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27 июня, 23:15

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**Should-Read: Scott Lemieux**: No Vote on TrumpCare In June: "This really is important... >...Facing a rebellion within their own ranks, Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday postponed a vote to overhaul the 2010 Affordable Care Act until after the July 4 recess.... Five Senate Republicans said they could not support a move to bring up the bill this week.... Lawmakers will be exposed to a barrage of lobbying in their home states in the coming days. The current proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), which would make deep cuts to the Medicaid program while rolling back many of the existing law’s insurance mandates and tax increases, has come under attack from both the left and right... >Delay is bad for Republicans—if McConnell had the votes, they’d be voting. This doesn’t mean he can’t get them—he might—but he doesn’t have them now. The pressure needs to be kept up. >The complete inability of the Republicans to do policy might actually save the ACA. I assume McConnell and the rest of the Gang of 13 expected to backload enough cuts to get the CBO uninsured number under 20 million, and using this to get the media to use the House bill...

27 июня, 22:13

Why Are so Many White American Men so Easily Grifted?

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The first thing you need to know is that ZeroHedge is a grift: the idea is to tell gullible people that the elites are hiding the truth from them and that only ZeroHedge dares tell the TRUTH!!—the first words I see on ZeroHedge right now are "Worst Crash In Our Lifetime Coming This Year Or Next". And if you scare your gullible readers enough, you can keep their eyeballs glued to the screen and sell them to advertisers—many of whom will be selling their own grifts to an audience already selected for being easy to grift: Gold. Physical gold. Kept in Singapore. For a small fee, of course. Also ammunition. And so I wondered when I heard that the smart and thoughtful **Alexandra Scraggs** of FT Alphaville was going to the "ZeroHedge Live Fight Club and Symposium". I wondered even more when I read in her piece that the organizer "repeatedly told" attendees that it "wasn’t an official blog event". To grab something's name and use it for something that is not the thing—or that wants to credibly deny that it is the thing—is itself a second-order grift, composed of that subset of those susceptible to ZeroHedge who are also...

27 июня, 20:22

Hoisted from 2007: Me on Tim Burke on Edmund Burke and His... Political "Philosophy"

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**Comment (2017)**: I now think the best way to understand Edmund Burke is as advocating not Disraeli's "Whig measures and Tory men" but rather "Whig measures in Tory drapery"... ---- **Hoisted from 2007**: [Tim] Burke on [Edmund] Burke's Political Philosophy : I see two strands in Burke relevant to Burke's comment here: (1) The first is that Burke argues that the means you choose shape the ends--not the ends you aim at but the ends you obtain: Call on a society's own internal traditions of justice, fairness, solidarity, mutual prosperity, and liberty, and you will attract to your side those who like justice, fairness, solidarity, mutual prosperity, and liberty. Call on your faction's superior ability to use organization, terror, and violence, and you will attract to your side those who like to boss, to frighten, and to kill. The first road produces a system in which your predominant politician is likely to be someone similar to James Madison. The second road produces a system in which your predominant politician is likely to be someone like Napoleon Bonaparte. This strand in Burke is, I think, very wise. (2) The second... is, I think, much more problematic....[:] Start off from Machiavelli's declaration...

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27 июня, 16:11

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**Should-Read: Ben Zipperer and John Schmitt**: The “high road” Seattle labor market and the effects of the minimum wage increase: Data limitations and methodological problems bias new analysis of Seattle’s minimum wage increase: "Jardim et al. (2017), looks at the first two stages of a phased-in set of increases that will eventually take the minimum wage in the city to $15.00 per hour... >...The authors... find large job losses associated with these first two rounds of increases, in which the minimum wage for most workers rose from $9.47 per hour to $11.00 per hour in April 2015 and then to $13.00 per hour in January 2016.... The estimated employment losses in the Seattle study lie far outside even those generally suggested by mainstream critics of the minimum wage (see, for example, Neumark and Wascher [2008]).... Indeed all of the research cited by the authors implies much smaller and even no employment changes in response to wage increases similar to those experienced so far in Seattle.... The study implausibly finds employment changes due to the minimum wage in parts of the labor market where there should have be none. The study’s own estimates inaccurately imply the minimum wage caused large gains...

