Economics

David Packman has practically gone broke a dozen times.  Now he has to quit.

I’m broke.  Have been for so long I no longer care.

Meanwhile there’s a big legal battle, with lawyers and everything, over whether a small town police chief can get his health care coverage in addition to about $150K per year of government salary.

Money and power go together.  A corollary to that is that the powerless tend to become the penniless.  I don’t know what the answer to this problem is, but there’s this difficulty of seeing it as being a problem in the first place.  Nobody in particular is responsible for it.  Nobody even has a personal obligation to look, much less do anything about it.  There’s no one to send a bill to.

It’s part of a larger problem, like a lot of things.

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2 Comments

Filed under financial crisis, Judicial lying/cheating, Striking lawyers, wrongful convictions

2 responses to “Economics

  1. Zarepheth

    Read Henry George’s “Progress and Poverty”. He provides a very good thesis on why there is poverty and how the greater our human progress the worse the poverty.

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    • Z, thanks for the reference to Henry George.

      It’s interesting how we can observe and even lament the same things but have completely different ideas about how they should be addressed. George was obviously a very good hearted man and a bold thinker, but “common ownership of land” is not just fraught with practical difficulty; it’s also focusing on the wrong thing. “Rent-seeking” is a problem and probably has been for millenia, but it’s not a function of land ownership as such.

      The temptation is to look at maldistribution and think of the most direct way to redistribute. But the lasting solution, it seems to me, is to foster the conditions in which a more natural distribution will occur. This requires more patience.

      Abolition of land ownership and giving the government the unqualified and unconstrained power to issue money will certainly accomplish a redistribution but of course excesses going in the other direction will soon appear. The real problem is deeper than that.

      Sometimes virtue is immediately profitable, but it often isn’t. Yet socially few things are more important than rewarding virtue and punishing vice. When the reverse is often true – that is, that vice is rewarded and virtue is punished – this is extreme social dysfunction. When Jersey Shore and the Kadashians are billion dollar operations, but there is literally no money available for the most rudimentary demands of justice we are a doomed society.

      Moral questions are a constraint upon profit, or at least should be. If they aren’t then crime is indistinguishable from any other profitable activity. But if there are no moral constraints upon the issuance of money itself the entire economy will come to reflect that eventually.

      And land ownership is a requirement of justice – giving every man his due, as Plato said.

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