticism is legitimate. However, I'm guessing that conservatives are willing to tolerate a little more injustice if it means swifter punishment. I don't know if that's Williamson's justification, but in fairness, liberals' insistence on perfect due process would also result in a different kind of tyranny by delaying the court process.

Quote:
I read that New Yorker article, and it really made it sound like you should doubt forensic evidence having to do with arson. The writer asked an arson investigator from Texas (I think the one who had studied this case) what percentage of cases turned out to be arson, and he said all of them. It was quite unnerving.
It could certainly be true and depending on how important this particular issue is for voters, I'm sure they'll vote accordingly. I also read the long piece about the Koch brothers they had some months back and there was a specific conclusion that the writer wanted to lead the readers toward.

Quote:
The amateur psychology you can play with people's political opinions is sometimes too seductive. Kevin was indeed saying all kinds of "less government" type things, until it came to the government doing something tough, like executing people. Then it was doing a good job.
It's a valid criticism.
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  #56  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:36 PM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
Sorry, that was my attempt to show off the fact taht I still know people who are young and cool, even though I am no longer one of those people.

The CW is a television station that caters to teens, primarily, it seems, and features such shows as The Vampire Diaries, Nikita, and America's Next Top Model.
Yikes no thanks - I'm not much of a TV watcher except for news, history, science (and sports!). I don't think I've watched a TV weekly drama regularly since The Sopranos (I tried Deadwood and The Wire but where I was promised excellence I found profound mediocrity) or a comedy since The Larry Sanders Show (I tried Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage, blech)

EDIT - forgot South park, love South Park.

And the now long-term trend of reality shows does nothing but make me lose hope for my fellow man, although the idea of having Bob Wright listen to Ezra Klein, David Corn, M Yglesias, Sarah Posner, Ana Marie Cox, Bill Scher and Tim Fernholz make their cases and then decide which ones deserve a BhTV rose might work.

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
Finally, it's such an odd misspelling of my name, I have to ask- why?
Not "why? but 'Y'. A simple one-letter misspelling, maybe something to do with the word 'myself'. My bad and I'll try not to repeat.
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  #57  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:02 PM
Alexandrite Alexandrite is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

You guys ever play madlibs?

I made a madlib of The Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics by Matthew Yglesias, and Tim was kind enough to fill in the missing parts.

Quote:
Up at [bloggingheads.tv] you can find [Tim Fernholz]'s latest argument for [monetary expansion]. I think I've covered the policy arguments on this score extensively elsewhere, so let me just note something in particular about [Fernholz's rant]. Like a lot of [liberal speeches] on [economics] it puts a huge amount of weight on things like will, resolve, and perceptions of strength and weakness. It's a view of things that reminds me of nothing so much as the Green Lantern comics, which I enjoy a great deal but regard as a poor guide to [economic] policy.

As you may know, the Green Lantern Corps is a sort of interstellar peacekeeping force set up by the Guardians of Oa to maintain the peace and defend justice. It recruits members from all sorts of different species and equips them with the most powerful weapon in the universe, the power ring.

The ring is a bit goofy. Basically, it lets its bearer generate streams of green energy that can take on all kinds of shapes. The important point is that, when fully charged what the ring can do is limited only by the stipulation that it create green stuff and by the user's combination of will and imagination. Consequently, the main criterion for becoming a Green Lantern is that you need to be a person capable of "overcoming fear" which allows you to unleash the ring's full capacities. It used to be the case that the rings wouldn't function against yellow objects, but this is now understood to be a consequence of the "Parallax fear anomaly" which, along with all the ring's other limits, can be overcome with sufficient willpower.

Suffice it to say that I think all this makes an okay premise for a comic book. But a lot of people seem to think that American [Fed] might is like one of these power rings. They seem to think that, roughly speaking, we can accomplish absolutely anything in the world through the application of sufficient [regulatory] force. The only thing limiting us is a lack of willpower.

What's more, this theory can't be empirically demonstrated to be wrong. Things that you or I might take as demonstrating the limited utility of [regulatory] power to accomplish certain kinds of things are, instead, taken as evidence of lack of will. Thus we see that problems in [Argentina] and [Europe; Japan] aren't reasons to avoid new [regulatory] ventures, but reasons why we must embark upon them: "Add a failure in [QE3] to a failure in [QE2] to a failure in [Stimulus], and we could supercharge [deflation] in a way never before seen. The widespread and lethal impression of [Free Market] weakness under the [Bush] administration, which did so much to energize [the great recession] in the [2000]s, could look like the glory years of American power compared to what the [Obama] administration may leave in its wake."

