What Happened When Pete Buttigieg Tore Down Houses In Black And Latino South Bend   Recently updated !

BuzzFeed News has the article What Happened When Pete Buttigieg Tore Down Houses In Black And Latino South Bend.

Regina Williams-Preston got into politics so that the city wouldn’t do to anyone else what the mayor’s big redevelopment plan did to her.

His program to knock down hundreds of homes in black and Latino neighborhoods like hers smacked of gentrification and ultimately cost her family several investment properties they hoped to repair but couldn’t after Williams-Preston’s husband suffered a serious illness.

This is the kind of report I wanted to see when I heard about the “1,000 homes in 1,000 days” program. The article is not a hit piece, but it does show what can happen with well meaning, but inexperienced people get aggressive. There have been plenty of experienced people who did things like this, but I am not sure they were well meaning.

I would not be surprised if what Pete Buttigieg thought when he took on this project is some of what goes into vulture capitalists thinking when they take over a company and strip it of its assets, leaving the company’s debt holders and employees with nothing. This is what they may teach in business schools as just maximizing shareholder values. That sounds like a laudable goal until you think about the collateral damage.

Here is how CNN handled the story. Their article is Pete Buttigieg pushed an aggressive plan to revitalize South Bend. Not everyone felt its benefits.


Hello world: Shining a light onto the culture of computer programmers   Recently updated !

Ars Technica has the article Hello world: Shining a light onto the culture of computer programmers.

Thompson: One of the things that really leapt out is the almost aesthetic delight in efficiency and optimization that you find among software developers. They really like taking something that’s being done ponderously, or that’s repetitive, and optimizing it. Almost all engineering has focused on making things run more efficiently. Saving labor, consolidating steps, making something easier to do, amplifying human abilities. But it also can be almost impossible to turn off. Scott Hanselman talks about coding all day long and coming down to dinner. The rest of the family is cooking dinner and he immediately starts critiquing the inefficient ways they’re doing it: “I’ve moved into code review of dinner.”

Here is an article that does a good job of describing the life of a software engineer. As long time ago, we stopped calling ourselves programmers. Calling us coders is even more demeaning. Other than that, it is a good article.

In the 1970’s there was a lot of research going on about how to do quality software engineering. Most of management never seemed to get the idea, but what happened is that you have to spend more time engineering and less time coding. For the next 30 years or so, it was a lesson I continually had to teach, sometimes successfully, and sometimes not.


How to travel faster than light   Recently updated !

YouTube has the video How to travel faster than light.

Traveling faster than light is one of humanity’s dreams. Sadly, modern physics doesn’t cooperate. However there are examples where it really is possible to travel faster than light. In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln tells us of these ways in which the universe breaks the ultimate speed limit.


When I start to think about astrophysical measurements, I come up with some questions that just do not make any sense. Thinking about the lessons, particularly at the end of this video, it helps me put those questions into some perspective better than my intutions give me.

I’ll leave some hint of the conundrum here in case I ever forget what the question was.

When you are talking about the farthest away object that we can see, it is about 13 billion light years away. That supposedly means that the light beam we see on our telescopes started to travel toward our telescope 13 billion years ago. So where is the object now, that was where we see it 13 billion years ago? 13 billion years ago was about the time of the big-bank that started our universe. At that time everything was contained in a little dot of space. So the object couldn’t have been 13 billion light years away from us. So how did the light leave this object that was right next to us, but taken 13 billion years to arrive here? The video above gives some hints as to what is going on.

The hint from the video is to imagine that far away object being on the skin of an inflating balloon centered around us. If the balloon is inflating so that the skin of the balloon is moving away from us faster than the speed of light at first, then the light beam from the object won’t be able to reach us until the inflation slows down.


The Sanders Institute Talks: A National Job Guarantee

YouTube has the video The Sanders Institute Talks: A National Job Guarantee published on Mar 20, 2018.

Dr. Jane O’Meara Sanders (Founder, Fellow of The Sanders Institute) talks with Dr. Stephanie Kelton (Founding Fellow of The Sanders Institute, Professor at Stonybrook University) about the results of a new report on creating a national jobs guarantee program. Dr. Kelton co-authored the report with L. Randall Wray, Flavia Dantas, Scott Fullwiler, and Pavlina R. Tcherneva. The full report will be released through the Levy Institute in April, 2018.


I noticed a while ago that Bernie Sanders had added the idea of a jobs guarantee to his speeches. He never says anything about what he means. I have wondered why he has started talking about this. I know the idea is part of Modern Money Theory (MMT), and I know he hired MMT proponent Stephanie Kelton to be the Senate Budget Committee’s economist for the minority. Well, I think I have finally found the explanation.


