Assorted links


The Heidegger link is interesting, and reminds me that I mislinked the other day on the Dummett book, which should have linked to TQD. To me, Being and Time is his great work, and is well worth reading, although I'm not a big fan of his. But my mentor Hubert Dreyfus is, and I would recommend his podcast on Heidegger here:

Philosophy 185 Heidegger
11:00-12:30 PM | 159 Mulford
Instructor Hubert Dreyfus

All of his podcasts are interesting.

I couldn't help but notice this book on the signandsight webpage:

The origin of the world
MIthu M. Sanyal's cultural history of the vulva has directed the media spotlight into a symbolic and semantic void. By Ulrike Baureithel"

I wonder if anyone has read this yet as it's an interest of mine.

kurt9 - It is because you do not understand that dismissing Krugman off-hand as a "left-wing hack posing as an economist" is silly and most people do not take such a petty approach. The right way to listen to Krugman, or anyone for that matter, is with a mixture of respect and skepticism. Smart people say stupid things all the time, and separating the brilliant from the bat-shit is a never-ending struggle. But it's worth struggling with. Try it some time.

"Secret" lecture or "unpublished" lecture? It's not like it was a deep conspiracy...he was rector of the friggin' university.

what happened in 1990 where that one year skews things so much? Is the author cherry picking dates?

Japan had an insanely large real estate bubble (much worse than ours) that began to pop in 1990 leading to recession starting a year or two later and leading to the lost decade. 1990 would have been the last year of reasonably strong GDP growth for some time, though lower than many of the years in the 80s


A very good money manager friend of mine, who has been more successful than most, refers to Krugman as a "left-wing hack pretending to be an economist". Since my friend predicted the popping of Japan's bubble in 1989 (and made money off of shorting it), among other things, I assume he knows what he is talking about.

My experience is that there are people who real work, like inventing things or building successful businesses. Then, there are other people who do nothing but talk about things, often referred to as academics. Is there any particular reason why I should listen to the later over the former?

The "touristyness" map may be of some intellectual interest, but probably of no practical value. At best it suggests some of the potential for mining data from social media to infer social values. Useful early effort, but much work to do to make it really valuable.

1. If I am trying to prove Japan did as well as other mature economies, how is it "cherry-picking" to start at 1990, at the height of the bubble?!? That just makes the subsequent growth be *lower*, not higher than a normal year.

2. Krugman is extremely smart and extremely well-informed. He is the intellectual leader of liberal America.
Of course people listen to him.

3. The argument for neo-liberal policies is the LEVEL of American wealth, not its growth path. Standard economic theory predicts that given policies and institutions countries will grow at the same rate, just from different levels.

2 examples:

neo-liberal theory argued that Americans earn more because they are taxes more, and thus work more. Assume for a moment that this is true. What is the prediction about the growth rate for U.S and France? That they would grow at the same rate (technological change), but with France permanently poorer.

Disproportionally the innovations that enabled the IT revolution were made in the U.S. Neo-liberal theory claims this is due to better innovation climate. Yet, economic theory predicts Japan and Europe would eventually adopt those technologies.

here's an ungated copy of the Bordo, Hargreaves and Kida paper on New Zealand's business cycle:

I'm baffled by the Japan article's reliance upon GDP per working-age adult to prove its point. That makes the numbers more favorable, but in real life that GDP still has to feed all of the population, right?

To put it another way, what does it matter whether you have really low growth vs. OK growth and lousy demographics, if either one puts you in the same place anyway?

Krugman is trying to be the intellectual leader of liberal America. His views certainly aren't "down-the-middle" unless you call the middle 80% "the middle."

The reason to look at GDP per worker is that Krugman et. al. are using Japan's situation as an example of not enough spending to boost demand. So, if supply is maxed out then an increase in demand can't do anything.

Also, as I understand Keynesian economics, artificially boosting demand is something you do to raise psychology. Once a downturn lasts 20 years, I doubt that it can be mostly a sentiment problem.

Isn't the way the Massachusetts
example works about the same way a free market would work if people paid for their own health care?

Providers are trying to raise prices and consumers are refusing to pay the higher prices, forcing the providers to adjust.

Spencer, as Rich points out, in a free market, the consumer of cancer treatment is supposed to refuse to buy treatment until the market lowers the price, or he finds substitutes like a witch doctor or a new age healer or a Christian evangelical preacher who will heal the cancer with a laying on of hands. Faith in free markets solving all problems also presumes a belief in faith healing, a belief in God parting the seas to reveal the BOP so a plumber can plug the leak, and Mother Earth opening up the Yellowstone caldera and flooding the atmosphere with SO2 to cool the planet.

Of course, nothing in Mass law prohibits those with money paying more for health care services than the insurers are willing to pay. In fact, in most of the US, those who pay directly for their health care services, those with the ability to shop around, end up paying more than insurance company payment rates.

We could use doctors engaging in collective actions to set a uniform payment schedule for everyone, to force the jack boot insurers to pay the same rate as individuals paying cash out of pocket. Instead the doctors pursue short term self interest to ensure they maintain a flow of income, even if lower than the year before, because they won't organize and go on strike against the insurers.

Alfred and Wayne

(Now where have I heard those names in association before?)

Thanks for the tip on finding an ungated copy of the NZ paper. Much appreciated.

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