Links to Consider, 5/19
Lara Bazelon on Trump's loss in court; Charles Calomiris on recent bank failures; Bob Ewing on thinking and conversing; Frank Furedi on authority
Trump kept insulting. He called Carroll a “whack job” who’s “not my type” during a disastrous deposition, in which he was questioned by Carroll’s celebrated attorney Roberta Kaplan. Trump also mistook a photo of Carroll for his second ex-wife, Marla Maples. This gave Kaplan the opening to say, “I take it the three women you’ve married are all your type?” (Trump’s answer: “Yeah.”)
In another gasp-worthy moment, Trump told Kaplan, “You wouldn’t be a choice of mine, either, to be honest. I wouldn’t under any circumstances have any interest in you.”
The way I see it, Trump all but baited the jury to find against him. To me, Trump’s self-defeating conduct proves that he is incapable of obtaining or following professional legal advice. Call him persecuted if you like. But his enemies would not get the better of him if he were shrewd instead of merely belligerent.
At an AEI event, Charles Calomiris said,
I think that there are deep political problems both in Bank regulation and the governance of monetary policy that are preventing us from fixing uh the policy Frameworks of monetary policy regulatory policy and supervisory policy and you know that that's a deeper problem but it's a very real one because nothing that I'm going to be talking about today is particularly new um and yet the banking crisis that we're going through right now which is new um is reflecting those unaddressed policy failures that have been going on for many decades now
He starts about minute 48. Note that I am finding the ChatGPT extension that provides transcripts of YouTube videos to be extremely useful.
At the event, I asked this question around 2 hours and 19 minutes in:
I wanted to raise a couple of public choice questions one is you know in terms of solving supervisory and Regulatory problems can you do that Within a system in which you expect government discipline rather than Market discipline because if you're a government official extend and pretend is always going to be a appeal a lot and then the second public Choice question is does are we at an equilibrium in which the banks and the government are both pretty happy they're propping each other up and uh you know it's a good deal for the banks to have uh you know sort of their failures and risks covered by the government and it's a good deal for the government to have to be able to channel credit to itself so don't you know isn't this a kind of a stable equilibrium
The answers were reasonably good, although terse.
Interviewed by Ben Klutsey, Bob Ewing says,
I think one of the problems that happened with the rise of the internet is, we have switched to interacting more and more from System 2 to System 1. In Dan Kahneman’s book, the System 1 thinking is quick and intuitive. It’s really important. It’s also laden with emotion. The System 2 thinking is slow and deliberative, and it’s filled with thought. When we’re on Twitter, it’s very easy to send out an emotional tweet. It’s very easy to respond in a System 1 way.
…The more people can carve out time to engage in System 2 thinking—if everyone said, “Instead of tweeting, I’m going to write one Substack article a week,” that would force them to clarify their thoughts.
When governments force an issue through the exercise of power they inadvertently draw attention to their inability to act authoritatively. Nor can authority simply rely on persuasion to gain public endorsement for a specific objective. Persuasion through debate presupposes a relation of parity between competing but equal parties. Arendt suggests that the use of coercion and of persuasion is symptomatic of non-authoritative behaviour. She writes that a ‘father can lose his authority either by beating his child or by starting to argue with him, that is, either by behaving to him like a tyrant or by treating him as an equal’. So when authority relies on coercion or persuasion it is forced implicitly to concede that it has lost the trust of those that it seeks to influence.
He indicates that he will discuss issues of authority frequently on his substack. I recommend perusing his main page for other interesting essays. I am sure that you will find some of them bracing. Niccolo Soldo pointed to an essay on NGOs opposed to transparency.
Advice books speak positively of the “authoritative parent,” who succinctly explains to the child why he is being told to do something, at least whenever there is time to do so. If you insist on behavior without offering explanations, you are too much of a tyrant. If you cave in to the child or get into extended arguments, you are too permissive.
I see a parallel with Furedi’s account of authority. A CDC official should be willing to show his work, pointing to the research that supports his recommendation. He need not get into an extended debate with every critic, but he should not adopt a stance of arrogant contempt for the public.
Substacks referenced above:
Regarding the Trump case, Arnold once again displays his nice-guy naivete. There was never any doubt that this New York jury would reach a verdict for the plaintiff. The case lacked all credibility; the complainant conveniently couldn't remember the day, the month, or the year of the long ago alleged assault. Just couldn't remember anything that might allow the allegations to be disproven. How likely is that? The complaint resembles that made against Justice Kavanaugh in the effort to derail his confirmation; a story of a long ago sexual assault carefully tailored to be impervious to disproof.
The case was brought pursuant to a specially enacted (to get Trump) extension of the expired statute of limitations for which the complainant lobbied. What sort of legal ethics are implied by representation of such a client in such a case?
It is part of the lavishly financed politically driven "lawfare" against Trump; abuse of legal process with the cooperation of partisan media to affect the outcome of the coming presidential election.
President Trump treated the complainant and her lawyer with the disdain they deserved in a case whose verdict was a foregone conclusion.
At what age are kids able to better understand instructions?
I still have very young children and I’m mostly in the “don’t do that thing that will hurt you or break something, I don’t have the time nor the obligation to explain just stop immediately” stage. The older one is starting to get better at understanding reasoning and being able to apply it without direct instruction, in some cases.