Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
US Coronavirus Infections & Deaths Trend Trajectory - How Bad Will it Get? - 2nd Apr 20
Silver Looks Bearish Short to Medium Term - 2nd Apr 20
Mickey Fulp: 'Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste' - 2nd Apr 20
Stock Market Selloff Structure Explained – Fibonacci On Deck - 2nd Apr 20
COVID-19 FINANCIAL LOCKDOWN: Can PAYPAL Be Trusted to Handle US $1200 Stimulus Payments? - 2nd Apr 20
Day in the Life of Coronavirus LOCKDOWN - Sheffield, UK - 2nd Apr 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Trajectory - Deviation Against Forecast - 1st Apr 20
Huge Unemployment Is Coming. Will It Push Gold Prices Up? - 1st Apr 20
Gold Powerful 2008 Lessons That Apply Today - 1st Apr 20
US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 1st Apr 20
From Global Virus Acceleration to Global Debt Explosion - 1st Apr 20
UK Supermarkets Coronavirus Panic Buying Before Lock Down - Tesco Empty Shelves - 1st Apr 20
Gold From a Failed Breakout to a Failed Breakdown - 1st Apr 20
P FOR PANDEMIC - 1st Apr 20
The Past Stock Market Week Was More Important Than You May Understand - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus - No, You Do Not Hear the Fat Lady Warming Up - 31st Mar 20
Life, Religions, Business, Globalization & Information Technology In The Post-Corona Pandemics Age - 31st Mar 20
Three Charts Every Stock Market Trader and Investor Must See - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Stocks Bear Market Trend Forecast - Video - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Dow Stocks Bear Market Into End April 2020 Trend Forecast - 31st Mar 20
Is it better to have a loan or credit card debt when applying for a mortgage? - 31st Mar 20
US and UK Coronavirus Trend Trajectories vs Bear Market and AI Stocks Sector - 30th Mar 20
Are Gold and Silver Mirroring 1999 to 2011 Again? - 30th Mar 20
Stock Market Next Cycle Low 7th April - 30th Mar 20
United States Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Forecasts Into End April 2020 - 29th Mar 20
Some Positives in a Virus Wracked World - 29th Mar 20
Expert Tips to Save on Your Business’s Office Supply Purchases - 29th Mar 20
An Investment in Life - 29th Mar 20
Sheffield Coronavirus Pandemic Infections and Deaths Forecast - 29th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 28th Mar 20
The Great Coronavirus Depression - Things Are Going to Change. Here’s What We Should Do - 28th Mar 20
One of the Biggest Stock Market Short Covering Rallies in History May Be Imminent - 28th Mar 20
The Fed, the Coronavirus and Investing - 28th Mar 20
Women’s Fashion Trends in the UK this 2020 - 28th Mar 20
The Last Minsky Financial Snowflake Has Fallen – What Now? - 28th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast Into End April 2020 - 28th Mar 20
DJIA Coronavirus Stock Market Technical Trend Analysis - 27th Mar 20
US and UK Case Fatality Rate Forecast for End April 2020 - 27th Mar 20
US Stock Market Upswing Meets Employment Data - 27th Mar 20
Will the Fed Going Nuclear Help the Economy and Gold? - 27th Mar 20
What you need to know about the impact of inflation - 27th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Herd Immunity, Flattening the Curve and Case Fatality Rate Analysis - 27th Mar 20
NHS Hospitals Before Coronavirus Tsunami Hits (Sheffield), STAY INDOORS FINAL WARNING! - 27th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Curve, Stock Market Crash, and Mortgage Massacre - 27th Mar 20
Finding an Expert Car Accident Lawyer - 27th Mar 20
