Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

Posts Tagged ‘housing bailout’

Demand and Supply (in other words – “Cough it up”)

Posted by Jesse on December 31, 2008

Gary North on the war for the change in your pocket:

“One of the best tests for determining whether a financial columnist or a professional economist is a Keynesian is to examine his views on personal spending. If he favors an increase of personal spending as a means to stimulate the economy, he is a Keynesian. He may not call himself a Keynesian, but he is a Keynesian.

John Maynard Keynes believed that an economy could become a self-reinforcing economic depression because the general public saved too much money. He believed that the key to economic growth is not productivity, but rather spending. He did not believe that the price system is a reliable system of resource allocation. For example, he did not believe that the interest rate is a price that allocates investments and savings. He believed that it is possible that many people in the economy can save money by hoarding currency – not depositing it in a bank, where it is immediately lent. This, he said, undermined the interest rate’s role in equating savings and investments.

First, this observation is irrelevant in a world in which almost all currency is either deposited in a bank account or sent abroad, where it functions as a currency for black markets.

Second, hoarding currency pressures sellers to reduce prices. This acts as an incentive for people to buy more goods and services with their currency. The supposed excess of supply then disappears. Holding currency is a means of thrift. This thrift produces a positive result: lower prices and therefore greater purchasing power for the currency. This process was disparaged by Keynes as a liquidity trap. It was no trap. It was a benefit for holders of currency.

Keynes and his disciples had a solution to the liquidity trap: increased government spending and monetary inflation. This debases the currency, forcing hoarders to spend. The process by which this was accomplished, worldwide, was World War II. In the name of the war effort, every nation authorized its central bank to inflate.

This is what they are all doing again, in our Keynesian world, in which hardly anyone in the West hoards currency. Central banks are inflating. Governments are running huge deficits.

…………..read the whole article here

The fact that professional economists have returned to Keynesianism – in the words of the Bible, like a dog to its vomit – should not surprise anyone. Professional economists cannot shake their faith in big government. They cannot shake their faith in deficit spending. They also cannot shake their faith in the power of government to increase productivity merely by spending money on boondoggles. They believe in government, and in government boondoggles, with the same kind of commitment that theologians in the Middle Ages believed in scholastic theology. They cannot think outside the box. The box is labeled: “Spend!”

The government is determined to thwart all attempts of individuals to save more money and therefore increase productivity. It is committed to the idea that the individual is unreliable in his commitment to deficit spending. There was even a slight uptick in the second quarter of 2008 in household savings. It rose by a little under 3% per annum. This was a reversal of recent years, when most American households did not increase savings at all. In fact, they actually borrowed a in order to maintain their spending habits.”

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