From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 27 Club, also occasionally known as the Forever 27 Club or Club 27, is a name for a group of influential rock and blues musicians who all died at the age of 27.
The 27 Club consists of two related phenomena, both in the realm of popular culture. The first is a list of five famous rock musicians who died at age 27—Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain. The second is the idea that many other notable musicians have also died at the age of 27.
April 27, 2011, 9:18 AM
UK, Not OK
The bad GDP number for the UK isn’t a surprise — in fact, judging from market response, investors seem to have expected something even worse. Still, if you step back and look at what has been happening, it’s doubleplusungood: zero growth over the past 6 months, with every reason to be worried on the downside looking forward, as Cameron’s austerity bites deeper.
Jonathan Portes gets to the nub of it:
On fiscal policy, the message is that we should listen to economists, not credit rating agencies. Most mainstream economists argued that the impact of the government’s fiscal consolidation on confidence and consumer demand would be negative; so it has proved.
Meanwhile, the argument that fiscal overkill was necessary to appease the credit rating agencies has again been disproved by market reaction – or the lack of it – to the Standard & Poor’s outlook warning last week in America, where US Treasury yields hardly budged.
In short, there is no confidence fairy; and S&P can call invisible bond vigilantes from the vasty deep, but they won’t actually come when called.
Portes hits, in particular, on a point I’ve tried to make a number of times, here and more recently here: right now, we’re living in a world in which basic economics points to conclusions utterly at odds with what Very Serious People are supposed to believe, in which radical outsiders base their views on standard economics while orthodox types turn to heterodox, highly dubious speculations.
Econ 101, buttressed if you like by fancier New Keynesian models, says that contractionary fiscal policy is, well, contractionary. Yet much of the world of movers and shakers bought into the exotic notion that expectational effects — the confidence fairy — would make contractionary policy expansionary. And they clung to this belief even as the supposed historical evidence in favor of expansionary austerity was thoroughly debunked.
Second, about unemployment: the U.S. unemployment numbers have nothing to do with unemployment benefits. The Census surveys households, and asks whether adults are employed, and if not, whether they are actually searching for a job. So searching but not employed is the definition. And that in turn means that expiring benefits, whatever you may think of them, don’t have any direct effect on measured unemployment.
But is it really true? Are there really more than a billion people going to bed hungry each night? Our research on this question has taken us to rural villages and teeming urban slums around the world, collecting data and speaking with poor people about what they eat and what else they buy, from Morocco to Kenya, Indonesia to India. Weve also tapped into a wealth of insights from our academic colleagues. What weve found is that the story of hunger, and of poverty more broadly, is far more complex than any one statistic or grand theory; it is a world where those without enough to eat may save up to buy a TV instead, where more money doesnt necessarily translate into more food, and where making rice cheaper can sometimes even lead people to buy less rice.