Daily Archives: October 10, 2013


William Janeway: Can China Innovate at the Frontier?

The Institute for New Economic Thinking has the article and video William Janeway: Can China Innovate at the Frontier? The sections that I have chosen to excerpt below do have a decidedly American focus. For those who have doubts that China can become an innovator at the frontier, view the video below. It won’t answer the question, but I hope it will make you less sure that you know the answer.

At the frontier, economic growth has been driven by successive processes of trial and error and error and error: upstream exercises in research and invention, and downstream experiments in exploiting the new economic space opened by innovation. Each of these activities necessarily generates much waste along the way, such as dead-end research programs, useless inventions, and failed commercial ventures. In between, the innovations that have repeatedly transformed the architecture of the market economy, from canals to the Internet, have required massive investment to construct networks whose value in use could not be imagined at the outset of deployment.
.
.
.
The U.S. is suffering the consequences of a generation-long effort to render the state illegitimate as an economic actor. Moreover, the nation is uniquely distinguished by the widespread denial of the reality of climate change and the rejection of global warming as a motive for aggressive state action of any sort. And Europe, where climate change and the need for a state-sponsored response are both generally accepted, remains mired in its self-contradictory commitment to “expansionary fiscal austerity.”



I Have Seen the Next Big Thing, and it is Mariana Mazzucato

New Economic Perspectives has the article I Have Seen the Next Big Thing, and it is Mariana Mazzucato by Dan Kervick.  The article describes the main points of a lecture that Mariana Mazzucato gave at the London School of Economics.  If you don’t have time to watch the video, then read this article. The end of his article summarizes by saying:

In these doleful and pessimistic times in the United States, where fear and loathing of  government is endemic across so much of the political spectrum, and where various anti-state ideas favoring localism, privatization, voluntarism, self-reliance, deregulation and desupervision remain so popular on the right and the left, it might seem impossible for Mazzucato’s call for an economically activist, mission-oriented government to get a foothold. But I am convinced the ideas Mazzucato is advancing are indeed the Next Big Thing. Americans will ultimately reject failure and stagnation, as they always have in the past; and as awareness grows that our current failures are due to insufficient ambition for mission-oriented state investment, and unequal distribution of the fruits of that investment, the tide will turn back toward public enterprise and ambitious government.

I know few people will have the  time to invest 90 minutes to view the video, but for those who can make the investment, the rewards will be great.



One of the interesting links in the comments to the above article is to The Institute For New Economic Thinking interview Mazzucato and Wray: Making Finance Work for Innovation.


The House GOP’s Little Rule Change That Guaranteed A Shutdown

Talking Points Memo has the article The House GOP’s Little Rule Change That Guaranteed A Shutdown.

Under normal House rules, according to House Democrats, once that bill had been rejected again by the Senate, then any member of the House could have made a motion to vote on the Senate’s bill. Such a motion would have been what is called “privileged” and entitled to a vote of the full House. At that point, Democrats say, they could have joined with moderate Republicans in approving the motion and then in passing the clean Senate bill, averting a shutdown.

But previously, House Republicans had made a small but hugely consequential move to block them from doing it.

Here’s the rule in question:

When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.

In other words, if the House and Senate are gridlocked as they were on the eve of the shutdown, any motion from any member to end that gridlock should be allowed to proceed. Like, for example, a motion to vote on the Senate bill. That’s how House Democrats read it.

But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion “may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee.”

So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.


Now I see how this shutdown is all President Obama’s fault – NOT.


2013/10/12 I received a challenge to the veracity of this story in a comment on a friends’s Facebook page.

Chuck PriceRoger, I based my information off the actual House proceedings website, which details all activities of the House, including all votes, with yea and nay counts by party. Simple research from the source, not from slanted coverage by the media. I’m sure you can do the same if you choose and educate yourself. And to both you and Steve, any opinions based on Talking Points Memo is immediately suspect. That is as biased to the left as Fox is biased to the right.

My first response was:

Are you referring to the 11:36:44 P.M. item in the list of Legislative Activities for the House of Representatives for September 30, 2013 – Mr. Sessions filed a report from the Committee on Rules on H. Res. 368?

H.RES.368
Latest Title: Relating to consideration of the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 59) making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.

If so, do you know what was in that report?

My second response was:

How do you interpret the words in the report from the rules committee?

