LIVE STREAM at 12:15 pm: Parag Khanna on How to Run the World


Please join the New America Foundation and TWN publisher Steve Clemons today from 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm for a discussion of New America Senior Fellow Parag Khanna’s important new book, How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance. If you are in Washington you can RSVP for the event here, and it will stream live here at TWN.
— Jordan D’Amato


8 comments on “LIVE STREAM at 12:15 pm: Parag Khanna on How to Run the World

  1. questions says:

    Super La Nina, floods in Australia, food and energy disruptions, ethanol stupidity, inflation, and flu epidemics! Woohoo!


  2. article writing says:

    He is a young and progressivr man! So his advices are very important for us!


  3. questions says:

    Adding on to explain cryptic beginning remarks — Wheelan thinks that bonuses for teachers will raise test scores — there’s empirical data to counter this just at this level. And there are endless issues regarding teacher quality and the value of test scores at all that he glosses over. To the extent that we buy into this whole education policy mess, we’ll fuck up another generation of kids….
    He also dismisses the 48 hour post partum hospital stay as merely for women’s comfort without noting that readmissions for jaundice and bleeding and other problems drop significantly with the extra day. I don’t know how it balances on costs, but it’s not for mere “comfort.” There was much published about this at the time. He didn’t read it, or he chose to gloss over it so he could make the easy point that some people lose insurance if insurance gets too expensive, so why cover anything at all?! If insurance covers nothing, we can get it for 10 bucks a month for the paperwork and we can all have insurance!
    And regarding Reagan, geeze, we all knew the guy had some kind of dementia. Those who said it out loud were mocked for dissing the man.
    It’d be nice if some of the things we all know were things we were allowed to know.


  4. questions says:

