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<block>And this metaphor of country debt like personal debt is like some kind of indestructible weed. </block>

This is the problem with political discourse today (and part of the reason why I don't dismiss the excuse of "electing better politicians" entirely. The truth is not obviously intuitive and requires substantially longer than one soundbite to explain - and is thus edited out of broadcast media and the above-the-fold portions of print articles. The "family finances" metaphor is immediately comprehensible (and has the added advantage of implying virtuousness). Doesn't matter if it's wrong: lying cynical politician 1, honest political aspirant 0.

Survival of the slimiest.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Jan 10th, 2012 at 07:19:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Businessmen and Economics - NYTimes.com

For the fact is that running a business is nothing at all like making macro policy. The key point about macroeconomics is the pervasiveness of feedback loops due to the fact that workers are also consumers. No business sells a large fraction of its output to its own workers; even very small countries sell around two-thirds of their output to themselves, because that much is non-tradable services.

This makes a huge difference. A businessman can slash his workforce in half, produce about the same as before, and be considered a big success; an economy that does the same plunges into depression, and ends up not being able to sell its goods. Nothing in business experience prepares one for the paradox of thrift, or even the inflationary impact of increases in the money supply (which is real when the economy isn't in a liquidity trap.)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jan 10th, 2012 at 11:28:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But none of these exotic economic situations need happen when the country IS run like a sane household.

Countries shouldn't print money unless it's backed by production or services.

Competition isn't necessarily destructive, when regulated, as a parent regulates a greedy child.

This is all laid out in the Analects of Confucius, right, with which we all are familiar, right?

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Tue Jan 10th, 2012 at 10:27:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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