Government


Fast Times on Planet Earth

Fallows:

…a reminder that the connectedness of the world and the instantaneous global spread of images have consequences that are unfolding more quickly than anyone can anticipate or make sense of.

For a positive take on one possible path read Sawyer’s Neanderthal Parallax trilogy.
One thing that neither Fallows or his chinese correspondent take note of is that in most places in the united states you can still take the pictures and post them for the world to see.


Eliminate Subsidies?

Matt Yglesias is right when he notes that “The large-scale subsidies the housing sector is one of the least market-oriented aspects of the American economy,…” and suggests that they be eliminated.
Agreed, they should be eliminated.
As he is so keen on making the economy more market-oriented he should not object to properly extending his principle.
Let’s get rid of all the various federal, state and local monetary subsidies, organizational protective legislation and imposed monopolies.
This will go far towards satisfying Matt’s desire for a more market-oriented economy.
An extra benefit might be reducing the long-term deficit as long as the reduced expenditures aren’t spent on other market distorting activities like wars.


obama Hammers bush

While it is not surprising that obama can run circles around bush there are some wins that are, perhaps, not so positive.
Of course, bush did leave a mess. Including an overall debt increase of $4.9 Trillion.
With all that bush stimulus spending Krugman was probably right in saying that obama’s $800 billion was too little.

But, then, with all that bush stimulus why was there a downturn at all…?


Quote of the Day: A Lesson From Counterculture Economics

We were going along really well. And then the crowds came in. All the people who were looking for something….[There were] too many people to take care of and not enough people willing to do something. There were a lot of people looking fo the fee ride. That’s the death of any scene, when you have more drag energy than you have forward-going energy.”
From Blair Jackson’s excellent Garcia: An America Life, 1999, page 132 Paperback Edition

Garcia was referring to the Haight-Ashbury scene in the late 1960s. It was relatively small and crashed quickly under the weight of drag energy.

Larger societies, say continent spanning countries, will take longer to crash but the mechanism is the same and the results, well, they are likely to be much messier.