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Showing posts from October, 2015

What Is Money?

I have a dear relative from South America who has always held money in contempt.  She sees it as something dirty, and this attitude has led to her not having too much of it – often choosing to work for free and always working without much regard for her level of compensation.   I understand very well where her negative attitude came from inasmuch as many of those who have wealth in her part of the world gained it through corruption or by preying upon human weaknesses (drugs, etc).  Yet, as I explained to her recently, it is not money in those circumstances that deserves her disgust, but instead the people who have chosen those paths of gaining money.

The Mystery of Economic Growth - Can Monetary Policy Impact It?

For too long, nary a day passes that the news is not filled with stories of economic malaise somewhere on the globe.  Europe’s economy has been stuck in quicksand for years, and most of Latin America and Africa for longer.  The U.S. is also languishing, with the labor participation rate at its lowest level in more than 40 years, no real wage growth in decades, and mostly low-paying service jobs being created.  Japan has seen similar problems for many decades and even the mighty Chinese economy, which has accounted for a large portion of global economic growth for some time, is slowing meaningfully.  The hue and cry for global economic growth is rampant, especially as we approach a Presidential election, but as I hear politicians and economists talk I am left with more questions than answers. I wonder: What is economic growth and what would it look like?  Can it be manufactured somehow by government edict or is it naturally occurring and beyond the influence of human beings?  Candidat…