Friday more assorted links

1. Vancouver automation.

2. “…we reexamine one of the largest partisan shifts in a modern democracy: Southern whites’ exodus from the Democratic Party. We show that defection among racially conservative whites explains the entire decline from 1958 to 1980.”  Income seems to play essentially no role.

3. Eric Chyn: “I study public housing demolitions in Chicago, which forced low-income households to relocate to less disadvantaged neighborhoods using housing vouchers. Specifically, I compare young adult outcomes of displaced children to their peers who lived in nearby public housing that was not demolished. Displaced children are more likely to be employed and earn more in young adulthood. I also find that displaced children have fewer violent crime arrests. Children displaced at young ages have lower high school dropout rates.”

4. The book The Spirit Level does not hold up to scrutiny.

5. Paul Romer on the gender gap.

6. MMT profile.


1. Bad link.

2. Paywall. Isn't this basically what LBJ predicted in 1964?

3. Paywall. Confirms my priors, so I'll allow it.

4. Confirms my priors, I'll allow it.

5. Why is it "accused" v. "victim"? Why not "accused" v. "accuser"?

6. Inflation, duh.

"5. Why is it "accused" v. "victim"? Why not "accused" v. "accuser"?"

That is indeed emotionally biased language. It's also notable that a majority of Democrats find the accusations credible and that a majority Independents and Republicans don't.

This is largely politics. If the D & R was switched, the opinions would also switch.

Does anyone actually claim that there was no victim? The "doppelganger" defense relies on it happening but with someone else.

But I agree that this is playing out as bubble versus bubble, and in the end it will be about which bubble becomes the recorded (majority) history. By say, November 2018.

Sometimes it's just an accusation.

Why is it "accused" v. "victim"? Why not "accused" v. "accuser"?

Yes, why not? And how could Romer miss the bias in the framing of the question when he is critiquing the post.

I guess this is "an honest mistake caused by some mixture of haste, confirmation bias, and careless [oversight]."

Gail Collins "Gee, I don't know."
Maya Angelou, "Please, it's 'is impossible.'"

Yes. I will claim it. There was no "victim". Whole cloth. As in made entirely out of...

I have my reasons. You've probably heard many of them. Some you probably haven't. Doesn't matter because no one would be convinced anyway. Mental anguish? Absolutely. Not for any reason connected remotely to this case.

But yes. I will say it. She...them...they...are lying.

Here is an interesting graphic in that regard.

Responses either in the affirmative, the negative or in terms of frequency have no bearing on veracity. Verbosity or terseness can be equally revealing as unrevealing.

"The most obvious was the tone each took. Ford was polite and quiet in recounting her accusation against Kavanaugh; he was angry and loud in his denials of the allegations against him."

That "thing" and it's origin with vox is an appeal to emotion, and entirely disregardable.

Who knows if she's a victim or not? She's undoubtedly confused and in need of psychiatric help. If she is a victim it's Feinstein's.

Brett should get a job in Hollywood. Crying in front of the cameras was very Oscar worthy move. Maybe Weinstein can hook him up.

He'd be about 5th in line from all the drama queens on yesterday.

Sure, but I have read his tearing up was particularly manly.

"Does anyone actually claim that there was no victim? "

You are begging the question. Know one has determined if she's a victim or not. That's a fundamental aspect of the situation.

tangled up, dog.

we offer soldering iron

Even more objectionable is the question of whose rights are "more important", the accused's or the victim/accuser's? The question is what people's rights *are or ought to be*, not whose are "more important". I have never heard anyone ever suggest that victims/accusers should not have the right to due process, cross examine witnesses, etc. nor have I ever heard anyone suggest that the accused have the right to impose punishments on the accuser/victim without meeting a burden of proof that the accuser/victim has done something wrong.

Also objectionable is the notion that the "gender gap" is explained by women having a better "grasp on the facts". Suppose, on the question of capital punishment generally (beyond sexual assault crimes), that men tended to favor "protecting the rights of victims", defined as making it easier to impose the death penalty, while women tended to favor "protecting the rights of the accused", defined as making it harder to impose the death penalty. Would that mean that men have a better "grasp on the facts" than women?

"6. Inflation, duh."

#2 what appears to be an ungated version is here:

5. Refer to Tyler Cowen's Ted talk on stories. Woman-as-victim is an easy good vs evil story. Same goes for non-whites-as-victims-of-whites. It's all an easy to digest good vs evil story.

The woman as victim story will have trouble getting traction. Which is why Michelle Goldberg is so insidious in her description of Ms. Gold. Take the NYT, today, Mr. Cohen echoes Krugman's sentiment on Republican hypocrisy. You can't win argument that way and ought not present to people in the fashion.

"I often hear people argue that the United States is a republic, not a democracy. But that’s a false dichotomy. A common definition of “republic” is, to quote the American Heritage Dictionary, “A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens [The constitution] who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives [amendments and laws] responsible to them [the people].” America is not a popularity contest!

"The company denied that the lobbyist was acting on its behalf when he pulled the alarm; it also denies that its rates were abnormally high or that it provides poor service. Some Oxford residents supported Aquarion."
“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

Multi-variable calculus doesn't matter if you can't solve for Y. Do I think the NYT would be the same people who spat on black people in the 1960's? I don't. Do I think their Behavior makes me think a lot of Nazism is universal. I do.

1/10. An arrogant post. Please do more than curt dismissals. Tyler's one liners have more insight than your 3-worders.

I am surprised you enter Kavanaugh to the record, but since you do, here is the best summation I have seen:

I, too, prefer to get my news from “HeyItsChili”

Chili does comedy. Of course such comedy is only sometimes based on uncomfortable truths. Sometimes too it is based on uncomfortable untruths.

Not that I really wanted to get into this, but as much grief as he got, I think James Comey had an interesting take:

"Small lies matter, even about yearbooks. From the standard jury instruction: 'If a witness is shown knowingly to have testified falsely about any material matter, you have a right to distrust such witness' other testimony and you may reject all the testimony of that witness ...'"

