I think that a majority of economists agree that in many downturns, it helps the economy if people, on the margin, spend a little more. This justifies Keynesian stimulus. Therefore, the economy would be helped if your choice increases the total amount of money changing hands, presumably if you rent the apartment for $X when X>Y. My impression is that in good economic times, marginal spending is not considered to improve economic welfare.

I think that a majority of economists agree that in many downturns, it helps the economy if people, on the margin, spend a little more. This justifies Keynesian stimulus. Therefore, the economy would be helped if your choice increases the total amount of money changing hands ...

Imagine that the "economy" is sluggish, and that a widget maker currently profits $1 on each widget sale. Now, consider these two scenarios:

a) I buy 100 widgets that I don't want, in order "to help the economy".
b) I give the widget-maker $100. Then, I lie an... (read more)

Open Thread June 2010, Part 3

by Kevin 1 min read14th Jun 2010627 comments

6


This thread is for the discussion of Less Wrong topics that have not appeared in recent posts. If a discussion gets unwieldy, celebrate by turning it into a top-level post.

The thrilling conclusion of what is likely to be an inaccurately named trilogy of June Open Threads.