Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Todd Zywicki came last week into news for his opinions on mortgage crisis. Let's debunk that into dust.

Also, the National Review is following a taxing debate at Economist.com. What do we write to them? ;-)

by das monde on Thu Apr 16th, 2009 at 05:16:13 AM EST
The article on Zywicki's theories on current crisis is not that simplistic than I assumed. Zywicki offers two separate claims.

One claim is on the role of Greenspan. Zywicki concludes that he did create the bubble, but with good intentions, via a supposedly critically misplaced incentives to switch to ARMs. The mechanics of incentives works very smoothly in libertarian theories - you can always find an incentive that works. Is human behavior that straightforward and knowledgeable?

The other claim is actually his classification of real estate markets in the US. He basically concludes that only 9 out of 50 states are experiencing historically serious meltdowns of real estate markets - thanks for relative assurance! To me, governments' "unintended consequences" compare pretty favorably to free market's awful overbuilding or abandonment.

As for the discussion at Economist.com, someone has to say that the rich are not doubtlessly the productive class "carrying the rest of America on their backs". More often than not the rich live of rentier claims or near monopolistic powers. Even such "productive" entrepreneur as Bill Gates is successful mostly because he was very good in pushing competitors out of offering better products. People would find ways to live even without the particular rich winners we have - perhaps with other lucky winners of the same kind, perhaps with a more democratic sharing of spoils in some industries.

by das monde on Fri Apr 17th, 2009 at 06:29:25 AM EST
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