27 июня, 15:58

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**Should-Read**: David Brooks is wrong, I think, in his claim that the current crop of Republican politicians have no vision of American society. I think they do have a vision. **David Brooks**: The G.O.P. Rejects Conservatism: ""There is a structural flaw in modern capitalism... [a] gigantic trend [that] widens inequality, exacerbates social segmentation, fuels distrust and led to Donald Trump... >...Conservative intellectuals were slow to understanding the seriousness of this structural problem, but over the past few years they have begun to grapple with the consequences. Basically, many conservative intellectuals have come to terms with income redistribution... at the local level... us[ing] market-friendly mechanisms, like child tax credits, mobility vouchers and wage subsidies. But the intent is the same: to give those who are struggling more security and opportunity. Conservative redistribution extends to health care... plans, from places like the American Enterprise Institute, us[ing] tax credits or pre-funded health savings accounts or some other method to give middle- and working-class people coverage, while reducing regulations and improving incentives.... >Republican politicians could have picked up one of these plans when they set out to repeal Obamacare. They could have created a better system that did not punish the poor. But there...

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27 июня, 15:39

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**Must-Read: Tierney Sneed**: 5 Points On The Brutal CBO Score Senate Republicans Must Overcome: "The new score offers Senate GOPers nowhere to hide... >...It certainly doesn’t make the Senate bill “far superior,” as Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a key vote for leadership, promised.... The Medicaid numbers look bad for moderates.... Even the premium decreases aren’t an entirely happy story.... The lower premiums are largely just a result of shifting towards plans with higher out-of-pocket costs.... Rural areas are still a challenge under the Senate bill.... The Senate bill doesn’t grapple with the underlying issues that make rural regions low-competitive areas for insurers, and the less generous tax credits stand to only exacerbate the problem. This section should catch the attention of Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).... GOP leaders have $200 billion to play with in their final round of deal-cutting... and still hit the $119 billion savings target of the House bill that makes their legislation eligible for reconciliation...

27 июня, 09:09

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**Must-Read:** gave eight Republican senators as much rope as they wanted... Nobody wanted to say: "this Reconciliation Bill is imperfect, but it keeps the ball rolling, and after Trump signs it the real bipartisan bargaining will commence..." Nobody wanted to say: "I will be primaried and may lose if I cannot say: 'We in the senate did our job and passed ObamaCare repeal and I was there pushing when it happened..." And it appears that nobody had given any thought to how they were going to answer substance questions from reporters. Which, I suppose, tells us a lot about how often anybody other than tries to get senators to answer substance questions: **Tara Golshan, Dylan Scott, and Jeff Stein**: We asked 8 Senate Republicans to explain what their health bill is trying to do: "Vox asked GOP senators to explain their hopes for it. Who will benefit from the legislation? What problems is this bill trying to solve?.. >...“All of them,” Sen. John McCain said in an interview, not an uncharacteristic response of his Republican Senate colleagues. Over the course of the past week, Vox asked eight different Republican senators to explain the affirmative case for the bill. They rarely...

26 июня, 22:14

ACA Repeal "Strong Opposition" Letter

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We have sent our letter, and **Sarah Kliff** is on it! **Sarah Kliff**: 6 Nobel Prize–winning economists announce opposition to Senate health bill: "Forty economists, including six Nobel laureates, sent a letter Monday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlining their opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare... >...“At a time when economic change is making life more difficult for all but the relatively well-to-do, denying people to access health insurance is a giant step in the wrong direction,” the letter reads. “The goal should be to hold down health costs and increase access to affordable, quality health coverage for all. Unfortunately, the Better Care Reconciliation Act threatens reduced coverage and higher costs for those who continue to have it.” >Nobel Prize-winning economists Peter Diamond, Oliver Hart, Daniel Kahneman, Eric Maskin, Daniel McFadden, and Al Roth signed on to the letter, alongside 34 other economists. >One of the notable dynamics of the Senate debate is there are plenty of experts and advocacy groups coming out against the bill, but quite few speaking in its favor (although a handful do exist). This is quite different from the Affordable Care Act debate, where...