We Are Facing a Depression, Not a Recession - 26th Mar 20
US Housing Real Estate Market Concern - 26th Mar 20
Covid-19 Pandemic Affecting Bitcoin - 26th Mar 20
Italy Coronavirus Case Fataility Rate and Infections Trend Analysis - 26th Mar 20
Why Is Online Gambling Becoming More Popular? - 26th Mar 20
Dark Pools of Capital Profiting from Coronavirus Stock Markets CRASH! - 26th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Herd Immunity and Flattening the Curve - 25th Mar 20
Coronavirus Lesson #1 for Investors: Beware Predictions of Stock Market Bottoms - 25th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Stock Market Trend Implications - 25th Mar 20
Pandemonium in Precious Metals Market as Fear Gives Way to Command Economy - 25th Mar 20
Pandemics and Gold - 25th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Hotspots - Cities with Highest Risks of Getting Infected - 25th Mar 20
WARNING US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Going Ballistic! - 24th Mar 20
Coronavirus Crisis - Weeks Where Decades Happen - 24th Mar 20
Industry Trends: Online Casinos & Online Slots Game Market Analysis - 24th Mar 20
Five Amazingly High-Tech Products Just on the Market that You Should Check Out - 24th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus WARNING - Infections Trend Trajectory Worse than Italy - 24th Mar 20
Rick Rule: 'A Different Phrase for Stocks Bear Market Is Sale' - 24th Mar 20
Stock Market Minor Cycle Bounce - 24th Mar 20
Gold’s century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 24th Mar 20
Big Tech Is Now On The Offensive Against The Coronavirus - 24th Mar 20
Socialism at Its Finest after Fed’s Bazooka Fails - 24th Mar 20
Dark Pools of Capital Profiting from Coronavirus Stock and Financial Markets CRASH! - 23rd Mar 20
Will Trump’s Free Cash Help the Economy and Gold Market? - 23rd Mar 20
Coronavirus Clarifies Priorities - 23rd Mar 20
Could the Coronavirus Cause the Next ‘Arab Spring’? - 23rd Mar 20
Concerned About The US Real Estate Market? Us Too! - 23rd Mar 20
Gold Stocks Peak Bleak? - 22nd Mar 20
UK Supermarkets Coronavirus Panic Buying, Empty Tesco Shelves, Stock Piling, Hoarding Preppers - 22nd Mar 20
US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Going Ballistic as Government Start to Ramp Up Testing - 21st Mar 20
Your Investment Portfolio for the Next Decade—Fix It with the “Anti-Stock” - 21st Mar 20
CORONA HOAX: This Is Almost Completely Contrived and Here’s Proof - 21st Mar 20
Gold-Silver Ratio Tops 100; Silver Headed For Sub-$10 - 21st Mar 20
Coronavirus - Don’t Ask, Don’t Test - 21st Mar 20
Napag and Napag Trading Best Petroleum & Crude Oil Company - 21st Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections Trend Trajectory Worse than Italy - Government PANICs! Sterling Crashes! - 20th Mar 20
UK Critical Care Nurse Cries at Empty SuperMarket Shelves, Coronavirus Panic Buying Stockpiling - 20th Mar 20
Coronavirus Is Not an Emergency. It’s a War - 20th Mar 20
Why You Should Invest in the $5 Gold Coin - 20th Mar 20
Four Key Stock Market Questions To This Coronavirus Crisis Everyone is Asking - 20th Mar 20
Gold to Silver Ratio’s Breakout – Like a Hot Knife Through Butter - 20th Mar 20
The Coronavirus Contraction - Only Cooperation Can Defeat Impending Global Crisis - 20th Mar 20
Is This What Peak Market Fear Looks Like? - 20th Mar 20
Alessandro De Dorides - Business Consultant - 20th Mar 20
Why a Second Depression is Possible but Not Likely - 20th Mar 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Coronavirus-bear-market-2020-analysis

