“Magic without wizards”, or, why is your favorite bread on the shelf when you want it?

Consider merely the way that your favorite bread is always available, usually from many bakeries. And at the time you want. The bakery doesn’t know whether you will stop in on your way to work, during lunch, or after having dinner.

How can it be that several bakeries know to have your choice of bread available, whether sourdough loafs, whole wheat biscuits, rye rolls, croissants, or cranberry bagels? How did they know to order enough yeast, oil, and flour? How did they know what mix to bake before the sun came up?

How did the wholesalers know enough to deliver the right amount of flour to all the pizzerias, bakeries, and pastry shops?

How did the farmers know enough to plant the right amount of wheat, oats, barley, and rye last spring to harvest enough this fall to satisfy all those bakers?

Hmm. What could be getting all those people working together to make sure my favorite and your favorite bread is available when you or I want it?

Ponder these and many more questions just in terms of having bread on the shelf in this video, called “It’s a wonderful loaf:”

 

 

The answer of how all that happens is readily available for all who want to find it.

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“Currency and the Collapse of the Roman Empire” infographic

Silver Roman denarius. Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Silver Roman denarius. Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Telling the tale of the collapse of the Roman Empire is a challenge even in a full length book. Presenting one slice of the story in an easily read and understood infographic is even more of a challenge.

The Money Project is a blog run by Visual Capitalist which focuses on illustrating complex ideas. Their infographic Currency and the Collapse of the Roman Empire does a great job of describing how debasement of the currency and the resulting inflation made trade more difficult which in turn contributed to the collapse.

Oh, used with permission of Visual Capitalist. (Cross-posted from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

A great story with many lessons to be learned for anyone willing to think for a while:

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“Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity”

The following discussion is cross-posted from my other blog, Outrun Change.

Why do I copy it here?

Because at a foundational level, the radical increases in health, safety, and prosperity that started about 200 years ago are at the core a moral issue. I firmly believe it is a fundamentally moral matter to understand what caused that change and have as many people as possible share in it.

Having the vast majority of people live in squalor and die at 30 or live in comfort and die at 80. That is a basic moral issue.

Economic freedom and political freedom are just two of the key drivers in this change the professor will describe.

Here’s the discussion:

Take any one of a variety of economic indicators. Per capita income. Life expectancy. Stuff people own. Average height. Child mortality. Number of pants and underwear owned.

Graph it over the last 2,000 years.

You will see a hockey stick. Flat with no growth for century after century. Brutal, hungry, and disease-ridden short lives were the norm 3000 years ago.

And 1000 years ago.

And 500 years ago.

So far, any graph you draw of any of those indicators is a flatline.

Then, about 200 years ago, every one of the graphs took off like a Shuttle launch. Something happened.

For the first in a series of videos, Professor Don Boudreaux explains what this hockey stick looks like.

And what made things get so mind-bogglingly better.

 

 

Another idea for a hockey stick graph: number of natural teeth in your mouth at age 50.

Oh, wait. People usually didn’t live that long until a few hundred years ago.

link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9FSnvtcEbg&feature=player_embedded

How does this thing called creative destruction, or people losing their jobs, actually create more jobs, expand the economy, and make everyone better off?

Creative video from Prof. Bryan Caplan explains Make Progress, Not Work.

 

(cross-post from Outrun Change.) A few highlights:

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Capitalism and Imperialism are *not* the same thing

Voluntary trade between market participants at negotiated prices is not even close to the same thing as forced trade at forced prices where one person has a major power advantage (usually military dominance). In other words, capitalism is NOT imperialism.

Check out this video:

 

Some of my favorite lines from Dr. Stephen Davies:

Are capitalism and imperialism variations of the same thing?

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Another explanation of Quantitative Easing and other performance enhancing drugs

(cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Here’s the on-air confessional interview as it should have happened. Or perhaps it is an animated educational cartoon. You can decide for yourself:

Bernanke to Oprah:  ‘I’ve Been Doping for Years’.

This cartoon gives a superb explanation in 12 minutes of a major factor about how we got into our current economic mess.

The format is an imaginary interview with the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, Ben Bernanke, as he confesses to long-term doping of the economy.

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Here’s a picture of life without evil capitalism – you may not like what you see

What would life be like without those greedy, evil, money-grubbing capitalists trying to make a buck off consumers? Maybe an Edenic paradise flowing with economic equality and abundant consumer products for everyone?

Not quite.

Check out this view of life without the profit motive, meaning no one has an incentive to provide you with anything.  The video is a play on the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, wherein George Bailey gets to see what the world would be like without him. In this movie, our hero gets to see what’s left over when the profit motive disappears.

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Interference in the market pricing disrupts the supply and demand equation. What bad things will happen?

Disrupt the supply/demand equation and what are the fully expected results?

Distortions, shortages, rationing, waiting lines, black markets. Those are the logical consequences of price controls.

Could someone explain to me why shortages and rationing and black markets are morally superior to free enterprise?

Check this out:

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