Matt Profile picture
Studying International Trade | Vegan | tweeting about politics | He/Him. 🏳️‍🌈
14 Feb
Providing a greener alternative to regional flights is good, even if it’s marginally more expensive and not quite as fast. Trains are remarkably less GHG intensive.
Should note that Europe is quite good at keeping costs down and most their rail lines are fairly price competitive with flying.
And if you’re like me, I actually prefer high speed rail to flying. Avoiding security and having extra leg space more than make up for the extra 20-40% of travel time.
Read 4 tweets
2 Feb
Reading a bit on Trump easing magnitsky sanctions on individuals close to the admin on his way out. Pretty awful stuff. Dan Gertler was organizing corrupt mining and oil deals in the DRC but after a bit of lobbying, got mostly off the hook.
It also unblocked illicit funds of his that the treasury had frozen in Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo, Citi, and the Bank of New York Mellon.
more reading if anyone's interested: economist.com/middle-east-an…
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
Biden just proposed the most progressive legislative goal in my lifetime and people on here are mad that the one time check is $1400 and not $2000.
Biden should probably just make it $2,000.
I’m usually not the person defending Biden but... really? He proposed a $15 minimum wage, UI up to $400/wk, 25B in rental assistance, an extension of the eviction moratorium, and a childcare credit and the media is still focused on the checks.
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
The best way to lower gun deaths is just having less guns. We can take steps to make each individual gun less dangerous - rules about storage, mandatory training, and bans of certain kinds of guns probably lower gun deaths in aggregate but are still only marginally effective.
A highly armed society is going to have more homicides and suicides when controlling for other stuff. We’re at the extreme end of that rule.
Here’s a thread I made earlier about guns - outlines the arguments well:
Read 4 tweets
13 Jan
Germany’s trade surplus probably isn’t even good for them. It’s likely a result of a) tight fiscal policies and b) a euro that’s a bit weaker than it ought be for Germany. Persistent imbalances like this often mean low domestic investment and too much saving.
In practical terms, we’re talking about lower consumption (lower wages for German workers) and slow growth. A persistent positive trade balance isn’t always to be lauded. In this case, Germany could do well to run a government deficit and try to even out their current accounts.
The US has critiqued German trade surpluses pretty much since Reagan but with limited success. The reluctance to deficit spend likely pulls down growth in the rest of Europe too. And lowers wages for Germans.
Read 4 tweets
13 Jan
It’s 2024. Feinstein has just won another term. Another California ballot measure to tweak prop 13 failed. We still haven’t legalized duplexes. Trump is elected to serve another four years as President after beating Kamala Harris in the EC and losing the popular vote by 9 points
Read 5 tweets
12 Jan
My favorite tankie story was finding out that Esha’s day job is being a corporate lawyer and then the ML Bay Area account rushing to her defense because the person who runs it is also a corporate lawyer.
The big law to tankie pipeline is something people aren’t ready to talk about.
For people who don’t know, Esha is the person who runs the (now banned) historic_ly account.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
Adjustments to bilateral trade policy (tariffs, NTB’s etc.) have very little impact on national trade deficits. A bit worrisome that the (outgoing) USTR is working from that assumption. wsj.com/articles/trade…
Running trade policy like it’s 1835.
He reportedly killed a US-Taiwan FTA for that reason. Not going to be sad to see him go.
Read 6 tweets
12 Jan
That brief moment in time between when Elon was estranged from his apartheid aristocrat parents but before PayPal took off was probably really difficult for him. What a commoner. Doing basic maintenance on his car like a normal person.
For people asking why I dislike these sorts of takes:
If anyone’s interested, here’s one of my favorite brookings articles with graphs provided by Raj Chetty’s research into intergenerational inequality: google.com/amp/s/www.broo…
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
I’m once again asking people to understand that these websites are not, and never have been, neutral purveyors of information. Everything you see is filtered and sorted with a deliberate bias towards content that will make you stay on the platform.
That often leads to incendiary posts being filtered to the top. This isn’t a natural free market of ideas. It’s Jack Dorsey manipulating your brain chemistry for clicks while data mining your every online interaction so they can do it more effectively.
Banning Nazis is corrective. It’s Twitter understanding that their own algorithms (which work well for their intended purpose) are inadvertently radicalizing Americans. Again this platform is NOT content neutral. None of them are.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
If I looked like this, I simply wouldn’t say that anything in my life was remotely comparable to Jim Crow Image
Weird how simply storming the US Capitol to overturn a democratic election makes people not like you. Smh
Read 4 tweets