This is J. Bradford DeLong's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following J. Bradford DeLong's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
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
Image
Relatively, that is. Compared to the raging dumpster fire before: ==== Take a Look at: Three short thinking pieces on what Biden is doing/should do: Eric Levitz: Biden’s Inaugural Address: ‘Biden’s speech was riddled with contradictions. He called for unity (against everything the GOP stands for), and decried extremism (while demanding “bold” action on climate and racial justice). How he resolves these tensions will define his presidency <LINK> Ezra Klein: Joe Biden & Democrats Must Help People Fast: ‘Among the many tributaries flowing into Trumpism, one in particular has gone dangerously overlooked. In their book “Presidents, Populism and the Crisis of Democracy,” the political scientists William Howell and Terry Moe write that “populists don’t just feed on socioeconomic discontent. They feed on ineffective government—and their great appeal is that they claim to replace it with a government that is effective through their own autocratic power”… <LINK> Ed Luce: Joe Biden Embraces His Inner Radical to Confront Winter Of Peril: ‘America’s… most consequential presidents—George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and FDR—were all leaders of moderate temperament. Their skill was to bring others along…. Biden… spelt out the way… to advance his agenda…. Civility. At another time, such boilerplate language might prompt narcolepsy…. But…... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Tom Snyder**: _The American Abyss_ : ‘When we give up on truth, we concede power to those with the wealth and charisma to create spectacle in its place. Without agreement about some basic facts, citizens cannot form the civil society that would allow them to defend themselves. If we lose the institutions that produce facts that are pertinent to us, then we tend to wallow in attractive abstractions and fictions. Truth defends itself particularly poorly when there is not very much of it around.... Social media... supercharges the mental habits by which we seek emotional stimulation and comfort, which means losing the distinction between what feels true and what actually is true… **Haley Bird Wilt**: _The Consequences of Lying to People_ : ‘Republican lawmakers misled millions of people into believing the results of a legitimate election could be overturned. Many of them viewed contesting the outcome as a relatively easy way to gain political currency among Trump supporters, knowing all the while that their efforts would have no real impact on who will be sworn into office in two weeks. The deception—primarily led by Trump, yet enabled by members of Congress—set the stage for the violence that unfolded at the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Graydon**: _COVID Evolving: Comment_ : ‘SARS-CoV-2 derives from a bat disease. Bats are weird; bats, unlike nearly all other mammals, have two body temperatures. There's the high, active, flapping around body temperature and the low, resting/estivating, don't starve to death until you can feed again, hanging-upside-down-in-a-cave body temperature... >...Viruses are too simple to have multiple enzymes for different temperature ranges. (This is why lizard genomes are generally larger than mammal genomes; the mammal needs the enzymes for its stable body temperature. The lizard needs a range of enzymes for a range of temperatures. Viruses don't have the room; they've got one set of enzymes at most, often a partial set that relies on specific cellular machinery.) So bat viral diseases tend to have a "burst mode"; copy as much as possible before the temperature regime in this bat changes and we either freeze or burn. >We've known for a long time that the Rₜ for COVID-19 is highly variable; about a fifth of cases cause the majority of transmission in the wild type fo the disease. (Which is why the Japanese backtracking approach was effective; find the really infectious person and then find everybody they could have infected, rather than... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2021 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
30
