Saturday, February 5, 2011


A lot of graphs here lately, looking at the federal debt as a percent of GDP. I hope these posts don't frustrate you. I hope you find them interesting. For some reason, I seem to think it necessary to share with you an example of the "struggle with numbers" that occupies so much of my time.

Maybe that is part of the "being more personal" thing that was among my New Year's resolutions this year.
See, now I think that is funny.
You may notice, in these recent posts, that I do a lot of looking at the numbers, but not a lot of drawing conclusions from them.

If we lived in a society where everybody thought they would live forever if only they could get to the moons of Jupiter, astronomy would be different than it is today. It would be more like economics.

Everyone who has touched money has "experience" with the economy and "views" about it. And this personal aspect of our subject affects the conclusions we reach.

And I think the conclusions we reach -- or at least the conclusions that policy-makers reach -- are clearly, obviously, outstandingly wrong.

I think it is easy to get the conclusions wrong, when you have "experience" and "views" and a vested interest in a thing.

I do my best to avoid reaching conclusions. I try to look at evidence until the conclusions presenting themselves become undeniable.

I do not jump to conclusions. I jump away from them.

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