miércoles, 31 de diciembre de 2008


Have an amazing 2009!

btw Old Fashioned Liberal, how are plans coming for the M4L???

lunes, 29 de diciembre de 2008

Applied Distributism: The Music Industry

This is probably preaching to the choir, but here goes. Distributism is rather difficult to practice on many of the basic levels, simply because EVERYTHING is a chain now a days. Food is the easiest one I can think of (clothing is nigh impossible), but even that can be very difficult. One industry which is rather easy to challenge the instutition is music. Now supposing that any of you actually listen to modern music (say, after 1600, just kidding), in my opinion, independent artists are the way to go. Over all popular music is generally mediocre and rather prepackaged (though there are some jewels, and [especially in my case] many people who I would like to save from their current course [Rihanna for one, she's going to waste and it's driving me insane]). Indenpendent music can be hard to get two, but it is generally rewarding. Furthermore, given the Godsend sometimes referred to as youtube, if you can just get one foot into an obscure genre, suddenly you have a variety of artists/albums/songs to get you started.

My personal example was my discovery of the virtually non-existant genre known as Christian Reggaeton. I absolutely love the sound of reggaeton, but I had given up on finding an artist, actually, even one song, that didn't degrade women, praise alcohol and/or drug abuse (not that I mind the substances, but I do mind the abuse), and violence. However, I somehow providentially stumbled on a Christian Reggaeton song on youtube. That song had links to a whole variety of similar songs, and before you know it I was inducted into that genre. (I should say here that I have no problem whatsoever with secular music; however, I do draw the line when lyrics turn to fragments of antisocial personality disorder.) Anyways, this genre is so small that amazon.com has a whopping 2 cds to offer. Yes, 2. This, of course, promps another interesting discussion. Is Amazon.com considered an enemy of Distributism? At first it does seem to be a large corporation, but perhaps it's just a way of conventiently locating a whole variety of producers into an easy to find format (now I have a feeling that Amazon is somehow different from Walmart and chain stores, but I haven't been able to isolate why.) Would it be more Distributist to buy directly from the little known record companies, or are we overreacting to Amazon's sheer size. The true answer to this question most likely needs someone with a knowledge of Amazon's inner workings to truly decide yes or no. But in the mean time, any opinions/information would be most appreciated.

viernes, 19 de diciembre de 2008

Plato Unintentionally Satirizing the Absence of Subsidiarity

Go to this website to see some errors of Plato. All the errors could have been avoided if he had recognized that the government is incapable of knowing subtleties of psychology and morality that parents and individuals know naturally. For the complete text of the Republic, go to Project Gutenberg.

Que se vaya a este sitio de web a ver unos errores de Platón. Todos los errores se podría haber evitado si Platón hubiera conocido que es impossible que el gobierno conociera los asuntos bien pequeños de la psichología y la moralidad. Los padres y la gente común ya saben esas cosas naturalmemte. Para ver el texto entero de La República de Platón, Vaya al Project Gutenberg.

The Benefit of Big Business

Consider a large business. The larger they are, the better they will be at canvassing the globe for good, rare, impossibly unlocal products, services, ideas, employees, techniques, entrepreneurs, et cetera. Whe? Because the small business can't afford it. They are also better at employing large numbers of people and doing large things that may need to be done. Why? Because the small business can't afford it. And as far as I know, they have no other benefits over small business. Is this grounds for forbidding their existence?

jueves, 18 de diciembre de 2008

Saludos de tu centrista medio zurdo medio liberal

Acabo de rendir el examen de perspectiva política más cortito del mundo. Me salió que soy centrista, justo en la frontera entre libertariano y zurdo. Me parece que me pega bien, ya que no rechazo ni acepto completamente al papel del gobierno en los asuntos sociales tantos como los económicos. Claro que había muchos errores cometidos por el gobierno (mira el lío que es la política latinoaméricana) pero también puede ser muy buena la influencia gubermental (por ejemplo, la ilegalización del aborto).

jueves, 11 de diciembre de 2008

The Austrian School Declares War Upon Distributism

Acá hay un enlace a un artículo que me da bastante rabia.

