My tale on internal control done well and poor at two churches is now available in Kindle format at Amazon.
Price is $0.99.
You can read the book on your Kindle device, on any smart phone with a Kindle app, or on your computer using the Kindle-for-PC application.
At Amazon, search for my name, Ulvog, or the book title, Once Upon Internal Control.
Or click here to go directly to the book.
Previously discussed the mind-boggling improvement in productivity in egg production.
I’m a city boy and don’t understand farms. However, I have one last comparison.
Continue reading “Another farm illustration of improved productivity”
Previously discussed the twentyfold drop in the cost of eggs compared to hourly wage of a teacher. What caused the change?
Technology change which enabled productivity improvements.
This discussion is based on The Price of Everything, by Prof. Russell Roberts.
When my father was a child living on the farm, every year the family would get several hundred newborn chicks. Continue reading “What caused the drop in hours it takes to buy eggs?”
Found an incredibly helpful explanation of the radical change in the standard of living over the last 100 years. It is an explanation of the change in the price of eggs provided by Prof. Russell Roberts in his book The Price of Everything. I’ve been discussing this book in the last several posts starting here and continuing here and here.
A challenge I have had when looking at history, particularly the Civil War, is trying to relate salaries or costs from back then to today. It’s one thing to say a soldier made $10 a month or a skilled laborer made $100 a month or a set of uniforms cost $17 or a barrel of flour went from this price to that price in the South. However, I can’t relate that to anything.
How do those prices compare to now? Adjusting for inflation doesn’t really work. Comparing those prices to the cost of an ounce of gold or an ounce of silver helps a little, but that brings in distortions from inflation that we have seen in the last 30 years along with the odd things in today’s economy.
How about using a comparable job to buy a comparable product then and now?
I will drill down in my review of Mr. Roberts book by pulling together several ideas into one linear discussion.
Continue reading “How the price of eggs show we have seen a twentyfold increase in the standard of living in the last 100 years.”
I have discussed Russell Roberts’ book, The Price of Everything, here, here, and here. At one point in the book, he suggests that today even poor people have servants.
As a way of measuring increasing standard of living in the last hundred years, the main character in his book compares a rich guy served dinner by a waiter today to a rich guy 100 years ago served dinner by a servant.
As a starting point, consider one of Prof. Roberts’ comparisons: the rich guy back then had an expensive, fancy watch while the servant had no watch. Today, the rich guy has an exquisitely expensive, fancy watch, while the waiter has an inexpensive digital watch.
Which do you suppose keeps better time and requires less maintenance?
Continue reading “100 years ago only the very richest people had servants – today even the poor have servants”
This is a continuing review and commentary on The Price of Everything (introduced here and here). At one point the characters discuss how much better off we are today than 100 years ago. The main character, Prof. Ruth Lieber, makes a guess on the improvement in overall standard of living:
A good guess is that we’re somewhere between five and 15 times better off in terms of material well-being than we were 100 years ago. Maybe more.
A good point estimate is that our standard of living has increased tenfold in the last century. Not 50% better. Not 100% better. But perhaps something range of 1000% better.
Continue reading “Have things gotten better in the last 100 years? Hint: there’s no better time to be alive than today.”
I’ve previously mentioned that freer countries are richer countries. See
What does freedom have to do with countries getting richer?
Russell Roberts offers a partial explanation in his book The Price of Everything – A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity
Continue reading “What are the underlying drivers of economic development?”
I’m going to have a series of posts discussing a fiction book that teaches economics. I just finished reading it for the second time. Enjoyed it more the second time than the first!
In the last few years I’ve thoroughly enjoyed books that are called “didactic fiction.” These are teaching tools written in the form of a novel. This gives the author the opportunity to teach in an entertaining format.
Russell Roberts offers an explanation of the price mechanism in his book The Price of Everything – A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity. As a bonus, the author explains how we developed into a rich economy.
Continue reading “Introduction to The Price of Everything”
A few weeks ago I attended the Dave Ramsey Live! event in Long Beach. Here is just one of the many great comments he had:
If you are in business, you should be reading these three authors:
- Jim Collins
- Seth Godin
- Malcolm Gladwell
I wholeheartedly agree.
At my other blog, Attestation Update, I’ve posted a list of some great books from these authors that can help you stretch your brain.
Continue reading “Brain stretching books”
The radical changes in the work world, which are very real today, are going to require constant upgrades to our skills.
The 9-10-11 edition of The Economist had a series of articles on the changing work environment. One article in particular, My big fat career, discusses the changes already underway.
One particular author, Lynda Gratton from the London Business School, suggests you will need to acquire a new skill or expertise every few years. Continuous learning in other words.
Continue reading “Constant skill upgrade”
How to combine the idea of opportunity cost, cul-de-sac, and government overruns in one post?
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial (behind paywall) says:
When it was first conceived, the shuttle was supposed to be a kind of space truck, going into orbit 50 to 75 times a year and carrying large payloads at a cost of $54 million a launch in 2011 dollars. It didn’t work out that way. The shuttle went aloft an average of five times a year. The cost-per-launch averaged some $1.5 billion. Its heaviest payloads barely exceeded what an unmanned Delta IV rocket can carry.
Let’s do some math, shall we?
Continue reading “Space shuttle as illustration of opportunity cost and cul-de-sac”
Previous post introduced the ideas of Cliffs, Cul-de-sacs, and Dips explained by Seth Godin in his book, The Dip.
What do we do with that idea?
Seth Godin says:
It’s okay to quit, sometimes.
In fact, it’s okay to quit often.
Continue reading “When is it time to let go of a project? The Dip, by Seth Godin”
When is it time to push through the obstacles and keep trying to achieve?
That is the topic of Seth Godin’s book, The Dip. Since the book was written in 2007, I am late to the party. Still want to write about it because most people I talk to are not familiar with his work.
We need to distinguish between cliffs, cul-de-sacs, and dips.
Continue reading “What are Cliffs, Cul-de-sacs, and Dips? The Dip, by Seth Godin”
We all need to gain balance in our lives. Get some ideas on how in Dr. Richard Swenson’s book In Search of Balance. (full disclosure – I am not compensated for the Amazon link.)
From my Amazon review:
More and more of everything faster and faster is the phrase Dr. Swenson uses to describe life today.
Eight words that describe all aspects of our world. More and more – a rapidly increasing volume and quality and intensity. Of everything – all aspects of our life, such as technology, money, every area of knowledge, experiences, entertainment, great books we should read, quality of consumer goods. Faster and faster – the rate of change is accelerating.
Nobody reading this review needs to be told your life is out of balance. With a moment of reflection we all realize that. That we don’t have a spare moment to reflect is the crux of the problem.
Instead of us just trying harder, or working smarter, or just ‘getting it together’, he provides a series of prescriptions on how to gain equilibrium in life.
Continue reading “Prescriptions to gain balance in your life that go beyond ‘just try harder’”