Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Welcome to the Dark Side, Mark Thoma

Here I thought I was fed up with the Empty Suit in the White House: What it says to me is all that matters is Obama’s reelection (see, for example, the pivot to deficit reduction) — when the timing’s right for that, things will happen — but don’t keep your fingers crossed otherwise. If you […]

Bob Lefsetz Explains It All To You

In the midst of an essay on Louis C.K., Bob Lefsetz (chez Ritholtz) explains what the Lemieuxes and (now, sadly) Mannions of the world keep ignoring: One of the reasons artists have lost power is they no longer lead.It’s kind of like our President. He’s so busy appeasing people thateven his natural constituency is turned […]

The Argument Against the "First Derivative Mistake" Excuse

Unless you’re really stupid, or bending over backwards to find excuses for the Obama Administration’s Geithnerian malfeasance, you should be less than impressed with Matt Yglesias’s attempt to argue that the Administration saw reason to be happy with overall employment (link to Brad DeLong). If you’re Matt Yglesias, you should be even less impressed with […]

Admitting You’re a Tool Doesn’t Make You Less of One

Matt (Dalton, Harvard) Yglesias, via Aaron Carroll’s note that he should move into another line of work), accidentally gives the Education game away: the Dread Evil Neoliberal School Reformer Barack Obama And His Lackeys At The Center For American Progress Yep, Matt has been doing great things for education. As, of course, has CAP, in […]

Uh, Brad, This is How You Do It

If your question—correctly—is “why Axelrod and Plouffe were satisfied,” then you have to think like people whose vote support came, in some significant numbers, from people who were just entering the workforce in 2008 (and who did not show up in 2010 because, having entered, they found they were unwelcome). Which means, if you’re any […]

The ATM Myth

Brad DeLong cited this passage from Ron Suskind’s latest book on Monday: Both [Christina Romer and Larry Summers], in fact, were concerned by something the president had said in a morning briefing: that he thought that high unemployment was due to productivity gains in the economy. The same meme spread across the economics spectrum: Scott […]

Private-Sector Employment in Jobless Recoveries

I still think Obama is toast—a result of his own making, since he’s really the apotheosis of a government-hating Republican who never tries to do anything because he’s afraid it would succeed.  He’s basically Jon Huntsman, economic policy and all, with a slightly better social policy—or at least a willingness not to try to compete […]