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Friday, July 3, 2015

Does Anyone Want to Play for the Knicks Anymore?

     It was beginning to seem that the answer was no. Greg Monroe rebuffed them for the Milwaukee Bucks and LarMarcus Aldridge cancelled on even meeting them once so as to meet with the Lakers again-who he said had failed the initial interview by talking up Hollywood and business contacts rather than winning basketball games.

    This is something that has come through loud and clear during this free agency surge: top players feel they can get the money they want anywhere and care less about being in NY or LA than being part of a winning organization.

    Neither the Knicks or the Lakers have much to show as far as that recently. At least the Lakers have the history unlike my Knicks who haven't won since 1973-though the Patrick Ewing teams of the 90s were at least contenders.

     I think it's fair to say that Knicks fans are not patient and whatever pass Phil Jackson gets because of who he is and what his resume says is long over. Last year I as much as any Knicks fan was feeling privileged just to have Phil Jackson running the organization. True his success was in coaching-being a team president was brand new to him-but I felt sure that if nothing else, his Phil Jackson aura would simply turn everything it touched to gold like King Midas.

    However, the honeymoon is now over. What we have learned this week is that for a team to sign very good players it''s kind of like the paradox of your first credit card-where you can't have one unless you already have one.

   It seems that good players don't want to play for a team that doesn't already have good players on it. So the Knicks have to be better next year. Playoffs while not technically impossible is the ultimate dream season-last year's Bucks are the model who went from 15-67 to 41-41 and a playoff berth.

   That's who they lost Monroe to. For the Knicks to do what the Bucks did would be a dream season not anything that we should reasonably expect now. At this point the Knicks are very unlikely to make the playoffs or break even. However, if they have any hope of getting top players in next year's free agency-Kevin Durant, Lebron James, etc-they will have to be much improved this year.

   Because Knicks fans are rightly impatient-I mean this has been 15 years of lousy football-that's how many years it had been for the Giants when fans rented that plane in 1978. Phil Jackson and Melo both get this huge contracts and what have we got to show for it?

  However, because of this impatience, no one seems to realize that the team has done pretty well this off-season-though the proof is in the pudding and we'll only know this for a fact when the season starts.

  Finally some players are willing to play for the Knicks:

  "Derrick Williams has agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the New York Knicks, according to Chris Boussard."

  "The Knicks, who struck out on many free agents this summer -- including DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe -- have started to make some headway in free agency. Along with Williams, they have signed Robin Lopez and ArronAfflalo to deals the past two days."

   http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/7/3/8892343/derrick-williams-knicks-nba-free-agency-2015

    I don't know that they really struck out. I mean they didn't get Monroe and they were widely thought to be in the running for him-he himself had expressed interest. But that's just one player.

    You can certainly argue that Lopez and Afflalo do a lot to improve this team-that admittedly has a lot of room for improvement-if nothing else they have made the team bigger. Lopez is 7 feet and even shooting guard Afflalo is 6 foot 5-as is the point guard the Knicks got in the trade for Atlanta's 19th pick, Jerian Grant

  Lopez is more or less Monroe's mirror image-Monroe is a pretty prolfiic scorer with little defense while Lopez is more or less the opposite.

  As for the draft everyone initially booed Porzingis as the Knicks pick at #4 in the draft but he may turn out to be a steal in a few years.

  http://www.sbnation.com/2015/5/27/8474249/kristaps-porzingis-nba-draft-2015-scouting-report

 Certainly with him at 7 foot 3 and Lopez it's hard to say this is a short team anymore.

  The most unsung move at all seems to be Grant. No one is talking about Horace Grant's son who started 4 years at Notre Dame and some experts considered him the best point guard in the country.

 . Then there is Williams who could complement Melo quite well.

  http://www.azdesertswarm.com/2015/7/3/8892293/derrick-williams-signs-a-two-year-10-million-deal-with-the-knicks?_ga=1.58033699.80090434.1435327193

    So overall, I think they've very quietly done pretty well. Still, we'll only know this for sure when the season starts. Certainly I've been burned by the Knicks many times. But all Knicks fans can do is hope for the best. There is enough here for some realistic hope to hang your hat on.

