Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice

Infinite Video Screen Pendulum

Innovation and the Bell Labs Miracle -

Innovation and the Bell Labs Miracle -


how to be a good teacher?

'The Juice Ain’t Worth the Squeeze

U.S. Pays $237,000 for Pashto Translators

Have Labour Will Trave

Why the pendulum has swung from labor to capital.

"Many commentators about globalisation said that it would create an imbalance between labour and capital, for the simple reason that capital is free to move wherever it wants, and labour, except at the very top end, is not. And so it is turning out, with the middle classes of much of the developed world under extreme pressure, and shrinking."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mitt Romney's Wingman

Mitt Romney's Wingman:

... here's the essence of [Ron Paul's] attack: Rick Santorum was a Republican US senator when George W. Bush was president!

It just shows how far things have come in the GOP, when supporting Dubya means you weren't a real conservative.

Did Obama Turn Around the Economy?

More Evidence of the Tilt between Capital & Labor

Companies complain that they cannot find good workers. Manufacturing unit labor costs have declined 10 percent since 2002. But the price mark up over unit labor costs has increased dramatically.

Econbrowser: The 2012 <I>Economic Report of the President</I>

Restraining unit labor costs is a right-wing conspiracy

This is one of the important points to remember when debating income inequality. The scales have been tilted between labor and capital. It is about more than productivity. It is certainly much more than a debate about levels of taxation.

interfluidity � Restraining unit labor costs is a right-wing conspiracy

Monday, February 20, 2012

Inventing on Principle

Not sure what can be learned listening to this lecture, except the fact that this guy is really smart. Like watching a Michael Jordan video on how to dunk.

Bret Victor: Inventing on Principle | The Big Picture

Why doesn’t right favor looser monetary policy?

The implications of this are stunning. They do not because it just doesn't sound right.

Why doesn’t the right-wing favor looser monetary policy? — Marginal Revolution

Can You Test For Love?

Maybe Too Much Money is not a Problem.

Given the size of the stakes, there could arguably be more money in politics. On the other hand, lobbying is really cheap and efficient.

RealClearPolitics - The Super PAC Confusion

Manufacturing shortage of skilled workers

This is because companies are unwilling to spend money to train their workers. They are lobbying the government to do this for free. Contrast this with the recent posts about Ivy League and banking. Investment banks are willing to spend a lot of money training workers even though they only expect them to stay for two years.

U.S. manufacturing sees shortage of skilled factory workers - The Washington Post

Beat the Press elaborates on the incompetence of the managers interviewed in the article. 

Santorum Is Not Funny

This is another case where Republicans convince people by rhetoric to vote against their own best interests. Republican platforms will all spend less money on disability services. Yet Santorum uses claims that liberals want to "cull the ranks of disabled" as attempt to drive a cultural wedge between middle class and democratic candidates.

Brad DeLong: Harold Pollack: Santorum Is Not Funny

Is This the End of Market Democracy?

Inequality has become one theme of the 2012 election. Differences in tax policy are the most recognizable. Each side represents contrasting solutions to the "weakening of social fabric associated with contemporary economic trends and the damage that can be inflicted by market forces."

Is This the End of Market Democracy? -

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chinese Labor, Cheap No More

NYT wishful thinking.

Chinese Labor, Cheap No More -

Where are the editors?
Hourly rate has gone up, but still one of cheapest in Asia.

Internet and Cognitive Inequality

The Internet is a Major Driver of the Growth of Cognitive Inequality | Mother Jones:

Moral of the story: the internet makes dumb people dumber and smart people smarter. If you don't know how to use it, or don't have the background to ask the right questions, you'll end up with a head full of nonsense. But if you do know how to use it, it's an endless wealth of information. Just as globalization and de-unionization have been major drivers of the growth of income inequality over the past few decades, the internet is now a major driver of the growth of cognitive inequality. Caveat emptor.


If you are so smart, what would you do?

Obama’s Recovery?

Manufacturing Illusions

Unions are an integral element in addressing income inequality.

Robert Reich (Manufacturing Illusions)

Friday, February 17, 2012

10 Catholic Teachings Santorum Rejects

Is America More Conservative?

On social issues, one could argue that America is actually much more liberal than in 1960.

Is America Becoming More Conservative? Why? | The Big Picture

Milestone in the Resurgence of the Auto Industry

Moochers Against Welfare

The Politics of the Super Rich

The impact of wealthy givers on this election is dramatically different.

" In a recent segment of his show, Stephen Colbert noted that half of the money ($67 million) raised by super PACs in 2011 had come from just 22 people. “That’s 7 one-millionths of 1 percent," or roughly .000000071%, Colbert said while spraying a fire extinguisher on his fuming calculator.�“So Occupy Wall Street, you’re going to want to change those signs.”

