Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 49258
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
 
WIKI | FAQ | Tech FAQ
http://csua.com/feed/
2018/12/15 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/15   

2008/2/26 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:49258 Activity:nil 92%like:49259
2/26    Interesting article about Obama's policy team
        http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=4d40a39e-8f57-4054-bd99-94bc9d19be1a
2018/12/15 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/15   

You may also be interested in these entries...
2013/2/10-3/19 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Uncategorized/Profanity] UID:54603 Activity:nil
2/10    I like Woz, and I like iWoz, but let me tell ya, no one worships
        him because he has the charisma of an highly functioning
        Autistic person. Meanwhile, everyone worships Jobs because
        he's better looking and does an amazing job promoting himself
        as God. I guess this is not the first time in history. Case in
        point, Caesar, Napolean, GWB, etc. Why is it that people
	...
2010/11/2-2011/1/13 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/President/Reagan] UID:54001 Activity:nil
11/2    California Uber Alles is such a great song
        \_ Yes, and it was written about Jerry Brown. I was thinking this
           as I cast my vote for Meg Whitman. I am independent, but I
           typically vote Democrat (e.g., I voted for Boxer). However, I
           can't believe we elected this retread.
           \_ You voted for the billionaire that ran HP into the ground
	...
2010/2/22-3/30 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:53722 Activity:nil
2/20    Ok serious question, NOT political.  This is straight up procedural.
        Has it been declared that we didn't find WMD in iraq? (think so).
        So why did we go into iraq (what was the gain), and if nobody really
        knows, why is nobody looking for the reason?
        \_ Political stability, military strategy (Iran), and to prevent
           Saddam from financing terrorism.
	...
2009/8/5-13 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:53241 Activity:kinda low
8/5     Regarding NKorea relesing the journalists, here's what I think the
        actual deal between Kim and Obama is:
        - Both agree that Kim needs to save, or gain, face to pave the way for
          his son's succession and for NK's stability.
        - Both agree that Obama doesn't like losing face by publicly
          apologizing.
	...
2009/4/27-5/4 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:52914 Activity:low
4/27    "Obama the first Asian-American president?"
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090427/pl_afp/uspoliticsobama100daysasia
        Just like the way Clinton was the first African-American president.
        \_ Two wars, a banking, housing, and general economic crisis, a truly
           massive deficit, and now, Swine Flu.  Has any president except for
           Lincoln and Roosevelt faced worse?
	...
2009/3/13-19 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:52710 Activity:nil
3/13    So Bill Clinton doesn't know what an embryo is?
        \_ obCigarJoke
	...
2009/2/27-3/6 [Politics/Domestic/California, Reference/Tax] UID:52655 Activity:low
2/27    CA unemployment increases from 9.3% to 10.1% for Jan
        \_ Good thing the legislature passed the biggest tax increase in
           history!  That should solve it.
           \_ because cutting taxes has done such a great job so far!
                \_ it has.. giving mortgages to poor folks did us in
                   \_ 100% horseshit.
	...
2009/2/4-9 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:52511 Activity:kinda low
2/3     Well said: "What gets people upset are executives being rewarded for
        failure. Especially when those rewards are subsidized by US taxpayers."
        \_ Turns out, he gets it.
           \_ Talk is cheap.
              \_ Freedom is strength.
        \_ Isn't this something like FDR might have said?
	...
2009/1/27-2/1 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:52478 Activity:nil
1/27    http://www.realnews.org/index.php-option=com_content&task=view&id=59&Itemid=189.htm
        [Title: Hilary's Bush Connection. Summary: Ties to Alan Quasha.]
        \_ I knew hillary was evil!
        \- in case you are interested, the old white guy to the right of
           the clinton-bushco picture [chalmers johnson] is a former ucb
           prof who sort of went nuts.
	...
2009/1/22-27 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:52446 Activity:nil
1/22    We now have more government workers than manufacturing
        Note the steady growth of gov't jobs
        http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/milestone
        \_ What is this guys source for data? Overall employment in the
           Federal Govt shrank during the Clinton years, but state govt may
           have more than made up for that, I don't know.
	...
2009/1/22-26 [Consumer/Camera, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:52441 Activity:nil
1/22    Amazing inaugural ceremony shot. Zoom in to see GWB and Clintons!
        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/01/20/us/politics/2009-inauguration-zoom-photo.html
        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/01/20/us/politics/2009-inauguration-zoom-photo.html#4-1853-904
        PS Bush is probably not feeling loved compared to Clinton.
        \_ One more from a different angle. It's a friggin 1474 MEGAPIXEL
           stitch picture.
	...
Cache (8192 bytes)
www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=4d40a39e-8f57-4054-bd99-94bc9d19be1a
As a young economics professor in the late 1970s, Richard Thaler began noticing small but nagging ways in which ordinary people defied the predictions of economic theory. A friend confided that he mowed his lawn to save $10, but winced at the suggestion that he mow someone else's to make $10. A colleague confessed that he'd never go out and buy a $50 bottle of wine for a family meal, but that he'd recently opened up a $50 bottle at dinner because it happened to be lying around. The textbooks assumed people would behave identically when equal amounts of money were at stake. But here they were doing completely different things depending on the context. By the late '80s, Thaler had begun recording these observations in a column for a leading academic journal. The column laid the groundwork for a book, called The Winner's Curse, published in 1994. And the book widely signaled the arrival of a previously obscure sub-field known as behavioral economics. Behaviorists like Thaler believed that the perfectly rational, utterly selfinterested maximizers of economists' imaginations had little in common with actual human beings, who frequently err when making simple calculations, who have trouble with