 

   

Kevin Edrman vs. Fortune on Obama's New Overtime Rules

     The first thing to understand is these aren't new rules. They merely bring the old rules up to date. Since the GOP Congress came in 1994 they haven''t bothered to adjust the overtime rules to inflation.

     Sumner's buddy Kevin Edrman thinks this is going to hurt the poor.

    "Warren Meyer posted a reminder of the Obama administration's proposed overtime rules, that would expand workers who are covered to anyone with income up to about $50,000. According to Meyer, they are not making him or his employees very happy, despite the hopes of Jared Bernstein and his Washington Post headline writer:"

     "President Obama’s new overtime proposal could make a lot of people happierI think this is a great example of the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" problem. Progressives place a bunch of constraints of the lives of the working poor, then they expect to be hoisted triumphantly into office on the shoulders of people they have harmed. When a worker making $800 on 50 hours of work has to go home and tell her family she is now making $600 on 40 hours of work because new federal rules on overtime pay make the 50 hour arrangement uneconomical, she doesn't need to understand the theoretical subtleties of economics to understand what's happened. Bernstein and the president's other supporters believe workers will be pleased about this constraint. They seem to think that someone making $15/hour for 50 hours of work will now have the same schedule, but with an extra $75 for the week. Or, alternatively, that they will be reduced to 40 hours and $600, and be happy about it, because they were only coerced into those extra hours by their employers. And, this has the added bonus of creating more jobs, to replace the lost hours. (I wonder if anyone has ever written on the troubling trend of workers who have to hold multiple jobs to get by.)"

     http://fortune.com/2015/07/02/june-jobs-report-wages/

     I have to laugh here. Has anyone ever written on people having to hold multiple jobs to get by? Short answer is yes-to say the least.

     http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/06/when-i-grow-up-i-want-to-be-like-nick.html

     I mean, Mr. Edrman must live a sheltered life if this is the first he's heard of this. For most Americans it's not a question of having written about heeding 2 jobs just to survive it's living this reality. I mean who today doesn't need 2 jobs just to survive? Kevin Erdman for one.

    These are the kinds of 'anecdotes' that Sumner and his buddies like TallDave dismiss when I've made them. However, conservatives love anecdotes. Take a look at this piece by Tyler Cowen about the coming Greek vote:

  "The Greek story is being framed as a battle between the Greeks and the Germans and thus between spending and austerity. But this frame can’t make sense of the fact that, win or lose, large numbers of Greeks will vote for austerity on Sunday.

   "To understand what’s really going on, listen to this remarkable interview between NPR’s Robin Young and Nikolalos Voglis, a restaurant owner in Athens. The interview begins with a discussion of the crisis. No one has cash or credit and Voglis’s restaurant is basically shuttered. Young then asks Voglis how he will vote on Sunday and he replies, “Definitely, Yes.” Young is surprised, she tries to clarify, you will vote, “even for more austerity?” “That’s right,” he replies.

 - See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/07/the-battle-for-greece.html#sthash.E8zOgHiw.dpuf

   Just call it Variations on a Conservative Meme

   http://www.sydneysymphony.com/production-pages/2013/concert-season/variations-on-an-english-theme.aspx

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TCXINaWtkI

   What he doesn't seem to get is that never mind talking about the poor as if there this subspecies somewhere-who isn't poor today?

   "The June jobs report released on Friday shows an increase of 223,000 payroll jobs and a drop in the national unemployment rate to 5.3%. Unfortunately, wages were completely flat, remaining at $24.95 an hour."

    "So the job market continues to steadily improve, but is doing so too slowly to raise the earnings of workers, which have remained stagnant throughout the economic recovery and are lower than they were in 2000."

    http://fortune.com/2015/07/02/june-jobs-report-wages/

    Don't get me wrong during my personal lowest points in the 6 long years I lived in my parents basement I would have kissed the ground to make $25 an hour. But that this is the median wage is shocking. It''s a livable wage presuming you are single but not much more than that.

    In a better world it's what we would want young people just starting out in the workplace to make. We had this better world to-it's not just a beautiful dream-until Reagan in 1980.

  "How much can policymakers do to raise worker earnings when the labor market remains too soft to do so directly?

