And yet, we must never forget that our causal beliefs are defined by their limitations. For too long, we’ve pretended that the old problem of causality can be cured by our shiny new knowledge. If only we devote more resources to research or dissect the system at a more fundamental level or search for ever more subtle correlations, we can discover how it all works. But a cause is not a fact, and it never will be; the things we can see will always be bracketed by what we cannot. And this is why, even when we know everything about everything, we’ll still be telling stories about why it happened. It’s mystery all the way down.
The picture that emerges is one in which employment growth in high productivity, tradable industries is constrained at the rate of housing supply growth in skilled cities. And that rate is slow; for much of the past decade, Houston approved about ten times more new housing each year than San Jose. Value creation in high productivity cities continues, but a lot of that value is siphoned off through taxes and transfered to residents of low productivity cities, who use it to buy non-tradable services. That dynamic would seem to be the main mechanism through which America has been generating net job growth over the past two decades.
Ron Paul is wrong about a lot, but he is right about this:
We have to move back from a Department of Offense and Empire to a Department of Defense and Security. We need to let go of paranoia. The cycle of fear has already done immeasurable damage to the constitution, the economy and regional stability and security (watch Iraq and Afghanistan implode in the next few years).
For nearly 100 years we have tried to stop runs with government guarantees--deposit insurance, generous lender of last resort, and bailouts. That patch leads to huge moral hazard. Giving a banker a bailout guarantee is like giving a teenager keys to the car and a case of whisky. So, we appoint regulators who are supposed to stop the banks from taking risks, in a hopeless arms race against smart MBAs, lawyers and lobbyists who try to get around the regulation, and though we allow-nay, we encourage and subsidize--expansion of run-prone assets.
The Great Recession provided Democrats a chance to reconnect with working and middle-class whites. But this chance was squandered by the end of 2009. Obama focused his first year on the Democratic issue of the age (universal health care) instead of the issue of the time (the dire economy). That mistake, like progressives’ over-reading of Obama’s 2008 victory, continues to distort Democrats’ understanding of the daunting electoral terrain before them.
We need a better press corps. This paragraph, one of the only data points in the story, contradicts the premise of the entire article. Don't they use editors at the NYT?
But a broad survey of about 100 public retirement systems suggests a rate of retirement that has remained within a relatively steady range in recent years, said Keith Brainard, research director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. “Before I would call this a trend, it would need to continue for another year or two,” he said.
In a community regulated by laws of demand and supply, but protected from open violence, the persons who become rich are, generally speaking, industrious, resolute, proud, covetous, prompt, methodical, sensible, unimaginative, insensitive, and ignorant. �The persons who remain poor are the entirely foolish, the entirely wise, the idle, the reckless, the humble, the thoughtful, the dull, the imaginative, the sensitive, the well-informed, the improvident, the irregularly and impulsively wicked, the clumsy knave, the open thief, and the entirely merciful, just, and godly person.
"The action leaves some important matters unchanged. No government has brought its budget under control. No political impasse has been broken. No bank has become better capitalized. No wages within the euro zone have adjusted to address their misalignment. And yet the markets are in a state of euphoria. It is like watching Ben Bernanke play Peter Pan, the European banks as an ailing Tinkerbell, and the stock market as the audience, fervently proclaiming "We believe in fairies!""