Wednesday assorted links


Ross Douthat deserves a Rusty Trombone from me for this great column.

I give really great Rusty Trombones too. "Easy Dick" they used to call me.

I thought that name came from your prowess for Cleveland steamers.

ok, color us confused
we thought l dr. krugerand was for modern monetary policy
but it turns out he is against modern monetary policy
so remind us
who exactly is for modern monetary policy?

Who is for MMT? Gee, I don't about the economists who predicted the Great Recession (in contrast to neoclassicals from righty, Mankiw, to pseudo-lefty, Krugman)?

1. That dog has a lot of heart, but it's hard to beat heart and long legs.

The economist's view: how much is that doggy in the window?

I enjoy pinching small dogs

#1 All that productivity and energy for some exercise, some pets, and maybe a chew toy. Truly man's greatest domesticated achievement.

#3 So there's nothing wrong with being for voter ID? I guess I can keep my pro position then.

#4 I hear it really helps staves off hunger. Plus there's the longer hours at the neighborhood slave labor camp. Perhaps we could export our drug addicts in exchange for their critical nuclear materials. I smell a trade deal.

#1/#4) Crystal Meth Rumors Dog Gabby's Record Run

3. "But since it’s conservatives and Republicans who are the prime mover here, because they’re generally the ones pushing legal changes, they also have the primary obligation to step back and stand down."


"At the same time there’s also no question that a lot of Republican operatives pushing voter ID laws are cynics who expect their party to benefit from lower minority turnout, and a number of professional right-wing partisans — including our president — see an upside in frightening their voters or viewers with the racialized threat of “urban” ballot-stuffing."


Don't lose sight of those things either, as we say with relief "whew, they didn't quite pull it off."

Voter suppression ranges from perfectly legal to felony illegal. Response has to be paired to severity. And ("whew") this one would have been more serious if it had been found to work.

Republican operatives pushing voter ID laws are cynics who expect their party to benefit from lower minority turnout


Democratic operatives opposing voter ID laws are cynics who expect their party to benefit from higher minority turnout

sorta same?

Not really, because of the "missing" illegal voters, which made it a question of whether poor/marginal citizens had ID.

It turns out ("whew") that there weren't many illegal voters *and* motivated voters could clear the hurdles.

I mean, just say it straight up, providing equal and easy access to voting to all citizens is the high moral ground.

If you believe in America, that's where you stand.

And only evil racist commies believe that preventing voter fraud is worth doing.

All citizens? Felons, children...the criminally insane locked in mental institutions, currently incarcerated prisoners..

How about a compromise: mandatory voter IDs, with registration card and checked against open warrants, but permanent legal residents can vote. Moderate and hard to disagree with.

He tripped over his own moral vanity.

That you guys search for a corner case is actually pretty bad.

Anti-democratic bias.

The law is often about cases.

"That you guys search for a corner case is actually pretty bad."

That you can't agree with pragmatic and moderate compromises is worse.

Lol, I don't even know what this game is.

I say provide all citizens with the vote, and rather than recognize this isaz non-polarized and pro-democratic you look for some small fraction of a percentage to object over.

OMG I forgot people in medically induced comas!

Silly people.


Given how excited the left gets over the issue of voter ID, I think the right should continue to push for it.

The best voter id would be a paycheck stub. If it's from any government agency no voting would be allowed.

Or from a system where voter fraud is harder to identify and prevent. That's the even more cynical reading.

Voter ID has nothing to do with suppression and everything to do with the law. There are 3 pre-eminent of persons denied suffrage in most US states

1) Those not 18 years of age at the time they cast a ballot
2) Those that are not citizens
3) Convicted felons or those in jail during balloting

Incidentally there are examples in almost every state of the union of individuals attempting or violating all 3.

ID (and simple ID at that) is the most simplistic and arguably legal method for ensuring those denied suffrage do not get it, nor dilute the power and entitlement of those permitted it. It has nothing to do with suppression and everything to do with the law.

