Grasshopper – Wally & Volstead
February 12, 2013Posted by on
I said that I would post information on ‘economics’, which is something that is easier said than done. Apart from the range of the subject area and the complicated interconnections, there is the range of opinion regarding the subject areas and their interconnection. Most of us quite happily lead lives where such issues are either of no concern to us, or it is assumed that those professionals dealing with such things know what they are doing. However, society itself and the complexity of economic management, makes us all players. While this has always been true, this complexity has increases, probably exponentially, since societies met and started trading with each other. I would suggest that following the industrial revolution, the complexity of economic theory began to rise significantly, which may – or may not – have improved any understanding of it.
The last remark seems like a good research project for someone who is serious about economics. For my part, the difficulty is ‘knowing where to start. After much thought, I could suggest that you buy a copy of “Mankiw’s 10 principles of economics, alternatively, you could look at the following video in which Yoram Bauman condenses Mankiw’s 10 principles into a 5 minute presentation.
While Yoram Buaman may parody Mankiw’s 10 principles of economics, don’t simply ‘be amused and move on’! The reality is that ‘people are stupid’; to the extent that they put their economic well being in the hands of politicians, whom they assume understand economics. So where shall we start? 😕
I think my latest post Wally & Volstead is as good a place as any. Especially as it never began as a post on economics. The daily Dilbert cartoon featured Wally and mentioned Volstead. When I found out what Volstead referred to and watched the clip from Boardwalk Empire – included in my post – the notion of what I call the Volstead effect occurred to me.
In Wally & Volstead, I linked a Volstead effect to to the 2001 financial services act. However, it’s important to remember that in terms of the economic world – given their brevity – such posts should always require further analysis, as any inferences drawn may be invalid. The post is always a micro-view taken in the context of a macro-view (to mimic the micro/macro economists take)! 😉
The Volstead effect is really The law of unintended consequences. Often cited but rarely defined.
‘The law of unintended consequences‘, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended. Economists and other social scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have largely ignored it.