Mortgage Meltdown Recovery: Economics, Waste, Imbalance, and Unbalanced Economists

ECONOMICS: How Economists downplay substitution on the supply side, and discount American Innovation, American Ingenuity and American Temerity. Bad policy from flawed measurements. Flawed Measurements from biased, agenda-based ideology.

“The central problem confronting the new President is not the political issues of conflicting ideology nor the “choices” presented by well-intentioned economists; the real issue is leadership in seeing what economists call “waste” and imbalance” as opportunity.”

Empty steel and auto-making plants have an unequalled opportunity of leveraging an existing infrastructure to manufacture wind generators, new concept products and most importantly cars that are far ahead of the curve and exactly what consumers want.

Phoenix Motors Cars and other new entrants into the race for longer range high speed all-electric vehicles that can be recharged in minutes on the road, or with a few solar panels during the day at home have taken the ultimate risk and ultimate plunge and are doing very well in their development stage vehicles.

Too much wheat? Create incentives to find other uses. Of course we can help feed the world, but there are hundreds of other uses to produce energy, manufacture goods, create new products for building materials and dozens of possibilities that are probably lingering in the heads of some farmers right now. Those expensive subsidies could be turning a profit for government and farmers and provide an opportunity for small farmers to make money no matter how much surplus wheat is grown.

Subsidies: Whether it is for individuals going through rough times, businesses going through rough times, businesses being incentivized, there is an important element of risk that is being reduced for the recipients. This reduction of risk is worth a great deal of “value” to the recipients. What are they paying for it? If it is individual there are all kinds of community service that can be worked into almost anyone’s schedule. If it is a business, this value can be passed on to consumers in reduced prices or greater benefits. The point here is not to prescribe specific methods of payments but only to say that ANYONE who gets a benefit from the government should be paying for it through taxes, giving back to the community or providing financial or non-financial benefits to the marketplace and society. 

That corn is being diverted to production of ethanol is a political pandering of the worst sort. What politicians and economists have both missed completely is not just that there are much better energy efficient alternative products from which to refine ethanol (cane sugar, cellulose, wheat etc) but that since we are able to produce so much corn, we can lower its price, keep the farmers happy and substitute uses such that farmers are making a good rate of return on VOLUME.  This brings down food costs which increase the opportunities for consumers to pay their bills, save money and thus provide the capital that is currently being “borrowed” from other countries by issuance of increasingly worthless American paper, once called money.

Economists fail to recognize on the supply side that certain substitutions will routinely provide segments or tranches of demand for products wherein the exchange value might be low but the use value may be high. Taken collectively, this represents opportunity for even the smallest farmers and manufacturers.

Corn is a bastardized example of this process and a poor model, mostly because business schools, media and modern economists are not teaching substitution as a general application. They teach substitution only on the demand side where the inventiveness of the American consumer to adapt to changing quality and prices is assumed but the ingenuity and inventiveness of the American producer is dismissed.

Too much interest expense? This curse dating back to the early 1970’s has robbed the country and its citizens of much needed capital for savings, investment and consumption of goods and services that drive our economy. Government’s complicity in making legal (usurious rates and fees) what was always illegal and even criminal needs reversal.

Current plans to reduce mortgage payments and mortgage interest to the teaser rates that were forced down the throats of unsuspecting borrowers using the money from unsuspecting investors, reducing credit card interest and fees, banning payday loans that roll over into 450% loans etc.,. are all steps in the right direction of redirecting capital to where it needs to go without robbing the capitalists from receiving a fair return.

Reasonable minds may differ but they can come to agreement on a fair rate of return which maintains financial market liqudiidty without windfall profits to credit card issuers, payday lenders, oil companies, health-care, health insurance and drug companies.

These are the things that central bankers and investors around the world are watching and waiting for and it is only through aggressive innovation, which requires aggressive, innovative education techniques, that good old American ingenuity will once again save the day and the dollar.

One Response

  1. Very, very interestign and very well thought out. I for one have not panicked at all about the high price of gas because I know in my heart the U.S. will work itself out of this mess just like it always has. The creativity of the human mind is amazing. When our backs are against the wall we seem to bread creativity like never before. Makes one wonder where this creativity will lead us next.

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