You Are All Mad, Aren’t You?

-free-area-space (this is a free “story,” on “Medium”!)

What we are seeing today is madness. You are all mad aren’t you? If that is so, then when I write I am writing to crazies — since after all it is they who are in this country, more or less.

And if “Medium” pays me any money it is mostly they (the crazies) who are (indirectly) paying me.

A.k.a., “you.” Oooops… “you” are the ones whom I just said are “mad.” Well sorry about that. It seems a bit unusual that on M., if the reader does not like what I am writing they still pay. And they pay the same fee, as if they liked it! Intuitively, that seems a bit off. It just does not seem like this is the normal way things work. The reader would be paying for a product they do not like. Is that what economic theory says? Is that normal? Something’s a little off. Why are they reading my crap in the first place? Okay. So, what am I saying. I am saying that what is going on here, and what is going on today in this mad, mad world, is not normal. Nor is it any kind of normal or sustainable capitalism. Definitely not in the long haul. I am committing to saying that.

One day, after I had only been an intellectual with my own theory for a few short years, I came across a book: “Free To Choose” by M. and R. Friedman. (I think some of you know who I mean.) If I am a little more even-tempered now because scholars (even one such as myself who is just so totally amateur compared to YOU the Harvard Professor, or YOU, that great guy with the three degrees) simply have to deal with so many other voices. How can one be emotional? So, the heat sorta wears off. But anyhow, at that time, I was still pretty emotional about this man, Friedman. Friedman to me was the worst: I considered him just about the worst person. Now it’s Trump —so I’ve grown. Anyhow: since the book I was browsing was used and the price was .50 I could justify purchase. I thought, “hell; Okay - .50.” I made the purchase and decided I was right about the author (and his wife?…) which took about one page. So, this illustrates that I didn’t, and I still do not, like M. Friedman. And so, I did not want to pay for that book. Somehow that makes sense, doesn’t it?

Not on I luv M. Don’t get me wrong -but, here, if the reader does not like the piece, they pay for not liking it just the same as if they had liked it. Which one might not ordinarily do. I consider this a legitimate subject for inquiry. It’s a problem.

If you hate someone, how much do you pay them? Zero, right? But now it changes? That’s progress? Well, that’s very interesting. And this is very much an “Economics” concept.

It teaches us a lesson about economics; which is that capitalistic free trade works when it is value-neutral.

I do not like Kellogg's: I like “Special K.” You are probably the same. You do not really expend any affection on the boards of directors, even though they are actually the ones ultimately responsible for producing your product you like. But you also do not hate them. And that’s important. It is just a kind of neutral sort of thing. Writing on “Medium” differs. Here I feel like I would get paid by “M.” users who may rather dislike me.

And that is backwards, and it does not say anything good about the condition of capitalism today.

Generally speaking, ideas are not commodities, and there are some good questions (dealt with in many scholarly books) about how cultural things like ideas get “sold” in the culture. What I notice, off-hand is that, even if ideas are not commodities, the books that wrap them up or discourse about them are.

We now take pause — to consider Karl Marx. I note that Marx tried to speculate on the stock market. Yes, he did. And, he had high hopes that his book, Das Kapital, would be a hit —that is my impression. But it was not (please insert a descending pitch tone). But that is like some kind of footnore. It was only one person, and one with really great ideas. So, even if ideas are usually not commercial products or commodities anyway — you know, why waste time worrying about it if Marx wanted to make a few bucks, right?

However this is different.

If every Leftist, anti-capitalist intellectual expects expects to be paid for their leftism — Well…

That is just weird


Well: Food for thought, on “Medium.” [and, I thought I would make this one a freebie-no star. You know: Just to show what a great guy I am.



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Jack Silverman

Jack Silverman

I am the Jack that’s real. I had an original idea in international trade. This fits into: Ideas in Economics: ‘Social Economics’. Why? Read on!