Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Why we cannot be slave to the economy
Crazy opinion piece here in Reuters suggesting that the fastest way to revive "the economy" is to legalize drugs and tax them. There is probably little doubt that this would "work" in a sense. But it is equally obvious that it cannot be done without forever transforming that "economy" into something very different to what it was before. This example highlights the obvious, but often forgotten fact that economies should not be judged purely on dollars and whether it is in overall growth or contraction as financial economists would have us believe. The lesson is especially important in times like these when our economies are contracting. If governments must experiment with fiscal stimulus, then at least do it in ways that will improve quality of life in real tangible ways rather than just trying to push the lever of growth over substance. If you have followed this blog, you will know what we mean by that - things like urban redevelopment into walkable safe car-free communities, better train systems, mass transit, Velib type programs and the like.
at 2:51 pm