It isn't asking too much of someone to extra-marginally prove they're not stealing a right from the person just behind them by producing something even as minimal as a voter-registration card. That's not voter suppression.

Voter suppression is black panthers standing outside polling stations with baseball bats. A perfectly illegal action for which not a single arrest was made.

Too bad the architects of these plans are on record saying they are for suppression.

Everything you read in the media is not a lie.

Voter ID laws help Republicans by limiting massive, democrat voter fraud.

I vote for that!

If you can win on principles, change the subject to republican evilness.

"Beach Post revealed this week that former Florida GOP leaders intentionally designed restrictive voter laws to limit votes from Democrats and people of color."

1) Holy cow tell me you didn't just send me a link to the Kapor Center...

2) I am unable to access the WaPo piece but based on the url description I'm not seeing anything that significantly differs with Douthat's ultimate conclusion, nor yours either in preceding comments, which is neither conclusive for nor against. My point was that ID is not too much of a hurdle for those that want to vote nor diminish the validity of their rights in a contest with lawbreakers, for which documented cases exist. That point still stands.

I mean, just say it straight up, providing a fair and honest election is the high moral ground.

If you believe in America, that's where you stand.

Fake anonymous or real?

Kapor Center as a citation is pretty insane. But not embedding the link, im guessing real.

If you follow it back, you can find Crist's comments before Congress:

"Unfortunately, the last few years in Florida have not been so for-
ward thinking. In 2011, the State legislature voted for and Gov-
ernor Scott signed a massive election law designed, I believe, to
make it harder for some Floridians to legally vote, and designed to
encourage a certain partisan outcome. The law, among other
things, put ridiculous restrictions on the rights of everyday law-
abiding Floridians to register their fellow citizens to vote and re-
duced the number of early voting days from 14 to 8—and under the
law before the Justice Department demanded changes, could have
reduced early voting hours to as few as 48 in some of our counties.
Furthermore, changes to the law made it harder for voters who
went to the wrong precinct to cast a legal vote, which when com-
bined with budget cuts in many counties that reduced the number
of election day polling locations, resulted in unnecessary confusion
and suppression on election day. In addition, the State tried to
purge nearly 200,000 legal Floridians from the polls. Thankfully,
public pressure as well as questions from the Justice Department,
forced the State to back down."

Serial No. J–112–96

No embedded link, pointless and irrelevant wall of text...

I vote real anonymous.

Which is sadder, your inability to follow, or to Google "Governor Crist testimony Serial No. J–112–96."

I didn't think you wanted the PDF, to be honest.

Page 10

To sum up anon: Minorities are too stupid to get an ID, too stupid to know where to vote, and too stupid to figure out what day to vote on. Bigotry of low expectations.

Anybody too dumb to get an ID or know where and when to vote should not have any influence on any political process.

I'm down with IDs, voters should have one.

But the where to vote thing is real. There are many cases of states very purposefully closing or understaffing polling stations in areas where they don't want voters to have an easy time of it. Regardless of whether you are a Rep or Dem, if you have to drive crosstown and/or stand in line for hours to vote, it's pretty shitty and many won't bother.

Voting day should of course be on a weekend not a Tuesday, and mail in voting should be readily available to prevent these problems.

Nothing I said here is controversial, it's plain truth. Let's see if you partisan sheep can handle it.

Agreed. Weekends makes more sense, and the 'where' well documented.

No, voter ID is not best way to prevent vote fraud. The best way to prevent it is a more secure and efficient voter registration process. If you weed out the people who are not eligible to vote up front they won't be voting at the polls (I have never voted anywhere that did not require checking the registration list to see if I'm a valid voter) Vote fraud is thankfully rare, but when we do find it it most likely involves someone registered in more than one district, and voting in both, perhaps by absentee ballot. A fix for this would require a national registration database which would cancel an existing registration if the voter registers in a new location, with a notice sent to the old address in case there's a mistake- or a case of identity fraud. Also some interface with the Social Security death index so registrations of people decreased could be cancelled too.

