Tuesday assorted links


#2: This is probably not true anymore. It has been on a 20 year seesaw, admittedly, but the last blocker is gone:

3. In his Bloomberg post on Qatar, Cowen was accused of sympathizing with the Iranians. Now Cowen will be accused of sympathizing with the Chinese ("We find that at least two-thirds of the China WTO effect on the U.S. price index of manufactured goods was through China lowering its own tariffs on intermediate inputs.). Doesn't Cowen know that Trump is always right. About everything. "Qatar bad!" "China trade deal bad!" We may have to send Cowen to a Trump rehabilitation center.

#5. It's really sad how much the U.S. let Osama Bin Laden permanently downgrade our relations with Canada. Going over from here in Michigan used to be nothing. People used to go back and forth by boat and nobody cared. Now it's a real pain. Border backups on the bridges are common and you just don't bother very often. And it's so pointless. Does Canada have more terrorism than the U.S.? Not that I can tell. Oh sure, the border control may occasionally catch a criminal or even a terrorist once in a great while for all the many tens of thousands they inconvenience and the countless cross-border trips that never happen because of the time and hassles. But if we put up internal border controls between U.S. states the same would be true (I know, I know don't give 'em any ideas).

"Border backups on the bridges are common and you just don’t bother very often."
Part of this is this is homeland security, part of this is the whole second bridge fiasco:
"On (June 12), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit scheduled a hearing for mid-September on an appeal filed by the owner of the Ambassador Bridge to stop a rival international span between Detroit and Canada from being built nearby."

it wasn't Osama Bin Laden. Every time Congress made a fuss about tightening up the borders, as a nod to limit the migrants from Mexico and further south, the bureaucracy would tighten up the Canadian border instead. Build lots of buildings, lots of searches and statistics about how well they were doing controlling the border, all the while ignoring the southern border.

We solved that problem. Our annual bass fishing expedition, we stopped driving from Nassau County, NY to Ontario and now drive to Maine, USA.

One year, we were stuck at the border going north because the Canadian border realized they were paid squat compared to US border agents. The last year we went to Canada, we made the mistake of coming back south on a Saturday. It took three hours to get over the Thousand Islands Bridge.

I thought that was actually Canada's fault. That the US wanted Canada to implement similar security measures at it's own ports of entry to the rest of the world, Canada wouldn't do it, so the US tightened security on the US Canada border instead.

Related note - Canadian airport security is much better trained than the US TSA. On one trip, I was unwittingly carrying around a pocket knife and a pair of scissors in my bag, which US security - out of Washington Dulles no less - totally missed. It was caught by Canadian security in Penticton BC. When the security guards in A regional airport in rural British Columbia are catching things that the guards at a Washington DC airport are missing, you know there's a difference in skill.

In other words, if the U.S. wants to ban all Iranians from entering the country, Canada has to do the same. I can understand why Canadians don't want immigration inspection procedures being dictated from Washington, D.C.

But I can't understand why England, Italy, Hungary, Poland, and Greece don't want their laws dictated to them by Brussels.

Actually, "England" (I think you mean the U.K.) is not a party to the Schengen agreement. It does have an agreement with Ireland to minimize border controls between the two countries and that would be a relevant example for the U.S. and Canada. The point is that in any such agreement, both parties have to compromise and my sense is that Canada feels it would be treated as an inferior by the U.S.

It might also have had something to do with a number of cases of varying legitimacy involving the detention and rendition and torture of certain Canadian nationals.
I have no sympathy for the Khadr family, but Maher Arar was totally innocent.

Let's hope the couple in that house never have to fill out one of those visa applications that ask you to list what counties you have visited in the past ten years, with exact dates for each.

#2 "In many circles there's still a real discomfort around digital archiving, and a lack of belief that digital can survive into the future," "The whole concept of digital storage is a relatively new innovation, and the path by which it could survive through the years is not clear."

The science surrounding the electron, regardless of the power of that science, is pretty much less than 250 years old. It is beyond ludicrous to suggest that a physical copy, made of actual atoms, should be abandoned for a single-mode record-keeping system that may or may not survive another Carrington Event. They can take vellum. Fine. But there should always be a paper record for all government documents, even if they never see the light of day.

That commentary on the UK election is very much in the mode of "This confirms what I already thought" which given it was a shock to pretty much anyone is a signal of its usefulness. In short there are better analyses than this one (I'm surprised it was on The Browser). Also, reliable turnout data was published for the first time today and it is quite surprising, undermines early assumptions.

