[email protected] has comments on 10 sites

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Borderstan / borderstan.com

Covering Dupont, Logan, U Street & Columbia Heights

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I just recently moved to this neighborhood from Chinatown and I’m wondering if there’s some way to counter-organize residents who’d like to see businesses open, people get jobs, the city get tax revenue, residents have more places to eat/drink, etc.?

2013-01-22 15:26:34 Matthew Yglesias
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The Monkey Cage / themonkeycage.org

Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage. - H.L. Mencken

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This leaves me confused as to how democracy, markets, and hierarchy are supposed to relate to one another. We have, obviously, lots of markets inside most democratic polities. Are those things examples of democracy-in-action or are they somehow withdrawals of democracy from the space in which market allocation takes place? In other words, if the State of North Carolina chooses to start allowing for private owned retail liquor sales is that a step toward “less democracy” and “more markets” in North Carolina or an example of “democracy” making a choice about the social problem of retail liquor distribution?

2012-05-23 20:06:51 Matthew Yglesias
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Ordinary Times / ordinary-times.com

A Place of Culture, Politics, & Discourse

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I was critiquing Kevin Drum’s post and his use of that chart and the inference he drew from the paper, not the entirety of the Crump/Goda/Mumford research which presumably is more extensive and contains additional material.Report

2012-02-29T22:37:19 Matthew Yglesias

The Yglesias Award isn’t named for his career as a blogger, but rather for his courageous support for the Iraq War when others on his side opposed it.

That’s not actually true, but whatever.Report

2011-12-28T21:28:19 Matthew Yglesias
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Steve Jobs is dead, so I don't think it's him. 2012-02-28T09:39:43-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
In both cases, I think these are economies with large numbers of temps being counted as "business services." 2011-10-05T17:03:01-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
Let's push this analogy further. The DSGE models favored by some schools of academics are, in my view, similar to the early Copernican models. They're preferred by those who prefer them on essentially aesthetic grounds, and it's conceivable that at some future point they'll provide superior guidance for policy action, but at present they don't work nearly as well as clunkier uglier models like the late-Ptolemaic astronomy with all its epicycles. 2011-09-20T15:56:03-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
I think to make it work you'd need some kind of fairly robust and credible federal commitment to providing a counter-cyclical budgetary cushion to state governments. But you could do it. 2011-08-15T22:31:54-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
After all, Rorty doesn’t think the world HAS a nature. Well, no. As you said initially, Rorty thinks that language doesn't "represent" the world in the way that naive conventional wisdom would have it. He thinks that the representational view of language is intuitively appealing but doesn't withstand scrutiny and gives rise to many avoidable puzzles about the representation of, for example, propositions about mathematics or ethics. But this is a dispute about language and representation, not about the world. 2011-04-12T15:16:53-04:00 myglesias
I think the problems with this merger, if there are problems, are more likely to come on the other side of the transaction. If you have only one nationwide GSM operator (AT&T) and only one nationwide CDMA operator (Verizon) then phone makers (Apple, Motorola, Nokia, etc.) are going to be in a much weaker position than they are in the two of each paradigm. This is where the opposition to the merger is going to be concentrated. 2011-03-23T13:13:38-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
I think a more productive way to think about this might be "what if there were no public sector unions?"

It's still a free country. If teachers in Washington, DC couldn't belong to the Washington Teachers Union, they'd still have common interests and would want to form an organization to advance those interests. It might be called the Washington Teachers Association. And it would lobby for high pay, job security, etc. And since it would be a concentrated interest, it would have disproportionate impact on the political process and would tend to get its way, especially because most voters have a much higher opinion of teachers than they do of politicians.

And indeed, though there is an AFL-CIO affiliated American Federation of Teachers, the non-affiliated National Education Association is the larger teacher's union. It seems to me that if you got rid of public sector unions it would continue it's work more or less unmolested. At the end of the day, after all, the vast majority of public sector unions' power comes from political influence rather than strike threats or traditional collective bargaining.
2011-01-13T11:43:26-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
You should look up some recent Cato writings on monetary policy before you embrace the conclusion that this is a good example of their beneficent influence. That said, I agree with you on the general point. 2010-11-25T11:48:24-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
To ask "why is the rent so damn high" you need to ask "whose rent?" More draconian rent control for New York City -- which seems to be the platform of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party -- would succeed in bringing rents down for incumbent renters, but would tend to increase housing costs nationwide. Generally speaking, the optimal policy from the perspective of the RITDHP constituency is for massive land use deregulation everywhere but New York City, and tighter price controls in NYC. 2010-10-20T16:31:43-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
But wouldn't it make sense if the book was co-authored by one libertarian and one modern liberal, proposing a joint medium-term program of political action? 2010-07-04T13:20:46-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
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Ned Resnikoff / resnikoff.wordpress.com

