Day: June 29, 2019

Suzi Quatro – The Wild One

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Why do Keynesian macroeconomists still bother?

Chari, V. V., Patrick J. Kehoe, and Ellen R. McGrattan. 2009. “New Keynesian Models: Not Yet Useful for Policy Analysis.” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 1 (1): 242-66.

David Brooks on the Dems

Why Evolution Is True

Read this op-ed by David Brooks in today’s New York Times (click on screenshot) and see if you disagree with it. His fear, which is also is mine, is that the Dems, by moving ever further left in an effort to out-woke each other, will improve the prospects of Trump:

An excerpt (Brooks is a centrist):

According to a recent Gallup poll, 35 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, 35 percent call themselves moderate and 26 percent call themselves liberal. The candidates at the debates this week fall mostly within the 26 percent. The party seems to think it can win without any of the 35 percent of us in the moderate camp, the ones who actually delivered the 2018 midterm win. . .

The party is moving toward all sorts of positions that drive away moderates and make it more likely the nominee will be unelectable. And it’s…

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June 28, 1914. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Hungary.

Assassin got lucky on his second attempt because the archduke’s car stalled outside the cafe where he had lunch after his failed first attempt earlier that day!”

European Royal History

98 years ago today came the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary an act which precipitated the first World War. I cannot do justice in this blog to all the complexities that lead to the start of World War I. I don’t view the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as the cause of World War I but merely the spark that set off a ticking time bomb. The roots of the war go back a long way in European history. Throughout the 19th century a weakened Ottoman Empire began losing its European territories. As territories were lost they were gobbled up by the larger European powers which often disregarded the ethnic and nationalistic make up of the population. This happened when Austria-Hungary annexed the Bosnian region which had a large population of Serbian nationals.

What also was a large factor was the alliance system that reached its peak during…

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Political Crises We Have Known (1): 1931 and all that, part three

RGS History

mac baldIn retrospect, the fall of MacDonald’s second Labour government, the creation of the national government, the 1931 general election and its aftermath mark, in many ways, the end of that period of remarkable political reconfiguration either side of the Great War and the coming of democracy. We can now see that the ‘thirties saw the restoration of two party politics: the two parties which would, after the Second World War, dominate British politics. However, I’m not sure it looked quite like that at time.

In 1931, it was possible to envisage the collapse of Labour. Remember, it had only been the second party of British politics for a decade. Its greatest figure, Ramsay MacDonald, now headed a national government (seen above with Baldwin, right, and the Liberal leader Sir Herbert Samuel).

Nor did the party help itself. More than once, in the aftermath of defeat, the Labour Party has had…

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Political Crises We Have Known (2): Home Rule, the Northern Irish Full Stop and the Conservative Party’s Ulster Question

RGS History

unitedIf there has been a staple of modern British history, one would surely be the Irish Question, which has recently returned to bite the Westminster backside once more.

It is tempting to rehearse a list of the manifold occasions that Irish politics has served to destabilise Westminster. For now, though, I want to focus on what was, potentially, the most serious one of lot, which convulsed British politics in the years before the Great War: what is usually referred to as the home rule crisis. It was a crisis that threatened the peace, the United Kingdom, and constitutional politics itself.

Back then, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. It had been since 1800. In reaction to the rebellion of 1798, Pitt the Younger forced through the Act of Union. Ireland’s parliament was abolished, and Ireland sent MPs to Westminster. In some ways, Pitt was emulating the 1707 Act…

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More evidence of a working rich