A Frank appraisal of my blog

Tyler Cowen directed me to the blogger Daniel Frank, who has a post discussing my non-monetary blogging. I always find it gratifying when someone indicates that they find something of value in these non-monetary posts. I worry they are merely a self-indulgence, taking advantage of the fact that I have a captive audience from my market monetarist posts. And my Russia trolls keep telling me how stupid they are.

Frank appears to be a rather young blogger, and has some particularly interesting posts on the art of travel. Despite our vast age difference, we seem to share at least a few musical tastes (Radiohead, Sigur Ros, The Tallest Man on Earth, Daniel Romano, etc.)

In a postscript, Frank asks for help in identifying a few of my better posts. Please help him (me?) out.

I really need to get better organized . . .

. . . one of these days . . .



32 Responses to “A Frank appraisal of my blog”

  1. Gravatar of John Hall John Hall
    12. June 2024 at 12:34

    Can you rely on any analytics? Like the ones that got the most traffic per year or anything like that?

    It’s often a pain to find your old posts, but you should be happy that you’re one of the few bloggers where I go back and read your old posts occasionally.

  2. Gravatar of Kester Pembroke Kester Pembroke
    12. June 2024 at 13:10

    If government spending is higher for the same amount of taxes and thereby leaves a higher budget deficit, that will tend to decrease demand and drive the price level lower. It is deflationary!

    Think about it from first principles. If Parliament allocates a budget to a department and they draw it down, then that is now ‘100% borrowed’. Let’s say that’s the health service and they are trying to hire nurses, but there aren’t any. So the budget remains unspent. That ‘new money’ can’t cause inflation. Now let’s say another department is able to hire one person at the price they want to pay, which means 20% of that spend is recovered in tax (say). But that person is a hoarder and saves all they receive. We now have one extra transaction, and a whole bunch of saving which shows up as ‘government borrowing’. Yet the private sector has only been denied the output of one individual with no downstream transactions.cRun that on to the next hop, and the individual hired spends what they receive but the next person down the chain is the hoarder. We’ve now recovered 36% of the original spend in tax, but redirected two transactions. The rest is ‘government borrowing’. And so on down the chain. As the money is respent further, and therefore more tax is raised, more transactions are induced. And its the transactions induced that are potentially inflationary if they can’t be matched by increased production.

    Money works this way:

  3. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    12. June 2024 at 15:30


    Record number of people leave New Zealand amid cost of living pressures

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. June 2024 at 17:09

    John, I don’t have that data.

    Kester, I have no interest in joining the Moonies, the Trumpistas, the MMTers, or any other cult.

    Solon, LOL, no one lives there anymore—it’s too crowded.

  5. Gravatar of agrippa postumus agrippa postumus
    13. June 2024 at 04:01

    the morganatic marriage of sumner and frank would be re….

  6. Gravatar of Gurevise Gurevise
    13. June 2024 at 05:22

    I enjoy your art and culture posts just as much as economic posts. Pls keep doing it.

  7. Gravatar of Robert D. Robert D.
    13. June 2024 at 05:38

    Scott, what is the point of having a blog if not to engage in self-indulgence and taking advantage of the fact that you have a captive audience?

  8. Gravatar of David S David S
    13. June 2024 at 08:54

    Hmmmm….where’s the first post where you discuss “Never reason from a price change” particularly as it relates to how people don’t understand that you can have tight money with low interest rates and vice versa.

    Also, if you’re not making money off this blog, what’s up with the increasingly annoying ads?

  9. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. June 2024 at 09:49

    Thanks Gurevise.

    Robert, People don’t like to think of themselves as being selfish.

    David, Good questions. I wish I had good answers.

  10. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    13. June 2024 at 10:28

    You know you’re insane when everyone who disagrees with you is a ‘Russian troll’, and everything you don’t like is “Russian Propaganda.”

    You have a very average I.Q., which is why you struggle to make logical, coherent statements. And yes, you’re not alone.

    There are similar people who have the same radical views on Trump, Russia, the beauty of elitisim and top-down governance, name-calling, and on asking for the political opposition to be arrested and jailed for so-called “crimes” that they can’t quite articulate. Thought crimes, or petty crimes; and like you, they chant jail them, jail them, jail them. I don’t like their policies or their makeup which looks orange because they have rosacea, so jail them. LOL.

    Keep writing, though. Because the more you write, the more you reveal your ignorance. And the more insight we get into the elitist, bigoted, cult.

  11. Gravatar of Edward Edward
    13. June 2024 at 11:01

    This is what’s called narcissistic self aggrandizement. Boasting of an article that praises him, followed by more name-calling. And because his time is infintely more important than ours, he wants us to help him choose his “better posts” for self promotion.

    If he calls you dumb, I wouldn’t take it too seriously. Scott is petulant. Just have one cocktail with him, and then you’ll understand. This is his modus operandi.

    It’s almost become a badge of honor. It means you’re probably winning the argument.

  12. Gravatar of Henri Hein Henri Hein
    13. June 2024 at 11:46

    “I might be biased because our values are quite similar—we both lean towards neoliberalism, embrace a utilitarian approach, and are completely captivated by art”

    I also lean towards neoliberalism, but I’m not a utilitarian and I’m not captivated by art. Yet I also agree that “the wisdom shines through.”

    Perhaps your more wonkish posts are the ones I enjoy the least. Not because they are poorly written, but because some of the technical details go over my head. I still think I learn a lot from reading you.

    I haven’t kept track of my favorite posts over the years, but poking around here are a few that stand out:

    In general I particularly like your take on Trump and China/foreign policy.

