Tuesday assorted links


4. This key sentence doesn't get another mention in the whole piece:

Young people today seem more likely to have their worldviews shaped by trips they have taken, or causes they have been involved in, or the racial or ethnic or gender identity group they identify with.

I disagree with Brooks, people are every bit as ideological as before, but the left realized giving it a name opened it to criticism. So they act like it's obvious, scientific, that OF COURSE women can have dicks. What are you, one of the rubes?

I certainly agree with Brooks that, trite though it may be to say it, public intellectuals in the 20th century fell hard for communism and fascism. To their discredit.

Though, to be clear, not too many fell for fascism after 1933, and more than enough fell for communism for decades and decades after that.

Instead, the accepted ideology is that the democratic/republic, where 300 million citizens are supposed to be capable of making an informed decision on the ability of some egomaniac to run the show, is the be-all and end-all of human organization.

'(I wish I could just offer cash to the marginal kidney donor.)'

One hopes that you passed along msgking's 100 dollar money order to some deserving GMU student - true, if they could sell a kidney it would be worth a lot more, but every little bit helps.

6. If the cyclical view is correct, then macro necessarily will disappoint: what goes up must come down. Reis: "Macroeconomics informs economic policy only moderately and not more nor all that differently than other fields in economics. Monetary policy has benefitted significantly from this advice in keeping inflation under control and preventing a new Great Depression." People including economists prefer an uplifting message, yet the good news (inflation under control, preventing a new Great Depression) is a harbinger of bad news just ahead. Does any rational person believe that asset prices can rise forever? What macro needs to do is embrace the bad news, not run from it.

>There is nothing special to this link other than that you should study it a lot.

Yeah, we're going to need more reason to do that.

"2. Here is a map of China. There is nothing special to this link other than that you should study it a lot."

China conquered (or reasserted authority) over Tibet 66 years ago in 1951. Tyler are you pro or con Tibexit?


"There is nothing special to this link other than that you should study it a lot."

Why, will it be a useful guide to the Warring States?

I think it's about Taiwan

Taiwan is colored as if it were a Chinese province on the map.

Moreover Taipei is displayed as a provincial capital.

But the map does say "disputed territory." The Taiwanese government itself maintains that Taiwan is part of China, they just claim they are the legitimate government of China.

But it is a potentially big issue, much bigger than the distractions like Assad and ISIS which will be footnotes in history. China is the world's largest economy, unlike Russia, it has the economic and military power to fight a second cold war, should it so desire. If that is Cowen's point, I stand corrected for saying he was trolling.

"T'aipei" is correct according to the old (Wade-Giles) system, but in Taiwan they spell it Taipei.

On other maps the former Republic of Hawaii is colored as a state of the US.

"On other maps the former Republic of Hawaii is colored as a state of the US."

Does intentional obtuseness every come across as anything other than cluelessness?

Tyler's trolling us again.

I hate when he does this.

China, China, China - yet not a word of the methane bubble crisis in Siberia OR the emerging market in pingo detectors? Feh! http://bit.ly/2p2ODMi

6. "Current macroeconomic research is not mindless DSGE modeling filled with ridiculous assumptions and oblivious of data."

A rather stunning counter-example here.

Surely there are many good macroeconomists, but there are some awful ones too with positions at prestigious universities.

I think I would be impressed by a list of notable achievements by macroeconomists. Is there such a list?

Keynes was a highly successful investor, College Bursar, and civil servant. He was a better economist than the Keynesians are.

He was Bursar of a cow college however

King's College, Cambridge?

#4 - Brooks admires Gramsci. Of course he does.

1. Why is end-stage renal disease covered by Medicare regardless of age while cancer (or any number of other diseases) is not? Matthews' procedure was covered by Medicare. It's rational since a kidney donation avoids a lifetime of expensive dialysis for the donee. Does Medicare not cover cancer regardless of age because treatment is often futile?

Where did you find out that Medicare did not treat cancer?

I never heard of that.

Medicare does cover cancer. There's even a website for that exact question.



Medicare covers cancer for people over age 65. Medicare covers end-stage renal disease at any age. Duh.

Liberals and Democrats want to provide health care to everyone.

Conservatives and Democrats want no ending of life by any private or public action, but are not willing to pay a penny to extend anyone's life, unless a child suffering and dying attracts public sympathy and Republicans can't handle the shame of saying "that child is worthless and society will be better off if it's dead". And they seem to know that calling creative destruction in health care a virtue for such cases, because that would be used by liberals to justify abortion and euthanasia by private choice that would creep to making public creative destruction buy government technocrats like Federal bankruptcy judges do for property.

Thus, few Democrats refuse to expand Medicare to the heart breaking disease of the year based on the principle all medical conditions should be covered for everyone, and a few Republicans can't not vote to expand Medicare even when it violates their commitment to survival of the richest.

