Links for July 19, 2010: To Stimulate or Not To Stimulate; What Police Can Do; much, much more….

    Paul Krugman: Boost aggregate demand! Muahahaha!!!

  1. It’s good to hear Krugman speak and respond to questions. The thrust of this discussion is that the opposition to the stimulus is a visceral reaction, not an intelligent one. Although some guests early on questioned the empirical efficacy of the stimulus, we did really not hear from any Thomas E. Woodses or any Peter Schiffs who maintained, in quite an intellectual fashion, that the stimulus is simply bad economic policy. Krugman remarks toward the end that he doesn’t see stimulus jobs as “makework” jobs. I do not understand how this position can be honestly defended alongside the position that we now need government to “boost aggregate demand”, i.e. create demand where none existed before. What is the purpose of the stimulus if it is not to “make work”? If these were not “makework” jobs, we would do them anyway. We would not need an economic crisis as a pretense for passing $700 billion spending bills. For a response to the assertion that Roosevelt’s slashing of the deficits caused a recession in 1937, see this. For a response to the assertion that World War II spending lifted the U.S. economy out of the depression, listen here, starting at 32:17. 

  2. I think what’s more central, Laura, is that this job growth is only going to happen if there’s a further stimulus–if there is more money put in by the public sector in priming the pump and moving the economy. This is what noted economists like Paul Krugman have been saying, and many others–the Economic Policy Institute. The problem is that you have these deficit hawks, including within the democratic party, that are so afraid of this issue of the deficit, and so afraid of the way the tea-party idiots have framed this matter that they are balking when they need to be going forward and taking some risks, and that will only happen, in my opinion, Laura, if the union movement stays on their case.

    In Fletcher’s view, all of the smart economists, like Paul Krugman, are calling for more stimulus. Only political ideologues and “tea party idiots” do not want more stimulus because they have some bizarre, irrational fear of deficit. Tell us, Fletcher: How have the “tea party idiots” framed this issue?  Can you describe for us some of the “risks” that the government should be taking, and how you have calculated them to be worth the rewards? Laura Flanders begins to seek a greater understanding

    Picking up on your point, Bill, why are people scared or intimidated by…

    but she quickly loses focus —

    …people like Sharron Angle who talk about workers in the country being spoiled. Surely, the mass of Americans don’t feel that their spoiled when they are out of a job and looking for one through no fault of their own. Isn’t this the time to fire up and get going?

    Fletcher, of course agrees immediately, and the point is lost. So why are “deficit hawks” and “tea party idiots” so afraid of the deficit? You’ll have to look elsewhere to find out.

    Niall Ferguson: Ph34r teh d3f1c1t!!!1

  3. On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Niall Ferguson: A Checkup on Global Financial HealthI’ve always loved Tom Ashbrook’s show. He really tries hard to seek out and appreciate all views. Here, Tom talks with a “deficit hawk” who explains what Laura Flanders and Bill Fletcher are apparently unable to fathom.  Even so, Niall Ferguson believes that the stimulus was “the right thing to do in the short term.”  Can we get Thomas E. Woods on On Point?
  4. Unemployment is not necessarily a bad thing, if the unemployed worker purposefully saves money to either buy leisure time or to wait for a better opportunity.

  5. In a short, not-so-hostile article, Edward L. Glaeser grapples with some of the more difficult libertarian ideals. Perhaps unwittingly, he ends up making a half-decent case for privatizing the court system. Robert Murphy responds here.

  6. Just leave all the economizing to your wise overlords at the Fed.

  7. Federal Reserve Bank Economist: If you can understand it, you should ignore it.

  8. An honest op-ed on marijuana prohibitions actually looks at its costs.

  9. You never really know what went on unless you’re there. Police have wide discretion to use force, but this officer resigned before he could be fired.

  10. I usually like to do full legal assessments of this sort of thing before re-posting, but I’m haven’t the time this week. Perhaps I’ll return to it later.

