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A ridiculous mix of masculinity and femininity, so absurd you're in no danger of believing or empathizing.

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It's Bill Clinton, quoted in "Bill Clinton Explains Monica Lewinsky Affair as ‘Managing My Anxieties’/Mr. Clinton was asked about the scandal for the Hulu documentary series 'Hillary'" (NYT):
"You feel like you’re staggering around — you’ve been in a 15-round prizefight that was extended to 30 rounds, and here’s something that’ll take your mind off it for a while,” Mr. Clinton says. “Everybody’s life has pressures and disappointments and terrors, fears of whatever, things I did to manage my anxieties for years."
He pictures himself as a boxer going 20 rounds, then suddenly he's in Oprahesque confessional mode,  offering up bullshit bonbons of self-insight. Don't eat that. But it's good for a laugh.

But it's really not so funny. He says "something that’ll take your mind off it" and "things I did." But the thing was a human being — a woman. Even as he's trying to present himself as having reflected and gained perspective and wisdom, he's still speaking of Monica Lewinsky as an object, understood in terms of what she did for him. His new insight is only to diminish the use she had. He ought to have managed his anxieties better, but at the time he took advantage of her — you know, of the thing.
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ahofer
86 days ago
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Those were my thoughts. She must be thrilled to be called a human stress ball on TV.
Princeton, NJ or NYC
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HE WAS ANXIOUS ABOUT HILLARY FINDING OUT: Bill Clinton: I Had Affair With Monica Lewinsky ‘To Manage…

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HE WAS ANXIOUS ABOUT HILLARY FINDING OUT: Bill Clinton: I Had Affair With Monica Lewinsky ‘To Manage My Anxieties.’

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ahofer
86 days ago
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This isn't going to make her (monica) feel any better.
Princeton, NJ or NYC
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Social security and trends in inequality

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Recent influential work finds large increases in inequality in the U.S., based on measures of wealth concentration that notably exclude the value of social insurance programs. This paper revisits this conclusion by incorporating Social Security retirement benefits into measures of wealth inequality. Wealth inequality has not increased in the last three decades when Social Security is accounted for. When discounted at the risk-free rate, real Social Security wealth increased substantially from $5.6 trillion in 1989 to just over $42.0 trillion in 2016. When we adjust for systematic risk coming from the covariance of Social Security returns with the market portfolio, this increase remains sizable, growing from over $4.6 trillion in 1989 to $34.0 trillion in 2016. Consequently, by 2016, Social Security wealth represented 58% of the wealth of the bottom 90% of the wealth distribution. Redistribution through programs like Social Security increases the progressivity of the economy, and it is important that our estimates of wealth concentration reflect this.

That is from a new paper by Sylvain Catherine, Max Miller, and Natasha Sarin, I look forward to reading it soon.  It is at least possible that the Saez-Zucman results are coming under further question.

Just to repeat part of the abstract, I find this sentence striking: “When discounted at the risk-free rate, real Social Security wealth increased substantially from $5.6 trillion in 1989 to just over $42.0 trillion in 2016.”  That’s a lot.

And this one: “Consequently, by 2016, Social Security wealth represented 58% of the wealth of the bottom 90% of the wealth distribution.”  Wow.

The post Social security and trends in inequality appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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ahofer
89 days ago
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two thoughts:
1) it is right to include this, as people contribute to it and count on it.
2) The value here is as inflated as the capital values in Piketty et al, due to low interest rates (which overstates inequality) Piketty, Saez and Zucman impute capital value from income using today's low rates.
Princeton, NJ or NYC
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denubis
89 days ago
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Worth part of the discussion. I'm not sure I agree, but I need to think about why.
Sydney, Australia

Wednesday assorted links

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1. “Exploiting within-country and industry-level variation in regulatory burden, the analysis finds a large, positive effect of regulatory burden on corruption.

2. “Resumes that list study abroad experience in Europe for one year are 20 percent less likely to receive any callback and 35 percent less likely to receiving a call back for an interview, relative to resumes that do not list study abroad experience.

3. “…colleges that ultimately boost earnings also tend to boost persistence, BA completion, and STEM degrees along the way.” Lots more in that paper.

4. “Singapore Airlines is the first major carrier to serve produce harvested just hours before a flight.

5. I wish to thank and praise my Lubbock hosts, the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech.

6. 2006 study of the possible economic impact of avian flu.  Possibly 4.25% of gdp.

Addendum, from the comments, from Aleh:

You don’t need to read the study-abroad paper to realize that it’s implausible. 35% less likely to receive an interview! That would be approaching the impact that’s been found for declaring a criminal record. And it it has to be in Europe specifically, and one year specifically!

Ok, the paper itself. Overall, study abroad per se has no effect. So they slice and dice by location, length, and whether it is a call-back of an interview request, and use a significance level of 0.1, and then – as you’d expect – a couple of weak “findings” appear. A year of Europe seems VERY bad (and yet two weeks in Europe, or any time in Asia, actually improves the raw numbers; that’s the theory there?). Going to Asia doesn’t show a statistically significant change in your chance of getting a callback, unless it’s a callback specifically asking for an interview – when it does help so.

The data here is under-powered and reaches to find any results (slicing and dicing, 0.1 threshold). The “statistical significance filter” works in such cases to ensure that when does one does find a statistically significant result, it will be be a massively overstated – if true at all. A year in Europe doesn’t just have the opposite sign effect than any other experience; it has an absolutely catastrophic effect (-35%). Just no.

