Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Telesur — Ecuador Opposition Leaders to Ask for US Sanctions on Country

An opposition supporter who recently emerged after a year in hiding as a fugitive from justice told a private media station Friday that he intended to go to Washington in order to have the U.S. government apply unilateral sanctions against Ecuador as they have done with Venezuela. “We are going to ask the U.S. senate commission (sic) to analyze the case of Ecuador the violation of human rights and specific cases of corruption so that the same measures and sanctions that the Obama government recently imposed on Venezuela be imposed (on Ecuador),” Fernando Villavicencio told Ecuavisa....
Villavicencio was a political adviser to Jimenez, who sat in congress as a member of the opposition-aligned Pachakutik party. The party bills itself as left-wing but has taken controversial positions, including support for the 2010 coup attempt against the democratically-elected president.
Telesur
Ecuador Opposition Leaders to Ask for US Sanctions on Country

Sputnik Merkel Fears Split in EU Regarding Anti-Russian Sanctions – German Media


Some Europeans, especially business people, are starting to freak that they are losing Russian markets to the emerging countries that Russia has turned to owing to sanctions and is not likely to turn back toward Europe when sanctions end.

The emerging world has also pretty much nixed sanctions against Iran and Europe is losing out there, too.

This is not affecting either the US or UK much economically, and many Europeans resent that they are being asked to foot the bill for Anglo-American policy.

Angela Merkel has taken it on herself to both hold the coalition together and also blunt the US rush to war, which is unpopular in Europe and Merkel herself fears more than the coalition falling apart.

The loner this situation lasts the more issues will bubble up, and no one expects the crisis to be resolved anytime soon, putting pressure on the Atlantic alliance itself.

Sputnik

Rakesh Krishnan Simha — US to kill F-35 fighter

The US Defence Department announced Tuesday it would "most certainly" kill the troubled F-35 'stealth' fighter after getting final clearance from Secretary of Defence Ash Carter. With $1 trillion already sunk into development and initial production, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme is known as the aircraft that's "more expensive than Australia".

Initial reports suggest the decision to terminate the largest defence contract in history was a result of the threat from advanced versions of the Russian Su-27 Flanker series aircraft. "We just can't overlook the fact that in every wargamed scenario the Flankers have whipped the F-35," Pentagon spokesman Siphon Cash told USA Today. "Even without being stealthy, the Flankers are getting better with each new model."
The impending arrival of the T-50 Sukhoi stealth fighter could be another reason. In a worrying trend, several American fighter pilots have taken early retirement even as the Russians have started inducting early models of their fifth generation fighter. "My father, a former USAF fighter pilot in the early 1970s, was spooked by the MiG-25 Foxbat and spent years in rehab," said John Kwitter, who was an F-35 pilot at Elgin Air Force Base, Florida. "The Foxbat was a big scare word in the USAF those days and rattled many pilots of my father's generation. With the F-35 likely to be a sitting duck for the Russian fighter jocks flying the T-50, I have decided not to end up in a mental asylum."....
Russia & India
US to kill F-35 fighter
Rakesh Krishnan Simha


(snark but pretty funny and with a grain of truth to it)

Robert H. Wade — The Ukraine crisis is not what it seems


Le Monde Diplomatique follows Der Spiegel in questioning the Anglo-American version of the Ukrainian crisis.

Le Monde Diplomatique — English edition
The Ukraine crisis is not what it seems
Robert H. Wade | Professor of Political Economy and Development at the London School of Economics, author of Governing the Market,Princeton University Press, 2003, and winner of the Leontief Prize in Economics in 2008


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis — "The Nature Of The Greek Crisis"


Video interview

Social Europe
"The Nature Of The Greek Crisis"
Yanis Varoufakis

So Nice Of These "Evo-Economists" To "Allow" Evolution To Proceed

   (Commentary posted by Roger Erickson)


Everything You Need To Know About Laissez-Faire Economics. A Conversation with Alan Kirman

Huh? This SOUNDS right, but there's something subtly wrong. They're treating biology as though it's novel, and something to be fused into existing economics.

The reality is the inverse, and that Warren Mosler is right. The entire finance industry is more trouble than it's worth ... to humanity. In fact, it really is predatory, by it's very nature. So is our macro-economic policy - which should revert to simple logistics accounting, as real civic goals are set and pursued.