¡Qué lo leas y después te rías conmigo! ¿Por cuál razón será que les cuesta tanto enterder la perspective nuestra?????

What's Wrong With Distributism?

lunes, 8 de diciembre de 2008

A summary presentation of why I'm a monetarist

The current head of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Bernanke, is definitively an activist when it comes to monetary policy just like his predecessor Alan Greenspan. Now both of them were into countercycical policy, which I think they both are doing/ have done a good job with it, but I believe that we should follow monetarist non-activist policy.

While cycical policy sounds nice (we're going to get rid of recessions!) in the end I think it only aggravates the business cycle. My main criticism are time lag and overexaggeration. First of all, as noted in the previous post, there is such lag in the changing of monetary (and even more so fiscal) policy that frequently the policy ends up being procyclical instead of countercyclical. I'd do a graph if I knew how, but I don't. Procylclical is just as stupid. Granted that you'd hope the time lags would turn it into countercyclical, aiming to lose is never a good way to go. My theory is that is we adopt the monetarist policy, the recessions and inflationary gaps might be just as bad for a while, but if we stop cosntantly jumping from on side to antoher, the business cycle which behave much like the law of large numbers in statistics, and the swings will slow down because of the central tendency of the policy.

viernes, 5 de diciembre de 2008

When Providence Intervenes in Bad Economics

Now I'm not sure how the readers of this blog (the few of them that there are) feel about President Bush, particularly his economic policies, anyways...

When President Bush came into office, he brought with him a policy of tax cuts. At the time the economy was booming, and I'm really not sure what the argument was behind it, but it went through. Anyways, tax cuts would have the effect of pumping up aggregate demand when it was already rising along with GDP and price level, so inflation could have easily resulted. However, by the time it was actually implemented, we were in a recession, so the tax cuts worked wonderfully in expanding the economy as it was shrinking. Anyways, is Bush a good economist? no, but Providence seems to have intervened. =)

lunes, 1 de diciembre de 2008

An Alliteration Aptitude test.

Here is what causes recessions after inflation:

Inflation=An unfunded increase in the money supply.

An unfunded increase in the money supply in America=Unfounded (not unfunded) Creation of Credit by Creditors.

Unfounded Creation of Credit by Creditors=Inordinate Increase in Insolvency because of debt + spending.

Inordinate Increase In Insolvency because of debt + spending = Stopping of spending out of fear of insolvency.

Stopping of spending = Recession (Rah Rah Rah! Recessions Ruin the Ruinous Reprecussions of inflation before they become unmanagable!)

As all the Bailouts and Bank Buyings are an increase in government spending (read: inflation), they will Help, not hurt, the Heave in the Health of the economy known as a recession. And a recession is made to be hurt. This is why Bush's Bank Buying Binge Be'th Bad Business. Even if it didn't increase the Socialist Status of the States.

Two Tail notes: I am not Sounding Sarcastic So Some people won't believe me; I just do it because it is fun to make Alliterations Ad nauseam. No Way Will We Want this Worthy post Translated To The Tounge of Illustrious Iberia.

domingo, 30 de noviembre de 2008


As a random side note, I would like to thank the Distributist Review for introducing me to the wonderful song Dégénération by Mes Aïeux! It's amazing! Though I have to comment that the beat about half way through switches to the Dem Bow, which means that reggaeton is oficially penetrating the entire music industry. And speaking of the Dem Bow, that brings me to one of my favorite subjects, La isla del encanto!

Puerto Rico is a particular cause of mine, and bucking the great Yankee orthodoxy, I support complete independence from the U.S. So here is a summary list of my reasons for taking this position:

1. State boundries should roughly reflect national identity. Puerto Rico is of the Latin tradition; we are disctinctly Anglo.

2. As a distributist, I like little nations. And while Chesterton had his eye on France for the first distributist state, I personally believe that the West Indies and South Pacific Islands are the best place to start. They are not nearly as economically obsessed as many of the larger nations; and they're more comunal, less-competetive culture would adapt better to a lack of monopoly. While Caribbeans are laid back, that is not to say that they are not hard workers and tend to be very professional, something which foreigners are surprised by when they arrive believing shirts to optional all throughout the island.

