We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day (year?)

The main problem with monetary policy today is that there is such a thing as monetary policy.

- This is buried deep in a not very recent (December 11th) blog posting by Detlev Schlichter (recycled at the Cobden Centre a day later).  But it deserves pride of place here as our first quote of the day of 2013.  It is the second sentence of the paragraph just above where it says: “If only the euro was golden!”

In far too many matters, when you look at Anything and what is going wrong with Anything, you find that the main problem with Anything policy today is that there is such a thing as Anything policy.

5 comments to Samizdata quote of the day (year?)

  • I’m not really convinced that this is the cause of all our problems, in truth. The problem is the size of government, which is now swallowing everything else. Monetary policy has certainly been a tool in their being able to do that, but is it the cause? I rather doubt it. Successive governments have come to power after telling them that they would be Father Christmas when elected, and they have found every possible way to try to do this. I think this would have likely happened even if they did not control the money supply. To control the money supply is to control one more possible form of taxation, but they already controlled all the others.

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    The quote as written doesn’t actually disagree with you (Michael J). It merely says that the main problem with monetary – as opposed to all – policy is that it is a “policy”, i.e. deranged by politicians. It doesn’t claim that monetary policy is the root cause of everything that has gone wrong. But monetary policy has contributed a hell of a lot, as I think you would agree.

    It has certainly made state economic manipulation less obvious than it would otherwise have been. Surely, with regard to the current mess, the alarm bells would have rung louder, sooner.

  • Laird

    You could get a fine QOTD candidate for every day of the year from Detlev’s site. But I agree that this one is a particularly fine example.

  • RRS

    We are again indebted to Detlev Schlichter for this disambiguation of – Policy.

    A definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 10th Edition (1993)

    That expands upon the very minimal definitions in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Fifth Edition (1936)
    [the erstwhile companion of first university days].

    Thus, with him, we recognize that most “policy” consists of selections made by some, based on their perceptions of given conditions (when we are lucky) to determine the present and future decisions and actions by others (such as ourselves, who have no participation in the selection, perception of conditions and acceptance of the determination of decisions and actions).

  • veryretired

    The primitive urge to DO SOMETHING is one of the basic problems in our lives. Combine it with a swindle of hungry lawyers elected to public office and you’ve got real trouble.