October 9, 2013

Fending off the genderistic nonsense about Janet Yellen.

"For years, the Federal Reserve has been led by men who had a scientistic view of monetary policy. These men – including Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke... – viewed the job of running the country's economy as if they were dealing with chemical reactions or physics experiments," writes Kevin Roose, in a New York Magazine piece titled "Welcome to the Humanist Federal Reserve, Led By Janet Yellen."
[Janet Yellen] looks at the economy not just as a series of charts and figures, but as a moving, breathing organism, a collection of millions of people who are struggling to make their lives better today than they were yesterday.
Roose — who refrains from saying he attributes Yellen's difference to her gender difference — cites a Yellen speech at an AFL-CIO-sponsored conference that he says is "a remarkable look at the empathy she brings to policy-making." Empathy... visualizing the economy as a moving, breathing organism....
She... speaks about unemployment not just as an economic problem, but as a humanitarian crisis....

No matter what else it does, we know a Yellen-led Fed would use the tools of monetary policy to help millions of struggling Americans get back on their feet. And it's just one of the reasons I'm thrilled with the Yellen nomination.
This feels like gender-based claptrap to me, and I'm reeling in feelings from the furthest reaches of my female nervous system. Why wouldn't any bank official speaking at an AFL-CIO-sponsored conference include verbiage about the struggles of ordinary workers?

By the way, what is a "scientistic view"? Is it that way that men perceive? Wikipedia defines "scientism" as "a term used, often pejoratively, to refer to belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints."

Roose slathers Yellen in praise, but he's rolling out the usual stereotypes. Ironically, he's not female, and yet he's displaying some "woman's way of knowing" to arrive at a belief that Yellen will help people because she feels and cares. This reminds me of the murmurings about "empathy" and "heart" that burbled from Obama when he nominated Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. She resisted the concept:
I can only explain what I think judges should do, which is judges can't rely on what's in their heart.... The job of a judge is to apply the law. And so it's not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It's the law. The judge applies the law to the facts before that judge.
I'll bet Yellen fends off the genderistic nonsense in just about exactly the same way.

82 comments:

rhhardin said...

This feels like gender-based claptrap to me

The feminist position is that it's claptrap.

Men, if they want to stay out of trouble, will agree.

The economists' position is that perverse side effects are everything.

If you want to help, usually doing the opposite works.

America's Politico said...

This is historic moment for women. Hope Yellen is most successful. I hate Greenspan, what an ego. I also hate his wife, Andrea. What a bias reporter.

But, Yellen is smart. Good for her.

What this means: More and more women will become visible due to Yellen's role in this rare industry - FINANCIAL. Why? Economy affects us all, esp. women.

Good for Obama.

But, what is next?

Hillary Rodham Clinton is coming in 2016. She is the next POTUS.

Deal with it. Accept this. Save yourself.

IF by some miracle, HRC does not want to. Then who else?

Next POTUS (2nd alternative to HRC) is:

Kirsten Gillibrand from NY.

The next POTUS is going to be a woman. BUT, never a Palin or Bachman - thanks goodness.

Accept it. Deal wit it.

cubanbob said...

Well it's official. Interest rates will be kept as low as possible as long as possible to maintain the ability to finance the government. That's what all the claptrap means.

Wall Street will no doubt jump for joy as where else can savers put their money in the hopes of beating inflation?

Whatever happened to the Feds core function of maintaining the value of the currency?

Bendir01c said...

Saying women can't lead because of their periods.

Bad.

Saying women are better leaders because of their empathy.

Good.

I love gender (and racial) stereotyping.

chuck said...

Roose has an odd view of the nature of women. Let's add some historical perspective.

This article examines ritual violence and torture committed during warfare by native North American women, a subject that presently occupies an ambiguous position in colonial history. Despite numerous primary sources detailing ritualised female violence, the purposes behind it have so far eluded
historical explanation and the subject falls into no current categories of analysis: it is perceived as neither a valid part of native warfare, nor as part of the standard package of “typical” or “appropriate” female behaviours.

EDH said...

[Janet Yellen] looks at the economy not just as a series of charts and figures, but as a moving, breathing organism, a collection of millions of people who are struggling to make their lives better today than they were yesterday.

Don't they make these same holistic contrasts between male and female physicians?

Yet the writer here talks about the collective as a single organism, which is the exact opposite of patient-centric care.

rhhardin said...

FINANCIAL. Why? Economy affects us all, esp. women.

Not only that, but economy means management of the household.

Larry J said...

Yes, this is the person who said in testimony during a 2010 FCIC hearing:

Ms. Yellen told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in 2010 that she and other San Francisco Fed officials pressed Washington for new guidance, sharing the problems they were seeing. But Ms. Yellen did not raise those concerns publicly, and she said that she had not explored the San Francisco Fed’s ability to act unilaterally, taking the view that it had to do what Washington said.

“For my own part,” Ms. Yellen said, “I did not see and did not appreciate what the risks were with securitization, the credit ratings agencies, the shadow banking system, the S.I.V.’s — I didn’t see any of that coming until it happened.” Her startled interviewers noted that almost none of the officials who testified had offered a similar acknowledgment of an almost universal failure.

jacksonjay said...

Wise White-Haired White Woman

cubanbob said...

AP if the country is going to be inflicted with a stupid democrat woman as President, better Kirsten Gillibrand than Hillary Clinton. At least Gillibrand is more attractive. I just hope her voice is not as shrill as Hillary's.

Jane said...

If a bridge is unsafe and needs to be replaced, is person most empathetic to the needs of the river-crossers the best one for the job?

The only way empathy fits in here is that there are winners and losers in the low-interest rate game. Me, I have empathy for seniors trying to get a decent return for their bonds.

rhhardin said...

If she knows cooking, maybe she knows about le chatelier's principle, the muffin always moves to oppose change.

Which is why no policy works as intended.

traditionalguy said...

The FED Chairman has always been valued as a realist that would protect the value of our money.

Now the FED Chairwoman is being valued as a political Minister in the Obama Monarchy whose talent is politics of feel good delusion as she makes money worthless past saving.

Tank said...

Larry beat me to it.

When I was in the hospital awaiting my emergency appendectomy, my Mom noted that one of the doctors was much "nicer" than the other.

I said, "who gives a f***," I want the cold fish best surgeon available.

Yellen's admitted failure to see the greatest economic crash since 1928 coming should disqualify her. Why don't we hire one of the many people who warned of the oncoming crash?

cubanbob said...

larry J don't you get it? They ran out of ideas. They are recycling their old scripts. Another stock market bubble. Another real estate bubble. Now lets put our tinfoil hats on and who benefits? Pension funds, especially the public sector funds-if the bubble is big enough the 'returns' are sufficient enough not to require larger contributions from the employees and the employer and a real estate bubble is just what the local property tax collectors need.

whswhs said...

If you want a criticism of scientism, in general or in economics, accompanied by an attempt to see the economy in terms of human action rather than as an impersonal mechanism, and by dissent from orthodoxy on monetary and fiscal policy, you cannot do better than take a look at Friedrich Hayek's work.

David Aitken said...

Bionomics treats the free markets as naturally occurring ecosystems. Be nice if Yellen agrees.

rhhardin said...

genderistic
genderous
genderable
genderal
genderesque
genderful
genderish
genderive
gendery

So much choice.

Carol said...

Ugh, sounds like the Carol Gilligan stuff I had to read in 1L.

Maybe we are different but it's nothing to boast about.

Rob said...

This feels like gender-based claptrap to me.

I've heard genitals infected with STD's referred to many ways, but never before as a claptrap.

bandmeeting said...

America's Politico and CubanBob.

I saw Gillibrand's ads during the 2012 campaign and told myself then that she'd be president any time she decides to run. Hell, I'd think about voting for her based on nothing more than her camera presence. Since Dems vote based on how big a crush they have on a candidate she's a shoe in.

Ann Althouse said...

gendertastic

Ann Althouse said...

gendericious

Moose said...

I'm thinking of starting a web site called, "I'm fabulous because I have a vagina!".

chrisnavin.com said...

I'm waiting for some poor sap to put on a wig, get a NOW membership card, read some Simone de Beauvoir and Mary Wollstonecraft, and climb up the slopes of the women's grievance industry and land the President's job at Harvard.

Surprise!

Suddenly, at a fundraiser, he'll rip off the wig, and announce plans for a cigar club and higher academic standards.

Martinkh said...

I would suggest that we look at the plethora of female petty tyrants who have completely obliterated the rule of law and the spirit of the Declaration of Independence to abuse the American people on behalf of liberal goals. Reno, Clinton, Nepalitano, Lehrner, Lisa Jackson, the numerous park rangers, even Obama's female buddy at the IMF that trashed Cypriot's bank accounts. Females are too flexible when rights such as "liberty" and "Freedom" are at stake.

TosaGuy said...

How much will the rest of us pay for other people's empathy?

Michael Deloatch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cubanbob said...

bandmeeting up to now good looks usually favor the male democrat- running by getting the woman's vote-think Nixon vs JFK for example. I wonder if a good looking woman democrat can get male republican votes. Also since woman are a bit catty will a good looking democrat woman candidate drive woman voters to vote for a good looking republican male candidate? Should the republicans find a really good looking woman to run and make it a beauty contest? Maybe America's Politico can give us his invaluable insight.

Michael Deloatch said...

You scream i scream we all scream for ice cream. Now who's that yellen?

TosaGuy said...

How much will the rest of us pay for other people's empathy?

Larry J said...

TosaGuy said...
How much will the rest of us pay for other people's empathy?


Well, it's already costing over a trillion dollars a year for various federal welfare programs and that's not even counting Social Security.

Michael Deloatch said...

When i feel the need for quantitative easing it is my wife i first thing of, come to think of it. So yeah a chick can be a good head for the fed.

jr565 said...

If there's one thing I can't stand is when liberals bring the word empathy to the equation. Not that empathy is in itself a bad thing.
But if empathy replaces common sense and bottom line type reality we get policies which are not remotely fiscally sound but which are supposedly empathetic to the peoples needs.
Only they're not really all that empathetic. They promise things that can't realistically be delivered and they usually end up involing redistributing other peoples money for some perceived notion of fairness.

What do people who don't have money REALLY need? Govt handouts, or jobs. Yet, if its your policy to grow govt at the expense of the market you aren't being empathetic at all.

No consideration is given though to the math behind the empathy. We need to tax the rich fat cats. Well how much? No answer. But it has to be more. If we raise the taxes wont that cause companies to hire less? But we need to tax the rich for fairness's sake.

And it's all cloaked in this moral superiority. If you question the empathetic approach not because you are against empathy but because it makes no sense in terms of dollars and sense, why then, you hate the poor.

So, the fact that she's bringing empathy to the table makes me want to run for the door screaming. I'm sure this is just who Obama is looking for of course.

jono39 said...

UTTER CLAPTRAP. ASIDE FROM THE OBVIOUS FACT OBAMA DOES NOT LIKE TO BE AROUND MEN.

Inga said...

A public servant without empathy for the public which he/she serves? A career politician. If Yellen possesses what it takes to do the best job, even though she is female, more power and empathy/ sympathy to/ for her, she'll need it.

I think she will do a good job and not because of her genetalia, or female "traits".

Bruce Hayden said...

Well it's official. Interest rates will be kept as low as possible as long as possible to maintain the ability to finance the government. That's what all the claptrap means.

Well, that was what got us into the Carter staglfation. They tried to keep interest rates low by printing money, but that ultimately, and inevitably, let to inflation, which filtered into expectations, and ultimately inflation. The more that they tried this, the more inflation they got.

What the statement about " a scienti[f]tic view of monetary policy" says to me is that she wants to ignore the connection between printing a lot of money and inflation. The Fed, towards the end of the Carter Administration, and into the Reagan Administration, started following and controlling the money supply, and that was what killed inflation. This was, of course, from the Milton Friedman school of economics, and that is one big reason that the left so disliked this brand of monetary economics.

So, we are going to get someone who apparently disdains the monetary economics that killed inflation some 23 or 24 years ago - apparently because she is a woman, and her confirmation would essentially make it all that much easier for the Fed to support the massive borrowing that the hard core progressive Democratic Obama Administration has engaged in (notice that I put in the party and political leanings here, in accordance with a post of Ann's from a bit earlier).