3. Due to their rather unimportant world status and size, I believe that each locality tends to be more self-sufficient already, as the cost of importing things from the continents can be very expensive.

4. All of the Latin Islands and some of the Anglo ones are majorly Catholic, which Chesterton believed would be a crucial/extremely helpful asset to any potentially distributist country.

This list is awful and very short, but I just wanted to get the debate flowing! Please tell me what you think! =)

martes, 25 de noviembre de 2008

La inmigración ilegal: un resumen

Ya que he publicado esa serie de ensayos sobre los rasgos ecónomicos de la inmigración ilegal en los Estados Unidos (por ahora no incluyo los en la República Dominicana o la Argentina o cualquier otro país que también padece de este problema), me toca a mí proponer una política bien clara y directa para resolver al crisis.

Pues, primero hay el asunto acerca de la ética del inmigrante. Muchos me han dicho que tenemos que echarlos a todos los inmigrantes ilegales ya que han violado la ley. No soy teólogo, pero igual, estoy de acuerdo con los obispos de ese país que dicen que sólo infingieron una ley civil, como si estuvieran sobresaliendo la velocidad máxima o otro "crimen" del mismo nivel moral. No estoy de acuerdo con ellos, pero el pecado no es tan grande que justifica la deportación.

Entonces, recomiendo que se estableciera un programa de amnestía en el cual los inmigrantes se pueden hacer cuidadanos con tal que rindan bien una prueba de seguridad (para que se sepa que no sean terroristas), y tal vez algunas otras cosas. Tal programa no mataría a nuestra economía y tampoco tendría el costo y todas las dificultades sociales de una deportación de masas.

Pero lo anterior sólo es mi opinión, y (cuando recién le eché una mirada) no soy infalible. Pues si ves cualquier error, favor de corregirme en seguida sin retraso alguno! =)

domingo, 23 de noviembre de 2008

Our Dear Illegals and the Economy: Part the Third

Graph missing yet again =/

The debate surrounding illegal immigration is one of those tangled webs that we, humanity, are so fond of weaving. Analyses of the problem are flowing in abundance, as are the fallacies and narrow ideas. Everyone has an answer, and that answer seems to only to respond to a very small section of the question. Why – because we are leaving things out. As humans, we cannot possibly see the entire scope of the problem, but we shall valiantly try.

This is about the time that someone would greet you with that infamous phrase from that equally infamous musical set in the 1930s in Salzburg, Austria which has as its protagonist a novice named Maria; however, I will spare you. Illegal immigrants are foreign nationals who either enter the country without following proper protocol as established by the United States Immigration services, and those who have entered the country legally, but have overstayed the limits specified by the Federal Government. While the most publicized subgroup are Mexicans who come across the southern border of the U.S., less than fifty percent fit into this category. Illegal immigrants in this country come from all over the earth: other Latin American countries, Asia, Africa, and in very few cases, Europe. This is significant because it demonstrates how most border-oriented enforcement measures will not solve the problem, and even if draconian measures are enacted, it would still be very possible to cross the border. Walls, excessive force, etc. are not the solution to the problem. While some illegal immigrants are even rich refugees, this analysis will concern mainly those whom society always thinks about, namely the Latin Americans (not just the Mexicans).

