How to get out of our economic messI have to say that I am impressed by the economic wisdom shown in the answers to many discussion questions posted here. Therefore I wonder if any of you would...
I have to say that I am impressed by the economic wisdom shown in the answers to many discussion questions posted here. Therefore I wonder if any of you would like to suggest some worthwhile books and/or articles that might suggest how in the world we (I include the Europeans) can realistically and practically hope to get out of our current economic mess. I don't want to start a political debate; I simply would like to know if you are aware of any thinkers who have proposed solutions that might actually have a reasonable chance of working and of being adopted.
One source of information might be the publications of Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, New York University. His latest book was published in 2004, Bail Outs or Bail Ins? His latest article is dated 2003: "International Lending of Last Resort and Moral Hazard." There is a synopsis of a 1997 co-authored book available online: Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy. True, these are all no longer current but might still provide a foundation for further research or reading. A 2009 article written from the Socialist viewpoint (no, I'm not a Socialist) is Fred Moseley's article "The U.S. economic crisis: Causes and solutions."
The problem here is that economics is a faith-based activity when it comes to issues as big and complex as fixing the macroeconomy. If anyone actually know for sure how to fix things, we'd probably have solved the problem by now.
All you can really hope for is a bunch of views that reflect the authors' various beliefs. If you believe them, everyone's views are practical and easy to implement. Just lower taxes and reduce government spending. Reduce the amount of regulation of the economy. Spend more on infrastructure. It's all simple, it could all be put into place easily (if only there weren't politics), but the various simple and practical plans tend to contradict one another (like reducing taxes and spending vs. spending more on infrastructure).
So, although I read this stuff in bunches, I can't recommend anything to you at the moment because I have no objective way of knowing which sources are more plausible as ways to fix the economy.
My favorite thinker in the economic field is probably Dave Ramsey, simply because he has the most common-sense solutions to individual problems. I believe that all larger problems are the macrocosm of smaller, individual problems; a sort of social fractal theory, where it's all the same the further down you go. Ramsey also has a radio talkshow in select areas.
I also suggest Bloomberg Businessweek; I've been reading it for a few months and I'm very impressed with its scope and reasonably objective nature.
I second the suggestion made in #2. The Week is an excellent publication as it offers a careful selection of the best articles from all sorts of different newspapers and other magazines. As such, the bias that you receive in reading one newspaper is something that is lessened by deliberately summarising the news from the perspective of a number of different newspapers and editorials. This means, regarding economics, you have the more radical thinkers placed alongside more traditional ideas and approaches.
Depends on who you ask... The Republicans would cut everything except the military to the bare bones and then take away a few of the bones; the Democrats would increase taxes on the wealthy and claim that the money was being used to support creation of jobs. Who knows who is right? I'm glad I don't have to try to figure it out!
Is The Week available online? For those of us who don't want to start another hard-copy subscription but would be interested in material that comes this highly recommended?
Since the problems are pretty deep and radical, it might be wise to seek a radical solution. A very outspoken person in this area is the great commodities investor, Jim Rogers. His books are always fun to read and his interviews are great, because he always speaks him mind and sometimes the host does not know what to do with him. His solution is austerity and to allow banks and nations go bust.
Personally, I enjoy a magazine called The Week. It is a bit unusual because it is basically a review of other news sources, but every issue is presented with multiple perspectives and I feel like they have a balanced and thorough perspective in a brief article. As the name suggests, it is a weekly publication so it's very timely.