What did Kavanaugh lie about?

He lied under oath about:
MD drinking age,
His drinking,
Renate Alumnus,
Devil's Triangle,
Witnesses supporting him,
Obviously stolen emails he received,
His part in judge nominations,
His part in torture policy.

So you know, believe in him as you will.

I don't think there is any legal reason to keep him off the Court but by now the dude has certainly come across as as the kind of self entitled Elite I don't want there.

Remember when populists were against this kind of thing?

It's hilarious how the Left have become the old cat lady scolds, snooping around the neighborhood obsessing over their neighbors' kids drinking beer and having sex.

There is a weird obsession with miscellaneous comments in his yearbook. As if a bunch of mindless comments by his 17 year old school mates is proof of some vast conspiracy instead of a bunch of crap that 17 year olds write.

I and millions of others watched Sheldon Whitehouse actually discuss what "boof" meant in a globally televised senate hearing. It's unreal watching this.

Anonymous above is actually quoting Comey. Mr. I-lied-and-leaked-information-to-the-press-to-get-FISA-warrants Comey, and then talks about elitism, after calling Kavanaugh a liar, as the primary reason he shouldn't be on the court.


I wasn't able to attend to more than a few moments on NPR in the car, during the Japanese lady's part; and didn't enjoy it, at all - her voice! er, her vo-ice? - but now that there's talk of finding the layout of Timmy's house, it's taken on an element of Clue mixed with Pretty in Pink. I will be vaguely disappointed to lose the plot when they cut him loose.

Yellow Onions! The most prescient thing to come across my phone, "Even though its not a big problem its just not bad but its not very important for the article and the article is that it was not very iportant.

Does that make you feel boofed? If so head down to Beach Week Ralph Club!

You (deliberately?) miss the point.

This isn't about scolding Kavanaugh for being an irresponsible youth.

It's about demonstrating that he's repeatedly lied under oath about what he did in his youth.

Funny how the Right pretends lying under oath isn't a crime. Its only a crime if a Democrat does it. If the R's had any balls they'd ask Kavanaugh to take a hike like the D's did with Al Franken. Also where's the Tea party now that deficits are at all time highs? All I hear is crickets. Emoluments lawsuit should be filed anyday now since its beyond question Trump is profiting from monies paid by foreign governments. There's at least one Russian or Chinese buck floating around the coffers of Trump Tower. Jefferson and Madison may be 300+ years dead and rolling in their graves at this constitutional mess but they are still smarter than Trump.

It’s almost as if politics is about a relative status competition between various tribal groups, and not about principles or policy at all!

It is right there in front of you.

"If the R's had any balls they'd ask Kavanaugh to take a hike like the D's did with Al Franken."

But the last defense when you're not doing the right thing is false equivalence.

Throwing Al Franken overboard cost the Democrats nothing. A Democrat governor could appoint a replacement democrat senator immediately.

Which is why it made sense strategically.

When the Dems throw Menendez and Keith Ellison overboard, then you might have a point.

But they aren’t going to.

I'm afraid that you're actually making a darker contention. You are arguing that doing the right thing gained the Democrats nothing, because you simply don't care.

What the heck has happened to my old Republican Party?

When they bought into Trump did they just buy into being the Party by and for lying liars 7 by 24?

Your response is word salad combined with appeals to emotion.

Also I’m not a republican.

And it’s very clear that democrats don’t disown their sexual assaulters/abusers/corrupt politicians unless it’s advantageous and costs them nothing.

Keith Ellison is not being disowned. The DNC is staking his candidacy.

Menendez is receiving even more funding from the DNC now since he’s less popular after the federal corruption trial.

And of course the republicans don’t care whether Trump lies or cheats with porn stars.

Regardless, they were smart to ditch Franken, they appointed a woman replacement senator which plays well with their base AND they have more leg to stand on to attack Trump and Kavanaugh.

But get real, if the consequences were losing a senator they would be as faux outraged as the republicans are now with Kavanaugh.

That certainly sounds like moral bankruptcy speaking.

You only talk about what is smart and not at all about what is right.

And your concern trolling about 'which side is more morally righteous' is pointless.

Neither side has any claim to morality whatsoever. Think of it as what you do in the comments section:

Screeching incoherently and flinging feces.

Obviously Trump was a electoral perfect storm of bad luck for some (Hillary etc.), so none of this could be calculated in advance, but once they got Trump, surely some Republicans started thinking as follows: “the Dems will stoop at nothing to smear a mild mannered technocrat moderate like Romney as a ghoul, and they’ll keep on smearing a standard earnest garden variety country club Republican like McCain as Hitler lite. But at least Trump hits back.”

“If they’re going to call Obama a socialist, we might as well choose actual socialists!”

“If they’re going to call Romney a fascist (war on women, Biden’s ‘he wants to put y’all back in chains!’) we might as well choose Trump!”

Suddenly the 30s make way more sense.


It’s almost as if politics is about a relative status competition between various tribal groups, and not about principles or policy at all!

Ain't that the truth.

It is perfectly possible to name higher principles, and then stand for those, chips fall where they may.

Yes they’re called libertarians and they poll around 3% of the electorate.

I won't say there are not principled Libertarians, but it is kind of a fail to equate principle to party in this setting.

What we're looking for is the ability to name some principle you can stick with when it does or does not gore your own party.

Or for me as an independent, a principle that I stick to when it gores either party.

For instance I don't like liars. I didn't like it when Bill Clinton played word games under oath and I don't like it now.

Which is nonsense.

You're a partisan. You derail every thread to shoehorn Trump into whatever the conversation is.

The only Democrat you have ever discussed in a negative light left office 18 years ago.

Independent does not mean what you think it means.

The obvious and stupid lies he made are more consistent with him having done it.

