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

My Comments-Thread Comment to Robert Waldmann’s “From Small Town to Prison” Post

Robert Waldmann did something this morning that I’d planned to do: He posted an in-depth post about the NYT’s awesome article in yesterday’s paper titled “From Small Town to Prison,” by Josh Keller and Adam Pearce. Robert makes a critical point about the fiscal cause of the phenomenon that the Times article reports on, and […]

Krugman The Clairvoyant

[Paul Krugman] has a negative view of Bernie Sanders “Why I Haven’t Felt the Bern “ which links to his column on insulting Dixie. The post is brief and a bit odd — Krugman criticizes Sanders for: “… the casual adoption, with no visible effort to check the premises, of a story line that sounds good. It’s all […]

Follow-up to “Scalia’s Curious Memory Lapse”: Is the Supreme Court about to limit its holding in Garcetti v. Ceballos?

Okay, first things first.  And the first thing is that when you (okay, when I) put the word “after” instead of “before” in a key sentence, and the error (which in this instance occurred because of a cut-and-paste sentence-edit typo in a complex sentence) makes the sentence nonsensical, you’re gonna be stepping on your own punch […]

CORRECT PREDICTIONS AND THE STATUS OF ECONOMISTS

Vis Brad Delong’s post on CORRECT PREDICTIONS AND THE STATUS OF ECONOMISTS Paul Krugman is certainly right that history has judged, and that the judgment of history is for James Tobin over Milton Friedman so completely that there is not even a smudge left where Friedman’s approach to a monetary theory of nominal income determination […]

Medicaid Austin Frakt, Aaron Carroll and Kevin Drum are Good for the USA

by Robert Waldmann An important study of the effect of Medicaid on health was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The study was based on a genuine experiment where some people were given Medicaid and other people weren’t based on a lottery.  Unfortunately, the results were communicated with a NEJM  press release and […]

Criticizing the IMF staff and Ryan Avent

Lifted from Robert Waldmann’s Stochastic Thoughts: In the post below, I vigorously criticize IMF staff and Ryan Avent for claiming that central banks adopted low inflation targets in the early 80s without noting that the Fed did not adopt an inflation target until January 25 2012.  I have now read Avent’s post as patiently as […]

Do policymakers listen to macroeconomists?

Ex Macroeconomist Noah Smith argues that it is a good thing that there are professional macroeconomists.  He has two arguments 1) So does this mean that macro research is useless for policymaking? No! Not at all!! Because here’s an interesting thing about policymaking: No matter who advises the policymakers, policy is going to get made. […]

Robert’s musings for a Sunday afternoon

Lifted from Robert Waldmann’s Stochastic Thoughts for a Sunday afternoon: Christian Roots of School Voucher Movement Still Pretty Obvious …. those of us who are over the age of 40 and have three-digit IQs remember where this all started: with segregated Christian schools in the South who were denied tax-exempt status in the 70s. This […]

Due process rights

Lifted from Robert Waldmann’sStochastic Thoughts: 32. Note that the US constitution grants the same due process rights to citizens and non citizens. This time I pick on Steve Benen who wrote “The drones themselves are a fairly new tool, but the use of technology is tangential to the underlying point about the use of force, […]

Deal maker in chief…

Lifted by Dan from Robert’s Stochastic thoughts Robert writes: I was reasonably sure that the latest Ruth Marcus column would cause me to have to  revise and update my earlier post declaring her a heroine of Ballance.   She comments on the fact  that Republican representatives live-tweeted snark during the question and answer session with […]