Thursday, March 24, 2016

Economic Systems, the Free Market, and Trade

I don't expect anyone to follow my garbled lecture notes here! There is quite a lot left out. But I was pleased with the way this discussion went. It is interesting to consider the idea of a Utopia or a Zion society. It's been the goal of so many, and yet most of those people have been lacking the ONLY thing that makes such a society possible: a change in human nature. And that, of course, only comes through Jesus Christ, and through our own agency. It is literally impossible to compel this change in others! And it's impossible to purely self-will it. Only the combination of our own desire and Christ's mercy allows the mighty change of heart that makes Zion possible. Which is why any secular Utopia must ultimately fail.

Anyway, on to more political things. Economic Systems and Trade!

My first introduction to Karl Marx came through Monte Python, I'm pleased to say. And I've never forgotten it. All through AP European History and other classes, I would repeat to myself, "The struggle of class against class is a what struggle? A what struggle?" "A…political struggle." It helped me through many an exam. Here's the video.

This talk, about the difference between the United Order (a sort of communal society attempted in early Latter-day Saint history) and Socialism, is interesting. Anyone who says these two systems are basically the same is missing some vital information!

Here's an old, but good, video about how the stock market works. I love this old style of movies.

When you talk about investment, it's also a good time to read the Parable of the Talents from the Bible and discuss how we can invest and enlarge ourselves spiritually! This is a good discussion of the parable, as is this. And this. And this. I like pondering all the different applications one parable can have.

Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" series was really influential a couple decades ago, I think (and is still very applicable). I love the guy. This video, about how the free market helps people around the world, is great.

Here's Thomas Sowell on income inequality, and here's another one on the same topic.

I, Pencil. This video is a classic about trade and how it enriches all of our lives.

And here's another take on the same subject: How to make a $1500 sandwich in only 6 months

The Morality of Capitalism. And another (the children really liked this one). Ooh! And this one too. (Nice shout-out to our man Adam Smith, too.)

I posted this on another page, but it fits here too: This article is fascinating. It relates to the free market, but also gives a good perspective on how grateful we should be for what we have. We are so abundantly rich compared to any other people on earth before!

And it's always great to hear Milton Friedman in his own words. Here he talks about a glaring problem with socialism: where are "the angels" who will carry it out?

Another look at some of the problems with socialism.

What is the best Minimum wage?

Another of these sort of old-fashioned movies that seems a bit funny now, but the principles in it are sound. Why socialism doesn't work.

What's all this talk about the "trade deficit"?

And yes, I do get into all these subjects with my children, and they love it! I don't know how normal that is; perhaps it's strange, but maybe because they're subjects I find fascinating, the children love to talk about economics and politics. "Tell us something else about whiny college students," they will say, hopefully, at the breakfast table. :)

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