Archive for the ‘When Gonzalo Delved And Sita Span’ Category

The Economics Of Schadenfreude

A great many people talk about “abolishing poverty”. Of these, some are liars and the rest are illiterates. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, poverty is a relative concept, because wealth is a relative concept. These terms do not mean having this or not having that, but having more than most other people […]

Under The Jacaranda Tree

I have elsewhere suggested that the Rational Actor model of economics is not merely incomplete but utterly wrong, on the grounds that, once employed, we do not act to maximise our economic advantage but rather to increase emotional satisfactions; which are generally obtained by denying and frustrating others. Under a tree in Almería one day, […]

From Workers To Consumers

Western countries used to be composed of citizens, alternatively of workers and bosses. Almost the only term now used for their denizens, however, is “consumer”. This sacred title links them, and is intended to make them feel so linked, to the ancient aristocratic mentality, whereby a gentleman was someone who did not work, and merely […]

Eating, Sleeping Or Working?

The purveyors of the American Dream and related paranormal phenomena tell us that we can get rich from hard work. Now, we can certainly become richer by hard work, particularly in an entrepreneur-friendly environment. I have lived long enough in the contrary milieu and watched people choose job security and the satisfactions of tolerated idleness […]

Because Grinding The Faces Of The Poor Is FUN

In a discussion of how much our jeans would cost if South Asian textile workers could afford to wear them, an economically literate friend informed me that manufacturing is these days so automated that the Bengalis could easily be paid ten times as much without having much of an impact on the Western store price. […]

On Never Having Been Down t’Pit

I used to have the conventional reverence for cultural heritage, and visited a certain proportion of the European cynosures, from the Hermitage in the then Leningrad to the Mezquita in Córdoba, and from the Sainte-Chapelle to the Hagia Sophia. Plus Kyōto and Nara, although nothing in China, India or Central Asia. Not quite an updated […]

The Betters’ Hatred Of The Worsers

Which comes first, hatred of the overclass or hatred of the underclass? For most people it is obvious that the resentment of the exploited and dispossessed for their lords and masters must be primary. On this view, when the upper crust is found hating the lower orders, this must be because it is afraid of […]

We Had The Answer In 1381

There have been many theories as to why human beings wear clothes when animals do not. In many climes it is practical or even essential, mankind could simply not survive as naked apes. But he generally wears clothes even in the tropics. Some say, thereby raising a bigger question than they answer, that switching to […]

Suicide And The State

Totalitarian imposition of dishonestly-concealed metaphysical views apart, in what other way might the State consider itself offended by a person’s suicide? The obvious answer is that successful suicides pay neither personal income tax nor VAT. Now, the State also spends money on its citizens, for example on their health, education and police/military protection, and so […]