The Economist's Cookbook

Recipes For A More Free Society

  • "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

    - F.A. Hayek

And Now For Something...

Posted by The_Chef On 11:33 AM 1 comments

...Completely Different.

So as I sit here having finished classes for the day, sipping a Sam Adams Brown Ale, I can't help but muse about a few things, some political/economic, some not.

The Atlas Trio played again last night bringing out pieces from Beethoven, Piazzolla, and Shostakovitch. All three were brilliantly played but the Piazzolla piece really moved me. Piazzolla is kind of a blend of classical and jazz. If you're interested in it, Here is the wiki link to his bio. It really kind of had an energy and power that I didn't expect a piano and cello to evoke. Both other pieces were really good as well, though I am not a huge fan of Beethoven's Sonata No. 2 in A major, it was still very well played and enjoyable.

The Shostakovitch bit was moving and seeing how it was written in 1944 it brought to my mind images of a Soviet flag flying over the abject ruins of Stalingrad. The idea of victory but at a terrible price seemed to just flow from Liana's violin. This kinda of mourning over what has been lost was always creeping out of the music.

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I'm currently listening to The Fountain soundtrack. It's amazing and I recommend it.

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I got into an argument with some student about how he thinks globalization is immoral because it hurts people in the US and he brought out this asinine argument about dedication to a benefactor, the benefactor clearly being the US.

This of course is ridiculous. If you want to buy American just to buy American then by all means do it, it's your money. However ... it is ... taxing to have some Classics major who can paraphrase some Adam Smith try and tell me why some US guy losing his job to an Indian guy is ... IMMORAL.

Now forgive me if I'm skeptical, but last time I checked there was no 'right' to a job. Certain decisions made by a company MAY hurt some people. But it also helps others and how are we to then judge morality based around the idea of benefit. Utility can't be measured in any meaningful way so it is nigh impossible to say that this guy who is unemployed at this moment is worse off. He may be is a worse position at that moment in time but stimuli can often prod people out of complacency. There was an excellent example about steel workers from Pittsburgh who lost their jobs and ended up working for mining companies in the Dakotas... they got paid better in the Dakotas. Hmmm.

We lose roughly 250,000 job a year, whether to outsourcing or simple job elimination ... We create almost 1.2 million new positions a year. Hmmmmm I don't see a problem here.

Lastly, I am sick and tired of people putting moral connotation on a transaction. Trade is viewed as a zero-sum game. It's not, both sides benefit. *sigh* We economics students have our work cut out for us.

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I think that's about it... for now.

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1 Response for the "And Now For Something..."

  1. Nik says:

    My particular favorite is when people say to buy American to "save" American jobs, then have Japanese electronics, Mexican blankets, or Nike shoes - all of which are not made here. If you advocate it so much, I don't want to see you driving the "American" car that was manufactured in Mexico, while my Mazda was manufactured in Flat Rock, MI.

    -MightyRiga