Can Gold Cause A Boom-Bust Cycle?

Bob Murphy asks this question. Very interesting question. I’d say that the answer is “yes.” You can still have unanticipated increases in the money supply even in an entirely free market for gold (think of the 1890s as an example: the Alaskan influx of gold caused world prices to rise significantly).

What you would need is an indestructible, permanently fixed source of currency which people would choose to use. Otherwise, you can still get the boom-and-bust scenario.

Oh, and you also need to prevent subsidization of risk (such as Roger Garrison might argue) or other methods of disconnecting time preferences from available means of production.


SQL Saturday

SQL Saturday was in Columbus this Saturday.  I would have liked to see Louis Davidson present (he talks about his experiences in a blog post), but there were a number of good sessions, and I did get to hear him argue with another presenter.  I’m not sure who got the best of that discussion, though—I don’t know enough about the topic (data warehousing practices) to pick a winner there.

Speaking of BI, there were a lot of Business Intelligence and SSAS presentations, so I stocked up on them.  It was good to go there, as I got a sanity check that my warehouse design is going reasonably well so far, a few pointers, and a hint that I probably have too many bridge tables.  The other sessions I sat in on were pretty good as well, and there were several more I would have liked to have attended.

I’m looking forward to it again next year, but there are a couple of things I would have liked to see more of.  The first is more on internals and tuning.  These are important and relatively sexy topics, so I was surprised at how few offerings there were.  And the other thing I would like to see is open spaces—a dedicated area where we can talk about whatever’s on our minds.  Maybe some lightning presentations as well, where people have 15-minute presentations and then open it up for discussion like an open session.

New Tire

My rear tire has caused me several problems this year.  Over the past two months, I’ve gone through three new tubes.  The latest one burst just yesterday, on my way to SQL Saturday.  I was able to get it replaced today, and figured that I would get a new tire as well, to see if that would help.  I upgraded to a full mountain bike tire in the hopes that it would help me avoid additional sidewalk-related catastrophe.  Well, that and better bunny hops.

SQL Saturday Tomorrow

SQL Saturday in Columbus is tomorrow. Given that it’s about a mile from where I live, I’ll be there.  There are also a number of excellent-sounding topics.  Because I am working on a data warehouse, I will go to a lot of those sessions, but I’m looking forward to the Advanced T-SQL Solutions presentation and have to decide between Common T-SQL Programming Mistakes (so I can yell at helpfully correct people some more) or Hey Ma, Watch This.  The latter sounds more fun, but the former sounds more important…

I’ll Name Cuts

Bob Murphy on Bruce Bartlett on people who support debt limits.  One of Bartlett’s points is that many people who support lower federal debt in the abstract aren’t able to come up with serious mechanisms for how to achieve such goals.

Here’s my mechanism:  reneg on Social Security and Medicare, cancel ObamaCare, and wind down Medicaid (by “wind down,” I mean “eliminate immediately”).  That ought to remove quite a deal of uncovered liabilities.  From there, I would gather that we could cut another couple hundred billion dollars of federal spending, but the above ought to be enough to eliminate most of that debt…