Is There an European Economic Model?

by Henry on January 15, 2010

There’s been a fair amount of “debate”:http://www.google.com/search?q=manzi+european+economic+model&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a around “Jim Manzi’s recent piece”:http://nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/keeping-americas-edge on the differences between Europe and the US. I contributed a bit myself in the Bloggingheads with Dan Drezner linked above (with discussion of Iceland, Stephen Cohen and Brad DeLong’s recent book, and other stuff too). In this wrap-up reply to his critics, Manzi maintains that some of the criticisms that have been made by e.g. Paul Krugman are flat out wrong (Paul seems to have misattributed the data series that he was using), while saying that he was not in fact setting out to prove empirically that European style welfare redistribution systems limit innovation and growth (if I understand him correctly, he still believes this to be true, but doesn’t claim that the figures he adduces show it). As he notes, he is actively advocating that the US turn to redistribution – but is also claiming that there are trade-offs involved. I should also note that I’ve met him a few times, and always found him to be a straightforward, decent and, fwiw, mildly Europhilic guy (with whom I disagree, obviously, on multitudes of things). But as per my original Bloggingheads, I am dissatisfied with one of the most basic claims of the argument – that there is a distinct “European model,” followed by all states within Europe, which can readily be distinguished from the American approach. This is a claim that you sometimes see on “both left and right”:https://crookedtimber.org/2007/10/08/alesina-and-giavazzi-have-a-point/#more-6279 – but it is one that I think is very wrong indeed.
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History is the Devil’s Scripture

by Scott McLemee on January 15, 2010

One hesitates to refer to the rational kernel in any statement coming from Pat Robertson, of course. But his recent venture into explaining the earthquake in Haiti does contain a small, heavily distorted, yet recognizable fragment of historical reality.

That kernel has passed through his system without giving him any nourishment, but I’ll try to pluck it out of all the batshit craziness.
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Bookblogging – nearly done!

by John Quiggin on January 15, 2010

I sent off the draft MS of my Zombie Economics book to the publisher last week, but there is still time for improvement. Over the fold is the second, and final part of the privatization chapter.

You can read most of the book (not always the final draft) at my wikidot site.

As always, comments and criticism much appreciated.

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Helping Haitians

by Henry on January 15, 2010

“Chris Blattman”:http://chrisblattman.com/2010/01/14/whats-even-better-than-giving-money-to-haiti/ passes on a suggestion (for American readers).

Giving money to Haiti doesn’t seem like enough? Katmanda have another suggestion: grant Haitians Temporary Protected Status.

TPS is a form of temporary humanitarian immigration relief given to nationals of countries that have suffered severe disasters, natural or man-made. (For example, El Salvador got TPS was after the country was hit by a terrible earthquake in 2001, Honduras after Hurricane Mitch in 1999, and Burundi, Liberia, Sudan, and Somalia were designated because of ongoing armed conflicts.)

Once a country has been given TPS, its nationals who are in the United States can apply for work authorization (a very useful thing to have if, say, one needs to send money home to family members in need of medical care or a house that has not been reduced to rubble), can’t be deported or put into immigration detention (also quite handy if you’re trying to work and send money home), and can apply for travel authorization, which allows them to visit their home country and return to the US, even if they wouldn’t otherwise have a visa that would allow them back into the country (incredibly important if you have loved ones who have been badly hurt and need to visit them, or if you need to go home to attend funerals).

To support TPS, contact the White House “here”:http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact. You’ll need to select “I have a policy comment”, and “Immigration” from the drop-down menu.