Episode 331 – Why Economists Are Always Wrong

by | Feb 24, 2018 | Podcasts | 31 comments

The state of affairs in economics is not just embarrassing, it’s downright perplexing. Economics is a science, right? It must follow some ironclad laws of the physical universe then, mustn’t it? But somehow we always end up asking the same question: Why Are Economists Always Wrong?

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Quick. When I say the word “economist,” what comes to mind? Fearless truth-teller? Sage wise man? Someone whose deep understanding of the complex web of billions upon billions of daily interactions in the sphere of human activity enables them to predict the outcome of those interactions years in advance with near certainty?…Or do you think of Paul Krugman?

Be honest now. It’s Krugman, isn’t it?

That’s not just embarrassing, it’s perplexing. Economics is a science, right? It must follow some ironclad laws of the physical universe then, mustn’t it? But somehow we always end up asking the same question: Why Are Economists Always Wrong?

This is The Corbett Report.

Why is that? How can it be that a profession that likes to call itself a science (even a dismal science) and whose practitioners are entrusted with steering the economies of entire nations can be so consistently, horribly, laughably wrong? (Case in point: Paul Krugman.)

Why is it that these piercing intellects praised Bubbles Greenspan as “the Maestro” for saving the US from the consequences of the dot-com bubble by blowing an even more destructive housing bubble?

Why is that these wise men consistently laughed at the only people who dared to point out that the housing bubble was in fact a bubble?

Why is it that they now sing the praises of negative interest rates and other “innovations” that were once thought of as literally impossible?

How can the leading lights of the field be so stupendously wrong about the economic fallout of Brexit or the Trump election or a million other things and still be taken seriously by anyone?

Ask an economist these questions and you’ll get any number of excuses as to why economic calculations are not quite as accurate as a physics equation, or as predictable as a chemical reaction. It turns out economics is not that kind of science, after all. I mean, what are you looking for? Certainty?

Some of the more thoughtful economists will even offer compelling counter-analogies. In his 2013 op-ed, “Is Economics a Science?” (not-a-real) Nobel laureate Robert J. Shiller concedes that since macroeconomists are primarily concerned with policies and their outcomes, not raw data, it is more accurate to think of them as engineers rather than scientists.

“My belief is that economics is somewhat more vulnerable than the physical sciences to models whose validity will never be clear, because the necessity for approximation is much stronger than in the physical sciences, especially given that the models describe people rather than magnetic resonances or fundamental particles. People can just change their minds and behave completely differently. They even have neuroses and identity problems, complex phenomena that the field of behavioral economics is finding relevant to understanding economic outcomes.”

The irony is that, although Shiller almost certainly doesn’t realize it, he has just pinpointed the fundamental underlying flaw in the so-called “science” of economics. It is not just that there are some equations here and there that need refining. It is not an incomplete theorem that is getting closer and closer to the truth with every approximation. The field of economics is in fact built on an entirely false premise and thus cannot yield anything but results that are only coincidentally related to reality.

The false premise is to be found at the very root of the word itself: economics. The word “economics” is derived from the Greek οἰκονομία, meaning “household management.” The word was employed by Aristotle to analogize the management of a household to the management of a city-state. It is now employed by macroeconomists to describe the management of entire nations or of the globe itself.

But as F.A. Hayek points out in his landmark opus, Law, Legislation, and Liberty, this analogy is not merely wrong, it fundamentally obscures an important truth about the sphere of human activity that it purports to describe:

“An economy, in the strict sense of the word in which a household, a farm, or an enterprise can be called economies, consists of a complex of activities by which a given set of means is allocated in accordance with a unitary plan among the competing ends according to their relative importance. The market order serves no such single order of ends. What is commonly called a social or national economy is in this sense not a single economy but a network of many interlaced economies. Its order shares, as we shall see, with the order of an economy proper some formal characteristics but not the most important one: its activities are not governed by a single scale or hierarchy of ends.”

