Saturday, December 8, 2012

Superfluous Statistics Used to Manage Our Country's Wellbeing Are Largely Irrelevant

commentary by Roger Erickson

A comment from reader "OldWizard" at SeekingAlpha raises a bit of hope. OldWizard is confused by all the superfluous metrics used to excuse politically-driven policies, and instead goes straight to core inflation as a useful management variable. He's right, even if still a bit confused about other metrics, issues and policies. Overuse of uperfluous, distracting metrics causes more harm than good to any organization.  If we did completely re-set our group-management metrics, here's what I'd suggest at least considering.

First, defining a useful term: RoC = return-on-coordination.

RoC ==> fiat (aka, public initiative)
fiat ==> fiat currency
fiat currency ==> liquidity notation
liquidity notation ==> conclusion that industrious, thinking "people" can organize any productive transaction-chains (aka, logistics) that they want.

Unlimited liquidity? ==> an agile electorate can achieve any goals it sets for itself.

Ergo, all the USA lacks is setting goals big enough to absorb our expanding capabilities.

With those metrics in mind, everything else reduces to simply avoiding hyper-inflation or hyper-deflation, which, historically, isn't that hard.

In simple terms, success tracks the quality (including tempo) of distributed decision-making (ask the USMC).

Distributed decision-making requires distributed liquidity.

Distributed liquidity requires adequately distributed "currency income" and "currency savings" AND adequately distributed education and training, PLUS ... constant group practice at setting, orienting and moblizing to achieve national goals.

In short, we have to let our electorate consume what they're capable of producing (plus whatever others are willing to send us). We've known that forever. It's implicit in small groups, but gets lost as rapid population growth and diversification further dissociates the citizens in a supra-tribal nation state.

Most of the confusion stems from conflating the static buying power of hoarded fiat currency vs pursuing the dynamic production power of increasing return-on-coordination. The latter always dwarfs the former, but we never seem to trust our own historical record.

Reality is that there's nothing we hoard today that has much relevance 50 years later. Invest in your kids, like we've always done, then get out of their way fast enough to not do them any harm by constraining their future options - which are beyond our current imagination.

Austerity? That's just starving the kids & grandkids, so we can sit on our butts more comfortably. That's not how to win an Adaptive Rate race.

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