Saturday assorted links

by on April 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 12:34 pm

7) Erdogan (the un-named Jr.) has been an authoritarian at heart since the beginning.

He made promises to the contrary. But actual changes were only ever in the same direction.

One thing points in a direction. Another thing points in that direction. Then again and again. And then his lips move and protestations to the contrary are made. But then you focus again on what he does.

Erdogan always wanted a constitution that gives him free reign. And since a year or two after he first came into power, he has persistently maneouvered to make it so.

2 Joseph K April 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm

I have to agree. The article was quite naive. It cites, as evidence that Erdogan was NOT an authoritarian that at the beginning of his reign, he “diminish[ed] the role of the military in politics.” But the military in Turkey has long been a check on authoritarian rulers. They’re supposed to step in an usurp overzealous rulers, and have done so many times. Clearly, Erdogan was working towards a goal of consolidating his power early on. The fact that he didn’t do more in his first term was probably because he couldn’t.

3 improbable April 29, 2017 at 3:19 pm


And in neutering the military, he was cheered on by all right-thinking people in the west, who saw this as a move towards democracy. And now, instead of freedoms, they have lots of democracy!

4 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Early indications to neutralize the military, which had a history of coups followed by elections within a year or two, were pretty much a ringer.

He did not intend to be removed by coup.

5 dan1111 April 29, 2017 at 12:35 pm

7 so Erdogan only became an authoritarian because he couldn’t get his way otherwise? Wow, that is enlightening.

6 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Event A: Trump calls Erdogan

Event B: Trump’s number 1 Turkey contact goes to prison the next day.

If Erdogan was not an authoritarian at heart, and Trump’s Turkey connection going to prison were not political, Erdogan would have waited. (Or maybe he just needed to make Turkish non-subservience within NATO exceedingly clear to Trump.)

7 Emanuel Noriega April 29, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Didn’t Tyler just post the article explaining the press failure to describe Erdogan? Did he not “read the whole thing” before posting it himself?

8 Dick the Butcher April 29, 2017 at 12:40 pm

6 – Ingrates!

9 MMK April 29, 2017 at 12:42 pm

7. Sober people were sounding the alarm bells about Erdogan/Gul when they took power in 2004. I knew Turkey was lost as secular republic after the Gaza flotilla raid. The reaction to that non-scandal from within Turkey (as well as the international community) was a death blow for rationality.

10 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Why the flotilla raid as so relevant?

Didn’t he mostly protest against it, which was part of a period of worse relations with Israel? (Which later included tit-for-tat strip searches of Israelis going to holiday on Turkish beaches.)

11 Art Deco April 29, 2017 at 4:44 pm

I knew Turkey was lost as secular republic

There is no particular reason for Turkey to be a ‘secular republic’ if the populace is at home with public policy with other inspirations and foundations. The problem isn’t that, but the incapacity of those of the principal vector within Islamist thought to reconcile themselves to anyone else competing for public office or operating the machinery of government to formulate policy with their preferred inspirations and foundations. Other countries with intensely fissured political cultures (e.g. Italy) have managed to construct a modus vivendi between competing parties which kept the jalopy running. Martin Kramer speculated 12 years ago that AKP might be the sort of Islamist party willing to do that. Well, he was wrong. You can also see that HAMAS in Gaza, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt cannot or will not function in a pluralist regime. That has implications for law and institutional development in other Arab countries trying to make use of electoral systems.

12 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Read about the guy considered as the founder of the modern state, and you will find an answer to “a particular reason for Turkey to be a secular state”.

13 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 12:47 pm

6) What percentage of low-wage jobs are covered by the FEDERAL minimum wage again?

Maybe the context of the most disruptive economic event in living memory is more relevant than changes to the minimum wage?

I understand that the mechanism can be explained for this. Marginal workers losing jobs in one place and commuting to the other place instead. But try to operationalize this for practical purposes with micro-level reasoning, IN 2009 (!), and then tell us that the change to the minimum wage is the relevant explanatory event for how workers in low-productivity regions commuted to neighbouring states more often after/during the economic crisis.

14 Art Deco April 29, 2017 at 4:46 pm

AFAIK, all of them. State and local minima are enhancements of the federal minimum.

15 Floccina April 29, 2017 at 5:31 pm

More likely building restrictions on the left coast.

16 Thomas Sewell April 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm

Your explanation doesn’t cover why people with pay under the minimum wage are much more likely to start to commute to the other region than people with pay just over it. If it was just the economy, there wouldn’t be much difference in people just under (<$10) and just over ($10-$13) the minimum wage level.

"Results are consistent with a disemployment effect of minimum wage increases." to quote the study.

17 Troll Me April 30, 2017 at 11:44 am

Except that they did not lose jobs, they got new ones.

“It is consistent with the disemployment effect”, OK, but the observation is not even a disemployment effect.

Maybe the main cause was lack of confidence by job seekers in a bad economy. Or perhaps a short-sighted laziness where they look for jobs they think they are more likely to get (at a lower wage) instead of higher wage jobs.

