Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings… (June 12, 2019)

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  1. John Holbo: “You, for example, are being slightly rude, asking such questions of religious people!: ‘But… it is not usually taken as rude in religious circles to ask of people: Will you be on the left or the right “when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory…'” Oh absolutely. Rude to challenge people about their religious beliefs. Because that’s religious liberty. But it’s not rude for religious people to challenge non-religious people abut their beliefs. Because that’s religious liberty. Purest proof of ‘liberty’ = ‘privilege’ here!…

  2. Brian Lyman: ‘Where Was the Lord?’: On Jefferson Davis’ Birthday, 9 Slave Testimonies

  3. When the person driving the car becomes so exercised by the derogeance inflicted upon newlyweds Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill and Jennie Jerome by their parents’ failure to give them the capital sum to purchase a Stately Home in which to entertain that she misses the turnoff to the Jacksonville airport…

  4. Duncan Black: Do You Even Have Friends: “A legitimate joke about conservatives is they occasionally stumble upon a problem that directly impacts them or their family or friends and suddenly become liberals… on only that issue. Learn to generalize…

  5. Doug Jones: Amplifier Lakes: “Paleontologists and paleoanthropologists are busy sorting out what was special about the climate and ecology of Africa, especially East Africa, that contributed to various phases of hominin evolution… particular times when lakes were flickering in and out of existence along the… East African Rift Valley… a rich (sometimes) but also a particularly challenging environment…. Lewis Dartnell’s very recent Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History…

  6. When and why did the brain eater eat the brain of this guy?: Nick Confessore: “‘[Does] secular liberalism ha[ve] a kind of stopping point that accepts the continued not just existence but flourishing of conservative religious traditions?’ I haven’t yet encountered a liberal answer to this question in the current instance…. Anyone have a recommendation for a piece on the left engaging with that point?” Parker Molloy: “The premise is insane, Nick. There’s not a reasonable rebuttal to it. It’s honestly scary that there are people willing to view the argument as a reasonable position in the first place. We live in a world where it’s legal for a Christian business owner to fire an employee for being gay, but illegal for a gay business owner to fire someone for being Christian…

  7. Charles Jones (1994): “Economic Growth and the Relative Price of Capital,” Journal of Monetary Economics 34, pp. 359-82 https://delong.typepad.com/jones94.pdf

  8. John Amato: Donald: Federal Reserve Are ‘Not His People’ Even Though He Chose 4 Out Of 5: “He apparently forgot that the current Fed panel is one of his creation…

  9. George Orwell (1936): The Road to Wigan Pier

  10. Dan Nexon: Trump Change: Grift and Graft in the New Gilded Age: “Republican concern about many matters – such as the role of congress in overseeing the executive branch and best practices when it comes to securing classified information–extends only so far as partisan political considerations dictates. The same is obviously true of kleptocracy. However, just because the GOP couldn’t care less doesn’t mean that we need to normalize it…

  11. Mark Sullivan: Sign in with Apple Puts Apple’s Privacy Stance to Work: “Sign in with Apple is an impressive, privacy-friendly alternative to one of the main data-harvesting techniques used by its rivals. And Apple isn’t just offering it up as a new option for developers. It will require apps that include sign-in buttons powered by other companies to add its new button as well…


  1. Samuel Bowles and Wendy Carlin: What Students Learn in Economics 101: Time for a Change: “We make the case for a shift in what students learn in a first economics course, taking as our exemplar Paul Samuelson’s paradigm-setting 1948 text. In the shadow of the Great Depression, Samuelson made Keynesian economics an essential component of what every economics student should know. By contrast, leading textbooks today were first written in the glow of the Great Moderation and the tamed cyclical fluctuations in the two decades prior to 2007. Here, using topic modeling, we document Samuelson’s novelty and the evolution of the content of introductory texts since. And we advance three propositions. First, as was the case in the aftermath of the Great Depression, new problems now challenge the content of our introductory courses; these include mounting economic disparities, climate change, concerns about the future of work, and financial instability. Second, the tools required to address these problems, including strategic interaction, limited information, principal-agent models, new behavioral foundations, and dynamic processes including instability and path-dependence, are available (indeed widely taught in PhD programs). And third, as we will illustrate by reference to a new open access introductory text, a course using these tools can be accessible, engaging, coherent and, as a result, successfully taught to first year students. The ‘new economics’ deployed to address the new problems, following Samuelson’s example, provides the basis for integrating not only micro- and macroeconomics but also the analysis of both market failures and the limits of government interventions…

  2. Adam Server: Conservatives Bend the Knee to Trump and Neofascism: “Ross Douthat gets political/moral problem with ‘post fusionist’ US conservatism: it relies upon ginning up racial resentment to win elections. But he misses this: Euro con populists accepts social democracy that US pop right can’t imagine. My problem with this is that it doesn’t engage with the possibility that Trump’s ethnonationalism might not be some kind of subsequent aberration that Trump stapled to his ‘populism’ once that won him the election, but rather the actual reason his populism helped win GOP primary… Richard Yeselson: “It was both—it was white, social democratic gerontocracy SS/Medicare) + racial/nativist/anti-feminist resentment… Greg Sargent: “Yes, I agree. There was a real economic populism buried in all of it. But that turned out to be as ‘weak as straw’ compared to the ethnonationalism, as Orwell put it in a somewhat different context… Adam Serwer: “The real debate here is over whether to pursue a one party illiberal ‘democracy’ where the state crushes its political critics and polices cultural expressions deemed “degenerate,” or whether to adhere to small-l liberal democracy. Everyone is too ashamed to say this directly)…

  3. American Conservative fusionism was always weird: anti-Communists, those who saw Israel as the spearhead of the U.S.’s Cold War panoply, plutocrats, anti-unionists, low-taxers, racists who wanted the federal government to stop interfering with white supremacy, gay-bashers, patriarchs, and those desperate to keep women in their previous place—it was a group considerably less attractive to anyone than even, say, George Orwell’s parody of the left as composed of “every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ’Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England… asks me to say ’whether my diet is ordinary or vegetarian’… [a] kind of thing is by itself sufficient to alienate plenty of decent people. But the current war that those social conservatives who want Blacks, women, and gays to get back in their place are waging against their soi-disant small-government regulatory-rollback allies is quite something. This puts it best: Forrest Chump: “Being into Christendom for the racism and the hierarchy is a heck of a take”. Read Jane Coasten to get a sense of what is going on, but be sure to recognize that most of it is a bunch of people trying to figure out how they can still support Trump 100% and still think of themselves as good people: Jane Coasten: David French vs. Sohrab Ahmari and the Battle Dividing Conservatives, Explained: “First Things… a broadside against ‘fusionism’… for… ‘severing of the link between sex and gender’ and… olding ‘investors and “job creators” above workers and citizens’… fail[ing] to retard… the eclipse of permanent truths, family stability, communal solidarity, and much else… surrender[ing] to the pornographization of daily life, to the culture of death, to the cult of competitiveness… bow[ing] to a poisonous and censorious multiculturalism’…. What kind of moral compromises should conservatives make to win a cultural or political battle? Should conservatism aim to persuade liberals or inoculate conservatives against liberalism? Should conservatism care what private citizens do in their bedrooms or boardrooms or places of worship? The debate over libertarianism and conservatism, and over Ahmari and French, isn’t just about what conservatives believe. It’s about what conservatism is…

  4. I would have thought that the honchos who run the Atlantic Monthly would have recognized that Jeffrey Goldberg was a bad choice for editor before they hired him. I would have thought that the honchos who run the Atlantic Monthly would have recognized that Jeffrey Goldberg was a bad choice for editor when he tried to hire Kevin “let’s hang women who have had abortions” Williamson as somebody whose “whose force of intellect and acuity of insight” was just what the Atlantic needed. Let’s see if they recognize that Jeffrey Goldberg was a bad choice for editor now: Duncan Black: Twitter Thread: “Jeffrey Goldberg is a monster. tTe editors who paid him at the New Yorker are monsters and the Atlantic is horrible…” Doug J.: “Some of the stuff Conor writes there must be among the worst writing ever to appear in a commercial magazine…” Scott Gosnell: “What is it now???…” Ms. Informed: “Jeffrey Goldberg doesn’t think women can write long form journalism. I think he meant he doesn’t want to read writers that are women…” Jeffrey Goldberg: “It’s really, really hard to write a 10,000 word cover story. There are not a lot of journalists in America who can do it. The journalists in America who do it are almost exclusively white males…” Helen Rosner: “Imagine not only saying this but actually believing it…” Scott Lemieux: “Oh, look, here’s the editor of the f—ing Atlantic Monthly asserting that the people writing longform articles are ‘almost exclusively white males’. Like saying it out loud.·It’s just astounding that he would say that…” Karen Cox: “Doesn’t he know that there are quite a few women who have written entire books?…” Ostrich Jacket: “Obviously females don’t write long form—their muscle structure and bone density means that they will konk out at 4500 words every time…

  5. And, yes, Dean Baquet is a horrible, horrible, horrible editor for The New York Times: Jay Rosen: Twitter Thread: “@farhio writes about a ‘late-dawning recognition by mainstream news organizations, which until fairly recently shied away…’ The recognition? The president is a chronic liar and does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. ‘The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, has said his newsroom strives to use the word [lie] “judiciously” because using it repeatedly “could feed the mistaken notion that we’re taking political sides.” Alt reasoning: if Trump lies repeatedly, then you use the word repeatedly…. This was never a question of ‘is it accurate to say he lies?’ It was never about truthtelling at all. The entire debate was how about how to… APPEAR innocent, unbiased, unaligned…. Taking four years to wake up to his chronic lying means that recognition of this fact is dim, as well: His refusal to be briefed, the undermining of climate science, his contempt for intelligence agencies, the put down of diplomacy, attacks on the press, his lying— all one thing. That the press got hung up on intent—’how can we know his intent?’—was striking to me because in the savvy style of analysis nothing is more quotidian than journalists at the capital confidently revealing a politician’s intent during some run-of-the-mill strategy discussion…

  6. Stacey Perman: No, Atlantic Editor Jeffrey Goldberg Was Not Misquoted: “Goldberg was… quoted…. ‘It’s really, really hard to write a 10,000-word cover story. There are not a lot of journalists in America who can do it. The journalists in America who do it are almost exclusively white males.’… Twitter was not amused…. Goldberg took to Twitter to suggest that he’d been misquoted and that the magazine had asked for a correction.

  7. A must-see: an incredibly engaging interview with Columbia’s Alexander Hertel-Fernandez: Worker and Management Preferences for Specific Aspects of Labor Organization

  8. The differences between Clinton’s NAFTA—which Trump called the worst trade deal ever—and the Trump-Lighthizer’s USMCA—of which Trump is very, very, very proud indeed: GREATEST TRADE DEAL EVER!! MAKES AMERICA GREAT!!!!—are either (a) trivial, (b) parts of the Trump-nuked Trans-Pacific Partnership, or (c) changes in auto parts rules of origin that are not on the manufacturers’ wish list and are not really on the United Auto Workers’ wish-list either. How did this happen? Nobody I communicate has yet managed to figure this out. Why are Trump and Lighthizer so proud. Nobody I communicate has yet managed to figure this out. Go figure: Jack Caporal and William Alan Reinsch: From NAFTA to USMCA: What’s New and What’s Next?: “Automotive rules of origin: USMCA will require that 75 percent of auto content be made in North America… 40-45 percent must be made by workers that earn at least $16 an hour… essentially a U.S. or Canada content requirement…. The special arbitration mechanism contained in NAFTA that allowed investors to sue NAFTA countries for discriminatory actions will be phased out between the United States and Canada, and its coverage will be significantly trimmed for investors in Mexico…. The United States was able to win access to Canada’s heavily protected dairy, egg, and poultry markets while allowing Canada to export more dairy, peanuts, and sugar products to the United States…. USMCA contains provisions on digital trade similar to those negotiated in TPP…

  9. Parker Molloy: HOW THE F—!?!?!? does Jeffrey Goldberg have any job in media anymore, let alone as the editor-in-chief of one of the remaining magazines in the country? THANKS FOR THE WAR, JEFF…

  10. Cognitive dissonance and societal dysfunction in dealing with the challenges of global warming: Miami real estate edition: Sarah Miller: Heaven or High Water: “Selling Miami’s last 50 years: ‘Sunny day flooding’ is flooding where water comes right up from the ground, hence the name, and yes, it can certainly rain during sunny day flooding, and yes, that makes it worse. Sunny day flooding happens in many parts of Miami, but it is especially bad in Sunset Harbour, the low-lying area on Miami Beach’s west side. The sea level in Miami has risen ten inches since 1900… will rise in Miami Beach somewhere between 13 and 34 inches by 2050. By 2100, it is extremely likely to be closer to six feet, which means, unless you own a yacht and a helicopter, sayonara. Sunset Harbour is expected to fare slightly worse, and to do so more quickly. Thus, I felt the Sunset Harbour area was a good place to start pretending to buy a home here. Amazingly, in the face of these incontrovertible facts about the climate the business of luxury real estate is chugging along just fine, and I wanted to see the cognitive dissonance up close…

  11. James Davis Nicoll: More, Please! Authors We Wish Would Publish More Often: “Elizabeth Willey wrote three gloriously baroque fantasies: The Well-Favored Man, and the duology prequel, A Sorcerer and a Gentleman, and The Price of Blood and Honor. All were part of her Kingdom of Argylle Trilogy. The first novel in particular, with its family of squabbling quasi-immortals, was enchanting. All three have come back into print after a generation of being out of print. It would be wonderful if more works, in Argylle or elsewhere, followed…

  12. Methinks St. Paul spent a little too much time pouring over the First Book of Enoch back in the day. Let women uncover their hair in church, where thy are in the sight of the angels, and the next thing you know they are cohabiting, the angels are teaching the women the dividing of roots and trees, and the women are giving birth to very large carnivorous giants: Paul: 1 Corinthians 11:5: “Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head…. A man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man…. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head, because of the angels…” Cf.: Pseudoenoch: 1 Enoch 7:1: “After the sons of men had multiplied… daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children…. Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred…. Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees. And the women conceiving brought forth giants, whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; when they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; and began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood…

  13. Friend of Equitable Growth Elise Gould on how minimum wage increases are having powerful positive while—so far at least—no negative impacts: Elise Gould: “Look! In states with a minimum wage increase between 2013 and 2018, the 10th percentile wage grew 50% faster than in states without any increase. On the other hand, median wage growth was similar in states that did and did not increase their minimum wage in that same period…

  14. Mark Thoma sends us to: Marco Tabellini: Lessons from the Age of Mass Migration | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal: “Gifts of the immigrants, woes of the natives: Recent waves of immigration in the US and Europe have triggered debate around the economic and political impact. This column uses evidence from migration of Europeans to the US in the first half of the 20th century to show that large cultural differences can incite anti-immigrant sentiment despite their positive economic impact. Therefore, policymakers should give due attention to cultural assimilation and cohesion policies…

  15. Will McGrew: Investments in early childhood education improve outcomes for program participants—and perhaps other children too: “Zerpa constructs the largest and most representative dataset of targeted and universal state preschool programs in the United States, using individual-level data from the Current Population Survey and the National Health Interview Survey to analyze the short- and medium-term effects of early childhood education on academic outcomes…

  16. John Holbo: Twitter Thread: “Michael Brendan Dougherty says, reasonably, that Catholics should do some institutional soul-searching, not attributing all misfortunes to rampant liberalism…. But once you notice that buried lede MBD digs out, you can’t help but notice a bigger one[:]… ‘Liberty… as formerly understood’ under pressure… is something that is true of the BEST fights for freedom and rights. It is not a danger sign…. Women’s rights resisted because it felt like denial of liberty (men’s former liberties). African-Americans. Civil rights, a gross affront to white liberty. Anti-slavery = vicious assault on liberty…. ײַt is weird to point out that some of these changing attitudes might be due to changes in-weaknesses in-the church-rather than symptoms of some monstrous cancer-growth of liberalism beyond its healthy bounds. But then NOT to point out…