Make no mistake: This quibble is not semantic. Although “economics” describes the study of resource allocation in line with a unitary plan to satisfy a single scale of value, that is manifestly not what “economists” are trying to describe. As Hayek explains, this is in fact a chief source of error in the study of economics itself:

“The belief that the economic activities of the individual members of society are or ought to be part of one economy in the strict sense of this term, and that what is commonly described as the economy of a country or a society ought to be ordered and judged by the same criteria as an economy proper, is a chief source of error in this field. But, whenever we speak of the economy of a country, or of the world, we are employing a term which suggests that these systems ought to be run on socialist lines and directed according to a single plan so as to serve a unitary system of ends.”

Thus, baked into the “economics” pie is the notion that the economist’s job is, as Shiller concedes, to fine-tune the unitary economic plan of a government or central planning council in the service of a single set of ends. Any guess whose ends these economists end up serving? Hint: It’s not yours.

This explains why classical economists concerned themselves with the ultimate form of “household management,” i.e., the creation of a centrally planned national or even global “economy.” As Ludwig von Mises elaborates in Human Action:

“The question which preoccupied the economists was whether a tailor could be supplied with bread and shoes if there was no government decree compelling the baker and the shoemaker to provide for his needs. The first thought was that authoritarian interference is required to make every specialist serve his fellow citizens. The economists were taken aback when they discovered that no such compulsion is needed. In contrasting productivity and profitability, self-interest and public welfare, selfishness and altruism, the economists implicitly referred to the image of a socialist system.

“Their astonishment at the ‘automatic,’ as it were, steering of the market system was precisely due to the fact that they realized that an “anarchic” state of production results in supplying people better than the orders of a centralized omnipotent government. The idea of socialism — a system of the division of labor entirely controlled and managed by a planning authority — did not originate in the heads of utopian reformers. These utopians aimed rather at the autarkic coexistence of small self-sufficient bodies; take, for instance, Fourier‘s phalanstère. The radicalism of the reformers turned toward socialism when they took the image of an economy managed by a national government or a world authority, implied in the theories of the economists, as a model for their new order.”

Indeed, the dream of the economists has always been to be the engineers of the “new order” in the service of their natural employers, the central planners. This is why the conception of technocracy was so immediately appealing to the very overlap of economists and engineers that Shiller identifies as the true heart of economics.

This also explains why economists are doomed to fail in their attempts to construct the perfect set of policies for directing the national economy. There is no such thing as a unitary plan to balance out the needs of any group of humans, let alone entire nations. Worse yet for the would-be managers of human activity, even the idea of a “best fit” plan or some utilitarian “greater good” policy package for the direction of resource allocation is a pipe dream. Human values are incommensurable, to say nothing of material wants, needs and desires. The calculation of the ideal allocation of resources to meet all of those needs, fulfill those desires, and maintain those values is not just impossible but nonsensical.

As author Sheldon Richman explains:

“While each person demonstrates his or her (changeable) ranking of ends through the choices made and actions taken, there is no social ranking of all the ends valued by all the individuals in the society. My desire, say, for a pizza dinner can’t be placed on a social value scale in order to see what it takes precedence over and what takes precedence over it. That simply makes no sense. Society is not an organism with a preference scale, and preferences cannot be compared interpersonally, because for each person preferences are subjective and ordinal.”

So if not economics, then what? How do we describe the study of the order that undeniably arises from the sum total of human activities? The tailor is supplied with bread and shoes, after all, and he supplies the baker and shoemaker with clothes. How do we understand this nearly unfathomably complex web of activities that bind humanity together if not through “economics?”

Never fear, there is a word for that! The word is “catallactics,” which derives from the Greek verb καταλλάσσω, which means not only “to exchange” but also “to reconcile” in the sense of admission to a community, or changing from enemy to friend. The word in itself speaks of the profound connection that is possible from the act of mutually beneficial exchange, and changes the inflection entirely from the coercive management of human cattle for the benefit of a unitary plan (“economics”) to the creation of a community based on exchange and friendship (“catallactics”).

