Brad DeLong: 'Live long, & prosper!' Profile picture
House Pfizer. Team Raccoon. Tolerance is a treaty. I'm trying to be smart, knowledgable, semi-amusing, & wishing oþers well. You try too—at least 2 of 4...
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19 Jun
@paulkrugman The consumption function work was good—albeit overstated. "Incomes from Professional Practice" on the role played by the AMA and the state bar associations in boosting doctors' and lawyers' incomes and keeping them high is very good. "Roofs or Ceilings?" is at least half... 1/
@paulkrugman ...right: markets ration the available supply by (ability to pay) x (relative intensity of demand); price controls ration available supply some other way, and send a signal to profit-seeking capital to shift investment resources elsewhere. I don't think F&S have it right... 2/
@paulkrugman ..but their principal targets have it very wrong indeed. Cf. the "grain supply" debate in France in the late 1700s, which is actually more sophisticated in elements than F&S.

It's the "Keynes was wrong: you don't need a 'somewhat comprehensive socialization of investment"... 3/
Read 11 tweets
18 Jun
<braddelong.substack.com/p/document-joh…>

John Maynard Keynes (1938-02-01): Private Letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Private and personal

Dear Mr. President,

You received me kindly when I visited you some three years ago that I make bold to send you some bird’s eye impressions which... 1/
...I have formed as to the business position in the United States. You will appreciate that I write from a distance, that I have not revisited the United States since you saw me, and that I have access to few more sources of information than those publicly available. But... 2/
...sometimes in some respects there may be advantages in these limitations! At any rate, those things which I think I see, I see very clearly.... Personally I think there is a great deal to be said for the ownership of all the utilities by publicly owned boards. But if... 3/
Read 12 tweets
16 Jun
PODCAST: "Hexapodia" Is þe Key Insight XIX: America Today: A Zero-Sum Society?

Key Insights:

* Hexapodia!
* Periodically, America has had “the frontier has closed, now scarcity rules!” panics—& they have been bad, but so far they have all been...

1/

braddelong.substack.com/p/podcast-hexa…
...false alarms.
* The “new frontier” to alleviate scarcity in America is intensive growth, right here, but more: economic poldering.
Share Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality... 2/
...References:

John F. Kennedy (1960): “The New Frontier”: Liberal Party Nomination Acceptance Speech <jfklibrary.org/archives/other…>... 3/
Read 12 tweets
15 Jun
@MaxKennerly @TheStalwart @markets We shouldn't be talking about inflation **at all** right now: we have much bigger fish to fry.

We should be talking about how we get 10M more workers back to work in þe right jobs as fast as possible, accepting þt we are leaving rubber on þe road as we do so, & postponing... 1/
@MaxKennerly @TheStalwart @markets ...worrying about inflation until 2023, when we will see where we are. Why? Because þe Fed has a straightforward way of reducing demand & cooling off inflation if it turns out þt demand is too high, but we have no good way of boosting demand if it turns out it is too low... 2/
@MaxKennerly @TheStalwart @markets ...Given þe enormous uncertainty, þe asymmetries þt emerge when you walk down þe strategy tree dominate. Until þose uncertainties resolve, no reasonable case for tightening immediately can be made. 3/END
Read 4 tweets
15 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/outtake-the-…

One set of lenses with which to view the technological core of modern economic growth brings into focus General Purpose Technologies: those technologies where advances change, if not everything, a lot, as they ramify across sector upon sector... 1/
...In the 1950s there came another GPT. Electricity was no longer a sector, for it was everywhere. But there emerged something called “microelectronics”: electrons made to dance Not in the service of providing power but rather of assisting and amplifying calculation—and... 2/
...communication. Take sand, which is mostly very finely grained particles of the rock quartz. Purify it by removing things like pieces of shell. Heat it to more than 1700°C—that is 3100°F. Add carbon. The carbon will then pull the oxygen atoms out of the quartz to make... 3/
Read 6 tweets
14 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/briefly-note…

First:

The plague year is not over. It may be only half-over, depending on what Delta and subsequent variants do:

Bob Wachter: Covid (@UCSF) Chronicles, Day 453: ‘I know everybody’s sick of playing 3-dimensional Covid chess. Sorry, but Delta... 1/
... forces us back to the chess board…. If you’re fully vaxxed, I wouldn’t be too worried, especially… in a highly vaxxed region…. If you’re not vaccinated: I’d be afraid. Maybe even very afraid…. Sadly, ~50% of the U.S. (>age 12) remains unvaccinated, and in certain... 2/
...states (mostly southern & right-leaning), it’s more like 2/3rds…. This is the most dangerous moment to be unvaccinated…. The virus… is better at infecting people…. 3 things… about variants… a) are they more infectious? b) are they more serious? (ie, are you
Read 7 tweets
14 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/reading-reco…

