The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Somebody got to Kenneth Rogoff

Kenneth Rogoff co-wrote the classic study on government debt and mismanagement, This Time Is Different. Now, he is supporting government control over every dollar: The Curse of Cash. It's almost like the authors were two different people: one author sees governments as run by all-too-human agents, the newer author assumes they are wise mandarins who can run an entire economy from above without a hitch, indefinitely. A better title for the latter might be, "This Time I Mean It".

Rogoffistan will allow for the issuance of debit cards for existing - excuse me, for the poor. And it will hamper the underground economy.

Let me remind Rogoff's potential audience of the obvious: all he has done is force the underground cash economy to the blockchain. There it will be in competition with any non-cash economy. To stamp that out, his proposal assumes a pan-national government with an invasive spy network. And the regime will still cost so much (although there was plenty of money...) that the good currencies will outperform its currency.

I have too much respect for Rogoff - and for his publisher - to assume he's gone senile. Besides, I smell propaganda technique here. Rogoff's proposal is like proposals for state-driven health insurance which argue from sob-stories on people who cannot afford the doctor. In this case we can all concede that drugs and prostitution are bad mmkay, just like liver cancer. But removing cash isn't going to stop the social problems. Nor even slow them: to the extent the customers for blunts and 'hos are escaping low-impact and meaningless lives, the FREE DEBIT CARDS are just going to generate more customers. So Rogoff is trying to fool us.

Since Rogoff is now a shill, someone is paying him to do it. He has been bought. By whom?

posted by Zimri on 10:30 | link | 0 comments

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