Economics Is About Scarcity, Property, and Relationships

Economics / Economic Theory Nov 27, 2015 - 04:09 PM GMT

By: MISES

Economics

Michael J. McKay writes: The other day I was having coffee with a new friend, a retired businessman who had customized luxury cars in California. I mentioned I had recently retired from owning an investment firm and had studied economics for many years, especially Austrian economics.

Like so many people, he said, “I really don't understand economics and always have been confused by it.”


To which I surprised him with, “Of course you understand economics; it is the thought process you use every day to deal with three things: scarcity, property, and relationships.”

His eyes got big and he said, “Whoa! Say that again.”

“OK,” I said, “Everything in human life is organized around how we make decisions about three things: scarcity, property, and relationships.

“First let’s talk about scarcity which you’ve known about all of your life — you notice when something is missing or about to be missing; it is how you decide when it’s time go to the grocery store, do your laundry or whether you should drive your car faster so not to be late for an appointment.

“Every human being is an expert in the decision process of scarcity. It is something we all naturally do whenever we act and choose — which, by the way, we are doing all the time, every day, all day long.”

I smiled, “I could go on and on. You want more?”

“Sure,” he smiled back.

“All humans make action and choice decisions that automatically weigh the following factors. Knowledge: what do we know? Risk and uncertainty: what is our estimate of the risk we can foresee? What do we not know? Time and priority: when do I want or need this? And, how important is this to me right now in relation to other options? Value: what am I willing to give up to have this thing right now?

“This is the personal way you understand economics; it’s the decision process that every human being goes through every time they act and choose, even if it is only for me, alone.

“But there is another important way you already understand economics, which is how we interact with others. That is why I mentioned property and relationships because here is where the decision process I outlined above takes into account other people.

“Economics is also about how we decide how we will think about — and therefore organize — our property and our relationships.”

After a long pause my new friend then said, “Wait a minute. You haven’t talked about money. Even I know that economics is the study of money.”

To which I said, “The study of money and monetary exchange is the most applied use of economic theory. And this is to be expected.

“Why? Because of property.

“You probably already know that money is a medium of exchange. But what are we exchanging? We are exchanging property, your property for my property.

“It is most valuable to think that there are two conversations happening during every monetary — or property — exchange.

“The first conversation is the one I am having with myself; when I give $3 for this fancy cup of coffee I am saying, “I value that coffee more than the $3 in my pocket.”

“The second conversation is the one the café owner is having with himself. He is saying, “I value your $3 more than the coffee I have for sale.”

“Money is the handiest form of property so I don’t have to try to exchange a fish or a chicken for a cup of coffee, for example.”

I continued, “the real use of economics is in the conversation of how we organize ourselves in groups. Do we peacefully respect each other’s property? Do we peacefully cooperate with a shared sense of peaceful-values or is it that fearful-values are forced on us by some Single Dictator, as in a single person, or a Group Dictator, which is otherwise called democracy, by the way.”

At this point my new friend was squirming and said, “So, really economics is based on politics.”

I said, “Actually, it’s the other way around. If you like, I can send to you a great little essay written in 1850 that clarifies this. The writer’s name is Bastiat and he explains that economic architectures precede political architectures.

“In other words, if you look at politics as simply an argument of how we should organize ourselves, then it becomes obvious that it really boils down to how we know, or don’t know, what property is and how we should deal with it as we relate to each other in life and living.

“This is what I was referring to when I said that economics is also about relationships. The connection between economics and politics is how we organize our relationships and whether our ‘shared values’ assume we can have (and want to have) a society based more on peaceful cooperation — or not.”

As all conversations go, it became apparent that it was time to wrap this up, so I said, “Well, there you go. I have been studying this for a long time. If you would like to learn more I can direct you to learn about these things in a step-by-step way.”

To my surprise, he said, “No, let’s continue. This is very interesting. But one thing bothers me. Are you also saying that humans don’t need rules and laws and that our so-called ‘self interests’ are enough to keep us humans interacting in a more peaceful way? The news is too full of the horrors of humanity to swallow that one.”

I replied, “Well, it is true that the media is mostly reporting bad news. And there are definitely places and times throughout the world where the balance was and is greater violence of man against man.

“But it is also true that this exists against a backdrop of a pretty darn peaceful world overall. On any average day, you are more likely to end the day peacefully in bed than being the victim of some violent or unfortunate occurrence.

“There are many, many examples of shared peaceful values that we — the world over — rely on in our daily life, that show this to be true. My favorite is the freeway. Here we move along at speeds that easily can kill us and yet we all — mostly and most of the time — peacefully cooperate.

“But let’s talk next time about whether we need to organize ourselves around an assumption that the only way people will peacefully cooperate is via some agency being given the exclusive use of force or whether there are other ways that we can both have rules, laws, and remedies and — at the same time — a higher order of peace, prosperity, and freedom.

“Because there is a way.”

By Michael J. McKay

In 1994 Michael J. McKay founded Iowa Capital Management, an investment firm with an international clientele, where he currently serves as Chief Economist and President. Michael is also the founder and host of RadioFreeMarket.com

http://mises.org

© 2015 Copyright Michael J. McKay - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules