Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Stupid is as Alan does

Stupidest phrase spotted in the wild today from an economics commentator is, sadly, by one of the most read.

“America . . . remains the world’s consumption engine. . . .”

An engine of consumption!  That’s like saying we fill our petrol with cylinder heads. That eating ice cream fills our fridge. As if it’s consumption that drives economieswhich you'd think we'd know by now isn’t true – and all we need to do is find the sparkplugs and we’ll be off again. 

Fortunately, he redeems himself by some great links, including David Haywood’s fall-on-the-floor hilarious short stories ‘about’ Alan Bollard and his Reserve Bank.  Perhaps you remember ‘In Canberra with Alan’ – Hunter S. Thompson with The Bollard, armed and dangerous in Canberra?


  1. Financial Journalist28 Oct 2009, 15:47:00

    I think the reason he made that stupid commentary is because he doesn't read your blog. He reads other nonsense stuff which doesn't educate him enough about economics.

  2. Most read by whom?

    Hickey is regarded as a joke by serious investors and bankers alike. He is something akin to Bruce Sheppard. I suspect only his commenters take him seriously.

    I don't know why you let these 'economic commentators' upset you PC. They're rubbish.

  3. Communist Russia was a production-driven economy.

  4. Yeah, the USSR was so production driven that it went from exporting grain to importing grain. Get a clue Monsieur.

  5. @ Sean: I wasn't saying the plan worked

  6. And I wouldn't call wishing in the face of economic realities a "plan". You have blandly asserted that it was a production based economy. Please detail in what sense, the USSR was a production economy?

  7. "Please detail in what sense, the USSR was a production economy?"
    In the sense that it wasn't at all consumer-driven. Why has China's current boost in production been successful? What was driving it? Deng Xiaoping or the US consumer.

  8. Sure the USSR wasn't consumer driven. But that doesn't make it production driven. It could still be consumption driven (ie consider the massive speding on Arms). Please specify exactly what made it, in your view, an economy based on production.

  9. The USSR used to make stuff. The trouble is that it had no mechanism to figure out what people wanted.

  10. The USSR used to make stuff. True. But it made much unproductive consumption items such as Arms and government white elephants. Not to mention all the active destruction of the productive base. Killing their people, confiscating property, slave labour etc. The lack of price signals is bad news for finding out consumer desires, but it is equally bad news for the productive prosess. How can producers form meaningful supply networks with each other without the use of price signals? I don't see how anyone could claim that amounts to a productive-driven economy. It is an economy built on death and destruction and that is exactly what it achieved.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.