Daily Archives: January 14, 2014

Dazed and Confused: Matt Yglesias on the Job Guarantee

By Pavlina Tcherneva

Matt Yglesias has written a post that has the words ‘Job Guarantee’ (JG) in the title but has nothing to do with the actual JG proposal.

He begins by asking readers to imagine that:

“…instead of handing out welfare checks and food stamps to these bums, we should make everyone who wants public assistance show up daily at a rally-point to be contracted out to do street-cleaning work. Think parolees sentenced to community service…”

Unfortunately for him, that’s not the Job Guarantee and we have debunked such silly caricatures many times (e.g., here, here and here). Unfortunately for his readers, he is either unfamiliar with the most basic literature on the JG, or is deliberately misleading them. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s the former.

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The Icelandic Chutzpah Prize is Retired: Portes and Baldursson Win by Losing

By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)

Portes as the poster child for the failure of econometrics and neoclassical dogma

Richard Portes is the economist that the U.K.’s neoclassical economists chose to be their representative.  They consider him to represent the greatest strengths of neoclassical economists in general and econometricians in particular.  “Econometricians” is a fancy term for economists whose specialty is statistics.  Economics is unique in that one can receive exceptional honors from fellow-neoclassical economists for proving catastrophically wrong – repeatedly and causing immense human suffering.  Wesley Marshall and I are doing a book that illustrates this point by focusing on Nobel Laureates in economics, and explains the underlying pathology that has so twisted the field.  Portes has not been made a Laureate, but he is a global leader among neoclassical economists.  Portes’ pronouncements on Iceland have proven so wrong, so often, that they serve a similar purpose in illustrating these crippling pathologies.

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