"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister
"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."
- Daenerys Targaryen
"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"
- Tyrion Lannister
"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."
- Jorah Mormont
"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."
- Tyrion Lannister
"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."
- Michael Barone
"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker
Saturday, April 21, 2012
This past episode (21) of New Girl titled "Kids" had Zooey Deschanel mentioning Bridge to Terabithia* and for some reason she reminded me of the lovely actress Debra Winger with her kind blue eyes, raspy voice, and mischievious smile. (Maybe Winger could play her mother. Or Deschanel could make a remake of Legal Eagles.)
I recently saw 21 Jump Street which was created in part by DeLong's cousin Phil Lord. Jake Johnson from New Girl was in it, as was Nick Offerman. It was pretty funny. Offerman also had a bit part in the very funny Will Ferrell movie Casa di mi Padre.
For some reason Blogger force me to redesign the blog. The links on the right are messed-up and will be fixed.
* Deschanel's character Jess said it was movie that made children cry. As an adult I thought it was pretty sad. Deschanel had a supporting role playing a teacher, just as Jess is a teacher.
The speaker that struck me most deeply was the first: James Fenton. A superior poet, and perhaps the greatest reader of poetry in the English-speaking world, Fenton opened the program by reciting verse of his own:What would the dead want from us
Watching from their cave?
Would they have us forever howling?
Would they have us rave
Or disfigure ourselves, or be strangled
Like some ancient emperor’s slave?
None of my dead friends were emperors
With such exorbitant tastes
And none of them were so vengeful
As to have all their friends waste
Waste quite away in sorrow
Disfigured and defaced.
I think the dead would want us
To weep for what they have lost.
I think that our luck in continuing
Is what would affect them most.
But time would find them generous
And less self-engrossed.
And time would find them generous
As they used to be
And what else would they want from us
Than an honoured place in our memory,
favourite room, a hallowed chair,
Privilege and celebrity?
Birthday anniversary discussion on Charlie Rose show with Rose, James Fenton, Salman Rushie, Ian, McEwan, and Martin Amis.And so the dead might cease to grieve
And we might make amends
And there might be a pact between
Dead friends and living friends.
What our dead friends would want from us
Would be such living friends.
On July 1st, Mankiw who advises Romney and was CEA Chair for George W. Bush, will be rewarded for his schoozing on behalf of the one percent* and will become chairman of the Harvard econ department.
The upside is that he'll be blogging less. For example just the other day he posted a Dilbert cartoon strip. I've always hated Dilbert with a burning passion. When ever someone likes Dilbert, it's a bad sign.
* For instance in the famous 2008 Summers econ memo to Obama, Mankiw denied to say that any stimulus was needed. And this is who Harvard choses to head their econ department?
Is Inflation a Highly Regressive tax on wages? by Dean Baker
Much Ado About Zero (Wonkish) by Krugman
In Wicksellian Terms, It Is Easier for a Central Bank to Alter the Nominal Market Rate of Interest than for It to Alter the Nominal Natural Rate of Interest: Why the Zero Lower Bound Matters by DeLong
As I see it, having high unemployment is a regressive tax on the "middle class." Government policies are structuring the market so that we have slow growth and high unemployment. Wages don't rise with productivity. Inequality rises though.
That last time wages rose with productivity was in the late '90s, something candidate Obama pointed out to BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal.
When the economy isn't running at capacity, the government is engineering a regressive tax on wages.
*Inflationistas want low inflation and slow growth
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Alas poor Yoren! I knew him well.
(or the dragons are gone....)
"What's Dead May Never Die" Onion recap (for experts)
"What's Dead May Never Die" Onion recap (for newbies)
More good comments.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
This is no doubt how Mitt Romney and other wealthy people would like the public to see the debate. However the reality is that the government has implemented a wide range of policies that have led to a massive upward redistribution of before tax income over the last three decades. These policies have affected every corner of the market economy.I heard comedian Judah Friedlander talking on the radio about the entertainment industry and he made a very good point about those who succeed are usually good schmoozers. The context was he said that it's part of the reason why comedy films are bad these days in that people who rise to the top are often good schmoozers but not good film-makers, actors etc. He then said it's true in every industry and line of work and I agree. They are smart about schmoozing and work hard at schmoozing and then once installed have sort of an inefficent crony capitalism.
I watched Parks and Recreation but didn't watch the first run of 30 Rock because I had a crush on Tina Fey during her "Weekend Update" and Sarah Palin impersonation years and it's very, very weird and wrong to have a crush on a TV personality. So you shouldn't encourage it. Friedlaner is on 30 Rock and lately I've been watching the reruns which are addictive.
One of the tenets of "Kenyan Socialism" is that the U.S. is a schmoozocracy. The ruling elite would have you believe it's a meritocracy but it's not.
I See No Way to Read This from Greg Mankiw Other than as the Strongest Possible Endorsement of Obama and the Democrats by DeLong