Bringing home the pension bacon
The rumbling has started: why not double inflation to start reducing debt? The country is burdened with unpayable debt: mortgages, student loans, credit cards, pension benefits and everything else that’s been consumed without paying for it upfront. So do we just inflate our way out from under our obligations? That seems to be the next can’t-fail plan.
“Raising the expected rate of inflation would reduce the real burden of debt on households, corporations and governments, spurring both investment and consumption,” Profs. Chinn and Frieden write, arguing the Fed should allow inflation to run “in the 4 to 6 percent range for several years.”
The authors recognize their proposal will likely be “met with howls of indignation” from creditors, who would see a policy of intentional inflation — which would reduce the value of their bonds — as an expropriation of their assets. “To an extent, they are right,” the economists say.
But one way or another, they continue, those debts aren’t going to be repaid in full, whether it’s through inflation, default, bankruptcy or negotiated settlements. Better to do it in a way that’s quick and, because it treats all debts equally, at least relatively fair. The logic is the same as in bankruptcy proceedings, they write: “For creditors, something is better than nothing; for debtors, relief is better than default; for both, certainty is better than uncertainty.”
What could possibly go wrong?
Not in my back yard!
Uber-liberal* George Lucas, thwarted in his plans to build a film studio on his 6,0000 acre ranch in Marin County, announces that he’s selling the whole place to a developer of low-income housing. His liberal neighbors go nuts.
Marin County residents have long been famous for both advocacy for the poor and punitive zoning and environmental regulations protecting their own homes’ value, with the result that there are no poor folk squatting on the country’s most expensive real estate. Given an opportunity to show that they really do love the poor, instead of a desire to see untermenschen forced to live in a galaxy far, far away, it was no contest. Liberal claptrap vs. property values? The match lasted three seconds.
* how liberal? A billionaire foe of capitalism: “[America] is a country built on greed.”
He contributes heavily to the Democrats and has never given a conservative a dime (neither did Steve Jobs, according to this same compilation but Jobs never to my knowledge sought to punish his liberal neighbors by moving in a community of winos and addicts).
Most egregiously, he re-edited Star Wars 20 years on so that Han Solo, a hero in the original version, becomes a panty-waist gun control advocate who shoots the bounty hunter (sorrowfully, with regret and despite a deep respect for all life, alien or otherwise) only after the hunter shoots first.
(UPDATE: Aw, thanks, Perfesser! –
2,000 8,793 18,000 + new viewers after his link to here. – The man’s a machine and if, as is rumored, he blends up puppies well, what price genius?