Assorted links


Technically, passport ownership is 0% (or 100%) throughout the US: they're the property of the federal government, not passport holders. ;-)

"If we simply stopped electing Republicans-"

I am now convinced that DeLong is performance art, trying to see how far along he can string gullible readers before hanging them out to dry.

I meant 7 not 2

2 Years Ago

Brad is obviously implying that either 1) Obama didn't choose policies designed by Clinton and Obama technocrats; or 2) Democrats elected in 2008 didn't support these policies.


Interpret DeLong how you will. I thibk his points are reasonable. Especially, I think it's fair to criticize this from of your column:

But except for one stretch during the Clinton administration, this notion has been broken since the early 1980s.

The passive voice is notorious for the way it manages to avoid assigning responsibility: "Mistakes were made."

So who broke the notion? Or did it fall of the shelf and break by itself?

And I agree with DeLong that, when you decided to name names, and named only Obama, you were not informing your readers.


Clinton... is the president that Cowen lists as the one who actually quasi-accomplished the Keynesian view (deficits during the bad, surplus during the good).

Which party controlled congress during the last 6 years of the Clinton presidency, again? Which party controlled congress during the Reagan presidency and latter part of the Bush 43 presidency?

@Josh M.

DeLong is performance art

Brad is the velvet elvis of performance art. It's always the same: GOP=EVIL; CLINTON=GOOD. Boring.

As in, the titular head receives the credit. Get your minds out of the gutter.

Dear Tyler,

But you do name a villain, don't you? The "ONE" who is not doing "ENOUGH." And yet you carefully avoid any mention of a lasting, successful political movement, founded during the period you discuss, and whose economic policies as ENACTED BY LAW (vs. those described as an idealized fantasy) have and would continue to directly worsen the problems you identify. By omitting the villain you are not playing the part of detached intellectual, nor are you staying above the fray -- you are simply nominating the wrong villain!



I don't know Tyler Cowen, sometimes there ARE villains. Why don't you respond more fully to Brad Delong?
I'm not a big fan of the Democrats but a strong case can be made that since 1980 the Democrats have been much more serious about fiscal issues then the Republicans.
Saying "everyone's to blame - there's faults on all sides" is not serious analysis when you can clearly point to one group that consistently pursues deficit-generating policies.

Link to the non-academic paper for the over/undershooters, dumbed down intuition, and more can be found at

basically, it boils down to using the shot clock as an instrument for shot selection to estimate a usage v efficiency trade-off for each player. Observed behavior is generally in line with each players correctly solving the optimal stopping problem implied by the shot clock.

You know exactly the best combination for getting the budget back into a rough stable balance- Democratic president and a Republican House and Senate. We are two thirds of the way there. Of course, DeLong is going to disagree with that, and I am sure a lot of Republicans are going to disagree, too. Villains!

DeLong's hubris is staggering:

"if we simply elected presidents who would choose policies designed by the technocrats of the Clinton and Obama administrations and elected senators and representatives who voted for them--we would be absolutely fine."

2. Hilarious! Tim Harford is awesome!!

Oh, and the government budget is not the economy. You can say taking money from the economy to balance the government's budget is 'serious,' but I don't.

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