   "In a move that is quite overdue, President Obama earlier this week announced that he will increase the number of workers eligible to receive the 50% premium on overtime work by about 5 million. He plans to raise the ceiling on the annual earnings of workers who can receive overtime pay to over $50,000. The current ceiling — at about $23,000 — hasn’t been adjusted for inflation in decades."

   This is what Edrman seems to miss-all we are doing is just enforcing an overtime law already on the books that hasn't been updated for inflation in decades. Prior to that we had a reasonable cutoff point and lo and behold there were plenty of jobs. The Republican policy of stealth cuts by not updating to inflation roughly correlates with this deterioration in workers' pay.

  Talk about an idea whose time has come?



 

   

    

Germany Will Never Let the Greeks Leave the Euro

     There's just no doubt about it. If you choose to believe only one of my many claims I periodically make in my prolific number of posts please believe this claim. If you don't understand this you will understand nothing about the current crisis.

     The Germans aren't letting the Greeks go anywhere.

     https://thefaintofheart.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/germans-we-have-them-greeks-and-the-other-lot-by-the-balls/

     http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/07/germany-and-greece-cowhos-parasite.html

     Indeed, when you hear the details, you begin to think 'Great deal for the Germans but what do the Greeks get again?'

   "For Germany, a weak currency has been a ticket to prosperity. The country not only needs the euro, it needs the euro zone’s weakest members to remain."

   "Booting out the weak members of the eurozone won’t solve the continent’s economic problems. Such a bold move would cause more harm than good for core members of the euro, most notably, export-driven Germany. A coordinated effort to share the pain seems to be the best option out there, but it’s unclear how much pain the core eurozone countries are willing to take."

      http://fortune.com/2011/11/14/why-germany-needs-the-euro/

    If the core countries aren''t willing to take any why should the periphery be? The only possible reason could be if they gain more from the arrangement which is clearly not the case. Indeed, how does Greece-or for that matter, Italy-gain?

   "The nature of these meetings is that the hallway chatter is always more interesting that the formal program. Part of the reason why is that, particularly when talking to journalists, the businesspeople or politicians tend to regard those conversations as off the record. So I’ll abide by that here. One of the German execs was a consultant, and the other headed what I’ll call a quasi-official German organization."

   "They were slightly irritated by the pessimism I’d expressed earlier in the day. “Don’t you realize,” one of them said, “that the cost to us (Germany) of bailing out Greece is far less than it cost us to reintegrate East Germany after the wall came down in 1989?”

   "I almost choked on my croissant. Yes, I replied, I am aware of that. I lived and worked in Berlin as a journalist in the mid 1990s, when that very painful (economically speaking) process was taking place in Germany. But doesn’t that, I said politely, rather beg the question: Germany integrating their brethren, who’d been isolated and impoverished during the cold war, was a dream come true, whatever the cost. Germans, on the other hand paying to bail out Greece is, to average German, rather the opposite of a dream come true, is it not?"

  "Here was my ‘choking on my croissant’ moment number two. Most economists would agree with what my friend at the meeting had said; but he seemed either oblivious (not likely) or simply unconcerned (more likely) with the flip side of what he had just uttered. Italy, to take the third-largest economy in Europe, one with a sizeable and modern industrial base, is stuck with a currency — the euro — which is stronger than the old lira would be under current circumstances. But membership in the euro zone means Italy can’t devalue to bring some relief to its exporters."

  https://thefaintofheart.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/germans-we-have-them-greeks-and-the-other-lot-by-the-balls/

  Again what does Greece get by membership in the euro? It's less clear. I have to agree with Sumner that even though it might have been better had the Greeks not joined the euro-the system is just wrong; you can't have monetary without fiscal union-it still would be much more painful to leave now. 

  This doesn't mean they couldn't leave-and I would argue if the EU simply won't give them a better deal then they should walk. Of course, Tsipras' calculation is that they probably will give them a better deal rather than let them walk. 

  However, you can't deny that the pain would be considerable-and there's no way to exactly quantify how much. It could be very painful-or maybe not quite so painful though still painful; that's what a risk is. 