Axel Weber (2013): "I was invited to a group of banks—now Deutsche Bundesbank is frequently mixed up in invitations with Deutsche Bank. I was the only central banker sitting on the panel. It was all banks. It was about securitizations. I asked my... 1/
... people to prepare. I asked the typical macro question: who are the twenty biggest suppliers of securitization products, and who are the twenty biggest buyers. I got a paper, and they were both the same set of institutions.... I said: "It looks to me that since the... 2/
...buyers and the sellers are the same institutions, as a system they have not diversified". That was one of the things that struck me: that the industry was not aware at the time that while its treasury department was reporting that it bought all these products its... 3/
Read 6 tweets
12 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/briefly-note…

First: I find this from Mervyn King for Bloomberg annoying. Yes, the risk of inflation is “real”—as it was not in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, in all of which we were assured that it was very real... 1/
...indeed. But the risk that the recovery will be anemic is real as well. If inflation risks turn out to materialize, the Federal Reserve has a straightforward way of handling them. If anemic-recovery risks materialize, there is no path to easily handle them. Given the... 2/
...immense uncertainties, an ability to do the math of option value under asymmetric risks mandates that the sensible thing to do is to prioritize rapid recovery now, and to wait until early 2023 to see where we are with respect to inflation. And, no, we are not... 3/
Read 8 tweets
12 Jun
TIME FOR ME TO TWEET SOME CRITICAL RACE THEORY!:

We have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall... 1/
...heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of... 2/
...honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."... So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have... 3/
Read 9 tweets
12 Jun
@jfeckstein @Noahpinion Don't think I haven't thought about it! Wiþ 1 ideogram per syllable—or, actually, more like 0.7—& 2 syllabus per word, 280 characters translates into 200 words. A full op-ed column þen becomes a three-tweet tweet storm.

I favor: "the complex Involved Ideography of Captain... 1/
@jfeckstein @Noahpinion ...Yuan.... Yuan’s Ideography was based on the notion that writing had greater impact the more senses it evoked. Old-style European script... had to work hard to achieve the kind of psychic resonance that Yuan desired.... The Involved Ideography... were intricate... 2/
@jfeckstein @Noahpinion ...hieroglyphs based on the First Aristos’s own ideas about the wiring of the human mind and its relationship to information, were another step toward complexity and many levels higher in symbolism. Looking like a peculiarly convoluted incorporation of baroque Mayan... 3/
Read 7 tweets
12 Jun
@zachdcarter How come back in 1993 Michael Levy & Jack de Vore, Bentsen's Asst. Secys. for LA & PR, were **very** **very** insistent that, even then, things would only pass (a) if they were also Republican priorities, (b) via Reconciliation, or (c) if you were very clever, under... 1/
@zachdcarter ...credible threat of Reconciliation followed by a bargaining-back, & only then if enough Republican senators to get to 60 decided that bipartisan comity was a better look than boob bait for the bubbas?

If this was the view of Bentsen's staff in 1993, 27 years ago, a group... 2/
@zachdcarter ...that actually staffed things that passed via a bipartisan majority, what excuse does Biden's staff and Manchin's staff have for not knowing it now and singing bipartisan kumbayah?

The velvet glove is worn over the steel gauntlet, it is not a substitute for it... 3/END
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
@FiringLineShow @LHSummers @Harvard @PBS For example, John Cochrane in November 2008, when private construction spending was at 40% of its peak and only 60% of its average share of spending, calling for a further fall in aggregate demand & higher unemployment to push even more people out of construction employment... 1/
@FiringLineShow @LHSummers @Harvard @PBS ...Unless I am fundamentally mistaken at a very deep level, that's not intellectual excellence. Yet neither his colleagues in the finance group, his deans, nor U. of Chicago President Zimmer uttered as much of a peep or pulled John aside to say: "you should count how many...
@FiringLineShow @LHSummers @Harvard @PBS ...people are employed in construction before you go raving off as some kind of right-wing von Hayekian social justice warrior".

It's a big problem. 3/END
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
@IrishPhilosophy @lastpositivist It's a Roman thing: When you surrender, you give your captor power of life and death over you. If he decides to enslave you, you have agreed to it: if you were not the kind of person who would agree to become a slave, you would have... 1/
...continued to resist, and so died.

The questions in this framework are (a) what if it was not you but your parent that surrendered (easy answer for Romans: you live at your paterfamilias's sufferance, so you have no rights other than those he gives you; easy answer... 2/
...for us too: no, your father's surrender does not bind you in any way); and (b) can you—morally—revoke your surrender and resume your war against your captor-enemy under more favorable conditions. I think the answer for Hobbes is: yes, you can, for you are still in a... 3/
Read 4 tweets
10 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/briefly-note…

