These issues are yet again the problem of our age. Their seeming trajectory towards resolution post WWII, with widespread prosperity and a rising middle class, has been undone. What undid them points to the underlying problem: Immediate causes include the spectacular increase in financialization and unearned rents, the lack of and lack of enforcement of progressive taxes, both in turn largely due to a shift in the public's understanding of these issues. What caused this shift in public understanding is the age old problem—power and the lack thereof.
This sixteen-part series, The Souls of the People, will explore these issues and the ideas and economics behind them. The values, origins, economics and philosophy behind the call to "cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub" (Norquist). The creation of think tanks specifically to provide a pseudo-intellectual foundation for inequality, and that along with media convince the middle class to vote against their own interests. The rise, reasons for, and effect of beliefs that markets without law allow for full employment and that wage laws cause unemployment. That competition alone can bring about good working conditions. The rejection of progressive taxes, and of the right to avail ourselves of the power and resources of the country through organizing public goods. And most importantly, how all of these are maintained by laws that impoverish the powerless and enrich the powerful, and thus are self-perpetuating.
According to Reinhart and Rogoff the danger is both outright (de jure default) and de facto default from inflation and financial repression. However, like their discredited “growth” paper, the “default” argument is also based the on the improper use of statistics.
Let's look into the actual ethnography.
Humphrey's primary ethnographic research for the paper Graeber cites as definitive was based on her research of the Lhomi of the Arun Valley in northern Nepal near the Tibetan border.
Of the Lohmi, Humphrey writes (1985, pp.54-55): "Before the virtual closure of the Tibetan border by the early 1970's which followed the Chinese invasion, the Lhomi engaged in three kinds of barter." These are:
OK, not exactly a pirate.
But close enough for modern times.
Jacques S. Jaikaran, M.D.: A Caribbean émigré-cum-doctor (via Leeds, England)-cum-Houston, Texas bank-board member & plastic surgeon (losing his license for issues "involving moral turpitude")-cum-US prisoner for tax-evasion & fighting for renewed Independence for the "Republic of Texas" (he tried to arrange for the "Republic of Texas" to purchase a "four-story building, similar to a compound, included machine gun turrets, a bomb shelter and a surgical operating room."
Hello everyone- I am making a Kindle version of 1000 Castaways: Fundamentals of Economics FREE on Amazon for reviewers for a short time - but anyone here can take advantage of this and get their free copy. It is free for the next 48 hours (all day Sunday & Monday, Pacific time USA). You guys … Continue reading Book free on Amazon for 48 hours! (Kindle)
Crusoe is getting excellent advice from Friday, I plan on integrating it all, thank you. "Friday 4 hours ago User Info 1000 Castaways, Chapter 5: The Real World, System Two This is all very good. I can’t really find anything in these last four chapters worth quibbling with. I did spot one typo here: eveident … Continue reading Crusoe gets excellent advice from Friday 🙂
(←Chapter 4 Additional Material→) System Two The other main reason our real-world economies do not function as well as the Island is that we simply do not understand System Two, which organizes public projects and creates the vertical component of modern currency systems. The reasons for this stem from the long, complex process by … Continue reading 1000 Castaways, Chapter 5: The Real World, System Two
(←Chapter 3 Chapter 5→) Chapter 4 The Real World, System One We have seen how our Island of 1000 Castaways developed an economy that, within the potential of their technology and resources, maximizes their wellbeing. Our real-world economies are not organized so efficiently, and create countries where wellbeing is, given some set […]
(←Chapter 1 Chapter 3→) Chapter 2 System Two SO FAR WE HAVE SEEN how a system can emerge naturally that functions to help individuals better coordinate the use of real resources and thus increase the private production of society overall (Chapter 1). This increases the production of real goods and services for everyone. … Continue reading 1000 Castaways, Chapter 2: System Two