Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dan Mitchell and William Black Debate Economic Policy in Steamboat "Freedom Conference"

commentary by Roger Erickson

Dan Mitchell and William Black debate economic policy in Steamboat

Unfortunately, the article plays down MMT and throws in "Keynes" - the arch-fiend to Libertarians - as often as possible. Were there any other journalists present, that were more open minded?  If readers come across more coverage, or especially video, please post the links in comments here.

On the positive side, note that Dan Mitchell comes right out and says: cutting the deficit isn’t his main concern. “I worry about the size of government,”

So far so good on the fiat budget issue.  However, about that "social brain" - aka, governance.  Seems to me the need is for smart governance, regardless of size?

Hmmm. Do you supposed he worries about the size of our population, or only the absolute size of government?   Maybe someone should introduce him to basic concepts of system self-control?  Anyone wanting smaller government regardless of population size should also want a smaller brain relative to their body size.  Maybe they've already achieved it.

Overall, I'm amazed they let Bill Black into their "Freedom Conference."

ps: Is anyone else confused by the very concept of International Liberty? Our ancestors all came here to make a nation that was - in one way or another - more free than other nations. Now some of us want to be free of any nation whatsoever? Time for some fact checking. Can any member of a social species be free from their species? Sure, commit suicide?

There is a LOT of sloppy discussion of processes that have to be exquisitely tuned.  That takes accurate semantics and serious thought.  Not just polemics.  We need more adults in our policy apparatus.


Roger Erickson said...

found this preamble, from the moderator

Matt Franko said...

I'd like to see what this Mitchell character looks at as "the size of government"???

Is this the amount of civil servants?

The top line budget balances?

Degree of regulation?

What is "the size of government"???

Without a adequate definition of what he means by this phrase it is hard to tell what he is talking about... rsp,

Matt Franko said...

"Our ancestors all came here to make nation that was more free than other nations."

Roger based on some family research I believe all of mine (very early 20th century immigrants) came here to escape a future crazy European war they saw on the horizon and/or better employment than what was available in Europe at the time.

Not necessarily "freedom" per se.

I would point out that the pagan idol aka "The Statue of Liberty" was forced upon us by France which was external to the US. Perhaps we should have politely said "Merci for your offer but no thank you."


Roger Erickson said...

So many distractions.

Falls under the heading of discoveries for cheap?

Yet if some kids survive leukemia & then steal a loaf of bread - or sell marijuana - we'll still kill 'em.

Heroic measures like re-triggering blood stem cells will be very selectively used, and are not rate-limiting issues for our national survival anyway.

More importantly, we desperately need ways to return social cancers like the CATO Institute members to stem-humans.

(CATO: founded & largely owned by the Koch Bros, whose father founded the John Birch Society; you can't make this stuff up)

Roger Erickson said...

There were reasons why vertebrate species gave up the ancient skill of endless organ & limb regeneration (using FULLY pluripotent stem cells).

We don't know the context nor the full details when that ancient step occurred, but one way or another, the concept of fully pluripotent stem-cells in an organism was largely - though not fully - replaced with stem-members in social species. An explosion of innovation followed, beyond anything previously imagined.

Perhaps, analogously, we need less attention to regenerating or programming individual lives, and more attention to diversifying cultural memes?

Replace SOME (not all) of the functions of stem-humans with stem-memes allowing a far more scalable culture?

To reach for the stars, reach first for some stem-memes?

y said...

conference not conferernce!

Tom Hickey said...

"Our ancestors all came here to make nation that was more free than other nations."

The fact is that the British settlers that came to the US came to escape intolerance for their religious views in a system that espoused a particular religious view, as all the nations did at the time.

Cuius regio, eius religio is a phrase in Latin translated as "Whose realm, his religion", meaning the religion of the ruler dictated the religion of the ruled Wikipedia

What the colonists did then, excepting William Penn's Pennsylvania, was establish their own religious views as either official or privileged.

When it came to fashioning a constitution for the new state, since there were many religious views, and many of the Founding Fathers also did not "fit the profile," religious freedom was established, not in the Constitution, but the First Amendment — which doesn't actually use the words, "freedom of religion."

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Tom Hickey said...

This is the essence of it, Roger. Memes are much more powerful and adaptable than genes, allowing for rapid cognitive "evolution," which is what innovation is. Humans increase their adaptability rate through memes rather than genes, as well as their capacity to coordinate cognitively at the same time. No other earth species is remotely close to this capacity.

Matt Franko said...

"Heroic measures like re-triggering blood stem cells will be very selectively used, and are not rate-limiting issues for our national survival anyway."

Might help the poor young woman who had to street beg the balances for her stem cell treatment off of the 'beanie babie king' of california though... this would be "worth it" imo.


Roger Erickson said...

"Memes are much more powerful and adaptable than genes"

Exactly. Memes are virtual genes, and hence can help us scale to yet another level of organization ... IF, and I do mean if, we make the adjustments to allow productive use of memes.

What's the equivalent of siRNA for memes?

For memes, what's the equivalent of mitochondria/chloroplasts and eukaryote symbiosis? Walled off Luddites/Austrian-E's and progressives? LOL! :)