I'm basically just trying to move the browser window with a lot of tabs open so that I can see a bit of some other window (a terminal or checkbook, usually). What ends up happening is one of the following:
I don't feel that the UI confusion is a good trade off for saving a couple pixels, and it adds no new capability that I care about. I hope title bar tabs go the way of the pull out drawer and the awkward gestures associated with it. Or at least that I can turn it off.
Don't these circular relationships represent the defintion of a "downward spiral"?
Absolutely. This is why economists get spooked when they hear the word deflation. Even now they can't bear to say it, and resort to euphemisms.
Are we sure we understand the impact of these actions?
We understand the economy in almost exactly the same sense as we understand the weather.
In the meantime I will buckle under and keep working my ass off.
That's probably the only thing anyone can do. Good luck, this year is going to be a brutal adjustment for a lot of people.
But perhaps I'm just nitpicking.
Not at all. In fact, to further refine it, I'd say "That's like saying your car broke down because the truck hauling it from the manufacturer to the dealership was actually a rocket propelling it into orbit which failed to separate properly from your car which is actually a satellite and then they crashed into the ocean near Antarctica."
Do Game Demos Have an Adverse Effect On Sales?
Yes, if after playing the demo I realize the game sucks. Case closed?
I'm unfortunately failing to recall the term for a good with an inflexible rate of consumption.
The term most frequently used for this situation is inelastic demand. Gasoline is the poster child for inelastic demand. Consumption only dropped from 9.29 million barrels a day in 2007 to an average of 8.99 million barrels a day in 2008. Perhaps data of finer resolution might show a more interesting drop off, but the high prices of earlier this year appear to have made little difference in the yearly data.
Honestly, I would have been in favor of letting the banks fail and then (at least temporarily) doing lending from the government so long as the lending requirements were stringent enough. I don't think that the financial industry is that important to the economy. The limited role they have, deciding which investments are worthy of funding, turns out to be something that they aren't particularly good at.
That wouldn't happen, though. It would have lost a lot of rich people too much money. They're already trying to justify a bailout of the Madoff investors. Rich people can't be allowed to lose money on investments the way us regular people do. Who would there be to trickle down on us?
Those are all good points. The mortgage interest deduction is of particularly dubious value: not only do renters not get it, so many people factor it into their home buying decision that any value it once had has probably been lost to the inflation in home values that it has caused.
Until recently, I've always thought that most government programs were at least well intentioned. Of course, because of the complexity of human societies most will have unintended side effects. Programs that try to provide incentives for particular behaviors and charity style systems seem to backfire most spectacularly as people alter their behaviors to game the system. But I can definitely see it your way as well: this isn't a well intentioned system backfiring, it was designed that way from the start.
I really enjoyed your post; it's refreshing to read something written by someone who understands how money works.
That 40 billion in capital is now no longer available to fund someone starting a company out of his garage. It gets taken from car companies like Nissan and Toyota through taxes, so even though they are profitable, they can't expand their factories and employ more people. It can't buy a construction worker a new piece of equipment to make him more productive, and it can't be used to expand his construction firm to employ more people. Instead, government has decided it will just take that money and spend it on inefficient companies that are making cars no one wants.
I have been trying to decide whether I expect this whole mess to turn into a deflationary or inflationary event. It's the sort of government behavior that you've described here that's settled the issue for me on the side of deflation. The fed and the government are pumping hundreds of billions into the economy but it isn't reaching people willing to work for it doing something useful. It's going into the black hole of finance. It's being used to prop up car companies that are going to end up shutting down their production lines anyhow. It's given to people as a one time tax rebates that, while certainly appreciated, does little to help them service more recurring monthly debt. Without an increase in median wages the whole thing seems doomed to slowly fold in on itself.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.