Sam L. said...

Oh, the Correctness which am Political!

Edward Lunny said...

Ha, libs and empathy, rubbish, it's just a euphemism for ignorant greed . Their "empathy" has wasted, squandered, pissed away more money, other peoples money, than any Ponzi scheme yet contrived. Empathy, they can never find it, though, for those of us whom actually pay the bills.
I wonder how long, in light of her demonstrated ignorance and incompetence, before we hear something akin to " But, we can't be out of money....I still have checks left ! ".

Trashhauler said...

Empathy is fine and all. But what we should worry about is entropy. Everything seems to be running down to full stop.

Henry said...

She deserves better supporters.

jr565 said...

Inga wrote:
A public servant without empathy for the public which he/she serves?

Just because you aren't basing policy around empathy doesn't mean you have none. If you take a bottom line approach to something you can still bring empathy to it. In fact it's usually more empathetic because it's based on reality and not the politicians professed caring.
For example, giving a tax break to a company so it hires more workers is actually more empathetic than saying we need to tax the rich to give the poor govt programs.
No one is going to get into the middle class through govt handouts. But they might if they are gainfully employed.
Therefore policies which dissuade companies from hiring more people are actually not empathetic at all,even though the person suggesting we redistribute the wealth is saying his/her policies are empathetic.
The road to hell are paved with good intentions.
And of course the empathetic person presumes of that if you are against the empathetic persons polices that you lack empathy or hate the poor, or want to grandma to be thrown off a cliff or eat cat food.
You can see this over and over with any liberal policy. repubs hate obamacare because they don't want poor people to have insurance.And not because, in reality, it's a horrible program that will bankrupt us.

richard mcenroe said...

We are so deeply screwed. I've never been a member of the canned goods and cartridges crowd, but considering what's about to happen to our currency.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob R said...

The ink is not yet dry on Kevin Roose's English degree from Brown. Definitely my go-to guy for economic analysis.

jr565 said...

Tank wrote:
Yellen's admitted failure to see the greatest economic crash since 1928 coming should disqualify her. Why don't we hire one of the many people who warned of the oncoming crash?

And wasn't the crash caused by empathy any way? Why did we have all those sub prime loans anyway? Because govt was being empathetic and wanted to give poorer people the ability to buy their own homes even if banks had to lower credit requirements to do it.
I'm not even necessarily faulting them on the impulse. Getting more people to buy houses can jumpstart the housing market.But the intention was based on empathy.

Chris Low said...

Claptrap it is, but for some reason it is the sort of claptrap we seem like to wallow in as a culture every time a race or gender barrier is broken.

I know both Bernanke and Yellen.They are both first and foremost students of the economy and both are good at it. Yellen is as much a proponent of the scientific method as Bernanke is, meaning--despite an admirable ability to articulate empathy--she can and will tailor Federal Reserve policy based on what the data tell her about employment and inflation.

In other words, she too looks at the world through a series of charts and figures. How the hell else would she do her job?

As for what is a "scientistic view," I don't have a clue. Like Yellen, I'm an economist, not a scientist. But maybe my daughter the neuroscientist, also an Althouse reader, will chime in. I bet she knows.

chrisnavin.com said...

I wonder if all the die-hard gender feminists were necessary to produce women capable of high achievement along with those possessing high innate ability.

What about the chattering classes and navel-gazers in the popular media?

MadisonMan said...

How is she as a hand-holder, that's what I want to know.

BDNYC said...

The proper role of monetary policy is to control inflation. If Yellen is truly more "empathetic" than her predecessors, and if she cares deeply enough about unemployment to make it even more of a priority for the Fed, then the country's economic policy will become even more removed from political control.

Joe said...

America's Politico: "Deal with it. Accept this. Save yourself."

Are you KIDDING? Do you think people struggling in this economy care that you don't like Andrea Mitchell, and that this is the level of your reasoning?

Yellin is a nincompoop who is willing to expand the money supply to Zimbabwesque oblivion.

If you can't understand it any other way, consider that in the long run, it will do a lot more to impoverish your favorite aggrieved subcategories of social identification.

Sigivald said...

I don't want "empathy" running the money-pumps.

I want "keeping inflation low and predictable" running them.

(Of course, the two aren't really incompatible; empathy that realizes the latter's soundness leads to a better outcome for everyone is quite acceptable.

But that's not what people mean when they speak of "empathy" running things.

What they mean is emotionalism.)

jr565 said...

MadisonMan wrote:
How is she as a hand-holder, that's what I want to know.

If she's good at it, then she's probably a lesbian.

TosaGuy said...

"A public servant without empathy for the public which he/she serves?"

Empathy is great if practiced in one's personal life.

It is not empathy to commandeer (or devalue) other people's resources and give them other people. Those who derive their personal sense of empathy from such a transaction are morally void people.

Hagar said...

Well, it looks like Bernanke is a winner.
He will be out before the crash after all.

Glen Filthie said...

Oh cripes.

Well of course this is all gender-based claptrap, from her appointment and on forward.

I am buying metals (brass and lead among them) and supplies as well. Enjoy the days ahead, folks. You are on your own and if these are the kinds of leaders you want - I will hang separately, thank you very much.

Rocketeer said...

It's always the people who talk constantly about their or others' "empathy" that I keep my eye on. It brings to mind my wife's rule about not eating in restaurants that have a "GOOD FOOD" sign hanging out front. If you have to advertise it so hard, it's not likely you do, in fact, have it. And if you contantly talk about wanting to try the restaurant, because it has a "GOOD FOOD" sign hanging out front, it's not likely you do, in fact, recognize good food when you try it.

DanTheMan said...

TosaGuy,
Morally void?
>>It is not empathy to commandeer other people's resources and give them to other people.

Where have you been? Just as "greed" is now defined as keeping what you have earned, it's now the very definition of compassion to take from others and give to those you deem more deserving.

Without your moral betters doing this, you would selfishlly spend your money on your own family.

It is only the superior compassion of your betters that makes up for your deficiences.

Now, work harder, Citizen. Your wealth is in need of spreading around.

Mike said...

The first time I see a nationally elected Democrat act with empathy towards a Republican or Conservative I might take their use of the word at face value. Until then, the functional political definition will continue to be "I want to rule with my feelings instead of with wisdom."

Larry J said...

Empathy in government-speak is just a word for enacting new programs to transfer wealth and buy votes.

FleetUSA said...

How can a bleeding heart liberal help the economy now when one has hurt the economy so much since 2009?

Mike said...

As for bankers with empathy, who ever heard of such a thing? Absolutely extraneous to the issue at hand: how to keep the inflation monster from eating our savings and seed corn.

Michael said...

Yellin will be fine and not because of her gender but because of her fucking brain, because she understands math and economics. She will not be guiding monetary policy because of how she fucking FEELS. We have to keep printing for a while or we will never get out of this ditch. The problem, of course, is that the printing is obstructed by the idiotic regulatory environment (intentional) of the administration. She works against a headwind.

Larry J said...

Economics isn't a science and may never be one. It's ability to take a theory and make predictions that actually work in the real world is rather limited, if not non-existent.

Freeman Hunt said...

Roose restated:

"Men, unfortunately, are those human beings with concern for cold things like numbers, data, and evidence. Yellen, a woman and therefore emotionally in tune, will present a refreshing lack of concern for such things."

Yellen (as I imagine her): "What?!"

Seeing Red said...

Math always wins.

She couldn't see the meltdown coming, but she'll be very empathetic if it happens again.

Poor dears, poor (literally poor) dears as she pats our hands. (& confiscates anything that's left)

Larry J said...

Freeman Hunt said...
Roose restated:

"Men, unfortunately, are those human beings with concern for cold things like numbers, data, and evidence. Yellen, a woman and therefore emotionally in tune, will present a refreshing lack of concern for such things."

Yellen (as I imagine her): "What?!"


I think that's the equivalent of Barbie saying "Math class is tough!"

jimbino said...

Why can't we get Eleanor Ostrom, the ONLY woman to win the top prize in Economics.

OK, I understand that the prize has been degraded since it was awarded to Paul Krugman.

David said...

One of Obama's kids was quoted as saying something to this effect after her father was elected president.

"First black President? Wow, you better be good."

(Mouths of babes, and all that.)

I do not think Obama has advanced the cause. if there ever was one, of showing that a black president is an improvement.

Nor will Yellen do this for women as central bankers.

Mainly because gender or ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

But if the economy really blows up bad, who you gonna blame?

Yellen, Lagarde and Obama? Two chicks and the hipster? The told you so crowd will have a field day.

When really it's all Bush's fault.

bwebster said...

But is she a wise Latina?

David said...

Folks, Yellen to Fed Chaircould end up being Nixon to China.

Only a female perceived liberal can actually tighten the screws when needed.

Question is, when will it be needed? And how to do it?

She's becoming captain of a ship that has taken on an awful lot of water. Her first job is still just to keep it afloat.

Larry J said...

Frankly, I'd rest a lot easier at night if our government wasn't following the same policies that made Zimbabwe the international economic powerhouse it is today.

I mention above that economics isn't a science because it can't make accurate predictions. Here's an example of science's ability to predict things. Over two years ago, the Juno spacecraft destined for Jupiter was launched from Cape Canaveral. Despite using the most powerful Atlas booster available, there wasn't enough energy available in the rocket to go directly to Jupiter so the vehicle will fly within 350 miles of the Earth (after having flown over 210 million miles since launch) tonight to gain enough energy. If all goes well and there are no malfunctions, Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

Show me any economic model that can come within an order of magnitude of that kind of prediction accuracy. One of the problems with economic models is that they rarely account for human activity. That's far more complex than the movements of planets and spacecraft.

Rocketeer said...

She's becoming captain of a ship that has taken on an awful lot of water.

Ironic, isn't it, that she's being nominated by Gilligan?

Archie said...

As the valley Girls used to say "gag me with a spoon".

Crazy Jane said...

Leave her sex out of it. It bothers me that the choices boiled down to Larry Summers or her, neither of whom has demonstrated any leadership on matters economic but only fealty to whatever the current regime. No Volckers here. My impression is that the general goal of the government now is to deflate the value of the dollar and, thus, the amount of its debt and pension promises and, collaterally, people's savings. The only impediment is the stupidity of all the other countries' central banks.

Michael K said...

"We are so deeply screwed. I've never been a member of the canned goods and cartridges crowd, but considering what's about to happen to our currency. "

Hear, Hear !

I always thought the end would come slowly but I am sensing acceleration.

Hyphenated American said...

All these discussions about empathy mean only one thing, this Yellen- character is nothing but a crook, just like all other liberal creeps, who talk about their empathy and love of the working man. Just remember, it's same Obama who refused to pay money to the widows of our dead soldiers, and the reason for that was obvious, he wanted people to feel more pain because of the shutdown. Same Obama who put cones on the road, so people could not stop to look at a mountain. Same Obama who forced private restaraunt a to close. Same Obama who barricaded the ww2 memorial when he was told that the veterans wanted to visit it. Same Obama who is sending park SUVs to block th views of geysers, so people won't enjoy them.

And of course Harry reid and Inga who block funding to cancer patients, because dead children don't bother them as much as GOP gaining traction.

Jason said...

Yellen is nowhere near as stupid as the author of this article.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ahmed Qasim said...

Free Promotion of your Website, Facebook Page, Twitter, Google Plus, StumbleUpon, Youtube Views Likes and Subscribes, Pinterest, MySpace, SoundCloud, Instagram and Much More Social Media Promotions. Just add your Promotion Link to this Website and Get Increase your Visitors, Page Likes, photo likes, photo shares Twitter Follow Tweets and Favorites, Youtube Views Likes and Subscribes and Much More.
GetLikeFast.com

Elise Ronan said...

I really wish the politically correct would get their heads out of everyone else's genitals.

Tank said...

David said...
Folks, Yellen to Fed Chaircould end up being Nixon to China.

Only a female perceived liberal can actually tighten the screws when needed.

Question is, when will it be needed? And how to do it?


It was needed in 2006. We're so far beyond the pale now ....

There is no reason to think Yellen will do the right thing. Her views in the past, and total failure to see the last crisis coming, indicate that she will continue to do the wrong thing until the next "unexpected" crisis.