A new “market monetarist” blog

Lars Christensen, who coined the term ‘market monetarism,’ has a new blog.  That makes at least 10 (myself, Rowe, Beckworth, Hendrickson, Woolsey, Nunes, Blanchard, Glasner and Kantoos already have blogs.)  How many old-style monetarist blogs are out there?



44 Responses to “A new “market monetarist” blog”

  1. Gravatar of rob mendel rob mendel
    2. October 2011 at 09:04

    Hi there! I just have a quick question for Professor Sumner and his fellow experts. Can you explain why new monetarists such as Professor Stephen Williamson have a dim view on the effectiveness of monetary policy. I hope this is not a repeat question.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Gravatar of marcus nunes marcus nunes
    2. October 2011 at 09:19

    The “old style monetarists” write op-eds at the WSJ!

  3. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    2. October 2011 at 10:01

    Marcus, Unfortunately.

  4. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    2. October 2011 at 10:11

    Rob, Can you be more specific? Does he feel monetary stimulus will fail to boost NGDP, or RGDP?

  5. Gravatar of Lars Christensen Lars Christensen
    2. October 2011 at 11:19

    Scott, thanks.

    I am not sure that there is such a difference between the Market Monetarists and the old school monetarists – at least not if they are true to the gospel of Friedman/Brunner/Meltzer etc. (in the original version). In my view the problem is that certain old school monetarists today sound like Austrians rather monetarists (old and market).

  6. Gravatar of Andy Andy
    2. October 2011 at 12:09

    At least some of them — maybe not Scott — should think about doing a group blog.

  7. Gravatar of ChacoKevy ChacoKevy
    2. October 2011 at 12:28

    Luis Arroyo, who comments here sometimes, does it too. It’s in Spanish, but I enjoy following him and the issues on the other side of the pond. http://cuadernodearenacom.blogspot.com/

  8. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    2. October 2011 at 17:02

    Williamson recently wrote a groupie-post about Plosser… And another in which he defended the RBC framework.

    The question to ask is simply this: Do you really think Williamson would have the same views if a republican were in the white house?

    To get an answer, all you need to do is look at Anna Schwartz. Anyone who thought economists were not creatures of ideology and their own social circle needs to wake up.

    Scott is a rare breed. BTW, ECRI is calling a megarecession right now (which means they probably called it last month and delayed the call to allow their clients time to clear out). The Fed? Probably very happy the dollar is climbing again.

    How has the Fed gotten away with this? Great question. Terrific question. Let’s consider who’s benefiting.

  9. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    2. October 2011 at 17:35


    look dude, let me get this through to you.

    There is no promise of a non-biased Fed, there is no promise of a non-biased press, or a non-biased employer.

    You can write any law you want, and force everybody to pretend there is no bias.

    But WHEN you then pretend that’s how shit actually goes down, you don’t actually win arguments or create viable policy.


    Look hegemonic bias is as brutally true as gravity.

    You are smart enough to get this.

    Sumner is smart enough to get this.

    Just get over it. Grown men don’t tilt at windmills.

    People who OWN SHIT, INVENT SHIT, INVEST IN SHIT, and TRADE SHIT… they matter more in REALITY, they carry more weight, they get the girl, they win the game, and to the victor goes the spoils.

    How many thousands of comments here have made the same egghead milquetoast point OVER, and OVER, and OVER….

    If you are smart enough to get the that the BOJ CHOSE low inflation, having lived here, you should be smart enough to go tot he next level and admit to yourselves WHY the Fed is doing the same.

    And then GROW UP and make your own strategy based on this reality.

    You are not college protesters.

  10. Gravatar of SHocking SHocking
    2. October 2011 at 21:09

    Hi Prof. Sumner,

    I have a somewhat strange and unrelated (but potentially interesting) question: let’s say the Fed decides to implement a nominal target in which they commit to purchase an unlimited quantity of treasury bonds until they move the needle to the initial goal (a conditional promise).