I don't even know what else to say about this business. It's just a bizarre way of looking at the world. The wreakage that the [Obama] administration is leaving in its wake is a direct consequence of this will-o-centric view of the world and [Fernholz] takes it as a reason to deploy more willpower.
Obviously this is must be a reason why the Green Lantern theory is pretty stupid, and not a sign of policy wonks who do not understand the nature of the problem they're dealing with.
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  #58  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:15 PM
Parallax Parallax is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
This is a good point as far as the Fisher / Rogoff treatment. However, accusing Megan of poor journalism for dismissing hyperinflation is actually weird when you step back from the plain logic of the argument. Also, Krugman already suggested targeting 5% inflation at MIT in January. There were crickets in the room from the other distinguished economists. I'd say it's pretty unfair to call this a journalism problem.
The journalism problem is not that she opposes 6% inflation, the journalism problem is that he discredits Rogoff for personal ideological biases.

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While I certainly understand the argument in favor of inflation, don't you think it's a problem that the government has been disincentivizing and punishing traditional saving for decades? Remember when saving was the responsible thing to do and people who took risky bets needed to suffer the consequences? At some point, that's the policy we should return to.
That is the puritanical spirit!

First of all the US government has not punished traditional savings for decades. Look at inflation in the past 30 years, it has been in steady decline throughout that period. And secondly I don't see an inherent reason for saving being better than borrowing. If anything one of the roots of the crisis was that on a global scale we had too much savings. Why are we now pushing for the Yuan to appreciate against the dollar? Because it would make the Chinese to save less and spend more.

Quote:
She could just as easily load up on TIPS if inflation were imminent.
The yield on 5-year TIPS is -0.93% and the 10-year TIPS stands at -0.05%. So if she buys TIPS, she is basically paying the US government to hold on to her money. Hardly an investment that a libertarian would undertake with an easy conscious.

Quote:
The only people that are absolutely sure about this seem to be Keynesians. And yet, Europe renounced Keynes and went for austerity. Japan just appointed a new PM who seems to be in favor of austerity. I don't think it's that clear, even if I, personally, favor spending now.
No, actually the opposite is true. Among economists the only people that are for hard money right now are the gold standard, anti-Fed fringe who secretly think deflation is a good thing. This narrow section is now being enabled by politicians who wish the economy to stay depressed until the election. If you are looking for prominent economists on the right calling for more aggressive monetary policy you can check out Greg Mankiw and Scott Sumner for starters.

EU, Japan and your preferences are politics. US might very well choose a president that is against any kind of monetary and fiscal stimulus as well. It does not make it the right policy. The point is that austerity might get you elected but it does not work when you look at the economics.

Quote:
What do you mean by this?
She says if US keeps selling large quantities of treasuries there is a point at which the market won't want anymore of it causing the price of US debt to fall and hence raising US borrowing costs catastrophically. However reality is not very kind to her wild fantasies: 10-year treasury now yields +2.01%.
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  #59  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:16 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

Tim seems like a grouch. Forget about the Fed for awhile and go out and have some fun.
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  #60  
Old 09-02-2011, 05:26 PM
willmybasilgrow willmybasilgrow is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

Ahhh...these bloggers talking about "NIMBY"ism - just a way for them to signal to their out of town friends how cool they are.

Megan: cause i'm really tall? that makes people think you're old?

"Interesting."

So not.

Eastern Market - kind of shi shi now? Now?

NIMBY is community activism? And your example? Opening a social service organization? Wow.

This conversation could not get anymore superficial.

Rich vs poor. Yawn. Not true.
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  #61  
Old 09-02-2011, 05:34 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
(I tried Deadwood and The Wire but where I was promised excellence I found profound mediocrity)
The Wire didn't get good until the 3rd season. Even so, I didn't really start appreciating how good it was until the 4th and took me until the 5th to consider it in my all time favorite series.

So, did you make it to the 3rd or 4th?


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Originally Posted by bkjazfan View Post
Tim seems like a grouch. Forget about the Fed for awhile and go out and have some fun.
It's the lunch man. Who's not grumpy before lunch?
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  #62  
Old 09-02-2011, 07:12 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
The Wire didn't get good until the 3rd season. Even so, I didn't really start appreciating how good it was until the 4th and took me until the 5th to consider it in my all time favorite series.
In my opinion, The Wire is the best television series ever. From beginning to end.
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  #63  
Old 09-02-2011, 07:27 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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In my opinion, The Wire is the best television series ever. From beginning to end.
Agree: writing, acting, you name it, it was hot.
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  #64  
Old 09-02-2011, 09:31 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
Not "why? but 'Y'. A simple one-letter misspelling, maybe something to do with the word 'myself'. My bad and I'll try not to repeat.
No worries, honestly. I was mainly wondering if there was a joke I was missing.
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  #65  
Old 09-02-2011, 09:36 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
The Wire didn't get good until the 3rd season. Even so, I didn't really start appreciating how good it was until the 4th and took me until the 5th to consider it in my all time favorite series.
I keep thinking I should check it out. I really enjoyed The Killing fwiw, if anyone is looking for other recommendations.

harkin is right about a lot of reality shows but that doesn't make them any less a guilty pleasure for me and my wife. We're watching dvred hell's kitchen right now (ramsey reminds me of previous employers)
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  #66  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:48 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
The journalism problem is not that she opposes 6% inflation, the journalism problem is that he discredits Rogoff for personal ideological biases.
Megan is pretty good about guarding against biases, though you may be right. No person is free from bias.

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That is the puritanical spirit!

First of all the US government has not punished traditional savings for decades. Look at inflation in the past 30 years, it has been in steady decline throughout that period.
Yes, when measured against CPI. When have CPI metrics been updated? Do you think it accurately tracks inflation today?

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And secondly I don't see an inherent reason for saving being better than borrowing. If anything one of the roots of the crisis was that on a global scale we had too much savings.
Krugman's theory is that we are in a liquidity trap. House prices plummeted so homeowners felt poor overnight and were reluctant to spend causing the demand problem. Why did this happen? Someone in 2002 thought it'd be a good idea to replace the stock market bubble with a housing bubble. Who was that? Krugman.

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Why are we now pushing for the Yuan to appreciate against the dollar? Because it would make the Chinese to save less and spend more.
Agreed.

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The yield on 5-year TIPS is -0.93% and the 10-year TIPS stands at -0.05%. So if she buys TIPS, she is basically paying the US government to hold on to her money. Hardly an investment that a libertarian would undertake with an easy conscious.
Not a great investment, but it would definitely serve as an easy hedge against the improper motives that you've imputed to her. That's assuming we go by CPI, which I assume you feel is a reasonable metric.

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No, actually the opposite is true. Among economists the only people that are for hard money right now are the gold standard, anti-Fed fringe who secretly think deflation is a good thing. This narrow section is now being enabled by politicians who wish the economy to stay depressed until the election.
You have misread my paragraph or I have expressed myself poorly. Here's what I said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang
I don't think it's that clear, even if I, personally, favor spending now.
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If you are looking for prominent economists on the right calling for more aggressive monetary policy you can check out Greg Mankiw and Scott Sumner for starters.
I read Mankiw regularly. I am also aware of Sumner's opinion. I agree, he acknowledges a demand problem. However, let's not overlook this crucial bit of information as well:

"If you talk about how those labor market rigidities might have raised our natural rate of unemployment, progressives will sneer that there is no empirical evidence (there is), and that you are just a mean right-winger who thinks unemployed people are lazy bums. Whenever you read those progressives you should always keep the following in mind:

1. The progressives completely failed to predict that the natural rate of unemployment in welfare states like France would rise from about 3% prior to 1973 to about 10% after 1980, and then stay up there permanently.

2. To this very day, the progressives have no plausible explanation for why this happened in many European countries (not all.)

Iím not saying it will happen here, but Iím also not assuming it wonít."

Quote:
EU, Japan and your preferences are politics. US might very well choose a president that is against any kind of monetary and fiscal stimulus as well. It does not make it the right policy. The point is that austerity might get you elected but it does not work when you look at the economics.
Here's a BBC4 debate at the London School of Economics between economists that runs counter to what you've stated. Keynes vs. Hayek debate. Some people are talking about Eurobonds backed by gold in order to save the Euro.

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She says if US keeps selling large quantities of treasuries there is a point at which the market won't want anymore of it causing the price of US debt to fall and hence raising US borrowing costs catastrophically. However reality is not very kind to her wild fantasies: 10-year treasury now yields +2.01%.
I agree those prices are low. But when does it become clear that we have a problem on our hands? How quickly does that problem manifest?