It would have been fascinating and quite intelligent if his response had been totally different. Any of the below would have probably ended the opposition to him:

"Yes I did it. When I was a kid in HS I was drinking like crazy, acting stupid and immature. The culture at the time was also totally endorsing this behavior as normal, including the belief that getting sex out of women with force or deception was all just part of a big game. I grew up and it's a good thing the culture has changed so now even among teens it's clear this sort of thing is unacceptable. I apologize to Ms Ford, I never intended to do lifetime harm to her"

Or even:

"I drank a lot in HS and college. My buddy Mr. Judge was right when he wrote about blackout drunkenness. In all honesty I have no idea if this happened. I hope it didn't, if it did I hope I didn't do it. Reality was the culture in the 80's was totally wrong to celebrate binge drinking and using force on women for sex and being a stupid kid at the time I fell right into at least half of that trap, maybe the whole thing. All I can say is I apologize if I did this and I acknowledge just how wrong it is that I once regularly got myself in such a state that I could honestly be unaware whether or not I did something like this"

But instead we get:

"I was a saintly choir boy who maybe drunk one beer at a party and it's ok I have perfect memory retention even from getting blackout drunk not that I ever did such a thing. Like now back then I enjoyed a beer now and then but nothing more than that. "

Meanwhile everyone is coming forward remembering him as frat-boy drunk stereotype, his yearbook celebrates getting wasted and boofing, and his bff has books about struggling with being a blackout drunk.

More often than not the liar exposes himself by pushing the lie too far.

You sure are projecting a lot there.

Why would he admit to things he hasn't done? He did admit he drank too much, but he's had 200 women sign on that he never groped anyone and was always respectful to them.

"but he's had 200 women sign on" Let me pair this with that other wonderful bit of evidence, his calendar from HS.

I don't know if OJ Simpson carried a day planner. But if he did I know for sure if there ever was an entry for June 12, 1994 it did not say "kill ex wife" Charles Manson rubbed shoulders with plenty of celebrities, including the Beach Boys, that he didn't murder. The world's best pickpocket walks by a hundred thousand pockets for every one he picks. There are probably at least 20,000 women who interacted with Bill Cosby without anything happening. Is this evidence? No it isn't.

So absence of evidence is evidence now. Cosby had a pattern in how he dealt with women, that persisted over decades. BK supposedly did this once and never again. Nothing of the allegations make any sense to anyone who is interested in getting to the truth of the matter.

Boonton: “My Kavanaugh compatibles? OJ, Manson and Cosby. I’d add Hitler but he’s busy being trotted out as a comparable for Trump.”

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still available.

Also, still dead.

What right have you to tarnish Manson's name when, as I pointed out, thousands of people meet him who he didn't kill?

Your argument is stupid. The jails are full of people who did only one crime. Did any of those 200 women who said he was a great guy to work with say they ever saw him jerking off? Does that mean we can conclude he never jerked off? Did any of them see him show up to work totally baked and drunk? Does that mean he never sipped more than a single beer?

We are also in a bit of a bind here. To accept the accusation is to accept that he did it then and is lying about it now. To reject the accusation is to accept that she is part of either an elaborate hoax or a self-created hoax for unknown reasons.

This is not a criminal trial, proof beyond reasonable doubt is not the standard. In civil trials the standards is preponderance of the evidence, not absolute proof. It is more plausible that he is lying to cover up bad behavior as a teen to advance his career than she is part of a huge hoax.

Usually such hoaxes unravel over time. See, for example, the fake Roy Moore accuser who tried to set up the Washington Post. The resistance to an investigation also makes the hoax less plausible. If I was being hoaxed, an FBI investigation could do a lot of useful things like warn witnesses they are not talking to the media, lying to FBI agents is a crime. The FBI can do things the media can't like obtain warrants for things like emails, phone logs, etc. that could also blow apart a hoax.

You sure are projecting a lot there. Why would he admit to things he hasn't done?

Note I provided that option. That he spent his HS and College years drinking and partying hard is not in doubt. If he didn't do it then I'd expect an honest answer as to how he can be so sure he didn't do it. If someone told me they couldn't have gotten into a car accident and driven away *but* they also have frequently driven so drunk that they actually lose time....I'd say such certainty needs to be explained with a bit more than claiming to have superhuman memory power to overcome blackout drunkenness for me to accept as truthful.

In what universe does the FBI have the power to subpoena emails or witnesses during a background investigation?

There’s no federal criminal complaint, so obviously they cannot subpoena documents or force witnesses to testify.

They can ask witnesses to speak voluntarily and try to get them on the record. The end.

Honestly the Dems have a slam dunk here, get Ford to press charges in Maryland. Then it’s a criminal complaint, they can talk to whomever they want and subpoena records, and if he’s indicted for sexual assault even Mitch will have to back down.

I suspect there’s a reason they are not going down that road.

Regardless, putting the onus on an accusee to prove innocence 36 years after the fact with no date or location is pretty absurd.

Hopefully the background investigation clears up some questions, but I’m not holding my breath.

One reason they aren't pressing criminal charges is the statute of limitations kicked in decades ago, they are literally not allowed to charge him. Which is for the best, as it should not be possible to do so this far in the future.

If the FBI picked up evidence that Ford had lied, they could get warrants for her emails, her browser history, her phone records and more. The FBI could talk to people she had spoken with. They could make it clear to them that if they had participated in a conspiracy to provide false testimony to a Congressional hearing they could go to jail but if they told them what they knew that would bode well for them.

On the other side it's obstruction of justice to lie to an FBI agent so old buddies who might normally tell journalists they don't remember anything may think twice before keeping the truth under wraps to the FBI.

Granted no guarantees here. Witnesses could refuse to speak to the FBI and plenty of investigations go cold but I'm impressed by those who on one hand say this is all a left wing conspiracy but on the other hand don't even want to try to see if anything could be cracked open by a real investigation

As I say, I think there is more evidence that Kavanaugh is a jerk then that he committed specific crimes.

And that's why many of you guys are missing the real story.