  Whatever the benefits Greece gets-and there are presumably some like being part of a trade bloc, etc-the Greek people certainly want to stay. 

   http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/07/it-looks-like-greek-eu-vote-will-be.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DiaryOfARepublicanHater+%28Diary+of+a+Republican+Hater%29

   A lot of this is about national pride and political identity. The Greeks consider themselves the quintessentially Western nation. Yes, Tsipras has palled around with Putin recently-and maybe some of the socialist and Communist types in his party are  a little more biased towards Russia and China-but overall the nations self-image is very much part of the European and Western project. 

  They take very seriously their status as the cradle and their country the birthplace of Western Civilization. So they don't want to leave. 

  However, I would argue they should leave if they can't get a better deal. But they can and will-if they vote no on Sunday. . 

  Again, the there will be a deal whether the Greeks vote yes or no-not Grexit. 

  However, voting no will get them a much better deal and a yes vote pretty much usurps their own sovereignty. 



 

 

    

It Looks Like the Greek EU Vote Will Be Very Close

     According to the polls Greeks are split down the middle:

   "The latest opinion poll, conducted by the ALCO polling institute and published in the Ethnos newspaper on Friday, pointed to a close result. The "yes" vote supporting creditors' reform proposals came in at 44.8 percent, the "no" vote stood at 43.4 percent, and 1.8 percent were undecided."

    "However, it also showed that 74 percent wanted to remain in the euro, against 15 percent, who wanted a "national currency."

     http://www.cnbc.com/id/102808101

    Yes, they want to stay in the euro which makes this election all about framing-and which framing the voters end up believing. Because there are 2 facts about Greek opinion that might seem contradictory:

    1. They want to remain in the euro.

    2. They are weary of austerity and won''t it to stop or at least greatly slow. Yet the referendum is the EU proposal that calls for a lot more pain.

    This according to the euro pundits is contradictory because they can't stay n the euro and get a 'bailout' if they don't agree to austerity.

    However, there is a good argument that this is not about whether or not they stay in the euro-the Germans will never let them leave anyway

   http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/07/germany-and-greece-cowhos-parasite.html

   in which case this vote is not about leaving the euro but rather whether or not they accept a bad deal by the EU authorities-just as Tsipras has argued.

  http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-no-vote-for-greeks-may-just-be-free.html

   So in a way it's not surprising the vote is so close as they Greeks want both to stay in the euro but not have to eat more deals like the EU proposal up for vote Sunday. However, it also shows that a lot of people are missing Tsipras' point that this vote really is about the EU proposal and not about staying in the euro.

   Ie, what the Greeks are actually voting for on Sunday is whether or not to come to a deal from a position of strength or weakness: it's av vote on Greek sovereignty-a no vote is a yes to sovereignty.

 
  

Germany and Greece: Who's the Parasite?

      If you here the conventional wisdom of the EU pundits Greece is a parasite on German industriousness, etc. If this is so it should be easy to let Greece go. This indeed is a very common narrative you are hearing whether you read Sumner or watch CNBC.

      Of course, the question begs: what took Germany so long to get rid of Greece? Supposedly the 'childish antics' of Tsipras have finally pushed Angela Merkel too far.

     http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-no-vote-for-greeks-may-just-be-free.html

     Folks like Sumner, et. al, never tire of cataloging all of Greece's supposed sins. A new piece at CNBC goes through Greece's Original Sin-lying to get into the euro.

    "This Greek problem happened because, one day a few years ago we had a rounding problem. They said they had a 5 percent deficit and it was 15 percent. We've been struggling with the problem ever since."

    "Greece's government admitted in 2004 that it had under-reported the country's budget deficit figures when it applied to joined the euro zone."
     http://www.cnbc.com/id/102808101

     Yes, but what about the Germans? They were let in despite also failing to meet the budget rules. Actually consider what the Germans were saying 4 years ago. Back then they felt they had the Greeks-and the Italians-by the balls:

    "The nature of these meetings is that the hallway chatter is always more interesting that the formal program. Part of the reason why is that, particularly when talking to journalists, the businesspeople or politicians tend to regard those conversations as off the record. So I’ll abide by that here. One of the German execs was a consultant, and the other headed what I’ll call a quasi-official German organization."

   https://thefaintofheart.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/germans-we-have-them-greeks-and-the-other-lot-by-the-balls/

   Yes, the joys of inside baseball. Seriously, I'd love to be a fly on the wall-and this reporter was.

  "They were slightly irritated by the pessimism I’d expressed earlier in the day. “Don’t you realize,” one of them said, “that the cost to us (Germany) of bailing out Greece is far less than it cost us to reintegrate East Germany after the wall came down in 1989?”

   "I almost choked on my croissant. Yes, I replied, I am aware of that. I lived and worked in Berlin as a journalist in the mid 1990s, when that very painful (economically speaking) process was taking place in Germany. But doesn’t that, I said politely, rather beg the question: Germany integrating their brethren, who’d been isolated and impoverished during the cold war, was a dream come true, whatever the cost. Germans, on the other hand paying to bail out Greece is, to average German, rather the opposite of a dream come true, is it not?"

   "He waved me off. No no, he said, it will be taken care of. The Germans, he said, understood how beneficial to them membership in the euro zone has been. Without it, the gentleman said, the value of the Deutschemark would be 50% or 75% higher than it is under the euro. “German industry would be wiped off the map.”

   So while the Germans kvetch about Greece the cost of a 'bailout' is not so bad-they went through far worse with reunification-it was just-very-different politics. 

   However, when you hear this frank admission of how much Germany gains from having Greece on the euro you have to question this idea of Greece as the parasite who has the most to leave from a Grexit. However as Germany benefits from the cheap euro thanks to Greece-and Italy-how much cheaper would the Drachma be?

  "Here was my ‘choking on my croissant’ moment number two. Most economists would agree with what my friend at the meeting had said; but he seemed either oblivious (not likely) or simply unconcerned (more likely) with the flip side of what he had just uttered. Italy, to take the third-largest economy in Europe, one with a sizeable and modern industrial base, is stuck with a currency — the euro — which is stronger than the old lira would be under current circumstances. But membership in the euro zone means Italy can’t devalue to bring some relief to its exporters."

  "I pushed back politely. Look, I said, it’s not Greece I’m worried about. It’s Italy. Third-biggest bond market in the world. Bond spreads this morning again heading over 7%(before the ECB intervened this to push them back down again.) Too big to fail, too big to save. Is the government, even one under a new Prime Minister, going to push through sufficient austerity to avoid a default?"

   "Now the consultant perked up, speaking what he too believes to be the unvarnished truth. They have to, he said, because “to be blunt about it, we have them [both the Greeks and the Italians] by the balls.”

    Yep-We have them by the balls. Does that sound like a victim of a parasite? This comment of 2011-but the attitude hasn't changed-by the Germans proves my point in my previous post that for the Greeks defying Germany and the EU is an economic free good. 

   http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-no-vote-for-greeks-may-just-be-free.html

   P.S. I'm jazzed because I seem to finally have figured out how to fix the formatting when I cut and paste an article from a different place. I was just changing back the font before but that didn't always solve the problem. What I've learned to do during this post is actually remove the formatting of posts that I cut and paste. 

  In other good news the Knicks get Robin Lopez

  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/7/2/8817181/robin-lopez-free-agency-2015-knicks-contract-deandre-jordan

  So someone wants to play for the Knicks. 

   





     

    

 

     

Marcus Nunes is Shocked I Agree With Him on the Euro

       I recently left a comment agreeing with his-and fellow Market Monetarist David Beckworth-on Greece. As I told him, there's no reason to be shocked, I've never said that I disagree with the MMers on everything just that I don't agree with them on everything either.

      They seem to take the latter for the former.

      As for Greece, no disagreement from me with Beckworth here:

      "The Eurozone crisis is one of the greatest economic tragedies of the past century. It has caused immense human suffering and continues to this day. The standard view attributes it to a pre-crisis buildup of public and private debt augmented by the imposition of austerity during the crisis."

    "While there is evidence of a relationship between these developments and economic growth during the crisis, this evidence upon closer examination points to the common monetary policy shared by these countries as the real culprit for the sharp decline in economic activity. In particular, the ECB’s tightening of monetary policy in 2008 and 2010-2011 seem to have not only caused two recessions but sparked the sovereign debt crisis and gave teeth to the austerity programs. This finding points to the need for a new monetary policy regime in the Eurozone. The case is made that the new regime should be a growth path target for total money spending."

     https://thefaintofheart.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/the-beatles-sing-about-greece-the-troika-you-say-yes-i-say-no-you-say-stop-but-i-say-go-go-go-oh-no-you-say-goodbye-and-i-say-hello-hello-hello-i-dont-know-why-you-say-goodb/#comment-17263

     I totally agree with Beckworth here-at the expense of Tyler Cowen who claims that what's hurting Greece primarily is big government. No, that doesn't explain the pain. 

    http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-no-vote-for-greeks-may-just-be-free.html

   http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/07/the-battle-for-greece.html

  As for the question of structural reform what is objectionable is for the EU to dictate this to the Greeks. While I believe a yes vote on Sunday would be a big mistake I still welcome it as the Greeks will finally have spoken. 

 If they want to do structural reforms that should be up to them. It may well be that the government needs reform but only they should decide this not the EU pundits, a la Tyler Cowen. 

  As to Marcus, it's too bad we can't be friends. We used to be friendly but quite honestly, he seems to have been offended by some of my disagreements with MM. 

  While my inability to get along with Scott is well known, most of the other MM guys are ok guys at least personally. You'll never meet a classier individual than David Glasner. Somehow like Sumner he's able to answer all comments-this is a good legacy of Sumner and the rest of the MMers; answering comments-without the reflexive snarky defensiveness. 

  Nick Rowe recently wrote a piece about fiscal policy and the size of government that I found touched on a big part of my differences with MM. 

   "Suppose I were totally indifferent about the size of government. Because I thought that the government was always equally good (or equally bad) at spending money as private households and firms. And not just at the margin, but everywhere. Never better, never worse, but always exactly the same. Whether G is 1% of GDP, or 99% of GDP, I don't care. The marginal benefits to government spending (adjusting for thee marginal deadweight cost of taxes, and relative to the marginal benefits of private spending) did not diminish."
    "Then I would find it hard to argue that fiscal policy was worse than monetary policy. You fiscalists want big government spending sometimes, and small government spending at other times? Whatever. We could use monetary policy instead, but who cares?"
    http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2015/06/fiscal-policy-and-indifference-about-the-size-of-government.html#more
   http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2015/07/why-does-size-of-government-matter.html
   This is in large part how it seems to me-who cares? And Nick argues that this is what's at the heart of the difference. He left this interesting comment for me that I admit does cover a lot of ground-which is what I'm always looking for. 
   "Suppose there's an Ebola outbreak. And at the same time aggregate demand is getting too strong, and you want to reduce total (government + private) spending. Fiscal policy says you should reduce G to reduce total spending. I say you should increase G to cope with the Ebola outbreak, and use monetary policy to reduce total spending."
   "Now put it into reverse. There's a baby bust, so you don't need the government to build as many schools. But at the same time there's a recession, so you want to increase total spending. Fiscal policy says you should increase G to increase total spending. I say you should reduce G, and use monetary policy to increase total spending."

  See, a lot of times I think the MMers-especially Scott- misunderstand me-all I seek is understanding. Like Socrates what were innocent questions on his part were taken as insults by the pious. 

   When I ask a question I'm hoping you can give me a good answer that explains things. I think Nick's answer here whether I agree with it or not-and I have far from totally unpacked it yet, which means it was a very good comment-at least clarifies and makes coherent a big part of the Monetarist preference for fiscal policy over monetary. 

    This is not an endorsement-at this point I haven't even fully unpacked it and all its applications-but I understand at least Nick's Monetarist position a lot better. At least in his examples you see that it doesn't work out as a simple prejudice against more government and a bias for less. He agrees that government spending is how you deal with an Ebola outbreak. 

    P.S. I really don't think Scott is all bad-he and I just don't click for a few reasons. One is ideology but another is temperaments. To an extent ideology and temperament may be related. You could argue that certain temperaments prefer certain ideologies. 

   Scott has a quite different skill set than Nick or David Glasner-or Nunes for that matter. It does take all kinds though. But even his benefactor Ken Duda admits that Sumner can make it harder for himself by his manner. 

  What I do like about Nick is he really is what I'd call a 'congenital teacher'-basically a natural born teacher. His joy is explaining things to his students. 
    

  

  

A 'No' Vote for the Greeks May Just Be a 'Free Good'

     This is a concept of the economists. For instance if you work for an unfair boss who doesn't like you then mouthing off to him is actually the best-really you're only response. Instead of being submissive-which won''t work in his case because he's unfair.

     I think this is something like what's going on with Greece. The EU pundits talk about Tsipras' 'childish antics' as if they occur in a vacuum. Maybe they're in response to his objecting to these pompous EU honchos treating him and his nation like a child. 

    I mean a lot of the talk about him is just blatant paternalism if you ever don't want to see it. Check out this post-that Sumner of course recommended as understanding well the crisis. 

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/1f036eb8-209b-11e5-ab0f-6bb9974f25d0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz3elEGiG6e

    The whole tone is that the Greeks are naughty children who can't be allowed desert until they apologize. 

    I know Sumner bitterly doesn''t want to be one of Krugman''s Very Serious People but what do you expect when the only thing you can say about Tsipras is that 'He's not serious; I can't take him seriously'-this is what all the EU pundits are saying-and as criticisms go it's pretty vague. What it really means is that he is disobeying his masters at the EU and IMF. 

   And much as it may shock Chris Giles-the author of the link above-it seems that the response of Tsipras' naughtiness of not paying the IMF on Tuesday has been 'rewarded.'

   http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10130211234592774869404581083940950708966

   Meanwhile Tyler Cowen represents the Greek fight as being about big government. 

   "Many Greeks are sick and tired of the bloated public sector and its corruption, inefficiency and waste. In this frame, the Greek story is not fundamentally about Greeks versus Germans it’s about the Greek people versus their government–the Germans have simply been the vehicle that has brought the Greeks to their kairotic moment.  The Greeks want normalcy, as the Poles did after communism. If the Yes vote wins on Sunday it will be the Greeks voting not just against the current administration but against the entire state apparatus.

    - See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/07/the-battle-for-greece.html#sthash.E8zOgHiw.dpuf"

    Yes, there's a shock for you: Tyler Cowen thinks the only problem is big government. What he fails to get here is that the Greek people elected Tsipras and Syrzia just this year-it wasn't a Leninist coup that brought them to power. 

    In this vein I have to agree with Market Monetarists David Beckworth and Marcus Nunes rather than Cowen. What's killing Greece isn't big government but rather a terrible monetary union. 

   https://thefaintofheart.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/the-beatles-sing-about-greece-the-troika-you-say-yes-i-say-no-you-say-stop-but-i-say-go-go-go-oh-no-you-say-goodbye-and-i-say-hello-hello-hello-i-dont-know-why-you-say-goodb/#comment-17263

   I can agree with Sumner-maybe the Greeks should never have joined-but I don't agree with what he's saying now: that Tsipras is their real problem. All the Tsipras bashers act as if things were going great in Greece before he was elected. 

  "Greece has achieved much since receiving the bailout loans, reducing budget deficit from 15 per cent of national income in 2009 to 3 per cent in 2014. It has implemented many necessary economic reforms; and the programme began to work, with Greek output growth topping the eurozone league table in the third quarter 2014. This progress was made despite Greece persistently failing to implement fully the reforms to which it had agreed."

   If thins were going well why'd the Greeks elect Syrzia? Again, he wasn't elected in a coup and his campaign promised to do exactly what he's doing. None of this is a surprise. What was a surprise was previous Greek governments that promised relief and then broke their promises and went along with team austerity. What did they get for their trouble? They were voted out of office. 

  That's what this is about now: the EU wants Tsipras and his party gone. I think that if the Greeks vote now that's a real mistake. You give up the control you now enjoy. Tsipras has figured out the truth: defying the EU is a free good. 

   Not only is there no benefit to compliance-the EU doesn't reward it-but there actually is a benefit to noncompliance-after their default on an IMF payment on Tuesday, the IMF has urged the EU hotshots to give the Greeks some debt relief-probably figuring that's the only way the IMF is going to get any money back.