Quotes of the Week(s)

Under these conditions what’s the point of predicting when China’s economy will officially overtake the US? We simply have no idea, and we cannot draw any conclusions from the numbers. Can the horserace generate headlines? Yes. Can it generate understanding? Not much.Michael Pettis

I have often argued (and as often to no avail) that there is nothing invisible in markets – in fact it is their necessary visibility that provides the essential dynamic for their operation. Prices are very visible; they have to be because prices are what influences purchases and competitive responses.Gavin Kennedy

Now check out the line for India. India’s poorest ventile corresponds with the 4th poorest percentile worldwide. And its richest? The 68th percentile. Yes, that’s right: America’s poorest are, as a group, about as rich as India’s richest.Catherine Rampell; indeed an awesome chart!

Iceland Proves Ireland Did ‘Wrong Things’ Sacrificing TaxpayersYalman Onaran

„Aber wie wird man in 10 oder zwanzig Jahren darüber denken? Wer glaubt, er könne heute warten, der irrt. Die Dinge liegen auf dem Tisch. Und so wie die Lage sich entwickelt, werden sie nicht leichter werden.“Jörg Lau

The absence of an opposition ready and willing to take control creates a power vacuum that will almost certainly be filled by officials from the old regime. Thus, new governments in Tunisia and (possibly) in Egypt are likely to be dominated by officials without a clear commitment to democracy and with considerable experience in authoritarian politics.”Joshua Tucker

Major phenomena of interest – war, trade, democratization, authoritarian durability, socio-economic development, state failure – cannot be empirically grasped, much less theoretically analyzed, without following them across geographic and sub-disciplinary borders.Joshua Tucker

The researchers analyzed the employment effects of minimum wages in the United States between 1990 and 2006. Their conclusion is rather straightforward: higher minimum wages did not destroy low paid jobs. “We find strong earnings effects and no employment effects of minimum wage increases”, the authors conclude.Olaf Storbeck

However, deficits are not always harmful to future generations, and it would be a mistake to cut the deficit on behalf of our children and grandchildren and end up making them worse off in the process.Mark Thoma

If the economy were actually suffering from a problem of structural unemployment, then we should be seeing substantial sectors of the economy, either by region or occupation, where wages are rising rapidly. We don’t see this.Dean Baker

Die Treiber-Ameisen spielen eine Schlüsselrolle im tropischen Regenwald Mittel- und Südamerikas: Ihre Raubzüge gleichen einem Neustart für die lokale Artzusammensetzung.Magdalena Hamm; ich mag Ameisen, but don’t tell anyone :(

What’s going on here? It means that we’re either overstating inflation (and hence understating income gains) or overstating economic growth.Paul Krugman

A majority of the public wants to cut only one program — culture and the arts — which, as Bartels notes, makes up a miniscule portion of the federal budget. As I noted previously, various surveys suggest that the more a government program costs, the less the public wants to cut it.John Sides

Vielleicht überblicke ich die Literatur nicht ganz, aber obwohl es viele versucht haben, ist mir bislang – außer denen, auf die Nicolas Sarkozy Einfluss genommen hat – noch keine einzige Studie vor die Augen gekommen, die empirisch oder theoretisch nachgewiesen hätte, dass Finanzinvestoren tatsächlich die Rohstoffpreise beeinflussen.Mark Schieritz

Sie lag bei einer Denkschule namens außenpolitischer Realismus. Nur was ist das für ein Realismus, der Machtverhältnisse nicht richtig einzuschätzen weiß? Er ist die nackte Dummheit.F. Lübberding

That indicates that any measures we take to increase nominal spending, up to and including mailing envelops of newly printed dollars to random households, will mobilize idle resources and increase real economic output.Matthew Yglesias

All of this suggests that the Fed, and probably the ECB, should be very reluctant to raise interest rates in response to a rise in commodity prices, when there are no signs of any increase in price expectations or wage settlements. So why is this a potential nightmare for the major central banks?Gavyn Davies

Eigentl. nur wegen dem Witz: There’s a very black joke about two German Jews who are in a coffeehouse in the 1930s, both reading newspapers. Suddenly, one of them realizes that the other is reading Der Sturmer. He asks, horrified, why his friend is reading such anti-Semitic garbage. His friend replies, ‘Well, when I read the Yiddish newspaper, it’s this story and that story about how the Jews are being beaten up, driven out, robbed and dispossessed. But this, it tells me every day about how we rule the world.Henry Farrell

I’m actually a lot less optimistic than Cutler was, if only because of how much things have deteriorated since 1980. I’m of the view that at this point, throwing out the Constitution and starting again would actually be considerably easier than enacting changes as dramatic as the ones he proposes through the existing amendment process.Dylan Matthews

The Egyptian military must receive the message loudly, directly and clearly that the price of a continuing relationship with America is Mubarak’s departure and a meaningful transition to a more democratic and inclusive political system.Marc Lynch

Albert O. Hirschman hat 1982 in „Shifting Involvement“ nach den Erklärungen für politische Aktivitäten gesucht und im Kern herausgearbeitet, dass es Frust ist, der Menschen antreibt, sich von ihren privaten Alltäglichkeiten dem Politischen zuzuwenden.Johannes Staemmler

Nette Liste: The invisible American welfare state.Henry Farrell

Who Are Egypt’s Protesters?Lisa Blaydes & Drew Linzer

As long as the economy remains well below capacity, with unemployment high, and with wages lagging behind inflation, raising interest rates can only make a bad situation worse.Paul Segal

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