Monday, March 17, 2014

Law First, Then Economics


Most people are never going to understand economics. For one thing, the mean average IQ is 100, so people with that IQ -- and those with less-than-average -- are never going to understand it.

Unfortunately, even some people with sufficient IQs don't understand economics. I've met several people who thinks corporations are free-market (they are the exact opposite) and, just as bad, think globalization, too, is free-market. Again, it's the exact opposite.

So, obviously, there is something very wrong here, when only about five percent of the population can understand economics.

Those who fall for State intervention in the economy believe they are so morally and intellectually superior they believe their economics models can run a country of 300 million people. Anyone who believes that is a loon (obviously, "intelligence" is no guarantee of character).

I tell people that those who have the least understanding of economics are Ph.D.s, and those who don't understand it at all are Ph.Ds. from Harvard, Yale and Princeton. I like to use the twitchy semi-autistic geek Paul Krugman as an example.

So how did this country become so rich, when so few people understand how economics really works?

Because of law. The law comes first, then economics comes second.

I don't mean complex law. I mean simple law, which originally was based on religion.

Richard Maybury, all of whose books I recommend, pointed out that all successful societies are based on two basic laws: "Do all that you have agreed to do" (which is the basis of contract law) and "Do not encroach on others or their property" (which is the basis of tort law).

Those two laws were originally religious laws. Let's take the Ten Commandments (which is the wrong translation -- it's really Ten Words or Ten Utterances). "Do not lie" really means "Do all that you have agreed to do" and "Do not murder" and "Do not steal" really means "Do not encroach on others or their property."

These laws are so simple that everyone understands them. People in fact instinctively understand, which means it's inborn in us. Try to be unfair to a small child and he will immediately protest.

And what is amazing about these simple laws is that when they are followed the free market springs up. In other words, freedom and liberty automatically leads to wealth. Conversely, the expansion of the State (the opposite of freedom and liberty) automatically leads to poverty and oppression.

Back during the days of the First War of Independence economics was just getting started (Adam Smith didn't publish Wealth of Nations until 1776). Unfortunately, in some ways, the field has gone way backwards.

But it was noticed that when those two simple laws were followed, material (and indeed spiritual) wealth followed. And it was based, of course, on people having a good character, i.e., not stealing, being honest, not murdering.

Economics does not exist by itself. It is connected to Political Science and Law and Religion (those who think we are going to get rid of religion, and liberty and freedom can survive without it, are deluding themselves).

By religion I do not mean modern-day whackjobs such as Christian Zionists or the "Washed in the blood of the lamb" frauds. I mean someone like Jonathan Mayhew, whose sermons during early America had a profound effect on the populace.

He pointed out in such sermons as "A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers" that governments which don't follow the right laws are illegitimate, and no one has to follow them. Mayhew said people could obey their government’s law (England’s law), or their God’s law, but they couldn’t do both, because their government’s law violated God’s law.

John Adams said that Mayhew's sermon was actually the beginning of the American Revolution.

When's the last time you heard any minister say anything like that? I never have, not once in my entire life. In fact, I'm sure almost all ministers have never heard of Mayhew.

If people actually understood and followed the simple laws on which successful societies are based, even if they have average or below average IQs, then the study of economics can be left to those who are truly capable of it.

2 comments:

Glen Filthie said...

Well shoot, Bob. Kids should know the basics by the time they're 11 or 12: that is what the kids' allowance is all about!

The average moron can't budget anymore. They run up their personal financial debts on crap and then expect the gubbermint to bail them out. When it doesn't happen they blame the banks, the corporations and the eeeeeeevil rich people.

We are lending huge amounts of money to people that are too stupid to understand the value of a buck, never ming the necessity for a work ethic.

I don't think this is an intelligence issue Bob - it is the socialist cultural illness going into it's terminal stages. Barak Obama should have been laughed out of the elections. The Trayvon Martin case shouldn't have gotten into a court room. The border with Mexico and mass deportations should have begun long ago. Austerity programs should be in full swing.

America's cultural illness, combined with it's obvious 'nigger' problem - is going to continue unabated for some time too.

Bob Wallace said...

Just simple prudence and self-control...and it's not taught anymore.