Tag Archives: India

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold … A post somewhat about China

Historically, taxing land (rents) and trade have been the dominant income sources of rulerships not reliant on labour service (not to be confused with taxes on labour income, which have a different dynamic).* Trade was a particularly attractive source of income because it often involved taxing outsiders. But trade was also mobile–too much tax for […]

Bubble trouble: not an easy money problem

The notion that “easy money” created asset booms is levelled (famously by Austrian school economists such as von Mises and Hayek) against the 1920s boom and by a range of commentators about the Great Moderation boom. In both cases, the Fed (dominated by Benjamin Strong as New York Fed Governor up to 1928 and by Alan Greenspan as Fed Chair 1987-2006) is held to be to […]

Going for gold: perils of entering the goldzone

Who would want the global monetary system to be at the mercy of the Bank of China?  Not conservative, free market types in the United States and elsewhere, one guesses. Actually, it turns out lots of them do; all the people who support some sort of return to the gold standard, who think that the […]

What is this thing called property?

My nomination for the most misleading metaphor in modern philosophy is John Locke’s notion that, in a state of nature, one mixes one’s labour with something to rreate property. In John Locke’s words: The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out […]

‘The Destroyer of Worlds’

Many Westerners know one passage from the Hindu scriptures, even if they do not know its provenance: physicist Robert Oppenheimer‘s statement — in response to the first successful nuclear test — that ‘now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’. The source, of course, is the Bhagavad Gita, and the speaker is Krishna, who — […]

‘Bollywood with Brass’

Yes, it’s a music post and… not about Metallica.  Since I’ve been at Oxford, I’ve discovered large numbers of people who study extremely interesting things. This goes without saying. As you’d expect, there’s lots of putative cures for cancer, philosophies of law, population genetics and so on to be found among the Oxford graduate community. […]