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September 18, 2007



I clicked on your link to Index-Linked Gilts, only to read "We are currently experiencing problems with our database and are working urgently to resolve these. (Details)
If you are looking for PWLB daily rates please call 0845 357 6610". Cheering, eh?

Anyway, once we've hanged all the socialists and all the lawyers, let's hang those reckless banker chappies too.
Pour decourager.


Greenspan overrated? Shurely not. He must be the most ignorant economist ever - and I speak as an ignorant economist. When he was being confirmed as Chairman of the Fed, one of the Senators raised his record in business - which had been crashingly bad. "I guess it's about time you started getting things right, according to the law of averages", he sighed. Despite the titters, unfortunatley, he has never ever manged to get it right



Two things.
a) the link at About.com of a description on Ayn Rand and her philosophy is not even worthy of a 2007 GCSE student. i'm sure you can find a better link than this.

b) but the public are short term and they are gullible. that is why welfare economies are inflationary. Greenspan is right.

Sergent Howie

Well, people may not be so guilible. One can say that an increase in welfare has a near 100% chance of happening while the inflation increase may not happen due to various factors (innovation, international context...).

So they choose to get what is certain (welfaire gains) and afford the risk of probable but not so certain inflation. This may not be the wisest choice, but it has a rational explanation.



Innovation in welfare provision? The only way inflation could be avoided in providing welfare is thru productivity gains of the Dept Social Security.



Ayn Rand and her philosophy is not even worthy of a 2007 GCSE student

Fixed it for you - should be "Ayn Rand and her philosophy *are* not even worthy of a 2007 GCSE student":-)

The broader point here is of course the assumption that a gold standard would be a good thing anyway, to say nothing of the ahistorical claim that the gold standard broke down because of welfare states (hint: WW1).

Mark Wadsworth

I agree he is over-rated.

But the UK government is going to need high inflation for a few years to mask the fall in real house prices - at least the nominal fall in house prices will be much lower (see early 1990s).



err, no. It is in fact 'is' not 'are'. re-read my sentence, you tedious pedant, you.

Sean of Sheffield

Rand and Marx where pretty much much of a much ness, both absolutist philosophies in the Aristotle mold.

Wasn't Greenspan rands toy boy at one time?

Mark Wadsworth

That was a nice trap that Pommy set for Alex, I must try that out sometime.


«If the public responded to a government that printed money by thinking: "this is going to lead to inflation, and inflation is bad for us"»

But this argument is based on a common and ridiculous use of «us». As Mrs. Thatcher famously pointed out there is no such thing as society -- there are discrete and competing interest groups.

Inflation can be pretty good for some and irrelevant for many. Voting to get yourself state subsidies now to be paid later by someone else with inflation can be a very good deal for enough people.

As Milton Friedman should have said, inflation is always and only a political phenomenon, and who gains and loses is a distributional issue, not something that affects «us» equally.

«So, insofar as the welfare state generates inflation, it's welfare for capitalists that's the problem, not welfare for workers.»

Exactly, it is a distributional issue. For example currently in the USA a lot of increased spending, including war spending, is being funded not with extra taxes, but with lower taxes on the rich, and borrowing, that will have to be repaid by ''everybody''.

The distributional impact matters, and «us» is sad escapism.

Kevin Carson


Like the man said, Greenspan "work[ed] for Rand." Better him than me.

Seriously, though, it's amazing how many on the right can argue with a straight face that the massive political power of single welfare moms is the main source of government intervention in the economy. They're the sort who'd say the primary political force behind Food Stamps was black welfare queens, rather than corporate welfare queens like ADM and Cargill who contributed to Bob Dole's campaign.

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