PredictIt on Whether the Federal Government Will Be Closed on 1/18 (or later…)

Bets are “yes”…

Figure 1: Probability of closure on 1/18 or after (blue, left scale), and volume (red, right scale). Source: PredictIt accessed 8:30PM Eastern.

73 thoughts on “PredictIt on Whether the Federal Government Will Be Closed on 1/18 (or later…)

  1. Moses Herzog

    Gee whiz, who would have ever thought Republican Devin Nunes’ name would come up in the Russia investigation?? I’m shocked. Anyone have smelling salts handy?? And that, together with General Flynn, the diplomatic whore available for any traitorous event, if you can meet Flynn’s hourly rate. A girl has gotta survive you know.

    All this while William Barr–a man who thinks the U.S. Presidency is a Kingship or a Godship—will start his confirmation hearing tomorrow to become the new US AG.

    1. ilsm


      You could insert almost any retired senior US military officer for Flynn, leave out ‘diplomat’ bc selling useless weapons and advocating dangerous alliances/operations are real dangers and worse than any fiction raked up during the insurgency against Trump.:

      “General Flynn, the diplomatic whore available for any traitorous event,”

      1. sherparick

        You right wingers are making lemmings look smart. Just keep walking off that cliff with your favorite scumbag.

        By the way, there are always insurgencies against tyrants. The American Revolution started as an insurgency against King George.

    1. pgl

      Forgive me for asking as I don’t pay enough to get past the WSJ fire wall but what data source did they rely on. I went to to see what they are reporting and I get this message:

      ‘Due to a lapse in Congressional Appropriations for fiscal year 2019, the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis is closed. This website is not being updated until further notice.’

      Now we know why Trump wants to keep this Shut Down to continue!

    2. pgl

      “China recorded $323.32 billion in surplus with the U.S. in 2018, representing a 17% jump from the figure in the previous year, according to Chinese government trade data released Monday.”

      I was able to read the lead of the WSJ piece with this being the last sentence I got see. I’m sure the Usual Suspects will fire back that the WSJ is relying on Chinese government data. But as long as Trump prolongs this Shut Down – it is the best publicly available information!

      1. Moses Herzog

        I’ve had HALFWAY decent luck with WSJ recently (getting past the firewall) and I have no idea why. I’ve made it clear I’m one of the biggest misers you’d ever meet, so it has nothing to do with me paying you can be sure. The last thing I got was the Bloomberg hardcopy magazines, which at that time I could get for under a dollar an issue.

        I know sometimes there are little tricks to this—for example—roughly 2–3 years ago it was “common knowledge” (I only found out after the fact) that you could access all of WSJ by typing something out like “press”, and you could access the whole page—EVERYTHING. Maybe that was true for at least 2 years, and journalists pretty much kept it in their own group?? I don’t know. My only advice is, when that advert pops up, if you see an “X” in the upper right of that advert, go ahead and click on it. I went ahead and printed it out, so if it didn’t work later I still had it strewn around here somewhere. There’s also a way you can print NEARLY any webpage as a pdf file if you don’t wanna waste paper. I always hate to tell these things, but when large numbers of people figure out how to “hack” it, they inevitably shut down that “hack”. Obviously it’s not a “hack” in the TRUE sense of the word (I’m not that intelligent), but–you now, it’s a “hack” in the sense it does work more often times than not.

        It’s Chinese Government trade data. NORMALLY the Chinese data make the deficit LESS than the USA numbers do (I assume the BEA). I assume that is the case this time as well, if there is an anomaly with that Chinese data (as it normally makes the deficit look smaller than BEA numbers), maybe Menzie can tell us with a short note here in the comments, otherwise I would assume that is the same case with the Monday’s Chinese numbers.

        It looks like the agency is called (in this specific data their version of BEA) “China’s General Administration of Customs”. It’s interesting to note, China trade gap with the rest of the world (the surplus) narrowed (got smaller). So Menzie may have at least one post that gives us deeper understanding on that as well. I kinda have the feeling he will in the next month or so.

        1. pgl

          “It’s Chinese Government trade data. NORMALLY the Chinese data make the deficit LESS than the USA numbers do (I assume the BEA).”