A Social Service Job Guarantee Proposal

YouTube has the video A Social Service Job Guarantee Proposal.

Fadhel Kaboub, Associate Professor of Economics at Denison University, on with Steve Grumbine of Real Progressives, discussing a specific proposal that could be used to implement a Job Guarantee. This flavor of JG would use existing local non-profits and service organizations to employ workers applying for JG jobs.


This is the most detailed description that I have heard about how the Job Guarantee would be implemented. I had no idea that this is the way it would be done.


Argentina’s Job Guarantee-Like Program

YouTube has the video Argentina’s Job Guarantee-Like Program.

Professor Pavlina Tcherneva discusses Argentina’s Jefes program, which was similar to the Job Guarantee advocated by proponents of Modern Money Theory.


I had no idea that there was all this research and practical experience behind the idea of a Job Guarantee. After I look at some more of this, I may have to change my mind about how practical it is. This is from 2016.

Here is a playlist of videos on the Jobs Guarantee.


Has The DNC Rigged The Primaries Already?

I am wondering if the DNC has rigged the presidential primaries already. What has me wondering is Rule 2.A.1.

Rule 2
Participation

  1. Participation in the delegate selection process shall be open to all voters who wish to participate as Democrats.
    1. Democratic voters shall be those persons who publicly declare their Party preference and have that preference publicly recorded.
DNC Selection Rules Page 2

In the 2018 primaries in Massachusetts, I took out a Democratic Primary ballot as an unenrolled voter. That means I was not enrolled in any party.

Unlike many years ago, this did not change my party enrollment from unenrolled to Democrat. Long ago, Massachusetts primary voters had to change their party enrollment back to unenrolled. You could do that before even leaving the polling station.

I wonder how the Massachusetts procedure may have to be changed to meet the new DNC rules.

Given that the general election includes unenrolled voters, I wonder why the DNC wants to choose its candidates without any input from unenrolled voters. As in 2016, this choice proved to be disastrous. Over the country, the Democrats chose a candidate that the Democrats liked, but the rest of the voters did not like. Is the Democratic Party wanting to repeat the 2016 debacle?


Bill Black: Tom Friedman Just Noticed that the UK “Has Gone Mad”

Naked Capitalism has the article Bill Black: Tom Friedman Just Noticed that the UK “Has Gone Mad”.

MMT [Modern Money Theory] is not simply an Ivory Tower theory. Finance professionals use it because it produces superior predictive results. If politicians like Blair, Brown, and Obama had studied MMT, they would have avoided many of their worst economic blunders that brought us Brexit and Trump.

As I was reading this article, I suddenly realized the problem with voting for the lesser of two evils. When you “win”, people tend to forget that they won with an evil candidate. After you “win”, you must oppose the evil that you voted for.

In this article Bill Black describes the evil that was done by our choice of winners.


MMT, Models, Multidisciplinarity

New Economic Perspectives has the article MMT, Models, Multidisciplinarity.

The upshot is that, there is an inverse relationship between the price the government pays for goods and services and the quantity of real goods and services it receives, for a given level of taxation and net saving desires. Constraining the budget creates unemployment and under-provisions the government. If instead, the government allowed its budget to float, if could design a countercyclical policy (such as the Job Guarantee) that would be a superior price anchor and automatic stabilizer, which I modeled in a subsequent paper. So unlike basic neoclassical PPF models that pass objectionable tradeoffs as efficient, the Job Guarantee explicitly rejects the use of unemployment for economic stabilization purposes.

There is a lot in this article that is worth learning. It will take further reading and thought to digest it all. The references in the article will be interesting to follow.

There is one comment in the article, that I have said myself.

Now, all models make simplifications and all models are flawed. But they can be used to clarify an idea.

On this blog, I found one post I wrote that expresses the same sentiment. The post is Financial Modelers’ Manifesto posted on December 2, 2010.

I believe in this oath even for my former line of work modeling the behavior of integrated circuits. In my line of work, I was actually modeling laws of physics, but all models simplify.


What is a “Guaidó”?

The Real News Network has a two episode piece What is a “Guaidó”?.

Former Catholic Priest and Wyoming native Charlie Hardy talks about his recent experiences in Venezuela and looks back on 25 years living among the poorest of Venezuela’s poor.

Here are the two videos.

What is a “Guaidó”? A Cowboy in Caracas (Pt 1/2).


What is a “Guaidó”? A Cowboy in Caracas (Pt 2/2).


Watch these two episodes, and then tell me why Bernie Sanders would object to our oligarchs’ news media being called “the enemy of the people”.