What's lost in this voter ID debate is the move away from paper ballots to electronic voting machines. That's a disaster in the making.

Possibly a disaster that's already occurred. Moving to electronic voting machines (this was in the wake of the 2000 Florida butterfly ballot fiasco) was a stupid idea from the beginning, recognized as such by the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology project that warned against it. So what did Congress do? Give a billion dollars to electronic voting machine companies to encourage states to move from paper ballots to electronic.

But I thought that election officials had recognized the folly of this in recent years, and had stopped the migration from paper to electronic? That what MIT's Election Technology Lab says has been happening.

5. It doesn't say how this compares with other industries. Many non-tech firms have economic staffs, including retailers like Amazon. Do these tech companies employ more than usual?

3. So the new metric is: invent a problem that doesn’t exist. Implement a solution that doesn’t solve it. Then base its evaluation on whether the collateral consequences aren’t too bad.

In other words, cheating is fine if it doesn’t make a big difference?

Better than generating an insane moral panic on the basis of a conspiracy theory built consequences that don't even exist and should have been considered fanciful to any thinking person.

Its reasonable to keep the laws around now, even if they dont change much right now, as fraud could happen in future, and the argument that they discourage voters is utterly discredited, and there's no basis for rolling them back.

lol. pass laws based on phony premises, then leave them in place, just in case things change in the future. That's hilarious.

4. As if they weren't edgy and paranoid enough.

3. Well, Douthat may believe it's all inspired by God, but what these studies indicate are that the efforts to increase the vote of blacks is offset by the Billy-Bob vote motivated by that effort, and vice versa. Blacks, Billy-Bob, equilibrium.

The researchers also assume that, for a system of several parts, how you group those parts should make no difference to a measurement outcome. “This assumption is so basic that it is in some sense a precondition of any reasoning about the world,” Galley said. Suppose you have three apples. “If I say, ‘There are two apples on the right and one on the left,’ and you say, ‘There are two apples on the left and one on the right,’ then these are both valid ways of describing the apples. The fact of where we place the dividing line of left and right is a subjective choice, and these two descriptions are equally correct.”


Born's rule proved, they say. Born's rule is a key component of the theory of everything. Born's rule tells me that a set of data from any sphere packing process has a unique, solution that differs only in isomorphisms. So I can say, with near proof, what caused the great depression, how trees work and why we bet the whole channel to get maximum returns.

# 3:

"And the rare prosecuted cases generally seem disproportionate to the offense involved — with confused individuals in the dock rather than old-fashioned Chicago-style machines."

Here is a recent case of democrats in Chicago committing 2000+ felonies by falsely signing affidavits that they signed to get a candidate on the ballot, and are revoking their signatures:

"The number of revocations far exceeds the number of signatures Krupa collected. That means false affidavits were filed with the elections board."

In short, citing lack of prosecution for cheating in democrat districts doesn't mean democrats don't cheat. Or to use the pseudo learned language the educated elite is so fond of: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Also, voter ID laws would only really matter in swing districts and swing states with high propensity for cheating. Broward county, sheriff Israel, in Florida:

Cheating in elections:

Cheating in law enforcement success statistics:

There are many indications that the Broward County approach to juvenile crime was like the San Francisco approach to car break-ins:

Petition fraud is not the same as vote fraud, and yes, it happens and is done by both sides. Not sure how voter ID prevent petition fraud since if the petition circulator is dishonest to sign other people's names, he'll be dishonest enough to attest he saw their IDs.

3. A parable. A frightened homeowner hears a noise downstairs. Gets his gun. Blam, blam, blam, down the dark stairwell. Lights come on, his daughter home from college .. but he missed.

"Shout it from the rooftops! No harm, no foul."

