Re: Lyle's Laws

Peter C. McCluskey (
Wed, 8 Jan 1997 08:14:17 -0800 (Eliezer Yudkowsky) writes:
>The Federal Reserve, by contrast, tries to limit economic growth by
>imposing an artificial cap, raising interest rates above what they would
>be in the free market.

It isn't clear that the Fed is following such a policy. A policy
of correcting the inflation rate after it notices it has printed
too much or too little money to achieve the politically correct inflation
rate is virtually indistinguishable from a policy of targetting
a specific economic growth rate.

>> Capitalism has checks and balances which work almost perfectly in
>> the presence of perfect information, fail almost completely under
>> conditions of total ignorance. We operate under conditions which
>> are far from those extremes.
>An interesting point. I've often mused that government is thought
>necessary because people can't pay attention to everything at once. The
>FDA *prohibits* foods because people can't evaluate a host of
>independent food-raters and ensure that each is free from corruption.

Of course, the FDA suffers from similar attention problems. It pays
most attention to the problem that is most likely to attract voter
attention - people dying from bad drugs. This takes its attention
away from problems like people dying because they can't afford drugs
or because the tests the FDA mandates delay availability of drugs.

Peter McCluskey |                        | "Don't blame me. I voted | | for Kodos." - Homer Simpson |     |