Opinion | What Do We Actually Know About the Economy? (Wonkish) – Paul Krugman – NYT

“So let me talk about three things:

The unsung success of macroeconomics

The excessive prestige of microeconomics

The limits of empiricism, vital though it is

The clean little secret of macroeconomics

There’s a story about quantum physics – not sure where I read it – about the rivalry between the physicists Julian Schwinger and Richard Feynman. Schwinger was first to work out how to do quantum electrodynamics, but his methods were incredibly difficult and cumbersome. Feynman hit upon a much simpler approach – his famous diagrams – which turned out to be equivalent, but vastly easier to use.

Schwinger, as I remember the story, was never seen to use a Feynman diagram. But he had a locked room in his house, and the rumor was that that room was where he kept the Feynman diagrams he used in secret.”

Opinion | Trump’s Supreme Betrayal – Paul Krugman – NYT

“By now, it’s almost a commonplace to say that Trump has systematically betrayed the white working class voters who put him over the top. He ran as a populist; he’s governed as an orthodox Republican, with the only difference being the way he replaced racial dog-whistles with raw, upfront racism.

Many people have made this point with respect to the Trump tax cut, which is so useless to ordinary workers that Republican candidates are trying to avoid talking about it. The same can be said about health care, where Democrats are making Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act a major issue while Republicans try to change the subject.

But I think we should be seeing more attention devoted to the way Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court fits into this picture. The Times had a good editorial on Kavanaugh’s anti-worker agenda, but by and large the news analyses I’ve seen focus on his apparently expansive views of presidential authority and privilege.

I agree that these are important in the face of a lawless president with authoritarian instincts. But the business and labor issues shouldn’t be neglected. Kavanaugh is, to put it bluntly, an anti-worker radical, opposed to every effort to protect working families from fraud and mistreatment.”

David Lindsay: Yes, Bravo. Here is the top comment to enjoy.
Downtown Verona. NJJuly 30
As far as a majority of Republican and Trump voters are concerned, the United States Supreme Court is for enshrining Christian Shariah Law, negating the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and preserving the inalienable right of White Christian Male terrorists to randomly slaughter as many Americans as possible based on their individual mood swings.

The corporate and 1% raping of 99% of America doesn’t really register with these voters.

As long as Republicans wave the slightly veiled neo-Confederate flag of White Spite, these voters are perfectly comfortable with 350:1 CEO:worker pay ratios, the elimination of class action suits, mandated corporate arbitration, the destruction of union/worker rights, the fouling of the water, the air and the land, and the elimination of all common sense regulation that protects consumers, citizens and the non-rich.

Trump and the Grand Old Plantation party know exactly what they’re doing and they’ve been doing it very effectively since 1968 when they began their neo-Confederate Strategy.

The Republican Party is no friend of anyone except the richest Americans.

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon B. Johnson

Kavanaugh is for Corporate Shariah Law that reduces Republican voters to Grand Old Peasants.

D for democracy; R for right-wing, Randian radicalism.


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Cheap Money Talks And what it says is to invest in the future. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman: “What policy makers should be doing, instead, is accepting the markets’ offer of incredibly cheap financing. Investors are willing to pay the German government to take their money; the U.S. situation is less extreme, but even here interest rates adjusted for inflation are negative.

Meanwhile, there are huge unmet demands for public investment on both sides of the Atlantic. America’s aging infrastructure is legendary, but not unique: years of austerity have left German roads and railways in worse shape than most people realize. So why not borrow money at these low, low rates and do some much-needed repair and renovation? This would be eminently worth doing even if it wouldn’t also create jobs, but it would do that too.”

And what it says is to invest in the future.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

The Making of an Ignoramus Trump’s bad ideas are largely a bombastic version of what many in his party have been saying. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman, new wine in an old bottle. He writes: “Truly, Donald Trump knows nothing. He is more ignorant about policy than you can possibly imagine, even when you take into account the fact that he is more ignorant than you can possibly imagine. But his ignorance isn’t as unique as it may seem: In many ways, he’s just doing a clumsy job of channeling nonsense widely popular in his party, and to some extent in the chattering classes more generally.