    I’m interested in how this plays out in terms of the price of treasuries. Let’s say the Fed fails at first, and people anticipate an even higher price of t-bills, driving prices up even further (and yields even lower). However, once they realize how serious Bernanke & co are, the target gains credibility and people rapidly exit the treasury market, clamoring to take advantage of investments that are now profitable because of their revised growth forecasts.

    I know you’ll probably respond that a target would gain almost instant traction without any symbolic conditional gesture to back it up. But let’s say the market is wary because the Fed has so persistently disappointed–they don’t want to alter their expectations without a strong signal, prompting the Fed to make the move.

    In the case that they actually succeed in generating growth (and an exit from treasuries), doesn’t that expose the Fed to a MASSIVE capital loss on its balance sheet, necessitating a fiscal transfer. Could this jeopardize independence? And what does this say about how the Fed should execute a conditional commitment-type plan? I’m very interesting in your input on these thoughts.

  11. Gravatar of johnleemk johnleemk
    2. October 2011 at 21:34

    In case other folks don’t see it since the post this is from is a couple days old, I made a quick dramatisation of Scott’s Dr. Copper and Mr. Gold dialogue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH3rTtUUlmE

    It’s no market monetarist blog, but it might very well be the first quick-and-snappy market monetarist video on Youtube. (Scott’s 15-minute presentation is relatively quick and snappy, but for the casual browser, it’s unfortunately far from the best introduction to market monetarism. This video is barely 3 minutes.)

  12. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    3. October 2011 at 01:46

    johnleemk, great video! Is it possible to edit the description to add “NGDP = nominal GDP”?

  13. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 04:03

    Morgan, calm down. The question I’m trying to figure out is what the real target is? It’s not actually obvious – you are only so confident because you believe. Belief is dangerous. Consider the possibility, for example, the TP is being used?

    Note the Plosser faction isn’t getting everything it wants, merely dragging the median Fed voter to the right.

    Stephen Williamson, however, is simply pathetic. He’s not saying out loud “yes, I know monetary policy works, but it’s worth another year of 10%+ unemployment to get Obama out”. At least that’s academically honest. He, and Anna Schwartz, are lying about their own work, and probably doing so unintentionally due to cognitive blinding. Or, possibly they are lying directly and know it, but less likely.

  14. Gravatar of johnleemk johnleemk
    3. October 2011 at 04:55


    Yep, I just added a brief blurb about NGDP to the description.

  15. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    3. October 2011 at 05:10


    You NEED to say the TP is being used, because you do not want to accept reality.

    There’s a giant minority swath of haves. Everyone who will spend part of their earning lives in the top 10%, likely top 20%, maybe even top 30%.

    They are 100% sure they achieved something. They KNOW they worked harder, no matter much you quietly assert they didn’t. There is a secret handshake, they like each other more than they like the have-nots.

    Their willingness to help is COMPLETELY tied to being the boss of the government. To these people who matter, public employees must act as servants.

    These people all KNOW government jobs are not real jobs.

    They vote to boss around the government, they own stuff of their own creation, they have guns to provide for themselves instead of relying on government.

    Note: They HATE the Fed. Repeat that.


    The navel you need to gaze into is your own. Why do you argue with the idea of lower paid public employees?

    Yes, yes I know you are a closet conservative.

    I’m over that, let’s get specific.

    I say public employees earn $500B too much per year. They will get $1.7T this year. It should be $1.2T.

    1998 is my target year.

    There is no one in the TP who argues with me on this.

    Why do you?

    If you don’t, why get your panties in a bunch, render unto the TP, and you’ll convince them you can be trusted with the money supply.

    What is not going to happen: The gains made by the public employees are KEPT, and we print money to keep the forces of good from screwing them back down.

