November 14th, 2009

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End the Fed?

Here's an interesting article about some problems with how the economy works:

End the Fed
If you asked most people to name one of the most powerful, elusive, independent, and secretive arms of the federal government, they would probably reply with one of the nation’s law-enforcement or intelligence-gathering outfits, such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, or NRO.  Very few people would suggest that the real answer might be the U.S. Federal Reserve.  But when you look at the facts objectively, they make a startlingly compelling case.  For instance, when a Freedom of Information request is made, the FBI must either answer it or explain why they can’t, but the Fed doesn’t even have to publish the M3 money supply, which tells us the amount of dollars floating around in our economy.  The CIA, though secretive, must usually give some account to Congress of what they are doing with our money and why.  The Fed however, can loan half a trillion dollars to foreign banks without so much as telling Congress first that they are going to do it.

I agree that the Fed is functioning poorly. I would like to see a lot more transparency and logic in the economic system. However, I am extremely disinclined to scrap the Fed in favor of returning to a former system which we know also did not work well, which is why we replaced it. I would prefer to create something new, based on all our current knowledge, in hopes of getting something that will work better than previous failed attempts (including the Fed). For example, I would like to entertain models of a sustainable economy, not one that requires constant growth, because contant growth in a finite environment (such as a nation or a planet) inevitably leads to crash after crash due to hitting the limits of the environment. Many of the problems we're suffering now are limit-collision problems. In order to create a system that will be stable rather than spawning crashes, and one that will last instead of destroying resources faster than they are created, we really need to think outside the box.
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Send a Coat Hanger

Today I got this call to action, protesting the denial of health care to women.

Does anyone have a LJ base showing a coat hanger? I made up a button back in my college days that said "I have a slight hangup with the Republican party" superimposed over a coat hanger outline. I'd like to recreate something similar regarding the botch-up "health care reform" bill. I just need an appropriate base to start with.
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