Macroeconomics, without the –isms

It’s time to discuss and debate macroeconomics in concrete terms. Enough with the –isms.

We have some very bright people here on BB, both in terms of knowledge and analytical insight. And yet, more often than not, ad-hoc discussions and derailments on this topic deteriorate into either-or arguments riddled with false dichotomies and spackled with –isms.

Making the effort to use concrete terms rather than –isms makes discussion more productive in a number of ways:

  • it focuses conversation on real-life matters rather than philosophical differences
  • it’s less prone to misunderstandings based on differing definitions of more abstract terminology
  • it allows for more nuanced views (example: ‘I think a higher tax rate should be applied to income from [X] but not from [Y]’ or ‘Countries above 200M population would be better off adopting [X] economic policy and here’s why’)
  • it allows you to express views that may invoke more than one type of –ism
  • it allows you to express your views without apprehension of being labeled an ideologue
  • it offers far more learning opportunities for those who don’t know much about economics or its history

Community-based threads, having no time limit, serve this latter function especially well. So debate, explain, or ponder, just keep the discussion educational.


K. Here’s a thing that has me twisted this moment: free trade, everything else being equal, is supposed to be good, but when enacted it tends to make everything important more unequal.

Inequality, as a result, has been normalized, and the un-free-trading movement has been latched onto as a way to move bigotry (but not economic inequality) back to being normalized (because the dumb thieving rich have already been sufficiently normalized), rather than ever putting the rich in check.


Anyone have thoughts on how to grow the wealth and sustainability of the world without seeing the gains wasted on disposable crap and more wealth for those who are already rich or connected?

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Nope. The wealthy use their wealth to create the economic and political conditions in which they grow wealthier. Interdicting this cycle has proven impossible for those who see this due to paying attention, rather than spending their time being brainwashed into buying that useless crap on the tube. Include current POTUS in that useless crap.

So, no thoughts.

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