As Mises notes:

“The fundamental facts that brought about cooperation, society, and civilization and transformed the animal man into a human being are the facts that work performed under the division of labor is more productive than isolated work and that man’s reason is capable of recognizing this truth. But for these facts men would have forever remained deadly foes of one another, irreconcilable rivals in their endeavors to secure a portion of the scarce supply of means of sustenance provided by nature. Each man would have been forced to view all other men as his enemies; his craving for the satisfaction of his own appetites would have brought him into an implacable conflict with all his neighbors. No sympathy could possibly develop under such a state of affairs.”

As opposed to the war of all against all necessitated by the economic (mis)conception of the world is the cooperation implicit in the catallactic understanding of human action. Cooperation and exchange are the very basis of human civilization. Economy and central planning are their antitheses.

The role of the catallactician, then, is very different from that of the economist. The catallactician describes the order of human activity, quantifies and examines it. But directing that order? Managing it? Controlling it? Coercing its participants into a unitary plan of action? This is not even conceivable to the catallactician.

So, dear reader, you have (very likely) just learned a new concept and a new word. It might be beneficial to ask why you have spent your whole life learning about economics, listening to the pronouncements of economists and worrying about the functioning of the economy rather than learning about catallactics, listening to the descriptions of catallacticians and marveling at the functioning of the catallaxy. Why has this word been occluded from your understanding? Why has it never appeared in the newspaper or on the lips of any of your school teachers during your 12,000 hours of government-sponsored indoctrination? Is there a deeper lesson about the world and the way that it works that has been deliberately kept from you? And if so, to whose benefit does this skewing of your consciousness redound?

I’ll leave you to ponder the significance of these questions on your own time. Meanwhile, it’s time to start examining, describing and participating in the catallaxy.

This piece first appeared in The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter in December 2016. To keep up to date with the newsletter, and to support The Corbett Report, please subscribe today.


  1. Hope all are well. Thank you James for re-posting this very informative video. I truly enjoy when you inform in detail. 100th monkey solution here we come… Thank you, thank you. Take care, Richard.

  2. All very wonderful excepting the fact that the human economy tends towards monetary capitalism, wherein capitalists do the decision making and labour provides, well, labour and where money is the great determiner of value and preference. James, seemingly an Austrian economics school enthusiast, then goes on to describe a hidden hand system championed by the classical economists. The classicals envision the economy basically as a barter system wherein money is simply a means of exchange acting as a lubricant in the market place. This is why the old school economists did not see the 2008 collapse coming as they do not understand money. How money comes about in creation or whether it can be destroyed. Equally these old school economists do not consider debt or banking in their models. What can one say about such a system for analyzing the human economy other than it is all crap. Famously Bill White, chief economist at the BIS during the run up to 2008, an adherent of Minsky’s instability theory, forewarned the heads of the world’s central banks of the looming financial crisis. Greenspan forbade the other central banking heads to pay any attention to Bill White and the rest is history. This is the state, monetary capitalism, of the world’s economy today and any ideas of turning the clock back are as naive as those of any other luddites throughout history….at least under a capitalistic system.

    • bladtheimpailer,

      I am definitely confused with your argument here. It seems you are too, due to the several contradictions in your own reasoning. I’m going to go through one by one, based on my understanding.

      “the human economy tends towards monetary capitalism, wherein capitalists do the decision making and labour provides, well, labour and where money is the great determiner of value and preference.”

      -Capitalists don’t do the decision making. The market decides. Each person is part of the market, and the market plays a role in shaping the price of goods and services based on their utility combined with the tastes and preferences of the people purchasing the goods and services.
      -Money doesn’t determine value. Money is a means of exchange and a store of value. Value is determined by the usefulness of a good or service, and what people are willing to pay for it.

