Econ 101

I am going through a self-teaching guide for Economics (Slavin, 1st edition, 1988).

Very interesting so far, but it is strange to see references to the Soviet Union and the strong Japanese economy.

Economics is the study of the allocation of the scarce means of production toward the satisfaction of human wants.

The basic questions of economics are :

  • What goods shall we produce?
  • How shall we produce the goods?
  • For whom are the goods produced?

The scarce means of production (resources) are: Land, Labor, Capital, and Entrepreneurial Ability.

Note: Labor is work. Capital is not money, it is the infrastructure needed to support the production and distribution of goods. Entrepreneurial Ability is the skill to organize the Land, Labor and Capital into a profit-making endeavor.

Human wants are unlimited relative to the resources available.


The initial discussion of Adam Smith’s invisible hand explains that  people are more efficient when producing for their self-interests rather than for the public good. If people are allowed to produce for their own selfish interests then by-and-by the public good will be met as well.   I wonder if we will get into a discussion of the Commons?

Up to chapter 5 so far. Looking forward to the rest.


Questions for the candidates

I see that the Republicans are having their little love fest in South Carolina. I have a few questions I would like for them to address and to expand upon as they see fit.

  • What do they envision as a more perfect union?
  • What sort of justice would they establish?
  • What is domestic tranquility?
  • How will they provide for the common defense?
  • How will they promote the general welfare?
  • What are the blessings of liberty and how do we secure them for ourselves and our prosperity?

I know the devil is in the details, but I would like to see if we have some agreement on the basics. I would like to see the Democrats answer the same set of questions. Anyone running for federal office should try answering them.

And another question to add to the others-

  • Do we the people have a basic right to privacy?