Friday, September 12, 2008

The Economic Machine

Consider the following divisions: Labor vs leisure; present vs future; consumption vs investment; utility vs disutility; individual vs nation; home vs firm.

These demarcations form much of the basis for economic models of how the world works. These concepts existed before economics was acknowledged as a field of study, and modern mainstream culture subtly pounds them into the minds of its young.

What is the difference between labor and leisure? My job is so easy that I have forgotten. If I get home from work and cook for a while to unwind, is that labor? And if I grow tired of cooking and sit down to write a future best-selling novel, is that leisure?

And what is the difference between consumption and investment? Consuming a lunch now is necessary so that I have the energy to work in the afternoon -- here consumption is an investment. And if I buy an empty lot of land as an investment property and hold it for ten years, haven't I consumed it for those ten years, in the sense that I kept it from others?

Ah, never mind. I lack the will and brains to deconstruct the machine any further. I need something better to do in my leisure time. Something more like an investment.


Anonymous dr perfection said...

I find that eating is such a labor. All that chewing and swallowing makes me tired. I'm thinking of having a tube placed directly into my stomach.

3:58 PM  

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