    Musing on Loughner, DeLong, maybe Reagan too, economics, missing diagnoses and other related conditions.
    And I’m reading a super general, super popular-style vague intro to econ thinking by a public policy prof at the U of C, Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics. He has some empirical mistakes even in the updated edition regarding education and the coverage of 48 hours in the hosp. post partum.
    People do make mistakes. And sometimes those mistakes are costly.
    At any rate, the NYT article makes clear, as it should be, that pretty much everyone “knew” there was a problem with Loughner and pretty much everyone punted in one way or another as “there is a problem with” is a problematic notion to come to grips with.
    We can know and not know, “know” without what feels like sufficient justification, we can “know” but “feel” the opposite, we can “know” but not feel responsible, we can “know” and have dread, and so on. The knowledge everyone had about this guy was sadly inactionable. And yet everyone “knew”.
    My thoughts on this are first that the father likely has a milder version of the same issues and either figured his kid could cope, or didn’t really get it. The mother is probably freaked beyond belief at what she saw and knew, and didn’t know. There’s only so much parents can really see, and only so much they can do, and they are so invested in their creation that they often have a hard time seeing what they’ve created. Every person with “issues” has parents, and every parent sees and fails to see simultaneously. Parents are invested in what they have brought into the world, and they see the future, the corrections, the compensations, the talents, the improvements, far more easily than they see the failures. When they rail at the failures, they do so more likely out of the false hopes they had of reproduction as a compensatory mechanism.
    At any rate, there doesn’t seem to be anyone, from teachers and friends and family through bankers and online buddies and neighbors who didn’t see the problems and who didn’t act on those problems. We clearly have incentives not to act, in fact we have super strong incentives to keep our doubts to ourselves, unless we are professionals dealing with patient/clients with diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia. And even there, there are disincentives to locking people up for “their own good.”
    Economically speaking, we had the tools of analysis, we thought there was a system in place to manage things, but those managing the system and those participating in Loughner’s life had a strong disincentive to take action. To the extent that this disincentive is structural, we’ll see this kind of burst with whatever level of frequency.
    We won’t correct: mental health, individual responsibility, family clarity of vision, self-clarity, access to guns, access to crowds. We wont’ correct these because each requires an individual’s understanding the limits placed on each of use as we live together in communities. Freedom, refusal to be responsible, self-doubt, fear, misunderstanding — all of this will keep us from taking preventive action. Game theoretic situations are everywhere, and the reductions of freedom may be problematic at some level for real.
    So now, on to DeLong. The DeLong piece is a longhand version of the powderpuff powerpoint I linked to P.L. (pre-Loughner).
    He writes out what he unlearned about econ, what he worries about, and how he’s not sure where the real problems are in our fixes. Is it the lack of unions, the possibility that the politicians just don’t “get it” or what that makes things bad. Why do we tolerate 10% unemployment?
    I think that there are very similar structures in place with the economy and with Loughner.
    We all see problems, but we don’t want the responsibility.
    We all see problems, but those who are closest to the center are heavily invested in their creations, in the corrections, in the distributions that reward them. The emotional tie between one’s fortune and one’s fortune (future and money, luck and money, worth and money) is an intense connection.
    The biggest mistake economists might be making is believing in what is called the declining marginal value of the dollar. Silly people think that one’s first dollar matters more than, say, one’s gazillionth. Turns out that’s not true. The billionaire boys’ club loves each dollar with the same level of investment regardless of how many dollars they have.
    Every dollar is a testament to freedom, self-worth, the approval of the deity, the hedge against disaster, the legacy for the next generation. Every dollar is part of the corrections, compensations, self-worth, narcissistic sensibility.
    Once economists take into account the intensity of connection between money and money-holders, maybe some of the policy issues might become clearer. This ain’t homo economicus, and it’s not citizenship or participation or responsibility-taking either. It’s some other thing that is hard to understand.
    Assuming then that the attachment to money in the moneyed class is transcendent of all value, the fact that policy makers can’t move that money becomes a little easier to fathom.
    Next, on how we all missed it and had our terms all wrong, well, look at Loughner. We saw and missed at the same time. People did see the bubble, but were incentivized to ride it rather than to burst it.
    In any system, there will be strong incentives to keep the system going, to prop it up, to remain at status quo or equilibrium points for as long as possible and then some.
    Loughner was clearly a burst bubble, but the people around him maintained their investments, hoped for the best, or huddled among themselves and protected themselves against him without setting off systemic alarms. No one wants to burst bubbles, take responsibility, see the system in meta terms, challenge a comfortable position and risk something altogether different.
    Just as Loughner was allowed to roam, so the bubble and froth was allowed to grow. It’s easier to play along than to challenge.
    (I get the feeling that Deepwater Horizon could be read in similar terms.)
    It’s not enough, then, to “know” there’s a problem. We need actionable terms, instigators, systemic ways to challenge the system, we need the players to be less wedded to themselves than they are. I don’t think we get what we need out of any of this though.
    Just as we’re not going to stiffen gun laws, just as we so insanely love our 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms — scratch that, to keep and bear Glocks with a lot of fast shooting bullets in neatly arranged sets — we equally love our every dollar and we won’t part with those.
    Policy makers respond not just to numbers of supporters, but to intensity of support. Just because a poll says something doesn’t mean that people vote the way they poll. Intensity matters deeply in all congressional action.
    Who’s the most intense? Gun lovers and money lovers.


  5. questions says:

    Interesting notes on the day — Reagan really did have Alzheimer’s in office apparently.
    And Cuba travel/remittance easing is happening. If the universe doesn’t end from the easing, maybe there will be more easing. It’s really interesting how carefully this has to be done, and how there are already freak outs.
    WaTi uses the word “pogrom” to describe Sarah Palin’s ordeal. Cossacks in Alaska? Do they ride snow mobiles and use flame throwers to melt snowmen?


  6. questions says:

    Just about everything up on the front page of Rortybomb is really good. From structural unemployment and the mortgage foreclosure please get the courts out of our lives memo all the way to forced commitment and prisons as the new mental health institutions….
    And a suggestion that we need a little inflation to help entrepreneurial start ups to start up.
    Really great reading.


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