Tomgram: Ari Berman, The Politics of the Super Rich | TomDispatch:

Iran Unlikely to Strike First

Of course not. Containment works. All this talk of first strike is crazy.

Iran Unlikely to Strike First, U.S. Official Says - Bloomberg

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Walmart Should Pay Its Employees More

Why strong unions are needed:

"Low-wage service jobs are not low-paid because they are low-skilled. They're low-paid because they're low-paid. Companies don't have to pay their employees more, so they don't."

Monday, February 13, 2012

What is Stephen Roach Smoking?

What is Stephen Roach Smoking?

Volcker on Volcker

Can the Working Class Be Saved?

The Bell Curve’s Toll

The American Conservative � The Bell Curve’s Toll

Electronic Security

Rent Control,

Economic fairy tales. Things are not always what models predict they would be.

Rent Control, Redux | Angry Bear - Financial and Economic Commentary

Law Protects Graham’s Son but Not Afghan Kids

Afghan Report Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read

This Chart Is a Lonely Hunter

Labor's Declining Share of Total Income

CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST: Labor's Declining Share of Total Income:

"Economists have identified three long-term factors that can explain why the wage-productivity gap has widened and the share of income accruing to labor has declined. The first is the decrease in the bargaining power of labor, due to changing labor market policies and a decline of the more unionized sectors. Another factor is increased globalization and trade openness, with the resulting migration of relatively more labor-intensive sectors from advanced economies to emerging economies. As a consequence, the sectors remaining in the advanced economies are relatively less labor-intensive, and the average share of labor income is lower. The third factor is technological change connected with improvements in information and communication technologies, which has raised the marginal productivity and return to capital relative to labor."

The 2012 Question

Only 9% of benefits go to those who might be demeaned as "slackers". Most benefits go to over 65 and disabled.

The 2012 Question | Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

Expanded Role for Elite Military Forces

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

What's So "Super" about Super PACs?

Time to Pull the Plug on Hedge Funds?

Uselessness of learning foreign languages?

How America made its children crazy

Asia Times Online :: How America made its children crazy:

The most successful people are not the cleverest in terms of sheer processing power, but those who multiply cleverness with persistence.

Whitewash of Foxconn

Are companies for the benefit of shareholders or stakeholders?

Wired’s Embarrassing Whitewash of Foxconn � naked capitalism

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

On Unions

Who says the Ivy League is a bastion of liberalism?

Lessons on Economics and Politics for the Post: Democracies Have Unions | Beat the Press

What does ‘Keynesian’ really mean?

What is the fiscal multiplier?

It depends.

FRBSF Economic Letter: Government Spending: An Economic Boost? (2012-04, 2/6/2012):

What does this literature tell policymakers and others trying to assess the impact of fiscal policy changes? It is an inconvenient reality that this literature provides an enormous range of multiplier estimates, ranging from –1 to 3. However, this range is not so much a reflection of disagreement over an underlying parameter as it is a reflection of one of the key lessons of this research—that there is no single multiplier that can be applied mechanically to all situations

Truth, lies and Afghanistan

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Brad DeLong: Quote of the Day: February 4, 2012

Brad DeLong: Quote of the Day: February 4, 2012

An odd question

An illustrative example of the problem of our government; no grownups.

TheMoneyIllusion � An odd question:

The problem is that the other half of our policy regime is not run by grown-ups.� So Bernanke is forced to talk to Congress in much the same way I used to talk to my daughter about the tooth fairy.� He can’t simply go to Congress and lay “the facts of life” out on the table, because they can’t handle the truth.� They aren’t mentally equipped to deal with the reality that fiscal and monetary stimulus are two ways to boost AD, and if they do more the Fed will probably do less.�

Tax Expenditures & Federal Budget

Local Governments Still a Drag on the Economy

Friday, February 03, 2012

Bernanke to Savers: We don't owe you a living

A Dash of Insight: Bernanke to Savers: We don't owe you a living:

Bernanke is a Republican, with a conservative background.� This is typical for Fed Chairs.
If President Bush had been re-elected, the current GOP fiscal argument would be different.� There would be support for stimulus, including both tax cuts or spending.� If you do not believe this, look back in history to the end of the Bush administration.
If President Bush had been re-elected, the GOP monetary story would be different.� They would be screaming for easy money, as both parties have always done, including past GOP administrations, and including Bush senior.
Paul Ryan is an ambitious and aspiring VP candidate who has a theme that resonates --- balancing the budget.� It is an effective political argument -- for the party out of power.

Private Equity and “Job Creation"

The Problem with the Profit Motive in Finance - Justin Fox - Harvard Business Review

The Problem with the Profit Motive in Finance - Justin Fox - Harvard Business Review