Blog Archives

Krugman’s Baby-Sitting Coop

Once upon a time, there were three neighboring families with young children.  They all needed babysitting at different times and there was a shortage of reliable professional babysitters in the neighborhood.  The neighbors all wanted their children to be able

Posted in Macro

How to indebt future generations. Borrowing alone does not do it!

Private investors were begging governments to borrow more money in 2015. Interest rates were extremely low: Government debt cannot significantly be a significant burden when interest rates are that low. For example, when interest rates are zero, there is no

Posted in Macro, Public Finance

The mistaken libertarian/anarchist theology underpinning bitcoin and other blockchain currencies

Ian Bogost writes that Cryptocurrency Might be a Path to Authoritarianism. You should read the full article for full effect, but he says that “Extreme libertarians built blockchain to decentralize government and corporate power,” and blockchain could consolidate the control

Posted in Macro, Public Finance

Gross Output (GO) vs. Gross Domestic Expenditure (GDE) vs. Gross Domestic Transactions (GDT) and why we need to use readily available banking system data to estimate GDT

Mark Skousen is part of the Austrian economics heterodox tradition, and he promoted a measure called Gross Output (GO) as a measure of the economy. Skousen likes to quote Steve Forbes who called it “revolutionary” and such “a big deal”

Posted in Macro

Why the long-run value of Bitcoin is near zero.

UPDATED on 1/22/18 Economics textbooks say that the three main functions of money are 1) a unit of account (a measurement of value); 2) a medium of exchange; and 3) a store of value. As I wrote earlier, only the first two functions

Posted in Macro

Zero debt would be an economic disaster.

I often see articles that claim that rising debt is an inherently bad thing. For example, Erik at data-driven thoughts appears alarmed: The average debt that an American holds has increased by 200x since 1943, from ~50 dollars to ~10,300 dollars.

Posted in Macro

Chris House’s Soft Bigotry Of Low Expectations

University of Michigan economist, Chris House gave recommendations for the two most important economics writings for all Americans to read: If I could dictate the reading habits of my fellow Americans, I might put Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century on the

Posted in Macro

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