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Robert Winner

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38 cities in the USA have filed for bankruptcy ... why

If we are recovering ... the economy is getting stronger ... less unemployment .... why have 38 US cities filed for bankruptcy .... why are many states on the verge of bankruptcy ... why are we the USA 17 trillion dollars in debit.?

The words do not match the facts ....

I am not an economist or a financial analyst ... what is the problem and what is the solution or is it to late.

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    Dec 8 2013: The problem is that 'economists' use the wrong analysis and equations.

    As Kenneth Boulding said, " Anyone who thinks exponential growth can go on forever is either a mad man or an economist".

    We have both at the helm and their failures will affect us all.

    The one silver lining, 'the closer one lives to the ground, the less one will fall'. It's going to get very rocky quickly now.... pay attention.
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        Dec 8 2013: Jason.... Like Kenneth said, you must be either a mad man or an economist. Which one is it....
        Seems your living in a bubble... break out and smell the pollution...And state which part of finite planet do you not understand? Meanwhile we add a billion mouths every 15 years or so.... It took until the early 1800's to reach the first Billion. In 1950 there was 3 Billion and now over 7 Billion. If that ain't a bubble dude, I'm not sure what it.....
    • Timo X

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      Dec 10 2013: What do you mean by wrong? Economists seek to understand market behaviour through mathematical modelling. Every such model is wrong, by definition, because models are simplifications of reality. That is, in fact, their purpose. A model that encompasses all of reality is as complex as the phenomenon that it seeks to model, and is therefore useless in the quest for understanding.

      You seem to have a problem with the idea of infinite exponential growth. There are two sides to this story: the theoretical, and the empirical. First, the theoretical. Exponential growth is an undeniable mathematical truth in certain well-defined problems. For example, the accumulation of interest is not just modelled as exponential growth, it is exponential growth. If you would leave your money at a bank for an infinite amount of time, the amount will grow exponentially for an infinite amount of time. You'd have a problem with a large body of mathematics if you deny this.

      In reality, of course, you could not leave your money at a bank for an infinite amount of time, and this is where the empirical side of the story comes in. I do not know of any economist who claims that any model of reality is completely accurate and valid for an eternity in the future. In other words, I don't think any economist is even claiming that exponential growth of empirical phenomena can go on forever, discrediting Kenneth Boulding.

      What economists do claim is that some empirical phenomena are best modelled as exponential growth, which is something quite different. For example, the growth of Brazilian GDP between 1920 and 1960 appears to grow exponentially.* If you'd try to predict the future on the basis of this graph, wouldn't you continue the same pattern that you have already seen? That is not believing that exponential growth continues indefinitely, that is making the best use of a limited amount of knowledge.

      * http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brazilian_GDP_growth_1920-1960.png
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        Dec 17 2013: Mr X
        Unchecked growth is called cancer in the medical and social models... Perhaps one day you will understand that.
        Think holistically and connect environmental, economic and social costs (liabilities or externalizations) and causes with subsequent effects and see if your world view doesn't get bigger.
        • Timo X

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          Dec 17 2013: Unchecked growth is not necessarily exponential, nor is exponential growth necessarily unchecked.
        • Dec 26 2013: Politicians do not want to know about confidence intervals. Economic extrapolations that include confidence intervals very soon reach "plus or minus a number so large it might as well be infinity". Politicians don't want that part. They just want the line in the middle. Anything else is sinfulness.
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      Dec 28 2013: Craig,
      The link below gives a wise view of the statement " Anyone who thinks exponential growth can go on forever is either a mad man or an economist".

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&feature=related

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