Friday assorted links


#1 In the modern West, "cohesion" is something the other guy says so you won't think he'll press the 'defect' button in the prisoner's dilemma. In that sense this is very true, if it weren't for the fact that saying nothing at all also means they'll do the same thing. Trust is fragile. Once busted it tends to stay that way.

#2 Highly related to my comment for #1 above. They've shown there's no modification of the user terms and agreements that they will honor. They are tracking people who've selected the highest levels of privacy on their platforms that they can. They've been acting in bad faith all along and even more so their business models aren't designed for a world where they can't act in bad faith with their users and content providers. When Zuckerberg said, "They actually trust me. Dumb f*cks,", that should've been a dead give away, but not everything in the 21st century moves fast.

#3 Or in how delicious. I think we just discovered another universal constant!

#1 - Yeah, too late. The left already defected when they rejected the results of the election. Now it is war. The race to the bottom is on.

'The race to the bottom is on.'

No fear - you will win.

2. Then stop using their service. You're not entitled to reshape companies as per your whim.

I don't. Not on Twitter. Not on Facebook. Bitchute/Vimeo user. Netflix is the GF's. Duckduckgo and pride browser.

"You're not entitled to reshape companies as per your whim."

Just like they're not entitled to violate their user's privacy agreements? I reiterate, they can't survive without violating their users and content providers. Who's entitled?

If they really did violate an agreement why are people not suing them? The situation seems ripe for a tort case.

#3 - Lox of luck, mate.

#6 - A stopped clock is correct two times each 24 hours. Krugman is maybe correct twice each 24 years.

Landlords' (rent control) deficits are tenants' surpluses. Right?

Markets pick winners and losers, which is destructive. The central planners/socialists prefer caring, nurturing social systems. Efficiency in rental housing stock quality and quantity is overrated. Price controls uber alles!

In addition to rent control, NYC has nearly one million public housing units in varying states of disrepair.

Krugman was right about response to great recession. Tyler knows this.

How? I don't spend time reading BS.

How: pay off every subprime mortgage? According to Ben Bernanke's "Courage" book, Fannie and Freddie alone had purchased MBS with subprime underlying loans in amounts of around $1.6 trillion.

Is he advising Senator Fauxcahantas' plot to forgive student loans?

Was the Krugman one of the three or four economists (in practice and at the entire Federal Reserve System) that were not blindsided by the GR?

He said a bigger fiscal response was required. He said unemployment was demand driven. Seems he's been proved right on both.

What the heck? Really? After 2013 people are still saying that?

It was just a month ago that Cowen published this post:

I find it utterly amazing that after the last few years there are people claiming that monetary policy isn't overriding even at ZLB.

See my comment at the top of that link.

Also, distributional effects of quantitative easing. And we still have no clue as to the long run effects.

The good thing about Krugman is that since he is always wrong we can use his pronouncements to then know what is right.

I'm not saying you're wrong. But how in the world would you ever disprove "we needed more stimulus"?

+1, it's an unfalsifiable claim

Democrats never cared if it was true or not. It fit their goals.

Monetary policy, while effective, doesn’t line the pockets of corruption. Monetary policy affects employment of everyone, which does not advance the agenda of having the power of directing trillions of dollars in spending.

Not only was Krugabe wrong, he was opposite of the truth. Ireland is the only country to come close to austerity (flattened spending after the 2008 blowup) and it's the country in Europe that's taken off. There's no such thing as spending-driven prosperity.

Also, Iceland's economy has more quickly recovered and is an example of employing different policies and actions to work out of the Great Recession. It's very small population and commodity (fish and sheep) dependent economy precluded it pursuing the policies of other nations, e.g., not nationalizing insolvent, largest banks' losses.

Maybe, but Sumner was righter. Krugman embarrassingly laid out his utter lack of understanding about how interest rates work way back in 2003, when he urged people to lock-in fixed rate mortgages lol.

Then he flubbed the 2013 fiscal cliff non-disaster, a rare moment of probity in public finance.

Sumner much better than Krugman this century.

But yeah, Krugman in 2000 on rent control was solid.

What was Sumner saying?

Monetary policy can be effective at the ZLB.

Here's Krugman:

Not read your link, but krugman said it might be - just not as effective/certain

Also rubbish distributional effects... imo

1. The fly in the ointment, of course, is assuming that unilateral disarmament will prompt reciprocity from the group you desire more cohesion with. Who decided that cohesion is a desirable value, anyway?

"Who decided that cohesion is a desirable value, anyway?"

The people who want you disarmed, of course.

