Wednesday Links

Heilbroner

Here are some items I’ve been meaning to post:

(1) ASSA Protests:  My last post mentioned the planned protests at the ASSA;  there was a bit of a buzz about the protests at the conference, and there was pretty impressive coverage in the Washington Post:  The protesters who are trying to upend the ‘fantasy world’ of economics, with the subtitle: At a gathering of America’s top economists, a small group of students is battling for the soul of economics.  The protesters, mostly grad students in economics, did projections like the one in the image above, and did aim to “disrupt” some of the sessions, including some involving Greg Mankiw, Larry Summers, and Carmen Reinhart. (It’s pretty hilarious to read Reinhart claiming that her session was heterodox in the Post article.) Mankiw’s blog had an odd post titled “An Odd Question,” in which he spoke of hecklers, one of whom apparently asked a question about Mankiw being funded by the Koch brothers. But one of the organizers of the protests, Keith Harrington, said that the hecklers weren’t from the protesters. Mankiw’s blog doesn’t take comments, so Keith emailed him this:

Thank you for sharing the Washington Post article about our initiative on your blog. Since there is no place to leave comments on any of your posts, I just wanted to send this quick note pointing out that the heckler that you mentioned was not a part of our group. We made a point to only challenge you and your colleagues on the substance of your work and viewpoints, and to avoid any purely provocative, conspiratorial commentary such as the Koch Brothers remark.
Sincerely,
Keith Harrington

Mankiw’s response:

Thank you for your note.

Greg

Polite, but not so self-reflective.  Reminds me of the response I got when I emailed James Poterba about a weird remark he made at an American Academy of Arts & Sciences event in 2010 (recounted here).

(2) Let Us Now Praise Corporate Personsby Kent Greenfield in the Washington Monthly. ARthur MacEwan raised some of the same issues on corporate personhood in an “Ask Dr. Dollar” column a couple of years ago: How Important Is Citizens United?.

(3) Political Cartooning Is Almost Worth Dying For, by the wonderful Ted Rall in the LA TImes, about the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack.  (Hats off to all the Twitter folks who have been pushing mainstream outlets to cover the #NAACBombing.)

(4) Piketty Responds to Criticisms from the Left, an interview by Potemkin Review.

(5) Several Items on #BlackLivesMatter and the NYPD that I’d meant to mention here but hadn’t had time: Andy Cush at Gawker, The NYPD Is an Embarrassment to the City of New York; Ari Paul at Jacobin, Smash the Lynch Mob;  Corey Robin at his blog, A Weimar-y Vibe (about the NYPD and PBA/Patrick Lynch after the shooting of two NYPD officers); Max Blumenthal at Alternet (nice redesign!), Emails and Racist Chats Show How Cops and GOP Are Teaming Up to Undermine de Blasio; and flawed, but worth reading, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, The NYPD’s Work Stoppage Is Surreal (<–this one from Taibbi was itself kind of surreal, for his saying he “understood” (i.e., sympathized with?) why the cops are mad at de Balsio, and that de Blasio’s reference to his son Dante was “clumsy”–which led to an unfortunate Twitter fight between Taibbi and Blumenthal). And two segments from Doug Henwood’s wonderful Behind the News have been great on the Ferguson/#BlackLivesMatter protests:  the interview with Alex Vitale (second half of the December 4 show), and the interview with Kevin Alexander Gray (first half of the October 30 show).

That’s it for now.

Calling All Rebel Economists! — ASSA Disruption

Adbusters magazine is organizing demonstrations at this year’s Allied Social Sciences meetings, which are happening in Boston this coming weekend.  Here’s the info about it:  

Demonstration against mainstream economics
at the ASSA on January 2, 2015!
4pm in front of the Boston Sheraton
during the AEA president’s opening address.

Come join student and community activists as we demonstrate
against the mainstream and their destructive theories.
            

This demonstration is the kickoff event for the Kick it Over campaign-kickitover.org

After smothering progress for decades, the mainstream stranglehold on economic thought is finally slipping. With the recent rise of student protest movements like the International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics (ISIPE), the demand for real-real world economics is at an all-time high, and a strategic spark may be all it takes for this growing discontent to explode into a global campus revolution.

This January, the rebel economists at Adbusters will head to the American Economic Association conference in Boston to throw off some much-needed sparks. As the largest annual gathering of economists in the U.S., and a magnet for media attention, the AEA conference is the perfect location to light brush fires in people’s minds, stoke debate, and inspire new flare ups of campus activism. From the workshops to the hallways, we’ll shake things up and challenge the dead-end status-quo with the subversive memes and mind-bombs of a new pluralist economics for the 21st century. We’re looking for a few good rebel economists – from students, to educators and beyond – to join in the fun!

Here are the details:

WHAT: Meme Wars at the AEA Conference
WHEN
Saturday, January 3 – Monday, January 5, 2015
WHERE: Sheraton Hotel, Boston, MA
WHO: Economics students, educators, researchers and rabble-rousers. You don’t need economic credentials to participate, but you should have a passion for economic thought and the drive to liberate it from the mainstream stranglehold.
REGISTRATIONDon’t miss the December 3 early-bird discount deadline for registration! Visit the conference website to register, and then sign up below to join the Adbusters contingent.

  • Students with college/university IDs: $25.00 (by December 3); $45 (after Dec. 3)
  • Regular attendees: $55.00 (by December 3rd); $115 (after Dec. 3)

GETTING THERE: Adbusters will provide a limited number of needs-based registration stipends for students who require it, as well as travel stipends for participants travelling from points in the mid-Atlantic, New England, and Southeast Canada. We will also help to find free housing for those who require accommodation assistance.

CONTACT: For more information, or to sign up to join the Adbusters contingent, contact Keith Harrington: keith@adbusters.org

Immediate needs are:

Housing for student activists in the Boston area: Please contact Keith Harrington: keith@adbusters.org if you can offer a room, bed, or floor space to a visiting activist participating in the campaign.

Graduate Students that are attending the conference and are interested in rabble-rousing: This is a student driven campaign and we are looking for graduate students interested in ending the reign of neo-classical economics. Please contact Keith Harrington: keith@adbusters.org to get involved!