I fear that Arnold Kling expects a viable response from modern economies; something which becomes more unlikely as Inputs approach the tails of the Bell curve of economic activity. I like to establish ratios which to contemplate the extremes in economics. Case in Point: What percentage of yearly Minimum Wage Income of full-time labor is the current Cost of providing health care to the average Worker? Another is How many hours must a medical GP work at $70/hour to pay off the Student Costs to get his degree? A third Question might be How many medical degrees given actually work in actual medical care provision? Answer to these style Questions could bring Us closer to the determination of the real default elements which make private sector health care unworkable in this Country. Health Care Costs and Rewards remain firmly in the upper-end tail of economic performance, while real Wages in this country have been bulking in a skewed Bell curve to the lower-end tail. Arnold actually believes that Order can come from Chaos, but I imagine that actual collapse must come before there will be a reversion to economic stability. It is something on which Government will not move swiftly enough to avert.
Nancy Folbre tries to explain Why market information is unreliable data to perform serious evaluation of economic performance. Too much is hidden beneath unpaid compensation, and too little attention has been paid to the greatest Inflation generator–which is corporate Price scheduling. There is far too much emphasis placed upon quality products and luxury Good pricing in all economic models, and the old-style forecasting of the average Price of any American meal is ignored. It would be nice to define what price Americans paid for Labor Day lunch on Average. It would equally nice to find what Tonight’s Dinner will cost the Average American. I promise I won’t ask Anyone how much their blouse cost, though I might ask about their Bra. It is exactly this type of information Economists must get back to, and find just how poorly We are doing.
I disagree with Richard Berner and his approach to the late financial crisis–which is not so late, but coming. He proposes a scrap-iron recovery system for regulation, where the crisis of continual failing enterprise is allowed continuance. He methodology would allow the Skim Artists free rein to come in and scam the funds, with regulators picking up the pieces and soothing the Investors who were fleeced. Government involvement would only make things worse all around, with no one punished unless actually caught with their hands in the till. The Money-Changers still want to work the Temple because of the huge Profits to be made. One has to ask, though, if We are not getting tired of losing Money? lgl