Authors Noah Smith
See this thing that @lymanstoneky wrote:
And see this thing that I wrote:
And see this book that @JamesFallows wrote:
And see this other thing that I wrote:
To me, the most important aspect of the 2018 midterms wasn't even about partisan control, but about democracy and voting rights. That's the real battle.
2/The good news: It's now an issue that everyone's talking about, and that everyone cares about.
3/More good news: Florida's proposition to give felons voting rights won. But it didn't just win - it won with substantial support from Republican voters.
That suggests there is still SOME grassroots support for democracy that transcends
4/Yet more good news: Michigan made it easier to vote. Again, by plebiscite, showing broad support for voting rights as an
5/OK, now the bad news.
We seem to have accepted electoral dysfunction in Florida as a permanent thing. The 2000 election has never really
Bad ballot design led to a lot of undervotes for Bill Nelson in Broward Co., possibly even enough to cost him his Senate seat. They do appear to be real undervotes, though, instead of tabulation errors. He doesn't really seem to have a path to victory. https://t.co/utUhY2KTaR— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 16, 2018
Knowing whether old ideas are more likely to be good requires understanding whether conditions have changed in important ways.
Horse archery was an amazing method of warfare for over a thousand years...then people invented guns, and suddenly this great idea that had stood the test of time became obsolete.
Then again, when underlying conditions don't change much, tried-and-true approaches are probably better.
"Learning the lessons of history" usually just means assuming ergodicity and stationarity in an informal time-series model...
My new theory: A lot of it is guilt.
2/It's true that in some circles - the media, universities, many big corporations - liberal norms *are* enforced to some degree, and the enforcement has probably gotten stronger in recent years.
But I don't think this explains all of the Right's obsession.
3/The stereotype is that people on the Right tend to be more threat-sensitive. That would help explain the perception that liberal norm-enforcers are lurking everywhere, ready to pounce and anathematize anyone who makes a misstep.
But I don't think that's all of it either.
4/And of course, it's always fun - whether you're on the Right or the Left, or playing a video game, or whatever - to style yourself as the brave iconoclastic rebel fighting against the oppressive forces of blah blah blah.
But I don't think this is all of it, either.
5/The reason I think it's more than these things is that even *in private*, people on the Right express their "crimethink" ideas very gingerly and hesitantly.
I get the sense that they're not just afraid of external censure, but have also internalized liberal norms.
This New York Times feature shows China with a Gini Index of less than 30, which would make it more equal than Canada, France, or the Netherlands. https://t.co/g3Sv6DZTDE
That's weird. Income inequality in China is legendary.
Let's check this number.
2/The New York Times cites the World Bank's recent report, "Fair Progress? Economic Mobility across Generations Around the World".
The report is available here:
3/The World Bank report has a graph in which it appears to show the same value for China's Gini - under 0.3.
The graph cites the World Development Indicators as its source for the income inequality data.
4/The World Development Indicators are available at the World Bank's website.
Here's the Gini index: https://t.co/MvylQzpX6A
It looks as if the latest estimate for China's Gini is 42.2.
That estimate is from 2012.
5/A Gini of 42.2 would put China in the same neighborhood as the U.S., whose Gini was estimated at 41 in 2013.
I can't find the <30 number anywhere. The only other estimate in the tables for China is from 2008, when it was estimated at 42.8.
2/The biggest myth, I think, is that universities help regions by educating locals as undergraduates.
Skeptics of universities say: "But most of the people who graduate end up leaving."
3/In fact, most of what a university does for a regional economy is NOT about educating local kids.
Educating local kids is good for the nation, but doesn't help a region much.
The way a university helps a region is through
4/Undergraduates usually leave town after graduation.
But university RESEARCH pulls in OTHER smart people from other regions, and they stay there.
Here's a paper showing that this is the main way universities increase a region's human capital:
5/Research also pulls in business investment.
Companies want to partner with university labs, so they can commercialize the technologies the labs produce. So they invest in the labs, and sometimes they even put their offices in the town.
