Pseudo-Twitter post

1. Peter Navarro claims that Trump is almost unbelievably incompetent when picking advisors:

Former President Donald Trump’s onetime trade adviser Peter Navarro hatched yet another wild conspiracy theory Sunday, claiming to Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that Bill Barr, the former president’s own hand-picked attorney general, was part of a “deep state coup” against him.

It was difficult to follow Navarro’s reasoning. But he claimed that “Bill Barr, Donald Trump’s attorney general, actually turns out to be Joe Biden’s first attorney general.”

2. Scott Gottlieb suggests that vaccines will be available to almost everyone (in America) who wants them by the spring. If so, the economy should be booming by summer, regardless of whether there is fiscal stimulus or not.

Washington politicians are like generals fighting last war . . . er . . . last recession.

3. The NYT says the left doesn’t know how to deliver vaccines.

4. The NYT says that Democratic presidents do better in terms of both real GDP growth and job growth:

That’s true, but it’s not because of the economic policies pursued by Democratic administrations. To suggest otherwise is like saying that Tom Brady “beat” Aaron Rodgers in a game where Brady had a QB ranking of 73.8 despite facing no pass rush pressure while Rodgers had a rating of 101.6 despite dropped passes and an overwhelming pass rush from the Tampa Bay line.

And US presidents have far less effect on outcomes than do NFL QBs.

Trump is the worst president ever, but this fact has nothing to do with the fact that he’s dead last among post-1932 presidents in both jobs growth and RGDP growth.

5. Commenter “tpeach” directed me to a very good Atlantic article pointing out how the US government lies about China’s debt policies in the developing world:

The Chinese ‘Debt Trap’ Is a Myth

The narrative wrongfully portrays both Beijing and the developing countries it deals with.

Ironically, these false administration claims are the same sort of argument that used to be made by Marxist intellectuals when attacking the US. It was claimed that our international investment was “exploiting” third world countries. Sigh . . .

HT: Matt Yglesias



44 Responses to “Pseudo-Twitter post”

  1. Gravatar of John Hall John Hall
    8. February 2021 at 15:15

    On 4, I found it a little funny where the article discusses a professor tasks her grad students with figuring it out and they can’t. Really? Is it not relevant that 4 of the top 5 happened before 1968 and only 1 of the bottom 5 happened before 1968. That doesn’t impact how the statistics come out at all?

    At a minimum, the question should be rephrased in terms of some kind of trend-adjusted multi-factor productivity (basically assuming that the President has no control over the trend, but can have some impact after controlling for that).

  2. Gravatar of ankh ankh
    8. February 2021 at 15:28

    The economy of the USA was performing above expectations until March 2020 (e.g., until COVID).

    Trump symbolizes hope to so many. He stood up to the CCP. And he stood up to the globalists.

    The data also shows that the tariffs were lifting the US economy. Not destroying it.

    Globalism is not only plundering the third world, which it claims to help. But it destroys its own communities by sending it’s jobs to the lowest bidder.

    My country is inundated daily with new business ventures, skyscrapers, and factories. The people, once self employed, find their businesses are being destroyed by the power of conglomerates. They are reduced to selling their labor in the marketplace for pennies. The USA people are even worse off, since they simply lose their jobs to my countries slave labor force.

    While GDP is increasing, GDP is not the only variable to consider. Reducing people to cogs in a machine destroys purpose and meaning in life. Thai people were so much happier without western and Chinese corporations consolidating wealth, funding political campaigns to influence elections, destroying traditional values and our communities mom and pop stores.

    And what do we have to show for all of this? Depression. Higher suicide rates. A degradation of culture. A a reduction of autonomy. Air that we can no longer breathe!

    Can we reject these advances? The answer is no. If we reject, the UN creates false narratives to attack us. We simply become another Iran, North Korea, Bhutan, Libya, or Syria. In short, we become a target to the globalist machine.

    Trump was hero! And his policies were the best of any American president I can remember.

  3. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    8. February 2021 at 16:13

    John, Yes, I agree.

    I could explain almost all the differences between each period, and they have little to do with the economic policies of various presidents.

    Ankh, The world needs free markets—protectionism and socialism just leads to poverty.