<https://braddelong.substack.com/p/briefly-noted-for-2021-01-11> I feel uneasy today, as most of this is outside my wheelhouse. But, for what it is worth, here is what I have found most worthwhile over the weekend... Must-Read: Bernie Sanders: Why Impeach Now? @BernieSanders: Some people ask: Why would you impeach and convict a president who has only a few days left in office? The answer: Precedent. It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government... Ian Millhiser: Minority Rule @imillhiser: When Warnock and Ossoff are seated, Democrats and Republicans will each control half of the seats in the Senate. But the Democratic half will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half. America’s anti-democratic Senate, in one number41,549,808... Joshua Gans: B.1.1.7 <https://joshuagans.substack.com/p/b117>: ‘B.1.1.7 has an advantage over older variants in infecting people when the mitigation strategies are in place. In other words, it is getting around them.... My guess is that the new variant can obtain more cases in certain settings—like workplaces that previously were able to keep transmission low—and then people carry the new variant home where fewer mitigations are in place and transmission occurs more easily there.... That means that the fight... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2021 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Bernie Sanders**: _Why Impeach Now?_ : ‘Some people ask: Why would you impeach and convict a president who has only a few days left in office? The answer: Precedent. It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government… **Ian Millhiser**: _Minority Rule_ ‘When Warnock and Ossoff are seated, Democrats and Republicans will each control half of the seats in the Senate. But the Democratic half will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half… ==== BRIEFLY NOTED: **Edward Luce**: _America’s Dangerous Reliance on the Fed_ <>: ‘Alas, the chances are that the Fed will remain “the only game in town”. This would be both a missed opportunity and pose a severe danger. The opportunity is for the US government to borrow long term funds at near zero rates and invest it in productive capacity. The danger of not doing that can be expressed in a simple equation: QE — F = P. Quantitative easing minus fiscal action equals populism… **Wikipedia**: _Metanarrative_ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metanarrative: ‘In _The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge_ (1979), Lyotard highlights the increasing skepticism of the postmodern condition toward the totalizing nature of metanarratives and their... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2021 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Lwatts**: _Parler Free Speech Social Network_ https://parler.com/search?hashtag=trump: ‘Everyone needs to understand my President: Plays 3 layer chess! What did Trump do?????… He said walk down 1600 he didn't know the ANITIFA HIRED BY PENCE WAS THERE, HE NEW THE SUPPORTERS were fine!!!! It was the left that jumped first!!!!! Yall killed a VET,,, A HERO" HOW DARE YOU ALL..... Yeah if I f—- up this bad I would be on every TV channel trying to lie your asses off... #millionmagamarch #supremecourt #voterfraud #MEME #PARLER #PARLERUSA #USA #QANON #MAGA #trump2020 #trump #patriots #StopTheSteal #tuckercarlson #tucker #sidneypowell #kag #2020elect **Karl Marx**: _Theories of Surplus-Value, Chapter 17_ Mhttps://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1863/theories-surplus-value/ch17.htm>: '**The Childish Babble of a Say**... **Wikipedia**: _Quarrel of the Ancients & the Moderns_ ... **Karl Marx** (1867): _Capital: Primitive Accumulation_ ... ========== **Erik Hornung**: _Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia_ : ‘In 1685, religiously persecuted French Huguenots settled in Brandenburg-Prussia and compensated for population losses due to plagues during the Thirty Years’ War. We combine Huguenot immigration lists from 1700 with Prussian firm-level data on the value of inputs and outputs in 1802 in a unique database to analyze the effects of skilled immigration to places with underused economic... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2021 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Gianna Marciarille**: _Facebook_ : Gianna Marciarille is with Michael DeLong. Just now: 'My literal big brother talking about big brother: ---- .#equitablegrowth #insurance #noted #2021-01-07 My Daughter's Big Brother Talking About Big Brother—Noted. Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
I'm going to run both Typepad & Substack alongside each other—but my feeling is that Typepad is dying, & Substack is in some sense the wave of the future... I'm not yet sure what I should use the behind-the-paywall features of Substack for. Suggestions? Brad DeLong
1 reply
**Over at Substack**: _Why Storm the Capitol Building & Then Do Nothing But Take Selfies?