"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, March 05, 2016

reverse income policies

Time for helicopter money?
Recently, more radical proposals have surfaced, reflecting a sense of urgency and widespread disappointment with the impact of current monetary policy. Beyond advocating higher minimum wages, some are calling* for “reverse income policies,” with governments imposing across-the-board wage increases on private employers – a move that would drive up prices and defeat deflationary expectations. The fact that economists whose views typically fall nowhere near those of the far left are even thinking about such interventionism shows just how extreme circumstances have become. 
I favor all of these proposals, in some form. The details of their implementation would obviously have to vary, depending on each economy’s circumstances. Germany, for example, is in a strong position to implement a reverse income policy, given its huge current-account surplus, though there would undoubtedly be major political barriers. More spending on education, skills upgrading, and infrastructure, however, is a no-brainer almost everywhere, and is politically more feasible.

*  Getting Serious about Wage Inflation in Japan by Blanchard and Posen

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