Saturday, April 04, 2020

Printed money might help make us whole again after economy takes a rest.

What's considered good for the economy is often not good for people's health. Looks like our economy is needing to learn how to be put partially on hold to protect our health. Lots of money is being lost, but money is just money. We've worshiped it like a god, but it's basically just a number system. Today, it's not heavy coins in a wheelbarrow, but just weightless numbers and decimal points on computers.

More importantly, besides our health, are the assets that we also consider part of our economy. Assets like the knowledge we gain, such as science. Assets such as our buildings, infrastructure and equipment. Things like airplanes and houses are assets. If they can be preserved, along with human lives, we haven't really lost that much.

These assets may be worth a lot less, in terms of dollars, but if maintained, the assets still exist. Stocks, real estate values and other things may drop in price, but the assets still exist. From what I hear, some airlines are mothballing planes temporarily in the deserts of southern California so, I guess, they are less likely to rust.

Dollars have disappeared as people and businesses, who are no longer working, can no longer pay the rent; so to speak. Rent and overhead has been extremely high and hard for most folks to keep up with anyway.

We could be headed for some deflation which also means lower prices for many things, but it's likely that the Federal Reserve is just printing more money so some of these dollar values can be maintained. For instance new housing construction could go bankrupt if people couldn't afford rent, but if printed money can prop up things like expanded sick leave and expanded rent subsidies, even values of assets, as measured in money, can be maintained. The stock market, for instance, could go back up in not too long of a time. I do think many of these assets were priced too high, before this virus situation, anyway. Propped up with low interest rates and printed dollars.

To some extent, keeping up with these high dollar amounts, high rents, high overheads and so forth has been stressful for workers. It's been bad for our health.

In the long run, I'd like to see economics relax, a bit. Less concern about pure money. That would be a step forward for our health and also a better mindset for tackling the long term problem of climate change.

That's my outside the box economic thought. Maybe it's not orthodoxy. I've taken few economics classes, but I do hear a lot of people starting to think more this way. Economists on NPR and so forth.

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