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  #67  
Old 09-03-2011, 10:26 AM
willmybasilgrow willmybasilgrow is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

If Tim has his reasons for not letting Megan finish her thought, I could not divine what that is. Seriously.

I'm listening to the econ talk and it's clear they have two different points of views. It seems like that would be an interesting difference, but Tim just kept interrupting and I can't tell what Megan thinks. And to an extent, what Tim himself thinks!
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  #68  
Old 09-03-2011, 10:33 AM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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In my opinion, The Wire is the best television series ever. From beginning to end.
I'm amazed at the amount of people who say that about shows like The Wire, Deadwood, Twin Peaks, even Carnivale. I'd use that term for something like I, Claudius or The Prisoner. The Wire struck me as Aaron Sorkin meets Michael Eric Dyson on steroids. I can't remember where but the best description of The Wire I heard was 'liberal porn'. Even taken at that level I still can't enjoy it as a guilty pleasure, it's just too obvious and to me obvious is the worst thing you can commit in drama.

Funny though that someone should say that it only got good in the third season. That's almost the exact opposite of how I feel about The Sopranos, where an original, entertaining and topical show became consumed with its own importance and sputtered to a halt in season five.
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  #69  
Old 09-03-2011, 11:02 AM
willmybasilgrow willmybasilgrow is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

Is Eckington really middle class?
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  #70  
Old 09-03-2011, 11:51 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Sorry, that was my attempt to show off the fact taht I still know people who are young and cool, even though I am no longer one of those people.

The CW is a television station that caters to teens, primarily, it seems, and features such shows as The Vampire Diaries, Nikita, and America's Next Top Model.
So that's what you were talking about. I don't have a television.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:10 PM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
I'm amazed at the amount of people who say that about shows like The Wire, Deadwood, Twin Peaks, even Carnivale. I'd use that term for something like I, Claudius or The Prisoner. The Wire struck me as Aaron Sorkin meets Michael Eric Dyson on steroids. I can't remember where but the best description of The Wire I heard was 'liberal porn'. Even taken at that level I still can't enjoy it as a guilty pleasure, it's just too obvious and to me obvious is the worst thing you can commit in drama.

Funny though that someone should say that it only got good in the third season. That's almost the exact opposite of how I feel about The Sopranos, where an original, entertaining and topical show became consumed with its own importance and sputtered to a halt in season five.
I don't get the 'liberal porn' thing. I suppose if one thinks about it there may be some situations that reinforce a liberal world view, but I think I'm pretty sensitive to leftist messaging in movies and I didn't see that.

It's not that I thought any sort of 'gritty reality' was being portrayed either. I don't know since I have no experience with the inner city; I'm a country boy.

It was just great story telling, writing, acting, characters, etc.
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  #72  
Old 09-03-2011, 06:59 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
I'm amazed at the amount of people who say that about shows like The Wire, Deadwood, Twin Peaks, even Carnivale. I'd use that term for something like I, Claudius or The Prisoner. The Wire struck me as Aaron Sorkin meets Michael Eric Dyson on steroids. I can't remember where but the best description of The Wire I heard was 'liberal porn'. Even taken at that level I still can't enjoy it as a guilty pleasure, it's just too obvious and to me obvious is the worst thing you can commit in drama.
I loved Carnivale and Deadwood, the later being a very realistic portrayal of our Western settlement.

I don't get your critique of the Wire though. The problems of the ghetto are shown to be the denizens themselves who terrorize their own neighbors and friends, and the race baiting vermin who profit on the suffering of these people.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:42 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
I loved Carnivale and Deadwood, the later being a very realistic portrayal of our Western settlement.

I don't get your critique of the Wire though. The problems of the ghetto are shown to be the denizens themselves who terrorize their own neighbors and friends, and the race baiting vermin who profit on the suffering of these people.
I don't agree with this take on the show, but I there's definitely stuff in there to support this reading, which is of course why Harkin's problem with the show is so strange. Sheeeiiit, could Karl Rove have written a more unsympathetic picture of an urban Democratic politician than Clay Davis?
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  #74  
Old 09-04-2011, 01:04 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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I don't agree with this take on the show, but I there's definitely stuff in there to support this reading, which is of course why Harkin's problem with the show is so strange. Sheeeiiit, could Karl Rove have written a more unsympathetic picture of an urban Democratic politician than Clay Davis?
Indeed, even Tommy Carcetti, the Liberal White Knight who comes in at the end, is shown to be a craven two faced liar. Not only is the portrayal of law and order versus criminality excellent; the display of machine, one party politics is also very good.
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  #75  
Old 09-04-2011, 01:05 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

AND it has half of the coolest gay characters ever to be shown in a television show, Omar. (The other is Captain Jack Harkness from Dr Who/Torchwood)
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  #76  
Old 09-04-2011, 01:18 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: martyrs, martyrs, ... MARTYRS!!

