Pointless Nonsense

Posted in books by Bill on May 28, 2017

The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy by economist/financier/failed Senate candidate Warren Mosler was given to me by my cousin a few months ago, and is the first non-entertainment thing I’ve read in like 10 years (going back to my uncle’s civil rights book). Mosler is a post-Keynsian, which apparently means he has ideas that sound a little crazy. But he lays interesting thought experiments to explain them. Since it’s a book trying to persuade me of a certain way of thinking, and I don’t have a great understanding of macroeconomics anyway, it all made perfect sense, but I can’t help but think if I knew more, I could poke some holes in some of this. Like, as convincing as the experiments are, I wonder if they don’t start with assumptions that are economics’ versions of physics’ “imagine a frictionless, perfect sphere….”

His biggest argument is for deficit spending without borrowing to make up the difference. It’s an interesting idea, and he presents plenty of good reasons for it (cutting payroll taxes and an increase in federal spending seem like they’d both do a lot to help out lower and middle class folks), but if we make a habit of doing that, won’t our creditors be pissed? And then the value of federal debt would fall, and… then I think something bad happens. I dunno. Of course it could be that the value of federal debt really only matters to the wealthy and powerful, so we’re only lead to believe that this would be a catastrophe. Ultimately, I guess I have no influence on this all one way or the other, so it’s nothing more than something to think about.


2 Responses

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  1. joseph jeong said, on May 28, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    You read? I barely know you anymore …

    • Bill said, on May 28, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      Not like I’m reading a ton, but the last book I read 6 months ago, you made basically the same comment.

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