BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-05-09 Su

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

First:

Best-case—i.e., most optimistic scenario for employment—is employment corresponding to a “true” unemployment rate of 2.5% in 2023 with core inflation at 2.75%/year. That is enough to get inflation expectations up to the Fed’s target of 2.5%/year on a CPI basis. That is not enough for anyone reasonable to claim that an ever-upward inflationary spiral is on the way. The definition of “stagflation” is a world in which expectations are anchored on the belief that inflation is going to rise over time, hence an unemployment rate greater than the natural rate is required in order to hold inflation steady. That does not seem to be the world we are headed for in the optimistic scenario. And that stagflation equilibrium is much further away in the non-optimistic scenarios:

Laurence Ball & al.US Inflation: Set for Take-Off?: ’How high is the ongoing US fiscal expansion likely to push inflation? This column presents new evidence that underlying (weighted median) CPI inflation has so far steadily declined since the start of the COVID–19 crisis, broadly as predicted by its historical Phillips curve relation. If the ongoing fiscal expansion reduces unemployment to 1.5–3.5%, as some predict, underlying inflation could rise to about 2.5–3% by 2023. If the fiscal expansion is temporary and monetary policy remains clearly communicated and decisive, there is little risk of a 1960s-type inflationary spiral…

LINK: <https://voxeu.org/article/us-inflation-set-take>

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Marques BrownleeApple vs The Paradox of Choice!<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNAo0UdYF6g>


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It’s not that “the dynamics of identity politics are strong”, Matt. It’s that right-wing populism is concerned not with making people’s lives better, but rather with making the Volk believe that they have better lives than the non-Volk. The right-wing populist thinks that people who want to live in Austin should be prevented from doing so, because they are coded Black, Jewish, educated, “woke”, and the purpose of a right-wing populist government is to make them unhappy:

Matthew YglesiasConservative Populists Should Embrace Housing Deregulation: ‘While the leftist case against zoning reform is mistaken, the rightist case tends to be nonsensical…. Zoning reform proposal is… right-wing… let people do what they want with their property… people should decide for themselves…. But the dynamics of identity politics are strong, and Edward Ring in American Greatness tries to make a right-populist take where housing abundance is good but density is also bad…. There’s no reason Texas shouldn’t keep building more homes in the suburbs of Austin. But that said, if some people would rather live in Austin proper, why shouldn’t that be allowed, too?… 

LINK: <https://www.slowboring.com/p/populists-housing>


On David Brooks’s wishy-washy half-recognition that he has spent his life working for grifters and thugs, and that FDR might have been a relatively good guy after all: 

YastreblyanskyDistrust Doom Loop: ‘Hear me out here, maybe Roosevelt and the Brain Trust weren’t thinking about the coming war at all. Maybe they were actually thinking about rescuing millions of Americans from hunger, homelessness, and despair just because they thought that was their job. Maybe the trust in government that largely lasted for the next 40 or 50 years had to do with the fact that the government installed in 1933 actually was trustworthy. And maybe instead of deploying just enough New Deal to get you through the specific context of that Distrust Doom Loop you could use moderately massive government spending (the kind of thing the Lincoln administration meant by suggesting that the people should be governed by the people on behalf of the people and then proceeding to a massive expansion of public education and transportation infrastructure in the middle of a civil war) all the time, even when it seems inconvenient, with the idea that if the government was trustworthy all the time those unpredictable Distrust Doom Loops would never arise. Just a thought… 

LINK: <https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2021/05/distrust-doom-loop.html>


Drew AustinPaid in Full: ‘As with Web 2.0, third-party applications will mediate most Web3 activity for ordinary users. These decentralized apps will not necessarily look and feel altogether different than traditional web apps but will likely incorporate functionality… like crowdfunding to be incorporated directly…. Interactions will become transactions…. Web 2.0 has already demonstrated that information can’t be free; it can only be subsidized, most likely by entities with deep pockets and nefarious interests…

LINK: <https://reallifemag.com/paid-in-full/>


John Maynard KeynesThe General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money: ‘The only radical cure for the crises of confidence which afflict the economic life of the modern world would be to allow the individual no choice between consuming his income and ordering the production of the specific capital-asset which, even though it be on precarious evidence, impresses him as the most promising investment available to him. It might be that, at times when he was more than usually assailed by doubts concerning the future, he would turn in his perplexity towards more consumption and less new investment. But that would avoid the disastrous, cumulative and far-reaching repercussions of its being open to him, when thus assailed by doubts, to spend his income neither on the one nor on the other. Those who have emphasised the social dangers of the hoarding of money have, of course, had something similar to the above in mind. But they have overlooked the possibility that the phenomenon can occur without any change, or at least any commensurate change, in the hoarding of money…

LINK: <https://cruel.org/econthought/texts/generaltheory/chap12.html>

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