self-control, who often act out of altruism or spite. But what's really interesting is how Thaler and his fellow behaviorists responded to this fairly critical insight. Though rational self-interest was the central tenet of neoclassical (ie, modern) economics, they didn't take a wrecking ball to the field and replace it with some equally sweeping theory of human behavior. Instead, they labored to bring economics closer in line with how the world actually works, one small adjustment at a time. "'Discovery commences with the awareness of anomaly,'" Thaler wrote in the introduction to The Winner's Curse, quoting the philosopher Thomas Kuhn. "I hope to accomplish that first step--awareness of anomaly. Perhaps at that point we can start to see the development of the new, improved version of economic theory." As it happens, Thaler is revered by the leading wonks on Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Though he has no formal role, Thaler presides as a kind of in-house intellectual guru, consulting regularly with Obama's top economic adviser, a fellow University of Chicago professor named Austan Goolsbee. "My main role has been to harass Austan, who has an office down the hall from mine, " Thaler recently told me. You can find subtle evidence of this influence across numerous Obama proposals. For example, one key behavioral finding is that people often fail to set aside money for retirement even when their employers offer generous 401 plans. If, on the other hand, you automatically enroll workers in 401s but allow them to opt out, most stick with it. Obama's savings plan exploits this so-called "status quo" bias. And, yet, it's not just the details of Obama's policies that suggest a behavioral approach. In some respects, the sensibility behind the behaviorist critique of economics is one shared by all the Obama wonks, whether they're domestic policy nerds or grizzled foreign policy hands. Despite Obama's reputation for grandiose rhetoric and utopian hope-mongering, the Obamanauts aren't radicals--far from it. They're pragmatists--people who, when an existing paradigm clashes with reality, opt to tweak that paradigm rather than replace it wholesale. As Thaler puts it, "Physics with friction is not as beautiful. It might as well be the motto for Obama's entire policy shop. Sociologically, the Obamanauts have a lot in common with the last gang of Democratic outsiders to make a credible run at the White House. Like Bill Clinton in 1992, Obama's campaign boasts a cadre of credentialed achievers. Intellectually, however, the Obamanauts couldn't be more different. Clinton delighted in surrounding himself with big-think public intellectuals--like economics commentator Robert Reich and political philosopher Bill Galston. You'd be hard-pressed to find a political philosopher in Obama's inner wonk-dom. His is dominated by a group of first-rate economists, beginning with Goolsbee, one of the profession's most respected tax experts. A Harvard economist named Jeff Liebman has been influential in helping Obama think through budget and retirement issues; another, David Cutler, helped shape his views on health care. Goolsbee, in particular, is an almost unprecedented figure in Democratic politics: an academic economist with a top campaign position and the candidate's ear. One major reason for these differences is the candidate himself. Cutler told me Obama is adamant about consulting bona fide experts. "The staff kept saying, 'What he wants to know is that he's really talking to experts in the field. It's a field that prizes rigorous results, supported by reams of painstakingly sifted data. Even a very smart non-academic can come up short by this measure. Last year, Goolsbee participated in a panel discussion with the economic advisers of the major presidential campaigns. At one point, he acknowledged the two other academics in the room and noted their dependence on intricate census data. This prompted some grumbling from the other advisers--very accomplished wonks in their own right--which the moderator acknowledged. But the truth is that almost no non-PhD would know what to do with such elaborate data sets. Or take the latest advances in behavioral economics: "We're aware of that stuff, we read the literature, believe a lot of it," says one Obama adviser. "That stuff hasn't filtered to the Washington policy community yet." Bill Clinton favored what you might call a "deductive" approach--an all- encompassing, almost revolutionary idea, out of which fell lots of smaller proposals. In a series of speeches in 1991, he unveiled the product of all his late-night bull-sessions with people like Reich and Galston, which he called "The New Covenant." The old model held that government had certain unconditional obligations to its citizens. Under Clinton's reimagining, many of these obligations would disappear. The government would help only those who fulfilled their responsibilities as parents, workers, and taxpayers. For instance, the government would no longer provide unlimited welfare benefits. It would instead require recipients to work after two years of assistance. For their part, the Obama wonks tend to be inductive--working piecemeal from a series of real-world observations. One typical Goolsbee brainchild is something called an automatic tax return. The idea is that, if you had no tax deductions or freelance income the previous year, the IRS would send you a tax return that was already filled out. As long as you accepted the government's accounting, you could just sign it and mail it back. Goolsbee estimates this small innovation could save hundreds of millions of man-hours spent filling out tax forms, and billions of dollars in tax-preparation fees. Think of the contrast here as the difference between science-fiction writers and engineers. Reich and Galston are the kinds of people who'd sketch out the idea for time travel in a moment of inspiration. could rig up the DeLorean that would actually get you back to 1955. Like their intellectual godfather Thaler, the Obama wonks aren't particularly interested in tearing down existing paradigms, just adjusting and extending them when they become outdated. The Obamanauts are perfectly willing to accept the relationship between long-term rates and economic growth. But recent evidence suggests that low rates weren't quite as central to the success of the Clinton years as they appeared, and that investments in infrastructure and R&D might be as important as deficit reduction. Not surprisingly, Obama plans to focus less on the deficit than Clinton did. The Clintonites were moderates, but they were also ideological. They explicitly rejected the liberalism of the 1970s and '80s. They occasionally reach out to progressive think tanks like the Economic Policy Institute, but they also come from a world-- academic economics--whose inhabitants generally lean right. Just before the Iowa caucus, I saw Goolsbee approach New York Times columni...