Friday 2013-12-27

Neil Wallace has a couple interesting quotes in recent interviews worth mulling over during the holidays.

Wallace: Well, you asked me earlier how I introduced money to undergraduates, and there I talk about an Israeli kibbutz where there’s no money. The vision of that is a small community, which makes it easy for us to remember. But the idea of remembering actions, well, it doesn’t have to be a small community. It’s an abstract idea and, with the technology we now have, a lot can be remembered.

Region: Too much?

Wallace: It may be too much. But the idea of a cashless economy, both in theory and in those examples of an isolated Amish community or an Israeli kibbutz, shouldn’t trouble us. We know about that already, in some sense. And maybe we’re headed that way. And so, what is left for central banking in that kind of world?
-- Minneapolis Fed "The Region"
Michele Boldrin and David Levine have been working on a big endeavor for a number of years. They advocate that we eliminate patents. I really applaud them for taking up this issue. We've had studies going way back which suggest that most of growth is attributable to innovation as opposed to changes in inputs of labor and capital. So you'd think that finding would lead people to turn to the question: How does a society organize to achieve innovation?
-- FRB Chicago Interview

The referenced Boldrin-Levine paper is The Case Against Patents.