#3: I was thinking "shite" or something along those lines. Disappointing.

I didn't find it disappointing at all. The interest wasn't what was teased in the headline. In addition to lox, "In reconstructed Indo-European, there were words for bear, honey, oak tree, and snow, and, which is also important, no words for palm tree, elephant, lion, or zebra. Based on evidence like that, linguists reconstructed what their homeland was. The only possible geographic location turned out to be in a narrow band between Eastern Europe and the Black Sea where animals, trees, and insects matched the ancient Indo-European words."

PERSIST, as my neighbor's bumper sticker says. (I once knew why, and I suspect it may possibly have lightly annoyed me: but now I've forgotten and when I see it I take it as a random piece of political shite-turned-inspirational exhortation.)

That seems a narrow sample to derive such an important conclusion. Historians seem to agree that they originated somewhere in eastern Europe, central Asia or the steppes of Russia. Evidently, those people invaded/migrated in several directions.

For example, the English word for 'father' is "pitar" in ancient Persian and Sanskrit, "pater" in Latin and Greek, and "vater" in German.

As they separated they kept many essential elements of speech, but not their ethnic identity.

Well, I think the language stuff mainly supports the archeological, but I assume the list is longer, and I'd love to see it. I read elsewhere - on a blog called Language Log - that words for wheel, axle, harness, etc. from "PIE" show the same sound-change correspondences in the daughter languages suggesting, on first pass anyway, to some linguists, that PIE had not yet fragmented when those things were invented (so later than we might suppose).

#3 was an excellent link

There's a fair bit of truth in what Caplan says, I think. But, at the same time, racism, sexism etc are a lot less bad than they were. I'm not sure how to reconcile these two things...

Perhaps racism, sexism, etc. are actually forms of social cohesion (favoring one’s own race by definition means discriminating against others), so the weakening of social cohesion in modern times has also weakened racism and sexism.

#6 I think we could learn from other countries. For example, why not take a leaf from Brazil's book. There, a new, dynamic leader, President Captain Bolsonaro, is dismantling failed socialist legislation and implementing important free marker reforms which are expect to make Brazil's economy much stronger than ever.

That is the impostor. I am the actual Richard Amherst, from Hartford, Connecticut, in the northeast portion of the United States. I do agree we have a lot to learn from Brazil and President Captain Bolsonaro.

I am not from Hartford. I am from Scranton, Pennsylvania. It is called the electric city because it is very dynamic.

That is the impostor again.

No, it is not. I am the real Mr. Amherst.

Yes, I am Richard Amherst. You are an impostor.

You lie, boy.

No, you are the liar. I am the real Mr. Amherst. If you don't stop with this aggression there will be consequences.

I am sure you are an impostor.

Homophobia is now illegal in Brazil. Homophobia is defined as having negative thoughts about same-sex sexual relations and declining to participate in the same). According to Brazilian populist law one is guilty until proven innocent so to prove you are not homophobic you need to prove that you have same-sex sexual relations on a regular basis. Because if not, you must be homophobic. It is said the the American leader is considering implementing a similar law in his domains.

Yes, much dynamism in Scranton, these days.

Evidently, Scranton is not perfect. No place is. But I think few cities can represent so ell the good, old American can-do spirit. I am proud of my community.

Landlords' (rent control) deficits are tenants' surpluses. Right?

No. Rent-control creates a bifurcated market of tenant insiders (who already have rent-controlled apartments, or the family connections or political pull to acquire one) and outsiders who must fend for themselves in the distorted remainder of the market. And even among the insiders, there are serious disadvantages. Their buildings are poorly maintained and they may have to battle their landlords to try to force them to make repairs. They are also locked in -- they cannot afford to move due to changes in jobs or family sizes lest they lose their cheap, decaying, bargain apartment.

1. Caplan's post was on November 4, 2016 (four days before the election), for those who may not have noticed. Trump is both divisive and cohesive: he is divisive as between whites and blacks/browns (he promotes division between the former and the latter) while cohesive as between whites and blacks/browns (he promotes cohesion among the former against the latter). Don't be fooled by words like "division" and "cohesion".

Can't the same thing be said about Obama? After all, racial voting patterns for Trump aren't really an outlier vis a vis the other elections since 2008. In fact, Trump got a larger percentage of both the black and hispanic vote than Romney.

If there was an era where racial partisan polarization happened was Obama's presidency.

"Trump ... divisive as between whites and blacks/browns..."

How so? What did he say/do to be divisive between whites and blacks?

2. Consumer protection laws are paper tigers (the CFBP has been all but denuded during the Trump administration) while the Sherman Act has been around since 1890. "Consumer protection" seems so feminine, while "antitrust" seems so masculine. You go, boys!

To be fair, anti-trust laws were based on real issues. Consumer protection laws basically provide graft opportunities, and pander, to racial racketeers and hucksters, like Al Sharpton and Barack Hussein Obama.

"anti-trust laws were based on real issues"

No they don't. They address a fictional problem by stealing.

"the CFBP has been all but denuded during the Trump administration"

Sadly untrue. The CFBP continues to be a bizarrely over powerful bureaucracy.

It was passed to outlaw unions(combination in restraint of trade).

1. Not a bad piece, but imperfectly framed. Genuine arguments for cohesion, like this short film promoted by Noah Smith and a few others, are rare. Too often instead we have an injustice, protest, reaction cycle instead.

To use A/B/AB markers from the article, we have A which is answered with Not-A, hardly getting to B, let alone AB.

Racism is answered with anti-racism, which is answered with anti-anti-racism. Repeat again around the loop.

Substitute misogyny the loop again.


I had the same reaction. Anonymous aka mouse is the exact guy who would yell cohesion as he sent his goons to round up the dissidents. Fuck him.

Should you really base a political philosophy on such strange imaginings?

Maybe not, but you do. Because this is 2019 and the idea that "all men are created equal" has, in your mind, become a threat to your safety.

Time to delete the thread, Tyler.

Too much has been revealed.

"All men are created equal" is deemed racist by many of the same people who say that "all lives matter" is racist.

You need to go sit in the corner with a dunce cap assigned more implicit bias training.

Would that be a positive energy and inclusive "all lives," or a shout-back?

With or without the hug, basically.

Pleas for cohesion are for the same as anti-racism; a bludgeon to force submission.

Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter are about not wanting cops shot or not wanting black teenagers shot. Both happened. Cohesion isn't the answer, nor is anti-racism. The answer is black kids to stop committing crimes and the police to be less trigger happy. Each instance must be taken in isolation, and if measures are needed to change behavior, then they are to best taken.

People who paint complex situations with a broad brush Racism! Misogyny! Cohesion! are trying to foment a mob to do Something! That something usually makes things worse.

The something that needs to be done is obvious in each situation. Don't shoot some black guy walking away from a traffic violation. Don't hold up a corner store then try to take the weapon from the cop.

"Pleas for cohesion are for the same as anti-racism; a bludgeon to force submission."

Ladies and gentlemen, how we got to where we are.

In practice, if not in theory, he is right

His "answer is" for "black kids to stop committing crimes."

That is straight racism in response to anti-racism. That is the loop I am talking about.

Lulz. Parody?

A podcast mentioned yesterday had a very insightful claim. It was that Americans find black/white differences because they look for black/white differences. It's a national pastime.

In this case, in case it wasn't obvious, the way to de-race that comment above is to say that kids shouldn't break the law or hassle the police, and police shouldn't hassle law abiding citizens.

It's hard to believe you're really this dumb.

Put it this way: shouting 'Racist!' every time a leaf blows is a bit divisive, too. Which is troublesome, because as overt racism has declined over the last half-century, the standards for what constitutes racism seem to be continually watered down, which keeps the finger-pointing at a somewhat constant level. It's almost like some people are using the charge cynically for political gain, hard as that might be to believe.

This is so tiring.

This is where someone reminds you of murders in black churches or Jewish synagogues are you all shout back "doesn't count!"

You're just going to pretend I said something I didn't actually say? That's an interesting mode of discourse you have there.

"because as overt racism has declined over the last half-century, the standards for what constitutes racism seem to be continually watered down"

Ignoring the murder, of course.

LOL wut?

Nevermind, this isn't worth my time.

It's not that the standards of what constitutes racism are getting watered down, but that people are developing a more nuanced understanding of how racism operates. As a result stuff that formerly might have been considered innocuous is now seen to have subtle effects that we hadn't considered before.

Disagree. See the concept of microaggressions, for example. See the obviously flawed concepts of white privilege and intersectionality. These are the least nuanced concepts in existence.

Also, quite frankly, I think you have to be almost willfully obtuse to not recognize that accusations of racism at least occasionally are employed at least recklessly if not entirely cynically. See the punitive damages Oberlin was assessed this week as an obvious example.

Oh sure. They are frequently employed recklessly. Although "microaggressions" does have some legitimacy - people just shouldn't flip out whenever they feel "microaggressed" against. They should politely point out that what the person just said made them feel "othered" or whatever in some way, so they can have a nice conversation about whether the person intended to make them feel that way or whether they ought to feel that way. Or even just assume other people mean well and not take it personally.

