2012-05-04

A Few Quick Thoughts

Music
Today I'm heading into the studio to record some bass tracks - and potentially some guitar tracks - for an upcoming album. Naturally, I will make the details of how to obtain this album available as soon as I know about them myself. Because we are in the recording phase, the time horizon on this could be fairly long.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to faithful Stationary Waves reader PR, for loaning out some useful equipment during the recording process. It is an exciting and enlightening process to be in a situation where the band and I have the ability to choose among a wide array of tools in order to produce the best tone.

Upcoming Events
Speaking of the band, if you're in the Ottawa area, I hope you will come out to see me in my capacity as bass player for Machine Messiah. It's all happening at The Daily Grind, beginning at about 8pm. There is talk of my also kicking off the night with a solo-acoustic performance, so be sure to come out early and make a whole evening of it.

Macroeconomics
Perhaps it's just me, perhaps it's because the university "spring semesters" are coming to a close, or perhaps there is something to it, but it appears that the economics blogosphere is slowing down remarkably the last little while.

From what I can tell, the various viewpoints have become a tad repetitive and it seems like the real dialogue that had been inspired by the recession has evolved into a small number of parallel monologues. You've got your Austrians, your Market Monetarists, your Chicago-ites, your classic Keynesians, and your MMTers. Rather than interacting with each other these days, they are mostly sticking to their own particular talking points and staying out of the head-on theoretical debates now.

Partly, I think this is because theoretical debates are difficult, and most of these economists either don't want to have them or don't have the time to have them. Partly I think it's because academics would rather explore their own small areas of expertise than justify the foundation upon which those expertise rest. Partly I think it's because they don't want to argue.

Nevertheless, when competition is sparse, consumers suffer. I have not been too eager to open up my Google Reader and see what they're all talking about lately. The answer is, they're sticking to their talking points.

The field seems to be gravitating toward its consensus, and that consensus should not really surprise anyone at this point. The consensus is that the Fed can and should engage in more expansionary policy. Austrian-adherents like myself are naturally no fan of this consensus, but we must remember that the vast majority of professional economists have lived their entire lives for the principles of monetary manipulation and credit adjustment. It would be surprising indeed if an entire profession suddenly turned around and marched the other way. For most economists, that would mean denying everything any of them have written up to this point. Even if they should do this, no one should expect it to happen.

To the Austrians, I would make the following recommendation: The "End the Fed" message, although a right one, does not meet the profession where it is. What needs to be presented is an idea that provides the profession with a way to observe the truth of Austrian predictions without throwing everything out.

All things said, this means I will likely try to stick to non-economic content until I come across something genuinely interesting, or worthy of additional commentary. For you, that means more music, running, philosophy, logic, and diabetes.