Good economic policy is like healthy immune balance. Our leadership should look at the immune system to get things right.
Posted Sep 30 2011 4:25pm
Sometimes, I think the human immune system is a model for many other things in life: religion, diet and nutrition, lifestyle, and, most certainly, the economy. I know this may seem a bit…or a lot… absurd. But, hear me out.
When we talk about immune system balance, we’re talking about immune cell response being aggressive when conditions warrant, flooding an area with killer cells to wipe out an intruder. This is my analogy for flooding the money system with stimulus cash when consumer spending and business lending has dried up because of an intruder to the system: bad mortgages.
We’re also talking about immune cells suppressing an aggressive response when presented with a “false alarm,” such as a pollen grain or another benign foreign substance that enters the body. This is analogous to investors not pulling all of their money out of the market or out of the banks when markets undergo a major correction.
And, helping drive this balanced response is an amazing system of cell communication, where certain cells can tell other cells to charge or back off. Of course, investors and fund managers and exchanges and currency traders all communicate with each other, especially in this instant information age. The problem is accuracy and integrity of the information. Bad or deceptive information can spell doom. Hopefully, cells haven’t got quite that crafty…yet.
And cells remember from experience as well. A certain virus that entered your body years ago (e.g. chicken pox) is remembered by your immune system and vanquished quickly if it enters your body years later. Seems like many U.S. and foreign policy makers don’t have much of an institutional memory for what worked and did not work decades ago in our political economy.
If our economic system could behave like a well-balanced immune system, we’d experience much of what people experience while taking EpiCor…a balanced, proportional response to antigens entering the system, reducing symptom severity and shortening symptom duration.