  16. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    3. October 2011 at 05:21


    This is how I expect to see much of government run:

    “Barrie offered me a few examples on his site right now: Someone is looking for a designer to design “a fully functioning dune buggy.” Forty people are now bidding on the job at an average price of $268. Someone is looking for an architect to design “a car-washing cafe.” Thirty-seven people are bidding on that job at an average price of $168. Someone is looking to produce “six formulations of chewing gum” suitable for the Australian market. Two people are bidding at an average price of $375. When Barrie needed a five-word speech to accept a Webby Award, he offered $1,000 for the best idea. He got 2,730 entries and accepted “The Tech Boom Is Back.” Someone looking for “a rap song to help Chinese students learn English” has three bids averaging $157.”


    That technology allows this to happen MEANS that we can take an ax to government work, and ALL effects will be positive.

    Ten years ago, it used to take me ten times the number of employees to spin up a start up.

    When there is no post office, when there is no DMV, when there is no Social Security call center… when the government has been remade with 40% less workforce and no unions…

    We can print as much money as you want!

    OR you can wait for a conservative President.

  17. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 07:34

    My apologies for splitting this post (one link rule, ugh).

    Morgan, you are correct that public sector is overcompensated, but you are vastly incorrect about the cause and magnitude. Most of the effect is recent, due to declining real wages in certain private sector activities and annual COLA adjustments in public sector contracts. The second (possibly greater) effect is due to continuation of ever-more-expensive benefits (health costs increasing due to many factors, retirement costs increasing due to longer lifespans) and failure to adjust.

    Even if you go way back and look at total levels, in terms of raw wages public sector is only about 10% to perhaps 15% over paid, not 30%.


  18. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 07:39

    Second, most of the overpayment is accounted for by the fact that government jobs often require more education (HHS, etc.), and the wages of college graduates has outpaced the wages of other employees. That is, the shifting educational wage structure has favored the labor composition of the government wage pool.


  19. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 07:45


    The bigger problem, really, has been the explosion in cost of benefits – which has gotten much worse recently has wage compression from international competition has killed the bargaining power of private sector employees in globally competitive sectors (and, indirectly, local sectors).

    Public employees – largely due to negotiated contracts, protection from international competition, and (yes) unions – have emerged less scathed.


    This disparity is not sustainable, nor is it affordable given the retirement/health care obligations looking forward. That is problem UNO.

  20. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 08:04


    privatization of government function on a piecemeal basis is not the answer – in fact it both costs MORE and is often completely incomprehensible.


    That’s the costs more part. As to the incomprehensible part of the piecemeal basis approach (short term contracting), I’m going to assume you don’t have kids. NO ONE in their right mind would subject kids in education to short term contracting to teach their kids. That’s not a public/private issue, it’s a short/long term issue, and MOST of the services the govt. provides require long term contracting. (One could do this with vouchers, and that’s an open area of debate – one in which, based on the evidence I’ve read, it doesn’t really make that much difference at all, since it’s just as easy to have lousy oversight of private for-profit actors as it is to have lousy administration of public actors.)

    As to short term contracting, MOST govt. entities use it heavily already – construction, park maintenance, school lunch provision, etc. Govt. contracting is a huge activity.

    In terms of long-term contracts, note the link above. The flaw in the study cited at EconView is that it doesn’t take into account the once-off nature of many of the projects that external contractors are hired for. In essence, if my company tells internal staff to do something, it’s cheaper on an hourly basis, but it may take the staff many many hours to come up to speed, plus when the project is done we have a bunch of employees left who are now trained on the project but we don’t have anything else for them to do. On resource basis, contracting is a way to share expertise and human/physical capital. So the EconView link is not really apples to apples, but it reminds us that contracting is not by itself a panacea.

    At the end of the day, someone actually has to run stuff, keep the system clean from corruption, and decide what to buy/invest in and what not.

  21. Gravatar of Gabe Gabe
    3. October 2011 at 08:18

    Most government jobs do not require a college education. They require basic literacy and that is about it.