Otherwise, there's the danger that economists will someday also discover thermodynamics ... and even ecology? They'd try to fit those fields into "economics" too. If that happens, we're toast! Ideology would rule, and would ruin, all thinking whatsoever.

Meanwhile, don't hold your breath waiting for them to understand engineering, or culture.

Actually, this state of affairs is astounding ... since so many real science PhDs have gone into finance the last 30 years. Apparently, even most scientists aren't willing to really think, if their job depends on them thinking out of aggregate paradigm.


Pavlina R. Tcherneva — When A Rising Tide Sinks Most Boats: Trends In Us Income Inequality

In the postwar period, with every subsequent expansion, a smaller and smaller share of the gains in income growth have gone to the bottom 90 percent of families. Worse, in the latest expansion, while the economy has grown and average real income has recovered from its 2008 lows, all of the growth has gone to the wealthiest 10 percent of families, and the income of the bottom 90 percent has fallen. Most Americans have not felt that they have been part of the expansion. We have reached a situation where a rising tide sinks most boats. 
This policy note provides a broader overview of the increasingly unequal distribution of income growth during expansions, examines some of the changes that occurred from 2012 to 2013, and identifies a disturbing business cycle trend. It also suggests that policy must go beyond the tax system if we are serious about reversing the drastic worsening of income inequality.
Tricked down isn't happening. Time for some new narrative to dupe the rubes.

Levy Institute
Pavlina R. Tcherneva | Assistant Professor of Economics, Bard College Research Scholar, Levy Economics Institute

Paul Tudor Jones on inequality: He has nothing new to offer

Paul Tudor Jones' view that the private sector is what we need to rely on to solve massive income and wealth inequality is ignorant.

Efraim Zuroff — One man's journey to the heartland of fascism

Hostility to minorities and attempts to rewrite Holocaust history in Baltics - but no one cares, except Russia
i24 News (Tel Aviv) — Opinion
One man's journey to the heartland of fascism
Efraim Zuroff | chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel Office

Stratfor — The West Hems in Russia Little by Little


Not the whole story according to George Friedman, head of Stratfor. According to a talk that Friedman gave which was taped and excerpts put on YouTube, what is actually happening is that the US is creating a cordon sanitaire from the Baltics to the Black Sea, which accounts for the US led coup in Ukraine and the US running Ukraine through a puppet government. (Friedman regards this as transparent.)

Note this is the US acting alone in creating the cordon, not NATO, which would likely not approve the strategy since NATO policy requires unanimous consent of the member states and this is not in everyone's interest.

The US strategy is ostensibly to isolate and contain Russia. But the hidden agenda is to create a US military controlled corridor separating Europe from Russia in order to prevent the development of Russian-European cooperation and perhaps an eventual alliance based on economic and trade benefits — and especially to prevent a German-Russian alliance should Germany listen to Putin's overtures about the advantages of this.

According to Friedman, the worst nightmare of the Anglo-Americans beginning with German unification under Prussian leadership has been development of a German-Russian alliance, which would unite Germany's economic and technological expertise with Russian natural resources, giving this alliance effective control of strategist Halford Mackinder's heartland of Eurasia and as a consequence control of the world island. This is fundamental to the Brzezinski doctrine, too. 

A German-Russian alliance is essentially the only really viable threat to continuing US world hegemony through military control of the sea, air and space, at least for the foreseeable future.

According to Friedman, everything hangs on Germany, and Germany hasn't yet made up it mind. The US is not waiting to find out, since there is a lot of pressure by German business to dump the US in favor of a closer relationship with Russia, which would be much more in Germany's economic interest (meaning their economic interest).

Friedman admits its cynical but hey, this is hard ball.

Stratfor — Geopolitical Diary
The West Hems in Russia Little by Little

Diane Coyle — Economists? Hubris? Surely not? [Book Review]


Brief overview of Meghnad Desai’s new book, Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One.

The Enlightened Economist
Economists? Hubris? Surely not?
Diane Coyle | freelance economist and a former advisor to the UK Treasury. She is a member of the UK Competition Commission and is acting Chairman of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation

The privatization of the Port of Piraeus, which Syriza opposed, is now going forward


Hat tip to my good friend and MNE contributor, Roger Erickson, for this.