    With civil forfeiture, the police must have “probable cause” to believe that your property was used in a crime before taking it. It’s a flimsy standard, but it is more than no standard. They can’t just bust into your house and take your Xbox. Also, federal civil forfeiture law changed in the year 2000 so that the burden is no longer on the innocent owner to prove innocence in federal cases; it is on the government to prove that the owner is not innocent. State law still varies, though. I’m not sure which states still place the burden of proving innocence on the owner.

  11. A very compelling article about the hospital supplies market that tends to favor government anti-kickback and antitrust regulations as solutions to alleged market problems. I have not yet gotten all the way through it, but I’d like to write a full response at some point.

  12. Just skimmed the article. IMO, there is no natural right to G-rated television. IMO, your options are to either risk exposing yourself and your children to forms of expression you do not like, or turn your television off.

  13. Peter Jenner: One of these days, file-sharing will cut our business model into little pieces.

  14. The marginal cost of a digital file is essentially zero. … That means the market is going to be pushing the cost of digital files to zero. This is an inescapable fact. … We’re fighting against the tide, we’re fighting against economic reality.

    Peter Jenner, former manager of Pink Floyd, speaks out against a file-sharing crackdown. I dig the economic analysis. File-sharing prohibition is an attempt to increase the marginal cost of a digital file.

  15. “Please note that this was not a typical case in which suspension and notification would be the norm,” BurstNet wrote to Blogetery’s operator. “This was a critical matter brought to our attention by law enforcement officials. We had to immediately remove the server.” —- It may be worth while to learn how to operate a little home server…

  16. “Hero” might be a stretch.  Also, I’m not really sure about the extent to which business invitees at stadiums and concert halls are invited to leave garbage everywhere.  When you go to a stadium, do you see signs that say: “For your comfort, please leave your trash anywhere you’d like”?  I don’t really think that’s a part of the bargain.  If there are signs up saying: “Please throw your garbage in the garbage can”, then those who fail to do so become trespassers to the extend that they have exceeded their licenses to use the premises.  Still, a very interesting and thought provoking essay from Mr. Block.

  17. When money is not required in exchange for work and when, instead, all contribute their skills, expertise and/or manpower in return for open access to the requirements of life then we can begin to see a different motivation enter the whole concept of the “work” scenario.

    Libertarians are often accused of living in a fantasy. Well, this is the heart of the socialist’s fantasy: Only when everything that everybody wants and needs are free for the taking will people be motivated to work to produce it. I don’t see that working, but perhaps I’m missing something.

  18. Poverty lines need to be set for each individual country at the income level at which people in that country actually achieve minimum acceptable standards of; child survival, health, nutrition, education, water and housing.

    Acceptable to whom? See The Polyphemus Fallacy.  See also my annotations.

    ....and it looks like governments are manipulating currency. Coming up next on Eyewitness News: The sky is blue.

  19. If you thought the AFL-CIO was coming out in opposition to fed monetary policy, you thought wrong. The AFL-CIO is pushing legislation designed to help American manufacturers deal with the Chinese government’s alleged currency manipulation. I don’t know the issue too well, but the legislation they are advocating is S. 3134, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2010.

  20. Mike Adams targeted atheists in a satirical criticism of the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez case entitled “An Immodest Proposal“. I agree with Adams the the decision was ill-considered, but when some atheists took the satire as an insult and an attack, Adams fell back on the “Don’t you recognize satire?” defense. Sure, but why is Adams picking on atheists?  The case was between the CLS and the law school administration, not between the CLS and some campus atheist group.  One of the administration’s main objections was that the CLS would not accept students who engaged in “unrepentant homosexual conduct”. The administration’s goal was presumably to enforce inclusiveness among people of all beliefs and sexual orientations. Mike Adams used a case that atheists took no part in as the basis for his satirical drive-by of atheist student organizations. I don’t understand why he is so taken aback that atheists would be offended.  The satire would have been a lot funnier if Mike Adams targeted the campus democratic student association….

  21. God (photo: Michelangelo)

  22. Sharron Angle openly caters to Big God. The rich and powerful diety has her in His pocket. I’d like to see a little more independence from congressional candidates.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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