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Rear-View Mirror Economics: Casting Contrived Relationships As Rules of the Road

Many economists model economic growth as if they were evaluating their own conversations with the person across from them, fully unaware that they are staring into a mirror and admiring the manipulated projection of what they had hoped to see.

In still further cases, they appear to broadly model economic, fiscal and monetary policies as if they are learning to drive by strictly studying the movements of everything in the rear-view mirror.



Of course, this method would largely serve to distract from the guiding principles of driving and the useful rules for effective navigation, yet if left exclusively to this perspective it would hardly be surprising for the surveyor to desperately formulate a contrived theory about the relationships between the behaviors of everything behind the driver and how he or she in turn maneuvers the vehicle.

Of course, this theory would be aptly described as utterly incomplete, if not patently worthless, by anyone who’s ever personally driven a car, tagged along…
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The Modern American Economy: An Illusion of Growth

The transformation of the American economy is largely due to the debasement of common currency or legal tender, the disincentives which have followed to discourage savings, and the dramatic changes to the composition and complexion of investment, the largest of which can be aptly characterized as (direct or indirect) government spending at the real yet unseen expense of business investment. 

Whereas direct government spending once constituted a mere 3 percent of American economic activity at the turn of the twentieth century, it has ballooned to greater than 40 percent of that pie today. 

Notwithstanding the rear view mirror economists who attribute growth to spending, purchasing power and meaningful enhancements to the average standard of living follow from changes to marginal (and utile) productivity, not just to the vivacious velocity of money. 

Of course, the identifiable factors which have been popularly lauded for driving nominal economic growth in the new American economy have lev…

YouTube Commenters Don’t Understand Economics: Car Talk

Today, I witnessed a conversation between YouTube commenters which inspired me to shed some light on myopic deduction practices and failures of economics. 



The original commenter posted the following remarks: “I’m a fan of the GT350R. I can’t wait to buy one. I’ll wait until California adds one more dollar per gallon to gas. Hopefully that would bring down the price.” 

This individual commits the common fallacy of focusing on one feature of the picture while neglecting to appreciate the whole thing. 

In an environment of rising fuel prices, the transportation and production costs will scale upward, leaving new production to clear markets at increasingly higher prices or otherwise clear at lower prices with inferior quality. 

If the original poster intends to purchase a used GT350R, as opposed to the implied new purchase, then he needn't exclusively wait for higher fuel prices to mitigate demand, as the average (non-collectible) vehicle will invariably depreciate (in real terms) over t…

Ersatz America: Delusions and Dilutions of the Lives We Live

We increasingly witness a society which is being governed by emotional and political qualms despite their stark contradictions with reality. 

In many senses, we are today dealing in a world of protests against organic phenomena or sheer human preference, as if we encountered a collapsing tree or a runaway train and dared to stand in front of it and pronounce it wrong or incorrect. 

Despite our opinions on those two scenarios, the tree will likely only continue to fall until it reaches the ground, just as the train is likely to proceed right through the impassioned shouts of of caffeinated protestors. 

Standing in front of the train or in the path of the falling tree is just as foolish as condemning the properties of this world and attempting to redefine them to better resemble the world of one’s dreams. 

In this sense, we bear witness to a host of excitable chatterboxes who deal in an ill-defined world wholly separate from reality, where fashionable suppositions and emotional appeals popu…

The End of Hayward, the End of an Era

Today marks the end of an era, the final stand of Historic Hayward Field and the veritable symbol of American distance running. 

Legends and their feats echoed across this field, along with the chants and cheers of impassioned fans, inspiring the many who have trained or competed there. 
For the running enthusiast, no single venue may ever compare to the one which hosted so many world and national records, Olympic athletes and hopefuls, NCAA and USA Championships, their many stories and the ineffable sensations which motivated them to compete, to challenge themselves and to discover their capacity for greatness. 
For generations, Hayward Field has stood proudly as a proving grounds and a launching pad for those who've religiously trained for their moment and others who've gathered there to be inspired or to witness the incredible. 
With this loss comes a blank slate, and though state of the art, no investment can possibly recapture the spirit of history, the blood, sweat and tears…

The Fallacious Foray Against Free Speech

Those who intend to violently curtail freedom of speech operate from an obsession with discord or from a desperate appetite for limited classifications for singularities which otherwise amount to complex subject matter. 

In the lion’s share of cases, it appears as though a select few impassioned chatterboxes monopolize the headlines with explosive rhetoric designed exclusively to make your blood boil, to deliberately obfuscate the ongoing conversation, and to persuasively nudge passive bystanders into accommodating their half-baked demands. 

Of course, the unquestioning or preoccupied bystander generously yields to the moment’s inertia as a way of sheltering oneself from the onslaught of ridicule which might otherwise overwhelm him. 

What’s more, the average individual faces little difficulty in accepting these demands, as his connections and relationships seldom, if ever, present such a problem. 

Where those problems present themselves, however, one always reserves the option of avoiding…

Government’s Laws: Replacing Human Action with Old Ink-Splattered Pages

Government’s laws appear to stretch forever into the cosmos, scarcely reined in by those who stand to benefit from the expansion of their powers.
Those laws, then, often replace negotiations and interactions between persons who are perfectly capable of managing nuances and disagreements on their own, who are likewise fully capable of assuming and evaluating their own respective risk appetites.
Of course, while these laws behave as surrogates for the otherwise human factors who originally conducted their own due diligence or paid the dear cost for their personal negligence, the statutory counterpart, the mere interpretation of a composite of ink and paper representing emotionally-inspired thought, fails to assume the same dynamic character of live human beings, always lingering around for far too long and always failing to adapt to fresh discoveries, new innovations and contemporary customs.
Instead, civilizations are predictably left with outdated and obsolete restraints which implacably…