(Reuters) - The Greek government will sell its majority stake in the port of Piraeus within weeks, the country's deputy prime minister told China's official Xinhua news agency, a flip-flop from the leftist government as it seeks funds from its creditors.
The Syriza government of Alexis Tsipras took power in January on promises to end painful austerity, saying it would halt a string of privatisations including the sale of a 67 percent stake in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP). Read article.

#NoBALLS

Well, okay, first of all I called this from the very beginning. I called the eventual capitulation by Syriza, by Tsipras, by Varoufakis. Go back and read my blog entries starting from January 26.

But enough of patting myself on the back. If you care anything about breaking the global grip of the oligopoly, the neoliberal rape, the plutcratic plunder, then this has to make you want to puke. Another sellout by the phoney, cowardly, BallLESS, (add your own adjective), liberal, progressive, left wing.

They go down so easy, don't they? No stomach for fighting. No stomach for just about anything except getting down on their knees and giving hand jobs to the elites. So quick to cede power and control to the plutocracy...willingly...on a silver fucking platter. Each and every time.

I'm just wondering what Syriza will do next? Re-fire those rehired workers?

And by the way, we'll be getting another taste of it here in the U.S. Guess who's being anointed Senate Minority Leader? Chuck Schumer (D-NY), friend of Wall Street and war, those two great, liberal Democratic values.

Schumer had in the past “succeeded in limiting efforts to regulate credit-rating agencies, for example, sponsored legislation that cut fees paid by Wall Street firms to finance government oversight, pushed to allow banks to have lower capital reserves and called for the revision of regulations to make corporations’ balance sheets more transparent.”
His behavior has changed very little since the crisis.
When Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Ted Kaufman (D-DE) introduced an amendment to break up the largest banks, they were able to recruit the support of a handful of GOP senators, but Schumer worked alongside the Obama administration to kill it. He insists that capital gains tax rates stay lower than those of other income, a direct gift to fund managers. Read the rest of the article here.

Who needs the GOP when you have guys like Schumer?


Odd How Long It Takes For This To Sink In

   (Commentary posted by Roger Erickson)


"Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction." James Madison

And Madison took his examples from Greek & Roman writings 2000 years old!

The problem can't be one of education alone. Rather, our sea of people is simply expanding faster than are our old methods for encouraging cultural diffusion of ideas.

If HOW we run student education & workforce training doesn't change, fast enough .... we inevitably end up with "dead zones" at the bottom of our expanding sea of (changing) citizens.

It's not just factions, it's all aspects of all Union or team or workforce interactions.

If you don't like change ... you can't love your own kids, or our changing world.

Recombination. Ya gotta love it. There's no alternative.

Ed Dolan — Deconstructing ShadowStats. Why is it so Loved by its Followers but Scorned by Economists?

It is hard to think of a website so loved by its followers and so scorned by economists as John Williams’ ShadowStats, a widely cited source of alternative economic data on inflation and other economic indicators. Any econ blogger who has ever written a line about inflation is familiar with ShadowStats. Time and again, readers cite it in comments, not infrequently paranoid in their tone and rude in their language. Brief replies that cast doubt on some of more extreme claims made by ShadowStats fans don’t seem to have much effect. After a recent round of comments, I promised the editor of one website to undertake a thorough deconstruction of ShadownStats. Here is the result....
Economonitor — Ed Dolan's Econ Blog
Deconstructing ShadowStats. Why is it so Loved by its Followers but Scorned by Economists?
Ed Dolan

Joseph Joyce — The U.S.: Inept Diplomacy, Indispensable Currency

All this demonstrates the discrepancy between the diplomatic and financial power of the U.S. On the one hand, the U.S. must deal with countries that are eager to claim their places in global governance. The dominance of the U.S. and other G7 nations in international institutions is a relic of a world that came to an end with the global financial crisis. On the other hand, the dollar is still the predominant international currency, and will hold that place for many years to come. The use of the renminbi is slowly growing but it will be a long time before it can serve as an alternative to the dollar. Consequently, the actions of the Federal Reserve may have more international repercussions than those of U.S. policymakers unable to cope with the shifting landscape of financial diplomacy.
Angry Bear
The U.S.: Inept Diplomacy, Indispensable Currency
Joseph Joyce

Daily Treasury Statement predicting HUGE jobs number on Friday

If you took my course, Understanding the Daily Treasury Statement, you would know why I am making this call, now, three days before the release of that number. I am telling you this: it will be far better than expectations.

I am not going to tell you how I know this, but I know. You will have to sign up for the next course to learn how to get this information plus lots of other, very powerful, money making tips and insights from this amazing resource. I am the only one who teaches this.

Consider this a gift--my gift to you, so don't waste it; go make yourself some (a lot) of money.

The number will blow away the 240k expected gain in nonfarm  payrolls. BLOW. IT. AWAY.

So, what  do you do?  You buy the dollar (short euro, yen, British pound, Aussie dollar, etc), sell bonds, sell gold and sell stocks. On the latter, I know it seem counterintuitive because, obviously, a strong jobs number is bullish news for the economy and therefore bullish for stocks, however, the way the market has been trading, i.e. with intense fear of an imminent rate hike, they'll probably hit the stock market in reaction to a strong number. On the other hand, longer term investors should use this as an opportunity to add to long stock positions.

Enjoy.

-Mike Norman
#itsnotaboutthedeficit

Wage rises are required – real wages must grow in line with productivity

There was an interesting article in the UK Guardian last weekend (March 29, 2015) – Why falling inflation is a false pretext for keeping wages low – which examined wage trends in the UK and the validity of the argument that “Falling inflation now provides employers with a pretext for keeping wage settlements low". Employer groups never support wage increases and are continually trying to suppress real wages growth below productivity growth so that they can enjoy a greater share of national income. As part of my research to discover the nature of the ideological shift accompanying the emergence of Monetarism as the dominant policy paradigm I have been examining wage distributions. This is part of a book I will complete next year (fingers crossed) on the demise of the political left. In this blog we examine the shifting relationship between labour productivity growth and real wages growth since 1960. The results are illuminating and open up a broad research front about which I will write more as time passes.
As usual, Bill puts his finger on the fundamental issue. The chief issue in a surplus economy is distribution of the surplus. The major parties vying for a share are "capital" (owners and those who control the firm) and "labor" (workers aka "the help"). So the tussle is between capital share and labor share with respect to distributing the surplus resulting from productivity.

Owners argue that productivity increase no longer comes chiefly from laborin a highly technological economy , e.g., through growing experience and improved skill, but from technology and organizational and management capability. So capital and top management that controls and directs the firm naturally deserve the greater share based on both proportionate contribution to the resultant profit and incentive to increase profit through capital formation, which benefits the whole society by creating jobs and trickle down.

As Henry Ford realize, the problem with this approach is effective demand for consuming production potential if workers are not paid enough to afford to purchase the entire potential (and they cannot borrow to do so indefinitely). So the result is an output gap and involuntary unemployment.

Bill's analysis shows that the problem is not at root economic but political, that is, ideological. It is the result of imposing a neoliberal political theory on society based on a false economic rationale in that the basis of neoliberalism as a political theory is that a market state is superior to a welfare state in delivering a high standard of living. Politics is essentially about the distribution and use of power in a society, and the ruling elite who hold power get to impose their ideology on society. The recourse therefore is to change the ruling elite and shirt the power. That is an economic issue to the degree that wealth confers power.

Basically, the thinking behind a market state being superior is Say's law and the belief that the purpose of capitalism is increased capital formation because trickle down. The thinking behind a welfare state is that production is for consumption and shared prosperity and a high standard of living are based on broadly based distribution that encourages circular flow.

However, as Bill points out, the hidden agenda behind a "market" state is rent extraction rather than simply allocation of the surplus to the top tier through market forces. This is neoliberalism's dirty secret. Power provides the ability to design institutions for rent extraction.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Wage rises are required – real wages must grow in line with productivityBill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

J.D. Alt — Opportunities of a Millennium (Part 1)

Viewed through the ideology of money-scarcity, the major challenges facing society appear to represent “costs” that people must be penalized to pay by taking dollars out of their personal pockets. At one level, politics is the endless and bitter argument of one party proposing to do X, Y, or Z in order to accomplish some collective benefit, and the other party saying: Yes, but how are you going to pay for it?—which is the “gotcha” question because everyone certainly “knows” that in order to actually do X, Y, or Z, the federal government will have to increase taxes or borrow dollars from the Private Sector pot. Understanding modern fiat money (and how to manage it as a collective tool) creates, as we now understand, a remarkably different and more useful perspective. With this new perspective, as we’re about to see, many of the biggest challenges we face as a collective society can be viewed not as a “cost”—a penalty to be paid—but instead as an enormous opportunity to make our lives, both collectively and individually, more effective and prosperous. Confronting these challenges, in other words, will not take dollars out of our personal pockets, it will—in addition to hopefully overcoming the challenge addressed—put dollars into our pockets. This, in essence, is the uniquely empowering perspective that modern fiat money makes possible.
To see the power of this perspective in concrete terms, let’s explore four of the major dilemmas the Millennials will surely be facing as they come into power....
New Economic Perspectives
Opportunities of a Millennium (Part 1)
J.D. Alt

Cultural Development at 31st Week of Democracy






Are we past the 2nd Trisequester yet?

Or still in the fetal position?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Robert Parry — Deciphering the Mideast Chaos

Few Americans seem to comprehend what is unfolding in the Middle East – with the latest conflict involving Saudi airstrikes against the Houthi rebels who now control Yemen’s capital of Sanaa. In this swirl of regional wars, it’s often not clear where the U.S. government stands and how American interests are affected.
The reason for the confusion is simple: Many key pundits who get to explain what’s going on from the op-ed pages of the major U.S. newspapers and from the TV talk shows prefer that the American people don’t fully grasp what’s happening. Otherwise, the people might realize the dangers ahead and demand substantial changes in U.S. government policies....
... over the years, the U.S. government has exploited the general lack of knowledge among Americans about the intricacies of Middle East religions and politics by funneling the anger against one group to rationalize actions against another....
In seeking to smash this “Shiite crescent” [from Tehran through Baghdad and Damascus to Beirut], these Sunni-ruled states have been joined by Israel, which has taken the position that Iran and its Shiite allies are more dangerous than the Sunni extremists, thus transforming Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State into the “lesser evils.”
This was the subtext of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on March 3 – that the U.S. government should shift its focus from fighting Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State to fighting Iran....
In one of the most explicit expressions of Israel’s views, its Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post in September 2013 that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.
“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
 And, if you might have thought that Oren had misspoken, he reiterated his position in June 2014 at an Aspen Institute conference. Then, speaking as a former ambassador, Oren said Israel would even prefer a victory by the Islamic State, which was massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and beheading Westerners, than the continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria.
“From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said....
Over the past decade, the Israelis and the Saudis have built a powerful alliance, a relationship that has operated mostly behind the curtains. They combined their assets to create what amounted to a new superpower in the Middle East, one that could project its power mostly via the manipulation of U.S. policymakers and opinion leaders – and thus deployment of the U.S. military. 
Israel possesses extraordinary political and media influence inside the United States – and Saudi Arabia wields its oil and financial resources to keep American officialdom in line. Together, the Israeli-Saudi bloc now controls virtually the entire Republican Party, which holds majorities in both chambers of Congress, and dominates most mainstream Democrats as well.
Reflecting the interests of the Israeli-Saudi bloc, American neocons have advocated U.S. bombing against both the Syrian and Iranian governments in pursuit of “regime change” in those two countries. [emphasis added],,,,,
Parry views this as an existential crisis for the United States and neither the background nor the details are being revealed to the American public — as the New York Times calls for war with Iran (see below).

Consortium News
Deciphering the Mideast Chaos
Robert Parry

Also
Just as the New York Times promoted fake facts to rationalize invading Iraq, it has just published a deceptive op-ed to justify bombing Iran, the ranting of one of America’s most notorious warmongers, John Bolton, as Lawrence Davidson describes.
Letting A Warmonger Rant
Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

circuit — Ben Bernanke and the natural rate of interest


Not so fast there. circuit comes to Ben's defense, kinda.

If my understanding is correct, a point that circuit makes is that a natural rate rate of interest, like potential output, is a theoretical term that is model-determined rather than being an observable. Consequently, it may be useful for a central bank to use a model in which a natural rate of interest at full employment figures in theorizing about monetary policy. 

