This is Harper Darden's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Harper Darden's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Harper Darden
Recent Activity
This has been such an amazing semester from our engaging readings to our thoughtful discussions. It is so hard to choose just one biggest take away. I think that the most important idea that I took away from this class is that models are extremely helpful tools, but they are only models. The supply and demand curve is an incredible tool that can be applied to almost any economic situation. Just the other day in class we applied the FED pumping money into the economy to encourage some inflation during the recession to the supply and demand curve. While still upholding basic economic principles, the supply and demand curve simplifies the economy, including products, wages, jobs, and money, into one model to allow us to begin to tackle the beast that is our economy. Without it there would be no Economics. With all that being said, models are not the end all be all. Models do not account for poverty, inequality, systemic discriminations, ethics, or government intervention. Models cannot tell us what to do when our economy is wrecked by COVID-19. They cannot solve environmental issues and inequality. They cannot pass ethical public policy. Models are informative and helpful, but they are not law. This idea goes well with the phrase "it depends," because models can hold variables constant where life cannot, and ignore external forces that life cannot. This course has taught me a balance between models and real life. It has taught me to see and understands patterns, but warns me that patterns are not always the answer. This will help me be an informed voter and a good citizen, because I am prepared to call out the media and politicians for both ignoring models entirely and refusing to look beyond the model's simplicity. This course has truly expanded my critical thinking. Thank you so much for a great semester, both in person and online!
Toggle Commented Apr 22, 2020 on ECON 100 Final Exam at Jolly Green General
I agree with many of the points above and have a lot of the same questions. I think Bouie's article ties in well with the first New York Times article we read about the healthcare inequalities. If these communities have been receiving poor healthcare, only have access to unhealthy foods, and developing diseases that turn out to be pre-existing conditions, they will suffer more from COVID. That is devastating. Bouie also talked about how the nature of capitalism is inherently discriminatory because of the foundation it was built on. How do we as a country change that system to foster equality instead when that economic system is so woven into the fabric of American life? Where would we start? I also thought that him talking a lot about the New Deal was very interesting. News reporters and politicians talk about a New "New Deal" to help pull America out of the recession, and maybe that could be a good place to start enacting truly equitable policies. I think that Krugman's piece really speaks to the struggle between principle and reality. I think that principles could definitely cloud what is actually happening which, as we discussed in class, would explain the fear of rising debt. Hypothetically speaking, if to counterbalance the debt the interest rate sinks too low, would that ever discourage lenders from coming to the banks and lending money to small business and individuals?
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2020 on Econ 100: Last readings at Jolly Green General
Also going off of Christina's question about stocks: do you think that if more people invested in the stock market it could generally help minimize wealth gaps? We talked a little about trusting the stock market in class, but do you think that part of the problem is that people don't trust the stock market enough and that the high risk part of investing outweighs the high reward? I think that, if this is the case, then the pandemic and consecutive recession will not encourage more investing because of how many Americans suffered from the stock market crash. In terms of health, I wonder if a lot of the inequality arises because of lower income people having more health problems because of bad food. Healthy food is much more expensive than fast food, and if money is tight then that may be a sacrifice families choose to make. This could contribute to high health care costs and create a cycle with the inefficiencies of our current healthcare system. Do you have any policy suggestions for how to make it more efficient? In terms of education, I think it is amazing that many more students have the opportunity to attend college, even if not for all four years. It would be great if we could destigmatize dropping out of college for financial reasons or other extenuating circumstances and allow students to still benefit from the credits and education they earned. I don't think this even has to diminish the prestige of earning a degree. It would just develop a middle ground for more students to benefit. Finally, the last graph of the article talks about how American's generally think the country is headed in the "wrong direction." Does that have a more specific meaning such as politically or economically or is it just a general sentiment?
I understand that the government has to borrow money for the stimulus bill, but is there really two trillion dollars of wealth in private savings? I would think that other countries do not have the money to lend us right now to reach that goal either. Why are the markets so ready for the government to take their money when the government already has such a massive debt. I understand that the negative interest rates encourage lending money to the government but why do the markets trust they will get it all back? I think that Krugman makes a good point that the goal should be bottom up approach by supporting people who are loosing income instead of focussing on GDP. The GDP will recover with time. However, it will recover faster with more people contributing to the economy with spendable incomes (which the bill seeks to alleviate). I definitely appreciate his optimism that with a few more good policy choices after the stimulus bill we will be able to pull ourselves out of the economic recession, but I think that his oversimplification of the problem leads to an oversimplification of the solution. I think the"unknown length" of the crisis plays a much bigger role than he mentions. What if we are going to need another stimulus bill? Where would the money come from then if not from private savings?
Toggle Commented Apr 2, 2020 on ECON 100: The Corona Coma at Jolly Green General
I think that this is a great vision, and echoing others, if people acted rationally, Harari's ideas could work. However, I fear that it is too idealistic. I think that especially as more doubts about China and Iran's data numbers surface there is not chance at complete global cooperation. This makes me think about my Global Politics class from first semester, and I think that the coronavirus crisis can fit into several international relations theories. From the realist perspective, every nation is going to do what is ultimately best for them, and I think this explains some of Harari's examples of the Trump Administration turning its back so quickly on allies such as the EU. Maybe ultimately an alliance and communication would have been more beneficial, but weighing the pros and cons of the prisoners dilemma would have driven the more selfish and rash action of banning all travel. I do also think that prioritizing national healthcare does not have to be mutually exclusive to international cooperation. I think that Harari makes a great point about the importance of having an educated public and trust between the public and the government and that this is the foundation for successful policy and a faster eradication of this virus. However, for both national interests and global cooperation to be met, both and educated public and trusting relationship must be true, and I do not think that that has happened yet. I think that right now the key is keeping an informed public with the latest research and numbers and allowing that to be the driving force behind stay-at-home orders and others. I most definitely agree with Harari that forcing people to comply with measures like this will encourage more authoritarian behavior in the future and will ultimately not resinate with the population as science and data would (just as the example he gave of washing hands).
Toggle Commented Apr 2, 2020 on ECON 100 at Jolly Green General
Harper Darden is now following The Typepad Team
Apr 1, 2020