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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I could have been a stock trader. Part 3 (The Science of Economics)

Economic professionals claim they practice the science of economics, they are closer to being alchemist, claiming they can change lead into gold. In days of old, the aristocracy would take the last piece of food from the serfs to cover the alchemist cost. Today the aristocracy will raise taxes or prices.

Economist can be placed in two groups. One group believes capitalism is efficient and self regulating, the other group has noticed that it isn’t.

The efficient market group will not even acknowledge that we have experienced a series of boom and bust cycles. If you have a house, a 401k or you are just trying to balance the check book, this view may seem ridiculous and you may think me reporting a fairy tale. There are highly educated PhDs and politicians that hold this view as an infallible truth. They are recommending and implementing policy based on this fantasy.

The second group has noted that capitalism occasionally produces undesirable results. They have no idea why this happens, but they have at least studied real world data. Being realist they have little input to governance.

Abraham Lincoln clarified our constitution with the statement “of the people, by the people, for the people”. Many successful governments have not been of the people or by the people, but no government has lasted that was not for the people. Capitalism can create a society that is for the people. For the people requires an honest game, a level playing field, equal economic opportunity, an inclusive open to all financial system. This requires governance that dampens the destructive parts of capitalism, protects private property, and enforces law with equality.

The problems with our American government and the American financial system are easily identified. We have become a 1960s style banana republic. How to fix a system dominated by people that do not wish to fix the system is a much harder problem.

I have a few ideas.

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