Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Endless Puzzle

The economy includes everything. That's why it's complicated. Everything we do is part of the economy either directly, like working and shopping and vacationing, or it influences the economy anyway -- like a decision not to go shopping.

Like a puzzle, the economy has a million pieces. And we hope it doesn't come crashing down around us. We hope it continues. So it is, in that sense at least, endless.

Obviously, there are plenty of ways to start putting puzzle pieces together. That's why different people can look at the same facts and draw different conclusions. It is largely a matter of prioritization, or which puzzle-piece you choose to start with. The trouble is, if you start with the wrong pieces you can you can make lots of false progress, or perhaps never get it together at all.

Lots of people have grabbed one brightly-colored puzzle-piece, and they all want to start with it. That piece is the federal debt. Well, that certainly needs to be put in its place. But that is not where we must begin.

I begin with "when times were good" and work forward from there.

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