Mark Copelovitch Profile picture
Professor @uwpolisci & @UWLaFollette. International political economy, international organizations. Policy & politics. Music & sports. Tradeoffs in everything.
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8 Jun
Give Toomey credit for at least saying the quiet part out loud. But revenue/GDP is at historic, non-crisis lows since WWII. The follow up questions should be: Do you prefer more borrowing, or do you want to shrink the state? And if the latter, what exactly do you want to cut? Image
Today in "You can't govern a continent-sized industrialized economy in the 21st century with nothing more than a worn copy of Atlas Shrugged and Ronald Reagan's talking points."
It's an entirely defensible position to say, "real interest rates are negative & the US can afford all of the things by borrowing without raising taxes" (). It's actually economically accurate , even if it's politically unpopular:

markcopelovitch.com/post/how-much-… Image
Read 5 tweets
8 Jun
Worth noting that these are not actually "extra" funds. They weren't generated w/ new or one-time taxes. It's good news that we've avoided a drastic collapse in revenue. But this is adopting the conservative frame that will be used to sell tax cuts instead of public investment.
The position that any budget surplus must be immediately returned as tax cuts creates a permanent fiscal crisis over & over. It's the exact opposite of the supposed "run the government like a business" view. It's what we saw with the faux UW surplus outrage a few years ago.
Another, more serious frame is that - despite avoiding a pandemic-induced revenue collapse - we remain ~$8B below the tax revenue we "should" have given 8 years of supply-side tax cuts under Scott Walker that did nothing for growth or employment but starved the state of $$.
Read 9 tweets
2 Jun
Wolfgang Schäuble, the Bourbon of the Eurozone, wants you to know that looming inflation & unstoppable currency devaluation are the major threats to the Eurozone.

ft.com/content/640d08…
And no matter how many times Herr Schäuble repeats otherwise, it will still be true that the key element of the actual, original "Hamiltonian moment" was debt mutualization:

Read 5 tweets
1 Jun
Again: people aren't responding negatively b/c they think it's not newsworthy. It's that fPOTUS is suggesting a coup & stenographizing that as "reinstated" is the same normalization of authoritarianism this media outlet has been doing for 4+ years now.

People are tired & would like "fPOTUS is suggesting a coup, while his party refuses to investigate 1/6 & restricts suffrage everywhere on the basis of lies" to be treated as the red-alert authoritarian threat that it is, rather than as political theater:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
People are noting that there is a pattern over months and years and it doesn't seem to be getting any better despite the constant pointing out of the problem:

twitter.com/search?q=%40mc…
Read 5 tweets
19 May
👇The casual dismissal of this is part & parcel of the refusal to engage w/ empirical reality (). Again here is the V-Dem data/ methodology. One could raise actual substantive & methodological critiques. That's not the project here.

One could ask "Why is this data only shifting drastically for the GOP, while that for every other mainstream political party in rich democracies is a flat line?" One might consider whether that, itself, is useful information. Again, not the project here for autocracy denialists.
One could look at any of the other metrics @donmoyn notes, all of which point in the same direction. Or perhaps you'd prefer 900+ anecdotes since December 2020?

Read 8 tweets
18 May
"What’s stopping them from doing more? Identity politics"

No, what's stopping them is our political institutions. If you want pro-democracy GOPers to ally w/ Dems, you must make it in their electoral & legislative interest to do so. That can't happen in a FPTP/SMD/2-party system
Romney & co. aren't going to "formally break w/ the GOP & announce that they will back Democratic candidates" because that means supporting a policy platform they don't believe in.

They aren't going to form a third party, because that means electoral irrelevance in our system.
You can call that "identity politics," but a far more useful frame is "people respond to incentives & our institutions provide none."

This is the same mistake we made w/ COVID, confusing institutional sources of bad outcomes for individual-level ones:
Read 4 tweets
11 May
@jeannasmialek @EricBoehlert I did. The pushback is that the opening frame assumes a worker shortage (when in fact the problem is quite likely wages are too low), followed by the assertion, w/o evidence, of a worker shortage by multiple employers, some of whom haven't raised wages or faced profit pressure.
@jeannasmialek @EricBoehlert This may not be the intent, but the media is covering this issue entirely on the turf/in the terms of those who assert/assume a labor shortage, when (ironically) those are usually the exact same people who praise the power of free markets otherwise.

@jeannasmialek @EricBoehlert There is no actual evidence of a "worker shortage" yet, because there is scarce evidence that the market mechanism - raising wages (again and further, until the market clears) - has actually been tried.

Read 6 tweets
10 May
This is an excruciatingly long article about people who don't want to raise wages & the media enabling them w/ yet another article about worker shortages.

No, it's not "like the Civil War," & hiring salaried workers is not a "zany idea." It's economics.

washingtonpost.com/business/2021/…
Yes, you need to raise wages even more to attract workers.

Yes, that may eat into your profits.

Yes, that may even make your current business model unsustainable.

Yes, that is exactly how that oft-claimed solution to all societal ills actually works:

Read 4 tweets
7 May
Lots of takes that this is good politics, even if it is not good economics. I think this is questionable, at best. Here, again, are results of the @ChicagoCouncil 2020 survey. Mercantilism and production autarky is...incredibly unpopular.

