Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review: The Map and the Territory

Just finished a book entitled, "The Map and the Territory" by Alan Greenspan, the former Fed. Chairman. Earlier this year I read, "The Great Deformation" by David Stockman.
I recommend both books to everyone. They are economics, they are complex, they are dismal, but they cover real important issues affecting each and every one of us, and anyone to be born. They over lap. Greenspan's is much shorter, yet more disjointed IMO. Stockman's is epic and comprehensive.
The long and short of it is that this economy, this government, this reality isn't working out. Stockman argues that the top 1% are exploiting every one else abetted with the generous helping of the Fed. and the government regardless of which political party is in power.
Greenspan argues that unless we change its the entire species that will ultimately suffer lower raises in standard of living, lower wages, and more strife.
They both agree, as do I, that the lack of civil discourse, compromise, leadership, and growth of government are at the core of the problems.
For example, generally speaking regardless of party politicians do what benefits them in the short term, not what benefits the country in the long term. As a result government grows and its that growth that needs financed that ultimately crowds out money that could be put to better use by the private sector.
The nation is in serious debt as it it, so the debt alone is crowding out private sector investments in jobs, which obvious to everyone are quite rare and not very lucrative. Yet every election cycle politicians are compounding the problem by promising more of the same.
Both authors argue that a a readjustment is inevitable. The amount of pain brought on by the readjustment is the only thing uncertain.
Lest we discount the opinions of these two men, it would be wise to consider their personal esteem and accomplishments, as well as the fact that they are at the ends of their lives and still concerned -- akin to an old man who plants a tree though he knows the leaves will never shade him.