_ : What did the people who stormed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 think what’s going to happen? Let us look at what happened at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue before the insurrection. At the beginning of Donald Trump speech, he tells his audience that they are the overwhelming majority of America, and that the corrupt media are trying to hide that fact: >**Donald Trump**: _Speech “Save America” Rally Transcript January 6_: 'The media will not show the magnitude of this crowd. Even I, when I turned on today, I looked, and I saw thousands of people here, but you don’t see hundreds of thousands of people behind you because they don’t want to show that... (Parenthetically, there weren’t hundreds of thousands of people. The permit was for a rally of 30,000. OANN claimed “thousands”. Eyeballing the pictures after the march to the Capitol, my guess is 10,000. I see no reliable numbers on those who got into the building with intent to commit or threaten violence, and no reliable numbers on those who got into the building intending to peaceably assemble and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
Time to de-escalate and read and watch something totally unrelated to bad political actors destroying norms of republican political conduct in an attempt to further entrench a plutocracy: **Plutarch**: _Life of Tiberius Gracchus_ … Perhaps the second best romance novel I have ever read. Not at all bad as a mystery either: **Dorothy Leigh Sayers**: _Gaudy Night_ … I am happy not getting 3/4 of the illusions that Dorothy L. Sayers makes to history and literature. But if you are not, this is essential: **Bill Peschel**: _Annotations to Gaudy Night_ … Heron of Alexandria was a BOSS: **Jeremy Norman**: _Automata Invented by Heron of Alexandria_ I do know not whether I should be amazed at how much or depressed at how little computing can be done without semiconductors: **Wikipedia**: _Mechanical Computer_ … The start of the positive utopian apocalyptic mode in "western literature": **Isaiah**: _10-11_ ... Continuing the positive utopian apocalyptic mode in "western literature": **_Daniel**: _7 & 12 HCSB_ ... Good for helping people to understand the place of Aristotle in the medieval and early-modern "western civilization" intellectual mind: **Dante**: _Inferno_ : ‘…Canto 4-Compare Side by Side Translations by Longfellow, Cary, and Norton... And what little the Spartans said:... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
BRIEFLY NOTED: **Mary Boykin Chesnut**: _Mary Chesnut's Civil War_ … **Fournée Bakery**: _2912 Domingo Ave_ https://www.fourneebakery.com/new-page: ‘Berkeley, CA, 94705… Tu-Sa 08:00-18:00 Su 08:00-15:00… **2005**: _The Lowest Deep on Hoxby-Rothstein_ : ‘Rothstein makes a convincing case that Hoxby doesn't satisfy (3), if his definition of "small tweaks" is correct… **Rory Muir**: _Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune: How Younger Sons Made Their Way in Jane Austen's England_ https://www.amazon.com/Gentlemen-Uncertain-Fortune-Younger-Austens-ebook/dp/B07VZWG67Q/… **Peet's Coffee**: _Domingo_ https://locations.peets.com/ll/US/CA/Berkeley/2916-Domingo-Avenue: ‘2916 Domingo Avenue Berkeley, CA 94705 (510) 843-1434 :: Mo-Su 05:30-18:00... **Theodore Sturgeon**: _The World Well Lost_ https://bristolsf.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/the-world-well-lost.pdf… _Ver Brugge Foods_ https://www.facebook.com/vbfoods/: ‘Mo-Su 09:00-18:00… ==== **Chris Best & _al._**: _Substack’s View of Content Moderation_ https://blog.substack.com/p/substacks-view-of-content-moderation: ‘We favor civil liberties, believe in democracy, and are against authoritarianism of all kinds. We also hold a set of core beliefs that are reflected in every aspect of the company: We believe that subscriptions are better than advertising. We believe in letting people choose who to trust, not having click-maximizing algorithms choose for them. We believe that the prevailing media ecosystem is in disrepair and that the internet can be used to build something better. We believe that hosting a broad range of views is good for democracy. We believe in the free press and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2021 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Wikipedia**: _Aelius Aristides_ … **Doris Groshen Daniels**: _Theodore Roosevelt and Gender Roles_ : ‘… **Jeremy Norman**: _Automata Invented by Heron of Alexandria_ **Wikipedia**: _Dialogus de Oratoribus_ : ‘A short work attributed to Tacitus, in dialogue form, on the art of rhetoric. Its date of composition is unknown, though its dedication to Lucius Fabius Justus places its publication around 102 AD… **Wikipedia**: _Rota Fortunae_ … **Paul Campos**: _The Last Days of Donald_ : ‘This report from Jonathan Swan reminds us that the presidency is still in the hands of a mentally ill aspiring despot who is decompensating quickly… **Wikipedia**: _New Atlantis_ : ‘[Francis Bacon] portrayed a vision of the future of human discovery and knowledge. The plan and organisation of his ideal college, "Salomon's House", envisioned the modern research university in both applied and pure science. The end of their foundation is thus described: "The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible"… **Scott Lemieux**: _Our Grifter Problem_ : ‘As you are hopefully unaware of, a bunch of Twitter/YouTube grifters on the broad anti-anti-Trump “left” are ginning up a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Garnet Wolseley** (1862): _The American Civil War: An English View_ : ‘The slaves in large towns are inferior in moral character to those upon plantations; and amongst the former there is always a large admixture of white blood, which is very rare, indeed, amongst farm hands. In many, or I might say in most States, if a woman upon a plantation gives birth to a child of any but ebony hue, it is considered a sort of slur upon the owner of the estate; and she is usually sold to some city master as soon as the fact becomes known, in order, if possible, to hush up the scandal certain to arise in the neighbourhood from the circumstance. I have been informed by many planters that, as a rule, the negresses on estates are a moral class; and as their appearance is repulsive in the extreme, I can well understand there being so few half-caste children in neighbourhoods where the only white men are those of the better classes… **Mary Boykin Chesnut** (1861): _Mary Chesnut's Civil War_ : ‘I wonder if it be a sin to think slavery a curse to any land. Men and women are punished when their... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Samuel Pepys**: _Diary_ : ‘Friday 10 April 1663: Up very betimes and to my office, where most hard at business alone all the morning. At noon to the Exchange, where I hear that after great expectation from Ireland, and long stop of letters, there is good news come, that all is quiett after our great noise of troubles there, though some stir hath been as was reported... >...Off the Exchange with Sir J. Cutler and Mr. Grant to the Royall Oak Tavern, in Lumbard Street, where Alexander Broome the poet was, a merry and witty man, I believe, if he be not a little conceited, and here drank a sort of French wine, called Ho Bryan,1 that hath a good and most particular taste that I never met with. >Home to dinner, and then by water abroad to Whitehall, my wife to see Mrs. Ferrers, I to Whitehall and the Park, doing no business. Then to my Lord’s lodgings, met my wife, and walked to the New Exchange. There laid out 10s. upon pendents and painted leather gloves, very pretty and all the mode. So by coach home and to my office till late, and so to supper and to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Brad DeLong**: _Project Syndicate Commentators’ Best Reads in 2020_ : _**Thomas Orlik** (2020): China: The Bubble That Never Pops_: I have always thought that China’s development strategy has only ten more years to run before it ends in tears. In his new book, Bloomberg’s Chief Economist Tom Orlik explains why I have always been wrong – at least about this particular question. Through striking examples and insightful explanations of institutional patterns, he shows how China has managed to turn all four of the great economic cycles since Mao’s death to its own advantage. In spite of “ghost cities,” high levels of bad debt, a great deal of corruption, “white elephant” infrastructure boondoggles, and the rest, China’s government has proved that it has the tools to keep the bicycle upright and moving forward rapidly. And now, thanks to Orlik, we can all see how it works… ---- .#books #china #politicaleconomy #projectsyndicate #202012-24 Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**J. Bradford DeLong**: _What Lifted Trump Could Sink Biden_ : ‘Donald Trump managed to receive 74 million votes despite countless failures for the simple reason that he presided over three years of a high-pressure economy in which wages grew rapidly. If the Democrats ignore this lesson or listen to fiscal hawks already pushing for austerity, they will face a painful reckoning in 2024. Very few of the people who voted for US President Donald Trump in the 2020 election are plutocrats who benefited from his and congressional Republicans’ tax cut, or even wannabe plutocrats who can hope to benefit from it in the future. Some Trump voters doubtless are very focused on the installation of right-wing judges on the federal bench. But many among the 74 million who voted for Trump did so for other reasons… ---- .#highlighted #macro #orangehairedbaboons #politicaleconomy #2020-12-24 Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Paul Campos**: _The Last Days of Donald_ : ‘This report from Jonathan Swan reminds us that the presidency is still in the hands of a mentally ill aspiring despot who is decompensating quickly… **Wikipedia**: _New Atlantis_ : ‘[Francis Bacon] portrayed a vision of the future of human discovery and knowledge. The plan and organisation of his ideal college, "Salomon's House", envisioned the modern research university in both applied and pure science. The end of their foundation is thus described: "The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible"… **Scott Lemieux**: _Our Grifter Problem_ : ‘As you are hopefully unaware of, a bunch of Twitter/YouTube grifters on the broad anti-anti-Trump “left” are ginning up a hate campaign against AOC because she won’t go along with their incredibly dumb campaign to “force a vote” on M4A, a tactic which (as AOC points out) has zero chance of making the enactment of M4A or any roughly equivalent program more likely on any time horizon. As Eric Levitz explains, this is very bad.… The idea that structural barriers can be easily overcome... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