          Exactly. Now I tried to see what the BEA data said but funny thing. They are closed because of the shut down. I wonder if this is why Trump wants the shut down to continue!

  2. pgl

    Atlanta’s airports have really long TSA lines. Their SuperBowl is Feb. 3. If this shut down continues until then – the airport is going to be a disaster. And all Trump cares about is whether all of the players stand during the national anthem.

    1. ilsm


      Nancy and Chuck are insane and they do not care who disses certain mores like the national anthem, gender symbols nor who is tossed on the street for their TDS.

      Ga governor has the national guard, how long do you think it would take an infantry (or a quartermaster for that matter) LT to figure out hoe to run the line?

        1. noneconomist

          No reason military personnel can’t process some tax returns, inspect meat, or join a Secret Service detail. How long does it take to learn those duties? Thanks, ilsm. Good thinking.

        2. Moses Herzog

          NOTE When I discuss “Chinese” below it should be assumed in this particular comment I am referring to mainland Chinese citizens.

          I know it’s in the end trivial, but there is a certain segment of my personality that is still dying to know what ilsm’s IP address indicates (and yes I know there’s a high chance of “VPN” or proxy usage). You know, like if there was a “magical” way to get the GPS location of his keyboard, let’s put it that way. I am guessing 3 choices here 1–Russia 2–East Europe, and 3–China. Why I say China?? Obvious reasons and the fact ilsm’s propaganda has tilted to a strong Chinese slant. EXAMPLE: “ilsm” talks more about the USA military. This is a pretty unsophisticated style of propaganda, and on your social media style of propaganda, Russians tend to be a tad more sophisticated. The Chinese social media propaganda tends to be a little immature. Russian style tends to work more at pitting different population groups of America or interest groups inside America against each other—or putting doubt around specific leaders. Chinese propaganda tends to whine more about America’s military apparatus. I know Chinese are quite sophisticated in other ways of propaganda (hacking, trade maneuvers), but their efforts on social media lack a little uh, what would international man of mystery Menzie say …..??? …… a little “Je ne sais quoi” or eh…… “le raffinement”??

          This is old footage of me speaking French to the girls on the seaside of Dalian China:

        3. ilsm

          ATC facilities and equipment are common between the FAA and DoD run towers. I was active duty AF during PATCO strike, military controllers filled in so well Reagan fired the lot. DoD does about the same part of US ATC now as then. As to TSA the national guard has law enforcement functions as part of their core training. The governors would be involved in doing TSA in their states.

          1. noneconomist

            The same guy who laments “the pentagon trough” wants the military to assume more civilian duties. The same “trough” that has 10% more money to spend this year. This is outside-the -box thinking at its best. Keep ‘em coming, ilsm!

          2. 2slugbaits

            ilsm The equipment and facilities might be similar, but the magnitude of the air traffic isn’t. It might be feasible for Air NG controllers to run small regional airports, but a major hub like Atlanta is entirely out of scope. Putting part time Air NG controllers in the tower at Hartsfield would be a disaster waiting to happen. The other problem is that it doesn’t really solve the problem. All it does is to force another group of folks to give up their full time jobs to go work someone else’s job.

            As to the PATCO workers, my historical memories are a little different. As I recall PATCO workers went on strike. They were then ordered to return to work. Some did, but some tried to quit as a roundabout way to withhold their labor. Reagan then invoked an obscure provision in the law that prevents critical skilled workers from quitting without permission from the government. Since they were still technically government workers Reagan fired some and sent the PATCO leaders to prison because they didn’t show up for work as ordered even though they attempted to quit. The military controllers did okay at some of the smaller airports, but were completely out of their depth at the larger airports. And of course it also meant those military air traffic controllers weren’t able do their primary mission; i.e., support training missions.