There is some legitimacy in the idea that casual statements can be insensitive and make people feel like they don't belong though.

Like this?: "Microaggressions: Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence"

You’re literally the guy that wants to make it illegal to know that the DNC is corrupt. Your world is one in which the information is there, but should result in a lengthy prison sentence for knowing. Kolyma Tales.

You’re literally the guy that wants to enshrine corruption in journalism into law. And throw people in prison for receiving and exposing facts.

The criminalization of knowledge is ... horrifying but obvious.

Are you even a guy, or just a random text generator?

Interesting converstation.
First person: here are my detailed observations about the history of people being deceived by ideology

second person: are you a random text generator ????

me: well, first guy is right, and obviously not a random text generator, but second guy gets credit for either (a) putting in the effort to ironically mock people who know what the Kolyma Tales are, in a way that mocks people who would do so or (b) at least caring enough about his stupid opinions to express them. God loves us all, even those of us who stay stupid things because we have, or believe we have, love in our heart.

Of course it is better to have love in one's heart, to have love in one's heart is much better than to have a desire to express one's opinions, because WE ARE ALL IMPORTANT AND ALL OUR OPINIONS MATTER, but as I say to my clients at the refugee agency, whether or not you have love in your heart, your goal is the same .... to one day be someone who cares about other people the way a decent human being does.

I am going to go for (a) in my assessment of the second commenter, "the passive aggressive random text?" guy

as for the first guy, the Kolyma tales have some good customer reviews on Amazon .... just saying ..... welcome to 2019

you have two choices in life,

(one) to be a decent human being who understands what it is to be brave and kind and decent, who is respected by your fellow human beings

or (two) to only take care of yourself, or to only take care of people who are useful to you


read the Amazon reviews of the Kolyma tales for a start

and you do not want to be someone like me if you do not want to know the difference between people who (a) only care about themselves and people who are useful to them and (b) real people

just kidding, there is no way you, no matter who you are, would not want to know that difference ---- God loves us all, and trusts us all at that very first moment when we care about someone else more than we care about ourselves

Proverbs 8, my friends, is what you want to read if you are not someone who thinks I am a FOOL

you have no idea how happy I have been to see, now and again, people understand this:

God loves us all, God knows what we have suffered, and God created a world that is the right world for us ..... and you know that.

Proverbs 8, in the context of whatever is bothering you, is a good place to start.

Just saying.

Feel free to mock that good advice but before you do read Proverbs 8 two or three times, with the humility that, for example, a good musician has when reading a score of Beethoven, or better yet, with the humility a composer and a musician has when pondering a new melody

just saying, i know this is just a "comment thread" but for the love of God that was good advice:

feel free to mock good advice from people you do not respect, like me (you are wrong, but that is not important) but for your own best future outcome, and for the good futures of those you love, READ PROVERBS 8 2 or 3 times, or more, God bless you, read those words of God with the humility a composer and a musician has when pondering a new melody

I remember

Manhattan 1978, Boston 1986, Menlo Park EVERY YEAR SINCE 1974 ----
so trust me, I know what I am talking about.

The answer is black kids to stop committing crimes

Let's say there was a statistical difference between the crime rates of left-handed people and right handed people.
Consequently the police decided to start policing left-handed people more intensely, resulting in shootings of left-handed people bytrigger happy cops.
Would you think it a reasonable answer to say "the answer is left-handed people should stop committing crimes"?

To wit - why is your treatment under the law dependent on the statistical average behavior of people you don't know and have no relationship with other than an arbitrary physical characteristic?

Or when the suspect is blond and blue eyes, why don't the police say they are looking for "a Nordic suspect?"

We're not talking about cops using physical characteristics to describe suspects in actual crimes, but cops treating an entire group of people differently because of their physical characteristics.

Agreed, they ought to operate under the assumption that Grandma Jean is just as likely a robbery suspect as Trayvon until they get some evidence otherwise.

Yes, especially if they aren't even cops actually looking for an actual robbery suspect but just random guys with a hyperactive idea of their own importance.
You're basically saying that it should be super cool to just assume that random black teen walking openly down the street and chatting on a cell phone MUST BE A BURGLAR? Just because you heard about a couple of burglaries?

OMG! Look, a black guy! IT MUST BE HIM!

We know men are more prone to physical aggression than women for biological (too bad if the social constructionists are triggered) and social reasons. Why would it be a great injustice to profile young men for this arbitrary physical characteristic? You need not even get to policing. Would it be discriminatory to educate boys differently than girls knowing this fact?