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R…

Section 2 of the resolution provides that any motion pursuant to
clause 4 of rule XXII relating to H.J. Res. 59 may be offered only
by the Majority Leader or his designee

thomas.loc.gov

–RELATING TO CONSIDERATION OF THE JOINT RESOLUTION (H.J. RES. 59) MAKING CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2014, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

 

 

 

 


I recognize that the words quoted above from the report are subject to interpretation and that further research can be carried out. I am no professional investigative journalist who gets paid for dogged research. If you have some evidence that this needs further research, then “speak now or forever hold your peace”.


2013/10/13

I did look at Rules of the House of Representatives, issued January 3, 2013. I was trying to find an explicit statement that corroborated the part of the Talking Point Memo story that said:

Under normal House rules, according to House Democrats, once that bill had been rejected again by the Senate, then any member of the House could have made a motion to vote on the Senate’s bill. Such a motion would have been what is called “privileged” and entitled to a vote of the full House. At that point, Democrats say, they could have joined with moderate Republicans in approving the motion and then in passing the clean Senate bill, averting a shutdown.


As I looked back to find the above quote, I also stumbled on the quote

Here’s the rule in question:

When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.


Perhaps, armed with these words, I will be able to find the evidence.


2013/10/13

Yes armed with the exact words, I found on page 36 of The Rules of the House of Representatives

4. When the stage of disagreement
has been reached on a bill or resolution
with House or Senate amendments, a
motion to dispose of any amendment
shall be privileged.

This is part of Rule XXII. You can read the verbiage around the words yourself, and then you can interpret them to mean something that supports your point of view, no matter what that point of view is.


Voluminous Public Reaction To Obama’s Concession Speech

There has been an overwhelming reaction to President Obama’s press conference that was reported on this blog, Press Reacts At Obama’s Concession Press Conference.

Most of the reaction was along the lines of this comment on Facebook:

Now that the President has given in to all the demands, you’d think that the House would respond quickly to end the shutdown.  What else could they possibly want now?

Others who paid specific attention to Helen Thomas’ question commented:

You mean the Republicans have been pulling the wool over our eyes all this time?  You really can’t trust those Republicans to tell it to us straight.  I am not going to listen to anything they have to say about the debt ceiling.

There were even a few who had the reaction:

Are you kidding me?  How could anybody be fooled by the Republicans’ puerile attempt to change people’s opinions just by calling the “ACA” “Obamacare?”

All the people who responded to Jimmy Kimmel’s survey, threatened to sue him for exposing their ignorance on national TV.


Press Reacts At Obama’s Concession Press Conference

The assembled press reacted to the startling news at the press conference that had been announced on this blog, Breaking News: Obama Concedes Everything.

When the President announced that he would totally give up on the idea of Obamacare if the Republicans would only agree to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the first question that arose came from Helen Thomas.

Mr. President, don’t you realize that ACA and Obamacare are the same thing?

To which the President replied:

I can’t hear you.  Can you shout that a little louder?  Could you be sure to repeat that question on your news shows?

When the press kept on insisting that the ACA and Obamacare were the same thing, the President asked:

Where the heck have you people been while the Republicans tried to turn the public against the ACA by calling it Obamacare?  You were certainly ready to constantly use the word Obamacare.  Only now do you want the people to know that you are really talking about the Affordable Care Act?

Where was your hankering for the truth before?


Republicans React to Announced Press Conference By Obama

By reading this blog, the Republicans got wind of the story Breaking News: Obama Concedes Everything.

There have been numerous reactions from the Republicans and from the Tea Party devotees.

Speaker Boner was heard to say, “Well, I guess we have been hoist upon our own petard.  We kept focusing on Obamacare, and let the people form their own opinions of ACA.”

When told about the President’s intentions, Ted Cruz was heard to say, “How could the American people not know that the ACA and Obamacare are the same thing? We never should have introduced the pejorative term Obamacare.”

Commentators on Faux Noise said that “Obama has really out-foxed us by turning our own propaganda against us.  I guess Obama is a lot smarter than we gave him credit for.”


Breaking News: Obama Concedes Everything

President Obama has just announced a press conference where he will concede everything the Tea Party wants.  A recent survey by Jimmy Kimmel has proved to President Obama that, without a  doubt, the American people do not want Obamacare, but they really want the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The President will explain that he finally sees why the Tea Party is so against Obamacare, but surely they cannot disagree with the great majority of the American public who want the Affordable Care Act.

How could the Republicans possibly explain being against the Affordable Care Act?  How could they possibly defend such a position?

I’ll make another post as soon as the press conference is over to tell you what the reaction of the press was.  Maybe even before that there will be some advance reaction from the Republicans.  If there is, I will report that first.