A bad idea

Here's what NOT to do when remembering 9/11 (link):

A small evangelical Christian group in the southeastern U.S. state of Florida on Saturday plans to burn Korans as a protest against violent Islamic extremists. The day marks the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.

I should probably steal a propaganda line from those 'against the ground-zero mosque' and ask hypothetically whether just because this is within their constitutional rights whether it's a good idea.  Instead, I'm just going to call this a bad idea.  A really bad idea.  I'd throw the word stupid into the mix, but I'm trying to keep my kids from using that word.

I changed my mind.  This is a stupid idea that is within their constitutional rights.  Go ahead and have your crazy book burning, but do expect me to call you an idiot.

Coming soon...

I'd say I'm behind, but I'm not really sure what it means to be 'caught-up' with a personal blog.

Labor weekend came and I mostly put down the keyboard.  But...  I do have a ton of twitter links and expect to make a blog entry with far too many links.  Over the past month, I've been posting links chronologically, but I'm thinking of adding something like a top three/five links concept.  I like the way the link-post consolidates the 'good stuff' I find on the web, but fear the posts may overwhelming because they include too many items. Thoughts on how to make link posts more interesting/useful are welcome.

Note: I also finished Andrew Sullivan's book and need to post my thoughts.  Plus, I think I'm far enough into Red Faction to post my thoughts on the game.  If work doesn't interfere too much with my personal life, then this has the potential to be a heavy posting week (But don't hold your breath).

Happy 'Back to School' , 'End of Summer', 'Nearly Fall' !!!

Best economic piece I've read all summer...

Here is Karl Smith with his Blog piece Rome is Burning:

We have very low capacity utilization (75%) and very high unemployment (10%).

That is, we have factories sitting idle for lack of workers – low capacity utilization. At the same time we have workers sitting idle for lack of factories – high unemployment.

There are machines waiting to be worked and people waiting to work them but they are not getting together.

The labor market is failing to clear.

This is a fucking disaster.

Excuse my language, but you have to get that this is a big deal. This is not a big deal like the GOP doesn’t appreciate public goods. Or, Democrats don’t understand incentives. Or some other such second order debate that could reasonably concern us in different times.

This is a failure of our basic institutions of production. The job of the market is to bring together willing buyers with willing sellers in order to produce value. This is not happening and as a result literally trillions of dollars in value are not being produced.

Let me say that again because I think it fails to sink in – literally trillions of dollars in value are not being produced. Not misallocated. Not spent on programs you don’t approve of or distributed in tax cuts you don’t like. Trillions of dollars in value are not produced at all. Gone from the world entirely. Never to be had, by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Pure unadulterated loss.

Time and time again I see people speak about recessions as if they are a bad harvest – an unfortunate event wherein we have to figure out how to go with less. Some say we should all sacrifice – some say the sacrifice should be based on X or Y. Some say each family should take their lumps as they come.

However, they are all getting the basic idea wrong. This is not a bad harvest. The problem isn’t that there is less to go around. The problem is that we are creating less, building less, making less.

We have people who would be working but are instead watching Judge Judy. We have machines that could be spinning but are literally rusting for lack of use. This is a coordination disaster.

Great writing and insightful analysis.  There are few paragraphs I haven't clipped in and the charts in the blog posting tell the story very well.  Worth a click through.  Here's that link again.