Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wrap Up for November 2016

There were two really good quotes this month I'd like to note, first. Lars Christensen tweeted this:
Republicans are Austrians when they are in opposition and Keynesian when they are in power. They are never monetarists.
Yes, apparently being a monetarist, would be too logical and sensible about the actual nature of monetary representation for the public! Yet central bankers presently appear keen to maintain the same discretion factor, which allows special interests to take excessive advantage of money when it is in their favor to do so, while denying sufficient money representation to all, when it is not.

Also, from a Vox interview with Jonathan Haidt:
We haven't talked about social media, but I really believe it's one of our biggest problems. So long as we are all immersed in a constant stream of unbelievable outrages perpetuated by the other side, I don't see how we can ever trust each other and work together again.
Of course one problem in this regard, is when we explain to others that we also see the other side's point of view, we may come across as not tribal enough, for those who know us. A word of warning about the personal isolation this approach may engender: apparently it can worsen as one grows older! Nevertheless, I tried Facebook for a year or so, before finally closing the account last June. From the start, the political "warfare" was unsettling, so I sought out beautiful pictures around the world, which made the social media experience more enjoyable. Not long afterward, I noticed that most of the odd (to me) things that Trump emphasized in his campaign, had also been highlighted in Facebook.

Miles Kimball highlights an important book, on societal permissions:

From Vox:
"The one thing Trump and Clinton agree on is infrastructure. This economist thinks they're both wrong."

Interesting pictures of a walkable city. Another take on walkable cities, this time along the border between Texas and Mexico

"The Low-Skilled Labor Market from 2002 to 2014" Measurement and Mechanisms

"Does Technology Substitute for Nurses?"

David Ader explains, how vastly fewer people today are eligible for unemployment benefits.

As George Selgin noted, unfortunately there was no good political outcome this presidential election, for monetary freedom.

JP Koning puts India's (somewhat unusual) aggressive demonetization into perspective.

"To be fair, the pretrial settlement of a legal dispute is often a desirable result, and state court judges with their heavy dockets actively encourage settlement. But the fact that civil cases are being settled at an ever greater rate suggest that something else is bringing pressure to settle, and it is probably the great expense of litigation."

No U.S. recession expected. If only that were good news. From Lars Christensen:
"Make America Keynesian Again"
"Make America Keynesian Again" part 2

This is the economic reality that is so difficult for presidential candidates - whether winners or losers - to address.

Automation does not have to destroy jobs. But people need to begin what will be an ongoing dialogue about the work that feels worthwhile for the future, today. Otherwise, presidential elections will continue to be full of false promises.

Good argument from Tim Haab:
We can't make arguments about the popular vote outcome of this election because both campaigns would have acted differently if the system (and the inherent incentives) were different.
Robin Hanson explains how bottlenecks inhibit institutional innovation: https://www.overcomingbias.com/2016/11/needed-social-innovation-adaptation.html

For most of my life, the costs of owning, insuring and maintaining an automobile were within the reach of any income level. That is no longer true. I noticed that (almost hour long) commutes with older cars, started to become a problem for workers, around the beginning of the new century. That's also when computerized systems made it more difficult for rural mechanics to make auto repairs, hence auto owners needed to adjust their schedules to have this work done in cities. I suspect the gradual transition away from what was once practically automatic auto ownership, is part of the problem for what some have labeled the skills gap, especially when many jobs require long commutes. Which is why - while higher income levels often appreciate walkable communities, for lower income levels they could become a practical necessity in some instances. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/11/14/Its-Not-Skills-Gap-Why-So-Many-Jobs-Are-Going-Unfilled

From the San Francisco Fed:
"Job-to-Job Transitions in an Evolving Labor Market"

Timothy Taylor:
"It seems to me that the possibility of a dramatic expansion of active labor market policies through aggressive experimentation deserves more attention in the current US economy."

The Online Platform Economy: Has Growth Peaked?

While I understand this assertion of "getting rid of all school subjects" has been challenged, it sounds like an interesting start.

There are reasons why those with low income levels may think twice about purchasing today's healthcare options, unless they already have chronic conditions.

Diane Coyle: Is there a category mismatch?

Where automation is headed:
"Lots of tasks will be reframed as prediction problems."

For Peter Turchin, Trump's win is simply a part of the bigger picture.

Also a Bloomberg article by Peter Turchin from 2013 was "recycled", HT Arnold Kling

A thoughtful article from Mark Lilla (NYT), "The End of Identity Liberalism":
If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don't, those left out will notice and feel excluded...Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists. Those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it. We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should draw from the past successes of pre-identity liberalism. Such a liberalism would concentrate on widening its base by appealing to Americans as Americans and emphasizing the issues which affect a vast majority of them. It would speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another.
John Cochrane connects the dots between housing issues and inequality.

In "The Reality of Rural Resentment", Sommer Mathis writes:
The main thing I heard was this feeling of not getting their fair share of power or attention. They feel like the important decisions, whether in government or industry, were made in cities. And then they had to deal with those decisions, and no one was listening to their concerns. It's partly about resenting that lack of power. People really do say "Look at how much the city people have driven us in the ground"...People in cities look down on us, they think we're stupid, they think we're racist, they think we're voting against our own interests.
When does collective action matter most?

An interesting "confession": Janet Yellen Doesn't Know What Determines Inflation
Also from Timothy Taylor, what no one can afford to forget: The Plague of Long-Term Unemployment in Europe

One of my biggest concerns about arbitrary divisions of knowledge use in society, is the loss of adaptability which humanity as a species, experiences from this division.

No comments:

Post a Comment