If I were Thomas Friedman, I could tell you what this means.
Met a Haitian-American in a restaurant who said he'd always vote for Democrats because of the immigration issue, but that he has conservative beliefs too. "I don't want to pay for someone's abortion!", he declared.
Met a Latino Lyft driver from San Jose who said that while he was liberal, California was getting too liberal for him and he was considering moving to San Antonio.
Again, not being Tom Friedman, I am unable to offer any commentary on the political and policy implications of these conversations.
I guess my only thought is that political opinions are pretty complex and multidimensional, out there in the real world.
I mean, my dad's family came from Lithuania. They changed their name from Kuznets in 1905. At some point they were blacksmiths. My mom's family came from Halychyna in Ukraine. I have no idea what they did. That's about all I know.
Oh, I do know that pretty much all of my extended family who stayed in Europe got wiped out by the Nazis.
I like to think that my ancestors were nothing and nobody. Random boring peasants with no special talents or wealth.
Except for Genghis Khan, of course. But he's everyone's ancestor.
The best thing about this approach is that I don't have anything to live up to. ;-)
It looks like decolonization just took a few decades to start
Basic econ theory says poor countries should grow faster than rich ones.
But for much of the Industrial Revolution, the opposite happened.
Why? Probably because the first countries to discover industrial technologies used them to conquer the others!
But then colonial empires went away. And yet still, for the next 30 years or so, poor countries fell further behind rich ones.
1. Bad institutions (dictators, communism, autarkic trade regimes)
2. Civil wars
3. Lack of education
But then, starting in the 80s (for China) and the 90s (for India and Indonesia), some of the biggest poor countries got their acts together and started to catch up!
Global inequality began to fall.
This explains why immigration is now at the center of partisan conflict.
Why did California turn Blue?— Sen. Eric Brakey (@SenatorBrakey) October 28, 2018
Why is Texas turning Blue?
The left has failed at selling socialism to the American people for decades. We have rejected it.
Their new strategy is mass importation of new voters to transform our political culture.
Of course, the belief in ethnic bloc voting becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When a slight Dem tilt among Hispanics and Asians caused the GOP to turn against them, Hispanics and Asians shifted more toward the Dems. Etc. etc. A self-reinforcing cycle.
Bush's 2006 amnesty attempt, and the 2013 intra-GOP fight over immigration reform, were two moments when the GOP could have turned back to the approach of Reagan, and courted Hispanics and Asians.
But they decided against this, and...here we are.
What will disrupt this bad equilibrium, and save American politics from being an eternal race war?
A) More white voters will grow disgusted with the GOP approach and defect, or
B) The GOP will find some non-immigration-related issues to attract more Hispanics and Asians.
As long as both parties see elections in terms of racial bloc voting - where the only way to win is to increase turnout among your own racial blocs or suppress turnout by the other party's racial blocs - American politics will not improve, and the country will decline.
2/Apu's presence in Springfield represented a basic reality of America in the late 20th and early 21st century: the presence of nonwhite immigrants.
3/As Tomas Jimenez writes in "The Other Side of Assimilation", for my generation, immigrants from India, China, Mexico, and many other countries aren't strange or foreign. On the contrary, they're a
4/But that America I grew up with is fundamentally ephemeral. The kids of immigrants don't retain their parents' culture. They merge into the local culture (and, as Jimenez documents, the local culture changes to reflect their influence).
5/Simpsons character don't change. But real people, and real communities, do. So a character who once represented the diversity that immigrants brought to American towns now represents a stereotype of Indian-Americans as "permanent foreigners".
Labor disputes used to kill hundreds of people!
In 1932 Douglas MacArthur called in tanks on protesting veterans, injuring over a thousand people!
In 1967 there were 159 race riots in cities across
In 1921, rioters used airplanes to bomb black businesses in Tulsa, Oklahoma! Hundreds were killed in the riot!
Short version: Places with lots of skilled workers are doing great, other places aren't. But more people are moving to the former, which is good.