There's a real danger that Republicans might win the battle and lose the war. I mean basically are you so committed to "a conservative Justice" that you're willing to ramp up the Blue Wave and everything that comes with it?

Has this become "we will never have a majority again so YOLO!"

I’m not a republican.

To see if I can pass the Turing test:

Majorities come and go, the party that controls the White House always hemorrhages seats. Democrats have essentially owned the court since the 1970s.

Installing a 5th justice that will follow the constitution is much more important than winning a midterm election.

If Trump gets one more justice after Brett, the court will prevent Democrat overreach for decades.

Etc etc

Really though, the climate is so polarized now I doubt the allegations have an affect one way or the other.

Remember, no senators have changed their minds at all based on the allegations. It was going to be a party line vote from the outset. Just like Garland.

There are often rebound elections, but I think anyone saying "situation normal" has actually failed that "centrist" Turing test.

Certainly that online about only five justices following the constitution does as well.

There are so many ways this is not normal. I mean it is implicit that the question "can a president be indicted?" is part of the Supreme Court nomination.

No, these are not normal times. These are not normal times at all.

s/online/one line/

"Really though, the climate is so polarized now I doubt the allegations have an affect one way or the other.

Remember, no senators have changed their minds at all based on the allegations. It was going to be a party line vote from the outset. Just like Garland."

Excellent comment

2: That is the myth that the Dems are desperate to promote. Thanks for doing your part!

Unfortunately if something has data and evidence, it is hardly a myth.

I assume you've read the gated paper then. For me 1.) any claim of single thing that explains 100% of a complex problem is not likely to be true. 2.) My recollection is that unions were both one of the most racists institutions and a strong Dem ally.

The South doesn't have strong unions. Not then, not now. The South also doesn't vote Democrat except the one that barely beat a pedophile.

'The South also doesn't vote Democrat'

So the Commonwealth of Virginia is no longer a southern state?

Isn’t part of Virginia becoming more like Maryland which is becoming a D.C. Company town?

Is location or mentality more important?

It’s getting to be like the Hunger Games. Too much wealth concentrated in too few areas/counties.

Virginia Beach is not becoming more like Maryland, neither is Richmond nor Roanoke.

It is also useful to remember that the first southern state to elect a black governor since Reconstruction was Virginia - and it happened 3 decades ago, during the Bush era.

"The South doesn't have strong unions. " yes, and..?

But this really did happen. Check the rise of George Wallace through the rest of the 1960s.

This is true, George Wallace ran as an independent in the 1968 election, and again 1972. And the Republicans did make an effort to capture alienated Southern voters from the Democrat party, particularly in the 1972 election when the Dem strategy under McGovern was a sort of proto-"Rainbow Coalition" of minorities, the anti-war movement and urban liberals. But there were a lot of issues on which people could be "conservative" beyond simply race, like attitudes toward the Vietnam war, the counterculture generally, Christianity, drugs, crime, and more that conservative Southern Democrats could align more with the Republicans on post-1968 than with the Democrats. When you factor in that the Nixon administration displayed no hostility to the Civil Rights Act, had introduced the Philadelphia Plan, and contained many Rockefeller Republicans who had been proponents of civil rights, summing up the shift of Southern conservatives to the Republican party as a racist ploy by pointing to a single 1982 Lee Atwater interview (who had no role in 1968 as it was) is Democrat mythology.

In the 3-way 1968 presidential election, independent George Wallace did best among Southern white voters who lived in small, integrated towns and who wanted to keep Jim Crow going.

Democrat Hubert Humphrey did best among whites in the South who lived in uplands with few blacks and lots of mines, who cared more union issues.

Republican Richard Nixon did best among white Southerners who lived in metropolitan white suburbs and wanted the South to put Jim Crow in its rearview mirror and join modern America.

Thus, the Nixon Administration almostly immediately pushed through desegregation of Jim Crow public schools in the South in 1969-70, after a decade and a half of stalling after the 1954 Brown decision.

Solid post.

#1 "Still, she said, sex trade workers have something that dolls can’t offer: intimacy." I literally justed snarfed my diet coke on that one. Question on the quality of said "intimacy." Is it so bad that men cannot legitimately tell the difference between the hooker and the sex toaster or is it so bad that men genuinely prefer the sex toaster? Also, that she believes this actually has value to her clientele without having the sentience to realize what her clientele actually values? Women really are NPCs. No. Frickin. Agency.

#5 Fivethirtyeight....stopped reading. I know everything that comes after that.

I keep seeing all these articles about sex doll brothels, but is this really a widespread thing, or just some super niche/fetish thing journalists are seizing upon because its salacious? I mean who wants to use a used doll? Who cleans them in between? The whole thing seems so unimaginably gross, I just can't see it having widespread appeal.

Sex Doll Cleaner is a growth industry. Lots of new jobs for laid off taxi drivers.

Man oh man, if only the guy who Ford mistook for Kavanaugh had had access to a sex doll. It would have spared the Republic a lot of partisan bickering...

Kavanaugh should not get the job not necessarily because of the accusations but because he does not conduct himself as an impartial judge. He used a lot of partisan language and needlessly emotional language to make his points when he could have just stuck to the facts. Like the FBI agent who displayed bias against Trump, this should disqualify Kavanaugh from the highest judicial office in the land. A judge, a Justice, must remain impartial and put bias aside as much as possible certainly more so than the average person. He has failed to do that.

Fair enough. I didn’t mind him getting emotional or even mad in the face of this 11th hour attack , because frankly being impugned for something you are certain you didn’t do sounds horrible... but the “what goes around, comes around” comment wasn’t impressive to me.

6. So MMT is the idea that the government can just print money to pay for everything. It doesn't need to tax, it can just print money. Also guaranteed jobs for everyone. Do I understand it right?

Cool story bro.

Well no there are conditions and limits. But yeah lets pretend there are not so you can knock down your straw man.

