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Unevenly written but interesting and largely persuasive summary of selected "SEVEN CARDINAL VIRTUES OF EQUITABLE GROWTH" posted at Brad Delong's blog here, and numerous, often interesting, comments by followers (a reprint with comments that seem generally less interesting (as of now) is at Mark Thoma's comprehensive economics blog here).

Below the jump is full text of these summary extracts:

1. maintaining full employment ... run up the national debt ... in times of ... national emergency

2. Invest in ideas, in equipment capital, in structures capital, in education ... public and private

3. [shift from] value-subtracting industries: health-care administration, prisons, finance, carbon energy

4. carbon tax

5. more immigration

6. more equality

7. bigger and better government

My bolding:

1. Manage the macroeconomy to match aggregate demand to potential supply. Take the dual mandate seriously: maintaining full employment is as important a central bank goal as low and stable inflation--and much more important than preserving healthy margins for the banking sector. Run large deficits--run up the national debt--in times of war, depression, or other national emergency calling for government action. Pay down the debt in other times.

2. Invest. Invest in ideas, in equipment capital, in structures capital, in education: we need more of all forms of investment. Boost public and private investment: we need both kinds.

3. Over the past generation, America has shifted enormous resources into value-subtracting industries: health-care administration, prisons, finance, carbon energy. We need to reverse those shifts, and focus the American economy on the value-creating sectors rather than the value-subtracting ones.

4. We ought to have had a carbon tax 20 years ago. We still need one.

5. We need more immigration. It is much easier, worldwide, to move the people to where the institutions are already good than to make good institutions where the people are. More immigration produces a richer country for those already here. More immigration is a mitzvah for immigrants. More immigration is, to a lesser degree, a mitzvah for those in poor countries outside who see less population pressure on resources. And a U.S. in 2070 that has 600 million people is more of an international superpower than a U.S. in 2070 that has only 400 million people.

6. We need more equality. If we want to have equality of opportunity 50 years from now, we need substantial equality of result right now.

7. We are going to need a bigger and better government. The private unregulated market does not do well at health-care finance, at pensions, or at education finance. The private unregulated market does not do well at research and early-stage development. The private unregulated market does not do well with commodities that are non-rival. We are moving into a twenty-first century in which these sectors will all be larger slices of what we do, and so a well-functioning economy will need a larger government relative to the private economy than the twentieth century did.

Originally posted to emorej a Hong Kong on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Knowledge Democrats.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You're right, it's an uneven article, but well (0+ / 0-)

    worth reading.

    I need to ask whether you have permission to republish. Otherwise, you need to cut your usage down to a couple of paragraphs and rephrase, rather than copy, the rest of it.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:29:01 PM PDT

    •  Republications; permissions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      Thanks for the reminder to be careful with republication permissions.

      I think this one is OK.

      Delong's site appears not to reference any restrictions on republications (and not even to contain any copyright statement), and the full text was also republished to Thoma's site (both of these bloggers are professors at public universities).

      By the way, this is not one of Delong's many polished work products; it is more like a prompt for discussion, which did indeed proceed at length in the comments section of both Delong's and Thoma's blogs.

      •  It sounds as though you're okay on this. (0+ / 0-)

        But the rule of thumb is that any published article is automatically copyrighted, whether there's a copyright statement or not, and asking permission is the polite thing to do if you're going to take more than a chunk of it.

        In any case, I was glad to see it.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 12:21:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you "need to ask"? Are you the copy right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      Sometimes, the focus on form over substance serves to distract from consideration of the substance. Though, I don't know why anyone would bother to distract from such prosaic ideas.

      •  And a good morning to you, Hannah. (0+ / 0-)

        I asked because I was curious - I'm sorry if you found my wording irritating. And I bothered because those "prosaic" ideas were something I was actually interested in, and I took the time to follow the link and read the original posting and some of the comments.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 04:06:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just thought I'd ask. Thanks for the explanation. (0+ / 0-)

          It should be a good morning, but I have been unaccountably irked of late.
          I first noticed it yesterday when reading an account of a Down syndrome boy getting a make-over of his bedroom was totally irksome. Marketing is a subversive activity and seems to have almost totally taken over the economy--as if the fulcrum of the seesaw were more important than the children sitting on the ends.
          Marketing is deceptive, but it needn't be. The deception is almost entirely gratuitous. Evil lurks in the heart of marketing.

  •  "Virtue" implies that what is being discussed (0+ / 0-)

    is good. When what is being discussed is the economy, that is not necessarily true, especially when it is not clear what "the economy" actually is. If the economy is the sum total of activities that employ money to register relative value in trade and exchange, that's not necessarily true. For example, many people consider the use of money in the exchange of sexual satisfaction to be bad. Indeed, when it comes to intimate relations, the use of money may be detrimental just because it wastes time.
    On the other hand, "employement" refers to the use of one person by someone else, as if a person were a tool. While that may be good for the employer, especially one who is lacking in practical skills, but good at issuing demands and commands, the employed stands the risk of being not just used, but abused. Indeed, if access to the necessities of life (food, water and shelter) depends on being employed, then employment is a lesser evil -- i.e. not a good.
    That currency, a quantitative and qualitative measuring instrument or tool, is being employed to restrict access to the necessities of life, whether as a well-established practice or an innovation in the Third World, is not good. Indeed, IMHO, it is the very essence of evil, even if it only threatens and doesn't destroy other human beings. Animal husbandry may be morally better than predatory killing and consumption on the spot, but human husbandry, the long-term exploitation of our own kind, is not. Vicarious predation is not morally superior to the direct.

    Pope Francis has got it wrong. Money is not evil. Money is a tool and, like all tools, can be used for good or evil. Strange as it may seem, even non-use, whether via hoarding or rationing or withholding for other purposes (e.g. to gild the domes of churches with gold), is potentially evil, if a particular tool is essential to humans sustaining themselves. Once people have been hooked on money and the community is organized around its use, to deprive individuals of currency is an unjust deprivation or crime.

    Seven is a popular number. We have the seven deadly sins for a start and then Warren Mosler came up with the seven innocent frauds of economic policy (errors not perpetrated intentionally). Now seven capital virtues are wanting to be sold. It's not very innovative. Not to mention that "capital" is an all-purpose euphemism that's designed to hide bushel baskets full of hurt. At best, as in "what a capital idea," it is a redundancy and meaningless.
    Capitalism, as perpetrated by humans, is esoteric cannibalism. Competition to the death, but not really.

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