For 2022-12-17 Sa
Ms. Liu is in good company as Mr. Swain dismisses Smith’s “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” as not “very good” not a “great work of philosophy” and “mostly unreadable.” Perhaps Smith did not set out to invent a new school of philosophy, but he provides us with the observations of a wise man. He lamented that “the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments [is] that wealth and greatness are often regarded with the respect and admiration which are due only to wisdom and virtue.” No words ring truer today or could serve us better in choosing whom to admire or elect.
I couldn't read the excerpt of the WSJ review you attached. Fortunately (?) I have a subscription, So I read it there. I avoid the editorial page like a plague. The red flag was that the reviewer is a WSJ editorial page employee. BTW, I also skip the NYT editorial page, except for Krugman who I read as a professional courtesy. WSJ. cultural coverage is a mixed bag; much right wing grievance venting, some genuinely insightful essays. The review of Adam Smith's America was very much the first variety. It reminded me of our state legislators complaining about professors brainwashing students. I hope the book receives better reviews elsewhere.
Trade agreements: Yes, but a) the US position ought to have prioritized getting our new and expanded partners to buy more of our good instead of paying us more for our intellectual property and b) we should not have let structural fiscal deficits reduce investment and slow growth and so provide better alternatives for people being displaced by trade agreements (and even more so by technological change reducing the costs of international transportation and communication)
Smith: Yes. That's why a pigou tax on meme popularity would make sense. It would encourage social media firs to tweak their algorithms to make them less toxic.
Well, it depends on how well, "well nigh" is. Compared to the disaster of the decade long failure of the Fed even to hit its inflation target (FAIT would have indicated temporarily higher inflation during a short rapid recovery from the financial crisis), the Fed since 2020 does look good, far better than the newspaper pundits.
Still, at least in hindsight (and even with TIPS enhanced foresight) It did allow the temporary inflation needed to recover from the COVID shock and the supply chain-Putin shocks to go on too long before starting to tighten. And it now appears to me (time will tell) that they tightened too much just to return inflation target and may actually cause a recession. Too much and too little does not average to "perfect." :)
had them target to