So what do economists think about the presidential choice? At the Freakonomics blog Steven D. Levitt recently posted about a survey of the economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research conducted by the Economist. The survey, perhaps surprisingly, favored the Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Levitt writes, “Since when did economists get so liberal? I clearly have been hanging around the University of Chicago too long.” (Or Steve just doesn’t get out of the Graduate School of Business building enough—diverse political opinions abound at the UofC.) The Press publishes the research of the NBER including the National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report and the National Bureau of Economic Research Studies in Income and Wealth.
And there was more insightful political discussion this week on KQED radio’s Forum with Michael Krasney. Host Michael Krasny invited Jan Van Meter, author of Tippecanoe and Tyler Too: Famous Slogans and Catchphrases in American History on the show to discuss how high the current candidates’ slogans rank in the annals of political sloganeering. You can listen to archived audio from the program on the KQED website. Also, see our special web feature by Van Meter on contemporary slogans that we’ll remember.
The Financial Times ran a group review this week of several books dealing with the psychology of collecting, including William Davies King’s Collections of Nothing. King’s book is a memoir of his lifelong habit of hoarding, and the peculiar way that through collecting, King finds himself able to imbue even the most mundane objects with meaning. Read the review on the Financial Times website, or read an excerpt and an essay by the author.
Finally, the New York Review of Books is running an article on Karl Kraus—a highly influential turn-of-the-century Jewish writer, and the subject of Paul Reitter’s recent book The Anti Journalist: Karl Kraus and Jewish Self-Fashioning in Fin-de-Siècle Europe. Writing for the NYRB, Adam Kirsch notes that while Kraus has infamously been labeled as a “self-hating Jew” for his many harsh critiques of fellow Jewish intellectuals, Reitter’s book provides an “intelligent… new study” that clarifies Kraus’s project to radically redefine fin-de-siècle Jewish cultural identity. Read the full article on the NYRB website.