To Give But Not to Give

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

Moral Protest

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

The Breathtaking Immorality of our Beloved Capitalism

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

Abundance, Really?

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?

Economic Armageddon

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

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

Unenlightened and Proud

I refer to that period of history, and that movement called The Enlightenment. It happened around the 18th Century. The Catholic church was at a low point at the time, wielding excessive power with excessive rigidity. The rising Protestant churches were still feeling out their protest ideology. Major thinkers were looking for escape from the… Continue reading Unenlightened and Proud

The Freefall Scenario

Been looking at posts from Chinese social media, where they’ve got it quite right about the downward spiral that’s handed the reins to Donald Trump. That’s because, over 4000 years of recorded Chinese history, they’ve seen empires rise and fall scores of times. It’s old hat to them. The fundamentals are often the same, time… Continue reading The Freefall Scenario

Standing Rock: A Pipeline Too Many

How many oil pipelines do we need? Answer — less than we already have. So let’s stop here and look at the science. Analysts have settled on a figure — a bottom line re environmental warming. Ecological disaster can be avoided if we keep the future global temperature rise down to 1.5 degrees. That may… Continue reading Standing Rock: A Pipeline Too Many