If you heard about someone stealing some stuff from someone's locker, would it be ok to assume that it was probably a boy?

the good, the bad, and the ugly

Unrelated news:
Amazon just launched a new secured credit card (with 5% cash back) for people with bad credit or no credit. And Bernie Sanders and AOC immediately denounced it and said they would make it illegal.

That is too low an interest rate for other banks to fairly compete!

She didn't reveal the interest rate.

The interest rate is 28%. Which is why Sanders and AOC are denouncing it. But that's not really atypical for credit cards in my experience.
If you pay the balance every month you won't pay any interest anyway.

True. I wish my bank would pay 5% on credit card transactions, secured OK. I get 1.5% now.

I never thought I would half-way agree with Bernie! and Occasional Cortex.

I place secured credit cards to noncreditworthy borrowers in the same category as pay-day loans and company stores.

Typically, the secured credit card account is opened with, say, a $300 or $500 cash deposit (it's secured). Then, the issuer takes a massive fee out of the cash deposit, which reduces the "credit" available/amount on deposit. Even worse was an actual scheme, er, business model wherein bad/no credit customers received non-secured credit cards with $500 credit limits. The issuer immediately booked a fee of $300 (believe it) and left the holder with a $300 high-rate debt and $200 available credit. The fees were booked as revenue but rarely collected.

Maybe Amazon's secured credit card will be different.

What you are describing is a scam. Real banks, like Chase and Citibank offer (or have offered in the past) secured credit cards where the cash deposited as security is the credit limit, there is no fee other than interest on unpaid balances, and the cash deposit earns a token amount of interest. This is as it should be. Any bank that offers me 5% cash back on purchases is surely ripping me off somewhere else in the chain.

The Amazon card works similarly, but can only be used for Amazon purchases and require Prime membership. So you pay $119 a year (or whatever Prime costs). But you get the benefits of Prime membership.
I guess you could say you pay for the 5% cash back by being incentivized to preference Amazon for your shopping.

I have a facebook friend who works as an Uber driver right now who is trying to rebuild his credit. He was just discussing this a few days ago - how hard it is to get even a secured credit card. He just cracked a credit rating of 600 for the first time, based on having a car loan (on extremely unfavorable terms). Hopefully the Amazon cards will help him out.

"6. Paul Krugman on rent control (NYT, 2000)."

An excellent article by Krugman.

1. Great article. The problem is, I suspect few people believe in cohesion for cohesion’s sake, but use “cohesion” as a euphemism for wanting their group to be in charge of the rest of society. For example, next time someone argues that we should have less immigration because it would reduce social cohesion, ask them how they would feel about living in a society with a majority who cohesively believe that freedom of movement is a human right and regard those who thought otherwise as dangerous threats to social harmony (perhaps we’re heading to that scenario already).

I stubbornly believe in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence.

But look up this page.

It makes me the odd man out. It is more important here to oppose the "bludgeon to force submission" in those words.

By the way, I think we had an "Art Laffer is underrated" post several days back. On that:

Art Laffer: "it's much like Obama, who I believe was the reason why we had the Great Recession. As he got closer and closer to winning the markets collapsed."

Mind rot. It's got to be something beyond the environmental lead. These conservatives chewin' on somethin'.

#5) When teams provide doctors, those doctors put the teams' interests ahead of the players. Thus, NBA players should consult their own doctors. Then, it follows that, when government provides doctors, as in socialized medicine systems, those doctors put the government's interests ahead of the patients'. Thus, people should retain their taxes to hire their own private doctors rather than pay those taxes to government to provide socialized healthcare.

The latter case explains why socialized medicine leads to government rationing everywhere it's been tried --- it's in the government's best interest to ration care. Governments believe that they have an interest in denying care even when the patient is willing to pay for it without using tax dollars, apparently. Remember Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans in the UK.

A baseball player I knew was pitching in the minor leagues with a worsening hip injury. His manager kept ordering him to run up and _down_ the bleachers for exercise even though it was damaging his hip. He finally walked off the team, flew home to L.A., and had Sandy Koufax's old surgeon operate on him. His minor league manager wanted him banished from baseball for mutiny, but the big league front office decided that maybe their Stanford grad 1st round draft pick knew more about what was good for his own body than their minor league manager.

A half decade later he won the Cy Young Award.

You know Jack McDowell?

This new imposition of cost controls seems like a good opportunity for a public bet in the Simon-Erlich vein.

Nice to see historical linguistics getting some attention. A highly underrated subject.

Links like nr 3 is the best thing about Marginal Revolution.

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