As the Time article said, "There aren't easy solutions" when extolling the virtues of Big Ben. Did we ask for it to be easy? One thing to consider is the influence of technology and computation. Ben's study of what went down in the 1930s is admirable, from an academic sense. But, does his view look at the major differences?
No. He does not seem to allow that common sense can say a lot about the economy or how we expect it to be. That is, being labeled as a 'nerd' implies several things that are not common sense. For instance, he says that he is outraged; where is there any argument about ethics which seems to be a topic antithetical to 'fat cat' thinking?
Let's look at a little tale that offers some message to the theme.
Ever notice how some who have taken to the technology of the cell phone have given it a ubiquitous role? That is, we see people all over chatting to someone other than those in the immediate surrounds. In fact, much of this behavior can be consider extremely rude under an older (and more likely more etiquette'd) framework.
Then, once the thumbs got into their punching mode as technology developed, we saw people with their eyes glued to some little screen while they conversed with others, again outside of where they are physically, or while they played games or while they did any number of other apps whose cardinality is increasing rapidly.
And, many of the zombies attached to the one-eyed monster have taken to doing their thumbing thing while being propelled through space in a vehicle (weapon) and in doing so have lost sight of a major principle, defensive driving. Wrecks, with the suffering of many innocent victims, have resulted.
Now, what does that mean for the economy? Well, is it not in the crapper after a wreck? You see, the advent of mathematics, modeling, and computational prowess which was brought forth into the economy by the Sons of Samuelson have created some type of mirage that deflects from seeing properly. Focus on this mirage (house of cards or any other metaphor can work here) as the principal key to control is so problematic that it's very disconcerting to the aware observer. To boot, it was the best and brightest who were taken in; except, their focus on self-gratification was probably reinforced early. We sort of do that in the modern culture.
Any who might have urged caution stood the chance of being labeled as being short-sighted via innumeracy. Ah, the model is the reality according to the brains (map-territory problem, folks). It seems that the Fed, for one, must be laboring under such type of delusion. Yes, Ben, you.
Need we remind them that they put us on the hook, as taxpayers, for toxic instruments of unknown quantity and potential harm?
We all know that talking to those who drive and text about their risky behavior falls on deaf ears, as they have all sorts of arguments, including some diatribe about being more intellectual and forward (progressive). Same goes for those who are caught up in the pandora's box that has been unleashed with modeling and computation. You see, it has lined a bunch of pockets (thanks, quants); is not that what the economy is for?
Now, the need is not to step back and actually be like the world in 1930. And, Ben re-playing those dynamics is short-sighted. No, we must keep going forward. Yet, one has to think that taking over the banks in late 2008 would have been better than feeding our money to the fat cats. These are the people who screwed up the world with their machinations. They really have not been making it any better this year.
But, questions arise, such as, who would be doing the taking over? Well, consider this. That suggestion is no more silly than expecting Ben and his buddies know how to moderate things with their few parameters and instruments created on the fly. Pushing string, indeed.
Well, plenty of words have been expressed this year, in all types of media, about these issues. In all that, some of the arguments have made a whole lot of sense. Trouble is that Ben is on the hot seat, undergoing pressures that prevent proper reasoning. Yes, any incessant hot-seat experience has reactions, physically, psychically, and more.
Of course, the strain on Ben is nothing compared to that on those who were sucked into the game in which they ended up indentured for now and into the far future. So, not only have savers been sacked, and mocked, the whole economy has been hollowed out (thanks, America Prospect). And, this in 2009?
Ben, you need to consider the advances that have come about in the past 20 years that have allowed an one-sided state of affairs. You buy off the shelf. Ever compare your couture with those with the Milan'd, and other, suits? Do you somehow feel superior to those who have to exhibit such demonstrations of excess and conspicuous consumption?
Or, do you not notice? If that is true, then there's hope!
But, as said before, monks, and marines, could do a better job of running finance and the economy. Except, we must remember what lead to the atrocious conditions at Walter Reed, and other facilities, due to the officer, and political, class letting deterioration run rampant for so long while they lived in the lap of luxury.
12/29/2012 -- Summary - 2012.
01/03/2011 -- Ah yes, now there are demands. The question remains: what growth other than the pockets of these types?
01/01/2011 -- We have two last posts of December under our belt.