J. Bradford DeLong
But if you find any intelligent, liberal, and polite/well-intentioned/kind-spirited weblogs (okay, I'd be happy with two out of three), email me.
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|Late May| World Population Distribution | Google Is My Other Brain | Russia in the 1990s | Why Has the IT Revolution Come Slowly to Europe? | Institutions and Business Cycle Vulnerability | Nightly Business Report II | Trust, but Verify? | McKenna | Thinking About Unemployment | Potential Signature Lines | Berkeley Graduation: Great Expectations | Why Has U.S. Growth Been Relatively Rapid? | Knowledge Worker Productivity | Philosophy and Israel's Right to Exist | May's Strange Victory |
| Early May | Freedom to Innovate? | The Silence of the Priests | Free Pants! | Jean Dreze Sounding Neoliberal | McCarthyite Nutboys in the OEOB | Republicans: The Stupid Party | Dan Kennedy on Bush Foreign Policy | The Private Sector and Repairing One's Laptop
| April | International Productivity Comparisons | Krugman too Partisan? | Jose Bove | We Are Californians | Does It Matter That George W. Bush Is Dumb and Lazy? | Why There Will Be No Peace in Palestine | Tax Day | Nightly Business Report | Cognitive Anticipation | Dealing with Robert Skidelsky | Indian Retail Politics
2002-06-03: Distance Is Dead, But Are Personal Networks Alive?
From: "Ahmed Zameel" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 20:48:45 +0500
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 31 May 2002 15:48:45.0517 (UTC) FILETIME=[A59B8FD0:01C208BA]
Can you help me by briefly explaining the required assumption that should be taken into account for the discussion of equilibrium level of national income under Keynesian economic model?
I am a student who just started my first year in degree. This is my first time studying in English medium, which follows a UK degree program
It would be kind of you if you can tell me some web sites where I can go through for further understanding of Keynesian economic about how he had explain the equilibrium level of national income
Books want be a good idea because it would be really difficult to find one. Because I live in a third world country which is not so rich in English books, even in a library it would be hard to find more than 3 books under one subject
And by the way it is not easy for me to log in to Internet at any time I want. Because I have to go a cyber café to log in. and it cost around US$1 per every 10 minute, which is a big amount for me or most of the people in my country. Because with US$1 I can have a good meal in other words I sacrifices a lot of good meals just to use the net
It would be kind of you if you use simple English because my English is not so good. I am happy to say that my spoken English is the best in the class. I improve my English by talking to tourists, as that is what I do as a part time job (a tour guide) through them only I got hold of internet and one of them actually showed me this site and told me to e-mail my questions, he helped me to open my e-mail address
I think I have told more about my self then what I want
I be checking my e-mail in around 3 to 4 days time hoping that I will have a reply.
My own attempt to create some interesting web materials on how Keynes thought about the equilibrium level of national income is at: <http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/macro_online/simple_animations_library/sa_library.html>.
Tell me if it is useful: tell me if it is the kind of thing you are looking for...
2002-06-03: Republicans: The Really Stupid Party
I can't stand it. I just can't stand it. I can't believe it...
From: Doug Henwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Bush to Cardoso: you have blacks too?
[Translated from Der Spiegel. Original at
BUSH'S GENERAL EDUCATION
Do you have blacks in Brazil?
It is said, that, before September 11, George W. Bush thought the Taliban were a Bavarian brass band. Now, thanks to his comprehensive knowledge, the most powerful man in the world has got into hot water again.
Washington - It was Condoleezza Rice, national security advisor, who helped her boss out of the embarassing situation. During a conversation between the two presidents, George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush bewildered his colleague with the question "Do you have blacks, too?"
Rice, 47, noicing how astonished the Brazilian was, saved the day by telling Bush "Mr. President, Brazil probably has more blacks than the USA. Some say it's the Country with the most blacks outside Africa." Later, the Brazilian president Cardoso said: regarding Latin America, Bush was still in his "learning phase".
2002-05-31: The World Population Distribution
The Permanent Link to This Will Be: <http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/Daily_Journal_2002_05_late.html#2002-05-31-population>
I'm tired of maps of world population that lazily represent a country's population as evenly distributed throughout its territory. Who in India lives in the Thar Desert? How many people in Egypt live outside the Nile Valley? The map below--with each dot representing ten million people--is an attempt to show the real human population distribution in 2000.
The first thing that jumps out at you just how much humanity today is still concentrated in the old river-valley Eurasian agriculural heartlands: the Ganges-Indus and the China Coast-Yangtze-Yellow River regions, plus secondary population concentrations in Honshu, Java, along the Nile, and the Rhine-Thames (plus the mouths of the Niger, the Hudson, and the southern coast of Brazil.
Perhaps the most curious thing from the long-term structure of human population history is the Middle East. The quadrilateral from Greece to Ebypt to Iran to the Caucasus held perhaps half the human race 7000 years ago. The other earliest civilizations--India and China--have maintained their relative demographic weight. What happened to the Middle East?