Tractatus Blogico-Philosophicus

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Given a fixed pool of resources, which would you rather have: A lower level of benefits applied without seasonality or a higher level of benefits applied with the seasonality?

And as a political matter which regime do you think is more likely to induce voters to fund benefits generously: A program where benefit availability is in part a function of the availability of work, or a program where benefits are available regardless of labor market opportunities?

I'm sympathetic to guaranteed minimum income as a policy goal but if I was in the mix in Florida politics in a practical way, my guess would be that allowing this covert seasonality is the best way to maximize the flow of resources to low-income Floridians.
2012-02-17T14:55:43-05:00 Matthew Yglesias
This is kind of ambiguous between the American conception of "the middle class" (which I agree with you is something of a historically bounded phenomenon) and something like a Marxist analysis of class as an objective relationship between people and the means of production. The genius of postwar America is that the working class -- people who did a job for a living rather than living off ownership of land or capital -- saw continually rising wages and a relatively compressed wage spectrum. The horror of postwar America is that the "middle class" that resulted was stratified by incredible race and gender inequities and by the exclusion of foreigners from the economic opportunities afforded by the United States.

We're now in something of a post-"middle class" America but it's not really the case that the owners of capital have reasserted command over the economy. Inequality has exploded much much much more rapidly than the labor share of national product has declined. The big story isn't a rebalancing in favor of capital and against labor, but a rebalancing of the labor share itself in favor of high-level executives and financial managers.
2012-01-09T16:56:09-05:00 Matthew Yglesias
I guess I would find this explanation of things more plausible if you could give me a concrete example of a policy that Dylan or I might favor that would increase the economic well-being of the poor, but that you would oppose on the grounds of non-domination. Or alternative, a concrete example of a policy you would favor on domination-minimization grounds that you're nonetheless prepared to concede would reduce material living standards. What seems to me to happen in practice is that left-wing critics of neoliberalism are simply putting forward accounts of the consequences of economic policy that neoliberals would deny. For example, Erik Loomis thinks that "So long as the government encourages companies to lay off everyone possible to maximize profits at the top or to move every single possible job overseas, this economy almost cannot recover." I think (and I think any self-respecting neoliberal would agree) that this is a mistake, and that ending managers' inclination to maximize profits is neither necessary nor sufficient to promote robust economic recovery. This, though, is just a disagreement about economics in which left-wing people are wrong. 2011-07-20T15:29:37-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
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Rortybomb / rortybomb.wordpress.com

Visit the post for more.

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"A cash-only system potentially places millions of children at risk if their parents do not use an appropriate portiion of that cash to provide for the education, health care, decent housing, personal safety, healthy diet, etc. of their children."

I think that this is one of the most persuasive objections to simply handing out cash and it's one reason (Peter Frase raises another) why I don't think "just hand out money" is the answer to everything. However, Mike's specific proposal was to unravel the submerged state for higher education finance and redirect the funds to direct provision of free higher education. My counterproposal is to unravel the submerged state for higher education finance and redirect the funds to needy 18 year-olds to spend on college or whatever seems worthwhile to them. I don't think the "think of the children" objection has force in this particular context.
2011-12-28T17:42:12-05:00 Matthew Yglesias
I think you should look up the Russian famine of 1921 if you think Lenin couldn't do worse than Bank of America. 2011-12-06T11:14:42-05:00 Matthew Yglesias
I think the supply-side chart needs a third circle. Some of the stories in your productivity heading blame high productivity for the recession while others blame low productivity. 2011-09-21T10:21:55-07:00 Matthew Yglesias
It hinges on the fiction that there is no such thing as market power, only political power (which is why neolibs are silent on market power, it simply doesnt exist). This is a great example of what I find so frustrating about this blog debate on "neoliberalism." Which neoliberals are silent on market power? Which ones say it doesn't exist? Brad DeLong thinks market power exists. 2011-08-22T07:29:42-07:00 Matthew Yglesias
I don’t think you’re “insufficiently pro-union”. I think you’re “anti-union”. It seems to me that anti-union people in the United States of America generally favor right-to-work laws whereas I favor repealing such laws. Anti-union people in the United States of America generally oppose EFCA whereas I favor EFCA. And yet, as you say, there's a widespread perception that I'm anti-union. So this is exactly the issue I'm trying to get at. Obviously, many people think my posture isn't the "real" pro-union posture. The issue often seems to be that I don't support trade barriers designed to help shelter unionized firms from competition. But I find that relatively few people are excited about following that general principle in a consistent way. 2011-08-22T07:21:25-07:00 Matthew Yglesias
That's definitely an interesting post. But it seems non-responsive to the question I'm asking: From an anti-neoliberal, pro-labor perspective should people support anti-competitive regulations to bolster the position of unionized firms? Both your response and Henry's response seem like efforts to avoid this but it pops up in many forms. The UFCW wants organized supermarket chains to be sheltered from competition from WalMart. The CWA wants AT&T to be allowed to gobble up TMobile and concentrate the cell phone market.

The brewery market struck me as an interesting example simply because new entry into the beer sector was being celebrated by various folks who sometimes slam me for being insufficiently pro-union.
2011-08-22T06:56:19-07:00 Matthew Yglesias
The dilemma you pose (universalism that delivers less to the poor vs. means-testing that delivers more to the poor) might be an interesting debate in the abstract, but in practice that’s almost never the choice. Sure, but hypothetical scenarios and thought experiments help us to understand what the real source of the disagreement is. Mike has posited the existence of an important disagreement of principle regarding universal vs means-tested programs so I think it's important to draw out what the real nature of the disagreement is. Imagine John Boehner is willing to make some important concession on income taxes or environmental regulation or immigration policy, but in exchange is demanding a one percent cut in Social Security benefits. To make the dialogue productive, you just have to imagine that the concession is something very important to you -- something good enough that you're willing to trade it for a 1% cut. My view is that *if* we decide the deal is worth taking, then the best thing to do is to try to make sure that the one percent cut takes the form of means-testing in order to safeguard the interests of the neediest. A hypothetical alternative view is that the best thing to do is to try to make sure that the one percent cut is implemented in an across-the-board way in order to safeguard the principle of universality. If it's true that left-wing critics of neoliberalism would prefer the second option here then it seems to me that we have a clear point of disagreement that we can debate. But thus far, the entire controversy strikes me as marred by a lack of precision. 2011-07-21T08:41:16-07:00 Matthew Yglesias
The allegations about macroeconomic stabilization here seem to me to be simply false. Brad DeLong is for aggressive macro stabilization policies. So am I, so is Larry Summers. And so is (of course) Paul Krugman who's also a neoliberal.

What I think this debate needs in order to clarify the terms is some example of a bullet that leftwing critics of neoliberalism are willing to fight. For example, on the question of programs that target the poor vs broad-based programs are you prepared to say "if forced to choose between two options, one of which is broad-based but delivers fewer resources to the neediest and one that is more narrowly targeted but delivers more resources to the neediest"? If so, then we have a meaty issue to debate. Is it more important for social welfare programs to deliver resources to the neediest, or is it more important for them to express aspirations of solidarity. But if not then, again, it's hard to say where exactly the disagreement lies.
2011-07-20T12:46:35-07:00 Matthew Yglesias
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The Internet Food Association / internetfoodassociation.wordpress.com

