Economics in One Image

04/26/201726 Comments


Have you ever agonized over le mot juste for explaining catallactics to your friends? Despaired over a simple explanation of the economic calculation problem? Pulled your hair out trying to get your co-workers to appreciate the miraculous nature of a pencil? Well, worry no more my fellow would-be economic demystifiers! Here is an important economic lesson in one image!

"Economy" vs. "Catallaxy"

Economics as a Coordination Problem

Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth

Anarchy in Action: Spontaneous Order

"The Law" by Frédéric Bastiat

Economics in One Lesson

I, Pencil (pdf/epub/mp3/html)

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Comments (26)

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  1. fernando says:

    James, great info and thank you. Minor issue though, your link to “I, pencil” is misdirected to the “economics in one lesson” link. I’d very much like to download the essay if you fix it. Thanks again.

  2. Corbett says:

    Thanks for pointing that out, fernando. The link has been corrected.

  3. MaryD says:

    Thank you James on top of learning a little bit more about the topic of economics I enjoyed the walk in the park

  4. HomeRemedySupply says:

    The ending to this video was so spot on!

  5. kawilly 007 says:

    James, your video inspired me to create a meme for a visual aid 🙂 It’s a picture of designed pathways on a campus next to a user-created pathway, with text above that says, “This is the free market.” “This is central planning.” “Any questions?” I will send it to you via email and will put “Free Market Pathway Meme” in the Subject Line. Thanks for your work and take care!

  6. generalbottlewasher says:

    Why oh why can we not be left to our own realities. Of course, we are lost sheep and the shepherds must lead us down the path to the shearing shed. There is no guarantee we would blindly stumble into door number one and the shearing party that awaits. Oh no, central architects of our reality want results they can count on. So doors 2, 3,4, and all fractal numbered doors will never be available to us. How can we the sheeple force a compromise to our overlords so that our intuition and natural paths can be harmoniously incorporated into a reality of broad spectrum. Can’t we all just get along? Must the kleptocrocy have their pudding perfect. Such a beautiful planned park. Only a sociopath would walk on the grass. You sure aren’t in Kansas. Kenichiwa Jamison.

    • generalbottlewasher says:

      You are an economy in your own right. What are the economic corilations to your reality. It is plan to see whether in yin or oily dollars 197,000 per is potential and a pregnant dynamic. Can you explain futher than that you economic shogun.

    • Leigh says:

      James make me feel a bit travel sick when he moves around and so I can’t really concentrate on what he’s saying. And you usual suspect Corbetteers have really posted nothing of substance, just really odd ramblings. I’m not getting any of this or you at all. Which is whack cos i normally do. Anyways happy 2018 to JC and the massive. X

  7. PeaceFroggs says:

    Well, naturally I like the Free Market, however in a world of 7 billion people if we simply leave it to Supply and Demand, how would we curb over fishing or protect endangered species?

    Take India for example, the country as it transitions has two economies, two extremes economically speaking. There are the poor (Free Market) and then there are the middle and upper class (central planning).

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me central planning lift people out of poverty, and allows governments to pass legislation that help protect natural resources from exploitation and helps protect endangered species.

    • HomeRemedySupply says:

      You brought up some important concerns of many people.

      But actually, in my opinion, free aware people will always sort out these kinds of problems in a free aware society.

      Have FAITH.
      “…you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing.” For, if one is aware that these know-hows will naturally, yes, automatically, arrange themselves into creative and productive patterns in response to human necessity and demand — that is, in the absence of governmental or any other coercive master-minding — then one will possess an absolutely essential ingredient for freedom: a faith in free people. Freedom is impossible without this faith.….

      In my opinion, the audio of I, Pencil is on a high aesthetic wavelength. (14 minutes)
      Corbett’s link to I, Pencil.

      • PeaceFroggs says:

        “But actually, in my opinion, free aware people will always sort out these kinds of problems in a free aware society.”

        — Call me pessimistic, but I don’t share the same Utopian optimism in our fellow humans as you do. Greed is a powerful force.

        I say all free aware people should move to New Hampshire and secede from the US or better yet move to some island in the Pacific and try the social experiment there first, and if it works, it’ll catch on.

