Monday, August 31, 2009

Economic Quote of the Week

244: From Jevons, Money and the Mechanism of Exchange, Chapter 2:

It is impossible, indeed, to decide exactly how much bread, or beef, or tea, or how many coats and hats a person needs. There is no precise limit to our desires, and we can only say, that as we have a larger supply of a substance, the urgency of our need for more is in some proportion weakened. A cup of water in the desert, or upon the field of battle, may save life, and become infinitely useful. Two or three pints per day for each person are needful for drinking and cooking purposes. A gallon or two per day are highly requisite for cleanliness; but we soon reach a point at which further supplies of water are of very minor importance. A modern town population is found to be satisfied with about twenty-five gallons per head per day for all purposes, and a further supply would possess little utility. Water, indeed, may be the reverse of useful, as in the case of a flood, or a damp house, or a wet mine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Defence of Usury

239: From Bentham: Defence of Usury, Letters I-V:

Supposing any body, for the sake of extraordinary gain, to be willing to run the risk of supplying him, although they did not look upon his personal security to be equal to that of another man, and for the sake of the extraordinary profit to run the extraordinary risk; in the trader, in short in every sort of trader whom he was accustomed to deal with in his solvent days, he sees a person who may accept of any rate of profit, without the smallest danger from any laws that are, or can be made against usury. How idle, then, to think of stopping a man from making six, or seven, or eight per cent. interest, when, if he chuses to run a risk proportionable, he may in this way make thirty or forty per cent. or any rate you please. And as to the prodigal, if he cannot get what he wants upon these terms, what chance is there of his getting it upon any terms, supposing the laws against usury to be away? This then is another way, in which, instead of serving, it injures him, by narrowing his option, and driving him from a market which might have proved less disadvantageous, to a more disadvantageous one.

III.12 (paragraph number)

Outstanding point!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Having a very relaxed day today and thought I'd share the following.

I follow with the iced coffee...

229: From Newcomb: The ABC of Finance, Lessons I-VIII:

We frequently hear of the oppression of labor by capital, and of antagonism between these two agencies. In order to judge how much foundation there is for this notion, let us inquire what capital really is. It seems as if a large portion of the labor party look upon it as some kind of instrumentality wielded by the rich for the purpose of injuring or oppressing the poor. Really, however, capital consists simply of the accumulated wealth of the past—houses, machinery, railroads, engines, mills, and everything which in any way produces the things that we want. It is one of the most important parts of the social machine described in my last lesson. I might say, indeed, that it is the whole material part of that machine. The ships which bring flannel shirts across the ocean for you to wear in winter; the factories in which those shirts were made; the railways which transport them to your city; the warehouses in which they are stored until you are ready to buy them; the roof which covers your head, and all the machinery designed for the transportation and preservation of the food you eat, are capital. To complain of these when one is suffering for the comforts of life is as if a naked and hungry man should complain that food and clothing were his enemies. Diminish or injure this capital, and the power of everybody, the laborer included, to get clothes to wear, food to eat, and shelter from the weather, will be diminished.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Slates, Macs, and the end of Blind Boot Camp

I find it interesting that a slating bug seems to always inhabit the CCB causing all who come in contact with it to slate as much as possible. If this is not treated with moderate slating, the victim will eventually slate his fingers off in a single event of non stop slating. Regardless I am happy to have been biten, and only hope it will continue with me when I get home. I trust it will, and with my slating pals it should be easy enough.

I have also had the chance to play with a Mac and found it fairly enjoyable. I would not yet use VoiceOver as my primary screen reader, but am pleased with how it is coming along.

Blind Boot Camp ends soon. We send the troops packing on 8-8 (a day I am eagerly awaiting as I am *tired*), and we should be totally done by 8-13. Getting back to real life should be good. I am eager to find a job and start earning a real living. As I read the news and listen to the victim minded among us I feel more and more that the the Sword of Truth, Atlas Shrugged, The Road to Serfdom, and the Cato Institute should be read and viewed more regularly.

I follow with the iced coffee...