"Micro vs. Macro"

John Cochrane:

The cause of sclerotic growth is the major economic policy question of our time. The three big explanations are 1) We ran out of ideas (Gordon); 2) Deficient "demand," remediable by more fiscal stimulus (Summers, say) 3); Death by a thousand cuts of cronyist regulation and legal economic interference.

On the latter, we mostly have stories and some estimates for individual markets, not easy-to-use  government-provided statistics. But there are lots of stories.


"Are Professors Going Too Fast?"

George Leef has great fun reviewing a new book claiming "college professors [are] harried and overburdened to the point where they’re putting their very health at risk".

Oddly, Berg and Seeber present data showing that actual corporate chief executive officers feel less stress and more ability to get their work done than do college professors working in their non-profit environment from which people are rarely fired. According to an MIT study they cite, 62 percent of college faculty reported that they feel “physically or emotionally drained at the end of the day,” while only 55 percent of the CEOs said that they felt that way.


Something to keep an eye on

"Bookworm" from the Bookworm Room:

With a child heading off to college, I’ve decided to start a new feature at my blog. As the spirit moves me, I’m going to quote, verbatim, from college catalogs. I’m not going to go the cheap and easy route of quoting from the Women’s Studies or Queer Studies departments. Instead, I’m interested in what passes for education in the traditional liberal arts: History and English.


"Our Quick Take on CBO's August Projections"

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget presents the discouraging forecasts.

CBO now projects deficits more than tripling, from $438 billion in 2015 to $1.24 trillion by 2026, with trillion dollar deficits returning by 2024. CBO now projects the deficit for 2016 to be $152 billion higher than 2015 at $590 billion.

Debt held by the public, meanwhile, will grow by $10 trillion from $13.1 trillion at the end of 2015 to $23.1 trillion by 2026. As a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), debt will grow from 74 percent of GDP in 2015 – already twice its pre-recession levels – to 85.5 percent of GDP in 2026.


"What We Mean by 'Let the Market Handle It'"

Very nicely done by Donald Boudreaux.

Put differently, to say “let the market handle it” is just a shorthand way of saying “Let whoever is most willing, most able, most experienced, most knowledgeable, and best equipped be free to try his or her hand at dealing with each specific problem.” And to say “let the market always handle it” is not – contrary to what Rodrik’s argument suggests – to propose a single, simple fix for all problems; it is to propose that the field be left open for as many fixes as are feasible to be tried. To say “let the market always handle it” is to warn that using government as a fix crowds out – prevents – experimentation with many other possible fixes.


"Univ. of Chicago pushes back on trigger warnings, safe spaces"

Bravo. If Chicago is "where fun goes to die" but political correctness does, too, it's a good trade.

Unsurprisingly, some are upset: "It’s not just about 'special snowflakes': What’s missing in U. of Chicago’s 'no trigger warnings, no safe spaces' letter" (rather reasonable for Salon) and "The University of Chicago is attacking academic freedom" (typical dopiness from New Republic).


"Why Liberals Love to Explain Donald Trump to Each Other"

Funny and true.

Liberals love to explain Donald Trump to liberals. . . .

I can sympathize with my colleagues’ profusion of punditry. I thought of writing a “Why People Support Trump” column myself, but it seemed like all the good ideas were taken. And if there’s one thing you can’t do in my business, it’s agree with someone else. . . .

But the chattering class’s rush to “explain” Donald Trump to itself says more about us than about him. In fact, we are every bit as afraid as Trump’s white, working class base—and we, like they, have good reason to be. And while they seek solace in a tough-talking leader who pisses off the intelligentsia, we seek comfort in the intelligentsia—even if they contradict themselves as often as The Donald.


"The Illness That Never Ends"

If things are going too well for you, if you're too happy, this piece on viral infections will help bring you right down.

Murray could only conclude one thing: the effects of the West Nile virus were lasting for a really long time in otherwise healthy individuals. The root cause remained a mystery. She didn’t know whether the symptoms were the result of the body’s immune response gone haywire or whether some people still harbored remnants of the initial infection that triggered ongoing symptoms.