Live at the Atlantic

September 6th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Developing themes familiar to OTE’ers…

In my first piece for them, I tried to summarize how we got here.  This one is where I think we are.  Next, how we might get out of this mess!

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7 comments in reply to "Live at the Atlantic"

  1. G says:

    How can “economists” keep pointing to Keynesian economics as the solution and the savior of our economic well-being? You state, “Financial engineering, goosed by deregulation and the ever-deepening belief in self-regulating markets led to cheap credit, underpriced risk, and over-leverage.” Seriously? What are you talking about? Last time I checked, cheap credit was a direct consequence of the government’s intervention. Ever heard of Fannie and Freddie? Ever heard of the Federal Reserve? Underpriced Risk? Over-leverage? Yes it all existed, but not in a free market where risks have consequences. These things of which you speak are all a result of, and infection caused by your proposed solution, Keynesian economics. So, we’re fixing our infection by adding more infection? Great idea.

    We’ve been driving down this road for some time now (40, 50+ years), believing that bigger government, more control, more regulation, bigger deficits, more oversight and more government micromanagement is the answer to all economic, health, earth, safety (pick your purpose) problems. Unfortunately Keynesian economics is a liberal friendly economic philosophy, which is probably why it’s taken as gospel coming out of our federally funded educational institutions. Imagine that. The people it benefits the most, stating how it’s “common knowledge” and “proven science”. It’s proven alright, it’s a proven disaster. The bubbles and bursts have been consequences of our fiscal policy, again, Keynesian economics. Financial innovations and explosions are not a result of deregulation, they are a result of a failure to allow for proper market forces and proper punishment of risk takers; they are a result of loose monetary policy, cronyism and the incentives created by governments, not markets.

    I keep hearing people blame the failure of self-regulation or calling it things like “a destructive idea”, which is complete non-sense. There is nothing left to self-regulate in this country. You either know someone is Washington, or you don’t, those who don’t, fail. To add insult to injury, the Fed then inflates your savings away and hands it to who… banks! Go Keynesism!

    This “history of bad ideas” of which you speak can be summed up thusly: fiat money, crony-capitalism, big banking cronyism, Fannie and Freddie (and their sisters SBA and the like), the Fed, multiple unsustainable wars, the government sweet heart deals with unions and big corps… in a nutshell, the worst idea we have ever had is letting the federal government control whether people/companies/countries succeed or fail. Worst yet, allowing the government to define what is success and or/failure. The worst idea we’ve ever had is thinking that the government is the answer, rather than the problem. Wake up.

    This has been tried several times throughout history, the end is always the same…very very sad. The government simply cannot sustain its own size, it can’t keep it promises, and it can’t promise everyone prosperity. “A Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

    And I hear the same people turn around and scream “what about civil liberties”? What about freedoms? These very same people write here about how saving ourselves, our liberties, our freedom all starts with giving the government more power as the government takes away right in front of them.
    Your ignorance is astounding.

    • perplexed says:

      Wow! Does all of this “knowledge” about economics and history come from one radio talk show or are there multiple broadcasts involved?

  2. tom says:

    ‘G’s response is straight from the Austrian-Gold Standard-Rand fountain of ignorance. It takes every ill in the economy and blames them on Keynesianism, without any evidence or line of argument, purely by fiat.

    The Federal Reserve certainly was involved, but during the period in question is was not being run according to Keynesian guidelines, but was in the clutches of the Randite Greenspan, negectling his duty to regulate and reveling in hallucinations about self-regulating markets and delusions about saving the world.

    After this dismal performance, G ought to stop smoking what Greenspan was smoking.

  3. general c. san desist says:

    …that’s quite the comment feedback on those two articles…superb analysis, by the way…& spot on.

    The free market of Adam Smith vanished long ago, no longer performing its classic function of maintaining an equilibrium between supply & demand.

    As Tugwell explains…the cat is out of the bag. There is no invisible hand. There never was. We must now supply a real & visible guiding hand to do the task which that mythical, nonexistent, invisible agency was supposed to perform, but never did…from the Battle For Democracy N.Y. 1935

    Barry’s advisers appear to be short in the history column…which is the worst excuse possible, not doing your homework…shame on them. Since you left the premises, things are gathering no moss, it’s all downhill.

  4. general c. san desist says:

    …hey G, is that short for Gilligan, thought so…just a three hour cruise to join Murphy & the rest of the Mises crowd. Good luck with that now.

  5. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Glad to see the Atlantic adding Dr B to their offerings; IMVHO, the nexus of economics and policy is critically important, and the history of booms and busts against the ideology of neoclassical economics needs more discussion.

    Having seen a small part of the dot com bust from the inside out, I tend to wince at claims of ‘ownership’ based on bits of paper that may duplicate by splitting shares today, but fall in price by 70% over a period of days. This background may make me more attuned to the neoclassical claims about ‘ownership’ than your average reader; I tend to take an extremely skeptical view of such claims of ‘ownership’.

    But within an hour of reading this post, I happened to see a segment on today’s Ratigan show on which former GM CEO Frank Lutz was a guest ‘expert’. He appears convinced that *all wealth creation* is due to *private* enterprise. I view this ‘free market’ mantra as enabled by the economic fallacies of the past 30+ years, described in your articles. How does an educated man claim that wealth creation is *exclusively* the domain of private enterprise? It is an ideological statement, not an economic one.

    I have seen Dougls Holtz-Eakin and others on the right make similar claims: they talk about ‘ownership’ and seem to think that government never creates wealth: nowhere, never. To me, this is an atrocious economic fallacy. But then, I grew up Out West where family members worked on the Columbia River dams bringing the miracle of electricity to an entire region. The federally funded canals also created vast wealth. You couldn’t turn on a light or get a glass of water without benefitting from decent, responsible government investment. Private enterprise was based on a firm foundation of public infrastructure.

    Now that we live in a world where corporate execs and policy makers seem to be busy convincing themselves and anyone else with patience to listen to them that “only private enterprise” ever **creates wealth**, I’d say it’s an important historical moment for the Atlantic to add Dr B’s column.

  6. G says:

    And now for Tom. “on October 23, 2008 Greenspan admitted that his free-market ideology shunning certain regulations was flawed”. I believe that regulations are essential to a degree. Unfortunately my degree was many many thousands of pages ago. There is a difference in regluating for fairness and “common good” (to take a phrase from liberals). Our country is now regulating what you eat, what you drink, how you drive, what our kids are taught in school, what healthcare you’re allowed, and now, whether or not you get to have a job. I’m not sure when ya’ll say enough is enough. Orwell might have been off on the year, but not far off on the plan. Is the perfact society for you one where the government decides everything? I’m just curious. Do you believe the socialism is the answer, and if so, what arguments to you have that it will be a success?

    In case you haven’t noticed, the whole world is moving to a gold standard as we speak. Well, that and an oil standard. Look around you. Why the Fed continutes to tinker, the world is calling the bluff on their fiat BS. What are you seeing?

    We may even escape disaster time, but there is no escaping it forever. Governments can’t control human nature. They can’t control markets, they can’t control prosperity.

    Everytime a government has tried (forced) for utopia…what is the best that has happend so far? Read your history.