See an excellent analysis by Kevin Drum of Mother Jones December 9th, 2011 of why the EuroCrisis is all about exporters and importers and not about budget deficits. Until those in power understand the difference and act on the real problem, we are likely to see an ongoing crisis. Continue reading
The following story, one that I find most enlightening, appears in two textbooks written by Professor Krugman who maintains, only slightly tongue-in-cheek, that this is all we need to know about economics. Continue reading
A friend wrote to ask what he and his family should do given the impasse in Congress and the ongoing debacle in Europe. What follows is my response:
I share your concern. And the brief answer to what I am doing is “not much.” But let me explain my position. Continue reading
With two chapters of the proposed common framework now official, it was time for me to revise Chapter 5. You can find the result at http:://vanbreda.org/theory/chap05_4.pdf (254kb). I have not hesitated to throw my opinion in the chapter on grounds that we make accounting seem to sterile and to encourage readers to ponder a little more on accounting. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you think I sound to harsh. I am in search of newer references for this chapter so if you know of any — or have written something yourself — please let me know.
When I was a youngster, says my cousin John, we had a minister who would go ballistic if anyone deigned to put a Bible on the ground. This fetish was particularly difficult to respect when (for example) we were sitting round a campfire. His reasoning was that this was the Word of God and should be respected as such. Today he would probably be mocked as an eccentric, but his vehemence on the issue has stuck with me all these decades on. Continue reading
My reading of annual reports from cities across the nation tell me that public finances are in a shambles and that the salaries, pensions, benefits and jobs of public service employees are threatened. The police are among those who are in danger of being hurt by the economy. So, can anyone explain to me why the police are treating Occupy Wall Street as the enemy instead of as their best friends. I am missing something here!!!
This morning’s New York Times includes a most illuminating essay by Thomas B. Edsall titled “The Gulf of Morality.” In it he argues unexceptionally that liberals and conservatives see the world through very different eyes. What drew my attention was his five dimensions of morality: care, fairness, loyalty, respect, purity. Continue reading
We can argue ideology as long as we like but I would like to suggest that the real reason for all our troubles has nothing to do with liberal Democrats and country-club Republicans. I offer three things that have changed our world and require all us to rethink our assumptions. Continue reading
Today’s newspapers brought some astonishingly sad news about the state of economic education. David Leonhardt writing in the New York Times (The Gridlock Where Debts Meet Politics) is picked up in the Dallas Morning News under the better title “Voters won’t do the math.” The point being made in the articles is that there is simply not enough money in the system to pay pension and healthcare benefits for retirees. Continue reading