Last week the presumptive Republican presidential nominee — hard to believe, but there it is — finally revealed his plan to make America great again. Basically, it involves running the country like a failing casino: he could, he asserted, “make a deal” with creditors that would reduce the debt burden if his outlandish promises of economic growth don’t work out.

The reaction from everyone who knows anything about finance or economics was a mix of amazed horror and horrified amazement. One does not casually suggest throwing away America’s carefully cultivated reputation as the world’s most scrupulous debtor — a reputation that dates all the way back to Alexander Hamilton.”

Trump’s bad ideas are largely a bombastic version of what many in his party have been saying.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman
Top NYT pick comment:

Miguel Valadez

UK 4 hours ago

Note to all Republicans and Rednosed Democrats:

“A country is not a business and the skills and knowledge needed to run a country are not the same as those needed to run a business.

Businesses can’t print money, can’t set a benchmark interest rate, don’t provide public goods, can’t compel every citizen to contribute to public goods through taxation and can’t take a nation to war or peace or to sign a treaty with another nation. Public finances are not the same as private finances. Also unlike military leaders who know sacrifice and have been humbled by complexities, business leaders are more likely to have been enticed to rig the game in their favour or underappreciate the luck and external factors that supported their success than others….

So beware of business leaders masquerading as political leaders if they lack a strong eye for detail, humility in their depth of understanding, appreciation for technical knowledge and a strong willingness to learn and adapt.”

Wrath of the Conned The divergent outcomes of the presidential nominating processes is a tale of two very different parties. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman: “Think about where we were a year ago. At the time, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush were widely seen as the front-runners for their parties’ nods. If there was any dissent from the commentariat, it came from those suggesting that Mr. Bush might be supplanted by a fresher, but still establishment, face, like Marco Rubio.

And now here we are. But why did Mrs. Clinton, despite the most negative media coverage of any candidate in this cycle — yes, worse than Donald Trump’s — go the distance, while the G.O.P. establishment went down to humiliating defeat?”

The divergent outcomes of the presidential nominating processes is a tale of two very different parties.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

The 8 A.M. Call Some understanding of economic reality would be an asset to a presidential candidate, but only one of the three main contenders appears to possess it. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

“Back in 2008, one of the ads Hillary Clinton ran during the contest for the Democratic nomination featured an imaginary scene in which the White House phone rings at 3 a.m. with news of a foreign crisis, and asked, “Who do you want answering that phone?” It was a fairly mild jab at Barack Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience.

As it turned out, once in office Mr. Obama, a notably coolheaded type who listens to advice, handled foreign affairs pretty well — or at least that’s how I see it. But asking how a would-be president might respond to crises is definitely fair game.

And military emergencies aren’t the only kind of crisis to worry about. That 3 a.m. call is one thing; but what about the 8 a.m. call – the one warning that financial markets will melt down as soon as they open?”

Some understanding of economic reality would be an asset to a presidential candidate, but only one of the three main contenders appears to possess it.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

On Invincible Ignorance. The Republican Party may be in for some soul-searching, but so far its leaders remain in denial. nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman starts his column today, “Remember Paul Ryan? The speaker of the House used to be a media darling, lionized as the epitome of the Serious, Honest Conservative — never mind those of us who actually looked at the numbers in his budgets and concluded that he was a con man. These days, of course, he is overshadowed by the looming Trumpocalypse.

But while Donald Trump could win the White House — or lose so badly that even our rotten-borough system of congressional districts, which heavily favors the G.O.P., delivers the House to the Democrats — the odds are that come January, Hillary Clinton will be president, and Mr. Ryan still speaker. So I was interested to read what Mr. Ryan said in a recent interview with John Harwood. What has he learned from recent events?

And the answer is, nothing.”

The Republican Party may be in for some soul-searching, but so far its leaders remain in denial.
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

Republican Elite’s Reign of Disdain, by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“Stripped down to its essence, the G.O.P. elite view is that working-class America faces a crisis, not of opportunity, but of values. That is, for some mysterious reason many of our citizens have, as Mr. Ryan puts it, lost “their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives.” And this crisis of values, they suggest, has been aided and abetted by social programs that make life too easy on slackers.The problems with this diagnosis should be obvious. Tens of millions of people don’t suffer a collapse in values for no reason. Remember, several decades ago the sociologist William Julius Wilson argued that the social ills of America’s black community didn’t come out of thin air, but were the result of disappearing economic opportunity. If he was right, you would have expected declining opportunity to have the same effect on whites, and sure enough, that’s exactly what we’re seeing.”

Source: Republican Elite’s Reign of Disdain – The New York Times

Trump Is No Accident, by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“Establishment Republicans who are horrified by the rise of Donald Trump might want to take a minute to remember the glitch heard round the world — the talking point Marco Rubio couldn’t stop repeating in a crucial debate, exposing him to devastating ridicule and sending his campaign into a death spiral. It went like this: “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.” The clear, if ungrammatical, implication was that all the bad things Republicans claim have happened under President Obama — in particular, America’s allegedly reduced stature in the world — are the result of a deliberate effort to weaken the nation. In other words, the establishment favorite for the G.O.P. nomination, the man Time magazine once put on its cover with the headline “The Republican Savior,” was deliberately channeling the paranoid style in American politics. He was suggesting, albeit coyly, that a sitting president is a traitor.”

Source: Trump Is No Accident – The New York Times

In a short time I found three examples in Sander’s tweets of what Krugman was talking about: demagoguery or rigidity. Sanders tweeted that only he cared about the middle class. Hillary has different positions, but to suggest she doesn’t care is demagoguery.

Hillary is evil because she took $2700 from a man who had been registered as a lobbyist for the NRA. What really matters, is not who you accept money from, but how you vote. Sanders has a much weaker record than Clinton on gun control. She also has a good record on Bank and investment controls. And yes, there is more to do.

In another tweet, only Sanders would ban all fracking. This position is extreme, given that the EPA has determined that fracking can be done without polluting the water supply unacceptably if done properly, and there has been far less water pollution than extremists would have you think. It also makes us less dependent on the middle east.

While I didn’t see such a tweet, Sander’s opposition to all foreign trade deals, because they only causes a loss of jobs, is uninformed, or demagogic, or both. Paul Krugman has written brilliantly about the complexities of our trade deals, which are more about foreign policy initiatives than jobs, and which appear to be beyond Sander’s comprehension. The TPP is about fighting China in the future for influence and position.

Trade and Tribulation. Donald Trump’s popularity and Bernie Sanders’s Michigan upset prompt the question: Are we in a protectionist moment? nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman

I have been trying to articulate what Paul Krugman says below for some time. Hillary Clinton needs to show that she understands these complex issues, and she needs to try and explain them. She has to teach voters about the value and limits of trade deals.Krugman’s connection to the importance of trade deals, and the threat of climate change is brilliant. Only through extraordinary cooperation, and international trade and pollution control deals, will the world slay this new dragon.

Donald Trump’s popularity and Bernie Sanders’s Michigan upset prompt the question: Are we in a protectionist moment?
nytimes.com|By Paul Krugman
David Lindsay

David Lindsay Here is the most recommended comment from the NYT: pieceofcake konstanz germany 9 hours ago

‘Why did Bernie Sanders win a narrow victory in Michigan, when polls showed Hillary Clinton with a huge lead?’

Because Mr Sanders reminded the workers of Michigan that the trade agreements didn’t protect their jobs – and because he knows – that there are countries where politicians protected their workers jobs -(even if they signed the same trade agreements) –

And as this election will be mainly decided by the people who want their good paying jobs back – and there are lots and lots of clever policies to do that – as other countries have done it – and doing it currently – Mr. Sanders seems to be about the only politician in this election who has a reasonable plan.

And there is a world of difference between his plan and Drumpfs plan as typical Fascists only can think about trade wars or building walls – while true progressives -(or social democrats) – are far more clever than that – as the tremendous ‘protectionist German economy’ proves – where the protection of the own work force starts – where it even isn’t considered to be ‘protectionist’ – with an absolut free education of the workforce and a lot of gpvernmental subsidizing tricks – American economists never have heard about.

In the spirit of a very simple and successful economical concept: Never ever give your manufacturing away!

And this has to be said over and over again!”

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