  4. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    8. February 2021 at 18:05

    I agree completely with the reply to ankh, with failed ISI policies in places like India and Iran coming to mind, though I’d correct the statement that the economy under Trump was somehow overpeforming versus expectations. It wasn’t.

    But I think the statement made about the deep dissatisfaction with working for large corporations and the politically corrosive effect of the perceived effects of corporate donation are underestimated by many economists. I include Tyler Cowen here, though he acknowledges problems big corporations have image-wise, I think he vastly underestimates just how awful it actually is to work for big corporations today.

    I don’t want to make too fine a point at appealing to the lazy stereotype of the out of touch professor in the ivory tower, but I think it’s hard to appreciate how terrible many feel about their corporate jobs today without actually working one of these jobs.

    I’m my experience anyway, I’ve never had a job with a big corporation in which I wasn’t absolutely miserable, and feeling completely shut out of any role in society that mattered at all, despite even high pay at times. And, nearly all the coworkers I knew agreed, though men were more likely to agree.

    I worked in a state government job just out of college which was awful in its own ways, but I can say that the bureaucracy was not necessarily worse than at the big corporations for which I’ve worked. That is just one of the many things to hate about working for many large corporations though.

    There’s a reason movies like Office Space have become classics, and this Joe Rogan video, of all things, is so popular:

    I don’t have an empirical case here, but I strongly suspect this has something to do with the rise of extremist populism in the US. When many young men and women start to lose the belief that there’s a better life to aspire to, things become politically dangerous.

  5. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    8. February 2021 at 20:06


    Having spent a fair amount of time in rural Thailand, my impression is that most people do not wish for a return to the days of no electricity, no motorized transport, poor communication, lack of roads, lack of plumbing, limited access to modern medicine, limited schooling.

    Much economic prosperity comes from labor specialization and that’s hard to achieve without factories and new business ventures.

    Much of modern life does suck, but it’s a lot better than the alternative.

    I also disagree with your assertion about choice. Young people are not leaving the countryside and moving to Bangkok and other big cities because they are forced to. It’s a free choice because they prefer the skyscrapers and factories to the boredom and lower standards of living in the countryside. They like shopping at Paragon a whole lot more than shopping at mom and pop stores.

    And BTW – I don’t know about Thailand, but in the U.S., suicide rates in the 1800s (when everyone was living in farms and small towns) were twice as high as they are now.

  6. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    9. February 2021 at 01:12

    ‘A few years ago I sought to update my breakdown of the balance of payments to update the impact of U.S. military spending and foreign aid. But the Commerce Department’s Table 5 from its balance of payments data had been changed in such a way it no longer reveals the extent to which foreign aid generates a transfer of dollars from foreign countries to the United States, as it did in the 1960s and 1970s. I phoned the statistical division responsible for collecting these statistics and in due course reached the technician responsible for the numbers. “We used to publish that data,” he explained, “but some joker published a report showing that the United States actually made money off the countries we were aiding. It caused such a stir that we changed the accounting format so that nobody can embarrass us like that again.” I realized that I was the joker who had been responsible for the present-day statistical concealment, and that it would take a Congressional request to get the Commerce and State Departments to replicate the analysis that still was being made public in the years in which I wrote Super Imperialism. ‘

  7. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    9. February 2021 at 01:18

    ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a semi-autobiographical book written by John Perkins, first published in 2004.[1][2]
    The book provides Perkins’ account of his career with engineering consulting firm Chas. T. Main in Boston. According to Perkins, his job at the firm was to convince leaders of underdeveloped countries to accept substantial development loans for large construction and engineering projects. Ensuring that these projects were contracted to U.S. companies, such loans provided political influence for the US and access to natural resources for American companies,[1]:15, 239 thus primarily helping rich families and local elites, rather than the poor.’

  8. Gravatar of Mark Z Mark Z
    9. February 2021 at 02:03

    Spring starts in 6 weeks. Available to almost everyone by then seems optimistic.

    On #4: over that timeframe it’s a completely meaningless comparison anyway because of the ideological evolution of the parties. Eisenhower was probably more like Truman than Reagan (Democrats love to point out how high tax rates were under Eisenhower). Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton had more in common with each other than any of them with Nixon and Johnson, who were quite similar (economic policy wise). The implications of Clinton’s economic polices being better than Nixon’s are pretty much the opposite of what the Times is presumably suggesting.

