I'm a PhD student in economics at MIT, originally from New Zealand.
My (fairly uninformed) impression is that Israel is somewhat unique in that economic policy is not a major axis of differentiation between the main political parties. It might therefore be much easier for bloggers/commentators to influence economic policy because it is not very politicized. Would you disagree with that impression?
Strongly agreed with both of the comments above. One additional strategy to consider would be looking into whether any of the professors in your school's economics department typically hire part-time undergrad research assistants. If so, taking a class with one of those professors and impressing them is a good way to get a job, which can then serve as a stepping-stone to RA jobs at other institutions (since you'll pick up skills and get someone who can write you a recommendation letter).
Great post; I'd note that while you focus on arguing that the correlation between Ivy admissions and intelligence is lower than one might naively expect, the statement "most Ivy-smart students aren't at Ivy-tier schools" is also a trivial consequence of the fact that these schools collectively admit very few people and there are plausibly at least twice as many "Ivy-smart" applicants each year as there are spots at Ivies.
Economists have thought a bit about automation taxes (which is essentially what you're suggesting). See, e.g., this paper.
I'm currently working as a predoc so am happy to chat if you have any questions. Honestly, I doubt RA jobs at EA orgs can achieve that in the foreseeable future, since so much of the value of a predoc comes in the form of a letter from a professor who's tightly integrated into the network of top academic economists. Unless EA orgs can attract senior researchers with tight connections to faculty at top schools, and clout with those faculty, that won't happen.
Amazing and super informative post! A few more thoughts on "predocs" (1-2 year post-BA full-time research assistantships focused on empirical work), which have exploded in popularity since the 80k article was written:
Derek Parfit has a good discussion of "prioritarian" views that place greater weight on the welfare of the less well-off: https://www.philosophy.rutgers.edu/joomlatools-files/docman-files/3ParfitEqualityorPriority2000.pdf
This is a really interesting post. A few points of pushback:
It's not clear that your claim that "[mathematics has] commonly accepted, rigorous methodologies for determining what counts as 'domain knowledge' [while morality] does not" is true. See this paper for relevant counterarguments: http://www.pgrim.org/philosophersannual/34articles/clarkedoanemoral.pdfIn brief: the methodology used by mathematicians (postulate axioms and derive theorems from those axioms, in the long-run engaging in a process of reflective equilibrium to narrow down to the right set of axioms and theorems) can also be applied in moral philosophy (and it appears to be exactly what modern moral philosophers do). Moreover, it's not at all clear that commonly-used mathematical axioms are less controversial than commonly-used moral axioms.
I'm skeptical that there'll be a consensus 5 or 10 years from now on whether market power was a key contributor to 2021 inflation; there are just too many confounding factors blocking an inference like "inflation decreased without changes in competitiveness, so market power must not have been causing inflation." It's true that retrospective consensus sometimes emerges (for example, that financial deregulation was at least partly responsible for the Global Financial Crisis), but this is pretty rare.
I'm not sure how the forum started. I assume a key factor in making the participants interested was that the panel was started by a reputable institution (Chicago Booth) that could guarantee a wide audience. I wouldn't guess that economists are more willing than academics from other fields to express views on policy-relevant issues; I suspect political scientists, sociologists, etc. would be similarly willing.