Quotes & Links #48

1) faz.net: Der Kapitalismus ist nicht an allem Schuld

Dabei wird völlig übersehen, dass 99 Prozent aller Deutschen nicht ausgebrannt sind. „Nur 0,3 Prozent haben Burnout“, schreibt der Soziologe und Therapeut Martin Dornes in seinem Aufsatz „Macht der Kapitalismus depressiv?“.

Erinnert mich an die Arbeitsbedingungen im 19. Jahrhundert. 16-20h pro Tag. War nicht gesünder. Das sind heute sicherlich keine schlimmen Verhältnisse, da müsste man dem Kapitalismus dann vielleicht danken? Nicht wirklich. Er hat die Situation nicht verbessert und jetzt verschlechtert er sie auch nicht.

2) vox.com: America’s political system isn’t going to collapse. It’s going to muddle through.
A somewhat lacking kontra to “American democracy is doomed“.

But America won’t be the only country muddling through. Europe is hampered by the governance problems in the Eurozone, which dwarf the dysfunction of the United States (and where muddling through has been elevated into a grotesque art form).

I disagree. Europe’s governing body doesn’t even have the required power to cause the same amount of damage a dysfunctional Congress can cause. And considering the situation is a lot more complex in Europe (more actors, more interests, more culture, more diversity), I don’t think that the US is more functional at all. Typical americansplaining. Guess, that’s to be expected from American liberals these days. (I’m obviously being biased on purpose here.)

3) mainlymacro.com: Fiscal policy, correlations and causation

Because difficulties involving omitted variables, simultaneity and other issues are difficult to solve, and because of different data sets, not all econometric work is going to come up with identical answers, and it will be possible to cherry pick among those as well.

Some wise words from Simon Wren-Lewis. I still think that the optimal research design for such questions has not been found yet or possible (computing power, data, ideas).

4) bloomberg.com: China by the Numbers

5) blogs.lse.ac.uk: A scarcity of government bonds could pose problems for the ECB’s quantitative easing programme

If the ECB is to keep the Eurozone together in accordance with Mario Draghi’s pledge to do ‘whatever it takes’, it should set a 3-4 per cent nominal GDP target rather than a 2 per cent deflation target.

Oh? NGDP targeting in Europe? Why is he writing “2% deflation target”? Is it not a “2% inflation” target?!

6) https://twitter.com/MaxCRoser/status/573213632777072640/photo/1

7) overcomingbias.com: Yawning At Utopia

Over two decades later, I must admit that the world shows far less interest in better designs for institutions and social mechanisms, relative to better designs for physical and software systems.

8) mainlymacro.com: Deflation, inflation, oil prices and asymmetries

The first is the one I suspect monetary policy makers actually hold, which is that the beneficial impact of lower prices on demand will with a year or so push inflation back to target, so there is no reason for concern. [2] I think the probability is that they are correct, but good policy does not just think about the most likely outcome, but should also be robust to risks, particularly risks with large consequences.

9) newstatesman.com: The happiness conspiracy: against optimism and the cult of positive thinking

In America, optimism has become almost like a cult,” the social psychologist Aaron Sackett told Psychology Today.

Reminds me of a book I recently reviewed: The Depths.

10) cato-unbound.org: It’s Complicated. But Hopeful.
A decent list. I don’t really understand people who think we live in worse times, but I do understand people who say that we could live in better times. See (1).

11) econlog.econlib.org: What Is the Male Marriage Premium? & What Is the Female Marriage Penalty?

12) vox.com: Here’s how moms get pushed out of the workforce

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