Saturday , April 17 2021
Home / Tag Archives: Beat the Press

Tag Archives: Beat the Press

To Prevent the Resurgence of the Pandemic, Can We Talk About Open-Source Research?

As the vaccination campaign picks up steam, we have many public health experts warning us about a possible resurgence of the pandemic due to the spread of new vaccine-resistant strains. The logic is that, as more people are protected against the predominant strain for which the vaccines were designed, it will allow room for mutations to spread, for which the current vaccines may not be effective. This can leave us in a whack-a-mole situation, where we have to constantly alter our vaccines and...

Read More »

Bartenders and Pension Fund Investment Advisers

If you were worried that you had a drinking problem, you probably would not ask your neighborhood bartender for advice (Let’s assume the bartender owns the bar, so they pocket the cash from the drinks.). The bartender may be a very nice person, and may actually be your friend, but they obviously have a material interest in keeping you coming back to the bar. It is the same story for pension funds when it comes to their various pension advisers. The pension funds’ boards (the people who...

Read More »

Bitcoin and Baseball Cards

I saw this piece last week on the soaring price of baseball cards, and naturally started thinking about Bitcoin. The article begins with a story about how a rare LeBron James trading card (it’s all sports cards, not just baseball cards) would now sell for over $3 million, more than ten times its price in 2016. It then reports on how the prices for rare cards of other famous players have also gone through the roof, with even cards of less great players selling for several million dollars. The...

Read More »

The Green New Deal Threatens Republicans’ Bread and Butter, it’s Not Just Competition in the Battle of Ideas

Naomi Klein has an interesting piece in the New York Times on the implications of the Texas disaster. I would disagree with some parts, which attack the Texas approach to energy as “free market.” To my view, this is far too generous. Even Texas’ deregulated energy market is still highly regulated. It is possible to have hugely different outcomes and incentives by structuring the market in slightly different ways. For example, since the supply of electricity to individual...

Read More »

The Failure of the Media in Responding to the Lying Right

I posted this Twitter thread this morning. It should be self-explanatory, but it is more than a little infuriating to see the media (not just Thomas Edsall) act like they are innocent bystanders in the rise of an anti-democratic right-wing movement that constantly lies to advance its agenda. The media have agency, but have thus far largely sought to pretend to just be observers. As a result, they allow themselves to be played endlessly by liars like Cruz, Hayley, and Trump. I saw this Thomas...

Read More »

How Will Our Children Know They Face a Crushing Debt Burden?

That may seem like a silly question. Of course they will know because there are a number of well-funded policy shops that will be spewing out endless papers and columns telling them that they are facing a crushing debt burden. And, because these policy shops are well-funded and well-connected we can be sure that major media outlets, like the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Public Radio, will give their complaints plenty of space. But let’s imagine a world where our children...

Read More »

Being Wrong in Elite Jobs Doesn’t Have Any Consequences

I just read Nicholas Kristof’s column about his childhood friend Mike Stepp. The piece is actually very moving. Mr. Stepp grew up next door to Kristof. As he explains in the column, he grew up with an abusive father. Their family didn’t value education, so neither Mike or his brother ever finished high school. While previous generations of workers (white male workers) could work in a factory job without a high school degree and still enjoy a middle class standard of living, this...

Read More »

More on the Summers v. Biden Spending Debate

I already weighed in on Larry Summers’ complaint that the Biden rescue package may overstimulate the economy. As I said, I thought that while he could be right, the risks of going too small were so much greater than the risks of going too big, that it was worth going forward with the Biden package. One of the points I made in that post was that excessive demand could be siphoned off in the form of a larger trade deficit, thereby limiting the extent to which it creates inflationary...

Read More »

Wealth Inequality: Should We Care?

I have been dismissive of many of the folks, mostly progressives, who highlight wealth inequality as a measure of overall inequality. As most of us know, the richest people in the country have gotten a lot richer since the start of the pandemic. (Of course, the story isn’t quite as dramatic if we use February of 2020, before the hit from the pandemic, as the base of comparison.) As much as I am not a fan of rich people, this doesn’t especially trouble me. I have never considered wealth a very...

Read More »