Saturday, March 20, 2010

My response to an Article in The Atlantic

Hello all,
Please read my response to an article in The Atlanic, "How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America."

Please comment and let me know how I did.

Dear Don,
I thoroughly enjoyed your article in The Atlantic, “How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America,” My wife and I discussed it during a car ride home from a writing conference. We often discuss the economy and the direction of the country as a whole. Your article pretty much confirmed what we thought, that the country will not just bounce back from this recession/depression.

I must disagree with your suggestions for the resolving the crisis. I think that your suggestion to be biased more towards doing too much rather than too little in the face of the deficit is rather short sighted. Throughout history, civilizations have collapsed because of financial crises. From the biblical Joseph, “the money went bad,” to the Weimar Republic, we have clear examples of what happens when governments try to inflate their way out of trouble.

Perhaps our opinions differ because of our understandings of economics. I am a student of the Austrian school. In general, the school teaches that recessions and even depressions are necessary to clear the mistakes made during the credit induced boom. This is very similar to the Redwood trees in California, whose seeds only germinate after a fire. In our ignorance we try to stop the fires to save the forest, while we are killing the forest in the long run. The same is true with an economic downturn- by trying to stop it, we ensure that it will linger.

Sadly there is no easy way or quick fix to get us out of this morass. In my opinion, our only salvation will be to tighten our belts, work harder, and try to pay back the debts that we have incurred- collectively and individually. My fear is that the common misconception from the depression- that WWII ended the downturn-will encourage our leaders to instigate another “great” war to tackle the economic problems. I hope my fears are unfounded.

Mark Christian

P.S. If you would like to learn about the Austrian School of Economics please visit

Friday, March 12, 2010


Today in the mail I received a letter from the Census Bureau.

It says: "Dear Resident: About one week from now, you will receive a 2010 Census form in the mail."

Leave it to the the government to send a letter telling us it is going to send another letter. Why do things efficiently when being inefficient "creates more jobs" and "spreads the work?"

Think of the:
- loggers who must cut down a bunch of trees to make all these papers
- paper manufacturers
- printers
- mailmen (I mean postal professionals, of course)
- garbage collectors or recyclers who must get rid of this junk mail
- computer programmers who make data-collection software
- census workers who type in the data
- census workers who come knock on your door when you don't fill out the form.

I hereby declare that the census is quite a brilliant idea.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

City of Troy shutting down (partly)

The $1.9 million millage was voted down last week, meaning that the library, museum, nature center, community center (fitness, aquatic, community programs), and community affairs department (local TV station) will be closed down this year.