Will 21st Century USA have a surprise boom, as did the 19th Century UK?

Summary:  Today we have an essay by Andrew Odlyzko, one of the top polymaths and futurists writing today. He reminds us of the difficulty in accurately predicting the future, and the peril of relying on past successes to solve our problems. The industrial revolution relieved the UK's crushing debt in the 19th century. As the post-WW2 … Continue reading Will 21st Century USA have a surprise boom, as did the 19th Century UK?

American Exceptionalism gives us a faith-based public policy. Our confidence might be our weakness.

Summary: We have come to believe we are exceptional, not just morally, but also operationally. We act as if we are beyond the need to plan and prepare for possible problems. It is faith-based public policy. Here we review how we came by this delusional belief, and examine how it plays out on a potentially … Continue reading American Exceptionalism gives us a faith-based public policy. Our confidence might be our weakness.

Mechanics and consequences of America hitting the debt ceiling

Summary: The debt crisis deserves attention not just as a potentially serious event, but also because it illuminates many aspects of America: the flaws in our political structure, weaknesses in the GOP, and our excessively credulity. This post, the sixth in this series, looks at the crisis, and why we have difficulty seeing it clearly. Contents … Continue reading Mechanics and consequences of America hitting the debt ceiling

Minting a trillion dollar platinum coin: the easy fake solution, so we can avoid fixing our problems

Summary:  The current crisis is one of governance: how our leaders work together combine with structural flaws to produce bad outcomes. Today we look at this from a legal perspective, which describes both the problem and an easy solution. Such situations show a society its problems, and provide the pressure for successful societies to fix them. … Continue reading Minting a trillion dollar platinum coin: the easy fake solution, so we can avoid fixing our problems