Assorted links

by on August 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Facts about Brazil.

2. Can Haiti rebuild with recycled garbage?

3. Reviving Thomas Browne.

4. Markets in everything.

5. Rortybomb on whether policy uncertainty is what matters, and here is a look at some Romney plan-cited economists.

Donald Pretari August 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I just found my pre-ordered copy of Browne downloaded. I’ve read it before & have another version of it but decided that this edition was a good opportunity to revisit it.

Rich Berger August 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm

So lil’ Ezra cherry-picked a couple of economists to prove that Romney cherry-picked some economists? Boy that kid is versatile!

byomtov August 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Nice try Rich, considering how little you have to work with.

But you have no case.

Spencer August 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

No, Ezra called the ones Romney had cherry picked.

I bet Ezra took a much larger sample than Romney did.

Rich Berger August 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm

No, if you read his article, he spoke to one (Bordo) whose statement ““We found that a lot of the difference between what would’ve been predicted by the normal behavior of recessions and what we observed now is explained by the collapse of residential investment. Put another way, if residential investment were what it was in a normal recovery, we would have recovered already.” is not really reflected in the paper which concluded that “In the absence of a model, of course, this finding points to the need for further analysis, to determine if weakness in housing was directly to blame for the weak recovery, or if it merely reflected or transmitted other problems, such as weakness in the intermediary sector. Nonetheless, the role of housing does stand out as a marker for weakness in the current recovery.”. First strike.

He skipped over Taylor, who was mentioned in the Romney paper and interviewed another economist, Sufi, who was cited as a source for the failure of the cash for clunkers program. Instead of asking him about cash for clunkers, asked him about the stimulus, which is beside the point – he has not done a study of the stimulus as a whole. Strike 2.

He then goes on to to quote a Dylan Mathews who claims to have surveyed the literature and concludes that the evidence showed that the stimulus worked on balance. If you read the descriptions, I don’t think the conclusion is quite so firm. Your mileage may vary, of course. The inescapable fact is that the Obama administration said it would work and that unemployment would be 6% by now (undoubtedly because they looked at the “literature”). It did not, and unlike other deep recessions ,the recovery (if you can call it that) has been anemic.

Is it only coincidence that the two contractions which were met with the most activity by Democrat administrations were the most prolonged?

Spencer August 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I wonder what the policy uncertainty was under Bush since private employment growth was much weaker under Bush than it has been under Obama — measured from the official recession bottom.

JWatts August 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm

“measured from the official recession bottom.”

Well, I’m guessing no one really cares, since most people are going to consider that an arbitrary point designed to foster a political point than any meaningful economic point.

Greg G August 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm

#4 Won’t this impair their ability to find the right restaurant?

anonymous... August 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm

#4 Blurry glasses are a crude solution. In the future, people will wear Google glasses or similar augmented-reality goggles, which will intelligently filter out anything visually inappropriate, by repainting the visual field in realtime instead of blurring it. Maybe even retinal implants.

If the direst predictions of global warming come to pass, in future decades it may become medically inadvisable to wear conservative clothing like burqas in torrid desert climates. Perhaps people will walk around in the emperor’s new clothes as the burden of modesty shifts to the beholder from the beholdee. The only body part which will be illegal to be naked will be the eye. Walking around without modesty-filtering goggles will get you arrested as a peeping tom.

Asher August 9, 2012 at 3:44 am

#4: I found what seems to be the original article: http://www.mynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4264799,00.html

I’m still not sure it’s not a gag, but according to the article they are not selling special glasses. They are just selling used/discarded glasses for 25 shekels (about $7). So you get a decent frame and styling, but it’s blurry because of the sticker (or maybe just because it’s someone else’s prescription). “Patent” is a Hebrew term for “novelty” but it was translated into English as a “patent”. Of course you couldn’t get a patent for blurry glasses as it is not new, useful and non-obvious and in any case patents cost more than 25 shekels.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: