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EconoSpeak

The Econospeak blog, which succeeded MaxSpeak (co-founded by Barkley Rosser, a Professor of Economics at James Madison University and Max Sawicky, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute) is a multi-author blog . Self-described as “annals of the economically incorrect”, this frequently updated blog analyzes daily news from an economic perspective, but requires a strong economics background.

Eco-Fascism Roundup

Below is a collection of essays written in the wake of the El Paso mass shooting and the alleged shooter's manifesto:What is Eco-Fascism, the Ideology Behind Attacks in El Paso and Christchurch?Luke Darby GQ @dukelarbyThe Eco-Fascism of the El Paso Shooter Haunts the Techno-Optimism of the LeftJesse Goldstein Society + Space @JesseGoldstnEco-Fascisms and Eco-Socialisms Max Ajl Verso Books @ajl_maxAfter the El Paso Massacre, the Choice Is Green Socialism or Eco-Fascism Jeet Heer The Nation...

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Goats and Dogs, Eco-Fascism and Liberal Taboos

When remembered at all, Edward Abbey is mostly thought of as an environmentalist and anarchist but there is no gainsaying the racism and xenophobia on display in his 1983 essay, "Immigration and Liberal Taboos." The opinion piece was originally solicited by the New York Times, which ultimately declined to publish it -- or to pay him the customary kill fee. It was subsequently rejected by Harper's, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Mother Jones and Playboy before...

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Have We Been Blocked?

I just tried to read Econospeak and was told it was blocked due to "porn content."  Has  anyone else run into this?  Are we being hacked and suppressed?  It said "contact system administrator if this is wrong." Can this get fixed, please, somebody?As it is, I am on vacation in Door County, Wisconsin right now.Barkley Rosser

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Krugman on Trump and Trade: Not Tariffic

I’m no fan of the Trump tariff tantrum, but weak criticism of it does no one a service.  And while I agree with Paul Krugman on a lot of things, he has a long history of being misguided on trade policy.  Alas, his op-ed in today’s New York Times continues the legacy of the Bad Krugman, not the good one.Before getting to the theoretical meat, let’s take a moment to observe the holes in his argument that should have been identified and vetted before publication.1. He cites a graphic from the...

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Barro’s Misstated Case for Federal Reserve Independence

I guess I should applaud Robert Barro for standing up for the independence of the Federal Reserve and hoping it can resist political pressure to lower interest rates too much. But there are two aspects of his case that strike me as silly to say the least starting with his opening sentence: In the early 1980s, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, was able to choke off runaway inflation because he was afforded the autonomy necessary to implement steep interest-rate hikes....

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A Serious Problem For Dems

It is that progressive Dems some time ago glommed onto the idea that protectionism is "progressive."  It has been going on so long and has become so ingrained that Bernie Sanders has been running around bragging about how he is more protectionist than Trump.  Elizabeth Warren has been a bit more subtle about it, calling to renegotiate all existing US trade agreements to make them super strong on labor and environmental standards.The problem is that one of the biggest disasters of the Trump...

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Climate Equity: What Is It?

While action against climate change languishes, the rhetoric keeps getting more intense.  For several years now it hasn’t been enough to demand climate policy; we need climate justice.  We will not only eliminate fossil fuels in a decade or three, we will solve the problems of poverty and discrimination, and all in a single political package.  It sounds good, but what does it mean?You might look for an answer in new legislation introduced by AOC and Kamala Harris, the Climate Equity Act.  As...

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Origin of the 2 Percent Inflation Target

I have made most of these comments as comments on Econbrowser and Angry Bear (an excellent post by Robert Waldman), as well as on Econbrowser in response to a serious post by Jeffrey Frankel. I note that pgl has added useful comments on this matter in the other blogs.So it was 1990 that the New Zealand central bank became the first in the world to impose an inflation target of 0-0.002.  It worked out pretty well for NZ, and in general it has not done too badly in general where applied, well...

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Why is John Cochrane Nodding to a Gold Bug?

John Cochrane gave a preview of a WSJ oped he wrote in response to something from James Grant. Permit me to be brief about the utter nonsense from Grant before noting the more worthwhile discussion from Cochrane: Jim Grant: The Big Flaw in Ph.D-conomics: The Ph.D. standard of monetary management was the topic on the agenda at the July 15 panel at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. Discretionary central-bank policy conducted by former tenured economics faculty, or by people...

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Pledging Zero Carbon Emissions by 2030 or 2050: Does it Matter?

We now have two responses to the climate emergency battling it out among House Democrats, the “aggressive” 2030 target for net zero emissions folded into the Green New Deal and a more “moderate” 2050 target for the same, just announced by a group of mainstream legislators.  How significant is this difference?  Does where you stand on climate policy depend on whether your policy has a 2030 or 2050 checkpoint?I say no.  Neither target has any more than symbolic value, and what the government...

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