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AND it has half of the coolest gay characters ever to be shown in a television show, Omar.

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Old 09-04-2011, 07:59 AM
Romanized Romanized is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
Fed's current policy of sitting on their hands is irresponsible, indefensible and unforgivable.
Yep. Zero percent interest rates from now until and two rounds of quantitative easing is precisely the equivalent of sitting on your hands. Gee, you lefties get belligerent when your pet policies are exposed as impotent.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:07 AM
Parallax Parallax is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Yes, when measured against CPI. When have CPI metrics been updated? Do you think it accurately tracks inflation today?

Krugman's theory is that we are in a liquidity trap. House prices plummeted so homeowners felt poor overnight and were reluctant to spend causing the demand problem. Why did this happen? Someone in 2002 thought it'd be a good idea to replace the stock market bubble with a housing bubble. Who was that? Krugman.
Actually I use Median CPI as inflation measure. But do you have a better gauge of inflation? As long as there isn't any that point is moot.

I am not Paul Krugman (although I would fancy a nobel prize and a job at Princeton) so saying he wanted a housing bubble seems irrelevant to our current discussion.

Quote:
Not a great investment, but it would definitely serve as an easy hedge against the improper motives that you've imputed to her. That's assuming we go by CPI, which I assume you feel is a reasonable metric.
Well I was also pointing out the fact that a libertarian loaning money for a long time at negative real rates might collide with the 'government bad' message.

Quote:
I read Mankiw regularly. I am also aware of Sumner's opinion. I agree, he acknowledges a demand problem. However, let's not overlook this crucial bit of information as well:

"If you talk about how those labor market rigidities might have raised our natural rate of unemployment, progressives will sneer that there is no empirical evidence (there is), and that you are just a mean right-winger who thinks unemployed people are lazy bums. Whenever you read those progressives you should always keep the following in mind:

1. The progressives completely failed to predict that the natural rate of unemployment in welfare states like France would rise from about 3% prior to 1973 to about 10% after 1980, and then stay up there permanently.

2. To this very day, the progressives have no plausible explanation for why this happened in many European countries (not all.)

Iím not saying it will happen here, but Iím also not assuming it wonít."
You know that I am calling for easy money, right? No economist except the goldbugs is against easier monetary policy right now. Fiscal expansion has more opponents and is more controversial but fiscal policy was not mentioned in the diavlog (if it was mentioned it was quite brief compared to the discussion on Fed and monetary policy).

Quote:
Here's a BBC4 debate at the London School of Economics between economists that runs counter to what you've stated. Keynes vs. Hayek debate. Some people are talking about Eurobonds backed by gold in order to save the Euro.
I did not have time to listen to this so I am not sure what part of what I said is being contradicted. Also Selgin is one of the anti-Fed goldbugs I was referring to and my general rule is to ignore people who are for abolishing Fed. Finally I would like to add that Hayek would favor substantial easing from Fed right now. Since he supported stablizing nominal spending which is the same as NGDP targeting. And you can go back and watch De Long - Lindsay diavlog to make sure but if Fed was targeting NGDP it had to engage in extensive easing ( more than 200 billon asset purchases a month every month until unemployment came below a target like 7.5%).

Quote:
I agree those prices are low. But when does it become clear that we have a problem on our hands? How quickly does that problem manifest?

This is frustrating, US is not Ireland, Greece or Portugal! There are important differences:

1. In 2012 Greece's debt to GDP ratio will hit 170% and Portugal has a ratio of 95%. US on the other hand has a debt to GDP ratio of 70%.

2. Ireland made the foolish move to guarantee all bank loans, letting the creditors get off with no cost.

3. US has its own central bank, Portugal, Ireland and Greece don't.
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  #79  
Old 09-05-2011, 03:57 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by Parallax View Post
Actually I use Median CPI as inflation measure. But do you have a better gauge of inflation? As long as there isn't any that point is moot.
An updated CPI has been suggested, but is not used. I don't know why that would make the point moot. I think that's fairly critical when saying something like inflation hasn't moved for 30 years. Even if you don't want to track dollars to gold because gold is in a bubble, you can still measure against platinum. Inflation is real; CPI is an illusion.

