How shortsighted policies are creating a long-term crisis
by Adam Taggart
Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity
Students of Austrian business cycle theory are familiar with the term malinvestment. A malinvestment is any poor use of resources or capital, commonly made in response to bad policy (usually artificially low interest rates and/or unsustainable increases in the monetary supply). The dot-com bubble that popped in 2001? The housing bubble that similarly burst in 2008? Those were classic examples of malinvestment.
With this article, I’d like to introduce a related term: malincentive. While not part of the official economic lexicon, I consider a ‘malincentive’ a useful word to describe any promise of short-term gain whose long-term costs outweigh any immediate benefits enjoyed. The temptation to urinate in one’s pants on a cold winter day to get warm is a (perhaps unnecessarily) graphic example of malincentive. Yes, a momentary relief from the cold can be achieved; but moments later, you’ll have a much larger problem than you did at the outset.