Size matters. What's your go-to, sure-knock-down caliber?

Mine is 12 ga. 00 buck shot out if a pump action shot gun. The screenplay: The hound is barking off his fool head. I rack the weapon's (noisy) slide., dramatic effect If the "intruder" doesn't scream, "Hey, Dad! It's me." And, I don't hear the perp running away, it's BLAM BLAM. No need for a third. Then, I cut off one ear.

Mister, you obviously have never ever shot at a human and you never will.

Lol fake anonymous or real?

Who can even tell at this point.

Too stupid to be real. Obvious parody.

Father: "Omigod, Emily, it's you -- thank God I missed!"
Emily: (Smiles sweetly, pulls .22 from her purse) "You missed, daddy. But I won't."
Baffled expression from dad as he takes a slug and crumples to floor.
Female voice from upstairs: "Emily? Is that you?"
"Yes mom. Everything's fine. Just as we planned."
Freeze-frame on Emily's smile. Cut to wave and opening 5-0 theme.

One "slug" form a .22 isn't going to put a man down.

Otoh, a 45 acp might do the trick.

More like:

Man has gun in house. To prevent home invasions. So he claims.

Opponents cry, "Surely he just intends to slay his family! We will see family die! Mark my words, seize that maniac's gun now! It is a threat to safety and Justice!"

Man never shoots anyone, invader or family.

Ross Douthat advising Republican politicians to be pusillanimous. Big surprise.

#3) An instant classic of the On the One Hand This/On the Other Hand That genre. That's why columnists get paid the big bucks, to quote "new studies" and calmly assure us that stuff doesn't matter.

1: I guess I watch more dog videos than Tyler does, this looks like a standard dog competition, except now they've attached cameras to the obstacles similar to how NBA games now have cameras literally attached to the backboard.

3. I may watch a few dog videos but I rarely watch econ videos and I wasn't going to watch this one just to see what the five books were. Fortunately he lists them in his post.

Except there are seven books listed there.

Maybe the video explains the numerical discrepancy or maybe Tyler has mentally curated the list down to five.

Regardless, those are worthwhile books (the ones that I know about, there's a couple that I'm not familiar with) but if thinks he's in love with economics due to them, I wonder how much economics he actually knows.

That is, I wonder if he has actually taken economics classes or read an economics textbook.

But maybe that is the modern route to majoring in economics? Instead of taking a class and saying "hey these concepts are cool and applicable everywhere" one reads books like the ones on his list? (And then takes some econ classes.)

Seven is the new five.

6: Good post by Krugman, I think the first five paragraphs would be agreed with by just about anybody -- left, right, Austrian, Keynesian, supply-sider -- except for the MMT people. I guess their notion has some staying power, it didn't and doesn't make sense to me, nor apparently to Krugman. Nor to any mainstream or even non-mainstream economist that I can think of, again except for the MMT advocates. Are they destined to be the Laffers of the left?

Crazy policy idea guy: We can do this, right?
Universe of economists: Sorry, no.
MMT: Go for it!

It's not easy being Green. - GND

Lol +1.

Also, always glad to see Krugman putting his economist hat on. However, we now live in a universe in which Krugman has engaged with the crank MMT more seriously than market monetarism. Which is sad.

" which Krugman has engaged with the crank MMT "

He has to, they are now the face of the trendy Left. Though to give him his credit, he's pushing back.

"Are they destined to be the Laffers of the left?"
Does any actual economist believe Laffer was wrong?

#3. Voter fraud doesn't have to be widespread; it just has to happen at the points where elections are really decided. Sometimes an honest man needs help to stay honest. "Low fraud" is observed for the status quo; what happens when the status quo is changed? (The cattle stay in the pasture because the fence is there; does that mean you can remove the fence?)

3. The Democrats should take the voter ID issue and just run with it. If people are concerned about non-citizens voting, why not require photo proof of citizenship at the time of voting? The most convenient photo proof of citizenship for most people is a passport, and passport ownership rates are much higher in liberal areas. Democrats would massively benefit from this heightened photo ID requirement.

