17 October 2008

A foray into economics


More often than not, I shy away from discussions of anything beyond basic economics. I am a competent bank teller so I'm a whiz at counting and doling out cash, but beyond those and similarly simple financial transactions I am typically woefully ignorant. I have decided to try my hand at economics this morning because it's an important part of our cultural landscape and it's something I want to better understand.

To make matters easier, Paul Krugman, the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, has written a fantastically lucid op-ed outlining his best plan to pull up on the levers of our steadily sinking airplane of an economy. Krugman is a self-professed liberal (his NYT-hosted blog is called "The Conscience of a Liberal") so his political bent aligns with mine and he has disagreed with most of the Bush fiscal policy and hasn't shied away from letting that be known. But more importantly, he's a brilliant economist.

The basic gist of his plan follows:

1.) The Fed should continue to cut the rates, but that won't be enough. Increased government spending is necessary to turn this economic ship around.

2.) The government should work to buy up existing mortgages and restructure the terms. Krugman disagrees with McCain on the notion that they should be purchased at face value.

3.) It is now more important than ever to boost the economy by investing in rebuilding our infrastructure.

These solutions seems almost too easy to be true because most of what it seems to be only throwing money (probably imaginary money, at that) at problems hoping that they go away. I don't believe, though, that that is the solution Krugman is calling for. He believes that this downturn is worse than the technological bubble burst because there is no foreseeable bubble on the horizon.

I don't believe that we should take any one person's opinion, but I tend to take the opinions of people with awesome beards more seriously.

8 comments:

Jason said...

i implore you ian, please continue your blacklisting of "jesse." i'm pretty sure that he is a white supremacist, thinly veiled as an anarcho-capitalist; just like his patron saints murray rothbard and lew rockwell.

Ian said...

I'll do what I can. He sure is fun to talk to, though.

Jason said...

yeah, but his blog does link to the America First Committee website. check that out real quick, esp. their core principles

Ian said...

Whoa! Things like that still exist? This isn't 1950 Birmingham, Alabama. How could he attribute that site to his list of Ron Paul links? There's no way Paul would endorse something like that.

Jason said...

don't be so sure of that . . .

http://www.reason.com/news/show/124426.html

Jason said...

see also

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=74978161-f730-43a2-91c3-de262573a129

Ian said...

That is some ridiculousness right there. Still, I want to give the benefit of the doubt to the good doctor. I sure would like to believe that he wasn't aware of what was going into those newsletters.

Jesse said...

as far as economics is concerned i am only trying to add to the discussion. the fact that so many people seem unwilling to learn is very discouraging. at least to know that there are other ideas in the world besides the ones that are proclaimed by the "mainstream" (trendy).

ps- thank you jason. i appreciate your upfront honesty about things. it shows your real character. the fact that you can know so much about me just by a link on a blog is amazing.