After all, if a central bank is going to set monetary policy through the nominal interest rate, then it has to have some rationale for doing so, and for economists, that means having a model. Since exogenous money has been discredited that leaves the central with with the interest rate as its policy tool. So the question becomes how and when to use that tool.

However, Ben doesn't seem to imply that he thinks there is actually a Wicksellian rate that leads naturally to full employment equilibrium in the long run if market forces are left to operate. What would be the point of monetary policy in that case unless to influence the short term. But that is basically to dismiss the long run as realistically significant. 

Or maybe he does "believe in" an actual Wicksellian rate that naturally leads to full employment in the long run but concludes that doing nothing and waiting for "the long run" is just not practical politically and that monetary policy can fill in.

Fictional Reserve Barking
circuit

David F. Ruccio — Catholicism beyond capitalism


Pope Francis on trickle down and cooperatives. Francis seems to be a non-Marxist socialist. 

Occasional Links & Commentary
Catholicism beyond capitalism
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics University of Notre Dame Notre Dame

For a Marxian view of worker cooperatives as a viable basis for socialism:

Monthly Review
Cooperatives On the Path to Socialism?
Peter Marcuse | Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, Columbia University

Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman And Joseph Stiglitz On The Economy And Inequality — Video

Thomas Piketty, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman were brought together in one event organised by 92nd Street Y in New York City
Social Europe
Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman And Joseph Stiglitz On The Economy And Inequality
ht Jan Milch

Jon Perr — American religious freedom is a shield, not a sword Jon Perr


When does "liberalism" become illiberal? When conservative masquerade as liberals and use a political majority to impose authoritarianism because freedom.

No, democracy left to itself doesn't work as advertised. That's why it is important to have a bill of rights and an impartial judicial system to protect minority rights.

Daily Kos
American religious freedom is a shield, not a sword
Jon Perr

Sarah Green — What MIT Is Learning About Online Courses and Working from Home


Important.

The development of online eduction with the rise of new technology is similar to the transition from the theater to cinema. At first, the obvious step was to film plays, but in the case of the cinema, sound only came later, so the initial step could not be that. As a result, a rich art of silent films resulted that is still relevant today.

However, when sound was put to picture, then the obvious transition was to mimic theater. But it fell rather flat. Subsequently, it was realized that theater and cinema are similar but also very different media and that each as its own proper methodology.

The same holds true for education and the Internet. At first the tendency was simple to capture "great teaching" on video and distribute it digitally at minimum cost, providing access to high quality education globally. Now that is being rethought as it becomes apparent that education digital technology requires an entirely different from the classroom model. The advantage of digital education is that it makes interaction at a distance not only possible but necessary for a variety of reasons, some pedagogical and some social.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) are the future and educators are starting to focus on how to optimize learning through this medium. This will have profound effects globally, and it's now starting to happen.

This is already happening in business. A friend of mine is a project manager for one of the big banks. He work out of his home rurally, and the members of a team are far flung in different locations. The interact personally thorough video conferencing although they never meet up in person.

Harvard Business Review
What MIT Is Learning About Online Courses and Working from Home
Sarah Green | senior associate editor at Harvard Business Review

Brad DeLong — Monday Worth Reading: Dan Kervick and Matt Bruenig


Brad DeLong promotes Dan Kervick and Matt Bruenig. Kudos to all.
Critics... well, probably better to call them "friends" have pointed out to me that last summer I didn't spend enough time linking to Dan Kervick's and Matt Brunig's contributions to the Piketty debate. I remember reading them at the time. And I cannot figure out why I didn't focus more on them--save probably because both seemed to me to be thinking along the lines I was thinking along, I didn't think that there was much new there. But usually I am anxious to promote people saying things that I think are smart and right, so it is a puzzle...
More generally, if you like intelligent takes on modern economics coming from the terrain of philosophy, Dan Kervick is the kind of thing you will like...
Now how about some strokes for the MMT economists. They are overdue.

Grasping Reality
Monday Worth Reading: Dan Kervick and Matt Bruenig
Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics, UCAL Berkeley

William H. David — The Internet Has Been a Colossal Economic Disappointment


This gets it backwards. The purpose of technological innovation is not to create jobs but to increase productivity, which generally means replacing jobs and making space for increased leisure. 