#1 It's an agility trial. Common outside the D.C. area in communities with dog enthusiasts.

Regarding Voter ID laws, Douthat sidesteps the real issue: that the Republican effort to disenfranchise Democratic voters runs the gamut, and that they keep finding news to go about it every election cycle. Voter ID may not be such a big deal, but the multiplicity of efforts (led by gerrymandering), has paid off big. Just look at the shenanigans that went on in Georgia this past election cycle, where a crooked politician oversaw his own election. Zeroing in on one study about one of the many methods Republicans have used to try to shore up their dwindling demographics just doesn't do justice to the issue.

#3. Paul Krugman is wrong. He believes that American progressives are like Argentinian "Peronistas" rather than Cuban revolutionaries. Let us assume that American progressives are not idiots and have learned about what happened in other revolutions. If they opted for the Perón way, they would end up facing high inflation and later hyperinflation, but none of PK's irrelevant references to Lerner and theories are needed to understand the process because what really matters is the escalation of the political conflict. If they opted for the Fidel way, meaning that they will reject the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the political conflict would turn into a civil war immediately. So the relevant question is when progressives think they will ready to win the political conflict, with or without violence. "Che" Obama was interested only in enjoying the power of government and then the wealth that follows power --for him Obamacare was a great hit at the Hall of Fame and he never cared about how it was going to be implemented. But in the new herd of progressives, most may want a real revolution.

So when do they think they will be ready? Most likely they will be wrong --or too early, or too late. If too early, they will run away by the time the war is imminent. If too late, either they will be diminished politically by defection or crushed violently by their opponents. Few people have been successful revolutionaries in contexts much more favorable than the one expected in the next few decades in the U.S. But they will not go away without a fight and that will be costly. Rather than laughing at their proposals, anti-progressive Americans should make them clear now the price that they will pay if they insist on their plans. Yes, they should start to draw red lines. A lesson from other experiences is that you don't rely on the judiciary to solve political conflicts.

Revolutionary default on the debt usually works. We would like a series of defaults, taken at opportune moments.

Debt default will never be sufficient to achieve what the progressives want. They want to control the stock of most assets and the flows from them. They can easily deal with the liabilities (as Roosevelt did it).

5. Why tech companies hire so many economists.

Economists cannot find better jobs.

#5...What the hell? Isn't this the third time you've run this story? Is it a regular feature?

3. There is very little detected voter fraud because absolutely no one is looking for it. In several states, the only things you need to register are a utility bill (to prove residence) and your signature claiming you are legally entitled to vote. Absolutely no county clerks anywhere in those states check your eligibility. They don't check age, criminal status, or citizenship. To the extent a state requires voter ID, the only thing that does is prove the voter is the registrant. It could conceivably reveal an underage voter, but I doubt they are checking age. A license (or passport or ID) doesn't signify citizenship or being clear of felonies. Absentee ballots don't even check that.

If sanctuary states won't report criminal aliens to ICE, what makes anyone think they will check voter rolls? Who benefits when illegal immigrants or felons vote? Who checks whether illegal immigrants or felons vote? The same people.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence, especially when no one is seeking or allowing proof to be found.

The evidence that voter ID laws do not suppress voter turnout is a much, much stronger empirical result.

When I use a credit card at the store, the clerk asks for my ID. In probably 99.99% of cases, the clerk finds no attempted fraud. If she does find attempted fraud, the fraud is prevented and probably not prosecuted ("oh, sorry, I forgot my ID. Here is cash.") A practice of checking ID deters attempts. The fact that fraud is rare and prevented is NOT an argument in favor of banning the ID check. The fraud would certainly be much greater in the absence of the ID check. And all or nothing political races with secret ballots are supremely more affected by even small instances of fraud than unlawful purchases. Votes can't be pulled out of a ballot box even if votes are PROVEN fraud. When damages are irremediable, it is more important to prevent them from happening.