First: We economists observe the very broad sweeps of data generated by firms and governments accounting systems. They arise out of human propensity to cement social bonds and deepen our societal division of labor by entering into reciprocal gift-... 1/
...We economists observe the very broad sweeps of data generated by firms and governments accounting systems. They arise out of human propensity to cement social bonds and deepen our societal division of labor by entering into reciprocal gift-exchange relationships. We... 2/
... have both extraordinarily amplified yet also narrowly focused these by mediating them via through the social fiction of “money“. Thus gift-exchange gets divided into one-shot cash-on-the-barrelhead quantified discrete episodes. And from the counted-up totals and... 3/
Read 11 tweets
9 Jun
...James Mayer de Rothschild: ‘There are three principal ways to lose money: drinking wine, wooing women, and employing engineers. While the first two are far more pleasant, the third is superior as by far more certain… LINK: <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_May…>... 2/
...One Video: Engadget: EUV: Lasers, Plasma, & the Sci-Fi Tech that Will Make Chips Faster <>... 3/
Read 7 tweets
9 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/podcast-hexa…

Key Insights:

1. When industrial policy in America has been successful, it has always had a profound political driving motive: maintaining independence, manifest destiny, Sputnik, and so on. The only such driver today—and it is urgent—is green... 1/
... energy to fight global warming…

2. There is a four-day creative-destruction festschrift for Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt starting June 9: The Economics of Creative Destruction <zoom.us/j/98595732585>

3. The U.S. used to be excellent not just on the “novelty”...
...prong of Breznitz’s prosperity-in-an-unforgiving-world quadent, but also on the “engineering design”, “second-generation innovation”, and “production-assembly” prongs as well. We threw that away in the era Reagan began—the era of neoliberalism, financialization-driven... 4/
Read 12 tweets
8 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/document-gor…

With unit cost falling as the number of components per circuit rises, by 1975 economics may dictate squeezing as many as 65 000 components on a single silicon chip... 1/
...Integrated circuits will lead to such wonders as home computers—or at least terminals connected to a central computer—automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment. The electronic wristwatch needs only a display to be feasible today... 2/
...But the biggest potential lies in the production of large systems. In telephone communications, integrated circuits in digital filters will separate channels on multiplex equipment. Integrated circuits will also switch telephone circuits and perform data processing... 3/
Read 6 tweets
8 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/briefly-note…

First: Yes, Republican politicians say in private. Trump is dangerous to our democracy and unstable. But it would be limiting to our careers for us to do anything but enthusiastically support him. And he is rapidly losing his grip—very soon he will... 1/
...be gone, so why should we do anything other than enthusiastically support him? And, in any event, the Democrats will block him from doing anything really bad.

That is what they all think, and do. All but Liz Cheney:

Steve Schmidt: ‘Most significantly, [Liz Cheney]... 2/
...talks about her colleagues being intimidated by the Trump Mob. When the people’s representatives make votes on the basis of their fear of violence, democracy is in great crisis… <https://twitter. com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1402082262632615941>... 3/
Read 8 tweets
8 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/document-joh…

Dear Mr President,

You have made yourself the Trustee for those in every country who seek to mend the evils of our condition by reasoned experiment within the framework of the existing social system. If you fail, rational change will be gravely... 1/
... prejudiced throughout the world, leaving orthodoxy and revolution to fight it out. But if you succeed, new and bolder methods will be tried everywhere, and we may date the first chapter of a new economic era from your accession to office. This is a sufficient reason... /2
...why I should venture to lay my reflections before you, though under the disadvantages of distance and partial knowledge. At the moment your sympathisers in England are nervous and sometimes despondent. We wonder whether the order of different urgencies is rightly... 3/
Read 7 tweets
6 Jun
braddelong.substack.com/p/briefly-note…

Twitter’s aggregation tools are absolute s–––. They are s––– by design: trying to trap your eyeballs within their walled garden in order to sell you ads to… so far this week it’s just clickbait websites, not overpriced gold funds, crypto scams... 1/
...or fake medical cures. So far this week.

This means that when there is a good discussion on twitter—increasingly rare these days—it is hard to save and then present it elsewhere. <twitter.com/threadreaderapp> will do tweet storms but not conversations.

I hoped this... 2/
...morning that <wakelet.com> would be a solution, but it was (a) slow, (b) clunky, and (c) buggy—at least on Mac Safari with a quad-core i5-1030NG7 running at 1.1 GHZ. (How much better it would be on an M1 I won’t know until and unless I try it in my office)... 3/
Read 5 tweets
6 Jun
@gmukunda @HeerJeet @JamesSurowiecki Guilty of not dropping a dime on her husband Julius and her brother David Greenglass, yes... But (if you can rely on Wikipedia):

"In 2001, David Greenglass recanted his testimony about his sister having typed the notes. He said, 'I frankly think my wife did the typing, but... 1/
@gmukunda @HeerJeet @JamesSurowiecki ... I don't remember.' He said he gave false testimony to protect himself and his wife, Ruth, and that he was encouraged by the prosecution to do so. 'My wife is more important to me than my sister. Or my mother or my father, OK? And she was the mother of my children.'
He... 2/
@gmukunda @HeerJeet refused to express remorse for his decision to betray his sister, saying only that he did not realize that the prosecution would push for the death penalty. He stated, "I would not sacrifice my wife and my children for my sister... 3/
Read 6 tweets