Bloomberg Opinion writer. Founder, Writes about economics, tweets about rabbits. Doesn't actually look like William Butler Yeats.
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13 Jul 20
In 2013 I wrote a blog post about how unequal social status in America is, and saying that we needed a way to redistribute respect.

In retrospect, I see elite/institutional wokeness as the movement that arose in answer to that social need.…
I think this is one reason that wokeness generates so much more revolutionary passion among young Americans than socialism does. Young Americans would *like* a wealth tax, but they're not willing to get their eyeballs popped by rubber bullets in order to get it.
My biggest complaint about American culture is the general lack of respect. Much of our culture centers around finding reasons to tell each other that we suck. Now, that toxic put-down culture is coming back to bite us in a big way.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jul 20
This is a deeply flawed op-ed, and repeats some of the erroneous arguments I addressed in this earlier column:…

1. The lower the poverty threshold, the more important it is. Reducing $1.90/day poverty is more important than reducing $3.10/day poverty, which is more important than reducing $5.50/day poverty, etc. etc.

Dismissing the $1.90 threshold is therefore ridiculous...
2. The article's author dismisses the idea that growth reduces poverty. Growth reduces poverty far more than anything else.
Read 6 tweets
11 Jul 20
1/A Pew survey about police policy! Let's see what Americans think...…
2/Most Americans think people should be able to sue the cops.

Ending Qualified Immunity seems like a smart and popular reform.
3/American opinions of the police have soured since the Great Police Riot in early June.

People still give the police fairly positive marks on protecting people from crime, but think cops use too much force, are racist, and are not accountable.
Read 12 tweets
9 Jul 20
Hypothesis: Much of the intolerance on the intellectual Left comes as a backlash to the insane, neverending aggression of the online Right. The GamerGaters and Nazis and rape threats come from everywhere and nowhere. How else to end the madness but to clamp down hard everywhere?
Assholes always sent threats and harassment by email. But social media now allows them to brigade people on a scale unimaginable even in 2010. They rove across the internet, always looking for the next target. It doesn't even take that many to make people feel besieged.
So what do people want to do in response?

Clamp down hard. Everywhere. With maximum force.

The online rightist brigades have thus sowed the seeds of distrust and hate throughout our entire society.
Read 14 tweets
9 Jul 20
1/It's time for:

Coronavirus Tweets From the Experts, 7/8/2020…
2/There's a huge tangle of sometimes conflicting information about coronavirus. How can we make sense of it?

Read this Andy Slavitt thread to find out how to stay calm and reasonable and well-informed amidst the madness:

3/Which activities are riskier? Which are safer?

A helpful infographic:

Read 32 tweets
6 Jul 20
1/Today's @bopinion post is a meditation on @Peter_Turchin's theory of "elite overproduction", as applied to today's unrest.…
2/A while back, I wrote a thread about a narrow slice of this -- shrinking opportunities for humanities grads.

Today's post is more general.

3/Americans' level of dissatisfaction is just off the charts right now. Obviously this is a phenomenon that goes far beyond the elite.

But the fact that even the people who are on top of this mess are not happy about the mess cries out for an explanation.
Read 16 tweets
1 Jul 20
A higher percent of Asian Americans than Black Americans now report experiencing discrimination, slurs, and physical threats because of their race.

Anti-Asian racism is a massively under-appreciated problem.… Image
And many think the problem has gotten worse since coronavirus came. Image
In fact, it seems clear that coronavirus is exacerbating racial tensions in American society more generally. Image
Read 4 tweets
30 Jun 20
1/Let's talk a little about this paper, and about things like racism, nation-states, and America...
2/This is not the first piece of evidence I've seen that when people feel like America rejects them because of their race, they identify less with America.

Not a surprising finding, of course, but still important and powerful.

3/But it's interesting that experiences of discrimination in America could spur Chinese people to increase their support the Chinese government -- a regime that has killed and oppressed many more Chinese people than America ever has (and still does).
Read 19 tweets
30 Jun 20
When I said that CHAZ/CHOP security were "police" a couple weeks ago, it provoked a storm of indignation from people who idealized and defended these security forces.
Here were a few such replies.
One guy even asserted that CHOP security weren't really "police" until they had killed innocent Black people.

But I can't screenshot that one, because when I pointed out the recent news, he deleted his account... πŸ˜…
Read 7 tweets
30 Jun 20
1/It's that time again, kids!



Coronavirus Tweets From the Experts, 6/29/2020
2/Let's start off with the always-excellent WACHTER THREAD

3/Remember, all our troubles here in the U.S. ultimately stem from the utterly disastrous federal government response to coronavirus.

The buck stops with Trump.

