Monday, November 18, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Jamie Moyer, 51. I'm obviously not alone in this, but he was my guy: the last player older than me in the majors. Or anywhere in organized ball, as far as I know. Ah well. My cohort was obviously pretty lucky in that respect. A wonderful career.

Good stuff:

1. As one who agrees with the courts that partisan gerrymandering is kosher by the Constitution, I nevertheless agree very much with Rick Hasen about voter suppression and the Constitution. That is, courts "should hold that when a state passes a law that burdens voters, it must demonstrate, with credible evidence, that the burdens are justified by a good reason and that the laws are tailored to their intended purpose." Actually, that doesn't even seem strong enough to me, but it's a good start. Voting should be easy, full stop.

2. Peter Ubertaccio on why Barack Obama can't really do much about public opinion. I wouldn't have called it a nightmare, though.

3. John Sides has an interview with Julio Saurez about his new research on Fed ideology.

4. Since I recently discussed it, I should note that Obama picked a Surgeon General. Via Wonk Wire -- I would  have missed it if it wasn't there.

5. And Sarah Kliff talks with an insurance commissioner who rejected Obama's ACA fix.

1 comment:

  1. Figure I'd copy a comment I made on the Sides interview:

    So, the FOMC meets about 6 times a year, right? That's not a lot to base an roll call model on, is it? I'm guessing that's why we see this square-wave-type flickering between '53 and '65 in the chart that breaks down ideology by the party of the nominating president.

    Even if there ARE enough datapoints, it's a measurement of disagreement amongst the members, relative to one another. Its usefulness depends on FOMC votes being the place where policy disagreements are hashed out/ expressed. With such a small membership (and also with the high profile nature of the Fed-chair) I doubt that's the case.

    I don't mean to be overly critical, because I was really interested to see these results. But I'm not convinced that relative disagreement in FOMC votes are the important thing to look at. This kind of roll-call ideology score makes a lot of sense for the American Congress: one dimension does a great job of explaining votes and every vote is for a different bill with huge differences in content. But the FOMC meets to decide whether to use their monetary policy levers to grow the economy, shrink it, or leave it alone. With all the data available on the macroeconomy, I would think you'd want to test how "well" the member's vote relative to various theoretical approaches to monetary theory. See that Bernanke is a "Keynesian + 4", etc.


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