Food on the internet

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How should we interpret the fact that your main blog says today that you can't write because of crippling food poison? 2010-05-18T09:51:50-04:00 Matthew Yglesias
I, too, was totally unimpressed by my visit to the Hotel Sacher to try its famous cake. The cake kind of works as a vehicle for the whipped cream, but it's nothing to write home about. 2010-03-31T09:16:34-04:00 myglesias
I think we need to encourage Ezra to take a trip to Russia. 2010-01-14T11:17:06-04:00 myglesias
Toaster oven! 2010-01-13T15:40:23-04:00 myglesias
Mmm...bacon. 2009-11-30T11:47:47-04:00 myglesias
If you let a steak come up to room temperature, and then sear it on both sides, and then rest it properly, it will be rare in the center but not by any means "raw." 2009-11-18T12:59:26-04:00 myglesias
Hmmm… too be fair, she’s only eating “the seared fatty edges.” All the more reason not to cook the interior so damn long. 2009-11-17T20:34:18-04:00 myglesias
What I think is "New Haven" about Pete's is that you can get pizza with clams on it, which I think is great and was first introduced to in New Haven, but most people seem to think is repugnant. Comet Ping Pong's "Yalie" pie is probably the best version of this in the city, but Pete's is much more convenient. 2009-07-22T11:01:15-04:00 myglesias
I don’t care for cold coffee so I’d add a bit of hot water to bring it up to a warm temperature and a splash of milk just because that’s how I like coffee. I'd never thought of that but, yeah, in principle instead of putting the cold brew over ice you could mix it with something hot and get hot, delicious coffee. I've never tried that but perhaps I should. 2009-04-13T17:54:09-05:00 myglesias
I agree -- Oklahoma Joe's ftw!

Made a recent trip to KC worthwhile.
2009-03-04T12:28:41-05:00 myglesias
Here's the thing. There's an effort underway in the synagogues of America to tell US-residing ashkenazi jews -- people whose families come from Eastern Europe and who eat brisket and schmaltz -- that their "cultural heritage" is the heritage of the modern day country of Israel.

For example, I heard the tragic tale of a nice Jewish grade school girl who brought falafel into class for a day when everyone was supposed to bring in an example of their family's ethnic heritage. I happen to know that the girl in question's family came from Poland.

But basically there's an effort to back-read modern Israeli culture into the diaspora. To redefine American Jews as Israeli-Americans. It all starts with the Israeli flags in the synagogues but extends to matters culinary.
2009-01-27T08:25:26-05:00 myglesias
Yeah, I just grabbed that picture from somewhere -- it's not a very good choice. Overcooked and too thick. 2009-01-19T16:16:09-05:00 myglesias
Deep fried catfish is definitely tasty, but it's far from the best deep fried seafood—I'd easily take shrimp, oysters, or clams over the catfish.

I wonder how something like Ezra's breaded, baked version would compare to a similarly prepared cod.
2009-01-13T18:23:37-05:00 Matthew Yglesias
Also: ceramic. Metal is for suckers. 2009-01-10T18:33:40-05:00 myglesias
I think it's Union Meat Company at Eastern Market. Also I believe the Ace Hardware on 5th between K and L does it. 2009-01-10T18:03:44-05:00 myglesias
Sounds interesting, thanks for the recommendation. 2008-12-14T21:51:50-05:00 myglesias
Greek Deli on 19th just south of M (if memory serves) is the best meal in Dupont. I'm not sure it really qualifies as "in Dupont," though, at least for the purposes of folks like Spencer and Sara who work north of the circle up Connecticut Ave. When I used to work at 20th and L, though, that was my favorite place. 2008-11-22T14:36:28-05:00 myglesias
Yeah, I was in Vevey. 2008-11-17T17:05:04-05:00 myglesias
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I'm not sure I understand this post. Are you denying that if we could reduce the per student cost of producing undergraduate education that this would facilitate cheaper tuition? 2010-04-27T21:09:41+00:00 myglesias
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A Supposedly Fun Blog / asupposedlyfunblog.wordpress.com

Just another WordPress.com weblog

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Not to be too pedantic, but I'm pretty sure that's a Cambridge robbery rather than a Boston or Allston one. 2009-07-12T18:49:51+00:00 myglesias
Oh yeah, don’t forget The Skewer I loved the Skewer; closed while I was in school, along with the typewriter repair shop next door. 2009-07-12T15:20:10+00:00 myglesias
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Will Wilkinson / willwilkinson.net

A discussion of intersectionality for people who don't like intersectionality.

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This is a non-obscure book, but doesn't the discussion of intergenerational justice in A Theory of Justice argue for just the conclusion you're looking for? 2006-01-27T21:23:00+00:00 Matthew Yglesias
This is a non-obscure book, but doesn't the discussion of intergenerational justice in A Theory of Justice argue for just the conclusion you're looking for? 2006-01-27T16:23:15-05:00 Matthew Yglesias