Assorted links


I grew up in a small town in which people generally treat each other well and they generally find something productive to do regardless of their abilities, so I thought about #3 during almost every episode of The Wire, but especially when the young black kids occasionally got a glimpse of life outside of their world. Giving people the resources to relocate seems like a cheap way to help the poor and reduce future welfare costs. What's the criticism of it? Too simplistic? Racist?

we found that moving from a high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhood leads to long-term (10- to 15-year) improvements in adult physical and mental health and subjective well-being

I wonder if the receiving neighborhoods experience an equal and opposite decline in the same?

I doubt if any effect would be anywhere near equal.

Anyway it seems the real moral of this story is that public housing should be interspersed throughout cities, in order to reduce concentrations of people in high crime areas. It doesn't seem to have much to do with mobility.

"I doubt if any effect would be anywhere near equal."

Based on what?

Could someone with who has studied the Great Depression comment on #6? Thanks.



Kolko definitively refutes a lot of notions economists already did not think were true. Underwhelming

The New Deal was a mixture of the good and bad.

Wagner Act
Restricted Immigration

Social Security (though not financing by payroll taxes)
Going off Gold Standard
Deficits (although not large enough, see high marginal tax rates)
Rearmament before WWII

Bad carryovers from Hoover
High marginal tax rates
High tariffs

Good carryovers from Hoover
Increased public infrastructure investment

It's accurate.

Kolko's a good read because, like libertarians, he is far enough outside the plane of the liberal-conservative divide that he sees that they are essentially the same -- but he tells it from the other side.

So where libertarians would say government has entirely too much power and that prevents the creative destruction necessary to increase wealth, Kolko would say that businesses have entirely too much power to get government to do their bidding and that squashes the alternatives to the businesses.

If there is one point to disagree with, it would of course be this:

Basically, it was the Second World War that got the U. S. out of the Great Depression completely

Actually, it was the Second World War that got the US population to treat being poor as normal and got the US government to focus on the war and not on economic recovery, finally calming the pervasive regime uncertainty.

I always wonder what The Left thinks of Kolko and wish that someone, from Crooked Timber, for example, could comment on Kolko in much the same way as Tyler did on Albert Hirschman. In general, they seem to have not heard of him. At best, the only thing I have ever seen in that direction is an acknowledgment followed by a rant which either attempts to refute him or at least betrays ignorance of the basic substance of his writing. Howard Zinn in A People's History, for example.

Kolko's basic strength, aside from the research that underlies both Triumph of Conservatism and Railroads and Regulation, is to see through the rhetoric and look at the actually existing policies and actions taken. The article linked from the OP is no exception: the backward glances to the War Industries Board and a number of other pro-business, legal restraint of trade were characteristic of Roosevelt's policies. The benefits to the working class were mostly accidental and rhetorical.

I am disappointed by the lack of Ig Nobel coverage. If I can't get comprehensive coverage from MR's Assorted Links, then I am doomed. The winner here. The subject-list below. I'm unsurprised by the Neuroscience Prize, that field's hyperventilating pronouncements come straight from the Phrenology playbook. I'm sure the literature prize will be much appreciated in these parts. All 40 year olds are grateful to the winners of the Medicine prize.

Psychology Prize: Anita Eerland and Rolf Zwaan (Netherlands) and Tulio Guadalupe (Peru/Russia/Netherlands) for their study Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller.

Peace Prize: The SKN Company (Russia) for converting old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.

Acoustics Prize: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada (Japan) for creating the SpeechJammer - a machine that disrupts a person's speech by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.

Neuroscience Prize: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford (US) for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere - even in a dead salmon.

Chemistry Prize: Johan Pettersson (Sweden/Rwanada) for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people's hair turned green.

Literature Prize: The US Government General Accountability Office for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.

Physics Prize: Joseph Keller (US), Raymond Goldstein (US/UK), Patrick Warren and Robin Ball (UK) for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail. Prof Keller was additionally given an Ig for work he contributed to on non-drip teapots in 1999 but for which he had been wrongly overlooked at the time.

Fluid Dynamics Prize: Rouslan Krechetnikov (US/Russia/Canada) and Hans Mayer (US) for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.

Anatomy Prize: Frans de Waal (Netherlands/US) and Jennifer Pokorny (US) for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.

Medicine Prize: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti (France) for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimise the chance that their patients will explode.

I am disappointed by the lack of coverage of Narayana Kocherlakota's change from inflation hawk to dove. He is the first mainstream economist I have seen who has publicly admitted a change of heart on the stock vs.flow argument.

Tyler, please include Larry White's new video on "Should we end the Fed?" on your next list of assorted links. Not just because Free Banking is one of the most criminally ignored ideas in monetary economics today (why is there even no theoretical discussion at the top econ programs about privatizing the money supply?), but also because it has to rank as one of the best examples ever of summarizing a complicated economic issue in an easily digestible form in 5 min or less (with pleasing visuals and audio to boot).

Profs. Selgin and White have produced an incredible amount of theoretical, historical, and empirical backing for Free Banking for around 30 years now with hardly any acknowledgement from the general econ profession to show for it. Given our recent troubles, don't their ideas at least deserve a shot in the ring?

Popinator == cognitive surplus

IMHO New deal history is important because the structure of the remaining new deal programs seems totally inappropriate for the purposes that people give for supporting them today.

Jacob I am totally agree with your thoughts.

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