This is bad statistics and (not necessarily the authors’ fault) thoughtless promotion of almost a self-evidently implausible claim. If there’s anything to be learned or honestly reported here, it’s the top level finding: that a reasonably controlled experiment found essentially no difference either way by adding study-abroad experience to your resume.

The post Wednesday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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ahofer
92 days ago
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#1 - shocked. Baptists and bootleggers.
Princeton, NJ or NYC
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How to reduce the racial gap in reading scores

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According to this study, the problem is worse in progressive cities.

Progressive cities, on average, have achievement gaps in math and reading that are 15 and 13 percentage points higher than in conservative cities, respectively

Pointer from Stephen Green, who sees it as an argument for cities to start to vote Republican.

The study compared test scores in the 12 most progressive cities (according to an independent measure) and the 12 most conservative cities. They report the results in tables. I saw a red flag in that they focused on the achievement gap, rather than black achievement scores per se.

From a Null Hypothesis, perspective, one way to reduce the racial gap is to start with dumber white students. Then when differences in schooling have no effect, you wind up with a smaller racial gap.

Using their tables, I got that for reading, the median score in the conservative cities for blacks was 24.5, and in the progressive cities it was 20.5. The median score in the conservative cities for whites was 61.5 and in progressive cities it was 69. Since much of the difference in the gap seems to come from lower test scores for whites, I am inclined to go with the Null Hypothesis interpretation.

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ahofer
100 days ago
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yup
Princeton, NJ or NYC
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Thatcherism's death

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Thatcherism is dead. Boris Johnson’s love of big infrastructure projects conflicts with her preference for markets and caution about spending public money. His pulling out of the single market contrasts with her hailing it as “a fantastic prospect for our industry and commerce.” His increase in bus subsidies conflicts with her antipathy to public transport. (She never actually said that any man on a bus after the age of 30 should consider himself a failure, but the fact that it is so widely believed that she did so reveals something about her). And, of course, whereas Thatcher chose free market ideology over the wishes of northern (now post-) industrial towns, Johnson is making the opposite choice.

John Harris has quoted a senior minister as saying that “some very prominent strands of Conservative thinking were now in retreat” and that “some of the things we’ve celebrated have led us astray”. Those things are Thatcherite ones.

It’s not just the political climate that is anti-Thatcherite, however. So too is much of the intellectual climate. Thatcher regularly invoked Hayek and Friedman as intellectual influences. Not only does Johnson have no such equivalents, but perhaps the two most prominent economics Nobelists today – Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz – are hostile to Thatcherism. And Banerjee and Duflo’s latest book, Good Economics for Hard Times, is a flat rejection of her naïve faith in free markets, with its message that economies are sticky and slow to respond to shocks. Lp20y

All this reflects the fact that the facts are now anti-Thatcherite. She hoped that deregulation, privatization, lower top taxes and the smashing of trades unions would lead to not just to an economic renaissance but also to a revival of what Dierdre McCloskey calls bourgeois virtues. But they haven’t. In fact, productivity growth was much slower in the Thatcherite era than it was during the post-war years. As I’ve said, there are many ways in which neoliberalism caused the productivity slowdown.

Nor have we seen a flourishing of bourgeois virtues. Thatcher hoped to create a society of men like her father, but left us one with men like her son. The assertion of “management’s right to manage” has led not to a healthier economy but merely to more expropriation. An under-appreciated sign of her legacy can be found on daytime TV. Programmes such as Homes Under the Hammer, Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip show that the British public prefer to make money from rising house prices and selling tat rather than from graft, innovation and entrepreneurship*.

You might object here that one legacy of Thatcherism lives on - inequality. True. But of course, inequality and its defenders long pre-dated Thatcher. In many ways, what most distinguished Thatcherism is now gone. 

Herein, though, lies a wonderful paradox. It is not the Conservative party that has suffered most from the death of Thatcherism. It has successfully reinvented itself, helped in part by not suffering the handicap of having principles or feeling the need to think deeply.

Instead, perhaps the biggest casualty have been centrists. The collapse of Change UK, or whatever they called themselves, means that their parliamentary presence now matches their intellectual heft. My biggest beef with them – and indeed with the Labour right – has been their total lack of any worthwhile economic ideas.

There is, I suspect, a reason for this. Centrists were keen to accept “economic realities” when these were Thatcherite ones of fiscal “credibility”, tolerance of the wealth and power of the 1%, and faith that the capitalist economy could grow nicely with only little state help. Now that the realities are anti-Thatcherite – that inequality does real damage and that capitalism is stagnant – they are as helpless as a whale left on a beach after the tide has gone out.

The old jibe against the Labour right had some truth – that they were capitalism’s second XI. And why would anybody want a second XI when the first XI have made themselves fit for selection?

* This worked for me: most of my wealth has come from tax-free capital gains on housing.

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ahofer
103 days ago
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"She never actually said that any man on a bus after the age of 30 should consider himself a failure, but the fact that it is so widely believed that she did so reveals something about her" That is a terrible standard.
Princeton, NJ or NYC
freeAgent
101 days ago
Yeah, that is a bit below the belt. Just repeating this faleshood and calling it revealing perpetuates the belief derived, apparently, from fiction.
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