More on Ben Bernanke vs. John Taylor: In Which I Give Up

I confess that I think it is time to stop trying to make sense of John Taylor's views on the Taylor rule. There simply seem to be too many gaps in logic, and too many assertions about the literature that I cannot understand. In fact, Tony Yates reads John Taylor's attack on Ben Bernanke, and sounds almost... shrill: Tony Yates: More on John Taylor vs Bernanke: "John Taylor... claims that the Taylor Rule emerged from ‘two decades of research on optimal policy’... ...It is important... More >

Must-Read: Peter Gosselin: Government Austerity Exacts Toll on U.S. Jobs, Wages and Growth

Must-Read: Peter Gosselin: Over at Bloomberg, Peter Gosselin points out the costs of contractionary fiscal policy during the current recovery: If federal, state and local governments were cutting taxes, increasing spending and expanding hiring as they did during all but one recovery since World War II, the economy would be growing 3 percent a year rather than slightly over 2 percent, the average of the past six years, according to a Bloomberg analysis of data. Some 2.4 million more Americans would be employed, helping to push up... More >

Must-Read: John Quiggin: The Most Misleading Definition in Economics (Draft Excerpt from Economics in Two Lessons)

Must-Read: John Quiggin: The Most Misleading Definition in Economics (Draft Excerpt from Economics in Two Lessons): "‘Pareto optimal’ is arguably, the most misleading term in economics... ...Pareto sought to undermine the utilitarian version of liberalism that dominated 19th century economics, according to which the optimal (most desirable) economic outcome was the one that contributed most to human happiness, often summed up as ‘the greatest good of the greatest number’.... The egalitarian implications of utilitarianism reflect the fact that the needs of poor people are more... More >

Must-Read: Claudia Goldin: The Quiet Revolution

Must-Read: Claudia Goldin: The Quiet Revolution: "The National Longitudinal Survey... began in 1968 with women who were between 14 and 24 years old... ...One of the questions the survey asked was, 'What do you think you're going be doing when you're 35 years old?' In 1968, young women essentially answered this question as if they were their mothers.... The fraction that said they would be out of the home was much smaller than the fraction that actually did end up working outside the home. But... More >

Must-Read: Julie Nelson: Poisoning the Well, or How Economic Theory Damages Moral Imagination

Must-Read: Julie Nelson: Poisoning the Well, or How Economic Theory Damages Moral Imagination: "Contemporary mainstream economics has widely ‘poisoned the well’... ...from which people get their ideas about the relationship between economics and ethics. The image of economic life as inherently characterized by self-interest, utility- and profit-maximization, and mechanical controllability has caused many businesspeople, judges, sociologists, philosophers, policymakers, critics of economics, and the public at large to come to tolerate greed and opportunism, or even to expect or encourage them. This essay raises and discusses... More >

Must-Read: Scott Lemieux: David Brooks is not on a Path of Upward Intellectual Mobility

Must-Read: Scott Lemieux: David Brooks is not on a Path of Upward Intellectual Mobility: ""David 'vast, lavishly taxpayer-subsidized spaces for entertaining' Brooks’s scorching Burke-abject-morons hot take on the killing of Freddie Gray... ...cites Robert “alas, not Paul” Samuelson favorably.... [One should] drop the mic. But it’s probably worth explaining in some detail why Brooks and Samuelson’s vaguely fact-resembling assertion that $14,000 per year is spent on poor people in the U.S. is abject nonsense.... Annie Lowrey does the job very effectively.... Samuelson is citing Ron... More >

Things to Read on the Evening of May 26, 2015

Must- and Should-Reads: Mark Thoma: "The biggest surprise for me, and perhaps it shouldn't have been, is the degree to which politicians are willing to put political interests ahead of helping people in need. Watching the political/policy reaction to the Great Recession was both disappointing and eye opening...") Bernie Sanders: 'Our Democracy is Being Owned by a Handful of Billionaires' Matt Grossmann and David A. Hopkins: "The Republican Party is primarily the agent of an ideological movement whose supporters prize doctrinal purity, while the Democratic... More >

Must-Read: James Kwak: Greg Mankiw Forgot What He Teaches

Must-Read: James Kwak: Greg Mankiw Forgot What He Teaches: "Mankiw’s [Trans-Pacific Parnership] column is a perfect example of how ideology works... ...It provides a simple way to interpret the world — people who don’t agree with you are idiots or xenophobes — while sweeping aside inconvenient evidence to the contrary. And first-year economics is as powerful an ideology as we have in this country today..."