Thursday :: Sep 8, 2011

Good Reads


by Mary

In their inimitable fashion, the Onion writes: We Need To Do More When It Comes To Having Brief, Panicked Thoughts About Climate Change. (h/t Climate Progress)

And Paul Krugman writes about the crisis in economics where the voices of economists speak in such a cacophony that they are useless in helping the politicians in framing good policy.

There is a real sense in which times like these are what economists are for, just as wars are what career military officers are for. OK, maybe I can let microeconomists off the hook. But macroeconomics is, above all, about understanding and preventing or at least mitigating economic downturns. This crisis was the time for the economics profession to justify its existence, for us academic scribblers to show what all our models and analysis are good for.

We have not, to put it mildly, delivered.

...But the most damning failure of economists, I’d argue, was their acquired ignorance of what I’ve called depression economics — the principles that should govern policy after a financial crisis has left conventional open-market operations impotent.

(h/t The EconomistView)

And also via Mark Thoma, what FDR said about unemployment.

No country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order....I stand or fall by my refusal to accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed. On the contrary, we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return.

Wonder if anyone has let Obama know that this is what Americans expect from their president.

Mary :: 10:25 AM :: Comments (2) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!