Guess what happens, when a larger portion of the economy gets dutifully shuttled into a sector with an arbitrarily limited supply at the core. Contraction of GDP! Some of this month's rumblings started with a WSJ article:
"Ouch", Mr. Stanley said in a note to clients.Ouch indeed. Or course the uproar only got worse after the actual number: a -2.9 drop in GDP. Sure the measure may be "off" but still...Shenanigans abound in measuring healthcare "output" and the like, but so long as people are arbitrarily removed from the economic process, there are going to be problems.
Of course if one fiscal boondoggle doesn't "do the trick", maybe another will. In this Bloomberg article, it almost sounded as though Brenden Greeley was blaming the "shotgun" of monetary policy for the fact that people were finding it too expensive to take a job. (??) Hence the fiscal solution of the day? Perhaps government could pay for babysitters and the cost of gas...argh. Not to say these things wouldn't be helpful, but there's better - and simpler - ways to go about solving them. If government were to provide sitters and gas money, the results would end up skewed - just as so many subsidies already have.
You know your local internet service provider is sub par, when even the Aleph blog references it in a post title and explains why it's such a lousy stock! My (updated and recent) computer software is now having trouble recognizing the internet connection, when I'm actually able to make it. That is, the software tells me I'm not connected to the service provider, after I was finally able to do so. Also I can usually count on the internet "cutting out" quite often on weekends and holidays. Thus I count myself fortunate if I'm in the middle of post drafts when it happens, so I won't have to walk away from the laptop in the meantime. I know...am too spoiled to working "in the cloud".
An interesting question occurred to me, this month. Is there really such a thing as a Tea Party? For one thing, Bonnie Carr noted that Eric Cantor lost his congressional seat to someone who is not even affiliated with the Tea Party, even though most media sounded as though the truth were otherwise. And then Ryan Long had a great rant in a post titled "There is No Tea Party":
The Republican establishment hasn’t offered any sort of meaningful operating system upgrade in a century or more. They’re “conservatives,” and conservatives like things to stay just as they are, thank you very much. What’s more, it’s doubtful that making any significant changes would be good for them as a political party. New or significantly improved features are difficult to produce, especially when your central goal is to reign supreme over the country. You might “alienate your base” by introducing them to weird, new-fangled concepts like ending agricultural and corporate welfare. If you stop talking about god, then you won’t be able to rattle certain cages anymore, and you’ll have to risk giving them individual liberty. And we can’t have that.
Here's some equal time use in action with local and digital help: "The students are given little direction about how to solve the problems, so they have to turn to each other - and to the internet - to figure out the solutions." The Venture Beat article provides an apt example how educational matching could occur at local levels, in coordinated settings.
An article from Rana Foroohar, "2030: The Year Retirement Ends", also provides good reasoning as to why services formations of all kinds need to be reconfigured, from the ground up. The marketplace of the future probably will not resemble megamalls or 50s downtowns in spite of a few "blasts from the past" - one only hope that tomorrow's Main Streets will become more inspiring and capable of bringing people together again.
Several posts this month got into specifics of time and skills arbitrage: a subject still very much on my mind. When compensation takes place through fixed time use valuation (generating sticky wages), we lose time use as an arbitrage option. Sometimes this does not matter, if we have sufficient access to other resources already. But when we don't, the alternative of time arbitrage is needed. When faced with sticky wages in aggregate service settings, government may be inclined to take a larger tax chunk in order to compensate. However in doing so, an equilibrium penalty is also generated (i.e.Obamacare). Trying to maintain all income levels in a vast general equilibrium, can be costly indeed.
Differentiated wages attempt to assign specific value to skill sets, but this happens in environments where other valuations are constantly changing. Hence there is a need to overcome the limitations of sticky wages - along with the debt contracts which reflect them, wherever possible. In the meantime, fixed value skills sets continue to push other possibilities for time use out of the marketplace - albeit through a wide variety of means. The result is the musical chairs effect. That effect could be overcome through time use arbitrage, and we would be paying ourselves to determine how best to arbitrage and coordinate our time with one another.