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David Peterson
Works at CompStak
Attended Dartmouth College
Lives in New York City, NY
598 followers|11,879 views
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David Peterson

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The Debt Double Standard.

James Surowiecki gets at a deeper problem, I think - the every day American does not understand that being "in debt" is not necessarily a bad thing. Debt is useful. A company uses debt to finance its operations. Individuals can, and should, act the same way.
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As a counterpoint, I think that even if it were highly stigmatized for companies to declare strategic bankruptcy they would continue to do it. Because companies are generally driven by financial issues rather than morals ones. Once this became a common occurrence it would no longer be taboo.

in fact, this is probably what happened for corporations to shed that stigma. Sometimes having a conscience sucks.
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David Peterson

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Yes. A thousand times, yes.
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This is exactly right. Now if only Washington would listen to him.
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Remember that woman who was hit by a car because she followed Google Maps walking directions onto a highway....and then sued Google?

The case has been resolved in Google's favor. Who would have guessed!

But what's fascinating to me is the mechanism by which the case was resolved. Basically, Rosenberg (the woman) claimed that Google was negligent. The court ruled, however, that in part because Google is a "publisher" and is making this information widely available, it had no obligation to Rosenberg in particular and thus was not culpable.

(If you found that above paragraph at all interesting, you should definitely click on the link below.)
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This article by David Leonhardt today is, without a doubt, one of the most sane things I have read in a long, long time. Money quote:

"....The place where economic knowledge gets murkier is how to best deal with many of our biggest problems.

We cannot know, for example, what would happen if the government raised taxes to cut the deficit. A moderate increase seems unlikely to do much damage to economic growth, given that the increases by George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton did not prevent the 1990s boom — and that George W. Bush’s tax cuts were followed by mediocre growth. All things equal, though, tax increases do not lift growth.

Likewise, we do not know precisely how to regulate Wall Street so that it will remain the global financial capital without also being a drain on our national resources. We do not know whether the most promising attack on climate change involves a carbon tax or more money for clean energy research. We don’t know how much medical costs would fall if people had to pay more out of pocket, as conservatives advocate, or how much costs would fall if Medicare tried to crack down on dubious care, as the Obama administration prefers.

The real problem with so many of these issues is that the political system is not even trying to find solutions."
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Rare semi-sanity from the right:

"I think the Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people's bedrooms and let these things get decided by states. We'd be a much more successful political party if we stuck to our economic, conservative roots."

-Rudy Giuliani
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David Peterson

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"The annual earnings of people like me are hundreds, if not thousands, of times greater than those of the average American, but we don’t buy hundreds or thousands of times more stuff. My family owns three cars, not 3,000. I buy a few pairs of pants and a few shirts a year, just like most American men. Like everyone else, I go out to eat with friends and family only occasionally."

VC Nick Hanauer gets it. Great article. Worth a read.
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Straight talk from Matt Yglesias. Disasters do happen. Playing chicken when the AAA credit rating of the United States is at stake is childish and irresponsible.
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My respect for Steve Coogan just skyrocketed.
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While the spirit of this article is right on (rational debate is important etc.), the opening is ridiculous, and points to a larger problem in contemporary American politics:

"Reduced to the absurd.

Ideologues on both sides of the philosophical divide fall dangerously into this trap.

Conservatives who believe that government does not need to exist are every bit as wrong as liberals who believe that the private market must be completely controlled by the government.

The truth is not somewhere in the middle. It is exactly in the middle."

Excuse me, but by definition, a person who believes "that the private market must be completely controlled by the government" is not a liberal. That person is a socialist. There are very few socialists in the public sphere.

In truth, both liberals and conservatives believe that the government should have a regulatory role in the private market. The debate we should be having is what that regulatory role should be. False dichotomies, like the one above, only serve to limit the productivity of that debate.
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Have him in circles
598 people
Ritu Krishna's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Expansion Hacker
Employment
  • CompStak
    Expansion Hacker, present
  • Google
    Account Manager, 2010 - 2013
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
New York City, NY
Previously
Delmar, NY - Hanover, NH - London, UK - Lucknow, India - Boston, MA
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Gadget nerd, Flannel fanatic, Craft beer enthusiast
Education
  • Dartmouth College
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In a relationship