Monday, February 9, 2009

Ideologies Versus Pragmatism

There is a lot of unsupported economic speculation to be found at this time.

It seems to me that one conclusion is reasonably clear: the human species has not yet discovered how to create a culture and a socioeconomic infrastructure that is productive, humane and stable.

Joe Hill


So, in the present difficulties (largely facilitated by ideological believers in minimally regulated capitalism) we are offered the choice of massive debt, followed by inflation or default - or else, of doing nothing, followed by an economic collapse and human misery to rival the great depression.

Naturally, it is not the right time to completely replace a leaky roof in rainy weather if a tarp will suffice. However, when times are relatively good, the voices of privilege and complacency are loudest and dissidents are treated like lepers. This culture needs to change.

The fundamental flaw in our thinking, besides the normal human quota of greed, fear, and intellectual bombast, is the massive allegiance to restrictive ideologies. Sooner, rather than later, people will have to start thinking outside of their ideological boxes. Sometimes, this is referred to as "pragmatism" but it needs to be big picture pragmatism not just clever patches.

Need I add that the macro-economy would be better regulated by a well designed computer program than by the Congress of the United States? There are only a few salient parameters in question: money supply, interest rates, government spending, and tax rates. Remove these from the arena of political bullcrap and watch our garden grow. Why? Well, a few things can be discerned.

Our political class will have less opportunity to extort money from the corporate class.

The corporate class will be less motivated to buy favors from the political class.

Scientific methods are much more reliable than ideological bullcrap when regulating a complex quantitative system. That is why airplanes can fly but our economy frequently crashes.

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