Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wrap Up for January '15

Admittedly my thoughts this month have been dominated by the Fed's impending rate rises, later in the year. This circumstance has created a rather unique melancholy, for some who are paying close attention. Hopefully, the Fed's discretionary arbitrary actions will not cause real problems, but it all feels so surreal and unnecessary. Why don't they know better? At times I've imagined paying Janet Yellen a visit, so as to ask her to kindly reconsider. But alas, I've yet to put together the resources to do such a thing! Sometimes resources are mostly a roof over one's head, the ability to still piece together coherent sentences, and time enough to take good advantage of a laptop.

As to the "buy local" movement which Don Boudreaux recently noted, local factors matter at a number of levels. Even sentiment for local production can be considered part of experiential product. However, local tradable goods can become problematic if they substantially reduce options for the purchase of tradable goods from elsewhere. Often, the goods which can be obtained for less money, will free up time options in other capacities. Ultimately, the most important good is one's choice sets for personal and economic time use, across a range of possibilities. Hence if put to the test, the local non tradable good of time might take precedence over some options, for "buy local" tradable goods.

A staff report from 2009 which explains "excess" reserves.

Here's some useful tips for non fiction writers

How the non employed currently spend their time - a well illustrated article:

The fact that one in three don't have money saved for unexpected car repairs or emergency medical bills, often means temporary setbacks when one is young. But as the decades pass, circumstance such as these cause individuals to change their outlook and possibly everything about the way they approach their lives. Even though these factors negatively affect labor force participation now, with a little luck they could eventually lead to positive results. How so? By influencing the nature of new community formation, so that local coordination for work opportunities, healthcare needs and new transportation options can emerge.

Economic exchange, as a repeated game one plays with strangers. The more opportunities to play the game, the more social benefit is gained. This is certainly true of one's time use potential, as well.

The more I read from the U.K., the more I realize just how different their policies and political battles are, from our own. Not long ago in the U.S., individuals took their freedom to build for granted. Not so much now, as housing has become more government controlled. British architect John Turner argued that housing is best provided and managed by those who are to dwell in it.

Plenty of migration statistics in this article:

Economic growth in historical perspective:

For some of us, admittedly all the reasoning in the world doesn't change this story: Is The Economy Underperforming? The Output Gap Says Yes

Randomized field trials such as described in Jim Manzi's book "Uncontrolled", (2012) are one way to think about the stories and economic lessons which new community formation would provide.

While shared spaces have already become an attribute of cities and prosperous regions, they are an important consideration as well for investment and work spaces in (new) small communities (Time): Here's how working from anywhere is changing everything

And, from Albert Einstein, "The measure of intelligence is the ability to change."

Update - some of that rate raising "rationale" from the Fed:

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