What is surprising about a couple of percent variation?

UK 2017 Turnout was 68.7%, two points higher than 2015.

Highest since the 1997 General Election-- 71.5%

.... U.S. November 2016 turnout was 60.2%

Why is voter turnout of any importance "after" an election ?
U.S. turnout in Primary elections is usually well under 20%
(system only requires a minimum of one voter to cast a vote)

#1 -- Labour's take of the highly educated once again demonstrates that universities in the G7 are a recruiting arm for the left. Trump would do well to defund liberal arts entirely under the guise of promoting STEM.

Much like Bernie Sanders, the appeal of Labour to the young and the educated was "FREE COLLEGE!"

Not sure if it was really anything more than that.

Which really turns the so called altruism of socialism on its head, since the monetary benefits of education largely fall to those receiving the education.

May alienated some with the Dementia tax, was lacklustre in campaigning, isn't a natural with people, didn't bother to attend a key debate while her rival did, AND yes, was up against a harmless looking (but exceptionally old school Left) avuncular figure who promised more goodies, probably without expecting that he might have to deliver on those promises.

OTOH - May improved the Conservative vote share by 5 percent vs the last election and achieved the highest share by a Conservative PM since Mrs Thatcher. May didn't really fail, it was a huge surge in numbers of Labour voters that reduced her number of seats.

How much was simply confounding of effects? When people over 70 were 18 only about 5% went to university. Now it's about 40%.

Moreover, anyone who has met many of the 5% and many of the 40% might hesitate to call the 40% "highly educated".

I think this is part of the issue. You cannot expect the same kind of opportunities now for degree holders that used to apply in the past, there are only so many people who can be the boss. So people''s expectations are not being met when they get degrees. A lot of these people in this condition are absorbed into the state sector as teachers, minor bureaucrats etc which is compounding the problem. They see jobs as sinecures (as they are for state sectors) rather than value creation methods, so they don't understand why some people get paid a lot more than they do. So they fall for the silly nonsense that it is all a conspiracy that they are poor, instead of them realising they are basically not able to add sufficient value to someones business to be worth paying them what they want.

Billy Collins on the vellum used to make the Gutenberg bibles:

I can see them squeezed into the holding pen
behind the stone building
where the printing press is housed,

all of them squirming around
to find a little room
and looking so much alike

it would be nearly impossible
to count them,
and there is no telling

which one will carry the news
that the Lord is a shepherd,
one of the few things they already know.

That is good. Goats can feel deep gratitude, and, conversely, deep disappointment. Typical Billy Collins fail in the last 8 words, though, which is why he not a better poet. Well maybe he is now but I have not read his last couple of books.

I can see them squeezed into the holding pen
behind the stone building
where the printing press is housed,

all of them squirming around
to find a little room
and looking so much alike

it would be nearly impossible
to count them,
and there is no telling

which one will carry the news
that the Lord is a shepherd,
one of the few things they already know.

Sometimes it is much easer to do something than to undo it. The Republicans should just do this:

Remove the 3 to 1 rule. See here because with income subsidies I see no reason to force a subsidy of older people by younger people.
Slowly each year raise the allowable deductibles until they get very high, like $30k per year or $250k lifetime.
Either fix or eliminate the employer mandates, by fix I mean, do not completely exempt part-time workers (maybe make employers pay a percent based on hours worked), and do not exempt employers based on the number of employees they have.
Allow insurers to create plans that only cover care with strong evidence of proven net benefits.
Finally raise the penalty to where you are forcing most everybody to get health insurance.

So, you want to implement a 10% annual premium increase to cover the universal preX existing condition that increases health care costs.

After all, there is only one cure for the preX of every year becoming a year older and more costly to insure: death by 30.

Then you "remain forever young" and insurers will not hike your premiums in any year after you kill yourself.

Since Reagan, assuming wages will rise substantially after age 30 so paying higher prices for lots of essentials will be easy has gone out the window for most workers. If it was ever true....

"raise the allowable deductibles until they get very high"
"make employers pay a percent based on hours worked"
"raise the penalty to where you are forcing most everybody to get health insurance."

So in other words take all the worst parts of Obamacare and double down on it. Why? Do you just hate people and want to punish them for being alive?

I have an idea. How about freedom??? Freedom of choice. Freedom to not have insurance if you don't want insurance. Freedom to not pay for someone else's insurance. Freedom to not pay for employees insurance.

"Freedom?" Allowing free riders to fail to contribute to the insurance pool and crawl into an ER with an emergent or elective condition.

If a person is willing to die in the ditch if they do not have the funds for care, one might be able to support your argument. Until then, pay up and shut up.

Yeah! Revolutionary huh! Let people make their own decisions and deal with the consequences of those decisions. Almost sounds like what the Declaration of independence and constitution were all about.

Or we could adopt a socialist view as you seem to have and use other people's money to pay for those who are too lazy to pay for themselves. That should work after all Venezuela worked so well.

You have to be willing to let people die- most just can't do that.

"you have to be willing to let people die..."
Not true. That is the false narrative that the socialist use to get you to vote for your own self destruction. We "let" people bungee jump, some die. We "let" people rock climb, some die. We "let" people drive cars, some die. We "let" people make their own choices in life as long as those choices are legal. Why not?

What this issue is really all about is OPM and "free stuff". The socialist would like to shame you/us into giving up our rights and freedom.

1. ......:He is the energetic insurgent seeking change and she is the evasive, manipulative representative of the status quo....."

Is this why Trump won ?

Fools russian where angels fear to tread.

>Is this why Trump won ?

Trump won because he ran against the single worst human ever to be nominated for President.

It's really that simple. And it doesn't even require hearings!

"the single worst human ever to be nominated for President": that's quite a claim. Worse than LBJ? I suppose she might be.

Hillary the horrible. She was selling favors to the highest bidder via her phony foundation. The elite looked the other way for Hiilary because she was one of their own - she is in their tribe. Otoh, Trump was an outsider, not just in the political sense but in the athropological sense. Trump was the recipient of all that tribal hatred for the outsider. It was no different than the intertribal warfare in the Amazon (Yanamamo) or the mountains of Papua, NG. The left will never see this as they are blinded by tribalism.

I was struck by the same phrase in the same way- it describe November's election, too.

1. Dumb blog post. It states "neoliberalism is dead." It's a disappointing result for the cons, but they still won the most seats. Why is it different than those elections in the past when Labour actually won? Look at the recent French election, where the Teacher's Pet party has a supposedly neoliberal policy and won in a landslide. Due to a the rise of non-White demographics and increasing class-based tension among Whites. But this result is hardly proof.

Furthermore, he states that:

"Conversely, Labour did better among seats with a higher proportion of people with degrees, which is a marker for how well the local economy has adapted to a knowledge-led services economy."

I'm skeptical of this claim, but I don't see why one should try to estimate voting by class using constituency education levels as a "marker" for class when you can measure class directly. See this survey, it's basically same as in America, Labour wins the very poorest, with little difference among the other class subdivisions:


He does that relates to his idea that today's class division is something different than the traditional definition, no?

Labour excelling in regions that have "adapted better to a knowledge-led services economy" seems like a different thing to class. It's probably true. I think you could test it with Eurostat measures of intensity of GDP from services.

Not so clear what % of knowledge-led service workers actually vote Labour, or that % Labour vote is driven by knowledge-led service workers, after factoring in commuting, actual % of workers who are involved in KLS, urban and migrant worker deprivation in regions with high intensity of KLS...

(knowledge-led services seems like rather a redundancy of terms though, analogous to production-led manufacturing).

#6) If the Republicans cannot agree amongst themselves on an Obamacare replacement, then they should just do a straight repeal instead, with a gradual phase out period if necessary. Then, they can restore popular aspects like dealing with pre-existing conditions with separate, narrowly tailored replacement bill(s). That would put the Democrats in the position of either cooperating and compromising on those replacement bills or be the ones voting against covering pre-existing conditions. The choice presented should be between the *pre-Obamacare* status quo and the replacement not between Obamacare and the replacement.

The biggest mistake that Republicans have made so far is that, despite having won multiple elections around the unifying theme of repealing Obamacare, they let the DC media bubble in which they live convince them that they were better off pursuing Obamacare-lite than full repeal.

Let's play this out, what happens when pre-existing conditions clauses are made illegal?

They lack the votes for a straight repeal since the whole thing cannot be repealed by reconciliation in the Senate.

More the public, by very lopsided margins does not the ACA repealed in its totality. The idea of going back to the status quo ante is overwhelmingly rejected by most people.