U.S. Feels the Pain of Steel Tariffs
As Prices Rise, Supply Is Reduced
By NEIL KING JR. and ROBERT GUY MATTHEWS
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
WASHINGTON -- Less than three months after the Bush administration suggested its stiff new tariffs on steel imports would have only a limited impact on prices, the levies are sending waves of pain through America's manufacturing sector -- including steep price increases, supply shortages and layoff threats.
"The Bush administration just assumed that people could eat this -- that it would be no big deal," says Charles Blum, a consultant who advises U.S. middlemen who buy and sell steel domestically. "But it has become a big deal very fast."
Mr. Bush's advisers, watching the effects warily, now concede that they have been taken by surprise. Along with their own studies, they point to the advice the steel manufacturers offered before the tariffs were announced on March 5. Thomas Usher, chief executive of U.S. Steel Corp., told the Senate in February that the levies "will only result in modest and reasonable price increases."
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick played down concerns then about prices, saying they "might go up over time," but "without any significant effect on the economic recovery and growth."
But Thursday, the Commerce Department's top trade official said the current market might extend into the fall. "The president has advised us to keep track of this," said Grant Aldonas, undersecretary of commerce for international trade. The administration hopes it is just "a temporary blip," he added. The intent of the tariffs "wasn't to create any windfall profits."
The tariff decision unleashed a barrage of withering international criticism and reprisal threats, but it now appears that President Bush also may pay a domestic political price. Anger is spreading across the Industrial Belt as manufacturers complain that the president's bid to help one industry is hurting hundreds of companies that employ far more workers.
"What we're facing now is entirely because of decisions in Washington," said Frank Mehwald, chief executive of Atlantic Tool & Die Inc. in Strongsville, Ohio, a 450-employee supplier of automobile parts. In recent weeks, all of Mr. Mehwald's steel suppliers have increased prices by 20% or more, breaking existing contracts. He now spends much of his days scrambling to find the steel he needs.
"This has never happened before -- people are breaking contracts all up and down the supply chain," said Richard McClain of Chicago-based Metalforming Technologies Inc., a 1,400-employee concern that makes automobile parts. He said that last week most of his middlemen voided existing contracts and raised prices by more than 30%. He is also having trouble getting enough steel. "If we can't get steel, we'll have to cut jobs," he said.
Some steel buyers already are cutting back production. Bloomfield Manufacturing in Middlesex County, N.J., now staggers its skeleton crew at scrap-melting plants that make mesh and wire. The company now works with eight employees, almost half that of last year.
The real crunch may be a month or more off, when manufacturers find out whether they can pass along increases. In Minnesota, Erick Ajax runs a company that makes freezer hinges that sell for about 30 cents each, with steel costs well over half that. Since May 1, his steel costs have jumped 20% and suppliers have warned him of bigger increases to come. But "manufacturers are making it clear that they have other possibilities for suppliers," says Mr. Ajax. "There is Canada, Mexico, and of course China. This could be the start of a real rush to China."
The U.S. steel market was tightening even before the tariffs were imposed. There was a wave of domestic steel-mill closures last year, including Cleveland-based LTV Corp. In all, plant closures had taken 20 million tons of steel off the U.S. market by year's end. Moreover, inventories built up by buyers when prices were extremely cheap last year began running low earlier this year. In the first quarter, prices for hot-rolled steel, a benchmark, rose about 10%, or by $20 a ton.
The administration's intent in imposing three-year tariffs of as much as 30% was to curb imports without ruffling domestic steel users. But the Commerce Department's Mr. Aldonas conceded Thursday that during deliberations over the tariffs the administration was unable to estimate for sure what would happen to prices.
The picture is clearer now: Buyers boosted purchases even before the tariffs went into effect, causing prices to jump an additional $40 to $75 a ton. With imports plunging by more than 30% in response to the tariffs, the market is at its tightest in at least 15 years. Hot-rolled prices are now at about $300 a ton, compared to $210 late last year.
Analysts expect modest increases into the third quarter and beyond, though many companies are reporting quotes from sellers that would make steel as expensive as in the early 1990s. After seeing prices steadily drop for several years, steelmakers are seeing how much they can charge before buyers cut back on purchases.
Administration officials suspect some of the spike can be blamed on increased demand from companies stocking up before prices go higher, tactics they hope will trail off as renewed imports and increased U.S. production ease the crunch.
LTV's mills have been purchased by International Steel Group, which plans to add about four million more tons of steel to the market this year, compared with the seven million tons LTV had been producing. Others are hoping to follow suit. Moreover, with many steelmakers in bankruptcy proceedings and free from certain debt obligations, there is opportunity to undercut competitors' prices.
Updated May 31, 2002 12:19 a.m. EDT
White House Seeks Cheerleaders
To Boost Economic Sentiment
By JACKIE CALMES
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Bush advisers are "a little nervous" that business pessimism could stall growth, one says. But "the administration has no economic spokesman -- none," says a GOP strategist, alluding to widespread griping about Treasury Secretary O'Neill, Commerce's Evans and adviser Lindsey.
Cheney may stand in for Bush at a coming speech to the national small-business lobby. But a new SEC inquiry into Halliburton Corp.'s accounting while Cheney was CEO casts a cloud. His office insists that questions go to Halliburton, not Cheney.
Bush has said CEOs should lose bonuses for "grossly inaccurate" financial statements; Cheney got $2.6 million during his tenure.
KENNEDY FALLS SHORT on votes for post-Enron pension changes.
The bill faces a "partisan showdown" on the Senate floor, spokesman Jim Manley acknowledges, with the GOP set to filibuster and "one or two" Democrats opposed. Pension-industry lobbyist Ed Ferrigno says "at least 10 Democrats" tell him they don't support Kennedy.
The GOP and businesses object to the bill limiting how much company stock can be put in employees' retirement-savings plans, among other things. Finance Committee Chairman Baucus still plans to draft a bill "that can pass," an aide says, hewing more closely to a pro-business House GOP bill. His goal is June.
BUSH HEAVIES lose late bid to reward Turkey for antiterror cooperation.
Cheney, Powell and others called Senate leaders in the final hours of debate on a "fast-track" trade bill last week, seeking trade benefits for Turkey. Under their plan, Turkey could create qualified-investment zones to produce duty-free goods for the U.S., in line with Bush's January promise to Prime Minister Ecevit.
Senate Democrats say last week's move was too late and risked upending the trade bill. "It was pretty amateurish," a staffer says. Turkish diplomats say they are thankful the administration tried.
With hot elections ahead in textile states, Bush's plan wouldn't give benefits to Turkish textiles.
ZINNI FINI? As CIA Director Tenet and State Department official Bill Burns arrive in the Mideast to try to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, another U.S. envoy fades out. Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, who took three unproductive trips as U.S. special Middle East envoy last year, told administration officials he doesn't want to return except on a clearly defined mission with some chance of success.
TERROR INSURANCE remains in a partisan bog. GOP Sens. Gramm and McConnell offer a compromise on limiting tort lawsuits, to break the stalemate on the bill providing federal insurance for terrorist attacks. A Gramm aide calls it "a good-faith effort to break this logjam." But Senate Leader Daschle's spokeswoman says the offer "doesn't get there" enough to please Democrats.
HAITIANS STILL WAITING: Florida Sen. Nelson Thursday announced he had persuaded Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner James Ziglar to visit INS centers in South Florida; that's where about 240 Haitian refugees seeking asylum are being held. But an INS spokesman says Ziglar recalls no such pledge. Nelson retorts: "I will refresh his memory."
RADIOACTIVE AT ENERGY? Nevada Sen. Reid, seizing on ammunition to block a nuclear-waste dump at his state's Yucca Mountain, fires off a complaint to the Office of Government Ethics. He alleges the No. 3 man at the Energy Department, Robert Card, "appears to have worked on matters involving his former employer in violation of the conflict of interest guidelines." Reid cites a Wall Street Journal report. Card's former firm, CH2M Hill Cos., is a leading nuclear-waste cleanup firm.
WHERE'S ROSY? The GOP wants to change economic models, and economists.
With deficits' return, conservatives again push for "dynamic scoring" of budgets so tax cuts are credited with spurring economic growth, and don't look so costly. Revenue forecasts are now expected to plunge with midyear updates in July, increasing political pressure to freeze future phases of the Bush tax cuts.
Congressional Budget Office director Dan Crippen, a Reagan veteran, resists dynamic scoring, angering House GOP leaders. Crippen won't seek another four years when his term ends this year. A possible successor: Supply-sider David Malpass of Bear Stearns. Meantime, supply-sider J.D. Foster takes over from Amy Smith, a former Sen. Domenici staffer, as chief economist at Bush's budget office.
House Democrats press Sen. Daschle to force the GOP to vote on raising the federal debt limit.
MINOR MEMOS: No dope? Treasury Secretary O'Neill praised a South African Ford factory, oblivious to workers smoking marijuana on break. Traveling companion and Irish rock star Bono caught the scent, "but I was getting off on the diesel myself," he tells the secretary. ... House Minority Leader Gephardt delivers an address Tuesday on transforming the military, billed as the first on the topic from 2004 Democratic presidential aspirants.
Write to Jackie Calmes at email@example.com
Updated May 31, 2002
Thursday, May 30, 2002
DPR at 4:55 PM [url]:
Did you try Google?
It happened again. I told a friend about a new program. He wants a URL. I say "Did you try Google?" and he says "oh ... yeah." He doesn't need a URL.
Maybe it's just that we're used to having difficulty finding information about things. So few people have absorbed that Google creates a shared context that is bigger than all of our brains, so we humans don't need specific pointers most of the time anymore. We're slow learners.
But now when I sit in a meeting where I have an Internet connection, or conferencing on the phone in my office, I'm Googling all the time. The context it creates is immense and useful. Somebody might make an allusion to some literary idea - and I'm no longer in the dark. Somebody might mention a product or service - and I can order it immediately, or bookmark it.
When someone can't remember a fact or a name, I can usually get it quickly enough to be useful.
Google is my other memory. If it isn't yours, it probably will be eventually.