Do a Google Image search for "cowgirl", and you will learn something interesting about American culture. Anyway, here's Thursday Roundup:
Me on BV:
1. Lots of people use the word "Keynesian" as a synonym for "socialist" or "liberal". They should quit.
2. Sometimes you have to be a dick. But if you don't have to, don't.
3. What does "credit-fueled growth" even mean?
4. Government is an indispensable input into innovation.
From Around the Econ Blogosphere:
1. Matt Yglesias discusses Barack Obama's inscrutable, odd ideas about monetary policy. I keep telling people Obama is an Austrian, and no one listens.
2. If, like me, you are a really boring person, you can take a break from work by reading blog debates between New Keynesian mainstream people and Post-Keynesian heterodox people. Like this one. I mean, what else are you going to do with your free time? Tinder?
3. Matt Bruenig responds to my post about capitalist principles. He doesn't seem to quite get the idea of an ex ante reward or state-contingent assets, but overall, he's right - theories about what people "deserve" are utterly arbitrary. I'd like to see Bruenig debate Mankiw.
4. Ryan Avent, who always makes sure to write a post about anything I write a post about, on the exact same day, attempts to rebut Peter Thiel's techno-pessimism. I think Ryan is right.
5. People around the world are apparently much more pro-trade than we usually think.
6. Tim Taylor writes that we should have empathy for the poor, saying:
One could look across swathes of modern America and still write: "Whole sections of the working class who have been plundered of all they really need are being compensated, in part, by cheap luxuries which mitigate the surface of life." It is a failure of basic human empathy to blame the poor for behaviors that offer a way of mitigating the surface of difficult life circumstances.What a commie. Go back to Cuba, you commie hippie. Greg Mankiw just flicked a gold doubloon into Tim Taylor's ear from the back of the class.
8. Dean Baker has compressed his entire consciousness into a single blog post. There is no Great Stagnation.
9. In our age there seem to be very few truly original economic thinkers, going off the reservation the way that, say, Minsky did. But there is Michael Pettis.
10. Brad DeLong, Nick Rowe, and David Glasner ask: "What is a recession?"
11. I knew that eventually, someone would perceive a discrepancy between my endorsement of civility and my labeling of Austrian ideas as "brain worms", and would call me out on said discrepancy. I did not, however, expect that it would be Paul Krugman.
12. Speaking of Austrianism, it turns out that the Great Recession did not have a "cleansing" effect on the productivity of American businesses. It's almost as if...it's almost as if...things in the economy happen that are not the simple sum of optimal decisions by far-sighted actors operating in frictionless markets...but no, to quote Henry P., this question would carry us too far away...
13. T.P. Carney, whose name sounds more like a 19th Century circus promoter than any other I have encountered, makes a good point: Inflation allows employers to cut workers' real wages by stealth, simply by letting nominal wages stagnate. Actually, that's one of the reasons economists usually think that 2%, not 0, is the "right" target rate for inflation - in other words, economists like businesses to be able to cut real wages, so to them this is a feature, not a bug.
14. Mark Thoma launches a fusillade of shoulder-mounted heat-seeking missiles at Bob Lucas. Lucas, he says, by telling us to ignore recessions, stopped macroeconomists from thinking about the possibility of another Depression-like event in the years before 2008.
15. Matt Levine, the most entertaining finance journalist of whose existence I am aware, has a good run-down of the case against hedge funds as an asset class. See also Barry Ritholtz, who is the most entertaining-in-person finance journalist of whose existence I am aware.