Now we must ask the question: what effect do illegal immigrants have on the economy? Are they a positive or a negative influence? Could our economy function without them? Many say that they are a negative force in the economy because they steal tax dollars and send them abroad. This is true to an extent: illegal immigrants do not pay as much in taxes as do legal inhabitants. However, they do pay sales taxes and sometimes they are able to become “quasi”-legal through fraud and pay income taxes as well. This said, illegal immigrants do tend to utilize many social services, and almost certainly do constitute a net drain on taxpayer dollars. Given that, tax money is not the best and certainly not the only measure for their economic effect, so we must keep looking. Illegal immigrants do indeed lower prices for things such as agricultural products and housing repairs. So the United States citizen does pay less for goods, but more for taxes, essentially, their effect is more or less neutral. While we can almost certainly never be exactly sure of how much money they cost us in taxes and then how much money they save us in the market, it seems most likely that their effect cannot be said to be either positive or negative only from their price. Here, economics is not as important as socioeconomics. The truth of the matter is that if many places within the United States with to fix the problem of illegal immigration, they will have to settle for a great restructuring of the socioeconomic system. Ceteris paribus, prices in southern California will shoot up and similarly across the board prices will be higher (with very high price indexes). However, this should (Government willing) decrease taxes. While in most places the effect should be balancing, Southern Florida in particular will have to incent an entirely new system to deal with construction, as the price of living there (already high) will shoot up again. This could decrease economic growth in the region, but yet it might run out the migratory citizens there, creating a more stable and less touristy economy. Essentially, illegal immigrants are essential to the economy as we know it know, and to sudden remove all illegal immigrants (by whatever means, amnesty, deportation, etc) will involve the structure of the economy changing. Are “us Americans” ready?

The real danger with illegal immigrants present is the shadow economy. Obviously, being sure of what the shadow economy is going to do can be rather difficult. This can create unknown effects on the economy and creates a quandary for political culture. However, the biggest threat is the potential for terrorist activity. Not knowing who is here, or even how many people are here, is a significant threat. If some sort of amnesty program were adopted, this would cause an example of the prisoner’s dilemma, the U.S. would be able to look for potential terrorists among the unknown population and the formerly-illegal immigrants could earn higher wages and participate in society, which leads us to our next point on inquiry.

Do illegal immigrants work for lower wages and benefits than legal workers? Using a marginal cost-benefit analysis, the answer is clearly yes. There are fines and other penalties involved with hiring illegal workers, creating a marginal cost for using their labor. Since legal laborers have no such legal cost, if illegal workers were paid the same, it would be ludicrous to hire them, since they have the risk with no reward. Their labor must be cheaper because somehow the cost of legal problems must be outweighed by the marginal benefit of paying them lower wages. Everyone, I am sure, will admit that illegal immigrants are frequently hired, so positive economics informs us that they do work for substandard wages. Furthermore, illegal immigrants cannot unionize and have no legal power to protect them from oppression (another element adding to the marginal benefit of hiring them). While I have faith in the United States public that they are not all oppressed, I am sure that it does happen in some cases.

In a previous hasty essay, I pointed out the entire lack of a statistical correlation between illegal immigration and the unemployment rate. Some may think that because there is no proof that they do not cause unemployment, they must. While it does seem probable that illegal immigrants might find areas where unemployment is low, by doing so they assist the economy in approaching the production possibilities frontier. In addition to this, more people in the end means more jobs, so saying that they cause increased unemployment is ceteris paribus and does not take into account the economic growth that illegal immigrants by definition create. By demanding more services, more jobs are created for higher paying jobs, so if the American citizens can rise to the proper educational level, they are actually benefited. In addition, they give economists another issue to be paid to study, so clearly they must be simply wonderful.

In an essay denouncing my economic theory in regards to the subject to the intellectual Madame La Guillotine, Ms. Pride (for whose intellect I have warm respect) pointed out that it would be best if illegal immigrants were to come here legally, and that if they were to do so, we could fling open our doors without reserve. I most heartily agree with Ms. Pride, but there is a slight problem. They cannot come here legally. Lawmakers back during the anti-Japanese bigotry period during WWII lovingly fostered a nice little cancer tumor in the nation by enacting quotas of immigration for certain regions. Instead of having a free-market immigration policy, we must let certain numbers of Europeans in before we can admit Asians, Africans, or Latin Americans. In case no one has noticed, there is not a huge demand for Germans to immigrate here, so we have abnormally low levels of immigration. This essentially creates a price ceiling for immigration, making a disequilibrium price level. The Government in its omniscient wisdom has decided that only certain levels of immigration are good for us and have attempted to tear supply and demand down from their authoritative thrones, and so this folly lead to the status quo. The effects are visualized here: This has caused a shortage in immigration. What happens when there is a shortage? Illegal activities attempt to fill the gap. As I am sure we will all heartily agree it is conveniently possible to immigrate illegal to the United States. Need I say more?

The solution to our problem is not some myopic, draconian, legalistic punishment of illegal aliens, nor is it the completely free amnesty which ignores the terrorist threat. The solution lies in recognizing those pesky twins known as supply and demand which lawyers (whose infinite wisdom got us into this mess) know to manipulate so very well. Break down the malicious damn of immigration quotas and its bureaucracy! And now Ms. Pride and I will leave to debate an even more fascinating and foreign subject which has never ceased to befuddle the rest of the world – the foreign and independent Republic of Texas.

sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2008

Our Dear Illegals and the Economy: Part the Second

Graphs won't show up... argh! =)

The United States has a terminal illness – immigration cancer – caused by the idea that illegal immigrants are flooding the nation increasing unemployment wherever their politically and economically infected feet may land. While many believe that increases in unemployment in certain states are due to illegal immigration, their belief is an example of both the false-cause fallacy and the fallacy of composition, and also analyzes the economy ceteris paribus without taking into account other forces. Furthermore, many proposed solutions to the problem are myopic and do not bow to the power of the economic forces at work.

The first question essential to this inquiry is: is there any statistical correlation between high concentrations of illegal immigrants and unemployment? According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is no correlation whatsoever. The two highest unemployment rates are found in Rhode Island and Michigan, neither of which has a large concentration of illegal immigrants (at least when compared to other regions). States with exceedingly high concentrations like California and Florida had almost identical rates to Illinois and North Carolina, both low concentration states. Furthermore, the Northern and Central states had similarly high rates when compared to the Pacific Coast. A scatter plot of this data reveals that the relationship between the two is extremely weak. The truth is that there is no statistically viable link between concentration of illegal immigrants and unemployment.

Consequently, it remains clear that blaming unemployment solely or significantly on illegal immigration is a false-cause fallacy. Furthermore, if one were to argue that the statistical evidence above is not valid because of a specific example where say agricultural workers were replaced by illegal immigrants, it would be the fallacy of composition. While this it is true that illegal workers act as a substitute good and drive down the demand for legal labor, thus decreasing the both the price and quantity of legal labor, arguing that this causes higher levels of unemployment is clearly ceteris paribus, since there is no statistical link between the two. The truth of the matter is that illegal immigrants do not pose some sort of diabolical threat to the poor of America, instead, their real danger is in their burdening of the tax base as well as the shadow economy, which they create with their illegal status, which could hide any number of dangers. Therefore we do look to a solution, but not for unemployment caused by illegal immigration.

Many believe that the solution to this issue is by harnessing the power of the market forces. I entirely concur. One market force which we could seek to control is demand. By slowing sliming the demand for illegal labor, the shadow economy would waste away, because I assure you that most illegal workers do not come here for our smiling faces and warm hospitality for workers of all kinds, legal and illegal. They come because there are economic incentives for doing so, and by eliminating those incentives we can use demand where supply has eluded us and fight the status quo. Some possibilities include using Federal funding to entice rogue state and local governments into no longer flaunting Federal law and harboring illegal activities. Improved resources for ICE and tougher penalties for businesses could increase the risk of investing in illegal labor, driving down demand. The potential effects of these policies are visualized here: However, all the above policies could have significant side-effects, and so must be pursued with caution. Furthermore, even if they work perfectly, the price of illegal labor drops (as the graph demonstrates), which means that the illegal immigrants left will work for even less and be even more dependent on government handouts and the like, but as least the quantity would decrease. Perhaps we should look to demand’s accomplice supply to find an option with more desirability.