But yeah you could theoretically have only an inflation tax. I don't recommend it but that is a form of tax that would enable the government to do things "tax free," but you know, with an inflation tax so not really tax free.

You'd probably want to set a statutory cap on it such that your nominal GDP growth is no more than 5-6% per year, but otherwise I could see it working. It's just a different way of injecting money into the economy besides the Federal Reserve manipulating reserve ratios and buying securities.

Man, I read the article and there was nothing but straw there. Do they have anything less flammable? Maybe something a PHD could understand instead of an 8 year old? (to use the writer's terminology)

On MMT theory.
I get this part:
"Taxes exist in order to control inflation by reducing the money supply, and to ensure that dollars, as the only currency accepted for tax payments, remain in demand."

But this dope not follow:

"It follows that currency-issuing governments could (and, depending on how you lean politically, should) spend as much as they need to in order to guarantee full employment and other social goods. "

There is no connection between fiat money and our ability to tax. Here is their connecting logic:

"Inflation, MMT’s proponents contend, can be controlled through taxation, and only becomes a problem at full employment"
OK, unemployment is at 7%, how does that make it easier to tax? The folks with jobs are supposed to be happy and pay more taxes?

You'd increase the gap between what the government is spending/injecting into the economy and what it is drawing back during economic down-times (expanding the money supply, like what the Federal Reserve does now), and then decrease once we get closer to full employment. At full employment you'd want the gap to be relatively small, say about 5-6% (like if you set a nominal GDP growth target of 6% per year).

So it's not that you're increasing taxes during high unemployment times. You're increasing them during low unemployment times.

Helpful, thanks. The writer of the article might have done the same, but perhaps he didn't quite grasp it either.

4. is interesting, thanks for pointing that out. The citations were illuminating. Everyone just wants to say "inequality is bad," but of course you aren't allowed to make "normative" judgments. But if you do the barest minimum of normative laundering -- "inequality is bad," check out this study that proves it, don't squint too hard at the sample size, effect size, or assumptions -- presto! science!

6. I'm confused. So in the MMT scenario, does the government just say, "We will spend X amount of dollars in FY2019, and tax back Y amount", and then the spending counts as new money injection without the need for the Federal Reserve to do debt monetization by buying bonds? How does this affect bank money creation through new deposits and loans?

I could see how that would work, but I'm skeptical that we could do it without inflation creeping upwards again to high levels. Basically all of the rich countries had issues with inflation in the 1970s, and that wasn't just shock from oil price increases.

One of the MMT advocates needs to explain why their theory, when applied to the hilt in a place like Venezuela, results in hyperinflation and economic ruin.

1.) Venezuela has no production, all imports cost $$$.
2.) Venezuela's extensive debts are in $$$.
3.) Venezuela can't print $$$.

I'd like Tyler or Tyrone to explain how MMT makes sense. Because I'm having a hard time understanding how it isn't just ignoring the very real distinction between money and value.

MMT is descriptive. Politics and policy would dictate when and where any new money is spent. Create money that creates needed jobs and/or supports the middle class in useful ways could be money well spent. Like infrastructure or health care.

Ellen Brown has some ideas.

#2 - it's not just Southern whites. Recall the Hard Hat riots in New York and the busing riots in Boston. There are some great photos from the period.

The Democratic party has been backing away from whites as, obviously, too white, but also too armed, too provincial, and too Christian for quite some time. The white Democratic leadership is pretty geriatric.

The Democrats are basically Team Brown except for single white women and their gay friends.

'too white, but also too armed, too provincial, and too Christian for quite some time'

That sure describes those Boston whites who did not want to have black children in their schools - well, at least by the standards of this comment section.

'The Democrats are basically Team Brown except for single white women and their gay friends.'

Lucky that Sanders isn't a Democrat, isn't it?

the Do Do bird lives!

Is there a forum somewhere I can go post on that isn't fill of hatred and name calling ? I tried facebook again, and it's worse than ever. Everyone's an abuse victim on a crusade because Brett Kavanaugh is obviously going to overturn Roe v. Wade, and anyone who isn't on the bandwagon is a rape apologist. But I'm afraid to go comment on Reason, cause I'm a social justice warrior who is racist against white people.

"Is there a forum somewhere I can go post on that isn't fill of hatred and name calling ? "

Not that I've seen. But frankly why waste your time posting on it This is mostly a Team Red versus Team Blue issue. If the Teams were swapped, both sides would be arguing the exact opposite of what they are currently arguing.

Essentially, Republicans pulled a partisan jerk move by killing Garland's nomination and now the Democrats are responding in kind. My advice is to avoid making up your mind on the issue till December. And then re-examining the issue and see if you still think it's still relevant.

Granted, if you just want to BS on the topic knock yourself out. But don't bother taking the issue seriously.

Actually I just want to comment on something else.
Here is something to help everyone relax:

How does she not get dizzy?! Or lose control of a giant hoop?

I don't know. I see a big difference in using a Dem trick against them and slandering a federal judge. The two sides have become more petty, but the Democrats have really become disgusting. Garland's family was never put through this and his integrity was never impugned. Kagan, and Sotomayor were both confirmed 2-1. Sotomayor is one of the most liberal judges ever.

If Repubs had (had had, weird English language anomaly) sexual assault allegations against Garland they would have run it to the end zone and spiked the football.

This is also correct, but why bother with allegations when you can subvert the Constitution and not even allow a hearing for over a dang year?

Sure, it was a jerk move, but it is not subverting the Constitution for the Senate to refuse to consider a nomination, which is a de facto filibuster or "no" vote (had Obama nominated, say, Kavanaugh, the Senate most certainly would have confirmed him).

Actually that's exactly what it was. The Constitution lays put very detaied instructions on how the govt is supposed to handle SC appointments. Nowhere does it say the Senate should just say 'fuck it, we're not gonna even do our thing's

And if the Dems had tried this first, you would of course be saying the opposite. Can't you polarized mopes even allow a single wrong decision on your own side? Even one as obvious as this? This is not how the Founders set it up.

