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History of Economics (Safe) History of the economy (Dangerous) History of thinking about the economy (Keyne’s scribblers) John Maynard Keynes

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History of economics l.jpg

History of Economics

(Safe) History of the economy

(Dangerous) History of thinking about the economy

(Keyne’s scribblers)


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John Maynard Keynes

"The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas…. But, soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil…"


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Nasty, brutish and short

How does our present world economy come about?

Why are things the way they are?

Leviathan: The basic building blocks of a non-Hobbesian world:

  • Industry

  • Finance

  • Freedom from brigandism, force, and fraud

  • Limited liability: corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships

  • Government and taxation, laws and regulation

  • Employment

  • Unions and other pressure groups


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History of the Economy

  • Gathering and hunting

  • Farming - in caves, in villages, in towns, and then the advent of cities

  • From barter to money, the key to trade

  • From brigands to feudal lords

  • Entrepreneurship - the farm becomes the firrrrm

  • Mercantilism

  • From family enterprises to group enterprises to corporations

  • The firm, the market and the law (anti-trust and regulation)

  • Government economies (capitalism vs. socialism)

  • Welfare (Fabianism and social democracy)


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History of Economics, Part 1

A list of dead white men (deal with it!): the classicalists:

(this is a partial list)

  • Aristotle

  • Smith

  • Malthus

  • Rickardo

  • Bentham and Mill

    (Marx and Engels)


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Marx and Engels

Lenin

Stalin

Pigou

Keynes and FDR

Fabianism

Cold war

Korea and Vietnam

Detente

European social democracy

Smith

Marshall

Coase and company

Friedman

“Reaganomics”

Corporate globalization

The Clinton compromise

History of Economics, Part 2The 140 year war: socialism vs. capitalism

1944: Bretton Woods: The great compromise


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History of Economics, Part 3Ecological Sustainability

  • Conservationism

  • Resource and environmental economics (growth implicit)

  • Georgescu-Reogen (entropy)

  • Daly (steady states)

  • Bruntland (sustainable development)

  • Agenda 21 and Kyoto (compromised sustainability)

  • …and we’re more or less up-to-date


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Part 1: From Ancient Economics to Mercantilism and Industrial Technique

Greece:

  • City states and country estates

  • Agriculture

  • Slavery

  • Democracy

  • Trade

  • Climate change


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Ancient Economics Industrial Technique

Aristotle:

  • Chrematistics vs. oeconomics

  • Wealth getting vs. household economy

    (These are large households)

Picture: www.philosophypages.com


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Aristotelian Economics Industrial Technique

Property is a part of the household, and the art of acquiring property is a part of the art of managing the household; for no man can live well, or indeed live at all, unless he be provided with necessaries. And as in the arts which have a definite sphere the workers must have their own proper instruments for the accomplishment of their work, so it is in the management of a household. Now instruments are of various sorts; some are living, others lifeless; in the rudder, the pilot of a ship has a lifeless, in the look-out man, a living instrument; for in the arts the servant is a kind of instrument. Thus, too, a possession is an instrument for maintaining life. And so, in the arrangement of the family, a slave is a living possession, and property a number of such instruments; and the servant is himself an instrument which takes precedence of all other instruments.


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Aristotelian Economics Industrial Technique

… Hence some persons are led to believe that getting wealth is the object of household management, and the whole idea of their lives is that they ought either to increase their money without limit, or at any rate not to lose it. The origin of this disposition in men is that they are intent upon living only, and not upon living well; and, as their desires are unlimited they also desire that the means of gratifying them should be without limit.

…so, too, in this art of wealth-getting there is no limit of the end, which is riches of the spurious kind, and the acquisition of wealth. But the art of wealth-getting which consists in household management, on the other hand, has a limit; the unlimited acquisition of wealth is not its business.


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Greeks, Romans, and then… Industrial Technique

  • Greek city states

  • Roman slave empire

  • Chinese economies

  • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sultan/media/expl_01q.html

  • Egyptians and later Arabs

  • Native American economies

  • The Dark Ages of Europe


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The Dark Ages: Force and Fraud Industrial Technique

  • It’s good to be a brigand

  • Feudal lords are institutional brigands

  • Robin Hood? A social brigand?

  • The king’s peace: protection of common farmers against brigands and thieves

  • Peace is productive

  • Calvin and Hobbes, Locke and Smith


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After the Dark Ages… Industrial Technique

  • Feudalism, particularly after Norman Conquest

  • The open field system of village agriculture under feudal lords (fiefs):

    • Commons

    • Fallow fields

    • Woodlands and grazings


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An Open Field Village Industrial Technique

Source: Cloughall College, UK


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  • Feudalism 101 Industrial Technique

  • The Push-me: Exploit the land, get rich and powerful

  • The Pull-you: The peasants control production. You have to let them live.


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The Baron’s way of life: A Norman Keep Industrial Technique

Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex.



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  • Magna Carta 101 Industrial Technique

  • Barons have rights too

  • Protect the barons’ peasants against the king’s soldiers

  • Protect the means of production


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King John: A weak and fearful man, but a tyrannical one Industrial Technique

Peter of Langtoft, 'Chronicle of England'. This manuscript was probably written and illuminated during the reign of Edward II (1307-1327).


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From Magna Carta: Industrial Technique

28. No constable or other bailiff of ours shall take corn or other provisions from anyone without immediately tendering money therefor, unless he can have postponement thereof by permission of the seller.

