Normative Narratives

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Q & A Friday

Hello everyone welcome to the first Q & A Friday. This week’s question comes all the way from Mardid, Spain, from my good friend Tim Zahner.

Q: Tomorrow is a general strike here in Madrid, protesting the government. Obviously, I support the general idea of striking and public protest. But, on the more individual level – one more person amidst of a crowd of thousands doesn’t do much. Am I (pretend I’m a Spanish dude) better served working tomorrow or trying to earn a buck, or joining in on the protest?

A : An interesting hypothetical here. I am of course all for public expression of opinion as well, but this is not simple right or wrong issue. If I said no matter what you should go to the protest, then I am ignoring your opportunity cost for being there. Without knowing how much you make, how much savings or debt you have, and how many dependents you have, I cannot really answer the question.

Having said that, knowing you as a student without many extra obligations, you are the target demographic to get out there and protest. It’s kind of why I made this blog in the first place, because I have free time and want my opinions to be heard.

And thats where you get your protestors and silent (financial) supporters from. Regardless of what you do, if you feel strongly about an issue you can make a difference. Donate your time, or donate your money. If your someone with free time, actually getting involved in the protest probably suits you best. If your making a lot of money and a lot of people depend on you, donating some of your income is probably more responsible.

I would not be suprised if the turnout for the protests in Spain offers a much wider variety of people from what you would usually expect. With around 25% unemployment, a large variety of people will get out and make their voices heard.

Having said this, the economics of the larger issue is clear. With the fiscal multiplier (basically how much 1 euro of government spending affects the economy) > 1, the ECB (European Central Bank) should not be insisting on austery (cutting fisal deficits), in exchange for bond buying programs (to help governments deal with their soveriegn debt issues). If Spain, or any EU country was not in the EU, they could just print the money themselves. But as it is they cannot, so they need the ECB to do so (without imposing cuts that will shrink the economy and cause the debt/GDP ratio to actually go up despite cutting social programs). The Spainish government, or all the GIPSI governments (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland; heavily indebted EU countries), along with the IMF should be pressuring the ECB to rethink its position. The government’s are obligated because they exist to the uphold the will of their people; the IMF is obligated becuase it published the report saying the fiscal multiplier was >1, if you write the report you gotta get behind it).

But you didn’t ask about that so I won’t mention it.

Lets get more questions for next week, or maybe I will stick to focusing on one question, I kind of like that too. I guess I’ll have to see what next week has in store for NN.

I’m basically mentally checkout out for the holidays, which is probably premature, but whatever. Have a good weekend everyone see you all on Monday with some sports analysis (Monday Morning QB) and some sorta interesting current event issue from over the weekend.


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Leaner, Faster, Strong, and More Focused (and also on the go!)

I have cleaned up the blog, we cannot have our good ideas derailed by slopping spelling and editing by yours truly.

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to layout the weekly format of Normative Narratives. This info is already on Facebook, but as my consiglieri pointed out, not everybody has Facebook, so here it is:

“Monday Morning QB”, “Tuesday Conflict Watch”, “Wednesday Economic Outlook”, “Transparency Thursday” and ” Q & A” Fridays will be weekly fixtures.

Also check in regularly for at least one new post each day!

Comment, get involved, you can decide what direction the blog goes in. Any questions asked in the comment section / FB page will be addressed at latest every Friday. I encourage you to post or email any and all questions, the more you ask the more fun Q and A Fridays will be.

Lastly, you can take Normative Narratives with you on the go! Download the WordPress app (available for ios and Droid, check your app store for availability). With this app, you can check Normative Narratives or any other WordPress blogs you may follow, and its FREE!

Check back later for our first Q & A Friday, and have a good weekend everyone.


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Holiday-Watch, Thanksgiving: Appreciating the Real Heroes in Your Life

Blogging is glamorous and all that, but as I have said from the start it is about having a strong network of people. This is true not only of this sites contributors, but also the people out there working hard everyday to make sure normative narratives can bring you important current events with that signature NN over-easy perspective that just seems to reduce complex issues to simple ones.

While we’re on the topic of community, tomorrow is the first Q & A Friday and I have 1 question so far, step your game up people.
Back on topic. I am talking of course about my parents Judy Zerden and Hank Zupnick. They spare no expense for me, so that I do not have to cut any corners with this blog; notice the simple domain name and the fact that there are no adds on the blog, a nice change of pace from most sites wouldn’t you say? Not only that, but they have paid for all of my education, without which this blog would not exist.

So in the spirit of the holiday season, I wanted to be the first to wish all my followers an early happy thanksgiving. Think of the people in your lives that make your world go around, and thank them for helping you be the person you are.