Thursday, November 3, 2016

Acemoglu, the Dems and Tuesday's election

I missed this. CEPR blog posted on Thomas Edsall's column and quoted this nugget from Daron Acemoglu (and this guy might get a "Nobel"):
As long as the Democratic Party shakes off its hard-core anti-market, pro-union stance, there is a huge constituency of well-educated, socially conscious Americans that will join in.
I don't agree with all of the CEPR proposals. I always found the free trade on professionals a peculiar idea. At any rate, that would alienate a constituency of the Democratic Party. But it is very instructive of what mainstream economists, even some considered liberal, might say, and what we should expect in case Hillary wins and brings these kind of economists as advisers to her administration (if she wins, which as I said earlier, is not guaranteed; it seems now it's going to be very close).

Acemoglu also said, according to Edsall: that Dems, “should seek a coalition that stands for the most vulnerable people in society,” but he believes “such a coalition could not stand by itself without the support of influential, well-off members of American society.”

The solutions for the poor (vulnerable is a nicer euphemism) will come from the educated elite, which is "socially conscious." So forget about Bernie and the progressive wing of the Party and just become the old GOP, an aggiornamento of the Rockefeller Republicans. And that's why, in a nutshell, many working class people are going to vote for Trump. These guys think, against logic and evidence I would add, that minimum wages are bad, that powerful corporations are fine, but strong unions hurt the economy, and that trade deals have had only positive effects.

Acemoglu seems to know very little about how the actual rights of workers were obtained in this (or any other for that matter) country. Nobody gave workers their rights for free, and even FDR and Frances Perkins (his Labor Secretary), which were socially conscious members of the elite, would not have passed some of the labor legislation without the sit-down strikes, and the pressure and organization from below.

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Godley versus Tobin on Monetary Matters by Marc Lavoie

  The 4th Godley-Tobin Lecture given by Marc Lavoie, a co-author of Wynne Godley, and one of the leading Post Keynesian authors.