Consider the hypothetical case of an economy with annual GDP of 5 trillion US dollars, the broad economic dynamics of which are the subject matter of this exploration.
The hypothetical country whose economy we analyze here is named AB, because its internal economy is composed of two distinct components A and B. The total population of AB is 100 million, but only about 2% of it belongs to B; the rest of it belongs to A. For the ease of dealing with round numbers, we shall say that A and B have populations of 100 million and 2 million respectively.
Continue reading Globalization: A Sneaky Overview
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