          3. Moses Herzog

            @ ilsm
            You know, I really do try to filter myself and not make things personal. And I try not to be a cynic and try to take people “at face value” or not try too hard to guess people’s inner intentions, but dude I’m sorry, of the 5 military services (if we count Coast Guard in the 5), the Air Force tends to attract the brightest minds in the group (with Navy a close 2nd). You were in the Air Force??? REALLY?!?!?!?! Dude, you are way to dumb to be ex-AirForce. Sorry, calling bullshit on that one

  3. Moses Herzog

    I don’t know, is this internet “slumming” reading this stuff?? It’s just too funny:

    If you didn’t get the joke, the same night donald trump conned the idiot network heads to broadcast his propaganda, he sent out mass emails saying he needed money for the border wall—-it was a LIE, ALL the money he was telling registered Republicans on his mass emailing list was for the border wall, was ACTUALLY going straight into his 2020 campaign.

    1. ilsm


      About my military service affiliation, and your uninformed opinion of military members. My DD214 shows USAF, commissioned officer. My retired id, I am looking at it, says USAF Retired on top right of my mug shot. My direct deposit is done by a DoD center.

      As a military and a civilian I had a lot of exposure to officers of other DoD services as well as DHS (DoT when I was around them) Coasties….. I would not give AF an edge in “brightest minds”.

      I am not “Dude, you are way to dumb”.

      I could be “way too dumb”. but your opinion is as good as your use of US English.

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ ilsm
        I could tell you “I am looking straight at my death certificate now”. It has about as much validity. You caught me in a grammar error, which was really more of a mental error, as I know the difference. Congratulations. A military man (especially Ex-Air Force) might be intelligent enough to know you should capitalize National Guard. But I wasn’t looking to embarrass you, just point out I think you’re a liar.

        You say: “As a military and a civilian”.

        What is “a military” in reference to a singular person?? I have never heard anyone say “I am a military”. It’s the type of error a non-native English speaker would make.

        In closing, you paint military officers (at the same time you claim to be one) with a very broad brush putting “almost any” (you might as well have said “all”) in the same category as General Flynn. Very few ex-military men (much less someone claiming to be a “retired officer”) could insult military members and military officers as easily as you do. You’re saying the vast majority of U.S. military officers are traitors. Again, it points to dishonesty on your part.

  4. Bruce Hall

    I’d venture that in two more weeks both sides will get serious. Right now it’s all about posturing for the constituents. While many government employees are affected, The New York Times writes that food stamp programs will continue along with food programs at the state and local levels; Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and VA benefits will be unaffected; FBI investigations will continue; and some programs still have funding left over from prior to the shutdown. Nevertheless, in about two weeks, the general inconvenience of those services that have been partially or completely unfunded will reach a point that the politicians will have to stop posing and start working.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Better tell this guy, who works hard every day for his living. He hasn’t heard the “good news” from Reverend Hall.

      Do you have any “free” booklets to send him for a one time pledge to your ministry?? Perhaps a “degree” from the donald trump college for perennial losers??? Or maybe a “voucher” for his child’s education?? Reverend Hall, we”ll all wait while you phone Paul Ryan and see if “the great technocrat” Republican Ryan can make a miracle budget by telling old widows they have to eat dog food until the day they die. It’s “the Jesus thing to do” after all.

      1. Bruce Hall

        Eh? You mean if the Democrats in the House and the POTUS can agree on a budget that will take care of the soybean problems? Great, you contact Pelosi and I’ll contact Trump, because as I see it this budget impasse will take both the House Democrats and the POTUS to reach an agreement. Or is “compromise” now defined as the POTUS does exactly what the Democrats in the House wants?

        1. Moses Herzog

          I’m curious Bruce Dogberry. How do you negotiate with a jackass who can’t even agree with HIS OWN staff?? Or even can’t discuss things with his own Republican party??

          Please, enlighten us with your deep wisdom there Bruce Dogberry.

          By the way Bruce Dogberry, there will be NO WALL. donald trump’s latest blueprint is a fence, which laughably can be cut through with your average saw purchased at Home Depot.

          The drug cartels and human traffickers sure would have a difficult time shredding that fence, if Democrats allowed the dumb-ass his taxpayer funding. It’s government money that pays for that BruceDogberry–it doesn’t fall out of the sky. Oh wait Bruce Dogberry, I forgot, donald trump isn’t worried about “bad people”. donald trump likes putting Mexican and Central American born children in ICE cages so they can be drugged, molested, and if they’re lucky die of dehydration before they get raped by pedo staff ICE never did a background check on. Got your “MAGA” dunce cap on to celebrate that Bruce Dogberry??

