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J. Bradford DeLong
Berkeley, CA
J. Bradford DeLong is an economist teaching at the University of California at Berkeley.
Interests: history, economic history, information age, political economy, grand strategy, international relations, material culture., information technology, economics
Recent Activity
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Tom O' Bedlam's Song: >From the hag and hungry goblin,/That into rags would rend ye, The spirit that stands/By the naked man In the Book of Moons, defend ye, >That of your five sound senses,/You never be forsaken, Nor wander from/Yourselves with Tom, Abroad to beg your bacon. >While I do sing "Any food, any feeding?/Money, drink, or clothing? Come dame or maid,/Be not afraid-- Poor Tom will injure nothing." >Of thirty bare years have I,/Twice twenty been enraged, And of forty been/Three times fifteen, in durance soundly caged, >In the lordly lofts of Bedlam,/With the stubble soft and dainty, Brave bracelets strong,/Sweet whips ding-dong, With wholesome hunger plenty. >While I do sing "Any food, any feeding?/Money, drink, or clothing? Come dame or maid,/Be not afraid-- Poor Tom will injure nothing." >With a thought I took for Maudlin,/And a cruse of cockle pottage. With a thing thus tall,/Sky bless you all, I befell into this dotage. >I slept not since the Conquest,/Till then I never waked. Till the roguish boy/Of love where I lay Me found and stripped me naked. >While I do sing "Any food, any feeding?/Money, drink, or clothing? Come dame or maid,/Be not afraid-- Poor Tom will... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Czar Nicholas of Russia exchange telegrams: >In the early hours of July 29, 1914, Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his first cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, begin a frantic exchange of telegrams regarding the newly erupted war in the Balkan region and the possibility of its escalation into a general European war. >One day prior, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia, one month after the assassination in Sarajevo of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife by a Serbian nationalist. In the wake of the killings, Germany had promised Austria-Hungary its unconditional support in whatever punitive action it chose to take towards Serbia, regardless of whether or not Serbia's powerful ally, Russia, stepped into the conflict. By the time an ultimatum from Vienna to Serbia was rejected on July 25, Russia, defying Austro-German expectations, had already ordered preliminary mobilization to begin, believing that Berlin was using the assassination crisis as a pretext to launch a war to shore up its power in the Balkans. >The relationship between Nicholas and Wilhelm, two grandsons of Britain's Queen Victoria, had long been a rocky one. Though Wilhelm described himself as Victoria's favorite grandson, the great queen... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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[**Over at Project Syndicate**](http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/j--bradford-delong-assesses-the-ict-revolution-s-ongoing-impact-on-the-middle-class_) Ten years ago we had ridden the bust of the internet bubble, picked ourselves up, and continued on. It was true that it had turned out to be harder than people expected to profit from tutoring communications technologies. That, however spoke to the division of the surplus between consumers and producers--not the surplus from the technologies. The share of demand spent on such technologies looked to be rising. The mindshare of such technologies looked to be rising much more rapidly. [**READ MOAR at Equitable Growth**](http://equitablegrowth.org/2014/07/29/project-syndicate-internets-next-act-tuesday-focus-july-29-2014/) Thus a decade ago we—or at least I—could look forward semi-confidently to more of the measured North Atlantic prosperity-frontier productivity growth rates characteristic of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1990s, and the fading of the anemic Nixonian 1970s and Reaganite 1980s into memory. Virtual experiences and information would become an increasing part of what we cared about and become essentially free. Stuff would become hyper-cheap. And capabilities would be pulled along in the gravity of the other two. Nearly all citizens of the North Atlantic would then find the material world, at least, to be a cornucopia. How have we gone awry? First, the virtual-experiences-and-information part is coming true. Gossiping with and... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**:** 2013 What's Hot and What's Not in the Legal Profession - Attorney at Work - Attorney at Work: "PRACTICE AREAS RED HOT Energy. In many parts of the United States and certain foreign markets. Regulatory. Particularly in health care, energy and financial services. Health Care. The Affordable Care Act adds more confusion to a broad and complex area. HOT Financial Services. Including banking. IPOs. They have been surprisingly hot but may be showing signs of cooling. Litigation. Although, except for “bet the company” suits, it varies widely by firm. Large companies continue to send work to midsize and smaller firms due to lower rates. Labor and Employment. Collective bargaining is just one of many reasons. Intellectual Property. Patent litigation continues to be hot because of infringement claims filed by “patent trolls.” Now Garmin International claims to be the first company to fight back by using a new process, inter partes review (IPR), to avoid litigation. Trademark suits have also increased. Patent prosecution continues to be hot. Real Estate. Due in part to a big increase in multi-family developments. Corporate. Despite general counsels’ efforts to keep more work in-house. Midsize and even some smaller firms continue to receive more work... Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org)--[The Equitablog](http://equitablegrowth.org/blog)** * Afternoon Must-Read: Danny Vinik: Richard Fisher Has Wrongly Warned of Inflation 5 Times Since 2011 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Is U.S. at Immediate Risk of Becoming "Argentina"?: Monday Smackdown/The Honest Broker for the Week of July 12, 2014 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Monetarist, Keynesian, and Minskyite Depressions Once Again: Yes, Lloyd Metzler Was the Greatest Chicago Macroeconomist Ever: The Honest Broker for the Week of July 19, 2014 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Gabriel Chodorow-Reich: Financial Stability and Monetary Policy | Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Fabian Pfeffer et al.: Wealth Levels, Wealth Inequality, and the Great Recession | Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Lunchtime Must-Read: Simon Wren-Lewis: Synthesis!? David Beckworth's Insurance Policy | Washington Center for Equitable Growth * **Nick Bunker:** The retail sector and the future of American wages | Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Plus:** * Things to Read on the Evening of July 28, 2014 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Should-Reads:** 1. **Yuriy Gorodnichenko:** MH17: "The separatists, or more appropriately terrorists, have by now killed hundreds of people in Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk, Luhansk and many... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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[**Over at Equitable Growth:**](http://equitablegrowth.org/2014/07/28/u-s-immediate-risk-becoming-argentina-monday-smackdownthe-honest-broker-week-july-26-2014/) I have been waiting to post this until now when there are only twelve months before the end date of my bet with Noah Smith on whether inflation would break 5% over any twelve-month period without a high-pressure labor market. I took the "no". He took the "yes" and did so, from my perspective, irrationally--he only took 50-1, while he should have demanded odds an order of magnitude greater. That the final twelve-month window of our bet is now running means it is time to set out my thoughts on the [*trahison des clercs*](http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/02/opinion/krugman-why-economics-failed.html) of so much of the academic economics profession over the past seven years. [**READ MOAR**](http://equitablegrowth.org/2014/07/28/u-s-immediate-risk-becoming-argentina-monday-smackdownthe-honest-broker-week-july-26-2014/) The way I put it is this: We academic economists knew what to do do deal with the financial crisis that started in 2007 and to quickly restore normal levels of output relative to potential and of potential output growth. It was (a) not to do what Japan did in the 1990s, and (b) take the advice of a long line of policy-oriented economists starting from the Say-Malthus debate of the 1810s and 1820s (which Malthus won) and continuing through Mill, Bagehot, Wicksell, Keynes, Minsky, Kindleberger, Tobin,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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Emperor Franz Joseph: >Ischl, July 28. >Dear Count Stürgkh: >I have resolved to instruct the Ministers of my Household and Foreign Affairs to notify the Royal Serbian Government of the beginning of a state of war between the Monarchy and Serbia. In this fateful hour I feel the need of turning to my beloved peoples. I command you, therefore, to publish the inclosed manifesto. >MANIFESTO. >To my peoples! It was my fervent wish to consecrate the years which, by the grace of God, still remain to me, to the works of peace and to protect my peoples from the heavy sacrifices and burdens of war. Providence, in its wisdom, has otherwise decreed. The intrigues of a malevolent opponent compel me, in the defense of the honor of my Monarchy, for the protection of its dignity and its position as a power, for the security of its possessions, to grasp the sword after long years of peace. >With a quickly forgetful ingratitude, the Kingdom of Serbia, which, from the first beginnings of its independence as a State until quite recently, had been supported and assisted by my ancestors, has for years trodden the path of open hostility to Austria-Hungary. When, after... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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**Ken Thomas:** Middle Class Political Economist: Stephen Moore (Heritage, of course) can't even get his cherry-picked data right: "If you have had the stomach to read the malarkey that the Heritage Foundation puts out... >...you have no doubt noticed that many of their publications are, well, fact-challenged.... Today, I turn from Obamacare godfather Stuart Butler to the new Heritage chief economist, Stephen Moore.... SantaFeMarie sums up the sordid story of Moore's July 7 column in the Kansas City Star where, trying to defend himself and Arthur Laffer from the well-deserved ire of Paul Krugman, he claims that 0/low-tax states have seen better job growth than high-tax states. In the original article, he wrote: >>No-income-tax Texas gained 1 million jobs over the last five years, California, with its 13 percent tax rate, managed to lose jobs. Oops. Florida gained hundreds of thousands of jobs while New York lost jobs. Oops. >I hope you're sitting down. >Although this article was written in July 2014 (and the original version, in Investors Business Daily, appeared July 2), the "last five years" Moore is referring to are: December 2007, the first month of the recession, to December 2012.... He didn't use that 16 or 17... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
[**Over at Equitable Growth:**][6] I have said this before. But I seem to need to say it again... The very intelligent and thoughtful [David Beckworth][1], [Simon Wren-Lewis][2], and [Nick Rowe][3] are agreeing on New Keynesian-Market Monetarist monetary-fiscal convergence. Underpinning all of their analyses there seems to me to be the assumption that all aggregate demand shortfalls spring from the same deep market failures. And I think that that is wrong. Simon Wren-Lewis writes: I really like David Beckworth’s Insurance proposal against ‘incompetent’ monetary policy. Here it is: 1) Target the level of nominal GDP (NGDP). 2) "The Fed and Treasury... agree... should a liquidity trap emerge anyhow... quickly work together to implement a helicopter drop...." Market Monetarists and New Keynesians [do not] suddenly agree about everything... for David this is an insurance against incompetence by the central bank, whereas Keynesians... view hitting the ZLB as unavoidable if the shock is big enough. However this difference is not critical... [**READ MOAR**][6] [1]: http://macromarketmusings.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/insure-against-central-bank.html (**David Beckworth:** Macro and Other Market Musings: Insure Against Central Bank Incompetence: My Reply to the New Keynesian Strikeforce) [2]: http://mainlymacro.blogspot.com/2014/07/synthesis-david-beckworths-insurance.html (**Simon Wren Lewis:** Synthesis!? David Beckworth's Insurance Policy) [3]: http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2014/07/the-soft-fade-from-monetary-to-fiscal.html (**Nick Rowe:** The continuum from monetary to... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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Sir Edward Grey: >Count Mensdorff told me by instruction to-day that: >>the Serbian Government had not accepted the demands which the Austrian Government were obliged to address to them in order to secure permanently the most vital Austrian interests. >>Serbia showed that she did not intend to abandon her subversive aims, tending towards continuous disorder in the Austrian frontier territories and their final disruption from the Austrian Monarchy. Very reluctantly, and against their wish, the Austrian Government were compelled to take more severe measures to enforce a fundamental change of the attitude of enmity pursued up to now by Serbia. >>As the British Government knew, the Austrian Government had for many years endeavoured to find a way to get on with their turbulent neighbour, though this had been made very difficult for them by the continuous provocations of Serbia. The Serajevo murder had made clear to every one what appalling consequences the Serbian propaganda had already produced and what a permanent threat to Austria it involved. >>We would understand that the Austrian Government must consider that the moment had arrived to obtain, by means of the strongest pressure, guarantees for the definite suppression of the Serbian aspirations and for the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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Via Mark Ames: >Special Revisionism Issue **Nick Gillespie:** Did Reason Really Publish a "Holocaust Denial 'Special Issue'" in 1976? Of Course Not! Of course it's not a Holocaust Denial "Special Issue"! Only three of the seven articles--Greaves's "FDR's Watergate: Pearl Harbor" about how the real story is how the communists destroyed that anti-communist bulwark that was Imperial Japan, App's "The Sudeten German Tragedy" about just who were the real victims here, and North's "World War II Revisionism and Vietnam"--take the neo-Nazi line! Seems to me Nick Gillespie would be much better saying: "I am profoundly embarrassed. When you make it your business to publish unpopular ideas, sometimes you judge wrong and publish ideas that are unpopular for good reasons. *Reason* did that in February 1976." Instead, Gillespie writes: >Did Reason Really Publish a "Holocaust Denial 'Special Issue'" in 1976? Of Course Not: "Ames is correct that some of the contributors... >...to that issue developed an interest in or were fellow travelers with that most pathetic area of study known as Holocaust revisionism or denialism. That scurrilous topic is not the focus of any of the articles in the issue.... Various authors discuss, among other things, what sort of foreknowledge of... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**David Cay Johnston:** State’s Job Growth Defies Pessimistic Predictions After Tax Increases: "Dire predictions about jobs being destroyed... >...spread across California in 2012 as voters debated whether to enact the sales and, for those near the top of the income ladder, stiff income tax increases in Proposition 30. Million-dollar-plus earners face a 3 percentage-point increase on each additional dollar. >>It hurts small business and kills jobs,” warned the Sacramento Taxpayers Association, the National Federation of Independent Business/California, and Joel Fox, president of the Small Business Action Committee. >So what happened?... Last year California added 410,418 jobs, an increase of 2.8 percent over 2012, significantly better than the 1.8 percent national increase in jobs. California is home to 12 percent of Americans, but last year it accounted for 17.5 percent of new jobs, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.... Eleven California counties, including Sacramento, accounted for almost 1 in every 7 new jobs in the U.S. last year.... Only three California counties lost jobs.... The empirical evidence also shows that the best-paying jobs tend to be clustered in states (and countries) with high taxes. The same tends to be true of wealth creators, including the most money-motivated among scientists, and existing... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Ray Fisman:** Sweden school choice: The country’s disastrous experiment with Milton Friedman and vouchers: "Americans wring their hands over the state of our schools... >...The angst over U.S. student performance—and its implications for the American workforce of the near future—is inevitably accompanied by calls for education reform: greater accountability, more innovation.... Advocates for choice-based solutions should take a look at what’s happened to schools in Sweden, where parents and educators would be thrilled to trade their country’s steep drop in PISA scores over the past 10 years for America’s middling but consistent results. What’s caused the recent crisis in Swedish education? Researchers and policy analysts are increasingly pointing the finger at many of the choice-oriented reforms that are being championed as the way forward for American schools. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that adding more accountability and discipline to American schools would be a bad thing, it does hint at the many headaches that can come from trying to do so by aggressively introducing marketlike competition to education... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Scott Lemieux:** The Teleological Fallacy: "A good point about... Thomas Frank... >...[by] fearless navigator of our new comment system JeremyW.... >>[W]hat strikes me... is that... rather than a system where actual progressive change is difficult to win support for and subject to several veto points, he seems to think we have one where radical changes are constantly on the cusp of occurring and the whole neoliberal enterprise must be held together by a dastardly sellout president who can subvert the will of the people. >The most crucial underlying premise of Frank’s argument is that the American political economy was on the verge of a radical transformation in 2008, and this was prevented from happening because Barack Obama saved neoliberalism’s bacon. This is a rather problematic for his argument given its transparent falsity. It’s simply not true that most Americans drew the same conclusions from the financial meltdown that Frank did, and even they did the elites who control or strongly influence many key veto points in the American system certainly didn’t.... Similar premises are also generally seen on attacks on the ACA from the left. To argue that the ACA isn’t better than the status quo ante from a progressive... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Robert Waldmann:** Anchored Perceived Inflation, or How Fox News Helped Obama: "A huge recession, sluggish recovery and gigantic persistent output gap.... >...Core PCE inflation... fell from sticking close to 2% to fluctuating in the range of 1% to 2%. The standard lowbrow backward-looking forecasting equation... completely failed.... There are two candidate explanations for this surprising behavior of inflation. One is that there is strong downward nominal rigidity.... Another quite different explanation is that expected future inflation has a very important role in wage and price setting and that inflation expectations are anchored.... The median respondent in the Michigan University/IPSOS Reuters survey persistently expected future inflation of almost exactly 3% in almost all surveys since mid 2009... in period after period a majority of survey participants have been surprised by actual inflation lower than their forecast. This is a new phenomenon.... [Perhaps,] like inflation expectations, inflation perceptions have delinked from reality.... I give the credit to Fox news.... People... [who] rely on Fox News... are out of touch with reality--their expectations and perceptions are what Roger Ailes wants them to be.... Fox News convinces people that inflation has been and will be high.... [Thus] actual inflation is low but positive. It... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Bob Laszewski:** Halbig Decision Puts Obamacare Back on the Front Burner and Will Give Republicans a Huge Political Headache: "In the DC Court ruling one of the majority judges said... >...'The fact is that the legislative record provides little indication one way or the other of the Congressional intent, but the statutory text does. Section 36B plainly makes subsidies only available only on Exchanges established by states.'... This issue never came up.... About everyone also believed some states would not establish their own exchanges. Smaller states, for example, might opt out because they just didn't have the scale needed to make the program work. I don't recall a single member of Congress, Republican or Democrat, who believed that if this happened those states would lose their subsidies. At worst, this is clearly a drafting error that in the old days would have been quickly fixed in a technical corrections bill. But these aren't the old days.... No one risks losing their subsidies until this issue is finally decided.... >This would put Republicans in the federal exchange states in a heck of a political bind.... The political consequences for all of these people losing their subsidies and their coverage would immediately... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Sarah Kliff:** Halbig says Congress meant to limit subsidies. Congress disagrees: "Did Congress intend for Obamacare's federal-run exchanges... >...to distribute tax credits to millions of enrollees? Two circuit courts have spent a combined 116 pages opining on the issue.... For staffers who helped write Obamacare though, there isn't really a debate at all. The answer, for them, is crystal clear: they definitely meant to have subsidies available in all 50 states, regardless on who ran the marketplace. 'It was always intended that the federal fallback exchange would do everything that the statute told the states to do, which includes delivering the subsidies',"says Chris Condeluci, who worked as tax and benefits counsel for the Senate Finance Committee Republicans during the Affordable Care Act debate.... 'The evidence of Congressional intent here is overwhelming', John McDonough, who worked on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee during the health reform debate, wrote in an email. 'There is not a scintilla of evidence that the Democratic lawmakers who designed the law intended to deny subsidies to any state, regardless of exchange status'... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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It now looks like that, instead of the 3.3% real GDP growth 2014 that we expected at the end of last fall, we are going to have half that: a 1.7% real GDP growth 2014. But the having of growth is coming 100% out of productivity: all labor market indicators are on the track that was expected late last fall. Trying to wrap my head around this turning out to be really, really difficult. The undershoot relative to previous expectations of first-quarter real GDP growth by 6%-points, followed by no bounce-back catch-up at all, would seem to be bad news for inflation, for profit margins and hence stock valuations, and for long-run potential GDP. But the stock market does not seem to care. And inflation expectations as measured by the TIPS-Treasuries breakeven do not seem to care. Is it that people trading in the breakeven think that the Federal Reserve will hit the economy on the head if inflation starts to rise, and so think that the stock market in failing to react and fall is irrational? Is it that people trading in the stock market think that the effect of lower long-run potential and lower profit margins on real... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**James Hamilton:** The Changing Face of World Oil Markets: "1. World oil demand is now driven by the emerging economies... >...2. Growth in production since 2005 has come from lower-quality hydrocarbons.... 3. Stagnating world production of crude oil meant significantly higher prices.... 4. Geopolitical disturbances held back growth in oil production.... 5. Geological limitations are another reason that world oil production stagnated.... More recently, the decline in U.S. production has turned around dramatically with the exploitation of tight oil formations.... Many analysts are optimistic that the trend of growing production from this resource will continue.... But even if this forecast proves accurate, it is abundantly clear that it would not return real oil prices to their values of a decade ago.... Rather than a force pushing oil prices back to historical lows, it seems more accurate to view the emerging tight-oil plays as a factor that can mitigate for a while what would otherwise be a tendency for prices to continue to rise in the face of growing demand from emerging economies and stagnant supplies from conventional sources... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Mike Konczal:** Dodd-Frank Reforms Are Finally Paying Off: "This past year has seen significant advances... >...with at least four major wins. And crucially, the battles that still remain are coming clearly into focus. First, banks are now required by regulators to hold higher levels of capital.... Last fall, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission oversaw the launch of the exchanges for trading derivatives.... Part of the goal of this reform was to enforce price transparency.... Another win was the ruling on the Volcker Rule.... There will be a long implementation process as regulators make calls about what falls inside and outside of the rule, but the fact that it survived this process is important.... The FDIC this past year started to put serious meat on the process of how it would create a death panel for a failed large financial firm.... Conservatives should rejoice. I consistently hear about how Dodd-Frank is a 'corporatist' bill that protects firms by labeling them systemically important. And if being seen as systemically important and subject to Dodd-Frank rules was an implicit subsidy—-the 'biggest kiss', as Mitt Romney put it during the 2012 debates—then firms should be running toward the designation. The opposite of that happened... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
