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For obvious reasons, balancing the annual budget makes perfect sense when your output is basically entirely agricultural, and your consumption almost entirely is food.
You should still use fiscal policy to balance out years of good and bad crops, so the balanced budget is a myth even fot the agricultural economy.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 1st, 2014 at 09:24:13 AM EST
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Well, I was thinking of a very simplified model where the surplus of the summer months (the "boom") is saved to "finance" the "deficits" of the winter "bust".

It's not a perfect analogy, but it is first and foremost meant to be pedagogic and super-simple.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Jul 7th, 2014 at 02:22:16 PM EST
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