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ BruceDogberry
            Sadly for Jim Acosta, when you have “MAGA” folks like yourself with roughly a 4th grade reading level, you have to provide footnotes for everything. When you look at those businesses down there by that fence Jim Acosta shows in his video, you have to ask yourself a question “Why would these businesses and residential homes choose to locate in a ‘high crime’ area where ‘rapists” “murderers’ and ‘terrorsists’ are crossing regularly??” The answer is of course, they wouldn’t. So the taxpayer money spent to put that wall up has achieved nothing, other than physical proof of a waste of federal tax dollars.

            Here is the crime rate for McAllen Texas (where Jim Acosta took the video) for the year 2016.

            One might ask why the crime rate in the border town of McAllen Texas is much lower than the national average?? Or why McAllen Texas has a crime rate lower than say Tulsa Oklahoma?? Tulsa is located much farther north from donald trump’s self-manufactured and fabricated “border crisis”, in the reddest of red states. McAllen Texas ranked number 28 in the entire nation in 2016 in best places/cities to retire. Even though people seek out this publication to help decide where to move their families and where their children attend college, since it’s not tied in with FOX news BruceDogberry views it as a far-left rag.

            Of course I knew McAllen Texas was a low crime area before Acosta even put that video up and before even looking at the crime stats over many years. Bruce Dogberry might wonder how I “knew” that before the Acosta video. Because the orange colored Cadet Bone Spurs P*ssy would have never shown his face in a true high crime area. He’s a coward and we already know that.


            It might also interest BruceDogberry to know, most drugs that enter the USA come into the nation by legal ports of entry inside the large 53′ trailers pulled by semi-trucks. Not “mules” stuffing things up their rear before arriving at the airport or driving SUVs across desert areas. The narcotics come in through legal ports of entry, where the 53′ trailers carrying the drugs get waived on and never searched.

          2. Bruce Hall

            Moses, coincidence or causal? Did the “low crime” area exist because there was no drug activity or did the drug activity not exist because the wall made it too difficult to move contraband across the border and they simply went where there were no obstacles?

            You like YouTube (and I did watch your Pepe le Pew video – cute), so for you…

            I know, I know; feelings count more than facts. Now, let’s hear some more ad hominem attacks from the peanut gallery.

          3. Bruce Hall

            Menzie, this is an older post, so I’ll assume you are the only one who sees this.

            Bruce Hall
            January 15, 2019 at 11:54 am
            I’d venture that in two more weeks both sides will get serious.

            All you have to do is realize that this was all about posing by politicians for their base. Now what will be interesting is what happens on or before February 15. Oh, and yes, I don’t take WaPo or People Magazine to be experts in border security.

        2. baffling

          “Eh? You mean if the Democrats in the House and the POTUS can agree on a budget that will take care of the soybean problems? ”
          bruce, i believe the house has passed a funding bill. it will do exactly what is needed to bring the government workers back to the office. as an aside, republicans had a couple of years, including last year, to pass a bill to keep the government open. why couldn’t the republicans do this simple task when they controlled congress and the white house?

          “Or is “compromise” now defined as the POTUS does exactly what the Democrats in the House wants?”
          out of the two groups, it is potus and the republicans who are demanding more than what is required for reopening the government. the wall is extra. a bill now exists to reopen the government. all the republicans need to do is decide to reopen the government, and not request extras in order to do so.

    2. noneconomist

      One area of importance that is already late with 2019 plans: fire protection funded through U.S. Forest Service and BLM. Hiring for seasonal firefighters (and for purchasing necessary supplies and equipment) begins soon. For those who are content with California burning no matter what, I will remind ilsm and company that many of the areas in danger of wildfire are heavily populated with Trump voters. And not just here: that’s also true throughout the west in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada. Throw in the big fires that usually occur in Arizona in late spring as well. Oh, almost forgot Colorado too.

      1. ilsm


        Why worry on Cali or Colo…….

        I worry about the side effects of TDS, but not much I can do but worry.

        1. noneconomist

          How did I forget? Planning to alleviate fires and flooding and reducing death and destruction from natural disasters is of no concern to cow Hampshireans. The real problem is coping with tds and making greedy government workers realize how good they’ve got it by making them work without pay.

          1. ilsm


            I am looking at those things like the TDS democrats look at the wall.

            Alleviating all kinds of things have a probability of failure, a lot like what is said about Trump’s wall.

            If the democrats had the same usefulness criteria for their permanent military occupations and wars and their useless make work pentagon troughs there would be no wars nor F-35s or KC 46s.

            Of course, consistency is a sign of weak perspective.

          2. noneconomist

            Sure. No time to plan any forest thinning, dam strengthening, or levee building while tds is rampant and so unfair.
            What’s of greater concern to a guy from cow hampshire anyway? Trying to better manage natural resources or massaging a man child’s wounded ego?
            Sorry I asked.

  5. baffling

    the administration is already making preemptive moves. they are raising the estimated impact of the shutdown on gdp, i suspect as an excuse for slower economic activity they see coming down the pipe regardless of a shutdown. this is another reason trump is trying to shed his ownership of the shutdown. he can claim in the future that us gdp would be much higher if it were not for the “democratic” shutdown dragging the economy down.

    1. ilsm


      No junket to neocon in Afghanistan for Pelosi on USAF jets! By way of Brussels and Egypt……..
      I won’t donate my frequent flier miles, why don’t oyu?

      1. baffling

        egypt was not part of the trip, and brussels was a required layover for pilot rest. the trip was to visit troops in afghanistan, and obtain on the ground intelligence. going to a war zone is no banquet. canceling this trip was basically a way to keep congress ill informed about what is transpiring in war zones overseas-a trump goal. pettiness by trump. your support of such pettiness is not surprising ilsm.

        of course, melania and family are able to take a government plane to sunny florida for a weekend vacation, on the government dime during a shutdown. not sure how this trip is approved, and pelosi gets canceled? guess we know who wears the pants in the trump family.

      1. pgl

        Yes we all know Dr. King rightfully called for an end to Vietnam in 1967. In case your brain has so rotted out that you do not remember this – a lot of Democrats were also calling for an end of the war. ilsm – you seriously need to call the VA and have them mail you some new meds.

          1. pgl

            What a stupid, stupid question. No I do not have problems with veterans. I do have a problem with serially deranged people like you. Take you meds.

  6. pgl

    Interesting research on the effects of a “wall”. Well actually the 2006 Secure Fence Act:

    Two highlights:

    “Our estimates imply that the direct (partial equilibrium) effect of the Secure Fence Act was to reduce long-run migration from Mexico by 0.8%.”
    A less than 1% decrease in migration? But what about the effect on high skill wages? The Secure Fence Act lowered these wages:
    “Accounting for all these terms, we estimate that low-skilled US workers gain the equivalent of $0.36 in higher annual wages after the Secure Fence Act. This result is driven by the fact that low-skilled US workers become relatively scarcer in the economy. We estimate that high-skilled US workers lose the equivalent of $4.45 in higher wages after the Secure Fence Act. These numbers are below the $7 per person cost of the wall expansion.”

    Now an interesting policy recommendation:

    “With the estimated model we can undertake policy experiments. One such experiment is considering trade policy. We simulate a 25% reduction in trade costs between Mexico and the US. This, in turn, should facilitate specialisation, increasing wages in both the US and in Mexico. We estimate that migration flows between Mexico and the US would fall by more than that caused by the Secure Fence Act. Unlike the Secure Fence Act, however, reducing trade costs substantially benefits US workers – raising college educated US workers’ welfare by an equivalent of $80.59 in annual income and less educated US workers’ welfare by an equivalent of $58.67 in annual income.”

    Of course Trump wants to increase trade costs. In other words, Trump’s insanity hurts high skilled wages. Go figure!

  7. Moses Herzog

    Was always looking at the numbers kind of tunnel-visioned. Never noticed until this afternoon how good the comments section is on PredictIt. Most of the comments are intelligent, and even the few areas of debate are healthy, not many pot shots. What a weakling McConnell is eh?? Afraid to take on donald trump for fear of donald trump hitting the rocket ignition button for whoever McConnell’s competitor would be. The bastard is nearly as old as Senator Byrd was, but he would rather watch America suffer and collapse than just bow out into the sunset.

