Strong opinions, weakly held

Quote of the day

Matthew Yglesias’ father told him this:

To this day I remember when I was in eighth grade and my father first explained to me that there was a man named Alan Greenspan who ran a government agency that watched with an eagle eye for the day when there might be an insufficient number of unemployed people. If too many people had jobs, he was supposed to swoop in, tighten the money supply, and make sure some people lost their jobs. Otherwise, wages might get too high!

It’s important to remember this whenever people start talking about how people on welfare need to go out and find jobs, that we don’t need universal health care, and we need to get rid of “entitlements”. We have an economy managed by a central bank that tries very hard not to let unemployment get too high — or too low. Combining that with a federal government that refuses to extend aid to the people who we, as a matter of policy, keep out of work seems cruel.


  1. Thomas Brownback

    January 29, 2009 at 10:13 am

    If you get the chance, ask someone who has collected government assistance what that process was like for them. I’ve heard horror stories about arcane procedural barriers standing in the way of some of the poorest from accessing the meager resources we’ve democratically agreed upon.

    Maybe I’ve just been watching too much of the Wire, but I suspect our unemployment numbers are being depressed by middle management. It makes the Fed ballasting unemployment all the more creepy.

    Nice site redesign, natch.

  2. My family went through a few rough periods right after my parents divorced – in retrospect the system “worked” in the sense of encouraging the private sector, as my mother had found a job with dependent benefits before we qualified for some of California’s child healthcare programs but it’s obvious both that the priority was not keeping kids protected and that it could be done with considerably less overhead – the kind of thing we need to be serious about given that it’s going to be harder for out of work people to find new jobs with benefits for awhile.

  3. Personally, I don’t think we need the Federal Reserve system. http://mises.org/books/fed.pdf

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