Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Year's Resolution

Last year my New Year's Resolution was to change a strongly held personal belief. I definitely changed my mind about quite a few things, but one stands out as truly qualifying: I changed my belief about the direction and implications of Federal Reserve policy. Basically, I adopted Scott Sumner's view that The Fed has been too tight in monetary policy, despite the phenomenal explosion in base money, reversing my previous view that The Fed was recklessly expanding the money supply with an accommodative policy that was creating an imminent threat of significant inflation. As a corollary to this change came an understanding that this tight-money Fed action was a significant contributor to the financial crisis and recession and slow recovery.

My thinking in choosing this resolution is my belief that we all tend to error in not changing our minds enough, not challenging the beliefs we hold, and not being open minded in general. This is the major contribution of Freakonomics to the human race. We need to do more self-critical thinking. Much of what we believe is to some degree factually wrong or weakly understood often to the point of being shallow drivel.

To continue and expand the progress, my New Year's Resolution for 2013 is to either 1. Change or significantly modify a strongly held personal belief or 2. Find a completely new and significant rationale in support of a strongly held personal belief. 1 is preferable to 2, but having both keeps me searching and thinking more.

On a blog-specific note, I seek to expand upon my Nov. 10, 2012 declared intention of referencing a movie in every blog post. I will expand the allusions to books, television, and other art forms. Coming up with just movie references was stretching my Swiss-cheese brain to its limits. These leaps are getting harder.