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**Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi:** For CEOs, Correlation Between Pay and Stock Performance Is Pretty Random: "With all the public chatter about exorbitant executive compensation and income inequality... >...it’s useful to look at the relationship between chief executive officer pay and corporate performance. Typically, when the subject of their big pay packages arises, CEOs—usually through their spokespeople—say they are paid for performance. Does data back that up?... Equilar ranked the salaries of 200 highly paid CEOs. When compared to metrics such as revenue, profitability, and stock return, the scattering of data looks pretty random.... Check the comparison of the ranking of the 200 CEOs Equilar looked at to their company’s stock returns.... If 'pay for performance' was really a factor in compensating this group of CEOs, we’d see compensation and stock performance moving in tandem.... They certainly wouldn’t look like this: Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**James Pethokoukis:** The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP: "Call it doomsday prepper economics... >...For more than five years, many Republicans and conservatives have warned that catastrophe is nigh. Washington's deficit spending and the Federal Reserve's excessive money printing will lead to a financial crisis worse than the Great Recession, they prophesied. Inflation will skyrocket, the dollar will collapse, and the Chinese will dump treasuries, they swore. As Ron Paul, the libertarian former GOP congressman and presidential candidate, said back in 2009: 'More inflation is absolutely the wrong way to go. We're taking a recession and trying to turn it into a depression. We're going to see a real calamity'. Many GOP politicians have since echoed Paul's prediction. But the Next Great Inflation never happened.... >The inflation alarmism driving them is taking a weird turn.... Conservative author Amity Shlaes approvingly cites ShadowStats as supporting her thesis that "inflation is higher than what the official data suggest." Others fans include conservative intellectual Niall Ferguson, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and a good chunk of the conservative blogosphere. ShadowStats' popularity on the right is crazy.... If GOP inflationistas had their way, the weak U.S. recovery would almost surely be even weaker. Just look... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Guido Matias Cortes et al.:** The Micro and Macro of Disappearing Routine Jobs: A Flows Approach: "The U.S. labor market has become... >...increasingly polarized since the 1980s, with the share of employment in middle-wage occupations shrinking over time. This job polarization process has been associated with the disappearance of per capita employment in occupations focused on routine tasks. We use matched individual-level data from the CPS to study labor market flows into and out of routine occupations and determine how this disappearance has played out at the 'micro' and 'macro' levels. At the macro level, we determine which changes in transition rates account for the disappearance of routine employment since the 1980s. We find that changes in three transition rate categories are of primary importance: (i) that from unemployment to employment in routine occupations, (ii) that from labor force non-participation to routine employment, and (iii) that from routine employment to non-participation. At the micro level, we study how these transition rates have changed since job polarization, and the extent to which these changes are accounted for by changes in demographic composition or changes in the behavior of individuals with particular demographic characteristics. We find that the preponderance of changes is... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Brian Buetler:** The Adler-Cannon Halbig v. Burwell Argument Is a Fraud--Just Ask Scott Brown: "It is now an article of faith on the right that Congress meant to condition the subsidies... >...as an inducement to states, but overestimated the power of that inducement. I suspect many of the people advancing this claim realize that it is false, and are engaged in an elaborate gaslighting campaign. Others have probably convinced themselves that they are correct.... They need both an elaborate theory of legislative intent, and judges who are happy to treat the theory as plausible, even though it makes no sense. They've now found two such judges. Maybe their argument will carry in the Supreme Court, too. Or maybe the conservative justices will just say Congressional intent doesn't matter and rule against the government anyhow. (I still tend to think that the government will prevail, assuming the case ever reaches the Supreme Court.) >But as far as... what Congress intended... there can be no debate. You can ask the people who wrote the bill. You can ask the reporters who chronicled the legislative process.... You can ask state officials, who were advised that federal Medicaid dollars were conditional upon the Medicaid... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Ezra Klein:** Paul Ryan's Poverty Plan: "P The most important idea in Paul Ryan's poverty plan... >...reverses the most important idea in Paul Ryan's budgets. Those budgets... [made] deep cuts to spending on programs for the poor the cornerstone of Republican fiscal policy... cut spending on the programs that fight poverty. Ryan's poverty plan is... a sharp break with his budgets... an attempt to change the Republican Party's view--a view driven, in large part, by Paul Ryan and his budgets--of what to do with programs for the poor.... >This was a bit like hearing the Kool-Aid Man say that he only ever drank Kool-Aid for the money, and in truth, he thinks kids should drink more tap water, instead. But... this is a return to Ryan's roots. Though he's made his name as the GOP's chief crusader against deficits... Ryan's actual record... included a series of votes that massively increased the deficit... to wrench policy... conservative... George W. Bush's tax cuts... the war in Iraq... the unfunded Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. Prior to Barack Obama's presidency, Ryan was best known for the Social Security Personal Savings Guarantee and Prosperity Act... $2.4 trillion in additional costs over the first 10 years...... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...