by Tyler Cowen
on June 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm
1. Using AI to tackle cancer.
2. Reihan Salam defends work requirements.
3. Halting drunk driving with Polish lasers (there is no great stagnation).
4. Liberalism Unrelinquished, an interview with Daniel Klein.
5. Cyborgs at the World Cup.
6. Dating through Facebook and Twitter?
anyone been to 538 lately? it Seems like no on talks about it anymore
Vox is better than 538 for policy/news stuff, although Upshot also looks pretty good. Grantland/Deadspin are better than 538 for sports and some pop culture.
FiveThirtyEight would benefit from a “Most Read” rss feed, because I’m not seeing much in the Features feed that draws my attention, and I’m not going to sift through multiple subject feeds (or the ‘all’ feed) for nuggets. I have Gawker (ugh) for that … although if there are other suggestions for aggregators out there, I’d be interested.
Also, all 538 headlines seem to fall into one of two categories: confusing or uninteresting. That’s evidence that the problem is with the editor.
Also, with 538, you cannot comment unless you’re on Facebook – which I am not.
Berg Pharma: I’ve heard a lot of bad things about BERG Pharma!
2. In the early 2000s the Social Democrats and Greens in Germany were able to negotiate wage restraint from its industry unions in exchange for job security, ie. work requirement style reforms via Hartz. The US context is different, but a similar bargain would be a non-starter from a left wing that cheers for a $15 minimum wage. This is a topic that really underscores how politically boring American liberals have become. As Reihan points out, active labour market policies are a staple of successful, progressive welfare states. Quasi-ordo-liberal arrangements are a proven “third way” that combined both the insights of the Hayekian right (epistemic humility) and the Rawlsian left (distributive justice). Yet in the face of the obvious gains from trade, and with Conservative intellectuals seeming open to the idea, such a coalition is a non-starter.
I think that you are seriously underestimating the political barriers on the right to this type of “bargain.” The fact that you offer, as an exemplary model, a deal struck between industry unions and employers at the national level should give you pause, or at least some sense of how just how very much you are glossing over with the statement that “the U.S. context is different.” Also, it’s always a mistake to attribute U.S. conservative politics with “Conservative intellectuals”; because the Republican party has committed itself, in its current iteration, to a platform of explicit anti-intellectualism, there tends to be a wide gulf between what “Conservative intellectuals” want, in terms of policy, and what actual conservative voters want. Several major liberal policy pushes have failed in part because Democrats mistakenly assumed that they could assuage Republicans by adopting plans or policy prescriptions designed or endorsed by Conservative intellectual groups (see: Obamacare).
“Hey, you’re Asian and some Asian guy came up with an idea similar to this, so you’re not ALLOWED to oppose it! It’s not fair!”
Way to miss the point. Republicans are entirely free to oppose individual mandates in health insurance and to let the voters judge them accordingly. The point of bringing up the history of the individual mandate among “conservative intellectuals” is to show that, at best, such intellectuals are ineffectual and are a poor measure of what the GOP will support or oppose. A less charitable interpretation is that some of them (I have no reason to think Reihan Salam is in this category — unlike, say, Newt Gingrich) are in the business of bait-and-switch where a “moderate” proposal is put forward only to be completely disavowed once the proposal goes from being an ivory tower/wonk pipe dream to something that actually has a chance of passing.
Point taken, US federalism is uniquely fractured so I have no illusions about how impossible a German style reform would be at the national level, especially with the same level of coherence.
Rather I was speaking very generally about the ideological commitments of the American Left, even at the city level which is what the DeBlasio article is about. The US Left is heavily influenced my the Marcuse strain of the New Left which is focused on shifting consciousness than passing incentive compatible legislation. Left leaners like Yglesias are the exceptions that prove the rule. I chock this up to the pervasive suspicion of government, even among civil servants, that the US is unique among advanced countries in having. So I’m not bashing the “left wing” per se, but rather the US’s incarnation in particular, because it’s an ideology that privileges mood affiliation over achieving their stated goals.
I’m not really seeing all this ideology wrapped up with the issue of ‘work requirements’. I can easily see both sides of the debate. Yes work requirements are good when you’re dealing with cases where bad behavior (or habits) is a primary factor. On the other hand work requirements can easily end up ‘getting in the way’ of poor people making choices that best fit their circumstances (for example, a person collecting welfare might be best served by doing auto repair work under the table using that experience to eventually land a position in the ‘legit’ economy as a mechanic on the books….but if a social worker insists he has to be flipping burgers or attending unhelpful ‘training classes’ during the day in order to keep his housing you may be doing more harm than good).
I suspect the ‘answer’ is ‘it depends’. Some benefits are probably better done as simple cash payments with few questions asked beyond verifying the person is really eligible. Other cases probably merit personalized social work with an array of well thought out carrots and sticks. What’s right for NYC really depends as much on where the previous administration left things off as it does on your personal ideology.
Of course. You can’t judge work requirements without the details. When Germany reformed their unemployment system part of the replacement came in the form of super successful entrepreneurship grants. These weren’t work requirements per se but they are in effect inducing self employment as a better alternative to straight up welfare.
“because the Republican party has committed itself, in its current iteration, to a platform of explicit anti-intellectualism,”
Explicit anti-intellectual platform? Well that should be easy enough to cite, eh?
#3 – So, charged with being drunk in a self driving car gets you what? This could end up being a solution in search of a problem..
Of course, the device has some limitations.
And probable cause may be just one among many.
#4…In my view, there is only one Liberalism, but I suspect that Klein’s version is far narrower than my my version. Even from a general agreement on basic principles, there is a lot of room for real disagreement on how pragmatic Liberals should be and on matters of fact. Some disputes on the need for government intervention are not really differences of basic philosophy. And, in my view, government has grown largely because of formerly disenfranchised groups gaining some access to government largesse. The role of govt can only be trimmed beginning from the understanding of how and why the current stasis emerged. You need a set of reductions that seem reasonable to many more groups than often imagined, and that, again, can be hard to determine even among Liberals.
#6: “One day, Dowell-Vest, 42, reminisced about her grade-school Trapper Keeper folder. Alexander pounced, finding a photo online of a similar folder. She posted it to the status update. Dowell-Vest’s heart danced. “And it was all she wrote from there,” Alexander said.”
perfectly rational actors.
#6 – If dating through social networking eventually replaces sites like Match, eHarmony, OK Cupid, etc., it would seem like a step backwards to me. They allow persons to meet others outside of their normal social circle and may be most useful to those who don’t have a wide social network for whatever reason.
I’m curious as to why Tyler and Alex haven’t signed the petition on liberalismunrelinquished.net. (re: #4)
I can’t find a place where either have said they are libertarians.
→ “What’s amazing is that this has basically happened without anyone really noticing,” said Jeff Hall, a University of Kansas expert on flirting styles and the author of the study. ←
Yeah, aside from the couple of billion hits when I google it… I guess Jeff uses the word “anyone” in a very specific sense: “Anyone” = referees and editors of the journal he got to publish this dross. Here’s another study worthy subject: The overlapping use of the sites YouTube.com and YouTu.be. I wonder if ‘anyone’ has “really noticed”?
If the Social Sciences didn’t exist, we’d have to invent them – or perhaps resurrect Alchemy. (Oh wait, nutraceuticals, homeopathy,…, never mind).
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