I was browsing through Friedrich von Hayek's _The Fatal Conceit_—although it is not clear to me how much of this very late (1988) Hayek is Hayek, and how much is “editor” William Warren Bartley . Why? Because Hayek is playing a larger part in my history of the Long 20th Century, _Slouching Towards Utopia?_, as it moves toward finality, and I am concerned that I be fair to him. And I ran across his claim that the “socialists” felt: >an urgent need to construct a new, rationally revised and justified morality which… will not be a crippling burden, be alienating, oppressive, or`unjust', or be associated with trade. Moreover, this is only part of the great task that these new lawgivers—socialists such as Einstein, Monod and Russell, and self-proclaimed 'immoralists' such as Keynes—set for themselves. A new rational language and law must be constructed too, for existing language and law also fail to meet these requirements…. This awesome task may seem the more urgent to them in that they themselves no longer believe in any supernatural sanction for morality (let alone for language, law, and science) and yet remain convinced that some justification is necessary…. >The aim of socialism is no... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Grasping Reality Wednesday Newsletter**: _On My Mind Right Now: The Current State of the Coronavirus Plague_ : ‘We do need to pick a day for this. Let’s pick Wednesday… And what is on my mind right now is the scale and economic impact of the coronavirus plague: Reported case numbers for the coronavirus plague are worth little. Deaths—as long as the health-care system is not in collapse—tell us that there were between 100 and 200 times as many new cases three to four weeks before. It is perhaps fantastical to take Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom—the non-continental Europe nations of the “global north”—as our “yardstick” nations. But if we do, we must be profoundly depressed both at the situation, and at how badly we have fallen short of what nations with competent governance have managed to accomplish… ---- .#highighted #substack #2020-12-23 Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
_Pairagraph: Is America in Decline?_ I confess I think that this came out very well as an intellectual exercise. I am, however, as I say in it, depressed that Om Malik—for whom I have enormous respect, and whose judgment is very, very good—does not have stronger arguments on his side that America is not "in decline". I had very much hoped to end this debate at least half-convinced to his side. But I am not. **Sigh**. I see in my twitter feed right now—the morning of 2020-12-22—that more than 40% of Americans surveyed still "approve" of the job that Donald Trump is doing as president. With the U.S. having had 330,000 coronavirus plague deaths—1 in a thousand people—while Australia has had 908 total—one thirtieth the death rate—with a thousand children kidnapped and permanently separated from their parents, with him and his family trying to steal everything that isn't nailed down, what is to approve? Yet 40%. And 74 million people voted for him. Om wants to say things like "The sheer number of Americans who participated in our November election should be a source of national pride and renewed optimism" and "it is about taking the steps necessary for moving... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
12
**Matthew Yglesias**: _The Real Economic Challenge in 2021_ : ‘Back in 2018, there were a lot of articles with headlines like “6 reasons that pay has lagged behind US job growth” and “7 reasons why wage growth is so slow.” In retrospect, this wasn’t that mysterious. The labor market recovery had simply been very slow and 2018 turned out to be a year of accelerating wage growth. Then in 2019, things accelerated further. But the existence of articles puzzling over slow pre-2018 wage growth underscores the dangers of a sluggish recovery. Not only does sluggishness directly reduce wages, it generates complicated explanations for the sluggishness which distract policy attention from the urgent need to simply keep on keeping on with job creation… **Duncan Black**: _The Good Doctor_ : ‘Birx has had some pals in the media all along, desperate to keep her reputation intact, so this won't hurt at all: "WASHINGTON (AP) — As COVID-19 cases skyrocketed before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, warned Americans to “be vigilant” and limit celebrations to “your immediate household.” For many Americans that guidance has been difficult to abide, including for Birx herself. The day... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**NASA**: _The ‘Great’ Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn_ : ‘What makes this year’s spectacle so rare, then? It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night… Origins of the Drill Sergeant trope in western literature, and in history: **William Shakespeare**: _Henry V, Act III, Scene 6_ ... **Wikimedia Commons**: _File:Dishing-the-Whigs-1867.jpeg_ … **Wikipedia**: _Anton Cermak_ : ‘44th Mayor of Chicago. In office: April 7, 1931 – March 6, 1933… **Clarence Darrow**: _Darrow -The Story of My Life_ : ‘The Railroad Strike... **Luke A. L. Reynolds**: _Who Owned Waterloo? Wellington’s Veterans and the Battle for Relevance_ … **Jason Furman & Lawrence Summers**: _A Reconsideration of Fiscal Policy in the Era of Low Interest Rates_ … **Aristotle_**: _Politics_ : ‘Book I… **Jules Verne & Michel Verne**: _In the Year 2889_ … **Wikipedia**: _In the Year 2889 (Short Story)_ … **Christine McCloud**: _How To Use A Shuttle On A Loom_ : ‘How To Use A Shuttle On A Loom… **Anton Howes**: _Is Innovation in Human Nature?_ : ‘John Kay’s flying shuttle... an improvement to the loom, which radically increased the productivity of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
**Noah Smith**: _Why I'm so Excited About Solar & Batteries_ : ‘In the 19th century we switched to coal... in the 20th century we upgraded to oil.... After World War 2, a global extraction regime and price controls allowed us to keep cheap oil flowing. That ended with the Oil Shocks of the 70s. And though oil became cheaper again in the 80s and 90s, it never attained its former lows, or its low volatility. Then in the 00s it got expensive again.... We didn’t get anything better than oil during this time.... More expensive energy makes physical innovation harder in every way.... This stagnation in energy technology almost certainly contributed to the productivity slowdown of the 1970s.... Why didn’t bits fill the gap?... IT did drive the re-acceleration of productivity that began in the late 80s and continued through the early 00s.... But around 2005... that productivity growth faded.... Some have argued that digital services are substantially undervalued in our economic production statistics.... Physical technology is less “skill-biased” than IT, meaning that pretty much anyone can be a factory worker but only a few people can use computers productively and effectively... [or] IT simply touches less of our lives... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
British Ambassador to Germany Eric Phipps looking back after two years at the extraordinary successes inside Germany and in the opinion of Germans of Hitler’s first two years—saving Germany from Versailles, from domination by the Allies, from the Great Depression, and from his own “gangsters” in the form of the SA: **Eric Phipps**: _Diary_ 1935-04-01: ‘Over two years have now elapsed since the electorate of this country, stampeded by the Reichstag fire, voted for the abolition of the Parliamentary régime and the establishment of a National Socialist dictatorship... >During these two years, Adolf Hitler, without losing the loyalty of his old followers to any alarming extent, has won over the great mass of the Opposition to himself and his policy both internal and external. He has achieved this by accomplishing in the opinion of the masses not one but several miracles. In the first place, he has obtained work (or what amounts to work so far as the individual is concerned) for 3 million people. Secondly, he has torn up Part V of the Treaty of Versailles under the very noses of Germany’s former enemies. And thirdly, he has, as it were, liberated Germany from the clutches of his own... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong
Here we have Britain's ambassador to Germany writing in 1933 that Britain needs to take Hitler seriously but not literally–for if it took him literally it would have no logical choice but ‘to adopt the policy of a “preventive” war’. Food for thought for modern times: Trump, Bolsonaro, Modhi, and Johnson need definitely to be taken literally, and it is only acceptable to not take them seriously if you are dead certain not only of their incompetence but of their inability to pass the baton to anyone both competent and ruthless: **Eric Phipps**: _Diary_ 1933-11-21: ‘In contemplating the present situation arising out of an electoral campaign waged against a practically non-existent adversary and conducted with propaganda methods of unexampled violence and mendacity, one is tempted to put certain far-reaching questions regarding the future of the Hitler movement and the future policy of Hitler. It has been asked, for instance, whether the movement is not a convenient screen behind which the old Prussian Nationalism is weaving its dark web. This may well be, but if so the screen itself is singularly inefficacious and fails to conceal the fact that the youth of Germany is being reared in a purely militarist spirit...... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at Grasping Reality by Brad DeLong