There are three major lessons for policymakers from this research:Dave Weigel:
1. Direct government intervention during recessions, either through deficit-financed tax cuts or deficit-financed increases in government spending, is a more powerful tool for fighting recessions than we realized before the Great Recession.
2. In a slack economy, or one that is operating below its potential, austerity—taking money out of the economy to balance government budgets—is especially bad policy. Whether via tax hikes or cuts in government spending, contracting the government’s budget during a recession reduces gross domestic product, or GDP, by more than the size of the cuts—possibly as much as three times more.
3. The costs of doing nothing can be permanent and much higher than we previously thought: U.S. GDP is currently 10 percent below its prerecession 2014 projection, and many economists believe that we have reached a new normal. If this is true, austerity could cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion in economic activity every year, even after we have fully recovered from the Great Recession.
Here’s How Quickly Conservatives Turned on Bowe BergdahlBrad Plumer:
One of the most confusing aspects of the Environmental Protection Agency's big new proposal to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from US power plants is that it appears to treat every state in a wildly different fashion.More politics and policy below the fold.
At first glance, for instance, it looks like Arizona and Washington have to cut their emissions far more deeply than, say, Kentucky or West Virginia by 2030. And it's not at all obvious why that would be.
So it's worth walking step-by-step through the process of how the EPA's power-plant rules will actually work — and why it's surprisingly difficult to figure out which states will get hit hardest or have to make the biggest changes:
Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Wednesday urged Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s critics not to “judge” him until all the facts are in and sharply defended the extensive and risky search efforts that claimed the lives of some of his fellow soldiers.AP:
“We did a huge number of operations to try to stop the Taliban from being able to move him across the border into Pakistan,” McChrystal told Yahoo News in an exclusive interview. “And we made a great effort and put a lot of people at risk in doing that, but that’s what you should do. That’s what soldiers do for each other.”
The announcement that the U.S. government had secured the release of missing U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and that it was freeing five senior Taliban figures from Guantanamo Bay has been portrayed first and foremost as a prisoner exchange. But the four-year history of secret dialogue that led to Saturday's release suggests that the main goal of each side may have been far more sweeping.Funny piece from Jeremy Shapiro about how think tanks work:
It was about setting the stage for larger discussions on a future peaceful Afghanistan.
At the appointed hour, an officious staffer arrives to announce that “He” (the lead government official goes only by personal pronoun—names are unnecessary at this level) is unfortunately delayed at another meeting on the urgent international crisis of the day, but will arrive just as soon as he can get break away from the president in the Situation Room. He is, in fact, just reading email, but his long career has taught him the advantage of making people wait.I have been to a handful of these, and this is how it goes down.
It got me thinking about the families I see who choose not to immunize their children. While I think that vaccines are a great idea and have immunized my children, I respect every family's right to make the medical decisions that they think best for their children. And while I think that the recommended vaccine schedule is safe, I am always willing to work with families if they really want to do something different. Better to have some vaccinations, or vaccinations on a different schedule, than none at all.Maria Puente on why you should listen to doctors and not celebrities about science:
But when I read about the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, polio or pertussis, I worry -- and wish that there wasn't so much fear about vaccines. Here are the most common reasons I hear for refusing or delaying vaccines:
Gwyneth Paltrow says bad thoughts can alter water. Huh?Maggie Fox:
A retired serviceman who lovingly tended his drippy-nosed camels was almost certainly infected with MERS by one of them, Saudi researchers say in a report that makes the first direct link between camels and the mysterious virus.
Genetic tests show the man, who died last November, was infected by a virus identical to the one affecting his small herd of camels.