  22. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    3. October 2011 at 08:24

    I’m not sure if Tim Congdon qualifies as an old-style monetarist (I’d say so: he’s very aggregate-orientated) or if a column counts as a blog, but I think Tim Congdon’s blog is old monetarism at its best-


    Of course, some would argue that Congdon isn’t ANY kind of monetarist, because he pays little attention to the monetary base and has no time for multipliers & wants to privatise central banks.

  23. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    3. October 2011 at 08:54

    Lars, I think there is one significant difference. They relied on M2, we rely on market indicators.

    Andy, Some are already part of groups.

    ChacoKevy, Thanks, I like his title.

    Statsguy, I’m having trouble finding anyone who is benefiting. Yes, the coupon clippers gain a bit from low inflation, but they lose even more from weak growth which is the underlying cause of low real interest rates.

    It’s not a zero sum game.

    Shocking, That’s very complicated, and I’ve addressed that elsewhere. Very briefly:

    1. The Fed usually buys short term debt–so the risk is low. Bizarrely, they are now buying long term debt, which would be a loser if the policy works.

    2. On the other hand the Fed is part of the federal government, the books are all consolidated. So the overall federal government gains more from inflation than the fed loses.

    3. The Fed is an inside trader. If they ever really decided to inflate, and were concerned about their books (and didn’t care about the overall government books) they should buy TIPS and German and Japanese government bonds.

    4. The losses to the Fed would be trivial compared to the gains to the economy.

    Thanks Johnleemk, I added a update to the post with that link.

    Statsguy, I see no reason to assume Williamson isn’t sincere.

    I’ll skip over the government jobs debate, as it seems unrelated to this post (not that that ever stopped Morgan.)

  24. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    3. October 2011 at 08:55

    W. Peden, Yes, he’s done some very good stuff on this crisis–I’m currently reading his book.

  25. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 09:11

    Gabe, your comment is needlessly wordy. Let me help:

    “Most [government – delete] jobs do not require a college education. They require basic literacy and that is about it.”

    Yet we still send our kids to college… And private firms continue to pay for college educations they don’t need. There’s a huge literature trying to explain why.

  26. Gravatar of johnleemk johnleemk
    3. October 2011 at 09:45


    That comment is needlessly wordy. Let me help: “Signaling.” /Bryan Caplan (and/or Robin Hanson)

  27. Gravatar of Gabe Gabe
    3. October 2011 at 10:55

    “Keep the system clean from corruption”…I hope you are just being sarcastic, you really think that is how government functions? Have you ever heard of regulatory capture?

  28. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    3. October 2011 at 11:03


    The education of public employees skews because of teachers:

    1. who get the shittiest grades in college – they are the bottom of the barrel.
    2. GVT pays for “continuing education” – they get salary bumps IF they use the gvt. money to keep going to school.

    You are 100% MISSING THE POINT, which makes you 110% WRONG.

    We expect 2-5% labor productivity gains YOY in basically every sector of the US economy.

    We see something at or below 1% in the public sector.


    If you aren’t delivering productivity gains, you DO NOT GET RAISES.

    Said another way, what else are these shitty shitbirds going to do?

    The quit rate of the public sector is a JOKE.


    This is your problem stats, I KNOW ALL THE STATS, making your canned yawnful arguments I’ve seen 1000 times means NOTHING.

    What does mean something is $500B WE DO NOT HAVE TO PAY THEM IN 2011.

    That is how you determine pay, you INTENTIONALLY try to screw the public labor force until they reach private sector quit rates – maybe even higher.

    Then at that total compensation level you cap, you tie any increase past inflation to PRODUCTIVITY GAINS. So getting a raise, means Bob sitting next to you gets fired.


    Two things:

    1. privatization only works in wholesale fashion, and the bidding, decisions, all of it has to be transparent (including the banks accts of relevant public employees), and the compensation of the bureaucrats has to be tied to the performance / cost of the contracts they enter.