    1. baffling

      “What a weakling McConnell is eh??”
      now that is an understatement. this week, pelosi clearly showed that the house democrats firmly believe that congress is a coequal branch of government, along with the courts and president. however, mcconnell obviously believes that the congress is subservient to the president, indicated by his statements that he will not vote on legislation that the president will not sign. you see, congress can override a veto, so it is not subservient to the president. but mcconnell thinks congress is there for the president’s bidding only. in the long run this will backfire on mcconnell, but he is an old fogey who has nothing to lose. why worry about the impact 10 years from now, when you will be dead or senile? mcconnell is the most partisan political leader hack i have seen in my lifetime, and is an embarrassment to the democratic ideals this country was founded on.

  8. Willie

    Nobody will care what the administration says – it’s going to be all about what the effects of this shutdown finally are that matter. Pence says ISIL is defeated hours after ISIL blows up a bunch of US servicemen. It’s wrong, of course, but nearly everything coming out of the White House is wrong these days. Why should that be different? Back to the economy. We have a strong economy for the time being, but it’s not invulnerable. A good shock could knock it into slower growth, if not outright recession. So, what do we have? A shutdown that means 800,000 people are suddenly out of the paid workforce. Those people won’t be spending money they don’t have. The work they do won’t get done. Both of those will cause other people to go unpaid. Demand will sink, and when businesses react, so will production. Nicely done, there Little Lord Trumpleroy. A fit of pique screws millions of Americans.

    1. pgl

      Pence always speaks loudly and clearly when uttering some of the most dishonest garbage ever. But hey – the man claims he is a Christian. So we must bow down to him!

  9. Moses Herzog

    OMG, I think I’m developing a schoolboy crush on this woman. (Menzie, if you trust me, there’s no vulgarity in any of these links)–7eafb803-0319-4fbe-a05f-9ea895ca8000.html

    1. Bruce Hall

      I love AOC’s economic philosophy: If things aren’t free, that’s un-American; America is the home of the free.

      1. pgl

        Oh wow – you are undoing yourself here. OK Bruce – you win. You are the Stupidest Man Alive! Donald Luskin has to try a lot harder.

    2. Moses Herzog

      I should apologize to the readers, I thought the C-Span link went directly to AOC’s comments. Her small speech starts roughly at the 7 hour and 3 minutes mark. You can either search her name in the menu under the video or use your mouse to scroll to the right at the bottom of the video, again at the 7 hours and 3 minutes mark.

    3. Willie

      She is undoubtedly a very bright young woman. I expect her to be causing apoplexy on the right for at least 40 years. They have their new Ted Kennedy to be all exercised over now. Only problem is that she seems bomb proof for the time being. She’s a trained economist, which means she can understand costs and benefits. Give her a little time and she will explain those costs and benefits clearly. And then there’s the tax rates she’s proposing. That will make wingnut heads explode. Eisenhower was a worse commie, too, so she’s in good company.

      There’s worse people to have a schoolboy crush on.

  10. Steven Kopits

    The below linked graph from the Fed shows that China’s total factor productivity growth since 2008 has averaged perhaps 1.5% per annum. How does that translate into GDP growth averaging 7.9% over that stretch, representing more than a doubling of the size of China’s GDP (constant prices) during that period?

    1. pgl

      Damn Steven – did you even bother to read the piece by Noah Smith from whence that TFP growth rate came from ? TFP measures output relative to the labor and capital committed to the industrial sector. Not only is China’s population growth – the share of its population committed to the industrial sector (as opposed to the rural sector) is also growing. And China has very high savings rates which likely means capital per labor is growing.

      Do us a favor – take a basic course in growth theory before asking another one of your patented STUPID questions?

    2. pgl

      The Noah Smith article that Princeton Steven did not read and likely could not comprehend:

      I’ll take just a few of his choice claims:

      “Recent data suggest that consumption is falling, indicating rocky times ahead”.

      Noah the Keynesian! Of course some might say more savings leads to more investment – but hey!

