Thursday, April 09, 2015

Nothing Stays The Same -- Economic Edition

On Secular Stagnation, Ben Bernanke’s Theory Meets Larry Summers’s Evidence - Real Time Economics - WSJ:

I wrote a little on the genesis of this here, but the controversy seems to have been joined.

You maybe should read the whole main link column, I'm sure there is a lot of good stuff in there more than I likely fully comprehend -- I'm just a dumb old country boy.

None of the experts really seem to point out the simple fact that NOTHING stays static -- certainly not on a ball of rock with a molten core spinning on it's axis every 24hrs, going around it's sun ever 365 and 1/4 days, as it's star travels in it's spiral arm around the center of the Milky Way galaxy -- oh I could go on and on, but I don't want  make you suspect that I've forgotten that marijuana isn't legal in Minnesota!

For something with 100's of millions of people linked to billions around the globe like an economy, it REALLY doesn't stay static.

So the economy has two modes, growing or contracting -- and then it has rate of growth or retraction.

I find the core of the article to be this:

There is little dispute that population growth has slowed in both rich and emerging economies. This depresses growth directly by reducing the supply of workers and, indirectly, by depressing investment because a smaller workforce needs less machinery and other equipment. It also depresses demand insofar as retirees consume fewer durable goods, and aging workers save more for retirement. (I suppose one could call this a demand, not supply, side effect.) 
Productivity growth has also slowed in most countries. This is partly the dampening effects of the financial crisis on capital spending. Those will eventually fade. But part of it also reflects less innovation. Firms may be investing less because they see fewer payoffs to new technology. These, and other factors such as education attainment no longer increasing, are advanced by Robert Gordon to explain why growth is so slow now, and likely to remain that way.
So it is either going to grow or shrink and there are TONS of reasons for it to shrink as listed above, and very few for it to grow -- everyone is at least giving lip service to "sustainable growth" which is really another term for "contraction", the populations of a lot of countries are shrinking, they are all getting older, they are mostly trying to work less and get more benefits from the people still working, we are to use LESS ... energy, water, land, ...

If you are dumb enough to try to take some risks in hopes of cashing in on some growing item, most all the governments of the world are on high alert to take a huge percentage of your profits to attempt to provide for those aging unmotivated people that already got the "sustain" message of the current times.

And these guys don't realize why economies are shrinking rather than growing? The value of high level degrees in economics really HAS shrunk!

'via Blog this'

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