      “…a hidden hand system championed by the classical economists. The classicals envision the economy basically as a barter system wherein money is simply a means of exchange acting as a lubricant in the market place.”

      -A barter system would be the exchange of one good for another directly, or a good for a service, or a combination/variation of those, not the use of money.
      -I don’t see how there is a “hidden hand” in a free market system, which is what it seems you were trying to describe (money exchanged for a good or service). This is how goods and services are sold with free market capitalism. To my knowledge, this is part of what Austrian economics studies.

      “What can one say about such a system for analyzing the human economy other than it is all crap.”

      -What is wrong with a system where money is used as a means of exchange for goods and services?

      “any ideas of turning the clock back are as naive as those of any other luddites throughout history….at least under a capitalistic system.”

      -How is a capitalist free market system, which is what you are bashing, “turning the clock back”?

      • Scpat,
        I think bladtheimpailer and you are not talking about the same thing.

        “Capitalists don’t do the decision making. The market decides.”

        Every capitalist do the decision making within his property-fiefdom. He is the boss. Market is just final evaluation of capitalist’s efforts.

        “Each person is part of the market,…”
        What a nice example of turning people into objects. It can be excellent excuse for paying wages below subsistence level in environment of high unemployment.

        But you can go even further on this line with Austrian economics and Mises.org did it.

        Voluntary Slave Contract.

        Don’t you think that something went terribly wrong when one is professing such a horrible nonsense?

        If you stick to a theory, an abstract model, to hard, you will lose human dimension.

        Economic activity is activity by the people, for the people.
        Isn’t it.

        • My point was, capitalists don’t do the decision making. There are many different players in the market that serve other important roles. If no one is selling their labor to a capitalist, then the capitalist is not making any decisions.

          “What a nice example of turning people into objects”. I was not attempting to objectify people here. But if you interact with others through exchange (buying and selling goods and services), then you are taking part in the market. You play a role in it, or, you are part of it.

          I agree with you regarding theory. We can’t live in a world purely based off of theories. But, theories provide a way to analyze what we experience and make sense out of it. Theories are tested with real life and we see if they work or not.

          • Looks like you are incapable to see there are many levels of decision making. Btw, what are bosses doing? Scratching their butts?

            “If no one is selling their labor to a capitalist, then the capitalist is not making any decisions.”

            So, they are making some decisions.
            But is this sentence pure theoretical construct or it can withstand real life test?
            In our day and age it is theoretical construct. Somehow you are again objectifying people. For many it is impossible to escape brutal reality, working for someone for pennies. They have to acquire means for survival.

            The main problem with Austrian economics is that it implies free market and free market participants. While free market could be somehow ensured in today’s socioeconomic order, free market participants are pure illusion. Majority of workers are actually wage-slaves, far from free people.

            • If you are confused, I suggest you go re-read my previous response. Specifically the part about there being “many different players” in the market. Good chatting with you, mik.

              • Me confused?
                What a joker you are.

    • Money
      One aspect, a real take-away for me, is that “money” can be a perverted concept. It can be a term used to hoodwink people, to manipulate folks, to control.

      I feel like using the term “money” often muddies the water when people try to discuss “economics” or such topics.

      Despite what authorities do, people will form relationships and exchange among themselves.
      …the catallactic understanding of human action. Cooperation and exchange are the very basis of human civilization.

      Is it any wonder that cryptocurrency is often referred to as “tokens” designed for exchange value, for trade.
      Heck, casino chips work also.

      Left to their own devices, people cooperate with each other and sort out methods of how they want to exchange goods or services.

      Where there is a VOID, folks often find a way to fill it.
      This has definitely has been my experience in trying countless self-employment ventures and dealing with others.

