Promoting electoral reform and sound government.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What the Fed Should be Doing

Take a look at the 10 year chart for gold. You can see the inflation and the recent instability and deflation. The very last upswing took place when the 700 billion bailout was announced last week.

The dollar has been deflating recently. The Federal Reserve should stabilize the value of a dollar. Only recently it has become concerned with inflation because consumer prices are moving up.

But the Fed looking at the wrong number. Inflation has been happening for years, but its been happening mostly in housing, fuel prices and other commodities, while finished goods have been cheaper due to globalization.

The so-called core rate of inflation does not tell the complete story. It is not a leading indicator of inflation, but a trailing one.

It is not enough for the Fed to change interest rates based upon its feeling about the future direction of the economy. The Fed has got to change its strategy and work consistently to stabilize the dollar.

What the Fed is currently doing is like looking at how much water is entering the storm drains to predict hurricanes. It can't possibly work!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ah, So Markets Do Work After All

Licenses to catch fish enable fish populations to rebound, according to this article in the NY Times. The tragedy of the commons is avoided when the right to catch can be bought and sold. Prices go up, which restricts demand, which is exactly whats needed to save these populations.

We really need this, especially with robotic fishing almost certainly on the way. Drones that operate completely underwater may not be detectable, though. But legal supplies can be tracked and illegal sources show up after legitimate sources are subtracted from the picture. Licenses also give legal fishermen incentives to find poachers too.

Robotic fishing will greatly reduce bycatch, though, which is other creatures not being fished that are killed by fishing. And fish can be kept in the ocean until a port is reached, meaning less trauma and healthier food.

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain and Obama Fail to Acknowledge Their Responsibility for the Current Economic Crisis

Both these guys are senators and have been looking the other way as private interests have used and abused the taxpayer. Bloomberg reports both are promising to clean up Wall Street:

The last eight years ``have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression,'' said Obama, the Democratic nominee, in a statement that also called for ``modernizing'' the rules governing financial institutions.

``We will never put America in this position again,'' McCain, the Republican nominee, told supporters in Jacksonville, Florida. He vowed to ``clean up Wall Street'' and ``replace the outdated, patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight.''

The reality is that the government allows business to write its legislation and profits flow to private interests while risk goes to the taxpayer. Its the same old story over and over again.

Congress does not pursue the interests; it pursues the interests of whoever is giving them campaign contributions.

We simply must reform our electoral system so that all the voters have their interests represented. If we don't take action, expect more of the same stupidity.

Killed by text message

Distractions caused by text messaging can be dangerous, as evidenced by this Google search.

What can be done about this, especially for charged with driving trains or buses? Does it make sense to give such operators special cell phones that cannot text or make calls (except to others working for the same transportation agency or 911) while in motion?