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QOTD

Posted by Lissa on May 8, 2012

People who believe in evolution in biology often believe in creationism in government. In other words, they believe that the universe and all the creatures in it could have evolved spontaneously, but that the economy is too complicated to operate without being directed by politicians.

Random Thoughts by Thomas Sowell

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One Response to “QOTD”

  1. Brad Kruse said

    I think that the word “economy” is often misused. Economy can refer to managing resources so that we get the most results from using the least resources. Economy can refer to the overall operation of consuming resources and assigning value to the results, and to exchanging the results.

    What politicians and the world-wide media today refer to as economy, combines the economics of physical resources and physical products, with the imaginary or virtual economy of the derivative, of the unearned interest, of speculation on future exchanges of value. The phantom economy was invented by wealth-gatherers, and codified by politicians. Tinkering, or controlling, the phantom economy indirectly controls the economy of physical resources and products, and their values.

    Once created, I don’t think the phantom economy, including the charades of “bailing out” Greece, and Ireland, and various states in the US, can be left to run itself. The phantom economy is a government project created at the behest of wealth-gatherers. Those of us reliant on the physical economy of food, and vehicles and homes and iPads need the go-between of government to limit the manipulation of our world by the phantom economy denizens.

    And then there is another economy, that Sharon Astyk (Casaubon’s Book) calls the informal economy. The informal economy describes the value derived from consuming resources and producing products in terms of relationships within the family and within the community. The values exchanged for services and material goods are just as intangible as in the phantom economy, but aren’t measured in terms of government currency. Doing chores at home, without an allowance, is an exchange in the formal economy. Baking cookies for the new neighbor, greeting someone because they might enjoy the greeting, helping a stranger pick up a spilled parcel. Sharing seeds of a cherished tomato or bean variety with a neighbor, volunteering to help fill sandbags when flooding is expected, pulling a neighbor from danger. Also bullying and other tactics of intimidation and abuse. Like censorship and Prohibition, managing the informal economy with money distorts the economy, attempts to apply fiscal economic tools, and enforcement, on informal economic issues; that is where the “you cannot legislate morality” (Thanks, Barry Goldwater) comes from.

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