Even if they eliminated the filibuster rule or had 60 Republicans, McConnell would never get the votes to repeal the entire thing.

Contrary to the constant lies of conservatives and Bernie Bros, Obamacare was passed by bipartisan votes. Arlen Specter was never elected as a Democrat to anything, but was nominated only by Republicans and then beat multiple Democrats to hold seats in Congress for 30 years.

Other Republicans played key roles in getting Obamacare passed. I believe that if Obama had been one vote short on December 20, 2009, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins would have risked their committee assignments and chair and crossed McConnell and voted for Obamacare. I'm pretty sure McConnell drove her out of the Senate.

My guess is the best McConnell will manage is immediate tax cuts with all the spending cuts delayed, and then like the Medicare cuts passed in the 90s, the cuts will be delayed every 6 to 12 months from taking effect for the next 10 to 15 years, just like all the doc fixes, until a Democrat cuts a deal with a Republican to repeal or replace the cuts like Obama did to eliminate the Medicare cuts Republicans passed originally but could not support taking effect.

The Republicans will end up unintendedly converting Obamacare into government single payer using Medicaid for everyone not covered by employer health benefits or by Medicare or VA. And in Red States, Medicaid will cover the largest share of the population because the insurance market has been destroyed and only employers able to self insure will be able to control risks and costs.

Note, the Blue States are, with one exception, having no problems getting insurance offered everywhere, often with more than two insurers.

People like having health care. And most people think the government should help the working poor and indigent get that health care.

Maybe just maybe Republicans actually understand that and were full of shit all along? Could all that ACA is ruining America stuff been a...gasp..lie?

Republicans finally caught the tire unexpectedly and have no clue how to provide the free lunch health care they have been promising for decades, made all the worse by Trump stating loud and clear he would lead Republicans in delivering unlimited doctor and hospital care with zero taxes and really low premiums and co-pays.

Republicans proved that if you repeat a lie over and over, that Arlen Specter was a radical leftist Marxist socialist his entire life, then Obamacare was passed by Democrats with total Republican opposition. Hint, spector could never get a Democratic Party nomination, but he got nominated by Republicans over more than 30 years. However, he refused to follow McConnell dictates.

And by working poor and indigent, they don't mean subsidies well into the middle class, and when they say "the government", they mean "someone other than me", and when that someone turns out to be themselves, they aren't really happy about it.


There's a complete bs side, and a complete hypocripsy side.

Both sides are free lunch:

Repubs: when/if we repeal Obamacare, everything will be glorious! Don't worry about adverse selection, don't worry about asymmetrical information, the market (which is unable to function as a market due to thousands of pages of regs) will take care of it.

Dems: all these things poll so well!!! It's only when we attach the cost do people get squeamish. Well, we can just offload the costs from direct to indirect. People won't directly be taxed by the government, and we can show sooo many charts!!! See, your taxes won't go up! (Because it will be borne indirectly in prices). Well, at least 55 year old men now have maternity insurance. And hey, they can buy progesterone free. So they got that going for them.

Ice cream and no veggies, as Arnold Kling used to say.

We're screwed.

"So they got that going for them."

What about total awareness at the moment of death?

#1 - "Neoliberalism is over"

In France the upstart Neoliberal party managed to capture the presidency and legislature in less than a year.

In the parliamentary elections IRC, on 32% of 49.5% turnout. Or 11.7% of the electorate.

With France's unusual, multi stage system, this somehow converts into a powerful majority. But this is not necessarily a strong base of popularity for the future!

This is a lot more about the fractured and apathetic state of French politics, than FEN! being an option which holds popular confidence...

#1 Isn't the age polarization relatively convincing evidence of a sort of class-based politics, except the classes are defined by age?

NIMBYism and housing restrictions, except writ large: the elderly who already have houses and have wealth vote for Conservatives to maintain the status quo in their favor, while the young are voting for ever more radical change because they find the current institutions are acting as restrictive drains shifting resources to the elderly and AWAY from the young?

It doesn't seem very *stabilizing* for a society to split into mutually exclusive groups along generational lines. Will anyone in the political class recognize this societal existential threat?

Cross check property ownership status by age? If young homeowners (perhaps they inherited) do not vote Con at higher levels, and elders in social housing do not vote Labour at much higher levels, may explain less than we think.

6. "'It's like having a baby,' said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). 'It's not here yet, but it's coming.'"

