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Maurits Pino
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Absence of BS detectors? Some evidence from a totally different source: Sacha Baron Cohen doesn't get much traction from liberals but the grifter class is ready to say just about anything on a suggestion of someone supposedly on their side.
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Nice post. Two questions/observations. In the US south, slave owners, especially ones owning a small number, and their slaves would live in very close proximity day in day out. The sympathy and justice argument line didn't work very well there. On work place separation, I guess you're right. And with respect to the cleaner, this is often an outsourced job who disappears in the course of the morning and won't join the office party. But I have the impression that my grammar school (early '80s) was a lot more heterogenuous that my father's ('50s) and our universities as well.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2018 on On class separation at Stumbling and Mumbling
England, Croatia, Belgium, France. Is Eu-membership a necessary condition for making it to the semi finals?
Totally off-topic: will you devote a blogpost to the Finnish basic income experiment? Thanks!
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2018 on The media closed shop at Stumbling and Mumbling
Trevor Noah has a nice take on this: The highlight is when TN reminds Peter Cvjetanovic, a white supremacist participant in the Charlottesville rally, that with his last name, "it's fun hanging out with Nazis now, but you're up in round two, my friend".
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Facebook and other large private players can effectively play censor. A large number of private players coordinating their censorship can do the same. Under McCarthyism very few people were censored or prosecuted by the state, many were forced to stay silent or lost their jobs through coordinated private efforts.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2018 on The free speech dilemma at Stumbling and Mumbling
Smacklet In Vox ( "... John Taylor was a leading contender. Taylor is known for having developed his own guideline (the “Taylor rule”) for how central banks should set interest rates." I thought the Taylor rule was first of all a description of how the Fed (and other central banks) approximately set rates. That it would be a good idea to follow Taylor's equation - assuming it doesn't come up with a negative number - is chapter two.
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Nice to draw the distinction between the domestic and the international approaches of the US. Of course on the domestic side, with slogans like "race mixing is communism" communism hasn't failed so badly; the war against trade unions went better; and, with the US rates of religiosity, equating communism with atheism was a victory against communism as well. But Chris' interest was, I believe, on the international side. Was the west really afraid? Was there a justification? Some points in addition to the ones mentioned above: 1957, Sputnik, suggested to many people that the Russians were capable of vast technological improvements. Well into the 1980s NATO officials feared a Russian invasion ("48 hours to the Rine") and CIA estimates of Russian and WP GDP were enormous. Hilarious? Sure. Biases to enhance their own importance? Sure. But nevertheless.
"What can be done to help young people buy them?" Unless you take that question literally and design policies that would badly hurt the rest of the population, the main solution is to work on the housing stock - build more, even if that takes a while. If every young family should have its own decent house or apartment, the housing stock should be adjusted, not the number of families or the standard of what amounts to a decent dwelling. Legislation to discourage houses left empty and to discourage people owning and living in multiple houses may help a bit as well (if it's crucial that young people buy rtaher than let, then for others to own many houses should be discouraged).
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2017 on On cutting house prices at Stumbling and Mumbling
(2) Access to capital Partnerships seem to work most often in businesses that require little capital – the law firms etc. that require little more than office space. Perhaps all sorts of capital market developments will benefit worker owned organisations – the availability for lease (in all sorts of variations) many types of capital equipment seems to increase which provides a solution of sorts. But the question remains why it's difficult for partnerships/worker owned businesses to have access to capital markets. Is the legal environment inadequate (for them)? Are banks reluctant because of the unusual legal set up? For a genuine worker owned organisation, it's of course very bad if new capital can be raised only from its workers as they shouldn't expose their life savings as well as their salaries to the same shocks. (maybe this is a key reason that workers aren't that keen on being co-owners despite all the alleged advantages; of course, there's something to be said for not being too implicated in your work in the first place). "the ones that don't fail, sell out": think of Goldman Sachs - now that was a great idea for the last generation of partners. Not so sure if it was for the company.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2017 on Newt troubles at Stumbling and Mumbling
Dear Caradog, I hope to reply with a series of short posts. First on lawyers and doctors (and university faculties and some engineering,a ccountancy etc firms). Yes, they are hierchical but they are organisations where decisions are made by people who spend a substantial part of their time doing the company's work and who have done so for easily a decade. That's Chris' Hayekian argument for worker control. The people making decisions aren't the types who've never operated the machine and have their noses up in the air for the work. Of course, this doesn't make them nice & great egalitarian employers. BTW, a quick look at the numbers: Allan & Overy, Clifford Chance and Freshfields have around to 500, 400 and 400 partners respectively (concluded from; from their websites or wikipedia, 2800 lawyers, 3300 lawyers, 1660 associates/4900 employees respectively. Compare that to Walmart or Shell or VW ...
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2017 on Newt troubles at Stumbling and Mumbling
Chris doesn’t defend himself particularly well against Caradog’s charge. Why doesn’t Chris start a worker run / worker owned company? To start with, there are some worker owned companies of a substantial scale: John Lewis in the UK, Coop Norden in Scandinavia and Mondragon in Spain are 10bn turnover companies owned by their employees. And there are many legal and medical partnerships are as well (although typically only some of the employees are owners, others aren’t). So it is possible. But there are lots of difficulties: The legal setting is just not very favourable although it’s different from one country to another (you see the same with cooperatives that are far more prevalent in some countries than others (also between different traditionally capitalist countries)). Capital providers are reluctant both because they’re not used to this and because of the legal problems. Cjcjc mentioned here that no worker run place would fire its employees. Well, law firms do get rid of partners. But the problem is more, as you can show in a simple model, that worker run firms have a big incentive to hire too few workers for a given capital stock (compared to a profit max firm; which is in itself perhaps an argument against worker run companies – in any case, this was a big problem in Yugoslavia where this was supposed to be the institutional set up).
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2017 on Newt troubles at Stumbling and Mumbling
It's nice to be reminded of Red Plenty in this and other posts it was a really interesting and unusual book. Maybe Davies is a bit negative about the hopes of some of the red mathematicians but there's something that doesn't work at all with his review. High growth of Singapore since the 1950's and of China (since the 1980's) goes hand in hand with extremely high saving rates via a mechanism that is easy to understand in terms of Solow (1956?) so "because the economic growth and the repression of domestic consumption were the same thing" is not a valid complaint, IMO: yes, saving rates >50% mean a lot of consumption is postponed but is it consistent with enormous gdp/capita growth for decades and decades so that may well be worth it.
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The Economist: The consent of the governed the hole at the heart of economics ( makes some observation on the importance of institutions and norms and how important "it just isn't done is". In the very middle of the article, the follwoing: "We were all tying ourselves in knots working out whether the multiplier on infrastructure spending was 0.7 or 1.2 or 2.5, when what we ought to have been asking was: what course of action is most likely to avert a crisis of institutional legitimacy that will leave everyone much worse off". Is the entire article an argument against a large stimulus in the depth of the crisis?
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"Slaughter the Fatted Calf!" is that a biblical reference or a reference to Maria Comella's former boss?
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Shouldn't there be jokes out there referring to makers and takers?
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Re John Quiggin: Reaping the Whirlwind - Quiggin argues that Brexit is a reaction against neoliberal policies. His reasoning makes a lot of sense but there are at least two problems with it: Tories have denounced the EU for long as a sclerotic, non-innovative, too much state dependent if not down right socialistic etc etc institution (ie not neoliberal enough); and among Tory-voters the % of brexit voters is higher than among Labour-voters (*) The social-democratically inclined Scots preferred to remain while the more pro-market English voted out. (the majority of Londoners, for Bremain, fit Quiggin's story better) (*) Lord Ashcroft polls: 58% of those who voted Tory in 2015 voted for brexit now; for UKIP 96% (surprise); Labour and SNP voters preferred bremain (63%, 64%), as did the LibDems(70%) and the not exactly neoliberal Greens (75%).
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Just read that Osborne argued that Brexit would cause a drop in housing prices in the UK. Perhaps so. But he uses it as an argument to stay in.
As a criticism of the neoclassical theory, the football comparison makes little sense, IMO. W=MP because a price taker in the labour and goods market expands the workforce and production until the condition holds (or reduces it until ...). With team size fixed (at least: the number of players in the field) that doesn't work very well.
Grift, grifter, griftest?
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The problem doesn't exist, it can't be dealt with, it would be too costly to deal with it. Straight out of The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy - Albert Hirschman.
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Michael Burda wrote "It is disingenuous to expect individual sovereign countries to engage in aggregate demand policy for the benefit of others". Actually, the European treaties expect Members States to do just that, i.e. to engage in economic policies for the whole of the EU. (Article 121 TFEU): "1. Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council, in accordance with the provisions of Article 120." By emphasising the openness of Germany and other Member States, he suggests that multipliers are small. But if you look at imports plus exports of the eurozone (just over 50% of GDP, much lower than for Germany), eurozone-wide multipliers are not as weak and his argument against aggregate demand policy loses most of its strength.
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Nice post! "I don't like this word "credibility" because it's horribly ambiguous. It can mean four things." 1) "Credible" can be time consistent. But for 2), 3) and 4) you refer to "not credible", it seems (not credible because vague, bad or unacceptable to the WMB). That fourth use of not credible should of course be "not serious" - always using quotation marks and ideally referring to Krugman.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2015 on The C-word at Stumbling and Mumbling
CD: there's more wisdom in gardening than in politics. President: "Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?" "As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden"
Toggle Commented Jul 16, 2015 on The Cushnie principle at Stumbling and Mumbling
"...." Keynes wrote in 1931, after the boom years of the 1920s had given way to the Great Depression. Except that in Keynes' Britain, the twenties had not been boom years with unemployment >6% for every year since 1921.
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