Tag Archives: Karl Marx

That trading thing people do

Canadian economist Nick Rowe made a comment on a blog post on comparative advantage that bugged me: The way I teach it, all gains from trade come either from differences between people, like comparative advantage, or else from economies of scale. So I think gains from trade is not more basic than comparative advantage. Gains […]

The insidious reach of error

I have become deeply interested in the origins of money, which means reading the work of various historical anthropologists. As is often the case when reading other social scientists on matters of economic significance, one comes across a fair bit of economist envy. Compared to other social science academics (and, for that matter, humanities academics), […]

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 […]

A mixture problem

Have you ever made a good cocktail by accident? You know, where you combine various ingredients — including quite a few that don’t seem to go together — and yet finish up with something awesome? Yeah, doesn’t happen often, does it? Or it only tastes good when you’re drunk. Taste the mix again later — […]