Category: Economics

The Roadside Fruit Stand, Convenience, and Culture

Based on my recent drive through South Carolina’s back roads, the state’s main economic output is peach/firework/boiled peanut stands. Seriously – you can find these everywhere from the upstate to the coast. It’s a staple of South Carolina roadsides, and probably of the rest of the South, too, and it’s delightful. Here is commerce on […]

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Ransacked American Grocery Stores Are Still Pretty Amazing

The other night I made my first post-lockdown grocery store run. And I’ll admit it was a bit unsettling. It was strange seeing a security guard. It was strange wearing a mask. It was strange feeling a sort of fear of my fellow shoppers. And it was really strange and disturbing to see shelves stripped […]

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Three Things To Know About Economics (Before Watching the News)

1. “The market” is just people. 2. “Prices” (including tuition rates, interest rates, etc) are just information about peoples’ preferences. 3. Anyone who wants to jack with markets or prices is someone who wants to jack with people and information.

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Always Be Prepared (To Engage In Trade)

Today my friends and I hiked through mud and rocks and falling ice to get to the top of Blood Mountain. It was at the same time a lovely hike and a hairy one. We expected to get to the top and eat our bagged lunches. What we didn’t expect to find at the top was […]

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Keep Some Self-Sufficiency In Your Life

I used to dream about becoming “self-sufficient” – growing and making most everything myself. And I put in a good amount of daydreaming time and real work toward that, raising all kinds of poultry, growing a garden, reading books on farm skills. Then I learned economics.* I learned that specialization and division of labor have […]

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Fictional Flags, Bad Odds, and Defiant Hope

I’m undertaking a new writing challenge: write one post a day for as many days as possible based on things at my desk. This is day 3 of that challenge.  There are two flags hanging at my desk at work. Both belong to fictional countries. “Winter is coming” has been my unofficial motto for much […]

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The Bourgeois Virtues of Piano Recitals

Tonight I was listening to some Baroque-period music on the radio, and it took me back – not to the 17th century, but instead to my early childhood. It’s so rare to hear classical music of this kind these days, but it’s not rare to see children playing these kinds of (simplified) pieces at piano […]

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Think Like a Good Capitalist (and Become More Generous)

Capital goods, n. – goods that are used in producing other goods, rather than being bought by consumers. Good capitalists realize the capital potential in everything. All of the things you own have – in some situation or for some person – the capacity to create tremendous value, from your cooking pots to your laptop case to your […]

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On Being a Part of City Life

When was the first time you felt connected to the life of a city? When I was younger, I could see the busy-ness of the world around me – the high office buildings, the businesses, the traffic, the construction, the people rushing off to do things. But it all felt foreign and unrelatable. These were things that *other* […]

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