Decreasing the supply of illegal immigration would indeed help to remedy the problem. If there were a decrease in supply of illegal labor, the market would adjust and the substitute good of legal labor would rise in demand, increasing both the price and quantity of legally accountable labor. Such a harnessing of the market power of supply is visualized here: However, supply is not a force that we can affect with force. A border fence and increased abilities of the Border Patrol do not solve as no more that 50% of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. come across the border; the other half have overstayed their visas. Furthermore, allowing the Border Patrol to shoot immigrants crossing the border is similar to execute traffic violators. It is a civil not a criminal act and allowing the Border Patrol freedom to end the life or seriously wound an immigrant is unethical and immoral and cannot be tolerated in civil society. Furthermore, such increased funding would extensively strain the governmental budgets, which is the main economic defect of the current system anyways, and so doing so would be rather pointless and counter-productive. There is one policy which outshines all the rest; open the legal floodgates. The current United States immigration process is notoriously complex and difficult and it has taken even ten years to get the foreign spouse of a military personal into the country. If the potential illegal immigrants could more easily come legally, they would, as they would work for higher wages than with the current system. This incentive would prove irresistible, and the supply of illegal labor would be dramatically replaced by legal labor. This would decrease the supply of illegal labor, thereby increasing the price and decreasing quantity of illegal labor (as demonstrated on the graph). That is the only incentive that any company, large or small, needs to switch from illegal to legal labor. Release the legal river of immigration and watch the market forces of supply and demand mend remove infections in the current economic system.

We cannot by force of arms and law defeat the challenge of illegal immigration, but we can utilize the power of supply and demand in order to save the economy from itself without massive expenditures or immoral actions. The solution to invasion of illegal labor is the invasion of legal labor. If we succeed with the powers of the market forces, other countries with massive illegal immigration like Argentina and the Dominican Republic will take note and follow suit. May all workers who wish to come do so and flood the country – legally.

viernes, 21 de noviembre de 2008

Our Dear Illegals and the Economy

I've decided to be brave a post a series of three essays written about illegal immigration, one a day for the next three days. I'll be curious to see people's reactions. =)

What effect does illegal immigration have on the US economy especially in places of high concentration?

Let the invasion begin. Whether or not the citizens of the United States would like to admit it, illegal immigrants from the brother American nation-states are essential to the economy as we know it today, despite their negative effects. Though Mexican and other Latino immigrants comprise only fifty percent of illegal immigrants in the country, they are of the most interest because of their importance and ubiquity. In order to analyze the status quo, California and Florida will represent the overall economic functioning of the “shadow economy.”

Halcyon Southern California is teeming with illegal immigrants. Here the primary function of the shadow economy is to provide a cheap source of easily controllable labor to the agricultural sector. Because of the ability to provide sub-standard wages, agricultural businesses tend to hire the illegal workers as opposed to legal workers which cost a good deal more and also have the ability to unionize after the example of César Chávez. This drives down the cost of produce, shifting the supply curve, and lowering the price of food. In the economy of Southern California, illegal immigrants are the substitute good which drives down the demand for legal labor, while the supply stays constant. This lowers the equilibrium price for legal labor. However, despite allegations that “those Mexicans are taking Americans jobs,” the truth of the matter is that very few “real” Americans would be willing to take those jobs, especially with the alternative of welfare and other “Big Brother” governmental programs which help to strangle the jobs market. Nevertheless, illegal workers do have some access to social services such as health care, which drains these programs, causing a drive towards higher taxes. While some think that taxing the illegal immigrants as well is the solution (though I am totally at a loss as to how they plan to do this), because of the low income they receive from the market, illegal immigrants would not be able to pay the taxes into the system anyways. Furthermore, due to their low wages, illegal immigrant families cannot invest in human capital and the low prices of everything associated with them (wages, food prices, etc…) constantly works to slow the velocity of the economy: both these aspects serve to damage the future of the economy. So while illegal immigrants are crucial to the functioning of the economy as we know it, the effects of the shadow economy are negative upon the economic health of this country.

