Business

Arya Stark’s yearbook quote is exactly what you’d expect

Completely optimize empowered schemas before visionary niches. Competently initiate parallel scenarios rather than B2C schemas. Rapidiously recaptiualize sticky intellectual capital and highly.

Moved Over

I’ve been blogging away over at my new blog at Next New Deal, come join me over there!  Here’s the new rss feed. I might post here once in a great while, mostly to draw additional attention to recent non-blog post work I’ve been doing – articles, appearances, etc. – that could use some additional attention. So feel free to keep this in your rss, as I won’t overrun it with materials or double posts.  The portfolio tab above keeps a running track of some of my bigger stuff, and that’ll stay updated for the foreseeable future. Thanks again everyone who has read, commented, tweeted, linked, emailed, and everything else so far.  Big props to those I interacted with early on, and extra thanks to those who reached out when I was still a pseudonymous blogger, and gave me some much appreciated earl...

Article on Mass Incarceration at Jacobin, Plus Some Additional Links

[I’ve moved blogs – check out the Next New Deal Rortybomb blog, here is the new rss feed, and here is this post over at the new site.] The Spring 2012 issue of Jacobin is now online.  It has a lot of great content in it; make sure to check out Megan Erickson’s addition to the “unschooling” debate that goes back and forth in parts of the internet. I have a piece – Against Law, For Order – on ideology, governmentality and “policy” in an era of mass incarceration.  It’s about how criminal laws informs our markets and government policy.  Bits and pieces of it have appeared in this blog, but here it is in one place.  The piece ends up reviewing a lot of recent books on policing, with special attention to Bernard Harcourt’s work on neoliberalism and policing, as well as Jonathan Simon’s work on ...

What Should You Know About the Quebec Student Strikes and Occupations?

[I’m moving blogs – check out the Next New Deal Rortybomb blog, here is the new rss feed, and here is this post over at the new site. I move over entirely Wednesday, and will cross post until then.] One thing to remember about Occupy is that it has much of its current origins, successes and most intense interactions with authority around the spaces of college campuses.  Activism here is particularly innovative when it comes to direct actions, occupations and student strikes, all to combat college tuition increases, privatization and the creation of student debt markets.  Here’s the wikipedia entry on the Puerto Rico student strikes, where they were protesting massive waves of layoffs of government workers, campus faculty and an estimated 100% tuition hike.  Here’s the wikipedia entry on th...

Does Expansionary Monetary Policy Primarily Benefit Finance and Rentiers?

[I’m moving blogs – check out the Next New Deal Rortybomb blog, here is the new rss feed, and here is this post over at the new site. I move over entirely Wednesday, and will cross post until then.] Joe Weisenthal calls it the Biggest Myth in Monetary Policy Today, and recently there’s been a wave of posts about it.  Would another round of expansionary monetary policy at this point – in either a QE3, a conditional higher inflation target or NGDP targeting – primarily benefit the financial sector, rentiers and the wealthy? Here are Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson at Economix, making the case in Who Captured the Fed?: Thus was born the idea of independent central bankers, steering the monetary ship purely on the basis of disinterested, objective and scientific analysis. When inflation is to...

What Does “Fair Value” Accounting Say About the Government?

[I’m moving blogs – check out the Next New Deal Rortybomb blog, here is the new rss feed, and here is this post over at the new site. I move over entirely Wednesday, and will cross post until then.] Charles Lane had an editorial at the Washington Post while I was out about fair value accounting: There is general agreement that federal budgets should include a dollar figure for the estimated lifetime cost of each year’s new lending. Congress adds up all the expected cash flow associated with a particular credit program — interest and principal payments, fees, expected defaults — and calculates its “present value,” based on a notional interest rate known as the discount rate. Under current law, however, Congress bases these estimates on the government’s ultra-cheap cost of borrowing. That me...

Some Links and a Quick Thought on Obamacare’s Economic Activity/Inactivity Distinction

[I’m moving blogs – check out the Next New Deal Rortybomb blog, here is the new rss feed, and here is this post over at the new site. I move over entirely Wednesday, and will cross post until then.] My vacation started off as the Supreme Court was arguing the constitutionality of the individual mandate.  As friend-of-the-blog Noah Millman explains “the question comes down to the commerce power – whether the activity/inactivity distinction is meaningful at all and, if it is, whether, because everyone is part of the healthcare market, the government can legitimately claim that nobody is actually ‘inactive.’” As the argument goes the commerce power allows the government to regulate economic activity but not inactivity.  To use the example that floats out there, the government can regulate the...

How Can Herbert Spencer’s 1892 Revisions to his Social Statics Help Us Understand Conservative Opposition to the Individual Mandate?

[I’m moving blogs – check out the Next New Deal Rortybomb blog, here is the new rss feed, and here is this post over at the new site. I move over entirely Wednesday, and will cross post until then.] What should liberal wonks make of the conservative movement’s abandonment of center-right policy innovations like the individual mandate and cap-and-trade once President Obama took them up? To answer this, it might be useful to look at revisions made to the 1892 edition of Herbert Spencer’s classic 19th century handbook of laissez-faire, Social Statics or The Conditions essential to Happiness specified, and the First of them Developed.  That’s the book Oliver Wendell Holmes alluded to when dissenting in Lochner, famously saying, “The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer’s Soc...

Getting Ready to Move to the New Blog

Back from a lovely honeymoon (why doesn’t everyone move to Iceland?), and now it’s time to get back to the hustle. Exciting news: this blog is moving over to a new site: Next New Deal’s Rortybomb Blog. Next New Deal is the revamped and cleaned-up New Deal 2.0 site.  Here is my new rss feed.  The site has that cool “read more” drop-down/expansion of the post within the same page like Salon, which I’m hella excited about.  The site is live currently.  Until Wednesday, I’ll keep posts at both sites, but will encourage you to read at the new site.  This wordpress blog will go into hibernation after that, but might re-awake someday, so feel free to keep this rss in your feed (I won’t have both sites running posts, so no double posts in your reader). We are still kicking the tires of the new sit...

Far Too Low for Far Too Long

by JW Mason So, what caused the economic and financial crisis of 2007-whenever? It’s an open question. Presumably we’ll continue to argue about it until the next crisis (or until the Moon Men invade.) But right now let’s talk about one possible story, or really family of stories: that the root cause of the crisis is that interest rates were too low for too long. This is often taken to be a conservative view; one of its more prominent exponents has been John Taylor, who complained last week in in the Wall Street Journal that the Fed has returned to its discretionary, unpredictable ways, and the results are not good. Starting in 2003-05, it held interest rates too low for too long and thereby encouraged excessive risk-taking and the housing boom. Rortybomb’s favorite conservative Fed preside...

Vacation is all I’ve ever wanted, until April 12th.

And with that, on vacation until April 12th.  Belated honeymoon.  Heading to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Reykjavik.  Anyone have any tips on things to do in those cities?  Can I approach them like how I approach cities in the United States – find a neighborhood with things I like and then just wander around?  Any recommendations for books to read while traveling by train through social democracy? (Mental note: find way to sneak away from honeymoon to interview Reykjavik officials on their massively successful mortgage debt reduction plan.) [embedded content] As Terry Tate would say, just because this blog is on vacation doesn’t mean it’s out to lunch.  Friend of the blog JW Mason of the Slack Wire economics blog will be doing guest blogging.  Social media the hell out of his...