There are so many angles on this.
I think Prechter is making the better case because he is taking into consideration more of reality. Unfortunately, to explain things clearly, laying out the arguments and counter-arguments requires multiple book length treatise that few would ever read. Our ability to process complexity is limited so we prefer simple answers and simple models. But alas, the economic world is not a simple linear predictable beast. It is a non-linear, non-equilibrium, path dependent, complex interaction of systems and sub-systems.
If anyone asks, I push the path dependent idea first. People seem to understand that we will get a different result if we raise taxes in 2011 rather than leave them at current rates. If they are more economically inclined, they will understand that Europe moving to a tighter monetary union and sharing the pain is very different than breaking up the EU/EMU.
If they are still listening, I try to lay out some cases where the expected simplistic story didn't occur. For example, in 2008 we heard that oil going over $140/bbl was a sign of runaway inflation or Peak Oil. And yet a few months later oil traded to the $30s. Similarly, you will hear that "A central bank in a country with debt denominated in their own currency can force as much inflation as they want." And yet Japan has gone about 20 years in some form of economic stagnation. Apparently, there are more forces at work than mentioned in the simplistic story.
At that point the discussion is either about human nature, the limits of Capitalism, or "should I buy gold?"
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Guest Post From Llano Llama
Was posted in the comments by Llano Llama and I agree so much with it that I thought I would make it its own post. Thanks