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Midweek message board

September 28th, 2011

Here’s an open thread for succinct posts on any topic. Lengthy side disputes and idees fixes to the sandpit, please. Also, thanks to everyone for (mostly) maintaining civil discussion, despite my limited monitoring. Please keep it up.

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  1. September 29th, 2011 at 00:58 | #1

    I read your site along with Krugman. Loved your takedown of Hayek and Pinochet.

    I think Austrianism has been hijacked by the rich and powerful (Koch, Earhart Found, Scaife) to hire economists and set up foundation to crank out economic opinion that is exactly what they want to hear: get rid of taxes, get rid of regulations, get rid of unions, deny climate change etc.

    Basically, I think it’s nothing more than a well funded propaganda campaign.

  2. Chris Warren
    September 29th, 2011 at 08:50 | #2

    @Invisible Backhand

    Yes – exactly. But there is also a deliberate blurring and switching of concepts to push this agenda plus other tactics.

  3. Dan
    September 29th, 2011 at 09:33 | #3

    Given that Hayek himself argued in favour of a comprehensive system of social insurance (he was nuts, but he wasn’t blind), it’s interesting that ObamaCare and lately RomneyCare have encountered such opprobrium. Are you pointing to the fact that the Enlightenment Liberal bit of neoliberal seems to have gone AWOL somewhere along the way?

  4. Tim Dymond
    September 29th, 2011 at 10:08 | #4

    I was informed last night that Eugene Fama remains in the running for the Nobel Prize in Economics. The Efficient Markets Hypothesis still pays off for someone at least:

    http://mostlyeconomics.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/nobel-prize-for-economics-2011-predictions/

  5. Dan
    September 29th, 2011 at 13:20 | #5
  6. Dan
    September 29th, 2011 at 15:20 | #6

    Michael Stutchbury has moved back to the Fin Review, as editor-in-chief.

  7. NickR
    September 29th, 2011 at 15:20 | #7

    @Tim Dymond
    This is only speculation but I think Fama, Bhagwati and Dixit may have missed their windows. Further (although I don’t know a lot about him) I think that Barro’s work is regarded as unexceptional relative to other laureates and he is probably on the nose a little (as with Fama).

    I think Shiller and Thaler are good bets, and also the ones I’d like to see win the most. Nordhaus and Weitzman are also good bets I think, as are Rogoff and Reinhart.

  8. Robert (not from UK)
    September 29th, 2011 at 23:14 | #8

    In all the millions of words already made public about Andrew Bolt, I have yet to see the following points made.

    Why do Americans have legally guaranteed free speech? Because it’s in their Bill of Rights.

    Who most hates the idea of having a Bill of Rights in this country? The same neocons now defending Bolt.

    And how do we square Bolt’s incessant wails denouncing “antisemitism” (which of course he never defines) with the fact that the judge who found against him is presumably Jewish (Mordecai Bromberg)? Does Bolt’s self-pitying Herald Sun bellyache against this judge make him “antisemitic”?

  9. Malthusista
    September 30th, 2011 at 09:36 | #9

    Episode 20, the final episode of 1984 is to be read today on ABC Radio National at 2.00PM today (and repeated tonight at 11.00pm). Those who have comprehended the news that the war, which we were told was launched against Libya in March in order to save the lives of Libyans from brutal oppression by Muammar Gaddafi and which has cost the lives of 20,000 Libyans, so far, is to be further extended will, no doubt appreciate how well Orwell anticipated the future (if he was out in the date given by 25 years).

    I would appreciate it, if a spokeperson for the Ministry of Truth were to be following this discussion, if he/she could substantiate and quantify the claims of Muammar Gaddafi’s abuses of the human rights of Libyans which made the war against Libya necessary.

  10. Freelander
    October 1st, 2011 at 03:47 | #10

    @Tim Dymond

    Fama is a member of the Monty Pelican society, so it is only fair that he gets one. After all, every other prominent economist in the society has got one so far; for them to not give him one to also honour his membership would be particularly mean.

    However, they may give it to Obama instead.

  11. Fran Barlow
    October 1st, 2011 at 07:45 | #11

    @Robert (not from UK)

    And how do we square Bolt’s incessant wails denouncing “antisemitism” (which of course he never defines) with the fact that the judge who found against him is presumably Jewish (Mordecai Bromberg)? Does Bolt’s self-pitying Herald Sun bellyache against this judge make him “antisemitic”?

    Equally, the Quadrant crowd is keeping company with peoplke who, while backing the Bolt case for his freedom to vent with spurious information in public without censure and anti-mitigation through a price on CO2, expressly anti-semitic claims. I’m not willing to link to it, but Paul Norton has over at LP.

  12. Robert (not from UK)
    October 1st, 2011 at 21:35 | #12

    OK, thanks, Fran Barlow, I looked up the Paul Norton / LP link, about which I hadn’t previously known.

  13. gerard
  14. frankis
    October 4th, 2011 at 21:40 | #14

    In their new paper (full text paywalled) “Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy ( http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.5.1649 )” Muller, Mendelsohn and Nordhaus give the USA some of the hard analytical grounds it would need to justify a raising of its carbon tax – if only it had one.

    M,M &N use standard economic data from a variety of impeccable sources to quantify the dollar cost of some of the negative externalities of activities ranging from electricity generation to stone quarrying, while leaving in the too-hard basket the externality of climate change from greenhouse gas emissions. Even so they find the value of coal-fired electricity to the economy is more than outweighed by its cost.

    Without even specifically addressing it this analysis also illuminates the way in which, in the context of anthropogenic climate change, an emissions offsets scheme that doesn’t prevent the burning of a fossil fuel does not actually address the non-CO2e costs. The canonical example of an offset that fails in this regard might be tree planting or forest conservation wherein only the CO2e emissions costs are addressed. Of course it hardly need be said that tree planting and conservation are nonetheless desirable for any number of good reasons – just not as justification for burning fossil fuels.

    Anyway, according to MM&N the USA could simultaneously improve economic, environmental and health outcomes by weaning itself from fossil fuels, and might do so without even needing to defend climate science from attack by lobbyists, ideologues, and useful idiots. Good result.

    [I'll also post this at Deltoid]

  15. frankis
    October 5th, 2011 at 11:46 | #15

    More exposure of the Oz’ hilarious antics “… in the mad, obsessive way the Australian has responded to the publication of “Bad News”. It is as if the paper has been determined to prove my thesis true … ” courtesy Robert Manne. Funny stuff!
    http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog-out-control-robert-manne-4031

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