Thursday, August 25, 2016

Earth to Polanyian Social-Democrats.


This was Economix, on November 6, 2013:
"John Podesta, a longtime adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton and President Obama, is starting a research center in Washington [Washington Center for Equitable Growth] to investigate the causes and effects of growing economic inequality.
"J. Bradford DeLong, one of the best-read economics bloggers, will move a significant portion of his writing to a new blog being started by the center."
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Fast-forward about three years.

Commenting on the appointment of Ken Salazar as chair of Hillary Clinton’s transition team, the Huffington Post (August 22, 2016) adds:
"[T]he leaders of the transition team -- including Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, who is also president of the Clinton-Kaine Transition Project -- will wield enormous power."
But … but … but … what does that mean?

Well, many things; none too promising for the usual suspects, the riffraff. Among them:
"The first big post-election showdown will be over the TPP in the lame-duck session of Congress. Clinton’s spokesman Brian Fallon reiterated a week ago that 'she is against the TPP before the election and after the election.' But her choices for running mate and transition team have sent a very different message. And it’s likely that she is laying groundwork to convey anemic 'opposition' that will be understood on Capitol Hill as a wink-and-nod from a president-elect who wouldn’t mind 'aye' votes for the TPP."

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By one of those extraordinary coincidences, this was blogger-cum-think tanker Brad DeLong flying his neoliberal freak flag high on the benefits of free trade a few weeks earlier (March 12):
"On the analytics, the standard HOV models do indeed produce gains from trade by sorting production in countries to the industries in which they have comparative advantages. That leads to very large shifts in incomes toward those who owned the factors of production used intensively in the industries of comparative advantage: Big winners and big losers within a nation, with relatively small net gains.
"But the map is not the territory. The model is not the reality."
And again (June 13). Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, Query, Bang, Query, Bang.

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Podesta -- incidentally -- is not the only high-placed Washington Center for Equitable Growth veteran in team Hillary. Dr. Heather Boushey will serve as Chief Economist for the Hillary Clinton transition team.

Will they be the only WCEG alumni in an upcoming Clinton Administration? Want to bet?

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As an academic, DeLong seems less than inspiring. But -- boy -- one could get worse career advise (pay attention, Clarkington and Noah).

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Dedicated to virulently anti-neoliberal internet Polanyian social-democrats who avoid the mainstream. Keep it up, people. After all, DeLong is also a non-ideological, technocratic Polanyian (August 21).

You're doing just fine.

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