Archive for March, 2011

general thoughts on economics and government, IMO

March 9, 2011

Some thoughts after a discussion with a friend and self-described “libertarian”:

Government isn’t a means to a socially prosperous end. However, government can serve a positive (or negative) role during the process of social change. It’s a tool that may be beneficial or harmful depending on how it’s put to work. Regarding contemporary economics, implementing a purely laissez-faire or strict command economy will surely stifle. Our nature (which we’ve inherited yet differs from, the animals) demands a nuanced approach. We must be given the freedom to learn as individuals yet our aggression is best kept in check, at least to some degree. I think of our current existence as wounded yet promising. We’re often in conflict; that is our history and present. Confronted with scarcity and a fear of it, greed often dominates and we ruthlessly compete. Yet, we are capable of deep compassion and often, with no strings attached, care for others and the environment. I think government can be useful medication for the wound as we heal; or it can be salt.

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sweden: negative interest rates

March 3, 2011

Yglesias:

But is anyone paying attention? Here in the United States, inflation continues to be well below the trend level, we have tons of idle workers, and yet all you ever hear about is the possible need for tightening. Why not at least cut the interest on reserves back to zero?

It’s a very interesting story in the world of economics yet there’s minimal mainstream reporting of it. Adopting a negative interest rate may sound like a crazy idea, but isn’t it arguable that quantitative easing is even crazier?