Saturday, September 19, 2020

The False Distinction Between “Micro-“ and “Macro-“ Economics

Sound economics always considers the actions of the individual in relation to the rest of the economic system and the economic system as a whole in relation to the actions of individuals.

So-called "micro-economics” considers the actions of individuals as though divorced from the rest of the economic system, while so-called "macro-economics" considers the economic system as though divorced from the actions of individuals. It's a double error.

But it is so pervasive that it is sometimes necessary to use its terminology so that those who know little or nothing about sound economics will be able to feel a measure of the familiar.

Post is in response to a tweet by Mikiel de Bary, at https://twitter.com/mdebary/status/1307100397870473223?s=20

Friday, September 18, 2020

Replace Justice Ginsburg with a Strong Constitutionalist

The United States is teetering on the brink of a revolution or civil war. To move our country back toward peace and stability, Pres. Trump must immediately appoint a strong Constitutionalist to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court opened by the death of Justice Ginsburg.

He should give absolutely no consideration to fear of provoking more rioting by the Left. The Left will riot in any case. Better that they do it when there is an additional Constitutionalist on the Court than when there isn’t, or worse, another Leftist.

You do not gain anything from your enemy by making yourself weaker. That serves only to further embolden him. You must be stronger, not weaker, if you are going to stop him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Are Marxists Scaredy-Cats?

Marxists and the other mindless morons they influence, have been running around picking fights with statues of long dead slave owners that they gleefully topple over and destroy.

 

What’s the matter, Marxists? Why do you need to pick fights with statues? In your dreck-bedecked world, there are plenty of present-day, living, breathing slave owners. You call them capitalists or “capitalist exploiters.”

 

And you call their employees “wage slaves,” by which you mean real live slaves.

 

What makes you confuse employees with slaves is your lunatic belief that under capitalism, wages are set at the same level as the remuneration of slaves, namely, minimum subsistence, and that all that the workers produce beyond that goes to the capitalists as profit.

 

Knowing how close you are to a psychotic break, I don’t want to name any specific targets for you to demonstrate against in the name of abolition, lest you burn down their houses and kill them. But you know who many of them are. They’re very prominent. And many of them fund you.

 

So why don’t you pick some targets on your own. Be sure to present a good, fat list of demands. I hesitate to call them “reparations,” because BLM and Antifa have already laid claim to those. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll work something out.

 

To learn more, everyone should buy and read “Marxism/Socialism…” 99¢ at https://amzn.to/2N44uTu.




Tuesday, September 08, 2020

In Aggregate Economic Accounting Most Spending Is Not Consumption but Is Concealed under Net Investment

Attention: all economics students. Perhaps the most prominent equation in macroeconomics is that national income (essentially the sum of profits and wages) equals net national product, which is the sum of consumption plus net investment.

Because consumption is much larger that net investment, it is almost universally assumed that it pays the bulk of national income. However, most spending in the economic system is actually not consumption. RATHER, IT IS CONCEALED UNDER NET INVESTMENT.

Net investment is the difference between two enormous sums: a minuend consisting of the total of business spending for capital goods and labor, and a subtrahend consisting of the costs that are deducted from sales revenues in calculating profits.

The minuend contains additions to asset accounts (plant and equipment and inventory and work in progress) while the subtrahend contains subtractions from asset accounts, notably depreciation and cost of goods sold. Selling, general, and administrative expenses appear equally in both the minuend and the subtrahend.

The difference between additions to and subtractions from asset accounts is the net change in those accounts, i.e., net investment.

The minuend in calculating net investment is where the bulk of spending in the economic system lies. I call this spending “productive expenditure.”

The concept of productive expenditure is not recognized in contemporary economics. It is believed that it is somehow included in consumption expenditure and that to recognize it separately would constitute the error of “double counting.”

For further elaboration and proof, including a thorough discussion of the issue of “double counting,” see Chapter 15 of my Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics. It’s available at https://amzn.to/2PM19ut

Read this chapter, tell your economics professors about it, and ask them to show you what’s wrong with my claim that most spending takes place under the head of net investment.




Thursday, August 27, 2020

Marxists Topple Statues as a Step Toward Killing People

Marxists and the other mindless morons they influence have been running around picking fights with statues of long dead slave owners that they gleefully topple and destroy. 