Ryan White forced spending on HIV which at the time was considered God's punishment of gays. About a dozen other diseases are covered.

Dialysis was provided by the VA to vets almost as soon as invented because the vets deserve the best health care due to their patriotic sacrifice for liberty for all, starting in 1963. In the 60s, "thank you" was meaningless, money was required to honor service. Or you could call it an economic transaction: survive the military and war, you get to profit. By the second half of the 60s, it was a standard of care. Insurers started covering it, but they had lifetime caps.

Basically, government and corporations were deciding who was subject to creative destruction because they are worthless. The early developers of dialysis spawned public policy groups like the Kidney Foundation. Efforts to cut costs led to home dialysis, medical specialties, etc.

Medicare was being reauthorized in 1972, sort of a cross roads like for Obamacare, and conservatives lost because they were not willing to sell the public on creative destruction of worthless people, which would have required logically calling veterans worthless people if they had ESRD.

Camel under the tent.

Try as they might, conservatives can't kill government paid for medical care for the government picked winners, because they refuse to campaign openly for creative destruction of the worthless people. Medicare law, which includes the public option health care of Medicaid, has only expanded, even when Republicans are in control. EMTALA under Reagan. SCHIP as part of Republican welfare reform under Clinton. Drug benefits under Republican Bush and Congress. Obamacare which greatly expanded the public option Medicaid of Medicare.

While Trump said what a lot of conservatives think, McCain, Dole, are losers because they got injured in war, show him a picture of a child and he will violate his repeatedly stated principles.

Cancer treatment has not found a sufficiently sympathetic victim to force a few Republicans to vote to include cancer in Medicare law. However, Democrats effectively added it to essential benefits provided by the Medicare law public option, Medicaid. Plus requires the private sector insurance provide no limit cancer treatment by standard of care.

"Does Medicare not cover cancer regardless of age because treatment is often futile?"

The answer is actually, in some States, cancer treatment is denied because conservatives have succeeded in denying payment for treatment to the poor who can't buy subsidies individual insurance policies and do not have employer or Medicare coverage.

Obamacare is basically amendments to the same Title that is Medicare law.

Rayward raises a legitimate point. If you are under age 65, Medicare will cover end-state renal disease. Also, if you successfully file for disability, you can be immediately enrolled in Medicare if you have ALS but, otherwise, you have to wait 24 months before being eligible for Medicare.


on 5, here is a Ricardo Reis interview on ... well... Why macroeconomics are underrated:

" Q: Do you think that macroeconomics before 2007 had provided good enough tools for us to combat the Great Recession?

Reis: No, I wouldn’t go that far. I would say that as a practicing researcher, a very active researcher who likes to think, I am very unhappy with the state of macroeconomics every day because this is part of my job to figure out where the models aren’t working and try to see how can I make them better. That’s what researchers do. So, you are asking someone who is perpetually thinking macroeconomics is not doing well. I would never say: “I think our models are doing a great job!” After all, my day job is to try to improve those models.

Having said that, I think when it comes to the policy reaction, as many have noted, the reactions of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England to the crisis has been based on the historical lesson of the Great Depression, based on old and new models, and certainly based on the body of work called macroeconomics. They did seem to prevent the Great Recession becoming a new Great Depression. One could look at the policy responses, at least in terms of monetary policy and some of the fiscal policies responses during the recession, as are a great triumph of macroeconomics..."

I'm curious how strong a case could actually be made that their reactions saved us or the UK from a much worse recession. An alternative hypothesis that seems at least *plausible* is that there isn't all that much the Fed can do to save the day in a situation like we were in in 2008 (or perhaps even in a generic recession). Perhaps the main value of macroeconomic theory and history is warning the Fed, Treasury, etc., off of disastrous missteps (continually increasing the inflation rate to keep the unemployment rate sufficiently low, doing something wildly deflationary in response to a financial crisis, etc.).

Perhaps the job of the Fed is mostly to not kill the patient while he heals up on his own, maybe with a side-order of being seen to do things so the patient and his family don't panic.

#6 What a name!!

#1 "(I wish I could just offer cash to the marginal kidney donor.)"

So am I terribly passe conservative type for thinking that this will lead to the poor commoditizing their health for the sake of the affluent, or because I think that would be a bad thing?

It would certainly be a bad thing if carried to an extreme. However, I would consider it a good thing if a poor person got paid $15,000 for a kidney and a rich person got a kidney that added 8 years to their life.

Granted, I would prefer it even more, if the poor person was given an inflation adjusted $600 per year for life (4%) and the principal returned to the estate on death instead of a one time $15,000.

