Comments on: Economics for Christmas Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:23:32 +0000 hourly 1 By: CoastEconomist Thu, 06 Dec 2012 13:25:35 +0000 In contrast to Adam Smith’s famous “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker,” etc. we read on interesting account of the economy of the church goers found in the ancient record of the Book of Mormon. It describes conditions in their civilization about 100 B.C. as follows:

“And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.

“And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.

“And thus they did establish the affairs of the church; and thus they began to have continual peace again, notwithstanding all their persecutions.

“And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.

“And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.”

Now that is a Christmas Economy!

By: Foxdrake_360 Thu, 06 Dec 2012 08:54:29 +0000 Hey, this from the guy who tried to mix / analogize Economics and Sex.

Will you shut it already? If you had any answers we’d all be rich and the economic crisis would be solved. The only economics going on here is the money you’re getting paid to write this dribble.

By: BidnisMan Thu, 06 Dec 2012 08:51:17 +0000 I can only but wonder what Christ himself would have to say about ‘Christmas Economics’.

By: UUUberMan Wed, 05 Dec 2012 19:56:56 +0000 As an economist it makes me sad that so many of my colleagues perpetuate the idea that economic theory says that people are only out to get as much money and stuff for themselves as they can and to hell with everyone else. Economics as I know it says that people maximize the abstract well being they get from any activity (or inactivity), called their utility. Economists tend to focus on monetary decisions because they are easy to measure, whereas the good feeling I get from making someone else happy is very difficult to measure. Economics doesn’t predict that everyone will be a Scrooge, it just predicts that people who get little positive utility from the joy of others will be.

By: Sanity-Monger Wed, 05 Dec 2012 19:20:23 +0000 Mr Hadas — this is all very intriguing but where do I go to learn more? Here’s all I was able to find:  /symposium–Montes%2520article.pdf .

It is certainly long past time that we stopped encouraging people to bring out their inner scrooge. Someday, and I hope sooner rather than later, Friedman and Hyek will be looked on as Lysenko was eventually in the USSR.

By: trevorh Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:44:17 +0000 Excellent article, very enlightening.

The world will be better if it operates this way. People voluntarily being good instead of people letting out the vices, urges and animal instincts inside them, and then the all-knowing surveillance government comes in and restore its version of “justice” using all the surveillance knowledge it has collected and the law.

They don’t realize the information they have is severely limited. There will be things deep inside that they don’t even know that they don’t know.

By: Gordon2352 Wed, 05 Dec 2012 15:37:28 +0000 You state that “The Christmas view is certainly more complimentary about human nature than the economists’ one. Is it also more realistic? In my experience, the shift from one perspective to the other is a bit like the adjustment to a much stronger pair of glasses; at first everything is blurry and there are headaches, but after a while the world looks much clearer. The new perspective makes better sense of the industrial economy, which relies extensively on shared commitments and fair dealing. It provides a clearer explanation of why selfish people are so damaging in the workplace. It helps explain why financial markets, which typically allow greed full rein, are so prone to disaster. It considers sacrificial labour – of parents for children, employees for colleagues or company, and soldiers for their country – to be normal, rather than an aberration.”


Are you serious? This is the standard line of the wealthy class who believe not in “obligation” backed by the force of law, but in “donating” their money to charities they feel worthy.

As you indicate at the beginning, the reality of man is what John Stuart Mill described — man is “a creature who ‘who inevitably does that by which he may obtain the greatest amount of necessaries, conveniences, and luxuries, with the smallest quantity of labour and physical self-denial’, which is why we have laws to protect society.

Religion is NOT enough. In fact, many of the most horrific crimes against humanity have been committed in the name of one’s religion.

You are demeaning the very concept of Christmas with this article, attempting to mix a quasi-religious holiday — quasi-religious since they took “Christ” out of Christmas many decades ago, so that now it has become “Xmas”, which is an indication of how far we have drifted from your bullshit about “Christmas economics”.

I have said this to your before, and I will repeat it again — mixing economics and “morals” of any kind is a dangerous mixture.