Notes from the Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - November 30, 2008
Topics: Why health care costs so much...how government should use technology...200,000 residential windmills
Another $800 billion economic-stimulus package
It's getting quite difficult to tell anymore what's really going through the heads of the people charged with running the government. Overall, the cumulative effect of all of these stimulus packages is to make up for the profound lack of savings that Americans have undertaken over the last decade or two. Since we haven't really been saving anything, we haven't put aside enough to smooth out the inevitable ups and downs of the business cycle. Government is trying to make up for that in true Keynesian fashion now (by borrowing mightily and then pumping the cash into the economy to "stimulate" activity), but the fact is that the effect overall is to use debt now to make up for a failure of past thrift. What we really need is a big and persistent increase in savings. Unfortunately, we're going to have to undertake that at the very same time that we're paying off the debt that the government is incurring on our behalf right now. Thus we discover the reason Keynesian economics keeps failing: It requires extra discipline at just the times no one wants to show any of it. Sadly, a lot of what's been going on was obvious months ago -- for instance, when it was clear in February that the tax rebate checks were a bank-recapitalization plan (which, by the way, didn't work).
A history of the London Underground map
(Video) A surprisingly engaging piece of work about a technical drawing recognized around the world
A donation to the USO in honor of Thanksgiving -- a good way to acknowledge one's thanks for a safe country