Very similar observations can be made in Southern Florida. In contrast to Southern California, where the illegal workforce is primarily agricultural, the shadow economy on Gasparilla Island near Fort Myers is concerned with construction. Whenever a hurricane sweeps through, the previously non-existent Hispanic sallies forth from their previously unknown magical forest to get businesses and homes running again quickly and cheaply. They also provide a cheap source of labor for remodeling and landscaping. However, illegal labor is balanced out with “real” American labor by a rather ingenious system of only hiring the illegal workers during the summer when all the tenants have returned to Manhattan. During the winter when the island is heavily populated, only white American citizens do landscaping. While this system does provide a way to protect one’s house cheaply without insurance (since the great probability of damage drive the price of insurance up past the cost of entirely rebuilding the house), again the drain on the economy by the use of various social services and the loss of economic velocity is still present, and if America would like to remedy the situation, a very drastic restructuring of the socioeconomic system must occur.

Positive economics informs us that illegal labor is a drain on the economy, yet it is essential for the system of the status quo to remain the same. So the American public must now look to normative economics to find a way out of this quandary; the answer still eludes our grasp,

jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2008

Chavez and Bush (Chavez y Bush)

Just in case you didn't know yet, Hugo Chavez complemented Bush for the bank buyout, saying that Bush was to the left of Chavez for doing it. More Chavezish than Chavez...Even if the economy "needed" such a buyout (and they didn't, but I'll explain why later), this ought to (but won't) worry us so that we repent of the buyout no matter what the economic consequences because we DON'T want our nation to be like his!

Si todavía no sabes, Hugo Chavez dijo que el Presidente Bush es aún más zurdo que él mismo ya que el gobierno estadounidense acaba de comprar un montón de bancos. Si la economía necesitara que el gobierno comprara a los bancos (y no es verdad; que explicaré más tarde), nos preocupamos por esta situación porque seguramente no queremos que el gobierno estadounidense sea como el venezolano.

An Inquiry into the Distribution of the Wealth of Peoples: An Inadequate Introduction to Distributism

An Inquiry into the Distribution of the Wealth of Peoples

Distributism is an Outline of Sanity. While laissez-faire capitalists attack it as socialism under any other name, and socialists are unable to understand the difference between the two theories, Distributism is quite distinct from both. Essentially, Distributism is the startling idea that there is more to life than raw, mathematical economic growth or equality of income.

The theory was originally developed by a small circle of friends headed by G.K. Chesterton and Hilare Belloc around the turn of the twentieth century. The foundational text of the theory is the Outline of Sanity, in which Chesterton lays out the key criticisms of the laissez-faire capitalist approach (as was being practiced in the England of his day) and discusses what a healthy socioeconomic situation should look like. However, Distributism was then, and still is, and nascent theory, and there are no dogmatic policy recommendations in the text, instead, today’s Distributists must approach the status quo with independent analysis in order to develop beneficial ways to arrive at Chesterton and Belloc’s vision.

While the theory was officially born of that circle of friends, the foundations and inspiration of the movement are found in the Papal Encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Quadregisimo Anno, which outline Catholic Social teaching. This being said, it is necessary to define the theory.

Distributism mainly deals with the idea of property. While typical capitalists claim that their theory is the most supportive of private property, Distributism claims to supersede the laissez-faire doctrine. Perhaps the criticism is best explained by Chesterton himself: “Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.” Everyone should own a reasonable amount of property. Socialism wants to abolish the ideal; Capitalism favors the concentration of property into the hands of an oligarchy. Both of these are the enemies of freedom, as they deprive the majority of humanity of their individual freedom and power that comes with property. While Capitalists rely on the expression of the “free market” in order to justify their theory, when this happens, Capitalism concentrates wealth more and more, until it begins to look suspiciously like Socialism, except that big business rules instead of big government. And after that, it becomes impossible to distinguish between big business and big government, and essentially, we have the exact same thing. Some will almost certainly respond to this with the assertion that “Socialism has failed; Capitalism has succeeded.” The Distributists warns that person not to be too hasty. Just because the U.S.S.R. lost the Cold War does not mean that the Capitalist can write off every other economic theory. Furthermore, who is to say that the United States will not crumble tomorrow? The Capitalist cause is not yet won. In the end, both Capitalism and Socialism work to end up in the same place. Distributism vehemently opposes this oligarchy.

