Monday, December 05, 2011

An article...

...making the rounds (again, as it was written earlier this year). Also much discussion of "optical back stops" for the EU system (the concept that what is perceived as a fully funded economic backstop are really only a bundle of promises to borrow and spend).

In the realm of economics, price controls
are designed to constrain volatility on
the grounds that stable prices are a good
thing. But although these controls might
work in some rare situations, the long-term
eªect of any such system is an eventual
and extremely costly blowup whose cleanup
costs can far exceed the benefits accrued.
The risks of a dictatorship, no matter how
seemingly stable, are no diªerent, in the
long run, from those of an artificially
controlled price.

Such attempts to institutionally engineer
the world come in two types: those that
conform to the world as it is and those
that attempt to reform the world. The
nature of humans, quite reasonably, is to
intervene in an effort to alter their world
and the outcomes it produces. But government
interventions are laden with unintended—
and unforeseen—consequences, particularly
in complex systems, so humans must work
with nature by tolerating systems that
absorb human imperfections rather than
seek to change them

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