    • mkey says:

      How do you define “lifted out of poverty”? Disparity between the rich and the poor has never been greater.

      All of these issues are very layered and intertwined. There’s so much regulation I’d say it’s impossible to estimate what would happen if we’d change a few things around.

      Among these issues are the mantra of capitalism, overproduction, subsidization, trading agreements etc.

      Generally I agree with you to the extent that I don’t think 100% free market would be a good idea, however such overregulation as we have now is a lot worse.

      • PeaceFroggs says:

        “How do you define “lifted out of poverty”? Disparity between the rich and the poor has never been greater.”

        — Simple, compare 1950’s China to 2010’s China, and you’ll notice that India is incrementally lifting its citizen’s out of poverty much like the Chinese did and continue to do.

  8. cbmpfi says:

    I guess I’m a little slow, but I didn’t get that last bit. Maybe HomeRemedySupply could explain it to me.
    (Never mind – I just saw the tweeted photo)

  9. vumxmx says:

    Austrians and MMTers should be on the same side

    How the Money Power created Libertarianism and Austrian Economics

    Yes, Libertarians Really Are Lazy Marxists

    Philip Pilkington: The Fear Industry – Austrian School Propaganda and the Gold Market

    Towards a Libertarian/Austrian Modern Money Theory

    Debunking Austrian Economics 101 (Updated)

    Philip Pilkington: Hyperinflation! The Libertarian Fantasy That Never Occurs

    Philip Pilkington: Libertarianism and the Leap of Faith – The Origins of a Political Cult

    Philip Pilkington: The Ideology to End Ideologies – A Response to Corey Robin on Nietzsche, Hayek, Mises, and Marginalism

    Philip Pilkington: The Origins of Neoliberalism, Part I – Hayek’s Delusion

    Philip Pilkington: The Origins of Neoliberalism, Part II – The Americanisation of Hayek’s Delusion

    Philip Pilkington: The Origins of Neoliberalism, Part III – Europe and the Centre-Left Fall under Hayek’s Spell

    Philip Pilkington: The Austrian Disease – Poor Scholarship, a Priori Bias

    Peter Schiff, the Austrians and Their Mission to Increase US Debt Held by Foreigners Together With the Budget Deficit

    Fifteen Fatal Fallacies of Financial Fundamentalism

  10. generalbottlewasher says:

    You may be right. The audio version was more powerful for me than the text. The complex nature of economics can be found in many if not all of human endevers. Thereby the defining factor for what is life. For instance, my access to TCR show notes link did not work and still don’t, a new tab pops up then in the address box ‘search or enter new URL’. So I tried clicking links in ‘RECENT COMMENTS’ and wah-la. Access granted! From the audio version I got an insight that Economics=Humility+(×)Necessity. My internet hardware knowledge and technical skills are humiliatingly crude(humility , hubris, knowing imperfect being) plus + (or even times×)hindering my need for life threatening/improving acquisition of knowledge (necessity, need, survival) I needed the information so I was driven to explore for the solution. Economics is complex human interaction and how can you be more complex than being human. Again my stupidity with this machine prevents me from posting a link to Dr. Steven Greer’s live stream of his movie preview party. ECONOMICLY IT COULD BE A GAME CHANGER WORLD WIDE. See “Unacknowledged” May 9th. This will give people lots of faith in recovery of nearly a century of stolen freedom and dismal science.

  11. vumxmx says:

    Deutsche Bundesbank exposes the lies of mainstream monetary theory

  12. AndyB says:

    James. I know you like the idea of a small state and you I guess you might even agree that it has got bigger over the so called neoliberal era which is counter intuitive.
    If you think about it though free markets and indeed neoliberalism (despite its protests) can only work if you have organised power creating the legal framework and policing it on behalf of, and for, the benefit of the elite.
    That is the role of the state
    If you didn’t have that organised power or that legal framework or someone to do the policing then I submit there would be chaos very quickly.
    I guess I’m suggesting that capitalism/ free markets/ neoliberalism is a combination of free markets and a large state to keep the thing in place.

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