How much time do you spend applying for jobs in the $200,000 payscale? Let’s say you ARE in that market. If the price goes up to $250,000, you might conclude that the competition to too hard, and set your sights a little lower. So instead you compete for $180k jobs instead. The external outcome-focused observer will see that you are taking more jobs at lower prices in another market – but in fact maybe you were just gambling at the higher probability job offer, and pursuing those, very possibly in an actually suboptimal manner.

So the real question is whether the minimum wage has an overall negative effect on the economy. The observation that people travelled across the state border after a minimum wage change is CONSISTENT with that. Yes. But this is no ringer of any sort. And, the particular context makes the period particularly unsuitable for drawing strong conclusions – because it was right smack in the middle of the largest economic crisis in living memory.

18 Troll Me April 30, 2017 at 11:45 am

P.S. – the belief that a hike from $10 to $12 an hour may often be an overall improvement does not therefore mean that a $100 an hour minimum would be reasonable. That would be dumb. I think we can all agree on that.

19 ashby April 29, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Paywalled. So low skilled workers preferentially commute to low minimum wage areas? Or perhaps (since commuting is expensive) demand for low skill workers is suppressed by fiat in high minimum wage areas and demand shifts to low minimum wage areas?

Do they quantify the net financial impact of this commuting on financially disadvantaged low skill workers?

20 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 3:48 pm

You’re supposed to apply Straussian reasoning.

And conclude that minimum wage workers lost jobs due to the policy change.

And hence were forced to commute further for worse jobs.

So, clearly this can happen. But I’m not convinced that it’s hugely relevant in explaining the observation.

On the question of “net financial impact”, this is to be disregarded. “Total wage bill of group A” should be ignored in preference for “employment group of group A, in immediately following period only”.

21 Harun April 29, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Everyone commutes some distance unless they are working at home.

Some people live close to borders making cross border commutes to be normal and not necessarily a worse commute.

Cerberus parings, commute time could stay the exact same in these cases.

That’s why it’s important

22 Thomas Sewell April 29, 2017 at 7:43 pm

The explanation is pretty straightforward. If you can only convince an employer to pay $9/hour for your skills, you commute to the place where it’s legal for you to have a job, because you aren’t legally allowed to work for what someone can economically pay you when the place you live makes all $9/hour jobs illegal.

It’s almost like passing a minimum wage law doesn’t magically change how much of a wage a specific person’s labor is worth in the market.

23 BC April 29, 2017 at 9:42 pm

Exactly. If it were illegal to employ minorities or women in a region, we would not be surprised if minorities or women, respectively, commuted to neighboring regions where it was legal for them to work. For some reason, when “minorities or women” are replaced with “sub-minimum wage workers”, some people seem to have difficulty understanding the result.

I’m not sure how the minimum wage, i.e, the ban on low-wage workers, can be constitutional in view of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Presumably, low-wage workers should have equal protection under law as high-wage workers, especially since the original purpose of the minimum wage was indeed to price low-wage immigrant workers out of the labor market. It was enacted with discriminatory intent from the outset.

24 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Please protect me by making it easy to roll wages back to 1920 if market conditions allow it.

My right to roll back my clock 100 years must not be infringed upon.

25 kevin May 1, 2017 at 11:33 am

“market rate wage” isn’t something binary like race or sex. It changes constantly based on , among other things, monopolistic clout. No one seems outraged that the Department of justice directly regulates monopolies–what’s the difference between regulating monopolies and regulating their negative extrnality: too much clout in setting market wages?

26 Troll Me April 30, 2017 at 11:47 am

Probability of obtaining a paycheck is higher when you are willing to work for a lower wage.

So therefore it is incorrect to assume things necessarily related to productivity on the margin.

On the margin, probably probability-weighted adjustment to ensure obtaining ANY paycheque before rent is due is extremely more relevant than the question of what overall productivity the worker is capable of earning.

27 Troll Me April 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

Which is why sufficient safety nets to meet basic costs is good for the economy.

People can afford to take time to better match with positions where their talents and efforts can be most profitably deployed.

Instead of taking advantage of the 2008-09 crisis for modernization retraining for millions of workers, a trillion dollar line of credit was extended to the big boys on Wall St. who, unaffected by minimum wages one way or the other, had already made of with millions a piece in bonuses,despite having caused (or failed to pre-mitigate) the problem in the first place.

28 Donald Pretari April 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm

#6…Since State lines are being crossed, I would suspect something illicit is going on. Most likely, these people are mules. Or, if not mules, they’re riding to work on mules since driving to work is expensive. Does either State have a sales tax ? The people who cross for higher wages probably move to the other state since they now have more money for housing, so they don’t show up on commuting figures. Or maybe it’s as it says, but $35 is too expensive for me to find out.