"And if the Dems had tried this first"

Well, it is called the Biden rule, so....

The Republicans always seem to follow after the Democrats in breaking the Senate norms. You have the Biden rule, and also the Reid rule for filibusters. I'd say if you only complain when the Republicans do this, especially after it was the Democrats that broke the norms, you may be a partisan.

We've already discussed this, the 'Biden rule' was never actually implemented, it was a throwaway comment by Biden. Reps actually did it, and not just for a couple months like Biden suggested. For a year +.

Own it TMC. Is there NOTHING a partisan hack will admit his side did wrong?

" Is there NOTHING a partisan hack will admit his side did wrong?"

Seems to be a severe lack of self awareness here.

Well, maybe someday you'll get some. In the meantime the rest of us will continue to mock your obvious hackery.

BTW, I do agree that delaying Garland's vote was also wrong. He would have made a good judge. But you can't compare that to the smear campaign going on now. Disgusting. And I have seen you write a thing about that.

Oh I have written plenty that the Dems are playing dirty here. But again, your team started it. And only now do you admit it.

The thing is, I'm a center as they come. To the point of boring everyone with it, it's all I post about practically. The current climate is uniquely toxic to the republic and it has been for over a decade. But hacks like you and mulp are the problem. Just call it straight, the Reps started this escalated scorched earth partisan SC fighting. This is indisputable.

I wish the Dems had kept the high ground. I mean, even if Kavanaugh gets spiked the next one will be just as conservative. But the toxicity has now grown.

"I'm a center as they come." Mmm, that lack of self awareness again...

I highly doubt that. Republicans run into the problem that discourse of what is believable regarding sexual assault is largely the domain of liberal feminists and the media. After all they did try this tactic against Bill Clinton and watched it explode in their face in spite of their being multiple accusers with far more circumstantial evidence than we are seeing today.

After all, in the 10 years prior to Garland there are only about a half dozen Democrats who had serious sex scandals that got traction and virtually all of those involved frank photographic evidence. Assuming that there are far more Congressmen with unphotographed skeletons in their closets; it seems unlikely that anything but the most highly evidenced scandal would have mattered for Garland.

After all, Conyers was known to violate ethics guidelines, had paid off an accuser with public funds in 2015, and still was not broken until MeToo crushed him.

I don't doubt that partisans would have used accusations, but I highly doubt that Republican partisans would believe sex accusations without the level of evidence that took down Edwards or Weiner stood much of a chance of working.

Yes, and most people are still unaware of the very credible allegations of rape against Bill Clinton, from the same time period, even.
If we believe Christine Blasey Ford, I don't see any reason we shouldn't believe Juanita Brodderick.

You are kidding, right? Everyone has heard what scum Clinton is - whether they then decide it is relevant is the next step, and pretty much defines those that continue to support Clinton from everyone else.

When is Keith Ellison going to be investigated?

Interesting question, since he has called for an investigation, performed by a congressional committee run by Republicans - 'As demand grew for further investigation into allegations that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) physically abused a former girlfriend, another Democrat joined the call for an additional inquiry: Ellison himself.

In a statement Wednesday, the congressman said he would ask the House Committee on Ethics to investigate claims that he dragged his former partner Karen Monahan off a bed by her feet while yelling obscenities at her during a 2016 fight.'

Though it appears that Kavanaugh's call for an investigation has been obstructed by Senate Democrats, right? You know, those vicious partisans who do not want the FBI to clear Kavanaugh's good name, as they undoubtedly would, if Kavanaugh is to be believed.

Great, I'm still waiting for the mea culpas from
I firmly remember being told that I was a wingnut partisan for even mentioning Juanita Broadrrick and taking her claims seriously. I have yet to receive an apology from any of those people. Even though they're currently going into conniption fits over Kavanaugh all over Facebook.

Has anyone seen this not-so-flattering page on Donald Trump on Wikipedia?

Its a gigantic list. Sure at least one of them is believable.

Are you assuming that because I posted a critcism of Clinton that I must be a Trump supporter?

Gorsuch got through with little rancor from Dems and his was the 'stolen' seat. Just face the facts, Kavanaugh's opposition has credibility that's why there's trouble.

But he was replacing Scalia not Kennedy. Gorsuch would not change the balance of the court the way that Kavanaugh seems likely to.

This is pretty much correct, JWatts.

The world might look different if you staked a moral position first, and then looked at the "red team, blue team" answers second.

For instance, is it a good look (morally) for a future Supreme Court Justice to lie glibly, or angrily, under oath? What does that do to the credibility of our entire legal system?

The world would definitely look different if you got down off your high horse. You're not better than us, Polar Bear.

"What if this is as good as it gets?" - Melvin Udall

Isn't the comments section of this blog a forum? In any case, I would not call it "full of hatred", even if debates get heated sometimes. And besides a few people trying to be fun (sometimes with success) by calling every other commenters "Cucks", there is not too much name-calling either.

This place is relatively sane, which is why I fled here. Still gets kinda bad sometimes tho.

You can start your own blog. As Sen. Blutarsky once said, "Don't cost nothin'."

'Is there a forum somewhere I can go post on that isn't fill of hatred and name calling ?'

Well, Metafilter is not free, and the subtle shutting down of alternative views/dissent over the past couple of years is disturbing, as is the slow drain of non-American commenters. Still a much better place to be involved in than here.

Basically, it helps to avoid anything to do with the U.S. to find places where hatred and name calling just don't happen. You might have noticed, for example, how the commenters here from Australia (accepting that they are, based on a certain internal consistency) are so easy to distinguish from Americans.

Note above posts about MMT which attract no hatred or name calling. Note you in your comment lobbying accusations at people using this comments section.

If you want to talk about dry academic truths, you'll have absolutely no names lobbed at you. If you want to take partisan stances on social issues and be applauded uncritically for it, then, no, you need to find yourself a bubble for that, and no exact bubble fits the shape of your ideas.

