Thursday, June 16, 2022

Today's News: Some comments on the passing scene

Just a bunch of observations today on the passing scene.

First up, interest rates. And I do mean up.
Now, perhaps there is a problem with the conventional wisdom that raising interest rates will stop "inflation". The problem is - maybe it won't.
As Atrios (economist Duncan Black) describes it: 
A problem at the moment is the conflation of "increases in the Consumer Price Index" with "inflation" and they aren't precisely the same thing. At least, the theoretical concept of "inflation" which economists think about when they are lost in their models is not identical to this, especially over the not-very-long-term.
Supply chains bottlenecks, energy price spikes, and various monopoly power pricing are not "inflation" as imagined by economists. If it isn't essentially "too much money sloshing around" then "less money sloshing around" is not the solution. 
Inflation as currently experienced by consumers is not the "inflation" that is solved by jacking up interest rates and driving people out of work, and in fact this solution is likely to exacerbate the problem in addition to creating additional economic misery. 
 Good job, everyone, as usual. Now you can move on to the next disastrous idea while blaming (spins wheel) trans people. 
Second, conspiracy theories. 
I saw some tweets yesterday from Abacus so I looked up the data. It isn't pretty. 
They recently published three articles about "Trust & Facts: What Canadians Believe"
- almost half of those interviewed think "much of the information we receive from news organizations is false.”  And they also don't believe what the government tells them either.
a significant percentage believe in political, economic or racist conspiracy theories. 
- and a smaller percentage believe in Covid conspiracy theories. 
Here are some charts: 

Third, the Klondike papers. 
Speaking of sorting out conspiracy theories vs real information, there's something going on in Canada now called the Klondike Papers and I don't understand it. But wiser heads are maybe starting to. 
It may prove enormous malfeasance in high Conservative places. 
Or it may not. 
Here's the link to journalist Justin Ling's tweet thread from yesterday: And here is Norlaine Thomas's tweet thread today, about Ling's podcast conversations: Other related tweets: Meanwhile in Ottawa, Trudeau brings the Boom! Moving to Ukraine, analysts are noticing that Ukraine is making progress on the southern front toward Kherson: At Daily Kos, Mark Sumner reports on the Kherson offensive also. He notes: 
Ukraine is going to have to fight through a whole series of Russian-occupied villages and hard points, and they’re trying to do so without leaving a trail of absolute destruction. 
 It all adds up to a formula that is extremely unlikely to generate the kind of rapid, decisive results that would be so gratifying. However, there’s some extremely good news out of all this. 
Just two weeks ago, we were talking about Russia mounting another assault on Kryvyi Rih to the north, or sending a column to Zaporizhzhia to the northeast. Neither of those things materialized. 
Because even if we’re not sure where Ukraine’s counteroffensive is being most effective, everyone agrees that Ukraine is on the offensive. And it’s being effective. 
And in his update today, Markos notes that Ukraine is getting all the ordinance and ammunition it has asked for, contrary to some of the negativity we have been reading from the 101st Twitter Brigade.  Markos also notes that European nations are sending arms to Ukraine without making big announcements about it: 
 I’ve seen more Italian Air Force flights into Rzeszow [Poland] the past few weeks than almost any other country. Yet they’ve never once made a broad announcement about what they’re sending. They’d rather help quietly, rather than rub it in Russia’s nose. Same with the French and even the Germans, as much shit as they get. Stuff is flowing in 24/7. 

And a few more comments on the passing scene: 

Andrew Coyne compares Conservatives then and now:
Finally, this is completely off-topic, I know. But here is a tweet thread with such useful advice for academics submitting their research for publication, and dealing with Revise & Resubmit requirements (and the dreaded Reviewer Two). So I just had to add it into this post:

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