Technological innovation increase makes work obsolete. This has been the historical result of technological innovation. 

If there is a problem, it's with distribution of increasing surplus in order to increase shared prosperity.

Harvard Business Review — HBR Blog Network
The Internet Has Been a Colossal Economic Disappointment
William H. Davidow | Mohr Davidow Ventures

Javier Solana — China and Global Governance


US blowing it on China.

Project Syndicate
China and Global Governance
Javier Solana | former EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of NATO, and Foreign Minister of Spain. He is currently President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Europe

Dirk Ehnts — Krugman on Unreal Keynesians (IS/LM again)


Dirk Ehnts offers a Godley-based "gadget" to replace ISLM as a heuristic.
My own point of view is that IS/LM is mistaken in assuming that the central bank controls the money supply and that the sectoral balances (private and public) are not made explicit. You actually can get a lot of mileage out of the good old IS/LM model if you let the central bank set the interest rate on the short-term money market (horizontal LM curve) and – because of general depression – determine some level of expenditure (or demand) that does not react to changes in the interest rate (vertical IS curve). The resulting cross is so trivial that I tend to agree with Syll: maybe it is not the best idea to use a macroeconomic model to show that: 
  • Demand is exogenous and smaller than potential output
  • The central bank creates the interest rate, but that doesn’t matter because of 1.
  • Demand is exogenous, but government spending can add to that 
Using a mathematical model with all eyes crossed and all teas dotted to then arrive at this conclusion really is a waste of time. How do we fix this? 
I have published the so-called IS/MY model to show what could be done to improve on the shortcomings of the IS/LM model (working paper version here). First of all, the main idea is that expenditure equals spending in equilibrium. Then, net deposits (money) are created through three mechanisms that rely on the same balance sheet trick. A rise in net debt leads to a rise in deposits for each of the three sectors: private, public and external. The monetary circuit works well as long as the amount of deposits is increasing (given velocity, and ignoring complications of what is money)....
The IS/LM model was not perfect, and never will be. Any alternative will face the same fate. However, it would be nice for the macroeconomist to have something small and “unbreakable” that works on the back of an envelope. The IS/MY model is based on (BoP) accounting relations and assume only that consumption and imports depend on income. Most economists should be able to live with these assumptions. What is left to the economist is to speculate about the quantity of investment, government spending and exports. These will, using the vocabulary of Wynne Godley, determine the fiscal and trade stance and allow discussions of sustainability of macroeconomic regimes.
econoblog 101
Krugman on Unreal Keynesians (IS/LM again)
Dirk Ehnts | Berlin School for Economics and Law

Brad DeLong — Why the Hegemony of the New Keynesian Model?


Brad DeLong questions the reasoning behind the choice of DSGE modeling as the policy tool for central banks. Inquiring minds would like to know.

WCEG — The Equitablog
Why the Hegemony of the New Keynesian Model?Brad DeLong | Professor Economics, UCAL Berkeley

also

Important economic history lesson.

Project Syndicate
The Monetarist Mistake
Brad DeLong
The result was a host of policies based not on evidence, but on inadequately examined ideas. And we are still paying the price for that intellectual failure today.
Could ideological bias have had anything to do with it?
The dominance of Friedman’s ideas at the beginning of the Great Recession has less to do with the evidence supporting them than with the fact that the science of economics is all too often tainted by politics. In this case, the contamination was so bad that policymakers were unwilling to go beyond Friedman and apply Keynesian and Minskyite policies on a large enough scale to address the problems that the Great Recession presented.
Admitting that the monetarist cure was inadequate would have required mainstream economists to swim against the neoliberal currents of our age. It would have required acknowledging that the causes of the Great Depression ran much deeper than a technocratic failure to manage the money supply properly. And doing that would have been tantamount to admitting the merits of social democracy and recognizing that the failure of markets can sometimes be a greater danger than the inefficiency of governments.
The result was a host of policies based not on evidence, but on inadequately examined ideas. And we are still paying the price for that intellectual failure today.
Philip Mirowsi has documented how neoliberalism rose to power at this time, for example, in The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (2009) and has managed to stay in power in Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown (2013).