That is the question asked by John Cochrane in this recent draft essay ( non-PDF version here ), in response to a current Journal of Financial Perspectives report by Robin Greenwood and David Scharfstein. Both need to be necessary reading for any introductory finance class. There is so much in these essays that one weblog post could not hope to adequately cover the subject, so don’t anticipate this to be anything resembling a complete response.
In a monetary economy, it is in everyone’s private interest to try to get an individual else to hold non-interest-bearing money and reserves. But a person has to hold it all, so all of these efforts should basically cancel out. All of us commit numerous hours per year in this effort, and we employ thousands of talented and highly-educated people to assist us. These person-hours are just thrown away, wasted on a process that need to not have to be performed at all.
My Aunt Penny’s explorations were not overtly politicised, but often carried an underlying belief in the validity of traditional practices otherwise marginalised by the cold rationalism of industrial society. Her position of power, and the reality that she took Zulu beliefs seriously, meant other Zulu diviners started to turn to her for assist. By default she would find herself standing up for their rights to maintain sacred water spaces over the rights of, for instance, home developers. These are the seeds of activist anthropology.
I am blessed in that my son has just this week really gotten the hang of potty instruction, and it is just in time because I had no thought how we have been going to afford diapers. So, for people with young youngsters, anything as basic as diapers can be a blessing. We are entering a transition of …Continue reading