Economists define ‘the wealth of a society’ as its total stock of useful assets – homes, cars, buildings, roads, factories, cattle, money, gold … et cetera. Let us call this definition D1.
A definition serves merely as a starting point for a logical exploration of related ideas. However – and necessarily – the direction which the exploration takes depends on the definition. In any discussion of ideas, a conscious effort is needed to understand how it is influenced by the definitions of its basic terms.
Continue reading Taxes or Debt?
The Chairman of a large global bank recently gave a TV interview about the state of the world economy . Not surprisingly, the Chairman gave what was intended to be a sound and learned justification for a world order characterized by barrier-less trade.
However, the justification came out as being utterly sophomoric in its quality. That is to say, it was not too different from how a privileged undergraduate might argue in a college debate. Only the mannerisms were different – the uncle spoke, not the nephew or the niece. Continue reading Response to the Bank Chairman
[In which the brilliant deductive techniques of Sherlock Holmes are applied to the origins of debt, currency and the debt-linked economy.]
Imagine the simple human economic life of about five thousand years ago, based on the production and exchange of the necessities of life. If one family has a surplus goat, say, and another family has surplus wheat, then both would benefit by making an exchange — so much wheat for a goat. Economically, the exchange would make excellent sense, because it would leave everyone better off. Continue reading From Barter to Debt: A Brief History