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OldGimletEye

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About OldGimletEye

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    Assistant To The Assistant Manager

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  1. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    Frankly, saying something is controversial among economist doesn't really illuminate matters much. During the financial crises, economist disagreed over the effects of fiscal stimulus. Robert Lucas, Nobel Prize winner, basically called the well regard Christina Romer a fraud and liar. And of course, economist aren't free from ideological biases either. Sometimes to the point of making ridiculous claims. Recall University of Chicago's John Cochrane and Eugene Fama (another Nobel Prize Winner) basically claiming that a good model of the economy was MV = Py where V is fixed. That was a horrendous analytical mistake for them to make, yet they made it anyway. Another part of the problem is understanding the actual models economist are working with. Lucas and his posse, basically U. of Chicago economics department and the so called fresh water schools, are basically working an RBC model of the economy, which is basically the Arrow-Debreu model. While Arrow Debreu might be an interesting result, there a are plenty of reasons to believe it has nothing to do with the real world. And accordingly, the RBC model is basically a piece of trash. Further, the whole Volker episode should have shown it be an utterly useless model. Yet, a lot of economist still cling to it. There are a lot of economist who think any taxation of capital is bad. But, there thinking primarily comes from the Chamely-Judd model. And it takes a bit of understanding of what goes into that model. For one it assumes perfect foresight. It also assumes that holders of capital are trying to maximize their consumption (or their progeny) and don't accumulate wealth for reasons of status and prestige. Zucman and Saez to their credit have offered models of capital taxation that don't make some of the assumptions of the Chamely-Judd model, which are suspect. Also, some of the standard wisdom does need to be trashed. For example, no basic economic textbook has any business of showing labor markets working according to the the standard partial equilibrium competitive model. There is no reason to think labor markets actually work like that. Yet it still appears in textbooks. Also, you have people like Raj Chetty working to make the discipline more empirically based, which is controversial, among some people. His work has certainly raised the libertarian hackles of people like Russ Roberts.
  2. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    Not a bad definition. Here in the United States in particular, I think socialism means: Any government program or policy I happen to dislike at any particular point in time. Government programs and policies I like aren't socialism because I say so. I can change my mind about a particular government policy or program moving it from the socialist to the non socialist category and vice versa ,and hence changing my own personal definition socialism, any time I please. I can do so without notification. It's up to other people to figure what I mean by socialism even if I change it's definition minute by minute. If you argue with me about socialism and are utterly confused about what we are even talking about, because I'm constantly changing its definition, then that is your fault for being such a socialist.
  3. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    You mean kind of like spending more time on Hillary's emails, rather than talking about policy? Everything about Hillary's emails was nonsense and the media had more important things to cover. Yet, it decided to spend an enormous amount of time on the subject, to the detriment of everything else and giving the suggestion that there was something really important about her emails. If you are a Trumpist, you should have been very happy with the media and its Hillary email coverage. Now, I realize we should spend most of our time worrying about the feelings of super sensitive conservative snowflakes, but I'll make the heretical suggestion that people on the left have some legitimate grievances against the broad cast media.
  4. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    Most likely more vigorous anti-trust enforcement. While there are some exceptions, monopolies are generally bad. Big businesses should be viewed with some amount of suspicion.
  5. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    You ever notice it's kind of hard to have a serious discussion about the pros and cons of socialism with certain sorts of people when the definition of socialism changes about every two minutes? Since I'm such a nice guy, I'm going let you define what "socialism" means. And then we can have the discussion from there. But, be advised, that attempting to define the word socialism can often lead conservative sorts of people to step in dog shit. So take your time and think very hard about how you'd like to define that concept. Because once you pick a definition, I won't let you change it.
  6. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    Here is what you need to do. Convince me that this will ultimately this will lead to lower economic growth to the point it will lower overall welfare. And lately, well perhaps not so lately, since Reagan, the record of supply side economics hasn't been looking too hot. What's next? How conservatives showed those libs a thing or two about economic policy in Kansas?
  7. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

    Question is why do I or should anyone else care? What's next? Complaining that billionaires might lose some political influence? And why should I care about this? If it somehow would lead to substantially lower economic output or more precisely lower economic well being, then maybe I should care. I'm not really concerned about about founders of publicly traded companies losing control of the companies they founded. That's kind of the trade off they made when they took their companies public (which in the process got them very rich). Should I be concerned that co-determination, ie putting labor representatives on corporate boards is bad, because billionares who founded companies might lose some influence?
  8. OldGimletEye

    Why cueing (MSV) is a poor way to teach children to read

    Interesting because for me reading was my primary way of learning and lecture was secondary, mainly to just reinforce what I had read. In fact, I was often likely to doze off during lecture.
  9. OldGimletEye

    US politics - When the Barr's so low.

    She should be locked up in Folsom for her emails.
  10. OldGimletEye

    US politics - When the Barr's so low.

    I'll say it again, Libertarianism is the mullet of political philosophy. "We've got a fiscally and economically conservative front end, with a socially liberal party in the back!" LOL. The election of the orange one should have proven once and for all that all the libertarian rhetoric that went on in the Republican Party, particularly during the Obama years, was a fraud. And certainly, most Democrats don't identify as libertarians. The idea that there is this huge segment of libertarians is extremely suspect. Most people don't believe in doctrinaire libertarianism, although they might believe in certain aspects of it. For instance, I have some things I agree with libertarians on, like intellectual property laws, but I don't buy the whole package. I doubt most independents are really libertarians who just cant find a party. If the author is suggesting that, she should at least present some solid data to back that up. Also, if there were this huge segment of independent libertarians one would expect them to have been absorbed into one of the major political parties. Generally libertarians get on my fuckin' nerves. Often when they start lecturing others about economics, which is often nothing but a simplistic version of the supply demand model or economics 101, which often doesn't apply to real world situations, like say labor markets or health insurance markets. So much for that vaunted and rational libertarian mind. And then of course there is that bad libertarian habit of frothing at the mouth about the gold standard. That doesn't seem very rational to me. Also, I glanced through the article, and the author seemingly suggest that libertarians are highly rational utilitarian calculators. If that were true, then they would be at least open to taxing the rich more. Most libertarians in my experience don't see taxing the rich in utilitarian terms. In fact, they often see it as a violation of basic rights, utilitarian calculations almost never come into play when libertarians oppose higher taxes on the wealthy. Seems libertarians can get quite emotional.
  11. OldGimletEye

    Bull**it Jobs

    I'm middle aged. Towards the end of my life, in the next 3 to 4 decades, I think it very possible that significant amounts of labor could be replaced by AI tech. Those a couple decades younger than me, might see almost all of it replaced by AI within their lifetimes. Of course, AI technology could turn out very well or very badly. If it turns out well, people could be freed from having to do the most dangerous and shitty types of work with enough output to provide a reasonable comfortable living for everyone. It could turn out very badly if only a relatively small set of people control AI technology and the wealth it could generate. It will be interesting to see how the politics of this plays out. Though I don't think I'll be around to see it. For those a few decades younger than me, this will likely become a big issue in my opinion. Of course this all assumes we haven't fried the planet to a crisp.
  12. OldGimletEye

    Bull**it Jobs

    Let me go a little bit further with this. You'll never get rid of all waste and stupidity because humans aren't super rational machines. Nor does the price system work perfectly. But, people aren't completely stupid either. They are fairly rational. Not so rational as in the imaginations of some economist. And the price system works reasonably well. Not perfectly well. And some policies can be designed to take care of the fact that people aren't super calculating machines and the price system doesn't working perfectly. But, we'll never get rid of all waste and stupidity.
  13. OldGimletEye

    Bull**it Jobs

    What do you mean by worth having? I'd define it simply as one that outputs useful stuff (of course subject to labor and safety regulations and so forth). That on the whole makes the economic pie bigger. That definition would mean, I think, trying to eliminate those jobs or professions that engage primarily in rent seeking. Another thing. Maybe some jobs might be still pretty useless. Still I'd say that society loses a lot more resources when there isn't full employment. Surely, we lose a lot of output during recessions and depressions, which cause a lot of misery.
  14. OldGimletEye

    Bull**it Jobs

    Then presumably you find AOC revolting because what do you think her government jobs guarantee was about? Perhaps, you ought to think about voting Republican because they seemingly like high unemployment. It's a lot more fun to lecture people with Ayn Rand when they are standing in an employment line. Plus, they become more appreciative of the high libertarian overlords. I understand why you're not very happy with the American system of work. I'd argue compared to other countries, its pretty toxic. Certainly, Europeans for instance seem much happier with shorter work hours and the ability, you know, to actually be able to take vacations once awhile. So I don't have much of a quibble with that part of your critique. But as far as full employment policies go, you know, they were once central to left wing politics. AOC didn't just invent the government jobs guarantee by herself of course. That policy had been advocated for by those working in the post Keynesian tradition. Many who had experienced the devastation wrought by the Great Depression. Up until 1992, a policy of full employment was part of the Democratic Party platform, until it was taken out. At the time, it was taken out as part of the "new democrats" strategy of triangualation in attempt to look more moderate. Just recently, Spain experienced 25% unemployment, which in the view of old lefties like me, was devastating and should have never happened. UBI will not solve the problem of poverty at this time. At least by itself. The numbers don't work. I think there is the possibility that in the future, AI technology may change things, perhaps even radically. It may change things so much, political economy as we know it, from the industrial revolution until today may become irrelevant. Society maybe able to generate a lot of income without much human labor. When that day comes, I'd support a robust UBI. But, we are not there yet. At this current time, in order to produce stuff, you need to have labor inputs. Particularly if you want to enough stuff to take care of those unable to work because of disabilities and to provide help to the poor. Also, one of the best ways to help the poor is to ensure that there are tight labor markets. Old lefties understood this and spent the better half of the 20th Century fighting for it. They were also locked in bitter battles with conservatives and the Republican Party over these issues during the GFC. And of course the Trumpster running around wanting low interest rates, with conservatives now running around saying they agree, changing their tune, when we couldn't get them to stay that during the Obama years, when it was needed, has many a lefty with the bile at the back of their throats, including me.
  15. OldGimletEye

    Bull**it Jobs

    Well there is certainly quite a few of high paying professions that are capable of producing a lot of bull shit, if not outright bullshit jobs. A short list would included CEOs, the finance profession, the legal profession, and lobbyist.
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