Assorted links

by on March 5, 2012 at 11:54 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. The Cal State system, America’s largest, will take significant steps into on-line education.

2. Robot prejudice.

3. A new Banerjee and Duflo paper (pdf), RCTs and governance.

4. More on the Apple job creation claims.

5. More on Iceland and Canada; they seem to want to go back to a fixed exchange rate, life as a floater isn’t always so simple.

6. Scott summarizes “market monetarism.”

1 derek March 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm

5. The severe fluctuations of the Canadian dollar vis a vis the US has forced manufacturers to become assemblers. Components are imported from the destination market, value added here, then exported back. That is one of the reasons why resource development is so important here.

2 FYI March 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

This whole Apple job creation issue is nonsense. What are we trying to decide here? Whether the government should force Apple to have more local jobs? Does anyone believe this is the right thing to do (or even a plausible path)? Let’s assume that this is all lies and Apple has created few American jobs. Are we willing to subsidize Apple in order to bring some of those jobs to the US? Or are we going to force Apple to charge more for their products? Are either of these two options better than the current situation?

People keep arguing about jobs as if it is so kind of moral issue. It is not.

3 derek March 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Much easier to pontificate and moralize than to face what it means.

The jobs could be in the US if:

1. labor was as cheap and plentiful. And eager and qualified.
2. secondary costs were less, ie. regulation, pollution control, labor regulation, medical costs, osha and the like

I’m quite certain those who would pressure Apple to have the work done here would not be willing to consider the changes required to encourage it to happen.

4 Dale March 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

If jobs are not a moral issue then you don’t understand what the word means.
I suspect I agree with your sentiments regarding whether the Apple issue warrants any kind of policy intervention at all – but jobs ARE a moral issue.

5 Daniel Dostal March 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Well there’s your problem right there. You categorically disagree with many people about the issue. And there’s no accompanying argument. I agree with you, but many don’t. That unfortunately puts the burden of proof on us, and few people will allow a moral issue to be amoralized through logic. You’ll need some serious rhetoric, probably with a parable or two to get through to others. Or just wait for the current economic crisis to be well past and no one will remember.

6 Eric March 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm

If it was not for Apple these products would probably have been developed in Japan and produced in China. It is hard to see how we would have been better off under that scenario.

7 Doc Merlin March 6, 2012 at 5:00 am

Apple is trying to preemptively protect itself from jobs-protectionists.

8 mofo March 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Why does Iceland even have its own currency? Why not simply use whatever currency its citizens prefer?

9 IVV March 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I’m sure that until very recently, the citizens preferred their own currency.

10 msgkings March 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Re #4: and still people deny there’s any racial component to anti-immigration rhetoric.

11 msgkings March 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Pardon me, I meant #2

12 CH March 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm

is your goal to force people into an unnatural and unhappy cultural milieu?

13 msgkings March 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

You again.

Is yours to never have to see, read about, or share a country with a brown person?

14 Scrutineer March 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Thanks for picking up the slack when CBBB isn’t around.

15 msgkings March 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Maybe I’m him?

Actually I used to rag on that knucklehead pretty fierce. You musn’t be very smart if you can’t see the differences.

16 Daniel Dostal March 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

One troll is as good as another to most people. It also means that when you or CBBB aren’t trolling, you’re usually ignored.

17 msgkings March 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Folks who have trouble with views different than their own tend to view the different, incorrectly, as ‘trolls’.

And those same folks are going to ignore the different in any case, mainly due to the weakness of their positions.

CBBB was a narcissist who admitted to being a nuisance on purpose. I’m just a moderate/centrist on a rightwing blog. But the posters here are pretty smart and I like interacting with them. YMMV.

18 Petar March 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm

What if it is? It seems that the goal of a lot of people (you are probably among them) is to force other people to live with ethnicities they don’t want to have any contact with. Hard to justify it without making bold absolutistic moral claims – and we all know that such claims always fail.

19 Claudia March 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Petar, I am coming around to the idea that diversity is uncomfortable and maybe against people’s natural instinct. Anti-immigration rhetoric is often more about helping citizens than hurting immigrants. Is it wrong to take care of our own first? And as you said some groups don’t want to mix.

That said, the United States is a country that has benefited from waves of immigrants over time. Sure the details of assimilation change, but it’s hard to deny the importance of past immigration. And so prejudices aside, we will need immigration and diversity going forward.

20 msgkings March 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Hear hear, Claudia. Also racists are jerks.

21 JWatts March 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Sure and people deny there’s a racial component to pro-abortion policies, but what of it?

22 Donald Pretari March 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

It could be that Germans see themselves as Robotic, & are more inclined to believe they can make better robots.

23 Nicoli March 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

@1 I suspect the primary (if not entire) goal of online programs will be controlling costs instead of improving education quality.

24 msgkings March 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm

There’s evidence that for certain skills and types of learning you can do both.

25 Mark Thorson March 5, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Turkey has a few major manufacturers of kitchen appliances selling into the EU. Is it possible the build quality of their kitchen appliances is being transferred to robots? If you offered me a robot made in China vs. Japan or South Korea, I’d definitely prefer the Korean or Japanese robot sight unseen, based on my experiences with Chinese kitchen appliances. My Korean-buiilt Ronco rotissiere is running just fine after many years of heavy use.

26 fred smalkin March 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

#6. It seems to me that if the Fed employs rules based on NGDP futures, then parties would have the incentive to tie nominal payments to some derivative of NGDP futures in order to hedge inflation risk. If everyone does that, then NGDP futures become dependent on fed policy, and there’s a short-circuit. Is there something I’m missing or getting wrong?

27 Doc Merlin March 6, 2012 at 5:03 am

I’ve made the exact same argument to Scott, over and over and over again!
Its simple application of Goodhart’s law.

28 Doc Merlin March 6, 2012 at 5:07 am

Any target will become useless to manipulate within 10-20 years. Even price level targeting is a failure because supply side and demand side recessions are indistinguishable ex-ante. The fed will then contract at the beginning of a supply side recession and cause an adverse demand shock.

Really, any Fed targeting scheme will necessarily be a failure.

29 Doc Merlin March 6, 2012 at 5:09 am

“because supply side and demand side recessions”

should have read:

“because supply side recessions and demand side booms”

30 Frank March 9, 2012 at 6:34 am

If jobs are not a moral issue then you don’t understand what the word means. I suspect I agree with your sentiments regarding whether the Apple issue warrants any kind of policy intervention at all – but jobs ARE a moral steroids issue.

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