Dear Steven

I have now added your details to my blog circulation list. Delighted you managed to read EP-29 anyway. How did it reach you?

As it happens, arrangements for a monograph publication are already under way – many people suggested that I should do this.

As a non-academic I have no problem with displaying my strong libertarian leanings in everything I write. The test, for me and for the readers, is whether it makes logical sense that is difficult to gainsay – not whether there is an alternative opposing view. There is always an opposing view, but certain things are irrefutable – e.g. if you inflate the money supply prices MUST rise, purchasing power is lost, and all currency users are to that extent worse off. That’s an example – but listen to John McDonnell or Barry Gardiner or Tom Watson and their proposals for more and more government debt (spending money printed out of thin air), without a thought for the resulting budget deficit or how it can ever be repaid, and you get the sense of my Hazlitt quote at the very beginning of EP-29. They are focusing on “good works” for needy sections of society (say, people struggling to get on the housing ladder), while blinding themselves to the effect their proposals would have on the entire community. “Universal Basic Income” is a typically insane suggestion from certain quarters. If you want votes, however, it’s an absolutely great idea.

What I’m telling you here IS the opposing view you seek. But if you are not armed with a firm understanding of the underlying WHOLE picture, you are lost in the crowd. And there are no “sound” arguments for “keeping the economy going by stimulating demand”. Do you think it hasn’t been tried in Venezuela? And right now in Argentina?

All these points are covered in the complete set of mini-essays making up “Understanding Economics in One Hour”. So keep an open mind and have a little patience!

Many thanks for stimulating the old grey matter!



Emile Woolf

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On 22 May 2018, at 11:18, Steven Maddocks wrote:

Dear Emile

Please add my name to the list of the people who hugely enjoyed your introduction to economics (EP 29). It was logical and passionate, and I learn a lot from it. I greatly look forward to the further installments to follow.

I even thought I would like to put it into book form and publish it, something along the lines of ‘A Dummy’s Guide to Economics’. It is not objective, though – it is hard to miss a very strong point of view embedded in the excellent explanation of the basics.

Actually, I would be very interested in hearing the opposing view. Over the years, so many influential figures have subscribed to Keynesian economic theory, there must be sound arguments for, for example, keeping an economy going by ‘stimulating demand’, however ludicrous (and fruitless) it seems to you.

Explaining a specialism to the intelligent uninitiated is quite a skill – it was the guiding principle of the encyclopedia publishing I did. For the same reason, I enjoyed enormously your explanation last year of interest (how it relates to time).