Several times we have pointed to Adam Smith's discussion in The Wealth of Nations of the "juggling tricks" that governments world-wide engage in to appear to pay their bills. The "trick" involves the endless cycle of deficits, debt, and debasement. Smith argued that rather than engage in the "juggling trick", the least dishonorable and least harmful thing to do would be for the government in question to explicitly declare bankruptcy. But if the ability to juggle is at their disposal, political decision makers will continue in their tricks.
So if you want the juggling tricks to stop, then you have two means at your disposal --- take away the balls (or other objects), or cut off the jugglers arms. This is the only way to stop the juggling tricks.
The relevance of Smith's discussion for our current woes both domestically and throughout the world should be obvious. It is guiding my current reading and writing.
So here is a question for CP readers. What are you reading this summer to better understand our current situation?
On my I-PAD Kindle reader at the moment are two books that deal with our current situation:
Both books are really outstanding --- well written and tackling serious issues, that both in their own way remind me on every page of the message one reads at the end of Mises's Human Action -- you can deny the teachings of economics, but only at the risk of society and the human race. The stakes are actually quite high.
What do you think is the connection between the two books?
HINT: Listen carefully to Cowen's podcast with Russ Roberts on the book, and especially his discussion of what he considers the strange reaction to his book by free market economists.