5. Romer is being uncharacteristically sloppy when he says " false statements" when he means "incorrect statements."

If Congress were full of inflation hawks who never worried about their re-election prospects, MMT could be viable.

In order to control inflation in a world in which governments outright print money, you need Congress to regularly hike taxes and slash spending as a mechanism to control inflation.

I have little confidence that Congress would actually be willing to take drastic, unpopular actions on a regular basis to keep inflation in check.

The worst part about working cleanup in a sex doll brothel is remembering which one is the butthole brush.

1. Every high school and college should have one. And it is interesting regarding sex toys that men want the whole body whereas women appear content with a single appendage.
2. Earlier version here: Gallup polling. yawn
3. Earlier version here:
"I find no measurable impact on labor market outcomes for children in households that won vouchers. The contrast between the lottery and demolition estimates remains even after re-weighting the demolition sample to adjust for differences in observed characteristics." So the next step is to tear down everybody's house and assign them places to live?
4. Wish there was more of this type of scrutinizing going on in the world. Demographically, black male health outcomes have shown the most improvement over the past few decades. One wonders if Clinton should get credit for welfare reform moving men into jobs with health benefits and out of Medicaid?
5. Steve Sailer on the marriage gap seems more persuasive.
6. "There is no reason why society should tolerate unemployment."

I cannot access the paper, but 1956 - 1980 seems like an awfully odd cutoff point. The high water mark for Democrats in the south was 1940 and its nadir was 1972 (which I believe has not be surpassed even today).

If you look at how the South went Republican, it did not start out in congressional seats full of poor racists, but in the economically powerful suburban districts. If anything, this cutoff date suggests that the shift of the wealthy preceded the shift of the generic Southerners.

MMT is an interesting idea. Question: "The state can guarantee a job to anyone who wants one": how exactly do they efficiently allocate these jobs to various organizations? If they give people jobs, do they give them jobs in *existing* companies? Do they force these companies to hire them? Do they have some kind of government organization at which they would work?

I can't get to the Chyn (#3) paper but am concerned about the costs of relocation to the host neighborhood.

Relocating children to a "better" environment might be a benefit to the relocated families, but was there an adverse effect on the community that received the relocated families?

In north Saint Louis County (Missouri), relocating people with "Section 8" programs from Saint Louis City to the county seems to have relocated the problems of crime and has crashed county property values.

That area includes Ferguson and the property value drop seems to have included the area from I-70 north to the Missouri River. This description is from comments by friends' family members who live/lived in the area. I don't have statistical data.

I am not sure that a marginal improvment in the outcome for some of those relocated is worth the cost to the new host area. It would seem that it would be more appropriate to expend efforts to improve the conditions in the "troubled" neighborhoods to bring benefits to those residents without a new host neighborhood having to bear the likely cost in crime and lost property values.

The circumstances noted in the abstract (building demolition) may force a relocation but may also indicate a planned way to shift the burden to others. Even so, relocating some residents abandons the remaining population to the same "troubled" circumstances without any suggestion of a possible improvement in the future.

#1: A room full of sex dolls can be called a "brothel" only in the sense that a room with a Foosball table could be called a "stadium".


I wonder why MMT would be any better than money-financed fiscal programs (MFFP), except with MFFP you do not load up the taxpayers with debt.

Really, hear me out.

1, Japan financed recovery from the Great Depression (they whipped the Great Depression early) and then WWII with money-financed fiscal programs. They ended WWII without much national debt.

The US did not get out of the Great Depression until WWII, and then borrowed heavily to finance military operations in WWII. The US ended up WWII with a lot of debt.

In both nations there was a vast expansion of output, a large increase fiat money creation, but only in the US a large expansion of debt.

Both nations wasted resources on militaries, Japan for some of the worst reasons in all history, and the US for some of the best reasons in all history.

But financially/macroeconomically----if the money supply is going to balloon anyway, why end up with a lot of debt (the US model) to finance a war?

The postwar Japan economy was weak not because of MFFP, but because of war and how they spent resources.

I'm actually an advocate of looking at eliminating taxes and using nothing but debt to run the gov't.

How exactly were taxpayers saddled in the US after WWII with debt? Right off the bat the US never ran surpluses after WWII sufficient to pay off the debt incurred in WWII. At the end of WWII the debt was about a full 100% of GDP yet today if we wanted to say "we finally got that WWII debt settled off" we'd need only a small state's worth of GDP to do it.

I don't see any evidence taxpayers or anyone else for that matter was 'saddled' at all by the debt.

As a Boomer no one asked me to pay for my Father's war.

A really interesting read on our financing of the War:

Contra the implied lesson of #2, a NYT article suggesting the partisan shifts of the past 3 years are economically driven:

#5. A sad commentary on the state of the citizenry. What's more important, protecting the rights of the accused or the 'victim'? In all crimes, protecting the rights of the accused is paramount. It's especially important with sex crimes where there is often a real question whether or not there IS a victim at all (something that's less often the case with other crimes).

I wonder -- do the fundamental ideas of 'due process', 'innocent until proven guilty' and 'beyond a reasonable doubt' still enjoy majority support (or anything close to it)? Depressing results in that survey regardless of the Kavanaugh circus or what group analyses you perform.

Yea, BULLSHIT. You act as if Kavanaugh critics were doing something like chanting "lock him up". Hmmmm

The standards of proof you insist on are relevant in criminal trials where a person's life and liberty are literally at stake. This is a job interview.

If you came home and found your front door lock broken and the inside of your home tossed with your jewelry, electronics and money missing. The first thing you would do is call 911 and say "I was robbed". The next day at work when people ask how your weekend was you would say "Horrible, I was robbed". No one would say to you "I don't accept you were robbed without you presenting me first with collaborating evidence, without first proving beyond reasonable doubt you were robbed" You would be taken at your word, absent any reason to doubt your general honesty, that you were robbed.

