Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Neftali Feliz, 24, who gave the Blue Sox (and, I suppose, the Rangers) two solid years out of the bullpen.

Good stuff?

1. Interesting observation from Ezra Klein: columnists produced by the Bush Administration were mostly speechwriters and other p.r. specialists, while those produced by the Obama Administration were substantive experts, mostly economists. Might be true!

2. Paul Krugman debates Ron Paul, and realizes the uselessness of debates. True enough, although I'm in favor of candidate debates despite their uselessness.

3. Shira Toeplitz on how the Dick Lugar campaign went wrong. Big question: if Lugar loses, which seems very likely now, who will win the spin? Will GOP Senators take it as a warning to never cross the Tea Partiers, or a warning to keep a house back home, take the campaign seriously, and other non-ideological stuff? 

4. And you all wanted to know the answer to Roman inflation in the third century, didn't you? Matt Yglesias has it.


  1. Ron Paul is a better debater than Krugman, even though Krugman was overwhelmingly more correct on the merits of his argument --- Ron Paul was talking complete crap for much of the debate, and he knows it. Ron Paul gives credit for the 1950's economic boom to balancing the budget when in fact debt was at 90% of annual GDP and tax rates were what the modern insane GOP would call confiscatory. 1950s tax rates and debt levels are at what the modern Democratic Party wants, but Ron Paul wants to take credit for the ensuing economic boom. He is talking complete crap.

  2. Paul Krugman tends to censor his commenters ruthlessly (not as ruthlessly as Delong, of course) so it must be a struggle to sit and listen to someone he considers a demented moron. Good for him and good job admitting that people don't change their minds as a result of arguments. Progress!

  3. Classing candidate debates as "debates" is like classing WWE as a sports organization.

  4. Reading Ezra Klein's piece, I noted that Larry Summers is getting a lot of work. Does it seem strange to anyone else that a man who got ousted from Harvard primarily for saying that there are more brilliant males than brilliant females can so easily find employment with Democrats?

    Klein's one interesting point is that the disparity may be because of the crisis. As has been pointed out by Russ Roberts (referred to by Delong as the "lyingest economist ever") once the crisis hit and economists were shown to be basically hacks, they got a lot more job offers.

  5. Aww... poor Krugman, he has to sit through the childish gibberings Ron Paul just so he has a chance to hock his book full of scholarly profundity. Whoever you agree with here, I think Krugman’s blog post shows us which Paul knows how to treat his political adversary with respect. This is part of the key to Ron Paul's allure to independent voters -- he doesn't regard the opposition as if they were stupid, contemptible knaves.

    I loved Ron Paul's comeback to Krugman's: 'You want to take us back to the 19th century.' Ron Paul: 'Yea, well you want to take us back to the Roman Empire.' It’s silly exchange, yet it somehow managed to irk Krugman… and he later finds it so meaningful that he made a separate blog post about it.


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