If there is meaningful fraud out there, wouldn't we be able to detect a before-after effect when states adopt voter ID laws?

I almost hate to weigh in even, because Douthat's point, which I suspect is right, is that there is very little at stake here for both sides, and if we can't work this out, good luck on substantive issues.

Wrong. There have been multiple investigations into vote fraud, and yes, conducted by Republicans. Very, very little is ever found.

When I read allegations of voter fraud in the US, my impression is that most of that will be unafected by showing or not showing ID:

- People without right to vote registring to vote; and? Your name is in the rolls, you show an ID with your name - apparently everything is alright

- The classical "Chicago-machine" scenario, with the officers at the poll stations stuffing the boxes with ballots after the polls closed? Again, how showing an ID at voting will prevent that (only if the officers have to make a copy of the ID of any voter, and the copies of IDs having to be equal to the number of votes in the ballotbox).

Can somoene explain this from Krugmans second post:

"Why? In 2017, private insurance paid about a third of America’s medical bills — $1.2 trillion, or 6 percent of GDP. Having the government pay those bills directly, without a revenue offset, would therefore be a spending increase — a fiscal stimulus — of 6 percent of GDP.

Suppose — as MMTers tend to assume — that interest rates nonetheless didn’t rise. Then this stimulus would have a multiplier effect, probably raising GDP, other things equal, by 9 percent."

Aren't you kust replacing private spending with public spending? How does this raise GDP? In fact if Medicare is more efficeint wouldn't it lower the spend?

If the government payed these bills without new taxes, these mean that the private sector still has these $1,2 trillion, then probably will also spend it in other things.

About this stuff, Krugman is clueless. His "fiscal stimulus" amounts to the savings people would get because Medicare for All is roughly half as expensive as our current system. Would people spend all that saved health expense money? Currently 40% of the U.S. population would have to borrow or sell something to come up with $400 for an emergency. Would they save the money, or use the money to pay down debt (in effect un-spending the money)?

....Pretty hard to figure accurately. Oddly enough Krugman doesn't like the Bush 43 or Trump tax reductions because the wealthy beneficiaries of those reductions tend to squirrel that money away rather than stimulating economic activity with it. Couldn't those with health expenses do the same?

Anyway...Krugman basically criticizes MMT for believing government spending wouldn't raise inflation, and Fed interest rates, effectively "crowding out" private investment, ignoring that shortages of goods and services are really what initiate inflation (e.g. oil in the U.S. in the '70s, or food in Zimbabwe). He also completely ignores the following:

1. Taxes manage demand, they do not provision the government. If they really provision Federal programs, where do taxpayers get the dollars they use if government doesn't spend them out into the economy first?... Uncontroversially, even taxes that might "pay for" Medicare for all would cost half what we pay private insurance now.

2. Krugman cites "Okun's Law" as proof that his (non-performing) style of economics rules. But Okun's law does not anticipate a job guarantee (JG). which the Green New Deal proposes. Short of a JG, the current labor surplus, and downward pressure on wages will continue to dominate the employment scene. Government buys surplus commodities (corn...cheese), even dreck from Wall Street fraudsters, why not surplus labor?

What remains stunning is Krugman's continuing embrace of his own DSGE/pseudo-Keynesianism. Hicks himself, the inventor of IS/LM--a calculation frequently cited by Krugman--withdrew his support of that tool because, he confessed, it was *not* Keynesian.

Krugman's neoclassical economics' advice not only did not anticipate the Great Recession--as MMT did--it has put us in the perilous position of blessing the rentiers as the "productive" members of society--exactly the opposite of classical economics!

What is astonishing is how far pundits like Krugman will go to avoid admitting their own mistakes. They're too busy picking the mote out of MMT's eye to deal with the beam in their own.

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