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Showing posts from January, 2019

Economics: Studying at the Margin

In principle, higher prices don't always yield commensurate enhancements of product quality. As such, the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45's $50,000 price tag doesn't necessarily mean that it's twice as good as an entry-level 2019 Chevy Camaro, just as the $500 wallet from Prada is hardly fifty times superior than the $10 counterpart from Amazon. These price disparities, though shocking or even appalling to the average person, represent something about preferences. Though that price difference may not indicate that the product is any more functional, it means that the product is , indeed, that much more valuable to the buyer for some personal, even broadly unrelatable reason. So long as enough buyers demand the product at the given price level, with the given features and specifications, there may be no need to make any adjustments, as the target customer expresses his or her preference by voluntarily assigning value to that product. The product could even be a measly Me

Americans No Longer Partying As They Did in 1999

Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time spent 10 weeks at number one on Billboard’s Top-100, the Plymouth Prowler was in its third year of production, John Elway just won his second Super Bowl ring, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 were both up over 300 percent on the decade, and Slide by the Goo Goo Dolls found its way to number ten on Billboard’s chart.  It was 1999, and the Goo Goo Dolls just so happened to have the perfect adjective to describe the next two decades: an economic “slide” for the average American.  Whereas Johnny Rzeznik contemplated the dilemma of abortion, he never could have predicted just how profoundly applicable the concept would prove over the ensuing 20 years, when America would ultimately abort the principles of freedom and the prospect of the American dream in pursuit of expedient political advantage.  The transformation of the American economy is perhaps best characterized as one which originally operated to the benefit of each e

The Popular Denunciation of "Profits"

The word profit has remarkably become synonymous with greed , avarice  and gluttony per the modern lexicon. Hatred for profits has become so widespread that attendees of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, as one particular video  illustrates, even banded together in agreement around the notion of completely banning them. While it is understandable that so many Americans have become so distressed by the state of affairs in the United States, they are ironically protesting for the advancement of forces that will serve only to make their lives even worse. Profits and savings are two of the main benefactors that are so popularly maligned in political circles that any shrewd and politically-correct economist will desperately squirm around them when describing the concepts of basic economics in front of a general audience. A profit basically represents a case in which an individual, or collectively a market of individuals, assigns a value to a good which exceeds the value assign

America's Great Depression: A Cautionary Tale

Yet another YouTube video shares an incredibly myopic perspective on the subject of economics: this time, we’re dealing with a revisionist review of the Great Depression.  For the reader in search of a deep dive into the events surrounding the Great Depression, American economist Murray Rothbard elucidates this subject in vivid, uncompromising detail in his 1963 treatise America's Great Depression .  Unfortunately, far too many academics, broadcasters, columnists and policymakers rely on convenient shorthand explanations of history for the more robust and comprehensive history-telling to even temporarily thwart the social-inertial currents of conventional wisdom, which inexorably propagate from fanciful fairytales and comic-book strips that have been indelibly etched into the collective memory of the masses. Of course, nearly every follower of politics can appreciate the power of bumper-sticker ideology: if it doesn't fit legibly on a 3"x11.5" sticker, then it pr