Friday, September 25, 2020

Irresponsible Reporting Causes Needless Outrage Two Times Over

The Breonna Taylor case in Louisville, KY is an example of today’s media doing such an irresponsible job of reporting, that the result is needless outrage followed by rioting and destruction two times over.

First, the media allege, and then repeat ad nauseam, heinous crimes committed by the police, ignoring such major facts as were the police acting without cause or in self-defense?

For example, it was not until just a few days ago that many people, including myself, learned for the first time that it was not the police but Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend who fired the first shot, wounding an officer, after which the police returned fire.

As in this case, later, perhaps many months later, it turns out that there are no actual grounds for charging the police with any crimes at all or only with much smaller infractions than originally believed.

But having heard it so many times over from the media, the mob still believes that the police are guilty of the original accusations, and so any findings that exonerate the police are disregarded, with the effect being a new round of outrage, destruction, and devastation.

This outcome is likely to be repeated, probably on a vastly larger scale, when verdicts ultimately come in on the officers involved in the George Floyd case.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Self-Interest and Social Benefit

Capitalism is a system of voluntary social cooperation in which each benefits himself to the extent that he benefits others. He benefits himself by earning money which he receives from others who value his goods or services more than the money they spend in buying them.

Under capitalism, these others, in turn, have obtained their money by benefitting more than equivalently those who have paid them, and so on back to the first day of the chain of voluntary exchanges.

Capitalism actually gives the benefit of one’s work to others that altruism claims to seek, but propelled by the force of one’s self-interest rather than painfully extracted by self-sacrifice and physical force.

To learn virtually everything significant about capitalism, read my Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, available in Kindle, hardcover, and paperback editions at


Monday, September 21, 2020

Re: The 1619 Project

Ancient Rome, Greece, Babylon, Egypt, India, China, and Africa too, all had slavery. None of them created the Industrial Revolution. Great Britain and the United States did create the Industrial Revolution, on a foundation of economic freedom and respect for individual rights.

The great blemish of slavery played no greater positive role in the history of the US than it had played previously in the world, which is to say, virtually none. Ignoring its overwhelming negatives, its utmost positive contribution here may have been a temporarily larger supply of raw cotton.

But even that is probably not true. Free labor could have picked cotton. True, it would have had to be paid more than a wage equal to the price of a slave’s minimum necessities, but it undoubtedly would have been less expensive per pound of cotton picked.

Free labor would have done away with the cost of a system of overseers and the cost of acquiring slaves. It could easily have been accompanied by a system of piecework and thus eager competition among workers in picking more cotton and thereby earning more money.

Free workers would also have been motivated to find brand new ways to increase production, because they would have financially greatly benefitted from doing so. Thus, improvements in raw cotton production might have come generations sooner.

People who believe that slavery is an efficient system of production are people who are ready to impose 100% marginal rates of taxation in the belief that doing so is economically harmless.

The alleged economic benefit of slavery is a core belief of the Left both in current politics and in the interpretation of economic history. It sees no connection between freedom and production and no difference between work for positive gain and work to avoid pain.

Fundamentally, the Left does not recognize the distinction between human beings and draft animals, in that it believes the value of human beings derives from their muscles rather than their motivated minds.

So far is slavery from having been a source of gain in the United States that the actual truth is that had it never existed and had no African ever been involuntarily brought to the US, the effect would have been enormously positive economically, socially, and culturally.

Incentives to produce and save would have been greatly increased. No portion of accumulated savings would have been constituted by the market value of human beings but only by that of physical assets, implying the accumulation of more physical assets.

There would have been no need for a Civil War to free the slaves, a war that killed 600,000 Americans. And today there would be no racial animosities traceable to slavery.

The US would be more the country that its fundamental principles have designed it to be. A country in which the material self-interests of men function harmoniously, to the benefit of all, because they deal with one another by means of voluntary trade, not physical force.

Slavery is as much an economic benefit as holding up gas stations. Not only does the gas station owner lose what the robber gains, but both his motivation to produce and his means of producing are reduced. A world of robbery, which is what slavery is, is a world of great poverty.

This is why the standard of living of even the kings and emperors of the pre-industrial world was far below that of the average worker in any capitalist country today.  

To learn more, see my "Capitalism: The Cure for Racism" and then my Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, both available at

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Why Trump’s Nominee to Scotus Must be Confirmed ASAP

Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski seem to think that respecting alleged canons of electoral etiquette is more important than strengthening America’s prospects for survival as a free country.

This is the meaning of their declarations that they will not vote to confirm Pres. Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court before election day. These ladies do not realize that election day and the weeks following, will be when our country most needs that Justice.

With its newly enacted mass mail-in voting susceptible to large-scale fraud, the Left is working to steal the election from Pres. Trump and turn the US into a one-party socialist dictatorship. Trump’s nominee seated on the Court will help prevent that.

If these ladies are worried about needing “the etiquette vote” in order to keep their jobs, they should realize that “the Trump/Patriot vote” is vastly larger than the etiquette vote and that they will lose it forever if they fail their country in this time of great danger to it.

Even if President Trump genuinely loses the election, nothing could be more important than having his nominee seated on the Court, to provide some remaining measure of protection for individual rights in a country being engulfed by tyranny.

Pres. Trump was elected to a four-year term. It is not yet over. So long as he is within the term of his office  he has the right to exercise all of its powers, above all, whatever powers he may have to hold back the onslaught of a virtual lynch mob. 

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

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

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

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.