  9. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    9. February 2021 at 02:47

    ‘You should essentially think of the IMF as a small office in the basement of the Pentagon, deciding what countries to support, and what countries are following policies that the United States do not want and therefore wants to wreck. That explains why the IMF will give loans to completely non-creditworthy countries such as Argentina under the dictators, or the Ukraine with no visible means of paying off the debt.

    The loans to Ukraine, the loans to Greece recently that ended up bankrupting it, the loans yet again to Argentina have demoralized the IMF staff. They complained that every forecast they make shows that the debts can’t be paid, but the IMF continues to make them anyway. The IMF has become a pariah among competent financial analysts throughout the world. The United States is still trying to force countries into the IMF as a means of controlling them, saying “Either you engage in a pro-American war against labor and [engage in] neoliberalism, or the alternative is wreckage.” ‘

  10. Gravatar of Spencer B Hall Spencer B Hall
    9. February 2021 at 04:19

    re: “The world needs free markets”. It doesn’t need monopoly power.

  11. Gravatar of Spencer B Hall Spencer B Hall
    9. February 2021 at 04:21

    Nominal income has been a monetary policy target. But the decline in N-gDp began in the 70’s.

    NSA N-gDp’s growth rates by decade, percent ∆:
    1970’s growth = 1.76
    1980’s growth = 1.15
    1990’s growth = 0.76
    2000’s growth = 0.52
    2010’s growth = 0.43
    2020’s growth = 0.53

    Growth declines because banks are Black Holes. I.e., banks don’t loan out existing deposits. Savings aren’t synonymous with the money stock. As a system, counterintuitively, the more money that is saved and held in the payment’s system, the slower economic growth becomes

  12. Gravatar of Spencer B Hall Spencer B Hall
    9. February 2021 at 04:32

    The period from 1961 to 1981 represented the “monetization of time deposits”. It represented the transition from clerical processing to electronic processing, and in the process the end of gate keeping restrictions on time deposits, or bank deposit innovation. During this transition, as time deposits grew, the velocity of the residual deposits increased as a monetary offset (exactly as predicted in 1961).

    After the 1981 “time bomb”, the widespread introduction of ATS, NOW, SuperNow, and MMDA accounts, the velocity of circulation was constrained by the FDIC raising deposit insurance from $40,000 to $100,000. And then the DIDMCA turned the thrifts, which were intermediaries or credit transmitters, into banks, which are credit creators. The DIDMCA also deregulated all bank interest caps on savings and relaxed merger restrictions.

    This further impounded monetary savings and ultimately resulted in the 1985-1996 Savings and Loan Association Crisis, the failure of 1,043 out of the 3,234 savings and loan associations in the United States from 1986 to 1995, as well as the July 1990 –Mar 1991 recession

  13. Gravatar of Spencer B Hall Spencer B Hall
    9. February 2021 at 04:34

    “From 1966 through 2007, the US economy grew at an average annualized rate of about 3.1% (substantially down from the U.S. Golden Era in Capitalism)…Then came the Great Recession of 2008-9. Not only did the economy fail to recover to that long-term 3.1% trend in subsequent years—for the first time ever, following a recession—it went on to post only slightly more than 2.1% annual growth in the decade from 2009 through early 2019.”
    Calafia Beach Pundit: Keep on borrowing and buying (

    Subpar economic growth is easy to explain. It’s stock vs. flow. The remuneration rate on interbank demand deposits inverts the short-term segment of the wholesale money market funding yield curve. I.e., it subverts the savings -> investment process. I.e., it destroys savings’ velocity. This acts to induce disintermediation of the nonbanks, like the 1966 Savings and Loan Association “credit crunch”.

    The remuneration rate provides the payment’s system with a preferential interest rate differential in favor of the banks (as opposed to Reg. Q ceilings which provided an interest rate differential in favor of the thrifts, in their borrowing short to lend longer savings/investment paradigm).

    Economists have lost all their marbles. Banks are “black holes”. They do not loan out the deposits that are capriciously impounded. I.e., deposits are the result of lending and not the other way around.

  14. Gravatar of J Mann J Mann
    9. February 2021 at 06:46

    @Mark Z

    Spring starts in 6 weeks. Available to almost everyone by then seems optimistic.

    From the Gottlieb quote Scott linked, it sounds like Gottlieb specifically predicted that by the end of March, supply would exceed demand in the preferred groups sufficiently that planners would need to open up appointments to the general public to keep using the available supply, not that almost everyone would get one.

    I’m not sure whether that will be good news or not, except that I would prefer it to planners letting the vaccines pile up on shelves while they tried to convince high risk workers to take them.

  15. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    9. February 2021 at 09:47

    Mark, Well he mentioned April, which is what I meant by spring. I grew up in Wisconsin, so our definition of “spring” is a bit different. 🙂

  16. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    9. February 2021 at 10:21

    You can’t let go of Trump—–you say Trump is worst President ever but it has nothing to do with the implicit dumbass chart NYT shows—I know I am a dumbass–but who doesn’t know GDP has little to do with presidents–(especially in 4 years) –f for no other reason than you say it all the time.

    But you NEED to show Trump is last. When you could create a chart, equally meaningless, which could show him close to first. You buried the lede—Peter Navarro is not the lede, the NYT is the lede.

    I came to the site today to see if you wrote anything about Yellen’s comment about “inflation “may soon” rear its ugly head due to deficit spending”

    Are you going to continue to torture us with guys like Navarro—-You really do need “Trump on that wall”

  17. Gravatar of John S John S
    9. February 2021 at 11:05

    Stop hatin’ on Brady. He crushes Rodgers on longevity and even edges him in 7-year peak.

    Please don’t be an irrational homer like Bill Simmons on the Celtics.

  18. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    9. February 2021 at 14:24

    “That’s true, but it’s not because of the economic policies pursued by Democratic administrations.”

    So are the Dems just lucky? Or is it that every time the GOP hands back the keys to the economy it’s totally trashed-thanks to GOP policies?

  19. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    9. February 2021 at 14:38


    Brady is much better than Rodgers, even in this game. Stats can be very misleading. Once again, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    A key situation came in the first half, with Brady urging his coach to go for a fourth-down with only 13 seconds on the clock. Was it in his own half? Well nevermind, this lead to a touchdown and Tampa led 21-10 right at the break. The NFL should nickname the last two minutes at the end of every half “Brady time”. Basically, even just ten seconds is enough for him.

    Then of course at the very end, the Packers have about 2 minutes left and their coach seriously decides not to play out a fourth down. Rodgers stresses after the game that it was not his call. What a joker, what a coward. He needs to say something like this right in the game, to his coach, or not at all. But no he does it after the game, when all is lost, how useless. This is backstabbing, this is so low, this is not really a great leader.

    This might be where you can most clearly see the differences between Brady and Rodgers. Rodgers is “just” a quarterback who is focused on his job. He is really great at his job but that’s about it. That’s not enough to make him the best in the current NFL.

    Brady is so much more, he is a real perfectionist, he makes the tough calls himself, he has a big influence on the team composition, he decides huge parts of the strategy, in short, he is not “just” a quarterback, he is a real team leader, who directs his team in all areas and details possible.

    He even initiates some transfers himself and manages that even players with very difficult reputations trust him and do anything for him. He turns loser teams into teams that believe in the title and who are only satisfied when they have finished the job. And all this in just one season. And when they have the title, they immediately want the next title. This is just pure ambition at the edge of psychiatric illness or way beyond.

    Brady reminds me a lot of Michael Schumacher: Physically and in terms of talent, not the best. But extremely ambitious perfectionists who live(d) only for their sport and take influence on every little detail.

    As a person and human being, Rodgers is more likeable to me, he is just so nice, so normal, so humble, so willing to submit to incompetent coaches. He’d rather lose than snap and be rude and get in the way.

    But Brady’s performance has to be acknowledged, he is a relentless machine.

  20. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    9. February 2021 at 16:02

    Sumner quotes some Twitter dude that by summer everybody in the USA will be able to get a vaccine to the chimeric China virus, however, most sober analysts say it will be by year end, and even simple math says so (divide 330 Americans by Biden’s optimistic “100M vaccines in 100 days” and figure 365 days a year, do the math).

    Who to believe? Experts and a math calculator or some Twitter dude that Scott follows?