  13. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    13. June 2024 at 15:13

    The Producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.2 percent in May, seasonally adjusted, the
    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices increased 0.5 percent in
    April and edged down 0.1 percent in March. (See table A.) On an unadjusted basis, the index for
    final demand advanced 2.2 percent for the 12 months ended in May.
    2.2% on PPI?
    Housing shortages in America are about one thousand times more important than inflation

  14. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    13. June 2024 at 15:30

    I probably count as one of the captive market monetarists, but at this point I think I enjoy the non-monetary posts more. So definitely keep those coming.

  15. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    13. June 2024 at 17:24

    When will these boomers stop blaming all their self-inflicted problems on Russia?

    Gas goes up, it must be Russia.
    My favorite party lost the election, it must be Russia.
    Donbas secession has nothing to do with us pursuing a regime change in 2014. It’s just all Russia’s fault.
    Economy isn’t doing well, it’s those damn Russians.
    2008 recession must have been those damn Russians.
    Border crisis must be those Russians.

    The Boomers are litearlly the most dangerous animal on the face of the earth. They will kill humanity.

    Don’t fear AI. Fear the boomer.

  16. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    13. June 2024 at 19:39

    I have an idea on a process for finding what you might consider to be your best posts. Use an online application to convert your website content into a PDF document and upload it to a large language model, such as Gemini Advanced. Then, ask it to cite blog posts based on your criteria.

  17. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    14. June 2024 at 03:14


    “China protests Turkey’s 40% tariff on imported cars”

  18. Gravatar of Frank Fuhrig Frank Fuhrig
    14. June 2024 at 03:36

    I always thought this post of yours nailed the way he just says whatever seems most advantageous in the moment, without regard for what he said yesterday or the consequences tomorrow. Rudderless psychopathy.

  19. Gravatar of Patrick Patrick
    14. June 2024 at 07:23

    I very much enjoy your posts! I am not an economist.

  20. Gravatar of Rajat Rajat
    14. June 2024 at 18:55

    By ‘non-monetary’, I assume that other types of economics posts are still allowed. Here are some posts that really changed the way I looked at the world. I have mentioned many of these recently, but since someone new is asking, here they are:

    And several on bubbles, each of which takes a slightly different tack:
    Frankly, I thought your best exposition on bubbles was on the Dan Schultz podcast: https://www.danschulz.co/p/scott-sumner

  21. Gravatar of Rajat Rajat
    14. June 2024 at 19:20

    It seems like my last comment had too many links and got caught in moderation.
    Anyway, here’s one more I forgot to include. It’s really the third para that has stayed in my mind over the years: https://www.themoneyillusion.com/theres-nothing-wrong-with-neoliberalism-a-rant/

    And finally, because I’m a fanboy (and had a minor hand in the first post), I have to include these two: https://www.themoneyillusion.com/wallowing-in-nostalgia-an-autobiography/

  22. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    14. June 2024 at 21:12

    Michael. Great idea. So who is going to do it?

    Everyone, Thanks for the comments. When I have time, I’ll sort through the suggestions and see if there is a pattern.

  23. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    15. June 2024 at 05:50


    I work full-time and an a grad student, trying to stay relevant in this new AI era, but I’ll give it a shot when I have time. I already subscribe to Gemini Advanced.

    Would you like to provide some criteria for finding your best posts, as prompts?

  24. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    15. June 2024 at 07:24

    Michael, I’d feel guilty if a busy guy like you wasted time on the project—let someone else do it. Maybe I’ll get around to it.

  25. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    15. June 2024 at 07:31


    It won’t take me long. This is actually quick and easy to set up.

  26. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    16. June 2024 at 15:50

    Annexation & Elimination’ Of Taiwan Is China’s Great National Cause, President Lai

    MONDAY, JUN 17, 2024 – 12:25 AM
    Taiwan’s recently installed new President William Lai Ching-te issued a blistering critique of China in a speech on Sunday while calling on Taiwan’s people to resolutely determine their own fate.

    He addressed cadets and officers at the Whampoa Military Academy in Kaohsiung, located in the self-ruled island’s south. Lai, who has repeatedly been denounced as an extremist by Beijing since entering office last month, warned his armed forces that China holds as its top priority the “annexation” and “elimination” of Taiwan.

  27. Gravatar of Henri Hein Henri Hein
    16. June 2024 at 20:27


    Great list! I concur.

  28. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    18. June 2024 at 16:24


    I’ve been playing with some Python script to allow me to scrape this entire blog and then convert the contents to PDF. However, some security features are blocking my ability to do this, by design. I’m nto a great coder, so I’m not sure how to get around it.

    So, I did a bit of research and discovered that WordPress has some plug-ins such as “Print My Blog” which can easily convert your entire blog into a PDF document. Then, you can simply upload the PDF into the LLM of your choice, and take advantage of its search ability via your natural language prompts.

    Currently, Gemini Advanced, which requires a subscription, can handle the largest upload files. It is $20/month, but you can get the first 2 months free, and cancel with no obligation.

    If your PDF file is too large for even Gemini to handle, you can break it into smaller files.

  29. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    18. June 2024 at 16:31

    Oh, and also if you let an LLM know what you’re trying to do, it can give you step-by-step instructions. I can also provide some, if need be.

  30. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    19. June 2024 at 09:52

    Thanks Michael. I probably won’t spend time on that, but others are free to do so.

  31. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    21. June 2024 at 09:57

    If you’re ever comfortable giving me remote access to your device or just letting me login to your WordPress account, i can do it for you.

  32. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    22. June 2024 at 07:31

    Michael, Thanks, but I’m trying really hard to simply my life. In the past I’ve found that every time I began a project that is supposed to be easy, it becomes unaccountably time consuming. There must have been a dozen times when a tech guy told me “this will just take 5 minutes”, and it took many hours.

Leave a Reply