  17. Menzie Chinn: Recession Anxieties, June 2019: “Different forward looking models show increasing likelihood of a recession. Most recent readings of key series highlighted by the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee (BCDC) suggest a peak, although the critical indicator—nonfarm payroll employment—continues to rise, albeit slowly…

  18. Moral fault attaches to anybody who pays money to or works for the New York Times. You need to do better. Just saying: Jeet Heer: “They should publish two editions of the New York Times: one made up just of beat sweetener to please Trump & his staff and another that publishes just, you know, the news.” Daniel Radosh: These two articles were posted to @nytimes within an hour of each other. Seems like one of them has to be incorrect, right?…

  19. Duncan Black: Public Accommodation: “Once and not all that long ago I went on a trip with some friends. A lesbian couple. We were going hiking. I am a dumb person so it did not occur to me that checking into a hotel could be problem. It was not a problem! The lovely woman at the checkout desk was a trans woman and she was very happy to see us. But I am dumb and until that moment it did not occur to me that getting a hotel room in Pennsyltucky could be a problem. And the problem isn’t that someone might not rent to you. It’s not knowing if they will. Not knowing that when you walk into a store if you will be served. It is a concern and holy crap what a concern. Maggie Haberman once told us that Donald Trump was a friend to LGTB. This is why I tell you to cancel your New York Times subscriptions. Donald Trump has turned trans people into unpersons. I am not as dumb as I used to be…

  20. In a way, America in the twenty-first century has hit a trifecta, with respect to proving to everybody else in the world that America is not a good model—that ָָmerica now has a dysfunctional government, and behind it a dysfunctional society which appears incapable of reform. The George W. Bush administration’s foreign policy demonstrated that America—or, at least, the bipartisan foreign policy establishment to whom America had given the keys—could not assess its own or the global interest in avoiding pointless war. the blocking of policies to guarantee rapid economic recovery under the Obama administration—and the Obama administration’s fair to pull the levers it had—demonstrated that Republican elites, at least, had no concerns about getting to full employment and rapid growth if it might somehow redound to the benefit of their political adversaries. And now the Trump administration has demonstrated that when the chips are down a very large proportion of America simply does not care about freedom or democracy: is very happy putting children in cages, disenfranchising legitimate voters, and appointing stunningly incompetent officials all to own the libs. Hitting this trifecta was self-inflicted. But until we have a diagnosis and have implemented a cure, Xi Jinping can rightly say to China that we are not a superior model: Gideon Rachman: Why Donald Trump Is Great News for Xi Jinping: “Trump… likes to create a crisis, let it run a while and then announce that he has solved it… striking an agreement that he self-certifies as ‘tremendous’… [but is] superficial and the underlying issues will remain largely unaddressed. This is the model that the Trump administration has followed with North Korea, as well as with Mexico and Canada. And it is the model that is pretty clearly going to emerge in Mr Trump’s ‘trade war’ with China…. But calling off the trade war will not be the only gift from Mr Trump to Chinese president Xi Jinping. For Mr Trump has already disarmed America in an even more important battle—the battle of ideas…. America’s most potent weapon in its emerging contest for supremacy with China is… its ideas… ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ are powerful…. Sadly, that has now changed. As a candidate, Mr Trump gave a very ambiguous reply when asked about the Tiananmen massacre of 1989, stating: ‘they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength’. As president, he has made it clear that he is an admirer of authoritarian strongmen around the world…

