Money For Nothing
Instead of buying sonic cannons to attack protestors with, how about the leaders try a conference call next time and give us a transit line or a hospital instead - thanks in advance.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"
"By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was not part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it."- Adam Smith
"He therefore that breaketh his Covenant, and consequently declareth that he thinks he may with reason do so, cannot be received into any Society, that unite themselves for Peace and defence, but by the errour of them that receive him; nor when he is received, be retayned in it, without seeing the danger of their errour; which errours a man cannot reasonably reckon upon as the means of his security; and therefore if he be left, or cast out of Society, he perisheth; and if he live in Society, it is by the errours of other men, which he could not foresee, nor reckon upon; and consequently against the reason of his preservation; and so, as all men that contribute not to his destruction, forbear him onely out of ignorance of what is good for themselves."
"The 'invisible hand theorem' (or 'first fundamental theorem of welfare economics'), shows that the competitive equilibrium of a market economy will be Pareto-optimal as long as certain 'standard' conditions obtain. The list is quite long, but includes inter alia constant returns to scale, individuals with well-behaved utility functions, symmetric information, a complete set of futures markets, and in cases of
uncertainty, a complete set of insurance markets.
In other words, the theorem shows that markets achieve perfect efficiency, so long as every other mechanism of cooperative benefit is excluded from consideration – either by assuming that no such benefits are possible, or that all such benefits are freely available. To see how uninformative this is, consider how we would respond
to someone who proposed a model for the 'optimal' production of scientific knowledge, based upon the assumption that both material resources and labor were available in unlimited supply and at zero cost. Whatever its technical merits, such a model would give us very little assistance with real-life policy questions."
"Tell me then, O thou heir of the argument, what did Simonides say, and according to you truly say, about justice?
He said that the repayment of a debt is just, and in saying so he appears to me to be right.
I should be sorry to doubt the word of such a wise and inspired man, but his meaning, though probably clear to you, is the reverse of clear to me. For he certainly does not mean, as we were just now saying, that I ought to return a deposit of arms or of anything else to one who asks for it when he is not in his right senses; and yet a deposit cannot be denied to be a debt.
Then when the person who asks me is not in his right mind I am by no means to make the return?
When Simonides said that the repayment of a debt was justice, he did not mean to include that case?
Certainly not; for he thinks that a friend ought always to do good to a friend and never evil.
You mean that the return of a deposit of gold which is to the injury of the receiver, if the two parties are friends, is not the repayment of a debt,—that is what you would imagine him to say?
"Economist David Laibson has argued that financial innovation, by increasing the overall liquidity of assets, has made it increasingly difficult for individuals to create 'golden eggs.' The difference between savings and checking accounts has become purely nominal; the introduction of ATMs has meant that everyone has access to their money at all hours (and so withdrawing a fixed amount at the beginning of the week can no longer be used as a self-control mechanism); reverse mortgages allow people to drain the asset value of their homes; and, of course, consumer credit has rendered the practice of 'saving up' for a major purchase almost obsolete. This sort of 'easy money' is a mixed blessing to consumers, in the same way that a 24-hour beer store is a mixed blessing to the alcoholic."