You don’t want to cite Joseph and the years of abundance as an argument for central planning. It’s actually an example of coercive government power leading to slavery of the people.

An article in the Times of Israel, “The road to Egypt: job creators in the Ancient World”, has the subtitle Joseph’s rise to power is no blueprint for good government but rather a profoundly cautionary tale.

I’ve not studied the issues mentioned in the article, but want to put up a post as a marker for future reference.  I’ll try to come back to these ideas, but in case that doesn’t happen, or it is a long time until I do, the discussion will be here.

As a Christian, I don’t spend much time in the Torah. Okay, make that zero time.

Having spent a bit of study effort in the book of Genesis, I am familiar with the story of how Joseph used his God-provided experiences and abilities to care for his family.

Imagine my surprise to learn that during the famine years Joseph sold wheat in exchange for cattle and other livestock. When grain ran out a year later and people needed more food, they sold their land to Joseph, i.e. the government. When the famine ended, they had neither land to raise grain nor livestock to produce cash or food.  They were slaves. They knowingly went into slavery.


Myths abound for the cause of the financial crisis

John Allison describes a number of the myths floating around in his article at Forbes. I read it in the 12-10-12 paper edition of Forbes, but can’t find it online. Was able to find it here:  The Financial Crisis and the Bank Deregulation Myth.

Here’s two old myths:

One is that the ‘robber barons’ took advantage of the common man to create their fortunes. In fact, great industrialists, like John D. Rockefeller, dramatically improved the quality of life for everyone. Another myth is that President Roosevelt’s New Deal ended the Great Depression, when in fact the Depression did not end until after WWII when his policies were abandoned.


“Deck the Halls with Macro Follies” – Economists sing your favorite holiday carols

(cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Remember the rapping economists we saw here and here?  They’re back!

Just in time for Christmas, EconStories imagines their fantasy Christmas album featuring the classic hits from Keynes, Hayek, and other renown singers you know and love.

Enjoy the greatest collection of economic hits ever aggregated.



Under what economic model did the pilgrims almost starve? What different economic model allowed them to thrive?

Here’s the arrangement the Pilgrims used when they first landed:

“Although they planted household gardens almost from the start, they collectivized initial field and livestock operations. The settlers had some agricultural successes, but they were unable to grow corn in their common field. Within six months of reaching Plymouth, almost one-half of the population had perished from disease.

That’s a quote from Professor Robert Ellickson in Prof. Don Boudreaux’s article The Pilgrims’ economic progress.

A collectivized farming system didn’t work too well.  Starvation was the result.

So, they changed their plans: (more…)

Millions of people spontaneously work together to make your pencil – “I, Pencil: The Movie"

Likewise for everything you ever use – millions of people working together created it not knowing what they were actually working on. Why?

“Voluntary spontaneous cooperation”


From the waitress serving lunch for the lumberjacks cutting down a cedar tree, to the miners pulling ore out of the ground, to the engine room crew on a freighter bringing the ore to the U.S. to the engineer driving the train bringing the pencil to the regional distribution center to the forklift operator loading the truck that carries stuff to restock your neighborhood store, millions of people worked together to create the pencil you will hold in your hand during tomorrow’s staff meeting.