Read 33 tweets
29 Jun 20
1/Today's @bopinion post is about America in decline, and what it means for ordinary Americans.…
2/Decline started with a bunch of little stuff that we learned to live with.

Like buildings and roads that took forever to build.…
3/Or ridiculous, insane hospital bills that we grew used to paying (or avoiding).…
Read 17 tweets
27 Jun 20
Twitter basically took the comments sections of articles and blog posts and imagined: "What if all discussion were just that?"
By utterly leveling the playing field for public discussion, Twitter smashed media elitism.

It also forced smart and honest people to spend near-infinite time debunking stupidity and disinformation.
A large % of viral tweets are either inaccurate or distorted. Naturally, well-informed and reasonable people quickly swarm to correct each one. But even if they succeed, one random fool just wasted hours of well-informed and reasonable people's lives...for no social gain.
Read 8 tweets
26 Jun 20
So, a tech company gathered data on a bunch of protesters by tracing their phones (which is pretty crappy, yes; digital privacy needs to be addressed by Congress).

It confirmed that in most cities, the protesters were disproportionately white.…
To be clear, it is a very GOOD thing that white Americans turned out in massive numbers to protest and fight on behalf of Black Americans.

It shows how much our country has changed since a century ago.

Read 2 tweets
24 Jun 20
1/Today's @bopinion post is about a very important trend, and contains a very big idea.

It's about how Millennials (and young Americans in general) haven't been able to build wealth, and how to fix that.…
2/Just 6 or 7 years ago, the word "Millennial" meant "young people". It carried a connotation of rebelliousness, freshness, and youth.

No longer.

3/Millennials are easing into early middle age. The average Millennial is now in their 30s. Their rebellious youth is over.

But economically, they aren't ready. Repeated recessions, inequality, and student debt are dragging them down.…
Read 25 tweets
24 Jun 20
Once you read "Homage to Catalonia" and "The Battle for Spain", you start to see patterns in leftist movements's always the Communists, the Anarchists, the Trotskyists, and the Republicans...
The Anarchists: The true revolutionaries. Idealistic utopians. Usually from disadvantaged backgrounds. Want to change everything about history, society, and culture. Usually lack organization and a coherent vision, but fight very hard.
The Republicans: Center-left squishes. Want evolutionary leftism through democratic elections. Intent on building a big tent, so they ally with revolutionaries while trying to temper their fervor.
Read 9 tweets
23 Jun 20
1/Trump has failed at many things. But when it comes to the central goal of his presidency -- limiting nonwhite immigration to the U.S. -- he has succeeded wildly.

And our nation will be far worse off for it.…
2/Immigration had already fallen dramatically before Trump, due to the end of the Mexican wave.

But there were still some asylum seekers from Central America (the "caravans").

Trump put a stop to that by changing the way our asylum system works.…
3/What was left?

High-skilled immigration, mostly from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Read 23 tweets
23 Jun 20
1/Strap yourself in for:

Coronavirus Tweets From the Experts, 6/23/2020…
2/About that paper showing that antibody response fades over time? It's a lot more complicated than you might think. There's also T-cell immunity to consider, and how that interacts with antibodies...…
3/Younger people are spreading the virus

Read 27 tweets
22 Jun 20
Singapore's housing system is amazing. The government builds the houses but people effectively own them instead of renting, and can re-sell them. The government manages supply and downpayment assistance so that young people can consistently build wealth.…
It's basically like if every generation got what the WW2 generation got in America -- forever.
And note that Singapore's system is not social housing. Only 6% of the units built by the government are rented out. Almost all units are privately owned (technically, on 99-year leases). It's a managed ownership society, not a social housing model.
Read 3 tweets
21 Jun 20
1/Tonight, witness the triumphant return of:

Coronavirus Tweets From the Experts, 6/20/2020…
3/Trump wants to decrease U.S. testing to make it look like the epidemic is going away, while increasing testing for his own staff.


Read 23 tweets
20 Jun 20
They toppled a statue of Ulysses S. Grant???

The guy who kicked the Confederacy's ass and actually tried to do Reconstruction right???

This is just dumb now.
The toppling of the Grant statue in San Francisco wasn't unique. Apparently Grant statues all over the country are being toppled.

This is such total bullshit.

Read 2 tweets
18 Jun 20
1/In today's @bopinion post, I explain why, contrary to popular belief, lockdowns did NOT cause the economic devastation in the U.S. -- and what this implies for future lockdowns.…
2/As cases rise in the South and Southwest, some places are considering going back on lockdown.

Is this a good idea?…
3/It's pretty clear that lockdowns DO reduce the spread of the virus.

Just take a glance at Sweden, relative to its Nordic neighbors:
Read 16 tweets