Have you ever bought something you really couldn't afford? You simply swipe your credit card and leave the store with something shiny and new. That instant gratification overpowers any thought of the regret you'll have when you must start paying off your accumulated debt. Economists call this phenomenon time inconsistency. Read the September 2011 issue for some ideas on how to prevent time inconsistency for yourself and your government.
Page One Economics was formerly the Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter.