Constants and variables 39
Bringing out this 1889 quote
from JW Graybill yet again.
The people of Free-Trade countries are therefore driven into the few occupations which are left, by reason of the destruction of their formerly more varied pursuits. Hence those diversified talents with which men are endowed are not developed but remain latent and unused, an incalculable detriment to the prosperity of their respective countries.
I've said something similar many times, and I've read something similar many times, but never said it or read it so COMPLETELY AND POWERFULLY as Graybill's version.
I'll call it Graybill's Law.
Thinking again about the mature Soviet system.
On the Graybill parameter of using talents
, a comparison of 1968 Soviet to 1968 USA would narrowly favor USA. In the specific areas of engineering and science, '68 Soviet would defeat '68 US easily. Soviets gave special consideration to engineers, and we had already offshored much of our electronics industry to Japan.
'68 system to 2016 USA dramatically favors both
'68 systems. We have severely restricted the range of paid and usable skills.
In other words, the major variable between econ systems is NOT central control vs "free" market. It's protectionist vs free-trade, closed vs open borders, profit vs share value. USA and USSR in 1968 were both relatively closed systems with restricted imports and minimal offshoring of labor. Both operated with profit as the goal of business.
Modern US/UK/EU econ demands Ebola-style open borders above all, and operates with a goal variable of SHARE VALUE. We are collapsing.
FDR paid close attention to Graybill's Law when he was repairing
the damage done by previous share-value collapses. His farm subsidy program preserved the skills of farm families, which would take several generations to rebuild otherwise. WPA took special care to keep all sorts of talents working and learning,
from housewives to masons to cooks to writers to musicians. At that time the industrial range of skills didn't need as much help, so WPA didn't focus on industrial skills. The auto industry slowed down but continued running at a reasonable level.
Labels: Make or break