And here are cool interactive maps to go along with the
Report is via @LettieriDC, who is doing great work on struggling places.
A bit of good news: People are moving from economically bad places to economically good places, though probably too slowly.
Rural America continues to languish.
I will be live-tweeting again, and you can also watch video at either the Twitter or Facebook links below!
Kaissar: Every industry gets regulated when it gets big. The question is what kind of regulation Big Tech will get,and whether the companies will be proactive in shaping it.
Kaissar: More profitable companies have higher returns. Why? Maybe it's a risk factor, because more profit = higher risk of getting regulated.
Bershidskyis showing a diagram of GDPR complaince pop-ups. What a massive ill-conceived bureaucratic mess.
Ritholtz: It's 2018 and we're still talking about Facebook privacy settings?! If you're still giving your personal data to Facebook, you just don't care about privacy!
This is an excellent, short, highly readable, very important book. Every business executive and politician should have a copy.
Why are skilled immigrants so good, and so important?
Because they're the backbone of high-value industries where the U.S. has a dominant position.
If we don't bring skilled immigrants to the United States, high-value industries will migrate to other countries, and America will lose industrial dominance and be a poorer country.
Contrary to popular belief, skilled immigrants - including H-1b workers - RAISE wages for native-born skilled workers.
Because downward wage pressure from competition is more than canceled out by the upward wage pressure from CLUSTERING.
Basically, America, on its own, has a LOT power to stop climate change than almost anyone admits.
2/China now emits far more CO2 than the U.S. It emits almost as much as Europe and the U.S. combined.
3/In fact, even this huge disparity dramatically understates the degree to which China is in the driver's seat of climate change.
China, being still much poorer than us, has much more room to grow its economy. Hence, the emissions gap will only grow larger.
4/This leads to an uncomfortable but unavoidable fact: The battle to halt climate change will be won or lost in China.
America's power - and thus, the power of American politicians, activists, businesses, etc. - to save the planet from climate catastrophe is very marginal.
5/This is just a fact. But it's an uncomfortable one for a people like Americans who are used to thinking that the world lives or dies at their command.
Thus, I see many Americans desperately trying to preserve the illusion of control with respect to climate change.
I keep feeling guilty about being mistaken for Noah Feldman and angry about being mistaken for Noah Berlatsky...
Then there's that guy Noah Smith who does computer science at the University of Washington, who is way handsomer and more successful than I am...but nobody mistakes me for him because I'm much louder and more online... :D
"I want a guy named Noah to slice my mango. I want that Noah mango. That’s the income bracket I want to be in."
- Ali Wong
Today and tomorrow we'll be having a Bloomberg Ideas event!— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) October 25, 2018
Today will be a panel on cryptocurrency.
Tomorrow will be panels on the economics of AI, and on regulation of big tech companies.
You can watch livestreams here:https://t.co/1dC0ELGvabhttps://t.co/Juz5Mp2EC1 pic.twitter.com/VfxOscNflo
Our first panel is about cryptocurrency! We have @matt_levine, @tylercowen, @eiaine, @nirkaissar, and Camilla
Ou: Crypto will be useful for the unbanked.
Cowen: Crypto has to compete against a bunch of other emerging payments technologies. Bitcoin is too inflexible.
Cowen: I'll bet on the payments companies over crypto.
Basically we have a whole bunch of ways of saying "You can't possibly believe that!!". Which helps us avoid the terrifying fact that yes, people generally do believe it.
Of course, "believe" doesn't mean what it means in econ class. It means that people get a warm feeling from asserting something, even if they don't know what it means. "God is omnipotent", etc.
A lot of times we believe extreme things, simply because asserting those things all together in a group gives us a warm feeling of having an army on our side.
It's not competitive wokeness. It's COOPERATIVE wokeness.
"Virtue signaling" isn't fake or pretend. It's real.
"Virtue", when it comes right down to it, means membership on a team.
Sometimes, to prove you're on a team, it helps to say something people on the other team could never bring themselves to say.