Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tyler Cowen, another supply sider with tired talking points

So via Kevin Drum I saw this post by Chicago School economist Tyler Cowen:

Yet Keynesian theory has a no less serious problem, namely that workers take a "stupid voluntary vacation" during the downturn, due to their stubbornness on nominal wage cuts......Aggregate demand macroeconomics works in many cases and it almost always "works" (predicts well) when the macro forces are pointed toward destructive ends.  We are not sure why it works at all, or if it always works, and yet we see a great fervor of belief in it and a demonization of those who are skeptics.

Huh? I mean you could say we're not sure of all the detailed dynamics of why it works, or it may be an incomplete theory which doesn't encompass the complexities of real world economies. But my understanding is we're pretty sure of the generalities of why it works. There's a mismatch between demand for goods/services vs supply, with an excess of supply. Thus unemployment rises above the natural level, lowered consumer and business confidence etc. This can lead to a self-reinforcing cycle of less consumption, more savings, yet higher unemployment and possible deflation which further exacerbates the cycle. Some form of governmental stimulus to aggregate demand can help break this cycle and act as a counter cyclical force.

This model has fit quite well with real world data over many decades and several economic cycles. So there's a perfectly good model, it makes both mathematical and intuative sense AND it works (as Cowen says). But pointing this out to skeptics and saying their models don't seem to "work" is "demonization". I don't get it. And by the way, who exactly is doing this demonization?

And finally, I'd like to see the statistics for people taking "stupid voluntary vacations" and an explanation of what exactly he even means by that.  Currently I believe there's broad underemployment across all categories of jobs, so its not as if there's some huge pool of people refusing to work because the pay's too low.  Jobs aren't there because demand isn't there to justify hiring.  But apparently Cowen thinks this is all a problem of people being to stupid to work.  Good theory there.  We don't even need Keynes with that kind of genius explanation.

Monday, September 27, 2010

steny hoyer is a fucking moron

that is all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

a video of me cooking and eating balut

which is a duck fetus egg.  

Wow, this chick is stupid

From an old episode of Politically Incorrect with the Tea Party senate candidate Christine ODonnell. (h/t Think Progress)

IZZARD: What if someone comes to you in the middle of the Second World War and says, ‘do you have any Jewish people in your house?’ and you do have them. That would be a lie. That would be disrespectful to Hitler.
O’DONNELL: I believe if I were in that situation, God would provide a way to do the right thing righteously. I believe that!
MAHER: God is not there. Hitler’s there and you’re there.
O’DONNELL: You never have to practice deception. God always provides a way out.

I think its interestng that she imagines god will save her from having to tell a lie, but somehow failed to save all the jews who actually got killed. Apparently the "way out" he provides is often death.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

OK, Mr. Brooks

Credit where its due. After my previous post skewering him, I feel obliged to say his latest colum makes some good points.

Diverse Tea

So the Tea Party wants to diversify,

"We are black, brown, and white. We are Jew and gentile. We are from different communities, various backgrounds, and all races, colors, and creeds.
We will Take America Back, not from Democrats or Republicans, but from an arrogant political class that puts its interests before those of all Americans."


I wonder if i could manage to not vomit long enough to become a member and get a look at what goes on among the rank and file Tea partiers.

Monday, September 13, 2010

BASEL III is complete

And the results seem pretty good at first glance. I never understimate the ability of accountants to game the system, but hopefully regulators will enforce this stuff. Here's the details:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The gift that keeps on giving - Santorum

HAHA! Thank you Dan Savage.

Rick Santorum would very much like to be president. For the past few years, he has been diligently appearing at the sorts of conservative events—the Values Voters Summit, the Conservative Political Action Conference—where aspiring Republican candidates are expected to show up. But before he starts printing "Santorum 2012" bumper stickers, there's one issue the former GOP senator and his strategists need to address. You see, Santorum has what you might call a Google problem. For voters who decide to look him up online, one of the top three search results is usually the site, which explains that Santorum's last name is a sexual neologism for "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."