Open thread April 1, 2022 Dan Crawford | April 1, 2022 6:13 am Comments (25) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
The US economy added 431,000 jobs in March.
NY Times – April 1
Rising wages are good news for workers but a worrying sign for inflation
NY Times – April 1
Will Putin Kill the Global Economy?
NY Times – Paul Krugman – March 31
[Among the several times that I have Google’d for this excerpt from General Theory, this is the first time that a page from the blog of DeLong ranger topped the hits list.]
Weekend Reading: John Maynard Keynes: On Speculation, from The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money https://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/02/weekend-reading-john-maynard-keynes-the-general-theory-of-employment-interest-and-money-by-john-maynard-keynes-1.html: ‘The professional investor is forced to concern himself with the anticipation of impending changes, in the news or in the atmosphere, of the kind by which experience shows that the mass psychology of the market is most influenced. This is the inevitable result of investment markets organised with a view to so-called ‘liquidity’. Of the maxims of orthodox finance none, surely, is more anti-social than the fetish of liquidity, the doctrine that it is a positive virtue on the part of investment institutions to concentrate their resources upon the holding of ‘liquid’ securities. It forgets that there is no such thing as liquidity of investment for the community as a whole. The social object of skilled investment should be to defeat the dark forces of time and ignorance which envelop our future. The actual, private object of the most skilled investment to-day is ‘to beat the gun’, as the Americans so well express it, to outwit the crowd, and to pass the bad, or depreciating, half-crown to the other fellow…
I fell in love with Keynes when I first read this from here –
The capital gains tax preference is the primary artifact of the liquidity fetish as well as the great enabler of LBO and mergers in general where a healthy, profitable firm is targeted for either absorption or liquidation. From that we get market dominance, price in-elasticity, monopoly, monopsony, offshoring, union busting, employee pension fund busting, and influential political lobbyists. What am I forgetting?
Forgot loss of competition to incentivize product quality innovation as well along with lower prices. There is of course considerable innovation put into market dominating products, but more to bury competition rather than to be useful to customers.
Russian troops are in retreat from areas surrounding Kyiv
NY Times – April 2
Strains in the Market for Russian Oil
NY Times – April 2
Vladimir Putin’s fans are happier than you are
Boston Globe – March 31
(Many links, that won’t post.)
Vladimir Putin’s fans are happier than you are …
Researchers who study authoritarianism have found that about a third of people, across a range of cultures, embrace authoritarian ideas. Political scientist and “On Fascism” author Matthew MacWilliams reports that in the United States, about 18 percent of people are highly authoritarian, while another 23 percent score just a hair below them on authoritarianism scales.
Though post-World War II social scientists like Theodor Adorno suspected authoritarians’ views made them feel secure, only in recent years have experts more precisely spelled out the mental benefits.
In a survey of about 250 Canadian college students, Acadia University psychologist Cara MacInnis found that those who scored higher on measures of authoritarianism also enjoyed better subjective well-being, which reflects daily happiness and overall life satisfaction. Likewise, when University of North Carolina psychologist Jake Womick surveyed over 2,000 people about their beliefs and outlook, more-authoritarian respondents reported feeling that their lives were more meaningful — a finding that holds up independent of their religious beliefs. And though some authoritarians in Womick’s studies were depressed, they retained a stronger sense of life’s meaning than non-authoritarians with similar symptoms. …
In part, people who follow strongman leaders in the Putin or Trump mold are likelier to be cheerful because they believe they’ve found a foolproof way to navigate life. Authoritarianism gives people “a sense of certainty about who they are and where they belong,” Womick says. It also tends to rush in when existing sources of meaning vaporize: Before Hitler’s rise, German churches were declining as centers of authority, much as religious communities and stable career paths are vanishing today in much of the West.
In the face of such upheaval, it’s soothing to latch onto leaders and philosophies that tell you exactly what your mission is, what really matters — and, just as important, what (and who) doesn’t. Authoritarianism, Womick writes, “helps people answer some of life’s big questions, much like religion does: What should I do with my life? What is right and what is wrong? Who are the people I should associate with and who should I distance myself from?” …
The Curious Case of the Recovering Ruble
NY Times – Paul Krugman – April 1
Presumably this ‘defense of the ruble’ has a lot to do with Russia demanding payment for gas & oil deliveries from Russia, payment demanded in rubles.
Perhaps US withdrawals from strategic reserves will satisfy demand somewhat, but going forward, Europe would need on-going supplies from Russia, and for that they are going to need to obtain rubles. Fortunately, warmer weather is just around the corner.
Heat pumps could help ease the climate crisis — and the war in Ukraine
Boston Globe – April 4 – Bill McKibben, environmentalist
Thomas Piketty Thinks America Is Primed for Wealth Redistribution
NY Times magazine – April 1 (Interview)
“No free rides.”
But I’m telling you,
they got me by the balls..
It is an Alternative Minimum Tax for rich f*cks.
It has been around for decades. Came close a couple of times.
Flurry of New Laws Move Blue and Red States Further Apart
NY Times – April 3