Day: July 6, 2019

Edward Prescott on monetary policy and the business cycle

From Five Macroeconomic Myths
Prescott, Edward C.

Wall Street Journal
11 Dec 2006.


Turbine Trouble: US Military Declares War on Wind Power


Raising a raft of unnecessary danger, the wind industry’s body count currently stands at 192. Flying blades, collapsing and/or self-immolating towers account for their fair share of corpses. But those that take to the air, shouldn’t overlook the number of pilots and their passengers who’ve come to grief, thanks to a wind turbine or their associated METMast wind monitoring towers. For a rundown on the wind industry’s pointless death toll refer: Summary of Wind Turbine Accident data to 31 March 2019

Slamming into a 100 m tower or 60 m blade is one thing, but coping with dirty, turbulent air generated by these things, which spans out to the horizon, is another:

The spread of giant industrial wind turbines across the US of A has attracted a range of detractors, not least the US military.

As Mark Mathis details in the video below (transcript follows), America’s Armed Forces…

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What are coronations for?

The Constitution Unit Blog the next monarch accedes to the throne, there will likely be a coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Yet the UK is unique in western Europe in having a coronation. What purpose does such an event serve? Bob Morris looks back at past coronations to provide an answer to that question. 

Last summer the Constitution Unit published two reports: one on updating the Accession and Coronation oaths, and a second on Planning the next Coronation. In the course of our work we learned that the UK is alone amongst European monarchies in retaining a coronation. Belgium and the Netherlands have never held them; nor from the end of the medieval period has Spain. There have not been coronations in Denmark, Sweden and Norway since 1849, 1873 and 1906 respectively.

That prompted the question, what is the coronation for? It is a question also put to us by journalists…

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It Appears That Kamala Harris is A Liar.

American Elephants

Much has been made of Kamala Harris’s attack on Joe Biden in the Democrat Debates. Biden slipped way down in the polls, and Harris’s carefully rehearsed attack advanced her standing.

In her blast at Joe Biden, she claimed that:

Two decades after Brown v. Board, I was only the second class to integrate at Berkeley public schools. Without that decision, I likely would not have become a lawyer and eventually be elected a Senator from California.

That’s the power a Supreme Court Justice holds.

In political jargon, that’s called “playing the race card”, but personal experience makes it even more important. The Gateway Pundit clears the air a little, explaining that Kamala’s parents were successful professionals. Kamala went to school in Berkeley for only 2 years. She moved with her mother to Canada at age 7, where she completed grade school and high school.

Then a little checking confirms that…

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Understanding the development of contemporary economics through major controversies : syllabus, lecture summaries and reflections

The Undercover Historian

This Spring I taught a history of recent economics course to undergraduate students majoring in mathematics and economics. The syllabus is here. I have reproduced the reading list with some links to papers and twitter summaries of my lectures below. Here are also a few comments on what I wanted to do with this type of course, what worked and what did not. Comments and suggestions to improve the course and set up new debates are much welcomed.

Course narrative and organization 

Though the course is tailored to a specific audience, I believe how the general narrative is conveyed through re-enacting landmark controversies in the history of economics can  appeal to many types of students. My goal was to highlight several characteristics of economics as a discipline:

(1) a contested science: economics is often perceived as contested from the inside (economists constantly arguing with each other)  as well as…

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Crack Downs on Anti-Vaccine Information Are a Mistake

Green Jihad

Digital Trends reports that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are attempting to crack down on misinformation on vaccines and other claims about cancer cures, weight loss, etc. In my view, this is a mistake.

I realize there is a propensity to seek to stop or prevent what is viewed as disinformation. However, restricting or outright prohibiting such information or speech can actually backfire. The voices silenced by such policies can make them actually stronger by allowing the transmitters of such speech to make the case to their followers that they are being targeted as part of the conspiracy they claim is occurring. This, in turn, wins over or even converts people who may or may not have sympathized with people, such as Alex Jones of Infowars or Mike Adams of Natural News, to support them because they will be perceived as victims.

The answer to misinformation is more speech because, in…

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