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1 hour ago, Boydstun said:

David Brooks

From Brooks' article: "I’m worried about a world in which we spend borrowed money with abandon. The skeptical headline on the final preretirement column of the great Washington Post economics columnist Steven Pearlstein resonated with me: 'In Democrats’ progressive paradise, borrowing is free, spending pays for itself and interest rates never rise.'”

I guess that Brooks believes this is not limited to Democrats. Many Republicans -- Donald Trump for sure -- believe likewise even if what they regard as "progressive" differs.

This prompts some speculation about future interest rates on U.S. federal government securities. Traditionally U.S. federal government securities have been the primary source of collateral for financial derivatives (futures, swaps, options), many loans, and required margin for investment accounts. Their use as collateral has thus upped the supply and demand for U.S. federal government securities. Something that began recently is use of Bitcoin for collateral (link). The extent of that now is very small. However, if it grows significantly, it will lessen the supply and demand for U.S. federal government securities.  I suspect that will lead to an increase in interest rates on U.S. federal government securities.  Like I wrote in my blog article: "Of course, reaching 3% or 4% instead of the current 1% implies the federal government's interest payments would triple or quadruple, and this would put pressure on other federal government spending."

Edited by merjet
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On 4/12/2021 at 8:19 AM, merjet said:

From this SEP article on Dewey's political philosophy, it looks like Goldberg was only speculating concerning historical connection---whether "drawing on" or "reflecting"---between John Dewey and the New Deal. Dewey was a critic of it from the Left at the time. However well Dewey's New Liberalism may have meshed with the New Deal, I've come across no evidence that FDR was influenced by John Dewey's philosophic thought specifically.

Here are some excerpts from the SEP article:

“Dewey was a critic of laissez-faire liberalism and its accompanying individualistic view of society from his early writings. This criticism was amplified during the Depression, where he expressed a form of liberal and democratic socialism in writings such as Individualism, Old and New (1930), Liberalism and Social Action (1935), and Freedom and Culture (1939).”

“He was a prominent critic from the left of Roosevelt’s New Deal while at the same time opposing Soviet communism and its western apologists.”

“For Dewey the scope of legitimate social and political action had to be determined experimentally: laissez-faire should not be assumed to be the default position for a liberal, according to Dewey, since what he called intelligent social control or social action (rather, it should be noted, than state control) is often a requirement of positive liberty or individuality, in modern industrial conditions. Unsurprisingly, this drew a hostile reception from advocates of a negative concept of liberty such as F. A. Hayek. The identification of freedom with individuality in Dewey’s sense allows the necessary means for achieving individuality to be understood as necessary conditions of freedom.”

“It is worth emphasizing the liberal and democratic character of Dewey’s conception of social action. Individuality as an ethical ideal requires that individuals find their own way, and not have particular doctrines or social roles imposed on them. Dewey doesn’t think that the liberal rights protected in the name of individual liberty (such as freedoms of speech, thought, movement, and so on) should be dispensed with. Furthermore, viewing liberty through the prism of individuality only opens up the possibility of political action in the name of liberty, but it does not itself require it. Finally, and in contrast to technocratic critics of laissez-faire such as Walter Lippmann, Dewey argues that an extensive form of democracy is essential for social action, and he vests little faith in experts.”

From a paper by Richard Posner:

“Dewey dubbed his approach “experimentalism,” and the word aptly conveys the tenor of his thought. He commended the temperament that, impatient with convention and the accustomed ways of doing things—the sediment of habit—insists on trying now this, now that, in a creatively restless search for better means. The search yields, as a byproduct, better ends as well. As Dewey explained under the rubric of “interactionism,” our beliefs are a product not of pure thought but of the interplay of thought and action. When (to take a post-Deweyan example) airlines were deregulated, consumers did not “know” what kind of airline service they wanted; they learned what they wanted by experience with the various new services that the airlines, freed from the dead hand of regulation, offered. A central planner could not have designed the optimal configuration of a deregulated airline industry; the essential information concerning consumer demands simply did not exist before the deregulated services were offered, just as the person who took up ballet to improve posture could not know beforehand that the pleasure of ballet would become an end in itself.

“If experts do not have the lock on knowledge that Plato thought they had, the epistemic basis for authoritarian rule by philosophers (or theologians, or Marxists, or other utopian social engineers) is removed. Similarly, any basis for the censorship of moral and political ideas on the grounds that they are false disappears along with any legitimating argument for a fixed and durable political hierarchy.”

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