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Old 09-05-2011, 05:27 AM
FatMan FatMan is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3
Default Re: Booze and Money (Tim Fernholz & Megan McArdle)

Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
An updated CPI has been suggested, but is not used. I don't know why that would make the point moot. I think that's fairly critical when saying something like inflation hasn't moved for 30 years. Even if you don't want to track dollars to gold because gold is in a bubble, you can still measure against platinum. Inflation is real; CPI is an illusion.
Uh...how is inflation real and CPI an illusion? What is the point of gold other than as a medium of account? And if we replace said gold with greenbacks, what do we lose? The value of gold only comes from it's value relative to money, so in reality all it's useful for is as a "savings" vehicle for the ultra-paranoid.

Krugman is relevant because he and all Keynesians have been repeating the same mantra. I'm not saying he's wrong. What I'm saying is that there are other smart people who say we ought not be so sure. I agree, however, that we have a demand problem. This could also be fixed by letting house prices plunge like they're supposed to.
So, we should let housing prices plunge without doing anything (like, say, a helicopter drop to every taxpayer), leading to an increased real debt load (since money will be tighter because homeowners will have to spend more on debt financing), which would depress household spending further, helping to exacerbate the demand problem. Sign me up!

Yes, and I skeptically support this plan.
Good to hear. Fortunately, it would be as easy as Mr. Bernanke saying "we are going to have a period of catch-up spending growth so that we are on the late 90's nominal spending level. What we *really* need to stop listening to those who think their gut should determine monetary policy

At BBC4, those were economists at the debate. I'd like to know your reasons for dismissing Hayekians and extending credibility to Keynesians.
One can't be Hayekian and Keynesian?

I'm not so sure after the manufacture of an artificial housing bubble. That was the easing.
Housing bubble wasn't too terrible. About an extra percentage point in unemployment, and very regional. The current mess would have mostly been avoidable without the terrible banking regulatory failures and if monetary policy hadn't failed spectacularly.

But we were talking Sumner. France has a generous welfare state and they've been at 9-12% unemployment for a quarter century. Sumner acknowledges the demand problem. After easing, what if unemployment stays high? Because I'm betting it will.
How much of that will be because of skills deterioration from the fact that we're too busy being afraid of the deficit and non-existent inflation than trying to get to full employment.
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