30. No sheriff or bailiff of ours, or other person, shall take the horses or carts of any freeman for transport duty, against the will of the said freeman.

31. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall take, for our castles or for any other work of ours, wood which is not ours, against the will of the owner of that wood.


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More from Magna Carta: Industrial Technique

36. Nothing in future shall be given or taken for awrit of inquisition of life or limbs, but freely it shall be granted, and never denied.

39. No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

40. To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.


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Pre industrial landscape change: from open fields and commons, to enclosures

  • Called the “Open” or “strip” field system

  • See Domesday (Doomsday) Book, 1086

  • Village rule of elders, with taxation by lords

  • Black Death (1350)

  • Rise of privatized wool industry

  • Enclosure


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The Great Plague: commons, to enclosuresthe “Black Death”

  • Kills over 1/3 of Europe around 1350

  • Sporadic outbreaks after, including 1688 in London, and in Native America after first contact

  • Empties villages


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Medieval woodcut: doctor lances a plague “buboe” on a patient, providing an element of relief. Of course, this is very dangerous for the physician


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Open fields after enclosure: patient, providing an element of relief. Of course, this is very dangerous for the physician

Source: Northumberland and Durham county councils


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Reconstructed medieval house, West Stow, Suffolk patient, providing an element of relief. Of course, this is very dangerous for the physician


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“Hundreds of English villages were abandoned during the Black Death. This is the village of Middle Ditchford in Gloucestershire. You can see the outlines of the buildings.”

http://passmoreshistory.homestead.com/files/Unit_3_Lesson__7_sheet_edited.ppt.


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Medieval Enclosures and Previous Field System Black Death. This is the village of Middle Ditchford in Gloucestershire. You can see the outlines of the buildings.”

Source: Aerial Archeology in Essex


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Early Industry C 1300-1600 Black Death. This is the village of Middle Ditchford in Gloucestershire. You can see the outlines of the buildings.”

  • “Cottage” industry, primarily based on enclosed fields used as sheep farms

  • “Trucking” from house to house

    • Carding

    • Spinning

    • Weaving

    • Transport

    • Marketing

  • English Wool, the first industrial commodity

  • Allows growing strength of the merchants


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Source: Black Death. This is the village of Middle Ditchford in Gloucestershire. You can see the outlines of the buildings.” Stephen Butt Great Glen website


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Mercantilism Black Death. This is the village of Middle Ditchford in Gloucestershire. You can see the outlines of the buildings.”

  • Calvin and the Reformation

  • Hobbes

  • The Civil War (not the one you think):

    …northern industrialists and their conscripted workers vs. southern aristocrats and their conscripted slaves and workers

  • The Merchant Empire


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Author Kevin Phillips: The “Cousin’s Wars” are actually One Big Long War

The English Civil War; The protestant North, for the merchant middle class and against feudal slavery versus the aristocratic South, for the aristocrats and to protect feudal rights

The Revolutionary War; The protestant North and thearistocratic South, for self-government and against monarchical control

3) The America Civil War: The protestant North, for the industrial owner classes and against slavery versus thearistocratic South, for the plantation holders and to protect state’s rights



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The Economic Importance of Calvin and Hobbes actually One Big Long War

Actually, no….


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Calvinism actually One Big Long War

  • Predestination

  • Work redeems the day

  • Duty

  • Thriftiness in consumption

  • Weakening of established hierarchy

  • The church of the merchants and manufacturers

  • The Pilgrims

  • Today’s Baptists, Methodists, etc


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Hobbes actually One Big Long War

  • Leviathan: the state as giant

  • The Prince and his people

  • Protect the commonwealth

  • Protection from force and fraud

  • The masses subscribe to his rule because that is what protects the peace and thereby production

  • Not originally Calvinistic, but as time goes by…


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Hobbes actually One Big Long War

(Frontispiece to

Leviathan, 1651)


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From Old Ashburn Scenes, Ashburnweb.com actually One Big Long War


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Early Industry C 1600 to 1800 actually One Big Long War

  • Cottage industry locates “on-site”

  • Creates “Industrial hamlets”

  • Site specific advantages:

    • Mining

    • Water or wind power

    • Workforce

    • Better transportation on good roads, then canals

  • Iron, the source of early military power, ironworks key strategic resource

  • Case study: Sheffield, Yorkshire


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Source: Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet: Sheffield, Yorkshire actually One Big Long War

The Tilt Forge Wheel


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Source: Shepherd Wheel: Sheffield, Yorkshire actually One Big Long War

The Grinding Workshop


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Forge sites on Sheffield rivers actually One Big Long War


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Coal Mining actually One Big Long War

  • “Sea Coal” from Newcastle

  • Driven by deforestation of England, 1600s, 1700s

  • Required energy to pump water from deep shafts

  • Required centralized, organized labor force: capitalism, unions


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“Sea Coal” Photo: Glen Smart actually One Big Long War


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From the author of Robinson Crusoe actually One Big Long War

This town of Sheffield is very populous and large, the streets narrow, and the houses dark and black, occasioned by the continued smoke of the forges which are always at work.

Here they make all sorts of cutlery-ware, but especially that of edge tools, knives, razors, axes etc. and nails; and here the only mill of the sort, which was in use in England for some time, was set up, for turning their grindstones.

The manufacture of hard ware is ... much increased... and they talk of 30000 men employed in the whole.

from A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain by Daniel Defoe published in 1724


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