Tidbits…11/28/10

4. Here’s Why The Fed Plan Is Failing: We’re All Austrians Now

Amazingly, this article appeared on CNBC and, perhaps more amazingly, provides a pretty good summary of the Austrian theory of the business cycle (ATBC). It’s pretty simple, though, and leaves out a lot of the nuances inherent within the theory. But as far as mainstream exposure goes, it probably doesn’t get any better than this.

3. Europe’s New Contagion Worries

I have to say, this statistic literally shocked me:

Sean Egan, principal at independent debt rating firm Egan-Jones, points out that Ireland’s per capita debt has soared to about 135,000 euro, or about $180,000. That’s roughly five times the per capita debt level in the United States.

I mean, I knew Ireland’s total debt was bad, but putting it in per capita terms just makes it look that much nastier. Yeaaah, no problems here, right? Move along folks, nothing to see…

2. Our Puritanical Progressives

In today’s world it often seems as though political ideologies shift more than Heraclitus’ river. One second conservatives are crying for smaller government and the next they’re calling for more military spending. Liberals advocate marijuana legalization on the grounds that people should be free from legislating morality and then they turn around and advocate banning violent video games because it affects children. George Will gets it mainly correct when he says

The progressives’ agenda for improving everyone else varies but invariably involves the cult of expertise – an unflagging faith in the application of science to social reform.

1. Ireland Should Not Be Bailed Out

Ireland is, indeed, in a precarious situation. Something needs to be done, but not all of the proposed remedies are worth the cost. Some are better than others. Case in point: an IMF/EU bailout is probably worse than the disease. Certainly, it’s a bad deal for Irish citizens. The entire idea of a bailout is being fanatically pushed hard by certain EU members (namely, Germany, the UK, and France) because those three happen to be the largest creditors to Ireland. This isn’t about “saving Ireland” but, rather, about saving banks that voluntarily bought up Irish debt. Ireland should do what Iceland did: reject any bailout and let the chips fall where they will. Incidentally, Iceland is doing much better than Ireland at the moment.

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