      “After the financial crisis, China’s total factor productivity growth — a measure of how fast an economy increases the efficiency with which it uses labor and capital — suddenly began to fall”

      TFP is still growing at a rate near 2% per year, which outstrips TFP here. C’mon Noah!

      “When total factor productivity growth slows, a country can only grow by increasing its supply of labor and capital. With China’s working-age population in steady decline, and its supply of cheap rural labor exhausted, workforce expansion isn’t available. That leaves capital.”

      And Noah thought more savings and investment was a bad thing? He does note (unlike Princeton Steven) that a lot of China’s growth came from people leaving the farm and moving to industrial cities. OK – labor force growth slowing will slow aggregate GDP growth. But isn’t the real issue income per capita?

      Noah Smith is smart enough to grasp the standard growth models. This was not exactly his best articulated discussion on this issue.

      1. Steven Kopits

        I find it very odd that a country so far behind the US in development and income should be unable to materially surpass the US in productivity growth for a decade. Is there a comparable to China of any country at any time anywhere in the world? Perhaps Slugs has a view.

        1. pgl

          “I find it very odd that a country so far behind the US in development and income should be unable to materially surpass the US in productivity growth for a decade.”

          That is because you are seriously illiterate when it comes to basic economics. Hint, start with the old fashion Solow growth model. Maybe by 2030 you feeble brain might get its message so you can take on some of the more advanced version of Solow’s seminal model.

          In the meantime could you stop wasting our time with your stupid comments which only shows how illiterate you really are? We got that message a LONG time ago.

        2. 2slugbaits

          Steven Kopits Regarding China’s growth in the context of the standard Solow model, see this analysis by the San Francisco Fed:

          Growth economists like to talk about convergence. In a nutshell, this means that low development countries can have temporarily high GDP growth rates. GDP growth is a function of capital deepening, labor force and total factor productivity. Capital deepening and an expanding labor force work like level (or intercept) shifts in the growth curve. The slope of the curve is driven by the growth rate in total factor productivity. As the growth rate in the capital stock and the labor force fall (as they must if the country follows a balanced growth path), the differences in country growth rates will tend to converge to the total factor productivity growth rate. And since technologies and knowledge can move across country borders, over the very long run we should see a convergence in growth rates. Of course, convergence in growth rates is not the same thing as a convergence in growth levels.

          Also, a word of caution about productivity statistics. Total factor productivity in the Solow model is really just the residual or error term that falls out of the Cobb-Douglas style production function. Not only is it a catchall for all kinds of unexplained variables, but estimating capital services is tricky. And it assumes constant returns to scale, which is highly dubious in a modern economy shot through with monopoly rents from increasing returns to owners of capital. And that gets to a major problem across the developed world and the US in particular, which is capital’s increasing share of returns. Instead of worrying about China, we ought to be worrying about why labor’s share is falling in the standard Solow model.

          1. pgl

            But, but, but – Princeton Steven wants a “comp”. I guess that is his 2nd grade level reading skill version of “comparable”. Of course he has no clue what the word comparable means in the context of a growth model as this economic illiterate does not know what growth theory even is.

    3. pgl

      This is a good discussion! Let me pluck two sentences for the benefit of our village idiot from Princeton:

      “China’s economy grew 10% per year for over 30 years beginning in the early 1980s. No other country in modern history has achieved such exceptional growth for so long.”

      Hey Steven! This means there are no comparables – whatever you mean by that nonsensical term.

  11. pgl

    “Bruce Hall
    January 17, 2019 at 6:22 am
    Moses, I’ll pull a pgl and dismiss your sources as far-left rags and trolls.”

    Eh Bruce – Bloomberg is a far left rag? This is why no one should ever care what you have to say. BTW – when do we get to enjoy another racist rant from your National Review “experts”?

  12. pgl

    PeakTrader was infamous for Google searches to find off the wall pro-Trump intellectual garbage. IO see Bruce Hall has done Peaky one better as he has decided to use another search engine. DuckDuckGo. Oh fun – the jokes write themselves! But some worry that this website is a virus. No – here is what Google has to say:

    ‘DuckDuckGo website has replaced my homepage. … If DuckDuckGo has appeared as your default homepage and also as a primary search engine, you might have been inattentive while installing another app on your computer. However, it is NOT a virus, so you can use it for your searches.’

