Economics — the Devil’s Discipline? Really? Or am I just picking sensational headlines? Well, I don’t really know much about the Devil. He turned down my request on Facebook. But I often find that exploring edgy propositions, which may turn out to be totally wrong, nonetheless can bring out issues that might get missed… Continue reading The Devil’s Discipline
Opposition to a Guaranteed Income System (GIS) is so bizarre. People talk about it being too expensive as if the alternative weren’t ten times worse. They say it will kill the incentive to work as if there are going to be jobs in the future. Let’s talk about that second point before we get into… Continue reading Basic Income – The High Cost of Dithering
It’s pretty unclear nowadays what’s capitalist, what’s socialist, what’s radical and what’s not. Actually it’s easy at the extremes. Pure capitalism (market does everything) pure socialism (government does everything) — they’re both too radical for most people. Except for some fringe libertarians, most reasonable people are seeking some position in between radical capitalism and radical… Continue reading Radical, Really?
When I taught Economics in China, I was critical of their gift-exchange culture, but in a very superficial manner. They must have thought I was a sanctimonious moron. I told them when they’re constantly bestowing gifts on each other, that those aren’t really gifts. They’re always expecting something in return, something equivalent, and giving something… Continue reading To Give But Not to Give
My good friend Eric Parsons, challenged me on a poster I put up on Facebook. It read as follows: “The moral crisis of or age has nothing to do with gay marriage or abortion; it’s insider trading, obscene CEO pay, wage theft from ordinary workers, Wall Street’s continued gambling addiction, corporate payoffs to friendly politicians… Continue reading Moral Protest
I loved William Cavanaugh’s book, Being Consumed, though I was frustrated by his reluctance to go beyond the boundaries of his topic. His topic covered the social and spiritual dysfunctions of consumerism as a culture. He was rightly hesitant to stray into questions of reform. Not that he avoided it totally. His most strongly expressed… Continue reading The Call for Reform
Yep. But first … You don’t have to be an Economics student to get the message. It’s natural to want more. You can’t fight human nature. We’re acquisitive animals. It’s in or deepest nature to satisfy ourselves to the fullest extent possible. Economists say we’re insatiable. That doesn’t mean I’ll eat chocolate until I get… Continue reading Abundance, Really?
Maybe some readers have seen The Big Short. It’s a movie about the financial crash of 2008 — showing how most weren’t clever enough to see that the financial system was being gamed, and how those who were clever enough got rich. It’s a good movie to show, exposing the barely-legal shenanigans (only legal because… Continue reading The Breathtaking Immorality of our Beloved Capitalism
Armageddon’s kind of a stretch, eh? Well, yeah, but only a stretch. If we get all calm and analytical and social-scientist about it — armageddon includes wholesale moral and social breakdown — system breakdown. And that’s totally on the agenda. It comes to the fore with the Trump fiasco. He’s no libertarian — they believe… Continue reading Economic Armageddon
They always spell “austerity” wrong. It should be spelled “extortion”. When financial barons bully the government into submission, they call it “austerity”. When the mafia bully the corner grocery store into submission, it’s called a “protection racket”. You know the story. “Wouldn’t it be a shame if your nice little store got too close to… Continue reading The Austerity Racket