    • John-0, very fine , well done. Even better down the page, when you speak to the very basics of civilization. This made me consider now some 10 months after the original post. The old ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg?’. Did civilization start as kind catillactics like the ‘Gands’ from the ‘Then there were none’ story. Then as time passes the ‘idle Jacks grew like a cancer on the system taking control and corrupting the system. Or civilization evenly progressed as an refection of human behavior, the more cunning rising to the top perfecting and consolidating their control of power. I lean toward the later.
      All the comments on this page are valid to higher learning and discussion and would be worthy of 2 semesters of academic pursuit, if not a full degree of inquiry. You make a good point about freemasonary down the page that is never mentioned in economics study, ever. All in all ( the best of open source )
      an illumining discussion. Thank you to all contributors for the enlightenment of my dim mind. Its brighter for it.

  3. I find it very interesting the natural linkage of technocracy to the modern day national and international “economy”, in that they both have people at the top trying to strictly manage them. Technocracy was born from the economic system present in the 1930s, and that is still present today. That fact creeps me out a bit.

  4. I have a friend that studies eastern martial arts and spirituality. He is very knowledgeable about the symbolism of the Yin and Yang. After showing him Why Big Oil Conquered the World, he pointed out to me how the technocracy symbol is the opposite of the Yin and Yang symbol. Yin and Yang flows clockwise and the technocracy symbol goes counterclockwise, against the natural order and balance of nature. It reminds me of how the Indian Swastika was hijacked by the Nazis, turning a peaceful symbol into something evil. This also reminds me of how language is manipulated and controlled to subvert its original meaning.

    • Thanks scpat.
      Interesting. Hijacking symbols and terms into a perverted concept. …such as “conspiracy theorist”.

  5. I like it when James Corbett “Repeats the Message”.

    This concept is an important fundamental. It is foundational.
    Catallactics – …The word in itself speaks of the profound connection that is possible from the act of mutually beneficial exchange… … the creation of a community based on exchange and friendship.

    Many of Corbett’s episodes and articles tie in well to this road we are now upon. A profound favorite of mine is this 5 minute video Economics in One Image.

    I kid you not…
    I, Pencil is extremely enlightening and in a beautiful, aesthetic, high wavelength way.
    I recommend listening to the audio in order to capture the beautiful explanation of the miracle of the “invisible hand”.

    I, Pencil LINK – https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil-audio-pdf-and-html/

  6. dobsy,
    I’ve also noticed that trend.
    It’s funny…go figure…some people aspire to “planning and telling others what to do”, while they abhor the thought of doing the grunt work involved with actually creating a product or service.

  7. “cooperation and exchange are the very basis of human civilization”

    I see examples of this all the time in rural communities, which is really a carry over of the pioneer days. Glen Rose, TX was once the Moonshine capital of Texas during prohibition and even the Sheriff was involved. The whole County loved having cash flow into the community.

    My farmer relatives in the Rio Grande Valley years ago got together with other local farmers and built their own community swimming pool. They often would swap out or lend equipment or labor to each other.

    People build relationships. Often those relationships involve tacit or overt exchange concepts, from “watching my house while I’m away” to “Here is a pie I baked for you since you mowed my lawn.” (Example of a neighbor lady.)

    About 4 months ago, I went into some of the old Wholesale places I used to buy from 20 years ago. I was surprised!…The owners excitedly recognized me and greeted me warmly. With one owner, I asked a favor which he quickly granted. He let me buy a few items (not in volume), some cheap toys. (Cash) I got the toys for the neighboring Hispanic kids across the street. That household often helps watch out for my place. (I live in a poverty area which sometimes has a problem with crime.)

    We cooperate as a community and exchange ideas on this forum.
    It’s civil.

    I like the phrase “cooperation and exchange are the very basis of human civilization”

    • “Ownership” certainly is an important topic.
      I hear ya on that one.

      Damn! In so many ways, I feel “owned” by virtue of being hijacked and dicked …err… dictated.

  8. Talk about a tirade, yikes.

    Foundations of civilizations, in the material sense, were built with a lot of slave labor, but civilizations today are not. Civilizations come and go, and the old slave built civilizations are not the basis of current civilizations today, therefore the ideas of cooperation and exchange aren’t somehow nullified.

    Also, take a look at what the definition of “basis” means. “The principal component of something”; “The chief constituent; the fundamental ingredient”. Is the principal component of modern day civilization not cooperation and exchange in some fashion or another? People exchanging money for goods and services? People voluntarily exchanging for other things, that are beneficial to both sides? Really, ask yourself these questions, john.o

    • “But James said, again, they are the foundations of civilization, and yes I know what a basis is, and YES, every modern civilization everywhere was founded on slavery and serfdom.”

      The two key words here are “was” and “are”. According to James, and I’d say I agree, cooperation and exchange are the basis of civilization. A civilization was, in part, built on slavery and serfdom as you say. We are in a different point in history now, and slavery and serfdom currently are not the basis of civilization. And I believe that is the point here, not the origins.

      Lastly, picking apart the minute details of a couple words serves no purpose but to take away from the message of this video. Those details you are so focused on have no relevance to the overall point of this video whatsoever.

      • Man…you are a piece of work. You are entitled to your own opinion, no matter how wrong it is. But if you can look at one minute detail, in one presentation, and then come to the conclusion that James is caught up in partisanship, then you are delusional. If one has looked at Corbett’s body of work, there is absolutely NO WAY one could reach the conclusion that he part of the left-right paradigm. This should go without saying. I really hope you are a troll, but I have a feeling you are not.

  9. It’s not an infrequent occurrence to run into a heated debate where word “economy” is discussed.

    From my layman point of view, as being a man not well versed in economic schools of thought something that is a source of modest pride, economics is a dogma. It’s nothing but a religion, pretty much as any other most notable aspect of the modern western world; it’s all a giant house of cards, based on lies and backed by blind belief. Psychopaths abuse these religions to gain power and make people kill people, for the greater good. I’m not saying it never occurred that a hungry human being attacked, killed and possibly ate another, probably just as hungry, human being. Sometimes it probably involved mobs of people, too.

    But, when it comes to trained, financed, decades in the making standing armies which count tens of thousands of souls, it’s kind of difficult to blame it all on the affliction that is the direct consequence of being human. Mind controlled, hypnotized, enslaved, subjugated or coopted – maybe, possibly, probably. Acting in unison, being eager to kill and die, ready to deparent children wile likely having their minds destroyed for other people’s gains – most probably not, some among the masses maybe, but generally I don’t think so.

    There is surely a lot of brutality in the whole of history, the very mother nature in its core is quite brutal. But I think we should stack all of the bad stuff against the good, had everyone been a brutal, homicidal slave driver I doubt we’d be here discussing any of this. We’d have a boot in our face, instead. Something had to create the prosperity despots would take advantage of. The whole of pain and suffering thousands of generations withstood so that we may be here right now demands objectivity of our approach. If not out of respect, but because of empathy and brotherly love and care.

    I’d like to close with a simple statement I don’t encounter in the public domain as often as I would like (10,000 times a day minimum):

    All of the “debt” is absolutely meaningless.
    It holds no power over anyone of us.
    It has no hold in reality.
    Its only purpose is to enslave the mind.

    • Nice writeup.

      … Something had to create the prosperity despots would take advantage of. The whole of pain and suffering thousands of generations withstood so that we may be here right now demands objectivity of our approach. If not out of respect, but because of empathy and brotherly love and care….

  10. You’re a real piece of work, john.o.

    (I’m kidding.) Seriously, I appreciate the well-reasoned challenges you’ve laid out, and look forward to your follow-ups. Iron sharpens iron.

  11. (gulp) When I said “iron sharpens iron”, it’s essential you realize I was not referring to myself, a mere stainless steel butter knife as it pertains to this weighty topic of economics. I was mainly reacting to the push back you received, being called “a piece of work” even reducing you to a possible troll because you challenged assumptions. That irked me, always does.

    Being a homeschooling parent and desiring a rich tapestry of ideas for my kids, I’ve collected a variety of authors, ie John Locke, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Mises, Hyek, Hazlitt, etc. With the exception of Locke and Franklin, most of these authors have only been skimmed as other subjects like History, Physics, Spanish etc, and enjoyment of life in general compete for our time and there are only so many hours in a day.

    I’m sensitive to the seduction of being swept away in any movement, which you touched upon, no matter how persuasive it may be, including Rand’s Objectivism, of which I became acquainted through Piekoff’s “Ominous Parallels”. But due to their fervent atheism, contempt for 9/11 truthers, and being champions of resulting government action, I’ve not invested much more of my energies than accepting its basic tenets which I’ve always believed anyway.

    It is with a great interest for varying perspectives from all walks of life and beliefs that I try to keep up with most of the threads here. Corbett’s community is one of the most lively, intelligent and respectful ones I’ve encountered, and want to encourage you personally to keep doing what you do so well, communicate your convictions.

  12. Wow, you sound like you have read Martin Armstrongs Blog.

    Something not mentioned here is that the original design of the FED Bank was it was to be a private institution that all banks paid into for a “bailout” if they ever got in trouble the FED would loan out money at cheap rates to cover any shortfalls or downturns in the business cycle that way business didn’t have to lay off workers. The original design of the FED was so the banks were to pay for their own bail outs.

    The Federal Government changed that after WWI and the Great Depression and the New Deal sealed the birth of the “creature” the FED has become today buying Government Debt, who will default.

    It was the Sovereign Debt crisis in Europe that led to the depression of the 30’s.

    Martin has a great article on the subject worth reading if you have not yet.


  13. The best case scenario is for those who choose to be free, to emancipate themselves from the “state”, those who want to stop being treated like kids to be “allowed” to do so by a stroke of the pen.

    • mkey, that’s exactly what the banksters did three hundred years ago, which is why we are governed by the deep private, the state effectively nullified

      • So, it kind of worked. Lets try it on non psychopaths inbreds this time around.

  14. The world economy is a modern phenomenon and still in the making.
    To take a good ancient example the Roman denarius (high purity silver penny) was not only confined within the borders of the early Roman empire but only became dominant in Italy and the economically backward western provinces. The Attalid cistophoros (three-drachm silver coin) continued to dominate the Attalid lands of Asia province, the richest part of the Roman empire until Egypt was annexed, and the silver coinage of the numerous Greek city-states continued to dominate Greece and the Balkans.
    Barbarians outside the empire did imitate the Roman denarius at various times, but so too did the Romans imitate Greek and Attalid coinage for circulation in their eastern provinces.

    Small change bronze coinage took a different path altogether, towards the Roman state largely abandoning its own production and contracting out private production. An interesting phenomenon because the state silver was high purity (commodity value) coinage but the bronzes were extremely fiduciary (commodity value of the coins far below the purchasing value, and the trend was towards less and less metal and more and more fiducia)

  15. haha, but i dont agree it worked. I’d like to see functioning modern states free of debt and usury in which the riches created by modern technology are permitted to benefit the citizens, and the welfare of its citizens are the focus of the state. Gaddaffi seems to have accomplished this in Libya, and the Hitler revolution in Germany too. Which is why both were obliterated and demonized. But before that they were very prosperous and progressive.

    Once modern states of this type become well established, and peace and prosperity normalized, THEN it is time for the healthy and sovereign state to experiment with alternative modes of community and even limited political anarchy, in a supportive and co-operative spirit.
    But to repeat, modern states are not sovereign, and the deep state is a serious misnomer for the deep private

  16. Couldn’t we just lop off the economists heads when they get it wrong?

    By the process of evolution they are bound to improve and if not it will be fun anyway.

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