  21. I am not sure that it is right to say that advocate of “Mothers’ Pensions” believed that “the woman’s sphere was in the home”. They certainly believed that women’s work was important, and beieved that the first and most dire need for social insurance was to make sure that mothers of children had the resources they needed to raise the next generation. But they—and here I am generalizing from my own family history: my great-grandmother Fonnie and my great-great-grandmother Florence—also recognized that their generations were having four pregnancies on average while their grandmothers had had eight, and that they were assisted in the home by an increasing amount of modern technology in the form of consumer durables. And my mother-in-law Barbara maintains to this day that the thing that most changed her life was the clothes-washing machine. Half the number of pregnancies plus consumer durables meant that a lot of female energy could be—and was—directed outside the home: Alix Gould-Werth: After Mother’s Day: Changes in Mothers’ Social Programs Over Time: “As Anna Jarvis was crusading to get Mother’s Day a place on the nation’s calendar, her peers—wealthy, white women who shared her progressive, reform-minded impulses—were laying foundation for our modern social safety net. Though most of these women chose to pursue social change rather than traditional family life, as architects of Mothers’ Pensions, they sided firmly with the view that the woman’s sphere was in the home. Mothers’ Pensions—which were passed into law state by state from 1911 to 1920—were targeted at widows and provided cash payments designed to simultaneously keep children out of orphanages and mothers out of the workplace…

  22. Nick Kapur: “Grover Cleveland Had One of the The Sketchiest Marriages.: “A bachelor upon entering office in 1883, in 1886 the 49-year-old president married 21-year-old Frances Folsom, who was 28 years his junior…. So far there’s a massive age difference, but otherwise it sounds okay. But… It turns out that Grover had known Frances since birth. He was a very close family friend and had actually gifted her family with her first baby carriage. Even worse, when Frances’s father died in 1875 without heirs or a will, a court declared Grover the executor of the estate. This put Grover in charge of supervising Frances’s upbringing and education. Frances was just 11 years old at that time…. Cleveland had been grooming his court-appointed ward perhaps since age 11 or even earlier. As soon as Frances graduated from Wells College at age 21, Grover immediately wrote her a letter proposing to her and she accepted. He had not seen her in several years, on account of being President. Grover said nothing about Frances while campaigning to be president, and kept their engagement secret until five days before their surprise White House wedding. Even by the misogynistic standards of the time, what he was doing was pretty sketchy. Grover later made a big deal about having asked Frances’s mother for permission in advance. But given that Grover had controlled the family’s finances for years, and was by then, you know, President of the United States, one wonders how much choice Frances or her mother really had…

  23. Charles Sykes: Donald Trump and the New Cruelty: “The children were not collateral damage of Trump’s policy: They were the entire point. Removing them from their parents was designed to be shocking because their trauma was intended as a deterrent. Under the New Cruelty, the pitiless separation of young children from their mothers was supposed to send a chilling message to anyone foolish enough to seek asylum here… supposed to project strength, or at least the bully’s imitation of strength. Perhaps more than any other trait, it is this that motivates Trump: his need to appear strong and his fear of looking weak. Lewandowski… is a bit player… another of the menagerie of misfit toys… feed[ing] off Trump’s sundry insecurities…

  24. David French: President Trump & Sohrab Ahmari:The Cruelty Is the Point: “Sohrab Ahmari… made three core points: Politics is ‘war and enmity’, ‘civility and decency are secondary values’, and the right should fight the culture war ‘with the aim of defeating the enemy and enjoying the spoils in the form of a public square re-ordered to the common good and ultimately the Highest Good’…. People asked, ‘But what does that look like. What do you mean when you make the case for enmity and against civility?’… It looks a lot like what Sohrab did to me in his essay and what Trump’s supporters did to me in response. A man committed to ‘enmity’ and who believes decency is secondary repeatedly misrepresented my approach to politics and my role in critical public controversies… created a fictional version of me…. a signal flare, calling a truly enormous number of committed Trump supporters to spend day after day attacking me in the most vicious of terms, including by spreading many of the same falsehoods in the original piece…. Allow the falsehoods to issue unchallenged, and you can see your reputation… left in tatters…. Respond, and the attackers… thrill to their ability to trouble you enough to trigger an answer… [which] triggers swarms of additional personal attacks often made in steadily darker terms, culminating in zombie elements of the alt-right lurching up to take their shots…. In this brave new political world, personal attacks are indispensable. A discussion of only ideas represents exactly the kind of politics the pugilists now abhor…. But it’s all for the sake of the ‘Highest Good’, right?…