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26 июня, 21:26

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**Should-Read: Diane Coyle**: Economics in Transition: The End of Theory: "There has been a huge shift away from the reductionism of an older generation... to which Bookstaber has paid little attention... >...His critique is partly valid.... Macroeconomic models in wide use before the 2008 crisis excluded financial institutions and relied on the fiction of “representative agents.” This is changing all too slowly. The field is full of normative terminology, about “optimal” outcomes, for instance, without ever analyzing the implied value judgments. Mainstream macroeconomists are unwilling to admit there is little hard science in what they do–a stance that, in the name of promoting economics in public opinion, has undermined the profession’s credibility. Bookstaber is also right to point out that much macroeconomic modeling ignores the fact that economic time series are non-ergodic.... But _The End of Theory_ goes on to charge that economics has ignored behavioral psychology. In fact, behavioral economics is one of the most popular areas of the discipline now, among academics and students alike. Bookstaber also asserts that economists ignore the reality of complexity theory, network theory, and agent-based modeling. While these latter areas are not mainstream, not least because most established researchers have never learned the...

26 июня, 21:26

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**Should-Read: Lane Kenworthy and Ive Marx**: In-Work Poverty in the United States: "In-work poverty became a prominent policy issue in the United States... >...long before the term itself acquired any meaning and relevance in other industrialized countries. With America’s embrace of an employment-centered antipoverty strategy, the working poor have become even more of an issue. This paper reviews some key trends, drivers and policy issues. How much in-work poverty is there in the United States? How does the US compare to other rich democracies? Has America’s in-work poverty rate changed over time? Who are the in-work poor? What are the main drivers of levels and changes in in-work poverty? Finally, what are the prospects for America’s working poor going forward?...

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26 июня, 19:59

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**Should-Read: Larry Summers**: Globalization Will Work If We Stop Catering To The Elite: "A wage subsidy works like this... >...I earn $8 an hour and the government pays an extra $4 for every hour I work. If I earn $10 an hour, the government gives me $3 dollars. In other words, because it is based on my wage rate, it doesn’t distort my level of effort. It is more complicated to enforce, but more attractive. It is a better alternative to universal basic income where no level of effort is required. I think people want to work. There are all kinds of important work in our society to do―such as elderly care, child care, practicing preventive medicine―for which there is not a readily apparent business model. If we are going to employ everybody, we’re going to have to find ways of making sure that that work can get done. >Another important thing to understand about wages and costs in this context is how the world has changed. If we assume consumer prices at 100 in 1983, the consumer price for a TV in 2017 is much, much less because the technology has improved and made it much cheaper. But the...

26 июня, 19:35

Procrastinating on June 26, 2017

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**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * **Should-Read: Richard Peach and Charles Steindel**: Low Productivity Growth: The Capital Formation Link: "Capital intensity... reflect[s] the effect of current and past physical investment on the growth of labor productivity... * **Must-Read: Nicholas Bagley**: Crazy waivers: the Senate bill invites states to gut important health insurance rules: "The bill goes further to grease the wheels for waivers... * **Must-Read: David Anderson**: Reading the BCRA CBO Score: "The Congressional Budget Office is due to release their score on the Senate’s BCRA bill at some point today. Here are a few things to remember as you read the score... * **Must-Read: Benjamin D. Sommers, Atul A. Gawande, and Katherine Baicker**: Health Insurance Coverage and Health—What the Recent Evidence Tells Us: "Perhaps no research question better encapsulates this policy debate than, 'Does coverage save lives?... * **Must-Read: Minxin Pei**: Xi Jinping’s war on the ‘financial crocodiles’ gathers pace: "Beijing will pass off a politically motivated purge as tough regulatory enforcement... * **Should-Read: Thucydides**: ,History of the Peloponnesian War: "To hear this history recited, for that there be inserted in it no fables... ---- **Interesting Reads:** * Four Links for 2007-06-25 : Samuelson, P.A. (1971) "Understanding...