What’s the matter, Marxists? Why do you need to pick fights with statues? In your dreck-bedecked worldview, there are plenty of present-day, living, breathing slave owners. You call them capitalists or “capitalist exploiters.”

 

And you call their employees “wage slaves,” by which you mean real live slaves.

 

What makes you confuse employees with slaves is your lunatic belief that under capitalism, wages are set at the same level as the remuneration of slaves, namely, minimum subsistence, and that all that the workers produce beyond that goes to the capitalists as profit.

 

So, you conclude that “capitalist” is just another name for slave owner.

 

Knowing how close you are to a psychotic break, I don’t want to name any specific targets for you to demonstrate against in the name of abolition, lest you burn down their houses and kill them. But you know who many of them are. They’re very prominent. And many of them fund you.

 

I do hope, however, that when you finally get around to killing them, you’ll thank them for having sold you the means with which to do it and for having actually freely given you the money with which to buy those means.

 

I know that in the group of capitalists we’re talking about, there are many productive geniuses. Despite their genius, in the areas of economic theory and political philosophy and of personal self-preservation itself, they speak and act like lobotomized, castrated zombies. 

For a thorough analysis and refutation of Marxism, everyone should buy and read my Marxism/Socialism…, 99¢ at https://amzn.to/2N44uTu, followed by my Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, at https://amzn.to/2PM19ut.

Add caption





Sunday, August 23, 2020

Reisman’s Final Year’s University Lectures Available for Download Without Charge

Recently, a reader of my book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, told me that he believed that he had been able to get more out of my book and do it more easily because he had listened to a series of lectures I had delivered over the years 1967-2007. 

On the basis of my discussions with him, I’ve decided to release recordings of the lectures I delivered in my courses in my final year at Pepperdine University, 2004-05. These lectures are very closely related to my book, which was the main text for the courses.

 

Try reading a chapter and then listening to the lectures related to it, or vice versa, whichever works best for you.

 

There are two 4-unit courses, which, in order to follow convention, I labeled “micro” and “macro” respectively.


Each of the courses had 13 sessions (not counting exams), typically recorded in two parts of more than an hour and a half each.

 

The chapters in Capitalism assigned in the “micro” course are the Introduction, 1-11, and 14. The chapters assigned in the “macro” course are 12, 13, and 15-19. In both courses there are also some supplementary readings as well.

 

All of the lectures are available on Google Drive and can be downloaded to your hard drive without charge. Here’s the link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1MCwIHMDKrjYm0seEGWSZL7qhMKDlvnd8?usp=sharing

 

Consider these lectures as a work in progress in that I intend to make various revisions and additions over the next year or so.


Downloads for the courses include a syllabus and eight detailed syllabus supplements that describe the content of each of the lectures. 

The book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics is available on Amazon.com in Kindle, hardcover, and paperback formats. Go to https://www.amazon.com/s?k=George+Reisman&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_2 to order it.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Slavery as the Cause of General Loss

While slavery enriched slave owners, it impoverished not only the slaves but also the United States as a whole. Its impoverishment of the US can be measured by the difference between what the slaves produced as slaves and the far greater amount they would have produced if free.

 

The effect of slavery on the slaves’ incentives was like that of a 100% income tax. They were motivated to do nothing but exactly what they were told, lest they suffer punishment. Everything over and above this, that they would have accomplished if free, was lost.

 

Slavery was particularly damaging to the South, because it created in the market value of slaves a fictional capital that made the accumulation of real capital in such forms as factory buildings and machinery seem unnecessary. It was thus responsible for the South’s economic backwardness.

 

In the North, a factory owner calculated his wealth as the sum of the values of his factory buildings, equipment, and inventories. In the South, a plantation owner counted as the main part of his wealth the mere presence of workers on his land, who were regarded as his property.

 

Thus, compared with the Northern factory owner, the Southern planation owner had a major deficiency of real capital. He was missing the factories, machinery, and materials that made up the Northerner’s capital. Instead, his wealth consisted mainly of the market value of his slaves.

 

Without slavery, Southern capitalists would have had to accumulate vastly more actual capital to be as rich as slavery gave them the illusion of being. And correspondingly, without slavery, the South as a region would have had to have accumulated far more real capital.

To learn more, read my “Capitalism: The Cure for Racism,” available for 99¢ at

https://amzn.to/3g2EJkh