Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Startup Geometry Podcast EP 004: Brad DeLong

Brad DeLong visits Startup Geometry today to talk about economic currents and current economics. He may or may not have confessed to being a hyperintelligent swarm of bees in human form, a historian in disguise as an economist, and/or a Keynesian. He reviews the effects and effectiveness of US economic policies including the 2009 Recovery Act; the Trans-Pacific Partnership; tax, education, infrastructure and other proposals. We discuss the entertainment revolution and the fall of middle class security, and what to do if someone has a bigger yacht than you.

If you enjoy the show & would like to hear more episodes, please download, rate and subscribe through iTunes, as your enthusiasm for the show means a lot. Please comment below if you have suggestions for future episodes.

Note: I have to apologize for referring to Lois McMaster Bujold a "very competent writer" in the podcast. I tend toward understatement when in interview mode. She's a tremendous writer, and I read everything she publishes greedily, as soon as it comes out. I facepalm myself regularly.


Show Notes

[0.00.36] Brad DeLong is a hyperintelligent swarm of bees in human form, John Scalzi, Lois McMaster Bujold, gender politics in SF, Science fiction and economics as worldbuilding exercise.

[0.05.48] How economists are made. Jay Forrester's world dynamics model, education with Roger Wood, Gregg Erickson, Andrei Schleifer, Larry Summers, being an assistant professor applicant in economics vs. history.

[0.09.25] Trends in the economic profession, economics considered as the Nile delta. Ulrika Malmendier , Stefano DellaVigna, and Raj Chetty as leading researchers at the behavioral, individual scale. Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez at the macro, sociological scale.

[0.13.58] Keeping in mind the lessons of the Great Depression. George Osborne and the perpetual budget surplus idea.

[0.16.00] Why is Ricardian Equivalence not a thing? Why should the government invest? What's the benefit to putting off our bills?

[0.21.19] What about tax cuts as stimulus?

[0.23.23] Why transfer payments, tax credits, infrastructure spending, are better than cutting taxes on the rich from either an efficiency and equity standpoint. The effectiveness and politics of the 2009 Recovery Act. Christina Romer, Barack Obama. $600B in stimulus, where we needed $4T. A fire engine intervenes.

[0.29.54] Prospects for improving the situation now. Impact of the social safety net on JK Rowling & entrepreneurs. "You get very few tightrope walkers without a powerful safety net."

[0.32.40] Hillary Clinton's agenda. Zero debt grads, infrastructure broadly defined.

[0.38.20] Costs and benefits, 20th c. vs. 21st c. Losing the secure middle class existence, gaining better entertainment and communication. Who's rich, and what does that mean psychologically? George Romney vs. Mitt Romney. Jann Wenner vs. Paul Allen. Spalding Gray on the Hamptons. The Buddha: "Desire is infinite."

[0.43.00] The end of the fundamental problems (fire, flood, famine, marauding Huns & water buffalo) as we climb the Maslow hierarchy. Noah Smith. The entertainment revolution.

[0.47.30] The trade deals. How the TPP could be improved, and what its flaws are. How to negotiate a trade agreement that's better in its distributional effects.

[0.55.45] One policy recommendation & one personal recommendation for the listeners. Obama's most costly mistake. The R statistical package. Controlling your infinite desires.
Read more from and about Brad DeLong at the Equitablog at the Center for Equitable Growth, or at his blog, DeLong's Grasping Reality, and is readily Google-able.

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