ImageImageImageImage
The reason Biden is president is b/c he won the suburbs, places full of highly-educated workers who work in export-oriented sectors or the nontradables sector (thus experiencing trade <only> as consumers). These aren't voters clamoring for mercantilism.

brookings.edu/research/biden…
It's not even clear mercantilism is popular beyond the suburbs, or in battleground states:

Read 4 tweets
6 May
Dear @Harvard: Why is this person - who continues to embrace the Big Lie & who voted to disenfranchise millions of voters in January - <still> listed on the @WinthropHarvard “Distinguished Alumni” web page? Exactly how is embracing lies & lawless authoritarianism “distinguished”?
As a GSAS alum and former Winthrop resident tutor, I would be happy to provide you with a long list of amazing alumni, who were Stefanik’s contemporaries and are now doing incredible things worthy of “Distinguished Alumni.” All have the advantage of not participating in sedition.
Read 4 tweets
3 May
🤔 The same reason we don't have every other replacement-level rich country policy: countermajoritarian, malapportioned electoral and legislative institutions that were not designed for governing a continent-sized polity within a global economy in the 21st century.
"Why don't we have an awesome national train system like in Europe"?

isthmus.com/opinion/citize…

wpr.org/derailed/wisco…
"Why don't we have an awesome national train system like in Europe"? ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
1 May
👍piece from @zackbeauchamp on Biden's continued embrace of Trump's awful trade & immigration policies. But I don't agree that it's unclear or puzzling why he's doing this. The GOP's gone full nativist, & the Dems' progressive wing is also mercantilist ().
Biden's staked his entire presidency on ensuring a rapid economic recovery & investing for the medium-term on jobs, ⬇️ inequality, etc. He's doing that w/ the barest of majorities & trying to hold a fractious coalition together, while picking off enough votes to get-reelected.
Pushing for free trade & open immigration now is = pushing for health care reform w/o fixing the economy in 2009-10. I'd love to see a full-throated embrace of globalization & the use of 🇺🇸's unmatched financial power to offset distributional effects. The politics are difficult.
Read 6 tweets
26 Apr
If only there were electoral systems capable of aggregating the national population into parliament in a proportional manner without creating zero sum competition between arbitrarily drawn subnational geographic units...
Read 4 tweets
26 Apr
👇Once again, the thing that should be driving headline media coverage of the GOP nonsense about “infrastructure” is on the op-ed page instead of on the front page
The entire approach is just taking GOP talking points at face value and framing media coverage entirely around them. It’s a pervasive problem:
Read 4 tweets
26 Apr
Biden didn’t promise 100% unity, and he certainly didn’t promise compromise or unity with lying authoritarians. Baker and the rest of the mainstream media pursuing this pointless line of nonsense know this, and they are intentionally pretending otherwise.
It would be useful to hear from Baker exactly what Biden was supposed to do that he hasn’t. Compromise on a woefully inadequate economic relief bill? Publicly forgive the 1/6 seditionists for their actions? Falsely admit that Trump won? This is a content-less gotcha critique.
It also ignores the fact that Biden has advanced policy after policy supported by large supermajorities of voters. Perhaps Baker might focus on that. Of course, that would require covering politics as policymaking and substance, rather than theater and horse races.
Read 4 tweets
12 Apr
If you can’t see how things add up, after badly miscalculating the politics & economics in 2009, & after a wide range of people in 2021 have repeatedly explained it (hint: stop analyzing it as “stimulus”), then all that’s left is to imply your critics aren’t being “quantitative.” Image
Read 5 tweets
4 Apr
When (Hoover) Institutions show you who they are, over and over again, believe them
Maybe platforming Niall Ferguson on currency and debt issues in 2021 is something that ostensibly serious media outlets want to reconsider? 🤔
Read 4 tweets
4 Apr
Not strange at all. Sure, there’d be political economy conflict in 🇪🇺 over XR levels/pegs. It absolutely would’ve offered relief for 🇬🇷, now <13 years> into a Great Depression+ w/ no end in sight. We <still> don’t fully appreciate the epic, unresolved disaster of the EZ crisis.
The 🇪🇺 made a desert and declared victory:
Everything that was true about the Eurozone in 2015 remains true and unresolved in 2021. That EMU has survived six years does not mean it will survive forever, especially as long as all of the alternatives to devaluation remain politically infeasible.

washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-ca…
Read 6 tweets
3 Apr
Sigh. It’s a month, so apparently we’re doing this again.

No, the dollars hegemony is not looking fragile.

🧵s:

As @michaelxpettis notes, this isn’t going to happen anytime soon because this would be disastrous for 🇨🇳 ‘s growth model, financial stability, etc. As he also notes, this is literally the same article written about the yen and the Euro in years past.

As promised, here is your link to the @BIS_org report detailing the dollar’s unprecedentedly extensive centrality in global finance. This isn’t going to markedly change anytime soon, & certainly not going to lead the dollar to lose “nearly half its weight” as a reserve currency.
Read 7 tweets