Suppose in addition to that the story is a bit deeper. AS you investigate your house, you hear a sound. You run to the back and see the back door slam and Bob, the guy from the mail room, is running away from your house and jumping over the fence carrying a big bag that seems full of stuff.

Now you are telling people "Bob from the mail room robbed me, can you believe that!" Fairly people might say "we should ask Bob first, see what he says about it". Bob says he didn't rob you. Not only that he says he doesn't even know where you live, he has never even been on your street. But he sent you Christimas cards for the last five years via snail mail. Here's ten Facebook posts about partying at various buddy's houses who are all on your street. Here he is on Yelp writing reviews about what pawn shops pay the best prices for jewelry. We're going to say Bob from the mail room robbed you. We'll probably fire Bob.

Er... If you said "I am not a robber. I have never robbed anyone in my life." likewise everyone in your social circle would believe you instantly and immediately, and leave it as a matter for the courts. They would never say "You must provide evidence that you have never robbed anyone".

That says something about human social dynamics. It doesn't say anything about proper due process. The burden is on the accuser to provide evidence. Implicitly you accept this by providing an example in which there is both direct and circumstantial evidence. "Victim believing" is not a thing, and if it were, it would not be a good thing.

The fact that it is very difficult to provide evidence for a crime for which typically the only evidence is ever in the mind of the accuser, is well, just so much the worse for trying to criminalize sexual assault and not particularly a major problem to which to make a sudden, random, exception to normal standards.

If you ever took a pen home from work, you’re tarnished forever.

See my comment above. I think it would have probably been much better for him if he admitted he did it, or at least admitted he was a drunk jerk back then who very well could have done it but he couldn't be sure. The refusal to honestly account makes it more problematic and suspect IMO.

Kind of ironic, something that doesn't put you in criminal danger (addressing a question about your sexual conduct honesty) can put in in criminal danger if you muck it up. You'd think a lawyer who worked for Ken Starr's investigation of Bill Clinton would be well versed on that.

Yet we can assume Ford is lying or crazy? What evidence is there that she has a habit of making up things that never happened? We have a pretty good case the other chap has often lied when it is in service of career advancement. This is probably not sufficient for criminal courts (although people have been found guilty based only on the testimony of the victim) but criminal courts have the highest burden of proof. Denying a very powerful lifetime job to a candidate who, if rejected, will likely go back to his already very good lifetime job immune from anything but extraordinary checks is actually a very low standard of proof.

Assuming lack of corroborative evidence, then: She may be lying. She may be insane in some subtle way somehow unnoticeable in her daily life (it seems highly unlikely). She may, and this is overwhelmingly more likely than any other possibility, be suffering from the inherent massive unreliability of human memory, and common false memory syndrome, which is the reason that almost no trial convicts on the basis of eyewitnesses alone*. She may even be telling the truth in some way which we can't in good conscience believe because she cannot provide any objective evidence.

I don't particularly care which it is, quite frankly. Most likely we would never know. And it doesn't really matter; she's not on trial and there will be repercussions.

The bottom line is (and it's not my political system!) but: you just simply cannot allow an unproved allegation to distort your political process in a way that will have ramifications for over a generation, on an unproven allegation. And that's just the Supreme Court appointment alone, let alone the trickle down into abrading the entire process around sexual assault cases. You can't simply look at this as "Oh well, he'll go back to another powerful job, so big whoop.".

*This is a tangent, but must say I'm continuously surprised about how:

1) The liberal tendency in the West today is willing to believe in wholly unreliable perceptive bias on almost any subject when it comes to certain subjects - if you Notice, then that's your lyin' eyes and it's all prejudice and scapegoating all the way down.

They will, reasonably, point to things like this - "Better to let ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted!". Quite typically they extend this sentiment to the destruction of a person's personal life too.

2) But when a rich, right wing man's in the frame, or a white "frat boy", and the victim is a woman, they have a complete change of heart; witnesses suddenly become almost perfectly reliable, and well, if a few innocents get imprisoned to catch ten guilty, then it's good enough.

Assuming lack of corroborative evidence, then: She may be lying

Well we do have some interesting corroborative evidence. She knew who his BFF in HS was, his BFF has written books confirming he and his bud were hard drinking and partying HS and college guys. We have her seeing his bff as a bag boy at safeway after, the guy wrote in his book he worked at a grocery store that summer. We have her therapists notes detailing a sexual assault in high school in 2012, long before Kav. was on the radar as a SC nominee.

Could we map out a path where it is a hoax despite this evidence? Sure. Perhaps she had some other person in mind in 2012. Perhaps she had some type of vendetta against him and slowly plotted a take down as she watcher his career rise. Perhaps when he got nominated for the SC she gorged herself researching him and came up with a story that was both plausible and difficult to refute....although by naming other people with him she provided them the opportunity to refute her story, which would seem an odd thing to do if you were otherwise being so careful

2) But when a rich, right wing man's in the frame, or a white "frat boy", and the victim is a woman, they have a complete change of heart; witnesses suddenly become almost perfectly reliable, and well, if a few innocents get imprisoned to catch ten guilty, then it's good enough.

Once again this is not a criminal trial, it is a job interview. He has no entitlement to a lifetime appointment. Think back to any time you might have been turned down for a job, credit, an apartment or even gotten fired. Did you have a full trial and proof beyond reasonable doubt? Sorry that's not the standard.


Something bothers me about these studies where you take a sample of countries to figure out some metric. Countries are radically different sizes. I'm wondering if that really makes sense for statistical analysis?

Would it be more rigorous to, say, divide populations into even groups (say 1 million) and use them as elements of a 'sample' to analyze things like inequality than instead treating Denmark and the US as a sample of n=2?

The drinking age is a non-issue to me. I was legal and then I wasn’t because I think to get the states to raise their age, the Feds threatened to withhold transportation funds. I don’t think those states that had the lower age raised it at the same time so the country was uniform.

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