    Now that is reassuring. Now if we could only get Bruce Hall to calm down and actually THINK before writing his next off the wall rant!

  13. pgl

    Bruce Hall of late has turned to perhaps the most racist National Review commentator on immigration since well – the founder of the National Review: William Buckley. Now some of Buckley’s fans will likely deny Buckley was a racist. Heck – Steven King insists he is not a racist. Salon ran a great piece on this issue a few years back:
    ‘William F. Buckley and National Review’s vile race stance: Everything you need to know about conservatives and civil rights. Remembering the night William F. Buckley took his genteel racism to Cambridge–and left destroyed by James Baldwin’

    Now Buckley always tried to make White Supremacy look sophisticated whereas with Trump and his minions, it is often quite explicit. Of course as Salon notes:

    it fomented a direct assault against civil rights, embracing nearly all of the most offensive and discredited arguments against the movement, including the idea that black people were inherently inferior to white people. It routinely dressed up the racist resistance to civil rights with respectable-sounding arguments about states’ rights and constitutional law. As a signal crafter of conservative talking points in the midcentury years, throughout the 1950s and 1960s National Review developed arguments to oppose every motion in favor of civil rights, indiscriminately using sometimes contradictory ideas in order to pursue a single goal: the continued subjugation of America’s black people. Buckley himself had developed two arguments against civil rights, both of which were little more than disguised racism, both of which led the line at National Review. The first emerged early in his career. Since the 1950s, Buckley had argued that civil rights should be opposed not because black people were biologically inferior to white people, but because they were not yet “civilized” enough to take part in democratic government. Or, as Buckley put it in 1959, “There are no scientific grounds for assuming congenital Negro disabilities. The problem is not biological, but cultural and educational.” … In 1957, Buckley wrote National Review’s most infamous editorial, entitled “Why the South Must Prevail.” Is the white community in the South, he asked, “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically?” His answer was crystal clear: “The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because for the time being, it is the advanced race.” Buckley cited unfounded statistics demonstrating the superiority of white over black, and concluded that, “it is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority.” He added definitively: “the claims of civilization supersede those of universal suffrage.”

    OK enough for now. How is the National Review any better than Steven King or even Donald Trump? Try reading Victor Davis Hanson – Bruce Hall’s new guru on immigration who has written a lot on this topic which is even more vile. And yet Bruce Hall puts these clowns up as supposed experts on this topic.

  14. pgl

    The White Nationalist Congressman from Iowa – Stephen King – is 100% behind Trump on The Wall:

    Of course he is as The Wall was originally King’s idea. King is clearly a racist as is Trump. Other Republicans have denounced King. Isn’t it time that they denounce Trump and his racist wall so the Senate can go along with the House and end this stupid shut down?

    1. baffling

      my brother corrected me upon trumps election when i stated trump does not have a moral compass. he said trump is a magnet, and he distorts other peoples moral compass. very prescient. look at all the folks who did illegal acts at the request of donald trump. many more are headed to jail, lives ruined, by listening to that used car salesman.

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ baffling
        I agree with what you said, and I agree your brother made a very perceptive observation there, that many people completely miss. I think you and your brother probably have a better grip on things than your average television panel expert (and I’m not just talking the LCD, FOXnews on that either). On very rare occasions my father used to say something to me after I said something he thought was very insightful “My boy……. I believe you’ve got your finger on the pulse”. I think if my Dad were still alive and heard your brother’s words about the magnet—that is what my father would have told your brother.

        All of that being said, I would only add one thing to that. That similar to the KKK, and “Storm Front” and we can go on down the laundry list, Trump isn’t just conning people or getting them to do things they “would never do otherwise”. donald trump is taking people who already have those negative character features or “evil seedlings” inside of them already and giving those “evil seedlings” that were already inside them, an environment in which they can grow and flourish. And I also include trump’s children in this. When the manure hits the fan on this Ivanka trump stuff and the inauguration self-dealing and kickbacks, Ivanka is going to flutter her eyelashes and play Little Miss Innocent. But there is no doubt she knew exactly what she was doing was illegal, and who it would benefit.

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