Consider merely the way that your favorite bread is always available, usually from many bakeries. And at the time you want. The bakery doesn’t know whether you will stop in on your way to work, during lunch, or after having dinner.
How can it be that several bakeries know to have your choice of bread available, whether sourdough loafs, whole wheat biscuits, rye rolls, croissants, or cranberry bagels? How did they know to order enough yeast, oil, and flour? How did they know what mix to bake before the sun came up?
How did the wholesalers know enough to deliver the right amount of flour to all the pizzerias, bakeries, and pastry shops?
How did the farmers know enough to plant the right amount of wheat, oats, barley, and rye last spring to harvest enough this fall to satisfy all those bakers?
Hmm. What could be getting all those people working together to make sure my favorite and your favorite bread is available when you or I want it?
Ponder these and many more questions just in terms of having bread on the shelf in this video, called “It’s a wonderful loaf:”
The answer of how all that happens is readily available for all who want to find it.
When I look at the political news or any news in general I get very pessimistic about our future.
In contrast, when I look at the amazing things happening beyond the headlines in today’s newspaper I feel incredibly optimistic.
Consider that private companies are developing the technology for space exploration. Consider the energy revolution created by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Consider radical changes in technology that are making so many things easier, faster, and cheaper. Consider that anyone that wants to do so can publish their own book, distribute their own music, or create a feature movie.
As a tiny illustration, look at my company and pastimes. Technology allows me to run a high quality CPA practice without any staff. In my spare time I am a publisher and journalist. Anyone in Europe or North America or most of Asia could easily do the same and at minimal cost.
Until relatively recently, an illness-filled short life of dirt-eating poverty was the normal condition for practically everybody on the planet. In the last 100 or 200 years life has gotten radically better for practically everyone.
What could possibly go wrong with giving a leader the power to fix all our problems? There is a great chance said leader will use that power to force people to fix things. You could wind up being told in microscopic detail every single thing you can do.
That would merely cost you your freedom and make you a serf.
In musical terms, that might be called, oh, perhaps something like Serfdom USA:
Prof. Angus Deaton won the 2015 Nobel award in economics. Mentioned this earlier.
His contribution to expanding the frontier of economics knowledge is to study development and poverty from the consumption side instead of income side. This approach looks at what can people buy instead of what income they have.
The brochure produced by the National Park Service for the Fort Union Trading Post national historic site 25 miles southwest of Williston has lots of fun comments. I want to focus on the wages at the time and the wonderful beauty of free trade.
Why have we seen such dramatic improvement in average wealth and average life expectancy everywhere in the last 100 or 200 years? What has led to a radical reduction in the number of people living in dirt-eating poverty in the last 50 years?
Over the last few years I have focused a lot of my reading on economics and history trying to figure out the answers to those questions. Why?
If we figure out the answer to those questions we can continue in the same direction. If we sort out how we got here, we can share that strategy with those who have not shared in the progress. If you want a different phrasing, we can radically narrow economic inequality within countries and between countries if we can answer those questions. We can help get even more people out of dirt-eating poverty.
Check out Exxon-Mobil’s commercial. Try to take a completely wild guess how many people are involved in getting one egg to your house and the number of people and millions of dollars of investment needed to get a bit of natural gas to the stove:
The first winter for the Pilgrims was terrible. Between starvation, pneumonia, and tuberculosis, about half died.
The second winter was terrible, again with little food. Those who survived the first two winters only did so by the goodness of the Native Americans who graciously shared their food.
The third winter was far better, with plenty of food. In a few years, there was enough abundance that the Pilgrims had paid off their debt to those who financed their trip. They were alive, thriving, and free of debt.
Those are a few highlights of the Pilgrims’ story told by Karl Denninger in his article from 2006, which is reposted at Market-Ticker: The Truth About Thanksgiving.
What caused the change from starving to thriving is the part of the story I never heard growing up.
“My family and I have succeeded by following the path to freedom. But that path is on the verge of vanishing. What we’re starting to see here in America now is a growth in the size and the scope of government that is now starting to look like the governments that we left behind.”
Here is how to lift people up the economic ladder:
Advancing economic freedom is the best way to improve human well-being, especially those at the bottom.
That’s the path to moving out of poverty and economic success. Check out this video from LIBRE Initiative: