Sanders is Representing Agapé [Ag-AH-pay] Love for Millennials (and Beyond)

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

Democrats in remaining primary states are now making decisions about whether to continue supporting and campaigning for Bernie Sanders the surprisingly successful underdog in the Democratic primary for President or line up behind the current frontrunner and Democratic Establishment candidate Hillary Clinton.   Sanders still has a chance to win a majority of pledged delegates if primary voters feel positively about Sanders and negatively about his opponent Clinton, that they will support Sanders.  The role of grassroots Sanders campaign volunteers is crucial here.  There are many aspects to voters’ decision-making but I want to highlight one feature of his candidacy that goes beyond differences in policy between Sanders and Clinton.  I think that those decisions revolve also around differing understandings of what kinds of love people need to survive and thrive.

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Money and Banking Part 13: Balance Sheet Interrelations and the Macroeconomy

By Eric Tymoigne

Past posts have focused on the mechanics of a specific balance sheet, specifically that of the central bank and of private banks. This post looks at the balance-sheet interrelations between the three main macroeconomic sectors of the economy: the domestic private sector, the government sector and the foreign sector. This macro view provides some important insights about issues such as the public debt and deficit, policy goals that are more likely to be achieved, the business cycle, among others.

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How Bernie’s Economic Policies Fit into Economic Theory

By William K. Black
April 19, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The journalist Adam Davidson has written an interesting article about economics and Bernie Sanders.  As an economic adviser to Bernie I found his take on Keynesian and institutional economics of considerable interest.  Institutional economics, contrary to Davidson’s take on it, is thriving and the University of Missouri at Kansas City has long been a center of institutional economics.  (I am one of the scholars at UMKC that works largely in this field.)  Davidson treats institutional economics, which overwhelmingly studies microeconomics and the “micro foundations” of the economy as having been rendered obsolete by the transformation that Keynes’ insights sparked in the study of macroeconomics.

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The Old South Renews Its Assault on the LGBT Community

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

In the first installment of this column I showed how radically the states of the former Confederacy are acting to destroy the policies of the “New South” and disinter the Old South.  I used North Carolina as my example.  This second column focuses on the renewed assault of the Old South on the LGBT community.  In particular, I discuss why so much of the business community reacts so strongly in opposition to this assault.  But what I am most interested in is explaining why the political leaders of the Old South’s renewed assault are flabbergasted by the business community’s opposition and respond to it in ways that reinforce the opposition.  The emerging leaders of the Old South simply cannot understand why national and global business leaders see the assault on the LGBT community as a problem.  I think the anti-LGBT political leadership of the reemerged Old South have three problems that explains this lack of understanding.

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The “New South” Reverts to the Old South

By William K. Black
April 12, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The rise of the “New South” is generally dated to around 1970, when socially and economically conservative white Democratic politicians who were moderate on racial issues began to be elected as governors in many Southern states.  The timing was just right in that, due to hatred for the Republican Party’s role in stopping the spread of slavery and then winning the Civil War, that Party was still anathema to many Southern whites.  The Republican Party’s “Southern strategy” would soon reverse this process and lead to that party’s modern domination of the South.  Today, the New South is rapidly reverting back to the pathologies of the Old South.  This first column looks at North Carolina as an example of this reversion.  The second column discusses the most recent manifestation of disinterring the bigotry that defined the Old South – the atavistic assault on the LGBT community.

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Too Big to Fail From the Eyes of a Specialist

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Andrew Ross Sorkin has written a column lamenting that “For a Generalist, ‘Too Big to Fail’ May Be Too Tricky to Judge” about the district court opinion finding in favor of MetLife on the question of whether it would pose a system risk were it to fail.  Sorkin runs the NYT’s “Deal Book,” which is supposed to represent the paper’s specialized expertise with regard to Wall Street.  His column demonstrates that one of the areas of expertise required to understand Wall Street is legal, and that it is beyond his understanding despite having “read hundreds of pages of legal briefs from both sides, and talked to company and government officials and outside experts….”

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Bill Clinton’s Blood Libel of the American People

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Hillary Clinton uses a rhetorical device that is too clever by half.  Whenever Bernie Sanders points out that she continues to take millions of dollars for her campaign and over $650,000 personally from the infamous “Vampire Squid” whose frauds caused the financial crisis she responds that this means that Bernie is attacking President Obama too, for in 2008 his campaign’s largest donor was those same Wall Street felons.  She then says that the Dodd-Frank Act proves that campaign contributions do not affect elected officials.  Her devotion to Wall Street funding and her statement that campaign funds have no effect help explain why she does so poorly in the polls on credibility.  As I explained in a prior column, academic research confirms what we all know from life – campaign contributions play a substantial role in the decisions of elected officials.  Indeed, even Paul Krugman’s lecture notes show that he agrees with this point.  (Disclosure: I am an adviser to Bernie on economics, regulation, and criminology.)

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The Austerity Beatings of Greece Will Continue Until Its Morale Improves

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

The old joke, that conveys a critical truth, is the poster that says “The daily floggings will continue until morale improves around here.”  The troika misses the irony in the poster, for it thinks that the answer to the eurozone nightmare problems caused by austerity is more austerity.  The latest example is three IMF stories that ran contemporaneously.  The IMF, again, lowered global growth forecasts.  Two, the IMF is calling for fiscal stimulus rather than austerity.  Three, the eurozone wants to inflict more severe austerity on Greece, purportedly to make the IMF happy.  If you sense a logical disconnect, you are right. Continue reading

CAN BERNIE DO IT? The View of a Non-Establishment Economist

By L. Randall Wray

Bernie Sanders has an ambitious agenda. Too ambitious, insist his critics (including, especially, surrogates of Hillary Clinton). He would break up the big banks, reverse the redistribution of income and wealth to the top (that accelerated under the triple whammy of the Bush-Clinton-Bush administrations), restore and improve our nation’s infrastructure, and provide employment and better wages at the bottom. The critics proclaim that his programs cannot “pay for themselves”.

Using conventional macro models, Professor Gerald Friedman at UMass showed that they would. He was then attacked for using the conventional models that all conventional economists use. Apparently, these models are fine when they support austerity, but are out-of-bounds for use when they support progressive policy. Adam Davidson (of NPR’s “Planet Money”) has noted that in spite of the empirical results, even Friedman admits that perhaps only 4% of economists believe that Bernie’s programs can pay for themselves.

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BWU/NEP’s Bill Black on WAMC

Bill appears on In Conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. You can listen here.