  25. I’m with “ignorant” rather than “willfully wrong” here, Eric: Eric Rauchway: “Ross Douthat says: ‘The crisis of the 1930s ended happily for liberalism because a reactionary imperialist withstood Adolf Hitler and a revolutionary Bolshevik crushed him.’ This argument is at best ignorant and incomplete, and at worst willfully wrong. If you… hear any of many edited versions of Churchill’s great ‘never surrender’ speech, you might miss its major point, because often people cut it off after the words ‘never surrender’. THAT’S NOT HOW THE SPEECH ENDS. The speech is directed at the administration and the radio audience across the ocean, in the United States… ‘even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, THE NEW WORLD, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old’. That speech is a plea for American materiel, inasmuch as much British materiel—’the first-fruits of all that our industry had to give’—was left on the beach at Dunkirk…. The ‘reactionary imperialist’ needed American aid…. Certain elements didn’t want him to have it… America First… portray[ed] Roosevelt as a warmonger… the Willkie campaign in 1940 followed suit…. The Nazis financed anti-Roosevelt propaganda in the US and even tried to set up a credible left alternative to him in the 1940 election, knowing that of all US politicians, Roosevelt was the worst news for them. Roosevelt, as you know, won reelection anyway—and shortly afterward… announced… lend-lease…

  26. I wouldn’t call it “crashing”, but… And it is not just the south: Wisconsin and Kansas joined, and Michigan and Indiana and Ohio are teetering on the edge: John Cole: The Decline of the South: “…Good piece in the WSJ about the crashing economy in the south”: Sharon Nunn: The South’s Economy Is Falling Behind: ‘All of a Sudden the Money Stops Flowing’: “Since 2009, the South’s convergence has turned to divergence, as the region recorded the country’s slowest growth in output and wages, the lowest labor-force participation rate and the highest unemployment rate…. Low taxes and low wages that attracted factories and blue-collar jobs—have proven inadequate in an expanding economy where the forces of globalization favor cities with concentrations of capital and educated workers. ‘Those policies worked before, then they became fundamental constraints on the [South’s] long-term growth’, said Richard Florida, an urbanization expert at the University of Toronto…. In part because of its legacy of racial segregation the region has, relative to others, underinvested in human capital…. Against the Northeast…the South’s per capita income peaked at 79.1% of the Northeast’s level, and has since fallen to 71.6%…. Sunbelt cities like Charlotte and Atlanta have attracted both wealthier white-collar workers and retirees….Texas, with its own unique economy… is relatively urban, with five major metro centers… a thriving tech sector and ample reserves of oil and gas….Many economists say the most effective way for the South to regain its momentum would be to invest more in education, which would over time create a more skilled workforce to attract employers. But Mississippi State University economist Alan Barefield notes that is difficult to reconcile with southern states’ historic desire to keep spending and taxes low…

  27. David S. Jacks, Christopher M. Meissner, and Dennis Novy: Trade Booms, Trade Busts, and Trade Costs: “What has driven trade booms and trade busts in the past and present? We derive a micro-founded measure of trade frictions from leading trade theories and use it to gauge the importance of bilateral trade costs in determining international trade flows. We construct a new balanced sample of bilateral trade flows for 130 country pairs across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania for the period from 1870 to 2000 and demonstrate an overriding role for declining trade costs in the pre-World War I trade boom. In contrast, for the post-World War II trade boom we identify changes in output as the dominant force. Finally, the entirety of the interwar trade bust is explained by increases in trade costs…