However, Distributism must do more that simply oppose the twins Socialism and Capitalism and stand for something on its own. It does indeed fulfill this requirement. Distributism is the unabashed promotion of private property. Every man should own some property and some means of production. “Wage slavery” as Chesterton called it greatly inhibits the freedom of the individual and only serves to continue concentrating wealth. While this is not necessarily a bad thing on a small scale, almost all jobs today are wage jobs. The entrepreneurial class is dying, and this theory seeks to rejuvenate it. According to Chesterton, a large class of entrepreneurs and small business owners would be the most dangerous single socioeconomic arraignment to those who would concentrate power into the hands of a few. Big corporations have great influence in the U.S., while the government is a *tad* too influential in China. Both are enemies of the freedom and self-governance of the populace.

Some attack the theory by arguing that it somehow futility opposes the law of comparative advantage and the division of labor. Perhaps this is true to some extent. However, specialization would clearly continue; however, the theory does indeed oppose specialization to approaches the limits of insanity. For example, having five hundred people all doing one single task over and over and over again in order to make a pin is psychologically damaging. While some would argue that this is necessary to bring down the price and increase output, perhaps the world does not need so many pins. Perhaps if the process were unspecialized, pins would also be expensive enough to make a wage on, without creating an excess of the product. This allows the laborer to maintain his sanity while still meeting the world’s demand for pins.

As the graph demonstrates, a reworking of our economy could indeed make less efficient pin production quite sustainable. If the entire industry went back to smaller shops, the price would increase because of the shift of the supply curve; however, there would not be the drudgery of picking five hundred thousand pins of one production line, and then placing them on the next. Furthermore, if the entire economy switches, then there will be little to no actual change in PPP (purchasing power parity) as workers will both earn and pay more. Distributism does not destroy equilibrium, but it does re-center it with new a new equilibrium price and equilibrium quantity.

Here, it is necessary to note that Distributism is a normative economic theory, not a positive economic theory. Chesterton and Belloc do not claim to be able to buck the stars and control the invisible hand. Instead, they simply realize that there is more to life than what might appear most economically beneficial, and so justify innumerable actions with the shallow claim that it is best for the markets. Furthermore, the Distributist movement reminds the world that “Not all that glitters is gold.”

Distributism has no track record, and so its solvency in the real world is still theoretical. While I believe the Distributist cause is unlike in most of the world’s superpowers, many of the currently marginalized regions hold great promise. Hopefully Distributism will be enacted before they can hurdle themselves down either the Socialist or Capitalist trail of folly. The most promising countries for the implementation of Distributism lie in the Caribbean and the South Pacific islands. While neither capital nor economic growth is particularly noteworthy in these regions, they are smaller and geographically more isolated than their continental counter parts. This already creates an atmosphere of small property holdings and reasonable economic independence from other lands. Furthermore, the island culture also lends itself to Distributism.. Distributism will most likely have to enter the U.S. at the local or state level, as attempting to do so at the Federal level is not only ridiculously unlikely, but also contradictory to the Distributist tendency towards the devolution of powers. Furthermore, the current level of centralization in the U.S. is very high, and fighting the mega-corporations must come from the bottom up.

Distributism is a novelty in economic theories, perhaps because it is not extremist in either direction. The Distributist model fits the socioeconomic lock of life and threatens the theories long upheld by the world. Thus Capitalism and Socialism both attack Distributism desperately, hoping to retain their deathly grip on the freedom of humanity. Only then do they run into a surprising Distributist who never knew that he was one: Thomas Jefferson.

miércoles, 19 de noviembre de 2008

Bienvendidos a mi blog muy recién nacido para discutir y (espero) propagar el distribuismo monetarista de comercio exterior equilibrado. Aunque este blog está dirigido hacia los temas de la economía y la política, esas dos materias no se pueden analizar en sí, sin tener en cuenta todas las demás materias. Pues, sentíte libre para discutir cualquier cosa, pero si es posible, favor de vincularla con la ideología acá presentada. =)