4 thoughts on “The Layman’s Guide to Economics

  1. bystander August 4, 2013 / 9:05 am

    Krugman asks if there is any point to economic analysis, and I think you’ve just answered him. Depends on the analysis.

  2. William Timberman August 4, 2013 / 9:27 am

    Indeed. I’ve been following the wrestle over who should be the new Fed chair, and I think it’s strangled up my mind. If social democracy is ever again going to work the way it appeared to work — briefly — after WWII, some very old definitions of the public interest and public service will have to be resurrected. If Larry Summers is an example of that resurrection, I think we might as well give up and see if we can’t somehow resurrect communism.

    Meanwhile, the End Times of Capitalism proceed apace. Climate change, climate change, climate change. Filled with the righteousness of old, we keep ringing the bell, and yet so far not a single villager has appeared in the doorway of his humble dwelling, eager to see what all the fuss is about.

    • bystander August 5, 2013 / 6:41 am

      Yep. Climate change is the “elephant in the room” that everyone seems to step gingerly around as they pretend it isn’t there. Eventually, it will up-end all manner of assumptions, conventional wisdom(s), and social arrangements.

      Until it becomes impossible to do otherwise, however, as the former CEO for Citi put it, “As long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance,” he said. “We’re still dancing.” We have some discordant notes in the melody, at present, but we are still dancing, despite shooting the occasional questioning look at the band leader(s).

    • Ellie Kesselman February 11, 2015 / 4:34 pm

      Mr. Timberman, I thought I’d stop by after seeing you mentioned, and make a cameo appearance, on Crooked Timber yesterday or so ~ 10 Feb 2015.

      I laughed at what you said about Larry Summers, both this post and especially the comment above. Next, I felt sad, after thinking about the implications further. If LS had been appointed to chair the Fed… ugh!

      I wish Robert Reich would be on the Federal Reserve board of governors. He isn’t a banker, but he is an attorney and a labor economist. He could make a (positive) difference at that New York district branch in particular 😉

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