    2. Do NOT make some stupid argument about Baumol next.

  29. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 11:56


    Everything you write betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of basic economics. Productivity does not drive raises. Demand, supply, and bargaining drive raises.

    If demand for teachers was 100% inelastic, and productivity (and hence supply) went DOWN, the price for teachers would increase. Think about oil.

    Hair cuts have not seen much (any?) real increase in productivity in 50 years, but they’ve received real increases in wages due to the falling relative price (massive increase in productivity) in the manufacturing sector. GM workers are vastly more productive now than they were years ago due to automation, and they are paid LESS (because there’s too much supply, too little demand).

    You really have no clue what you are talking about.

  30. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 12:03

    Also, why choose teachers as the career to pick on? It’s a terrible case to prove your point. Not only is it a human-interaction-intensive sector (where productivity improvement is inherently slower than manufacturing), but the relative prices of private vs. public sector employment have actually moved UNFAVORABLY for your argument over time – private used to be paid less (primarily due to parochial/religious schools), but now private is paid equally, and the pay at a decent non-religious private school is better. Moreover, private schools have lower class sizes (that means lower workload) and generally less stress.

    The private sector also has paid more for scarce skills than the public sector…


    The market seems to be calling your bluff.

  31. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 12:11


    “This is your problem stats, I KNOW ALL THE STATS”

    Ok, that was a good one. Thanks for the laugh…

    The problem, however, is that you are borderline crazy. Aside from the simplistic silliness of your productivity=pay argument (if that were true, Marxism would have worked), your basic facts are dangerously wrong (though some of your points are correct, like the fact that paying teachers more for continuing education is not worth it).

    You say this, however:

    “That is how you determine pay, you INTENTIONALLY try to screw the public labor force until they reach private sector quit rates – maybe even higher.”

    First, THEY ARE QUITTING – and, more importantly, the best students aren’t going into education.

    Second, from a human capital perspective, training in a sector is sunk cost (fixed capital). “Screwing them” means forcing the industry to deplete its capital stock (people won’t enter the field), so you get cheap labor short term, and scarcity later.

    Again, look at the market clearing rate in the private education sector. Heck, look at the PRICE OF PRIVATE DAY CARE.

    I wonder if your craziness drives extra web traffic, or repels it?

  32. Gravatar of Sumner explains the difference between “old-style” monetarism and Market Monetarism: « The Market Monetarist Sumner explains the difference between “old-style” monetarism and Market Monetarism: « The Market Monetarist
    3. October 2011 at 13:02

    […] Sumner in an answer to me on his blog explains the difference between “old-style” monetarism and Market […]

  33. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    3. October 2011 at 13:27

    Stats, you drummed up the most bland boring non-responsive arguments to clear point..

    We are paying $500B more than we have to for the public employees we have right now. Not some hypothetical future the ones we have RIGHT NOW are not better than what we had in 1998, and they cost $500B MORE.

    When I hire web developers, animators, game mechanics, electronics engineers, all of them have raised their game YOY since 1998 – if they didn’t they are dead in the water. NONE of them went “back to school” – they were afraid of career death, so they danced.

    YOY they have increased their output to survive.

    Public employees. Nada. Goose Egg.

    1. The best students have never gone into education, so can that noise, there was a time when the best women did (they had no choice), but again EDU has long been populated with the dregs of college graduates, and EDU has done JUST FINE – paying them all less worked before, it works in Texas (stats don’t lie), so spare me the “I’m kind of like a business manager technocrat” babble.

    2.. If you want to pay EDU more (which I do) we must fire a ton of teachers, and with the savings pay the remainder more money.

    3. “Human capital” is a phrase coined by Mike Milken who I worked for for years inside Knowledge Universe seeing all the disparate edu.tech being spun up.

    Our premise most assuredly was to do #1.

    Even now I’m aggressively pushing the state of Texas to release the work product of the teachers they employ (work for hire) under a Creative Commons licence that allows for profit companies to go in and record the “best teachers in Texas” in the classroom, key the video to the textbooks, and sell the videos online to the parents in 49 other states (free in TX).

    You record once, and spend years improving the video.

    Every kid in TX gets two teachers, the best one who teaches them at night, and the other one who during the day tries to unstick the ones who are stuck.

    So please forgive me for sounding “crazy,” but Stats, I’m making one point over and over – and you are not responding:

    At 1998 rates with inflation we should be spending $1.2T.

    We are spending $1.7T. We are wasting $500B per year. With interest it’s close to 50% of our $15T in national debt, that we took on JUST FOR SHITTY PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, who did not earn it.

  34. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 13:48


    Yes, capture – crude capture (TVA style) or rate/oligopoly capture (Stigler style) or intellectual capture. Capture in government is as much a fact as anti-competitive behavior in industry.

    But some governments are simply better – are simply less corrupt, more efficient, smarter, more effective. Better government shifts out the pareto frontier curve in the tradeoff between govt. action to repair market distortion and the market distortion caused by government action.

    “There’s no free lunch” applies to Libertarians too.

  35. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 14:24

    Morgan, you’re comparing game developers to teachers? So you’re version of “increasing productivity” is recording teachers to show to students at night (which, surely, hasn’t been done before, right)? I’d guess the better market for textbook-linked-video is the homeschool market. Although it’s already somewhat saturated, if you get state-subsidized content (courtesy of taxpayers), maybe that’s a competitive advantage.

    The best EE professors in the world can be seen online today, their course notes are free, yet people still go to colleges, and there’s vastly less human interaction between professors and college students than a 3rd grade teacher and young kids. My kids are pre-4th grade, and I can’t imagine them learning certain basic skills from a video. The primary incentives that encourage them to learn are peer pressure and the approval of adults (parents and teachers). For topical content, like history, they might be better off watching videos.

  36. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 14:31

    “I’m making one point over and over – and you are not responding:

    At 1998 rates with inflation we should be spending $1.2T. We are spending $1.7T.”

    Yes, I did respond. You want a 35% wage cut. I want a 15% wage cut, and a benefit (particularly retirement) structure that is comparable to private sector employment. Did you not read? I, personally, would prefer to achieve this by passing federal legislation to suspend COLA (cost of living adjustment) for wages and pensions for 5 years and target 3% inflation, and/or to simply redefine the official inflation rate to achieve the same thing without dealing with all the legal challenges.

    You, however, want a big fight just so you can kill off unions, which I don’t care much about either way.

  37. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 14:54

    @ johnleemk

    Didn’t see your post earlier. Thank you for the help.

  38. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    3. October 2011 at 16:36

    Stats, I don’t want a wage cut, I want headcount reductions.

    I want the entire SSA call center operation farmed out to mommies in jammies.

    And yes, I want to go Textbook + Khan Academy with teachers replaced by coaches who help kids get through the video coursework themselves. Glorified babysitters, to handle that “socialization” BS the teachers unions are always reminding us about.

    It’s slightly more complicated, I have a extensible video file format I’m promoting – imagine it like an updatable multi-view DVD where each video track targets a different kind of learner, so that over time you are getting more and more media examples of the same idea.

    BTW, my 4 year old sits and does Khan Addition for 10 minutes a day. To her it is a video game, she wants to keep get the highest streak she can.

    Game mechanics are real, all humans respond positively to them, and a computer can quickly figure out how long to wait to redo a failed question.

    Teachers are done.

  39. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    3. October 2011 at 18:37

    Morgan and Statsguy, Can’t we all just get along? Statsguy is right that good government matters, indeed there is almost nothing that matters more. You’ll never get anywhere treating government as the enemy.

    Morgan’s got some interesting ideas for reform. We need good government to try out those ideas. Like in Sweden, where they allowed parents to send their kids to any school; public, not-for-profit, or for-profit.

  40. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    3. October 2011 at 19:46

    “I want the entire SSA call center operation farmed out to mommies in jammies.”

    In some government activities, this would work, but what do you do when one of those mommies in jammies sells a bunch of private data from SSA to someone in Kazakhstan for a credit card phishing scam?

    One would think the public sector should emulate best practices in the private sector where possible. Exactly how many major corporations do you know that farm out payroll to offsite mommies in jammies? Bob Gibbons wrote a bunch about the game theory of long (relational) vs. short term (spot) contracting. Very relevant.

    I agree you have some interesting ideas, maybe some will work. Now go spend 20 extra minutes reading to your four your old. She will love you more. No sarc. Peace.

  41. Gravatar of MikeDC MikeDC
    3. October 2011 at 20:13

    OK, it’s further OT, but my 4 year old got pissed at me for making him read tonight (I was spurred on by a voluntarily read 20 minutes to your kid every night contest sent home from his school). I really wished I’d done what he’d wanted and gone on a bike ride with him.

    That kind of “voluntary” – if you’re willing to feel guilty – stuff bugs the shit out of me. It does work for some kids. For my six year old, he loved it and it actually helped him. My 4 year old has been reading independently for a year, and reads better than the 6 year old. He’s legitimately a little genius, and the last thing he needs is to have something he thinks is fun turned into a chore. Different strokes for different folks.

  42. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    4. October 2011 at 06:16

    On SSA call centers:


    Scott, what I have are not interesting ideas on reform, I”M THE ARGUMENT for whole sale restructuring of government.

    Of course I have good ideas (and ability to deliver them.) I do good ideas for a living.

    But tens of thousands of other of the web’s best and brightest geeks have the same strengths.

    The point is, because all these guys exist, government must be rebuilt LIKE AN INTERNET COMPANY.

    It needs to be distributed, modular, open source, and brutally efficient… paying those best who figure out how to fire Bob and get the job done better.

    As a philosophy, everyone must be invited to shrink the governments work force, no one should primarily view government as a good long term job.

    No one views Internet start ups as a good long term job, and yet they are where the action is.

    And to get there, public employee unions must die. Doing government work can only pay well, if you are afraid of not having your job tomorrow, that your idea might not work, that your bet might not pay off.

    It’s isn’t hard to do all this. The internet is EVERYTHING. Just shut down the post office and give old people a debit card and a user name password and tell them if they can’t log and use the Internet they aren’t going to get paid.

    Announce that using the Internet is now a requirement to receive government benefits of any kind.

    And then appify everything. Make it impossible to go visit anyone in government, turn everything into a digital form, and publish everything, expose everything, so when someone in Akron, Ohio wants an abatement on a piece of land, we can see:

    1. the time it was filed.
    2. its place in line.
    3. how many abatements the public employee is dealing with per day.
    4. the day this abatement will be dealt with.
    5. all other abatements granted not granted.

    And already you have a far better system than what we have now, and that app can be sold and resold by the developer to cities and counties for $100 per year, improved endlessly – but always trying to let dumber cheaper public employees use it, need less public employees to deliver on it.

    Until you view government as an Internet company, you just can’t fix the thing.

  43. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    4. October 2011 at 07:45

    Morgan, what do you think of the following slogan for when the election is won?

    Reagan recovery now and then we zip it up!


    According to Bill, we had 10% NGDP growth for two years. ZIP means zero interest rate policy, which would be a 3-3.5% NGDP level target.

    Who in the GOP would dare to argue against that?

  44. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    4. October 2011 at 15:56

    Morgan, You see how many comments I get everyday. I just don’t have time to process all your ideas. You need to promote them in a place where people will be more receptive, as you do have a number of good ideas. You are free to post here, I just can’t absorb everything–I have like 1 minute per comment now.

    When this recession ends and your guy is in then I’ll debate all these reform ideas with you.

Leave a Reply