Bitcoin — Not As Advertised

Sometimes it seems like everything is the exact opposite of what it claims to be. Take capitalism. It claims to be a decentralized Invisible Hand of free competition — ensuring that all economic abuses are reined in by the discipline of competition so that nobody is able to exploit anyone else. In practice, it is… Continue reading Bitcoin — Not As Advertised

A Bizarre Theory That All Economists Believe

Back when I taught Economics to gullible undergrads, and to even more gullible grad students, I posed a conundrum. (I couldn’t push it too hard for fear of heresy.) But it’s actually not that difficult if put in straightforward terms, so those who have not been afflicted with Economics courses should bear with me. It… Continue reading A Bizarre Theory That All Economists Believe

Preference for the Poor

There are so many issues around poverty, but the spiritual issue is largely ignored in our consumption-worshipping culture. We’re all supposed to be medium-poor in our frugality of spirit, as we renounce the excesses of empty affluence. Instead we glut ourselves on all the commodities we can wring out of the market, and we ignore… Continue reading Preference for the Poor

The Austerity Racket

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

Elinor and the Fake Tragedy

You’ll find few prominent woman economists. It’s an Old Boys’ Club from way back. You’ll find even fewer female economists winning the Nobel Prize in Economics — like none. None until Elinor Ostrim, that is, in 2009. But she was no ordinary economist. She took on the old boys right where it hurt. She debunked… Continue reading Elinor and the Fake Tragedy

Complexity Theory – On the Outside Looking In

I may sometimes give the impression that only mainstream economics exists, and that I’m the only rebel. Far be it from me to suggest that. There are many other economists, much more accomplished than I, who are working on alternative approaches. The problem is, they’re frozen out of the mainstream. I’ll talk about complexity theory… Continue reading Complexity Theory – On the Outside Looking In

Don’t Blame Prof. Smith

Adam Smith, the Scottish Presbyterian minister and professor at Glasgow University in the 18th century, is often called the father of modern Economics. But he wasn’t an economist. He was, first and foremost, a moral philosopher, who wrote a book about political economy (as it was called for centuries) on the side. His more important… Continue reading Don’t Blame Prof. Smith

Don't Blame Prof. Smith

Adam Smith, the Scottish Presbyterian minister and professor at Glasgow University in the 18th century, is often called the father of modern Economics. But he wasn’t an economist. He was, first and foremost, a moral philosopher, who wrote a book about political economy (as it was called for centuries) on the side. His more important… Continue reading Don't Blame Prof. Smith