Thursday, March 27, 2008

Links and Quotes

Just a few things I found in my travels:

Harvard Econ professor and textbook-write Greg Mankiw connects us to Robert Samuelson's Hold The Hysteria
There's a disconnect between what people see around them and what they're told is happening. The first is upsetting (rising gas prices, falling home prices, fewer jobs) but reflects the normal reverses of a $14 trillion economy. The second ("panic," "financial meltdown") suggests the onset of something catastrophic and totally outside the experience of ordinary people. The economy, said The New York Times last week, may be on "the brink of the worst recession in a generation" -- an ominous warning.
Perhaps, but so far the concrete evidence is scant.
and a review of Galbraith on the 50th Anniversary of his The Affluent Society.
Galbraith invites readers to look down on the conservatives of his day. He was one of the cadre of public intellectuals of the 1950s, like Richard Hofstadter, and intellectual politicians, like Adlai Stevenson, who offered a seemingly sophisticated alternative to Ike's military mien and prayer breakfasts.
But while "The Affluent Society" reflects American society in the 1950s, it was quite detached from postwar trends in economics, which is why Galbraith has rarely been embraced by economists.
Ouch.

Megan McArdle dispels some Myths of the Market, including
Item Three: Being on the gold standard would also not have prevented this mess
There are a lot of hucksters out there writing books and newsletters telling people that a gold standard (or some other commodity currency) is the cure for all their worries. The way they tell it, "hard" currency is a sort of broad-spectrum economic snake-oil, the ginseng of the financial markets. Only adopt their plan, they beseech, and America will no longer be plagued by exchange rate fluctuations, government profligacy, trade deficits, inflation, speculative mania, financial panics, or indigestion. This is triple-distilled balderdash.

Breath of the Beast wonders Why Good People Believe Bad Things in the context of Israel and the Middle East.

Maggie's Farm unearths an interesting observation by Orwell,
Suppose in 1940 you had taken a Gallup poll, in England, on the question ‘Will Germany win the war?’ You would have found, curiously enough, that the group answering ‘Yes’ contained a far higher percentage of intelligent people – people with IQ of over 120, shall we say – than the group answering ‘No’. The same would have held good in the middle of 1942. . .

The English intelligentsia, on the whole, were more defeatist than the mass of the people – and some of them went on being defeatist at a time when the war was quite plainly won – partly because they were better able to visualize the dreary years of warfare that lay ahead. Their morale was worse because their imaginations were stronger. The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it, and if one finds the prospect of a long war intolerable, it is natural to disbelieve in the possibility of victory.

Carl over at No Oil For Pacifists deserves congratulations on a legal outcome he had much to do with.

Neco Draconis has Latin poetry for Easter. C'mon, don't be a sissy; there's a translation.

There are childish insults on both sides caught on this political video, but the conclusion is against er, progressive stereotypes.

Thomas Sowell makes an impressive generalization about argument in general which discussing Obama's Audacity.
Since all things are the same, except for the differences, and different except for the similarities, it is always possible to make things look similar verbally, however different they are in the real world.
And finally, Greg Lukianoff has some direct difficulties with bias at Wikipedia. Don't accuse honest progressives of being conservative shills, or you might hear
What makes this case somewhat different and more troubling, however, is that the critic in question is an editor on FIRE's Wikipedia page, and, therefore, has had a disproportionate effect on how FIRE is represented on the Internet. As many have lamented, the problem with Wikipedia is that it empowers the Internet-obsessive, those with personal axes to grind, and the unswervingly ideological to define e-reality. (emphasis mine).

1 comment:

Carl said...

AVI:

Agreed on Wikipedia--I've critiqued it, as have (at greater length) Roy Rosenzweig and Greg Lukianoff. Now Wikipedia's lefty bias is unearthed by some in the mainstream liberal media itself, particularly Eve Fairbanks in the New Republic.