BRIEFLY NOTED: 2021-03-29 Mo

Things that went whizzing by that I want to remember...

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Genomics Gurus: New Coronavirus Variants—Explained Simply <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WjBhSLtlqk>:

Share Grasping Reality Newsletter, by Brad DeLong


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I really wish that I had sharpened the line that Harold quoted from me. I really wish that I had said:

  • Chicago-style economics courses do 10 weeks on market success, one week on market failure, one week on how a market failure actually isn’t because Coase Theorem, and one week on how it is never possible for any regulation of any sort of any market to improve things.

  • Our courses do three weeks on market success, and 10 weeks on market failures—and how to fix them.

Harold Meyerson: The Berkeley School : ‘“Introductory economics courses are about 12 or 13 weeks long,” says Berkeley economics professor Brad DeLong, who worked in the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration. “At Chicago and similar institutions, they teach 11 weeks on how great markets are and one week on market failures. We teach three weeks on market successes and ten weeks on market failures. They neglect the problem of income distribution and have fuzzy thinking about the asymmetry of information that impedes the knowledge that people need for markets to work.”…

LINK: <https://prospect.org/economy/berkeley-school-economics/>


Charlie Sykes“Ret Conning” Trumpism: ‘Lest we forget, here is Deborah Birx’s attempt to ret con her collaboration with the Trumpian failure to contain the pandemic. “Birx recalls a ‘very difficult’ call with Trump, says hundreds of thousands of Covid deaths were preventable…. ‘I look at it this way: The first time, we have an excuse. There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge’, Birx said. ‘All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially…’“ More than 551,000 Americans have died from the pandemic. She should never be allowed to ret con this from a year ago: Aaron Rupar: ”’[Trump is] so attentive to the scientific literature & the details & the data. I think his ability to analyze & integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit’—this is shocking, hackish stuff from Dr. Birx. March 27th 2020…

LINK: <https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/ret-conning-trumpism>


Daniel Reck, Max Risch, & Gabriel Zucman: Tax Evasion at the Top of the U.S. Income Distribution & How to Fight It: ‘How much taxes do high-income Americans evade? And what kinds of evasion tactics do they use?… In collaboration with researchers at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, we show that American taxpayers with incomes in the top 1 percent are much more sophisticated than the other 99 percent at tax evasion. As a result, conventional estimates significantly underestimate the income and taxes evaded by the rich. Our findings point to several key steps that policymakers could take to combat widespread tax evasion by the very top income earners in the United States. First and foremost is the need for greater fiscal support for the IRS. Second, the IRS and Congress can target the ways in which the rich hide their incomes and obscure their actual tax obligations via so-called pass-through businesses and hidden offshore accounts…

LINK: <https://equitablegrowth.org/tax-evasion-at-the-top-of-the-u-s-income-distribution-and-how-to-fight-it/>


Daniel P. EganLow Cost Is Better than Free: ‘When something is ‘free’ the incentives for both the consumer and provider change dramatically, often in ways that are invisibly worse for consumers…. The biggest success in ‘free’ in the past 20 years has been attention merchants…. Finance is an asymmetric expertise market. There’s a lot of complexity/detail in how things work, which means that experts can figure out clever ways to make money off people without the person really understanding that they paid. Having more marks who are attracted to ‘free’ trading is great for the bottom line…

LINK: <https://www.dpegan.com/low-cost-is-better-than-free/>


Martin Wolf: The Return of the Inflation Spectre: ‘Growing worries about the return of a long-forgotten bugbear highlight increasing risks for savers…. Significantly higher inflation seems a remote risk. But, after four decades of well-controlled inflation, the monetary and fiscal policies unleashed by the pandemic, as well as longer-term structural changes in the world economy, might ruin this comfortable perspective…. Inflation has not come back. It may never do so. But the political and shifts we are seeing today, after Covid, together with the longer-term changes in the world economy, have raised the chances of an inflationary shock of some kind. Investors must take this possibility into account…

LINK: <https://www.ft.com/content/6cfb36ca-d3ce-4dd3-b70d-eecc332ba1df>


Neil Irwin: If the Economy Overheats, How Will We Know?: ’Furman says annual inflation rates of 3.5 percent or higher in late 2021 or 2022 would “create a substantial risk of macroeconomic reactions that create genuine instability and problems in the economy,” and that even a notch lower than that, 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent, could create some problems. Julia Coronado, president of MacroPolicy Perspectives, by contrast, argues that it would take several years of inflation at 3 percent or higher—not just a bump in 2021 or 2022 — before she would worry that inflation expectations could become unmoored, leading to either an inflation-tamping recession or a 1970s-style vicious cycle of ever-higher prices. “It is strange to me that for years economists pined for a better mix of monetary and fiscal policy, and now we have it and there is a narrative among some that it has to end in disaster,” Ms. Coronado said. “I am more optimistic about the macro outlook than I have been in a long time and am far more focused on how quickly the labor market returns to health than any threat from inflation.”…

LINK: <https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/upshot/economy-overheat.html?>


David Winer: It’s Not Really a Scam: ‘Writers who may think of themselves of savvy tech journos are scammed…. They largely did it to themselves by believing the fairy tale that they could get rich off writing, or even make a good living…. I regularly make offers to work with writers on easy writing and distribution systems without the constraints. But you all keep going for the tech industry business models. They get rich, and we’re always starting over. When you decide you want to do this for real, with your eyes open, learning from all the experience, write a manifesto and call for open source devs to help you, and then we can get something going. But until the writers lead here, you’re going to keep having your hearts broken and the tech for writing on the web will continue to go nowhere…

LINK: <http://scripting.com/2021/03/18/141318.html?title=itsNotReallyAScam>


Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments: ‘The love of our own country seems not to be derived from the love of mankind. The former sentiment is altogether independent of the latter.... We do not love our country merely as a part of the great society of mankind: we love it for its own sake, and independently of any such consideration.... National prejudices and hatreds seldom extend beyond neighbouring nations. We very weakly and foolishly, perhaps, call the French our natural enemies; and they perhaps, as weakly and foolishly, consider us in the same manner. Neither they nor we bear any sort of envy to the prosperity of China or Japan…

LINK: <https://web.archive.org/web/20030324040029/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=SmiMora.xml&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=all>


U.S. Department of the Interior: America’s Bald Eagle Population Continues to Soar: ‘Bald eagles once teetered on the brink of extinction, reaching an all-time low of 417 known nesting pairs in 1963 in the lower 48 states. However, after decades of protection, the banning of the pesticide DDT, and conservation efforts with numerous partners, the bald eagle population has flourished, growing to more than 71,400 nesting pairs. According to scientists from the Service’s Migratory Bird Program, the bald eagle population climbed to an estimated 316,700 individual bald eagles in the lower 48 states…

LINK: <https://www.doi.gov/news/americas-bald-eagle-population-continues-soar>