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Archive for December 8th, 2017

The Return of Depression Economics (and the Crisis of 2008)”  (2009©)  —  book review
This book is authored by Dr. Paul Krugman, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2008.  That’s kind of an easy way to validate that he knows what he’s talking about in terms of economics.  I actually completed this book earlier in the month, but have just been too lazy to get around to this review…
Basically, the good doctor is a progressive / liberal economist from the Keynes / Galbraith school of government “interference” in the free market to both stimulate the economy and restrict bad business practices (i.e. monopolies).  This means, when the inevitable market slow-down occurs, the author feels it is the government’s job to step in and provide demand for goods and services which will keep the economy ticking along.  The failure to do so, the author states, results in a stalled or failing economy, which starts a self-fulfilling prophecy / death spiral of recession or depression.  To prevent the excesses of capitalism, he proposes, a stricter regulation of banks and non-bank money (credit) generators.  In theory, this decreases the size of economic bubbles and the resulting “crashes” which follow the inevitable bubble burst.
The bottom line appears to be that markets are subject to “bubbles”.  Bubbles are periods of overconfidence which directly result in price increases to the point of frenzy.  However, when the frenzy pauses to catch its breath, everything tends to go to hell in a handbasket unless the government is willing (and sometimes it isn’t) to step in and save everyone’s bacon.  The buying frenzy then becomes a selling panic and the free flow of funds / capital means individual national economies can end up in very deep do-do, very quickly.
Final recommendation: highly recommended.  I recognize I am also a progressive / liberal who is predisposed to agree with the author’s opinions and arguments, but I found the basic arguments to be in agreement with my own experiences over the last 50 years.  The book is written in standard English for the “off-the-street” (non-economist) person to understand.  It is relatively short at under 200 pages and I found it to be a fairly fast read.  Well worth your time to understand some of why the world is functioning the way it does.
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On This Day In:
2016 Election + 1 Month
2015 Dance And Sing
2014 A Measuring Stick For Progress
2013 Courtly Love Or Victory Over Habit
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“One more thing, gentlemen, before I quit.  Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us.  There is a tendency in this year of grace, 1935, for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions.  The most ridiculous example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industrious —  because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority.  We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe —  some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others —  some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men.
“But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal — there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president.  That institution, gentlemen, is a court.  It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve.  Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.
“I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system — that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality.  Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury.  A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up.  I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family.  In the name of God, do your duty.”
   —  Harper Lee
From her novel: “To Kill A Mockingbird
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On This Day In:
2016 Election + 1 Month
2015 Dance And Sing
2014 A Measuring Stick For Progress
2013 Courtly Love Or Victory Over Habit
2012 Have We Met?
2011 Efficiently Useless

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