Current Affairs

"Are We On The Verge Of Civil War? Some Words Of Reassurance"

By distinguished Stanford political scientist Morris Fiorina. I'm not convinced yet, but this is an undeniably important and interesting perspective.

To understand contemporary American political life, you should begin with the realization that most of the people blabbering on cable television, venting on Facebook, and/or fulminating on Twitter are abnormal. They are abnormally interested and involved in politics, they tend to occupy the policy extremes, and they are abnormally opinionated . . . 

Turning from interest and activity to beliefs and preferences, an examination of the ideological distribution of the American public finds that roughly 40 percent consider themselves moderates, 35 percent conservatives and 25 percent liberals.  These figures are virtually the same as those from 1976, when the Democrats nominated an Evangelical Christian from Georgia and the Republicans a country club moderate from Michigan.  On issue after issue the American public chooses centrist positions. 


"Kavanaugh Conservatives vs. Booker Democrats"

So true.

. . . the Kavanaugh nomination shows what American politics is, at heart, about. It is about “rights” and the entire system that arose in our lifetimes to confer them not through legislation but through court decisions: Roe v. Wade in 1973 (abortion), Regents v. Bakke in 1979 (affirmative action), Plyler v. Doe in 1982 (immigrant rights), and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 (gay marriage). The Democrats are the party of rights. As such, they are the party of the Supreme Court. You can see why Ted Kennedy claimed in a 1987 diatribe that the Yale law professor Robert Bork would turn the United States into a police state. For Democrats, an unfriendly Supreme Court is a threat to everything.


"New Weapon for Blockchain Startups: Nobel Prize-Winning Brains"

Note to the haters--you know who you are--the "Brains" referred to are four professional economists.

Also there's this:

. . . led by Pat Bajari, Amazon has hired more than 150 Ph.D. economists in the past five years, making them the largest employer of tech economists.  In fact, Amazon now has several times more full time economists than the largest academic economics department, and continues to grow at a rapid pace.

(That's Tyler Cowen, quoting a recent paper by Susan Athey and Michael Luca.)