the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

About this blog

There’s been a suggestion that I provide a bit of background about my perspective and the purpose of this blog: the “why” for all the “what” posted here.

The short answer is that there are a number of broadly shared economic, environmental and social objectives that seem to be difficult to achieve locally: affordable housing, an improved economic environment for locally owned small businesses and protection of our rural quality of life come to mind.

In my somewhat intermittent effort to understand why this is so, I come across various bits of analysis, opinion and data. When I find something that seems interesting or relevant I post it here. If I have the time and/or the inclination I make a few comments here and there about my reaction to the item or why the item may be of interest, at least to me.

In a somewhat longer version, it also seems that many of the justifications for local policy decisions that we must endure appear to be based on a level of analysis that can be found in an average high school essay. If the analysis is primarily meant to facilitate an unspoken or hidden economic or cultural agenda then this level of analysis may be quite adequate, even fruitful.

If, however we actually intend to meet at least some of our more broadly shared objectives then I believe it will be helpful to develop a somewhat more sophisticated awareness and analysis of the issues we are facing. We may then, with due diligence and a healthy dose of good fortune, develop plans to achieve shared objectives that have some chance of success. Our best plans could still be overcome by events beyond our control, but we will have made an effort.

I hope that many of the posts and links on this blog actually do touch on the issues, forces and dynamics that make achieving shared objectives difficult if not impossible.

As far as specific strategies that we should pursue I have to say that I’m not sure. At some point I’ll try to post some links to concepts, tools and policy recommendations that I have found interesting.

I reserve the right to be ideologically inconsistent in my suggestions and my reactions. If you decide to comment in this blog, I offer the same right to you. I do however hope that your comments will reflect a creative impulse directed more towards understanding the mechanics and specifics of a given issue or solution than a penchant for attacking a perceived individual adversary or advancing a priori conclusions.

Attitude, humor, passion and half-baked thoughts are allowed. Modifications and even retractions of previous statements and positions are encouraged.




5 Responses to “About this blog”

  1. Ed Hamilton said

    Hello ecoshift,
    In our USA, real asset price histories, e.g.
    are kept well-away from the people’s attention, because such truth is ‘bad for business’.
    It is clear that we the people do a lot of counting of air in asset prices as national wealth, which = nonsense.
    I claim relevance to other stuff (e.g., eco___) in our one man/one vote democracy: I am long convinced that it weakens the country and it weakens the free world when people have their heads up their fuming darknesses.


  2. Mary S. Anderson said

    I appreciate your website and visit it regulary since I discovered it through Eric Kirk’s SoHum Parlance blog. I too am trying to get past the happy talk economic reporting to what’s really going on. Thanks for all you do.

  3. ecoshift said


    It hasn’t taken too long for the happy talk to shift to demands for a financial bailout and rate cuts to maintain both investor positions and housing prices. Proposals for various supports are emerging. I have to ask myself: are homeowners really better off struggling for 30 years to pay off an overpriced house purchased at the peak of an asset bubble, or are they better off to let go, rent for a few years and buy after the current difficulties have played out. After all is said and done offering supports to low equity owners who purchased or refinanced in the past five years is effectively a financial bailout for beneficiaries of the easy money bubble practices that have driven home prices out of reach for median income folks…

    Thanks for your comment…

  4. Idetrorce said

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  5. Swotoerermrem said

    He put his eye to the hole. He just managed to spy some people sitting in deckchairs chanting, before a finger came out of nowhere and poked him in the eye. As he staggered back, the people started chanting, “Fourteen, fourteen, fourteen…”

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