Friday, 28 April 2017

Hayek & utter stupidity

If you had a fraction of respect for Hayek, this statement of his will erase that.

“It may perhaps be pointed out here that it has, of course, never been denied that employment can be rapidly increased, and a position of ‘full employment’ achieved in the shortest possible time by means of monetary expansion–least of all by those economists whose outlook has been influenced by the experience of a major inflation. All that has been contended is that the kind of full employment which can be created in this way is inherently unstable, and that to create employment by these means is to perpetuate fluctuations.
There may be desperate situations in which it may indeed be necessary to increase employment at all costs, even if it be only for a short period–perhaps the situation in which Dr. BrĂ¼ning found himself in Germany in 1932 was such a situation in which desperate means would have been justified. But the economist should not conceal the fact that to aim at the maximum of employment which can be achieved in the short run by means of monetary policy is essentially the policy of the desperado who has nothing to lose and everything to gain from a short breathing space.” (Hayek 1975 [1939]: 64, n. 1).

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Cures for stagflation, my opinion

In contrast to Roger Mitchell's deficit spending + high interest rates, here's how I would tackle stagflation.

First of all, rationing, if the cause is heavily supply-side intense.
If it's not, I'd do the following:

-increase capital requirements for banks (because this is more effective at putting drag on the growth in bank debt than rate hikes)

-increase the Land-value-tax (Why? The land value tax in and of itself puts drag on the economy, but it also has other beneficial effects; it lowers production and consumption costs. It leaves the landowner with less bargaining power. People pay less rent to the landowners, which leaves more income to be orientated towards investment and consumption. At least, that's how I see it in theory)

-see which sectors struggle with demand and underemployment, and adjust (increase) Government spending and (lower) other taxes appropriately (aka deficit spending)

Messing around with interest rates, you're modifying the cost of settlement payments. This doesn't deter Animal Spirits. If people feel comfortable with their level of income, and decide that going into debt is good now to achieve their aims, then they're gonna do it. If more and more people feel this way, you got an economy that officially looks good, which leads to more private debt and more private consumption.
Now, mainstream view is that OMF net Government spending is inflationary. I say that's bullshit. If OMF (Overt Money Financing) isn't inflationary, then I don't see how higher interest bearing bonds or higher IOR will be less inflationary. During the war bonds era, they were used to drain liquidity and as a psychological tool to improve the spirits of the population. In most cases, when you went to the market, some goods were rationed. And you also had price controls.
I don't think Mitchell's higher interest rates would solve the inflation part. This is just my 2 cents. Feel free to add your own thoughts.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Trump commits an act of war against Syria

It's truly a fucked up world, when republicans and democrats are more of a threat to world peace than neo-nazis...
And yes, Hillary would have done the same thing.

Also, THIS!
Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.
~Donald Trump, October 2012

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Consumption taxes are fine? No, they're not

Very disappointed with Bruening's reasoning here.

I reply to him via twitter the following:

--- Matt, by regressive, critics mean that the levy is the same for the rich & poor. The rich won't feel the tax, the poor will.
Also, since you're talking about the US, US Federal Taxes don't fund anything. They simply create demand for the US dollar.
State governments, unlike the Fed Government, are constrained in their spending by what they can borrow, tax, and receive from the Fed Gov.
So if you want state governments to levy a 10% VAT, that's fine. But there's absolutely no reason why the Fed Gov should levy a VAT.
If you want to tax the rich, levy a progressive tax on all incomes, that only the opulent minority will qualify to pay. ---

Whether he realizes or not, Bruening is actually making the case for flat taxation, invoking that a person's tax obligation is proportional to his or her spending. Proportional equity. So the rich pay more, the poor pay less, at the same tax rate. Very strange to see this type of argument from a progressive.