Tag economics

The Dogs of War

George Magnus— When Mark Antony utters the words ‘let slip the dogs of war’ after the assassination of Julius Caesar, he is thought to be referring to devices in civilised societies that allow or inhibit war. For a long time, China and the US have had spats over specific trade

Continue reading…

Mining and the Rise of Capitalism

Jeannette Graulau— From David Landes’s Prometheus Unbound to Giovanni Arrighi’s Origins of Our Times, scholars continue to quarrel over one of the most difficult questions of all time: the why, how, and where of the origins of capitalism. Some return to the inexhaustible argument of England’s Industrial Revolution. Others, demystifying

Continue reading…

When the Austrian School of Economics Supported a Progressive State

Janek Wasserman— Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom is inarguably the most famous book associated with the Austrian School of Economics. The basic premises of Hayek’s argument are well known: “socialist” trends in German thought now threatened Western democracies; fascism and Nazism were the necessary outcome of those trends; government planning undermined

Continue reading…

Out of Joint

Nomi Claire Lazar— The importance of genericism to the primitivist frame is evident from its reliance on abstraction. This becomes clear in contrast with an Aristotelian perspective on development. For Aristotle, the highest form of human personality is to become a person of virtue and sound judgment, engaged in a

Continue reading…

Can Human Beings Understand the Economy?

Pascal Boyer— It is in the nature of human beings that they create societies. Philosophers have known and said that much for millennia. These days, scientists can paint a detailed picture of how evolution by natural selection made us social animals, providing us with those capacities and preferences that makes

Continue reading…

Troubling Signs of a New Financial Crisis

Kathleen Day— No one can predict what or when the next financial crisis will be, but one can spot troubling trends. Policies and practices that contributed to the last crisis—dubbed the Great Recession it was so severe—have started to reappear. Too much debt fuels every financial crisis. So where can

Continue reading…

Why Is Climate Change An Economic Problem?

William D. Nordhaus— Begin by stepping back and asking a basic question. Why is global warming such a special problem? Why is it a global problem and not a national problem or a household problem? Why is it such a persistent problem? The economics of climate change is straightforward. Virtually

Continue reading…

The Death of Entrepreneurship Is Greatly Exaggerated

Scott A. Shane— We Americans aren’t creating new businesses with employees at the rate we once did. The formation of new employers has fallen below its replacement rate and many policymakers and pundits have become worried. Lesser entrepreneurship would mean a more rigid economy, less able to respond to shocks.

Continue reading…

Workers of the World

Niall Kishtainy—  A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism.’ This is the first line of The Communist Manifesto, which was written in the middle of the nineteenth century and is perhaps the most famous political pamphlet ever. The spectre – something scary and menacing – was the threat to

Continue reading…

The Four Horsemen of Capitalist Decline

Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel— Now, however, capitalism seems to have lost its founding spirit of enterprise. Four forces that guided the economy from the 1970s assisted in reducing the scope for experimentation and innovation. They are not the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, nor were they all undesirable, but

Continue reading…