Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Even after September 2008, I had somebody tell me that a trade deficit was a good thing because we're essentially keeping a high standard of living by printing paper.
Do economists not read newspapers? Do they never talk to people who are on unemployment? What's wrong with this picture?
Monday, December 29, 2008
Paul Krugman's blog on the NBER yeild curve brought out a libertarian response that claimed that in the postwar period, a postive yeild curve *always* meant a recovery was coming.
I think the good Professor did a great job explaining why this isn't so- New Deal Democrat also pointed out at economic populist that the NBER yeild curve reports different data under deflationary periods than under inflationary periods.
Postwar predictions are therefore not valid- this is the first *deflationary* recession in the postwar period, so you need to look at PREWAR conditions, not postwar conditions, for any of this to make sense. Thus, at least on the matter of stimulus vs doing nothing, I’m with the good professor. I simply disagree that stimulus *alone* will be enough. A global “free trade” economy is literally an economy without scarcity- anybody can have anything for far cheaper than they could yesterday or last week, and the prices keep falling. Demand simply cannot keep up with worldwide supply where half the world works for under $2/day, the workers aren't earning enough to become consumers.
Thus I argue that we need to separate the uses of money better- into four worldwide currencies:
- Currency A is a value store- it defines the value of the other three currencies, and you can only transfer wealth in one currency to another through Currency A, but you can’t charge or receive interest in Currency A.
- Currency B is for Business Cash Flow, and as such, has an expiration date, use it or lose it. MOST people and companies will get their paychecks in Currency B, and pay their bills in Currency B, and it will expire at the end of the fiscal year if not converted to Currency A.
- Currency C is for Credit. You can borrow Currency C, but it must be changed to Currency A to be converted to B or D, and you pay interest on borrowing it. Currency C’s interest rate is fixed, pegged at time of borrowing at CPI-1% to prevent usury. Currency C is Secured Debt- you need some collateral to get it- and is cosigned by the government, much like FDIC does with your bank account today, to prevent loss. HOWEVER, fractional reserve banking will no longer be allowed- a bank will NOT be able to lend out more money than it has on hand.
- Currency D is Debt Gambling. Currency D is the chips you get in exchange for currency A at the casino, or the stocks you get in exchange for currency A at the stock market, or the bonds you get for currency A at the bond market. Currency D is only used by gamblers. On the plus side, you might win big- but on the minus side, you might lose everything. The purpose of Currency D? To remove the effects of gambling from Currencies A and B. Currency A money paid for Currency D usually becomes some form of Currency A money exchanged for Currency C.
We already have Currency A, B, C, and D in our society- but by requiring all conversions to go through currency A, this gives us control over the Bubbles. Also, in the current form, we're kind of missing a real currency A- and as this article suggests the search for currency A quality investments was a big cause of the credit bubble.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
A great slogan for a war of revolution- but not so great an axiom to build a culture on. And yet, that's what we in America tried to do; we tried to build a culture off of this campaign slogan. Oh, changes got made over the years- give me liberty became give me profit (for only the independently wealthy can truly have liberty- all else are slaves to the owners of their debt) and give me death became let no human life stand in my way (from abortion of babies so that their teen mothers will stay in school, to the incredible rape of Iraq for profit, to the terminally ill commiting suicide in Oregon so that the next generation won't be burdened with the high cost of the last 6 months of life). But this slogan is the basis of American Culture- and the precursor to the Culture of Death.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Klein said that justices of the peace perform duties on behalf of the state and cannot discriminate.
"It would be illegal for a justice of the peace to refuse to provide the same services to a same-sex couple," Klein said.
Monday, December 1, 2008
- A place to go, once a week, that for an hour, I know *exactly* how to act. The Catholic Mass is highly liturgical and scripted, and while it does evolve, evolves extremely slowly. This helps me have at least one place I can have a social experience without being viewed as weird or strange; and the rules are printed in the missal for anybody to read.
- A highly evolved theology that is self consistent. This is highly important to an autistic; it's something that is missing from the younger more independent sects. Catholic (both Roman and Orthodox) churches have a long history, 2000 years and counting, and as such, have had a lot of work done on their theologies to at least make them internally consistent.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The economy is not a force of nature, some kind of immutable, infallible entity. We created it, and when cracks appear, it makes no sense to simply shovel on more money to keep it going. Because it’s a human invention, an economy is something we should be able to fix – but if we can’t, we should toss it out and replace it with something better.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
These realms have come to appear mutually exclusive in the modern context of the separation of the subjective and objective realms. But the whole point is precisely that they should meet, preserving their own integrity and yet inseparable. It is becoming an increasingly obvious fact of economic history that the development of economic systems which concentrate on the common good depends on a determinate ethical system, which in turn can be born and sustained only by strong religious convictions. 9 Conversely, it has also become obvious that the decline of such discipline can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse. An economic policy that is ordered not only to the good of the group — indeed, not only to the common good of a determinate state — but to the common good of the family of man demands a maximum of ethical discipline and thus a maximum of religious strength. The political formation of a will that employs the inherent economic laws towards this goal appears, in spite of all humanitarian protestations, almost impossible today. It can only be realized if new ethical powers are completely set free. A morality that believes itself able to dispense with the technical knowledge of economic laws is not morality but moralism. As such it is the antithesis of morality. A scientific approach that believes itself capable of managing without an ethos misunderstands the reality of man. Therefore it is not scientific. Today we need a maximum of specialized economic understanding, but also a maximum of ethos so that specialized economic understanding may enter the service of the right goals. Only in this way will its knowledge be both politically practicable and socially tolerable.In this we see one of the earliest examples of what would become Pope Benedict's war on irrational religion and irrational economics.