Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Any Econ Fans Out There?

Reading about economics is a hobby of mine, and I particularly enjoyed this speech by Jamie Galbraith, "The Collapse of Monetarism and the Irrelevance of the New Monetary Consensus". Galbraith critiques Milton Friedman's, and by extension Greenspan's and Bernanke's, approach to monetary policy. He believes that the current crisis demonstrates that government should concern itself with regulation of banking and speculative investment instead of focusing solely on the money supply.

Jamie Galbraith is the son of famous liberal economist, John Kenneth Galbraith. Wikipedia provides the following summary of his book The Affluent Society: "Galbraith's main argument is that as society becomes relatively more affluent, so private business must "create" consumer wants through advertising, and while this generates artificial affluence through the production of commercial goods and services, the public sector becomes neglected as a result." A lot of populist economics is drivel, but I agree with that criticism of America. I could do without the extra few inches on TV's and different flavors of corn chips in exchange for better mass transit and schools. I think I'll add it to my summer reading list, after Bleak House and Against the Day.

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