The Economy Dummy

by October 23rd, 2008 - Politics »

Before we are once more drawn into the warm wet embrace of faith in the economy, I wanted to make note of my recently evolved commonsense skepticism of economic systems.

At some point in my life, I unfortunately lost my endless curiosity in subjects that lay just outside the confines of my current knowledge. One such subject that has remained an indiscernible fuzzy object in the far distance of my rear view mirror is economics.

I would, now and then, seek to discover what hidden forces, equations, or rationale made the interest rate rise and fall; the value of our dollar change in relation to other currencies; and stocks sporadically fluctuate in price. Surely, there must be some logic behind it all.

Shortly into an investigation of these subjects, I would soon scratch my head, give up and default that since it doesn’t make any sense to me that it must be so incredibly complicated so as to be forever beyond my understanding.

Recently – obviously due to solar flares and a hand of some god – I have become a little less lazy and discovered that one more push through the fog of unknowing will reveal that previous statement to be only partially correct.

The reason it doesn’t make any sense…is because…IT REALLY DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!

Oh shit…

Our currency is only worth the paper its printed on and the gun the government points at you; the very purpose of the Federal Reserve is to whimsically raise and lower an interest rate promoting irresponsible commerce and has the ability to create any amount of additional money out of thin air, inflicting the nation’s citizens with the plague of inflation; the government stands ready to redistribute the money of the people in order to bail out corporate irresponsibility that their own policies helped foster; the stock market as the backbone of our economy can be argued to vary on the basis of whether or not major investors had satisfactory sex the night before; and companies operate with an absurd faith that infinite growth is not only possible, but mandatory, making increasingly risky and unmanageable business decisions without any regards to the company’s ability to survive them.

This is not to say that we should become hopeless…only faithless. There are better, more logical systems and strategies, documented or yet to be invented, that our government and ourselves as individuals could slowly work toward adopting in order to make the world more stable, manageable, and meaningful.

Of course, beyond these realizations, there is still a lot of intellectual housekeeping to be done in order to fully understand and be able to communicate economic philosophy; and to more fully comprehend more complex relationships and procedures that would yet exist even within a system that would have meaning.

Given that I hold individual liberty as the greatest ideal and most rational foundation for any governmental/legal system, I have skeptically gravitated toward these sources of economic thought:

I do not profess faith in any of the above sources – or anything at all for that matter – nor do I imagine that the implementation of a truly free market – something that the world has never really seen – would be without criminals, suffering, or disaster. I do, however, view it as humanity’s most rational effort; and prefer it to a system that is irrational and in and of itself corrupt in that it promotes irresponsible or risky behavior and seeks to continually decide, quite directly and subjectively, who will suffer and to what degree.

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The Sporadical skeptically promotes the following:
SKEPTIC Reason Penn and Teller Frank Zappa