Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wrap Up for April 2016

Why now? It's not immediately obvious, why recent public dialogue is damaging some basic tenants of economic thought. And the macroeconomic causation which affects political realities, is complex as it is. People relate to economic issues so differently, that it's not easy to have discussions with others where participants have common points of reference. One of the main "casualties" in recent months is free trade. In a recent post, David Glasner asks, "What's so great about free trade?" and notes what has been missed in the latest protectionism debate. Here's Glasner:
The goal of this post is not to make an argument for protectionist policies, let alone any of the candidates arguing for protectionist policies. The aim is to show how inadequate the standard arguments for free trade are in responding to the concerns of the people who feel that they have been hurt by free-trade policies or feel that the jobs that they have now are vulnerable to continued free trade and ever-increasing globalization. I don't say that responses can't be made, just that they haven't been made...the idea that we can reliably make welfare comparisons between alternative states of the world when welfare is assumed to be a function of consumption, and that nothing else matters, is simply preposterous. And it's about time that economists enlarged their notions of what constitutes well-being if they want to make useful recommendations about the welfare implications of public policy, especially trade policy.
According to Brookings, poverty is becoming more concentrated in some areas, than had been the case prior to the Great Recession.

"The creative class flocks to a handful of happy cities, abandoning the rest." A thoughtful essay from Paul Graham, "The Refragmentation," about the forces which (once again) appear to be pulling us apart. Refragmentation could be a reversion to the mean.

...and with refragmentation, there will not always be the good jobs that were associated with twentieth century work. Timothy Taylor's post served as a reminder, what individuals hoped to gain in their working environments. With a little luck in the near future, people will have the chance to generate mutual employment for one another. In some respects, local groups can recreate the benefits that yesterday's corporations were once able to provide.

City density possibilities? Emily Badger has some eye opening charts (in an article I had missed from last year, ht Miles Kimball) what the differences really are between American cities, versus cities in other nations.

"The centre left is in sharp decline across Europe."

Among the many reasons central bankers need to do a better job of maintaining continuous nominal stability, politics gets quite messy when they don't. And far right parties gain after severe recessions.

Some people are momentarily taking leave of their common sense, regarding the broader benefits of free trade. But thankfully, Kenneth Rogoff is not:

Bryan Caplan takes a closer look at some of the legal concerns regarding licensing and knowledge use.

A 2005 paper from Peter Ireland, re the monetary transmission mechanism:

More culling of the poor and low skilled:

Justin Fox suggests that states consider outright bans:

Dani Rodrik weighs in on the recent trade debates:

"Far from being a guarantor of price stability, the gold standard can be a source of price level instability, depending on the policies adopted by individual central banks." (David Glasner)

"Bigotry and contempt make it impossible for America to do many great things...To lift up the next two billion people advocates for the poor need to work together with people who are passionate about the role of free markets - roughly speaking, the left and the right".

Connectivity is a 21st century issue:

Social justice does not always come from the places one might expect:

"There are far more functional cities in the world today than there are viable states."

"Nearly 40 percent of the Ph.D.s surveyed in 2014 hadn't lined up a job - whether in the private industry or academia - at the time of graduation."

Monetary policy primer from George Selgin, Part 1:
Part 2:

Anton Howes, a "historian of invention"

What is the future of the library?

"China is now the top trade partner for twice as many countries as America"

Due to a misdemeanor charge more than two decades earlier, LaTonya Anderson was permanently barred from nursing. The denial came from the state licensing board "after she spent tens of thousands of dollars on training and passed the exam."

Two more on basic income

Noah Smith responds to neoliberalism charges with some good points:

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