  28. Right-wing grifters gotta grift: Jemima Kelly: The Rick Santorum-Backed Coin for Catholics: “Backing a project that combines his religious fervour with another area of modern-day fanaticism: blockchainism (thanks to Buttcoin and in particular contributor David Gerard for drawing our attention to this)… a company and soon-to-be digital coin (stablecoin, specifically) called Cathio… ‘a new payment, remittance and funding platform which provides efficient, secure, and transparent movement of funds within the Catholic world’, promising to provide a ‘turnkey solution for Catholic organizations to bring their financial transactions into alignment with their beliefs’…

  29. Barry Eichengreen: Unconventional Thinking about Unconventional Monetary Policies by Barry Eichengreen: “Defenders of central-bank independence argue that quantitative easing should have been avoided last time and is best avoided in the future, because it opens the door to political interference with the conduct of monetary policy. But political interference is even likelier if central banks shun QE in the next recession…

  30. Why Charles L. Black thought Wechsler, Bickel, and company were mendacious morons: Charles L. Black (1960): The Lawfulness of the Segregation Decisions: “IF the cases outlawing segregation 1 were wrongly decided, then they ought to be overruled… [and] will be overruled, slowly or all at once, openly or silently…. The hugely consequential error cannot stand and does not stand…. There is call for action in the suggestion that the segregation cases cannot be justified… practical and not merely intellectual significance in the question whether these cases were rightly decided. I think they were rightly decided, by overwhelming weight of reason, and I intend here to say why I hold this belief. My liminal difficulty is rhetorical-or, perhaps more accurately, one of fashion. Simplicity is out of fashion, and the basic scheme of reasoning on which these cases can be justified is awkwardly simple…. The equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment… the Negro race… is not to be significantly disadvantaged by the laws of the states…. Segregation is a massive intentional disadvantaging of the Negro race…. That is really all there is to the segregation cases. If both these propositions can be supported by the preponderance of argument, the cases were rightly decided…

  31. Is this like a human making a tool, or a bird making a nest? And what is a bird making a nest like anyway?: Dietrich Stout: Stone Age Hand Axe Shaped by Complex Brain: “Train[ing] novices to make Stone Age tools to explore the evolution of the human brain…


  1. Wikipedia: Fusionism

  2. Wikipedia: Hatfield House

  3. Hatfield House: The Old Palace

  4. Edward Feser: Hayek and Fusionism: “Central planning of the socialist kind is impossible, for no would-be planner could have the knowledge requisite to doing the job. Only prices generated in a capitalist economy can encapsulate the scattered and otherwise ungatherable information needed for rational economic activity, and individuals responding to price signals in the marketplace ensure the most efficient allocation of resources as is practically possible. But there are moral and social implications as well. For tradition, in Hayek’s view, plays a role similar to that of the price system, embodying the inchoate moral insights of millions of individuals scattered across countless generations, and sensitive to far more information than is available to any individual reformer or revolutionary. The radical moral innovator, who falsely assumes he can design from scratch new institutions superior to existing ones, suffers from a hubris analogous to that inherent in socialism. Obviously all of this calls for further development and qualification, but it is clear enough that Hayek’s thought has a decidedly fusionist tenor. The combination of free market economics and moral traditionalism is, in Hayek’s system, no shotgun wedding; both components flow organically from the same theory of knowledge. The common criticism of fusionism to the effect that it is a sheer artifice concocted for purposes of political expediency, and can have no coherent philosophical rationale, is thus without foundation. The very existence of Hayek’s philosophy proves otherwise…

  5. The Book of Common Prayer (1549): The Forme of Solemnizacion of Matrimonie

  6. Jorge Luis Borges: Three Versions of Judas: “God, argues Nils Runeberg, lowered himself to be a man for the redemption of the human race; it is reasonable to assume that the sacrifice offered by him was perfect…. In order to save us, He could have chosen any of the destinies which together weave the uncertain web of history; He could have been Alexander, or Pythagoras, or Rurik, or Jesus; He chose an infamous destiny: He was Judas…

  7. Antonio Fatas: This time might not be different: “Statistical patterns suggest that a recession is imminent. Can this time be different because large imbalances are not present? Maybe. But let’s not forget the previous times when we did not see the size and implications of the ongoing imbalances…


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