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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:53 am 
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The main economic problem I see is that if you join much of the world together into a great big country, then you give up the ability to have different economic policies in different countries. Say there's a recession in Japan but a boom in the US - as two separate countries, they'd have separate countries, and their governments could respond to their economic conditions in different ways. In Japan the government would be lowering interest rates to encourage businesses to take out loans, and in the US the government would probably be doing the opposite to stop inflation spiralling out of control.

Merge the governments, and you give this up. If there's a recession in Michigan but a boom in Florida, tough luck. All people can do is move from where the jobs aren't to where the jobs are. So if you wanted to merge a whole lot of countries together, be prepared to legalize migration on a massive scale. And well, there's a lot of people who'd get their knickers in a twist over that.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:02 am 
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Only if you standardize the money. "States" could still print their own money and have control over their own economies that way.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:10 am 
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They'd all have to have their own national banks/federal reserves/Ben Bernankes. And quite possibly their own separate budgets. In my view that would make it so decentralized it would hardly deserve to be called a single country at all.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:20 am 
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Perhaps each could have a fair/equal share of the overall coffers, and the ability to do with it what they wished, within reason?

Any world government has to have a lot of decentralization if it's going to be anything approaching stable.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:32 am 
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Why should the government taken an active role in economic policy, anyway? Government action can affect the economy, in both the short and long runs, but there is little evidence that government action is fast enough, either in implementation or realization of the effects, to actually counteract an economic downturn, or moderate an economic upswing. It may well be a better idea just to let the business cycle run its course. A world government, with its wide variety of economies, would almost necessitate that sort of monetary policy, which may in fact be a good thing.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:48 am 
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Amen.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:37 am 
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Grillick wrote:
A world government, with its wide variety of economies, would almost necessitate that sort of monetary policy, which may in fact be a good thing.

He is Nwabudike Morgan, and he approves this message.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:57 am 
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Lady Skye objects to your capitalistic, environmentally destructive way of life and will scour your kind from the face of this world! :torg:

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Grillick wrote:
Why should the government taken an active role in economic policy, anyway? Government action can affect the economy, in both the short and long runs, but there is little evidence that government action is fast enough, either in implementation or realization of the effects, to actually counteract an economic downturn, or moderate an economic upswing. It may well be a better idea just to let the business cycle run its course. A world government, with its wide variety of economies, would almost necessitate that sort of monetary policy, which may in fact be a good thing.


I think the New Deal puts a small hole in your argument that the government can't do anything quickly. Unless by "quickly" you mean on the order of only a few years, and by "counteract" you mean "completely turn around". But it's obvious that the government can start a turnaround on its own.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:54 pm 
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This thread is smelling like economics and politics.... and that makes my nose hurt.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Grillick wrote:
Why should the government taken an active role in economic policy, anyway? Government action can affect the economy, in both the short and long runs, but there is little evidence that government action is fast enough, either in implementation or realization of the effects, to actually counteract an economic downturn, or moderate an economic upswing. It may well be a better idea just to let the business cycle run its course. A world government, with its wide variety of economies, would almost necessitate that sort of monetary policy, which may in fact be a good thing.


Isn't there solid evidence that the business cycle has, through government action, been successfully mediated into downturns and upswings instead of depressions of the Great variety? I mean, we have to have been doing something right for the past 70 years or so.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:41 pm 
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vampirebunbun wrote:
I think the New Deal puts a small hole in your argument that the government can't do anything quickly. Unless by "quickly" you mean on the order of only a few years, and by "counteract" you mean "completely turn around". But it's obvious that the government can start a turnaround on its own.

I think he means that by the time the government actually starts spending that money, the economy will have already began an upswing. As in the GAO estimates that maybe 10% of the money earmarked to stimulate the economy could, at best, be spent this year because of government bureaucracy in procurement, etc, etc. At best. Which means all the money that's meant to "stimulate" the economy has actually been taken out of circulation.

Malice wrote:
Isn't there solid evidence that the business cycle has, through government action, been successfully mediated into downturns and upswings instead of depressions of the Great variety? I mean, we have to have been doing something right for the past 70 years or so.

You mean as opposed to the solid evidence that the government action of the New Deal is what caused the depression to become Great? Instead of just tapering off as a garden variety recession?

Every dollar the government spends is a dollar taken out of private spending. There's never any more money than the GDP of a country for it to spend - from that point of view, the books always balance.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:44 pm 
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OldCrow wrote:
Malice wrote:
Isn't there solid evidence that the business cycle has, through government action, been successfully mediated into downturns and upswings instead of depressions of the Great variety? I mean, we have to have been doing something right for the past 70 years or so.

You mean as opposed to the solid evidence that the government action of the New Deal is what caused the depression to become Great? Instead of just tapering off as a garden variety recession?


That's also evidence in my favor. We're talking about the ability of the government to affect the economy; the likelihood of them using that tool correctly has no bearing on that tool's efficacy. Stands to reason that if the government hurt the economy by a certain set of actions, an opposite or different set of actions would have helped.

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Every dollar the government spends is a dollar taken out of private spending. There's never any more money than the GDP of a country for it to spend - from that point of view, the books always balance.


I have no idea what you're talking about.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:00 pm 
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A dollar spent on food stamps puts about $1.93 into the economy. A dollar spent on infrastructure puts in about $1.75.

This stuff about government spending taking away from private spending is nonsense. Governments employ people, putting money into the economy. They also buy goods and services from non-governmental sources, putting more money into the economy. Government spending good for the economy. Full stop.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:11 pm 
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FreakyBoy wrote:
Government spending good for the economy. Full stop.


Really, Spending is good for the economy, Period, regardless of it's original owner.

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