It's not here yet, but when it comes it'll be with a bill for tens of thousands of dollars, because maternity care won't have to be covered anymore. Or perhaps you're one of the 23 million folks who are expected to lose their insurance. Same result for you.

For a more first-ever comment on this shameful attempt to rewrite healthcare (1/6 of the economy) in secret see the right wing Washington Examiner's editorial today: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/republicans-bring-your-healthcare-bill-out-for-inspection/article/2625746

" shameful attempt to rewrite healthcare (1/6 of the economy) in secret"

So you got to vote for it to see it?


100 hearings
14 months
100 Republican amendments considered
10+ Republican amendments included in the final bill
60 votes in the Senate
The bill in its entirety was available for all to see.

Correction: Chuck Schumer tells me there are 170 Republican amendments in the ACA.

Employer-base plans prior to the ACA typically did cover maternity. The fact that maternity was not a *mandated* benefit, does not mean that most plans didn't cover it.
The differences is that you *could* buy a cheap plan on the individual market that didn't cover maternity prior to the ACA.


Does that number include people expected to voluntarily drop their insurance due to not wanting it?

All of the sites I've looked at are incredibly opaque in this breakdown. Maybe your google-fu is better than mine. I don't take it seriously until I have the actual numbers. As a principal used to tell me when i was a young dude: "show me the fucking nums, run the analysis before running your mouth." Wise words.

Of the 14 million people, what's the breakdown of:

Medicaid for people who are not under the poverty line
Medicaid for able bodied people that do not work
Medicaid for elderly disabled in nursing homes
Medicaid for children who are in families under the poverty line (schip? Sp*)
People who want insurance who are priced out (over 17% of their gross pay, aka GDP %)
People who did not want insurance but followed the mandate who will drop it, aka under 17% of their gross

Acha seems incredibly short sighted and dumb. But so was the ACA. That's what we should expect from government. Short sighted and stupid.

Jan, formatting fail. Sorry.

looks like Chinese manufactures really hit it off well with US markets. why did the US let that happen? were there humanitarian motives related to massive poverty in China, or did some kind of rootless cosmopolitan class unworried about the security implications hijack our politics, or did Marxian ideas about industrialization leading to bourgeois revolution + democratic peace theory convince us that China's growth would produce more security, or did End of History and 1990s growth seem so permanent and powerful that outsourcing simple processes appeared inconsequential? r we idiots?

I think trading with countries like Korea, Russia, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia makes sense. u want strong technical competence in the countries surrounding the 1 billion+ country with catchup tailwinds. instead, seemingly for finance's sake, we let the Asian countries and Russia get rocked by economic crises in the 90s and undercut them with a cheaper behemoth as they ascended. debunks my Mearshimerian IR priors

Why? It was cheaper.

so u think it was a kind of behavioral econ thing where we failed to appreciate future costs (military, inputs like coal, servicing upheaval in Rust Belt)? seems reasonable. I do dumb stuff like that. I thought/think our strategic planners were sharper than me tho!

Because of an idea of rights.

Stopping voluntary exchange between two people is morally wrong unless there are massive negative externalities.

Joe bob from Ohio losing his cushy union job is not a massive negative externality.

The beauty of free exchange is that the greatest humanitarian event in the history of the world occurred: hundreds of millions of people were lifted from global poverty. The best thing that's literally ever happened to humanity. And Bernie sanders throws a temper tantrum. Because a fat idiot in Detroit has to find a job at a global market wage.

Cry me a fucking river.

"...joe bob... fat idiot..."

Do you not see bigotry in those statements?

His beliefs are pure cuckoldry. He would like to see the world now before the Black/brown hordes in the name of his cuckold beliefs. In the name of free exchange he would gladly give wife and daughters to any strapping buck because it would "lift out of poverty" strangers in strange lands.

Your naive values will only result in the Black/Brown hordes dominating our society and our country ending up like Liberia. You want to destroy America in the name of your pathetic values so that it may be ravaged by the Black/Browns.

Re #1... The logic that neoliberalism is dead is that neither the Tories nor Labour ran on a neoliberal platform. But yet, didn't the voters basically reject both parties to the extent they could? Both parties were basically rejected but trying to pretend like they won. Neoliberalism might be dead, but I don't take the two major British parties' incompetence as evidence of such.

HUH??!!!!! They embraced BOTH parties and rejected the minor parties. If they rejected both parties we would have seen great results for the SNP and LibDems.

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