29 rayward April 29, 2017 at 2:40 pm

1. What? Cowen has made the transition rather easily (or so it seems), but I’ve struggled with the transition from physical things to the incorporeal. Easter I took a very nice old lady to church, the early mass she prefers. Her husband, a career employee at Ford, died several years ago, and her declining health has kept her from regular attendance at church. Years ago when he worked for Ford she and her husband kept a very nice sailboat on Lake Huron, where they would spend weekends, mostly working on the boat but also sailing. That’s the way it is with sailing: more work than actual sailing. It wasn’t a Hinkley but it sure looked like one (with the black hull). The old photos confirmed she and her husband were a very handsome couple. He continued to work on things in his retirement. In the spring, when I would see him atop their roof raking away the leaves, I would gently remind him that heights and age are not a good combination. He owned two Fords, one a very old truck that was his pride and joy. A physical thing he could work on and drive around our little community. You can’t sail or drive the incorporeal. You might think you can, but you can’t. Reality is a limitation that many prefer to ignore.

30 thfmr April 29, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Truly this Zuckerberg fellow understands the needs of the common man. Look at him, turning wrenches and looking studious in his PPE.

My god I can’t stand this douche. He’s kinda like Travis Kalanick, if Travis Kalanick was trying very hard to pretend to not be who he is.

31 Anonguy April 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm

Do you think the guy is setting up a run for office?

32 Moo cow April 29, 2017 at 7:26 pm

So they say…

33 Anonguy April 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

He gives off creepy, reptilian vibes, so much so that he made for a perfect villain in a movie. No way he wins high public office.

34 thfmr April 29, 2017 at 9:15 pm

I don’t know, man, I like Zucky’s chances from the center-left a lot more than anybody liked Trump’s from the right. When Diane Feinstein dies or retires, Californians would hand him that seat in a heartbeat. Quick ascendancy a la Obama.

35 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 10:04 pm

It’s the t-shirts that gives away his excessively casual attitude with respect to his alien reptilian origins.

36 thfmr April 29, 2017 at 9:09 pm

This does have a similar vibe to Mike Dukakis in a tank helmet or Ted Cruz pretending to have friends. In retrospect I regret sullying Kalanick’s name with this comparison…Kalanick’s product is making the world better off, at least.

37 carlospln April 30, 2017 at 12:08 am

What? A fly-by-night gypsy cab operation that doesn’t pay its workers as workers?

That loses money on every ride, but is intent on ‘making it up on volume’?

You’ve got a strange idea of ‘better off’, buster.

38 thfmr April 30, 2017 at 4:27 am

Everything that hits the press about Uber sounds like the devil is running the business. Yet in my city the quality of life is plainly improved by the existence of Uber. Drivers strangely aren’t beaten chattels as depicted in the press. I’ve come to suspect that the press just stuck Uber/Kalanick in the same camp they put Trump…i.e. the camp where the sky is constantly falling.

39 oc April 29, 2017 at 5:31 pm

2. Statement from OC, in the Derrida interview.

When you take music, the composers who were inventors in western, European
culture are maybe a half-dozen. As for technology, the inventors I have most
heard talk about it are Indians from Calcutta and Bombay. There are many Indian
and Chinese scientists. Their inventions are like inversions of the ideas of European
or American inventors, but the word “inventor” has taken on a sense of racial domination
that’s more important than invention—which is sad, because it’s the equivalent
of a sort of propaganda.

40 Jacques René Giguère April 29, 2017 at 6:38 pm

re Erdogan. “Power corrupt, absolute power corrupt absolutely”. No.
Corrupt seeks power. Absolutely corrupts seeks absolute power.
Stalin and he-who-must-not-be-named didn’t spend their childhood help grannies crossing streets

41 Moo cow April 29, 2017 at 7:27 pm

Trump? We can name him here.

42 Donald Pretari April 29, 2017 at 8:28 pm
Trump using executive orders at unprecedented pace

Alas, proven right, yet again…
174 Donald Pretari February 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm
#6…Trump is already addicted to Executives Orders. His plan is to govern by issuing executive orders about all facets of government and see what transpires. Soon, he will begin issuing Executive Orders to other countries.
185 Donald Pretari February 2, 2017 at 1:22 pm
I made a prediction that time will deal with based upon watching Trump.

43 mikeInThe716 April 29, 2017 at 8:43 pm

RE: 1) Zuck should visit a Honda / Toyota transplant. Then he could post about how they manage with <half the job categories AND get higher productivity (compared to the Ford/UAW plant).

And he'd then quickly lose a few thousand "friends"…

44 Thanatos Savehn April 29, 2017 at 9:37 pm

#1 Having represented Ford I can say that the River Rouge facility is one of, though not the, most impressive examples of America’s industrial might you’ll ever see. Obama might think that he built it by way of having his ring kissed and thereafter, like the Sun King he imagines himself to be, decreeing that it should therefore “become”, but it was built by men like you and me. If you ever have a chance to see it, go.

45 Troll Me April 29, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Has anyone there figured out that if they want to sell to the Japanese market, they will have to make vehicles that are consistent with regulations upheld by Japanese voters?

Last I heard, folks in the US auto industry cry of mistreatment, but refuse to make models that meet the demands of the different foreign markets. Some sorts of diversions about the unfair expensive costs of replacement parts to meet local code, instead of making a model that can actual meet standards in one of the largest and wealthiest markets in the world.

46 Jon April 30, 2017 at 11:27 pm

#6 is behind a paywall, so it is really useless for public discussion.

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