There's a lot I agree with in the Reis essay, but there are other parts that leave me to wonder if he is sort of missing the point. Take his suggestion for improving macroeconomic forecasting. He suggests using fan charts instead of point estimates, because all forecasting is essentially probabilistic in nature. But the problem with this is that if you model is poorly estimated, as long as the actual value falls somewhere within the large confidence interval, and it probably will, you can always claim that your model has been vindicated. Of course, if your model was precisely estimated, the confidence band would be small, and then there would be no need to using a fan chart in the first place. The goal should be building better models, not creating a system that provides economists with a convenient excuse when their model fails.

#1. 2% risk of kidney failure? whoa! Guess who pays for treating the complications arising from donation. Hint: it isn't the donor or their insurance. The fact that this guy is on antidepressants makes me wonder why any doctor would think he's in a suitable mental state to decide what to subject his body to. Seems to me a couple dozen counseling sessions over a couple of years should be required before a psychiatric OK. Wonder if he reduced his anti-depressant dose after such an "uplifting" experience? Any bets?

In our country, a huge percentage of the population is on antidepressants. It isn't a sign of mental illness and there is no stigma associated with it. Antidepressants are prescribed for all kinds of complaints that do not involve depression.

#3 Not sure if linking to a commie, Rabid Hillary loving website was the best Idea....

What's 'commie' about it? & the blogger hates HRC

Do you say everything 2X?

#1 (kidneys)

working hypothesis is that organ donation has taken the place of church tithing as a highly visible form of virtue signaling amongst the secular liberal class. this is a premium form of signaling because it has real cost and consequences, unlike e.g. social media posts, and therefore earns real virtue credit instead of virtual virtue credit. open question as to which metaphysical organizations accept their virtue credit though. Christians at least have St. Peter to cash their virtue checks for them.

Depends on your view on the relevant metaethics

please leave more comment

Working hypothesis, is it, or are you just full of it?

How are you going to test this "hypothesis?"

And do I have your permission to use this comment to support my campaign to get the phrase "virtue signaling" banned from polite company?

Can't wait to see what Scott Sumner has to say about #6....

#3 Tax-exempt state university uses state tax money to drive tax-paying business brokers out of town and gains excuse to run up tuition rates. Independent pharmacists' personal income averages over $200,000 a year, so at least all that largesse is going to support the truly needy. And in a town of 5,000 that already had another local retail pharmacy as well as a Walmart. And using retail pharmacies? Mail order is a whole lot cheaper and convenient. Just another big scam to subsidize complacency foisted on the world by completely unaccountable academics.

This is not specifically about the pharmacy, but about the fact that service losses sink small towns everywhere. If anything, Kansas has a bigger problem and it's government based: public schools. A town without a school is a town that is dead in 50 years tops, and Kansas is having trouble keeping rural schools open: It's too expensive for how low taxes are in Kansas.

We can ask everyone to move, but then we have to accept that most of rural and semi rural America is dead, and that the future is owned by the people that move to San Francisco, New York and Boston. At that point, the US system of government becomes less representative each time, and we run into trouble.

It's the strangest thing of the US as it is right now: The right have historically been for growth, but today, the people that have much to do with the little growth there is happen to vote democrat.

Did you read it?

There aren't any business brokers there, even before the program. Why should there be? There has to be a certain volume of transactions to support a broker. Towns of 5,000 people don't have a lot of those transactions.

"1. Why Dylan Matthews gave away his kidney. "

There's a lot of negativity here. I don't agree with Dylan Matthews often, but this was a kind and generous act and should be applauded.


Donating a kidney to anyone is a genuinely good thing to do.

Exactly, I remember a quote from not long ago - two people are on the beach, there are lots of starfish stranded by the outgoing tide, one of the people throws a starfish back into the water --- this conversation follows - Why did you bother there are so many of them what difference does it make --- It made a big difference to that one

Dylan Matthews is the biggest reason that I cannot stand Vox. However, I agree that it was an act of generosity that I at least can respect. I certainly would not do it myself. Ibruprofen is practically a staple in my diet.

1. As another commenter suggests, Matthews may not be of a right mind to make the decision to donate his kidney. Is America the only place where crazy people seem to be in the majority? Here's an interesting essay/book review by the prolific and always insightful Garry Wills that might help explain the "going out" phenomenon in America: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/04/20/where-evangelicals-came-from/ “Where did these people come from”?

America's leading intellectuals agree America is failing. A desperate and impoverished populace sees crime and madness as their only real options.

OT: Children from difficult childhood are better multi-tasker.


"""Switching between tasks isn’t the only cognitive enhancement that a difficult childhood can bring about. In a forthcoming paper in the Perspectives on Psychological Science, a team of researchers led by Ellis reviewed a number of studies that found boosts in various types of thinking among people from harsh or unstable backgrounds."""

#1: I wonder what this blog's authors make of the gratuitous nastiness directed by its commenters towards Matthews.

#2 - no South China Sea, no nine-dash line shown, even in the small map in the corner.

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