CBO Nonsense

From the CBO Director’s blog:

Many factors are responsible for the rise in unemployment in general and in long-term unemployment:

-Weak demand for goods and services, as a result of the recession and its aftermath, which results in weak demand for workers;

The better question is: what is causing weak demand? Could it be . . . → Read More: CBO Nonsense

A Bad Idea to Fix a Worse One, Because I Can

The “Fair” Tax is a really, really bad idea (see here, here and here for more on why). But, one of this really, really bad idea’s really, really bad effects is fixable.

I’ve mentioned the solution in passing before, but I figure it’s worth elaborating on. That way if it gets used (I hope . . . → Read More: A Bad Idea to Fix a Worse One, Because I Can

"Possess nothing and be possessed by nothing"

The saying is attributed to Ahmed Ibn Abu al-Hassan al-Nuri.

No, I’m not a scholar of Sufism. I came across the quote in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy years ago, and it spoke to me in a certain way — not as a moral or religious principle per se so much as a practical . . . → Read More: Possess nothing and be possessed by nothing

Foreign Trade Revisited

The current support for free trade is based on the supposition of defending consumers from higher prices. What the higher prices would indicate, if they were allowed to occur, is that American production is being destroyed. The laws of supply and demand would bear this hypothesis out because the cumulative effect of domestic economic . . . → Read More: Foreign Trade Revisited

Producing more than you consume

From The Flow of Value blog:

“All investments are made with surplus value (some of which has been borrowed to be invested), which has been netted out of the flow of value by those who produce more than they consume. This stock of value is commonly known as wealth. But governments and borrowers . . . → Read More: Producing More Than You Consume

Other Alpha Sources (Academic Version)

If you ask the layman about what economics is the answer you get is likely to contain the notion of money. This is understandable. After all, if economists do not study money in some form or the other what are we doing then?

As such, you might be surprised to learn that in . . . → Read More: Modeling the Role of Money

Demographics and Macroeconomics – Part 1

Blog post series, like the vuvuzela, is the new bacon; it works with everything and with John Hempton’s recent excellent series on the economics of default in the Eurozone and Edward’s recent postings on AFOE in which he pulls out some of our old paper abstracts has inspired me to a series in which . . . → Read More: Demographics and Macroeconomics – Part 1

Private Debt Decline: Good For US, Bad for the Economy

I got a disturbing email from Bianco Research which showed a chart of “Private Credit Market Debt” which they say shows “Total credit market creation not including Treasury Debt, Municipal Debt and Agency Debt”.

It is actually a horror that the level of private debt peaked last year at about $36 trillion, which is . . . → Read More: Private Debt Decline: Good For US, Bad for the Economy

The Massive Momentum Of 2009

The great monetary scientist Isaac Newton, who served as England’s Master of the Mint for 24 years, also did some ancillary work in physics.  The laws of Newtonian physics are known by nearly everyone and are often used by analogy to apply logical reasoning in other fields.  In this case, a few of these . . . → Read More: The Massive Momentum Of 2009

Protectionism, Recession, Recovery: Looking Back and Looking Forward

In thinking of protectionism, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and what might come next, here are two interesting angles.

Governments with their backs against the wall

Ideally, stabilisation using monetary and fiscal policy, alongside actions by the private sector, should restrain the decline in consumption, and yield conditions which are not too harsh . . . → Read More: Protectionism, Recession, Recovery: Looking Back and Looking Forward