Quote:
I am not Paul Krugman (although I would fancy a nobel prize and a job at Princeton) so saying he wanted a housing bubble seems irrelevant to our current discussion.
Krugman is relevant because he and all Keynesians have been repeating the same mantra. I'm not saying he's wrong. What I'm saying is that there are other smart people who say we ought not be so sure. I agree, however, that we have a demand problem. This could also be fixed by letting house prices plunge like they're supposed to.

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You know that I am calling for easy money, right? No economist except the goldbugs is against easier monetary policy right now.
Yes, and I skeptically support this plan.

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Fiscal expansion has more opponents and is more controversial but fiscal policy was not mentioned in the diavlog (if it was mentioned it was quite brief compared to the discussion on Fed and monetary policy).
Yes. Nothing is shovel ready.

Quote:
I did not have time to listen to this so I am not sure what part of what I said is being contradicted. Also Selgin is one of the anti-Fed goldbugs I was referring to and my general rule is to ignore people who are for abolishing Fed.
At BBC4, those were economists at the debate. I'd like to know your reasons for dismissing Hayekians and extending credibility to Keynesians.

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Finally I would like to add that Hayek would favor substantial easing from Fed right now.
I'm not so sure after the manufacture of an artificial housing bubble. That was the easing.

Quote:
And you can go back and watch De Long - Lindsay diavlog to make sure but if Fed was targeting NGDP it had to engage in extensive easing ( more than 200 billon asset purchases a month every month until unemployment came below a target like 7.5%).
But we were talking Sumner. France has a generous welfare state and they've been at 9-12% unemployment for a quarter century. Sumner acknowledges the demand problem. After easing, what if unemployment stays high? Because I'm betting it will.

Quote:
US on the other hand has a debt to GDP ratio of 70%.
Our debt is closer to 100% of GDP if counting intragovernmental holdings. Could you tell me why it's okay to ignore $4.5 trillion?
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Last edited by sugarkang; 09-05-2011 at 04:00 AM..
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  #80  
Old 09-05-2011, 05:27 AM
FatMan FatMan is offline
 
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Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
An updated CPI has been suggested, but is not used. I don't know why that would make the point moot. I think that's fairly critical when saying something like inflation hasn't moved for 30 years. Even if you don't want to track dollars to gold because gold is in a bubble, you can still measure against platinum. Inflation is real; CPI is an illusion.
Uh...how is inflation real and CPI an illusion? What is the point of gold other than as a medium of account? And if we replace said gold with greenbacks, what do we lose? The value of gold only comes from it's value relative to money, so in reality all it's useful for is as a "savings" vehicle for the ultra-paranoid.


Quote:
Krugman is relevant because he and all Keynesians have been repeating the same mantra. I'm not saying he's wrong. What I'm saying is that there are other smart people who say we ought not be so sure. I agree, however, that we have a demand problem. This could also be fixed by letting house prices plunge like they're supposed to.
So, we should let housing prices plunge without doing anything (like, say, a helicopter drop to every taxpayer), leading to an increased real debt load (since money will be tighter because homeowners will have to spend more on debt financing), which would depress household spending further, helping to exacerbate the demand problem. Sign me up!

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Yes, and I skeptically support this plan.
Good to hear. Fortunately, it would be as easy as Mr. Bernanke saying "we are going to have a period of catch-up spending growth so that we are on the late 90's nominal spending level. What we *really* need to stop listening to those who think their gut should determine monetary policy

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At BBC4, those were economists at the debate. I'd like to know your reasons for dismissing Hayekians and extending credibility to Keynesians.
One can't be Hayekian and Keynesian?

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I'm not so sure after the manufacture of an artificial housing bubble. That was the easing.
Housing bubble wasn't too terrible. About an extra percentage point in unemployment, and very regional. The current mess would have mostly been avoidable without the terrible banking regulatory failures and if monetary policy hadn't failed spectacularly.

Quote:
But we were talking Sumner. France has a generous welfare state and they've been at 9-12% unemployment for a quarter century. Sumner acknowledges the demand problem. After easing, what if unemployment stays high? Because I'm betting it will.
How much of that will be because of skills deterioration from the fact that we're too busy being afraid of the deficit and non-existent inflation than trying to get to full employment.
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