  21. Gravatar of Thomas Hutcheson Thomas Hutcheson
    9. February 2021 at 16:18

    Peter Navarro is himself the proof of Trump’s tendency to have negative value added advisors, with some tendency to get worse over time.

  22. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    10. February 2021 at 05:34


    the Atlantic article is really lousy, get out of your bias. The article takes an extreme thesis of the Trump administration, which isn’t even in office anymore, then “refutes” that thesis. It’s just a really stupid straw man argument.

    There are dozens of good articles on this topic in very renowned media, but they don’t really dare to go there, instead they use an ex-president, who is known for constant lying, as a pseudo-opponent. This is pointless and craven.

    The title thesis of the Atlantic article is also very broad (The Chinese Debt Trap Is a Myth). In the article itself, however, the situation is not nearly as clear-cut as the headline suggests. This is also very poor journalism. It just proves that the writers have a bias. They desperately want the title to be true, but then can’t deliver in the article. They don’t care though, what a mess.

    Say what you will about the NYT, but the article linked to the NYT in the Atlantic article is several classes better, this is what articles like that should look like.

    Summer sounds realistic. Even in the EU, Merkel talks about summer all the time. Summer can mean a lot though, probably late August. Anyone who wants vaccination will get an offer by the end of August (or September). That’s the promise.

    Gottlieb said March or the end of March, Scott seems to have misunderstood this though.

    Gottlieb only said that in March the supply will be greater than the demand from the highest prioritized groups. This is obvious, and that most likely means something different than Scott interpreted at the beginning. It only means that some in the next lower priority groups might get their vaccination a bit sooner, this is hardly all Americans who want some.

    But the US so far vaccinates well, which is probably the only area of Covid-19 that Trump did not blow. I think the US might be a bit faster than summer. April, May could very well happen.

  23. Gravatar of Spencer B Hall Spencer B Hall
    10. February 2021 at 06:08

    The difference between Brady and Rodgers is Brady’s offensive line. How many times have you seen Brady scramble?

  24. Gravatar of Spencer B Hall Spencer B Hall
    10. February 2021 at 06:40

    “In January, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis; rising 1.4 percent over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted. The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in January (SA); up 1.4 percent over the year (NSA).”

    Maybe we should target “core” N-gDp? LOL

  25. Gravatar of Student Student
    10. February 2021 at 07:43

    Scott for your banana republic watch…

    Was this to the level of proto brown shirt stuff? Sturmabteilung…

  26. Gravatar of Student Student
    10. February 2021 at 07:57

    One somewhat ironic take away from the video is that, notice that (for either side cops or mob)… when the pepper spray starts flying, they all put masks on. The irony…

  27. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    10. February 2021 at 08:10

    Brady and Rodgers have been playing in the NFL for many, many years now. The excuse that one player is always surrounded by talent and the other is not, no longer holds any water.

    As I said, I would compare Brady to Schumacher. These guys basically build their own car and when they see a gap in their lines, they close it.

    Sometimes by getting new players, sometimes by engaging or motivating their teammates in such a way that they grow into the most difficult tasks and become the best at it – or at least good enough for a certain amount of time, ready on point, for as long as it takes.

    Rodgers is just the “I wouldn’t have made that call”-with-hindsight 20/20 kind of guy. He doesn’t have that last crazy winning mentality in him that you need to be a serial winner, or the GOAT for that matter.

    MVP of the season probably says as much about the (bad) quality of the team as it does about the player himself. But it’s his team, he didn’t instill a winning mentality in them.

    Compare that to Tampa which was having a 7-9 season before Brady came along and look how the Patriots have crashed post-Brady. I always thought Belichick was at least as important as Brady, turns out I was wrong. Belichick was only cooking with water, or in his case: with Brady.

  28. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    10. February 2021 at 08:28

    LOL, the morons are out today:

    John, You said:

    “Stop hatin’ on Brady.”

    I think Brady is the GOAT. How is that “hating on Brady” you moron?

    Christian, You know nothing about football; it’s a team sport. Please stop making a complete fool of yourself. During the Rodgers period, the Packer’s offense has performed better in the playoffs than any other team, including New England. But then I suppose Rodgers is to blame for the lousy Packer defense?

    And you tell me the Atlantic article is horrible and yet oddly cannot cite a single mistake. Typical.

    Ray, You said:

    “Sumner quotes some Twitter dude”

    Yeah, Gottlieb is just a “twitter dude”. LOL,

  29. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    10. February 2021 at 10:03


    oh so it’s a team sport? I didn’t know that. I’ve given at least a half dozen reasons how Brady influences and shapes teams. Your reading comprehension is once again miserable.

    Brady has managed to turn a team sport into a game that he can extremely influence on all levels. His opponents have apparently not understood this to this day. That’s why Rodgers doesn’t win anything.

    Cheeseheads have more excuses ready for why their beloved Rodgers is “actually” the best but still doesn’t win titles anymore than there are stars in the universe. It’s getting really ridiculous. He should finally change the franchise, like Brady did, and then still not win any titles.

    And you tell me the Atlantic article is horrible and yet oddly cannot cite a single mistake. Typical.

    Reading comprehension again. I have already told you the mistake. They based an entire article on statements made by the Trump administration that no one ever had to refute. That’s already a very mendacious goalpost. Stealing a lollipop from a child would be more ambitious.

    And then they just repeat in broad strokes all the basic facts that one already knows from other articles, then they fill it with useless details here and there for distraction, and then they draw, without any real substantiation, the opposite conclusions.

    Of course, it may be that all the other reputable media that have reported on this really got it exactly 180 degrees wrong, and these writers who wrote for The Atlantic are the only ones who understand how it “really” was – but this is dishonest and not realistic, the basic facts didn’t really change, the only thing they tried and failed at was putting lipstick on the pig.

  30. Gravatar of John S John S
    10. February 2021 at 10:16

    Wow, you’re not just a hater, you’re a passive aggressive hater.

    You never miss a chance to throw shade at Brady after big wins (Super Bowl vs Matt Ryan, NFC Championship vs Rodgers). Then when confronted after your one game sample size cherry picking, you retreat to “But I still think he’s the GOAT!” What a weasel…

    And btw, in BOTH games, Brady’s QBR was HIGHER than the other guy (75 > 67 vs Rodgers). In the recent game, Brady’s accomplishments in the 1st half massively tilted the win probability in favor of the Bus, which outweighed the downside of his 2nd half INTs. No doubt Rodgers had the better overall game under tougher conditions, but it wasn’t nearly as lopsided as traditional QB rating makes it look.

    A guy who cherry picks outdated stats from one-game samples to “prove” some sort of vague retarded point (even when advanced stats show a very different picture) sounds like… a moron.

    Btw, how’s Russell Westbrook look now that he can’t get to the rim? Negative win shares, oh my!

    Stick to econ, you don’t jack about sports.

  31. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    10. February 2021 at 11:39

    John S,

    Passive-aggressive. That’s it. You hit the nail on the head.

    I’ve seen it that way several times before, but I never had the appropriate English term. Man, this is really good.

  32. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    10. February 2021 at 12:20

    1. Yes, it’s quite incompetent of Trump to somehow not root out the entire decades-old Deep State apparatus inextricably entrenched at every level of US gov’t, media and tech in a single fell swoop. Surely no competent person would have had any trouble accomplishing that while being repeatedly impeached and hindered by those same people who supposedly work for him.

    In other non-baffling news, the NYT is once again a Pulitzer frontrunner for framing Trump, this time for completely unsubstantiated claims he caused the the “murder” of Trump supporter and Capitol officer Brian Sicknick, whose autopsy is mysteriously still totally unavailable, and whose widely publicized “murder” the NYT now seems to have invented more or less out of whole cloth.

  33. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    10. February 2021 at 13:34

    Africa: $162b ‘in’: $203b ‘out’

  34. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    10. February 2021 at 13:58

    Rodgers made some mistakes against the Bucs, such as being late on a couple of red zone throws, but I see the difference in the game as the talent around Tom Brady on offense.

    I think Rodgers is the better QB, and Brady made worse mistakes in the second half, but Brady has a margin of error that Rodgers does not. Rodgers was under a lot of pressure and is at least a couple of stars short at receiver, relative to the Bucs, Chiefs, and Saints, to mention a few examples. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the teams with the most talent on offense, including especially in the receiving roles, were in the Super Bowl.

    Draft Rodgers some more help, and the Packers will probably get over the hump.

    The only thing I don’t like about Rodgers is his attitude. He’s arrogant and doesn’t seem to be the team player Brady is.

  35. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. February 2021 at 14:43

    John, You said:

    “No doubt Rodgers had the better overall game under tougher conditions”

    LOL, so you agree that I was 100% correct in what I said, and wrong about nothing, and then wrote a long post trashing me because you are angry about being proved wrong. You are even more mentally weak than Christian.

    Michael, Finally a voice of reason, I agree 100% with your comment, including the negative. Rodgers is more talented, and Brady’s had the better overall career, especially more accomplishments in big games. And he has more leadership skills.

    He’s also played with much better defenses, which Christian seems to think is all Brady’s doing, like he was the Pat’s defensive coach, and he drafted the players. You just can’t make up some of the stuff that sports fans come up with to confirm their prejudices.

    I don’t know why the Brady fans can’t concede that in a given game him might have been outplayed. He has seven rings—what more do they want?

    I feel sorry for sports fans who can’t handle a tiny bit of criticism of their heroes; it’s kind of pathetic.

  36. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    11. February 2021 at 16:00


    all right, let’s meet in the middle, I don’t think the positions are that different. Rodgers can be considered the better quarterback currently, in terms of pure quarterback skills, based on those questionable stats that measure that. It’s no wonder, he’s younger.

    Rodgers is arguably the second-best QB in the league right now, behind Mahomes, in terms of pure throwing ability and so on. Brady never had a particularly a strong arm. It doesn’t seem to be so necessary, he seems to have other qualities.

    However, the question then remains where Rodgers success is.

    This is where we differ. For your camp, it’s just “bad luck” that his offensive line isn’t so great. And neither is his defensive team. And his receivers. And his coach. Who else could it be? It’s basically everyone’s fault but his own.

    I see it differently. A “madman” like Brady simply doesn’t accept it when other parts of his team aren’t good enough. Obviously he’s not a defensive coach, but my impression is that he’s a bent perfectionist who tries to influence everything, and does it with success. Rodgers isn’t that.

    And I’m certainly not a Brady fanboy, or even a big football fan, I watch some the playoffs and that’s it. I think Brady’s ambition and perfectionism is quite pathological, but you seem to need that if you want to be at the top. He’s also nowhere near as likable as Ali or Jordan, I can’t put my finger on it, maybe he’s just too perfect. He almost never has scandals, probably I’m bored with him, where is the drama.

  37. Gravatar of John S John S
    12. February 2021 at 12:16

    I threw in that comment to split the difference between traditional passer rating (RTG) and ESPN’s total QBR (the adv stat) as a way to be charitable to my interlocutor. But since you insist on acting like a child by calling me a moron and mentally weak, I will play hardball.

    Total QBR takes into account drops and whether the QB was under pressure, and it also accounts for the quality of the opposing defense. In that game, Brady’s QBR was 75.4 and Rodgers’ was 67.6. So yes, according to the advanced metric, YOU WERE WRONG, Brady outplayed Rodgers.

    Furthermore, your analogy was flawed, too. You said that higher GDP and job growth under Dem presidents occurred “not because of the economic policies pursued by Democratic administrations.” But can you really say that Bucs 31, Packers 26 occurred “not because of the offensive contributions made by Tom Brady”? Really? The 4th down conversion and strike to Scotty Miller before the half had no impact on the final score?

    And I was not wrong about your being a hater, as well. IMMEDIATELY after Brady’s two greatest accomplishments (5th QB ring/Greatest comeback in SB history & 7th ring with new team, no Belichick, and at age 43), you take a potshot at him in spite of the fact that advanced metrics give you no grounds to do so. That’s called being a HATER. I get it, you like Rodgers, but don’t try to prop him up by tearing a great man down.

  38. Gravatar of John S John S
    12. February 2021 at 12:27

    “I don’t know why the Brady fans can’t concede that in a given game him might have been outplayed.”

    Um, before your outburst, I did concede that he might have been (slightly) outplayed. Can’t you read “you mo–“?

    Nah, I’ll keep it classy. It’s a shame a man in his 70s has an itchy trigger finger for insults the second someone calls him on his BS.

  39. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. February 2021 at 12:37

    John, That’s just absurd. Rodgers’ stats were far better even without taken into account the pressure he was under, and Rodgers was under far more pressure than Brady.
    So was Mahomes. Switch the QBs to the other team and Rodgers wins the game by 20 points. You seem to know almost as little about football as Christian.

    And I’ve never taken a “shot” at Brady in my life. He’s the GOAT, Accurately pointing out that he was outplayed in a single game to illustrate a point about the impact of presidents is not taking a shot, it’s using an analogy.

    I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be so mentally weak that you get upset when someone says something slightly less than 100% flattering about an athlete or movie star that you worship, but there are many people like you, so don’t feel you are all alone.

  40. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    12. February 2021 at 14:40

    This is a ridiculous argument that could be easily solved by just trading Rodgers for CJ Beathard and Brady for Jimmy Garoppolo. Then have each QB start 8 games next year for the 49ers and see who does better. And if each QB wants to bring his favorite receiver with him, so be it.

  41. Gravatar of John S John S
    12. February 2021 at 16:27

    No, what irritates me is people pontificating about sports w/o being up to speed on the latest statistical developments.

    “Rodgers’ stats were far better even without taken into account the pressure”

    I told you, Total QBR already takes into account factors such as passes made under duress and estimates the win probability in a game given a QB’s performance (ceteris paribus). It still says that the performances were close to even, not lopsided like you imply. If you disagree, take it up with the stat and film experts at ESPN, not me.

    “You seem to know almost as little about football as Christian.”

    I’m definitely more familiar with the advanced stat work in football than you. Do you think you know more about football than Football Outsiders, the #1 advanced stat outfit on the internet? Here’s their ranking of most valuable QBs of the decade based on DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement, a context-based stat and equivalent to WAR in baseball):

    1. Drew Brees, 14,933 DYAR
    2. Tom Brady, 14,057
    3. Aaron Rodgers, 11,436

    (This includes rushing contributions — on passing alone, the gap is even wider btw Brady and Rodgers.)

    Per game averages:
    1. Brees, 97.6 DYAR / game
    2. Brady, 90.1 / game
    3. Rodgers, 80.5 / game

    You’ve implied many times that Brady wins more than Rodgers simply because Brady had better defenses. But the most advanced statistical analysis says that Brady has also been a better offensive performer than Rodgers when adjusting for opponent defense and play-by-play context (e.g. 3rd down red zone vs. 1st down at the 20). So you have no basis for your assertion; if the defenses were equal, Brady would still win more.

    Sure, I love Brady (b/c advanced stats back his case), but I hate statistical ignorance even more. It’s not fan worship — I would have no problem with someone saying Brees or Manning is better (there are good cases for both). But Rodgers just doesn’t have the advanced numbers.

  42. Gravatar of John S John S
    12. February 2021 at 16:34

    Btw, Football Outsiders isn’t just some dork in his basement. Their stats have been shown to have the best predictive power over the course of two seasons.

  43. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. February 2021 at 09:11

    John, I watched the game–it was obvious who played better. Rodgers was under far more pressure than Brady. If your metrics say otherwise, then they are garbage.

  44. Gravatar of John S John S
    13. February 2021 at 13:14

    Fair enough, I am willing to eat crow on ESPN’s Total QBR as a single-game metric. But don’t give up on adv stats completely.

    Just for fun I looked up the DYAR for the game, and it’s in line with the consensus on Reddit: Rodgers 90, Brady 42. So Rodgers played very well, while Brady was good but not great.

    (For context, Mahomes’ avg DYAR/game is 113, Matt Ryan 71, Russell Wilson 57, and Eli Manning 25. Big Ben has the highest single-game DYAR of the 2010s: 385 DYAR, 40/49 att, 526 yds, 6 TDs, no sacks/INTs, 7/8 in the red zone.)

    I must admit I see red whenever someone cites traditional passer rating alone as evidence of one guy outplaying the other, like you did with Ryan vs. Brady in the SB. (Football Outsiders scored it 104 > 65 for Brady, a much more intuitively correct assessment than passer rating’s 144 > 95 for Ryan.) Football is so much more contextual — field position, downs, game clock — than say basketball, where a bucket is a bucket pretty much all the time except garbage time and crunch time.

    Anyway, check out FO sometime, lots of interesting stuff. Happily it projects Green Bay and Tampa as the two best teams for next year, so a playoff sequel is quite likely.

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