Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
93 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: Want to Read Wealth of Nations? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: RSP-book-club [+] [View All]
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I do. Or rather I am, but as I go through it, even only up to chapter 8. I find a wealth of... things to talk about! I'd love to discuss this book with people, both in context and about how it does or doesn't translate to modern days, what can be learned etc. So I figured I would see if anyone else was interested enough to go along with me on a read and we could all discuss it as we went.

This may be a horrible idea...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jbrier
United States
Aventura
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shadrach wrote:

This may be a horrible idea...


I think it's a great idea. Didn't there used to be an RSP book club? We should get that going again. Nothing fosters substantive discussion like reading a book together.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Is that a yes for wanting to tackle this beast?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Junior McSpiffy
United States
Riverton
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shadrach wrote:
Is that a yes for wanting to tackle this beast?


I'm always looking for people who want to -play- Wealth of Nations....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was planning on going through it Chapter by Chapter. That's how I'm reading it now, with notebook in tow. I try to take a few notes to simply remind myself of what was discussed in the chapter and throw out any questions I have for thought.

Chapter 1 speaks of the division of labor. He discusses the point and benefit of division of labor in his mind, explains that labor is value and so increased production afforded by division of labor means increased wealth. There's a lot more to it than this, which is why I'd hope other folks would be reading it too. Two questions I came up with from chapter 1 were:... well wait, one was self answered further in the book, never mind. So the one question I had was:

1)Does automation as we have it now increase the value of capital past an equitable equilibrium point, while reducing the value of labor conversely?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
flag msg tools
He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GameCrossing wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
Is that a yes for wanting to tackle this beast?


I'm always looking for people who want to -play- Wealth of Nations....


We're going to be great friends.

I tried reading it and found it so incredibly boring that I had to set it aside.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd frankly prefer to tackle an introductory university text on economics which uses Lagrangian techniques.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
I'd frankly prefer to tackle an introductory university text on economics which uses Lagrangian techniques.


We could go into that next if you have some good suggestions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shadrach wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I'd frankly prefer to tackle an introductory university text on economics which uses Lagrangian techniques.


We could go into that next if you have some good suggestions.

I wish I did.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
flag msg tools
He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I'd frankly prefer to tackle an introductory university text on economics which uses Lagrangian techniques.


We could go into that next if you have some good suggestions.

I wish I did.


Why don't you write one?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jythier wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I'd frankly prefer to tackle an introductory university text on economics which uses Lagrangian techniques.


We could go into that next if you have some good suggestions.

I wish I did.


Why don't you write one?

I've little enough time to write my physics research, and I'm no expert on economics.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shadrach wrote:
Chapter 1 speaks of the division of labor. He discusses the point and benefit of division of labor in his mind, explains that labor is value and so increased production afforded by division of labor means increased wealth.



...which is a delicious, cute, but absolutely ridiculous fairy tale. Smith's division of labour in a small rural village doesn't relate in any way or form with the actual, historical record on the origin of division of labour - just like there has never, ever been a barter-based economy, anywhere in the world.

I'd advise a fairly serious revision of the zillion Enlightenment assumptions Smith does before getting to the faults in his own intellectual construction.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Victor;

I've always understood Smith to have taken the first stab at a systematic description of economics but that f course the subject has developed greatly since then. It'd be like studying Aristotle or even Newton's Principia to learn about modern physics.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yes, it is certain that Smith's endeavour was to produce an autonomous sphere of "the economic" separating it from philosophy, but you will see people still defending the same basic assumptions today. In this very forum I've been told that money is an advanced form of barter, or that capitalism is in part successful because it allows the naturally-occurring division of labour to sustain itself through the market.

For instance, I think Ricardo is a much more (conceptually) interesting classical theorist.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HeinzGuderian wrote:
Yes, it is certain that Smith's endeavour was to produce an autonomous sphere for "the economics" that separated it from philosophy, but you will see people still defending the same basic assumptions today. In this very forum I've been told that money is an advanced form of barter, or that capitalism is in part successful because it allows the naturally-occurring division of labour to sustain itself through the market.

For instance, I think Ricardo is a much more (conceptually) interesting classical theorist.

From what I have learned of economics, my understanding is that money theoretically may have started as a item for universal barter but that the pretense of barter just becomes restrictive and cumbersome is practice.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
whac3 wrote:
From what I have learned of economics, my understanding is that money theoretically may have started as a item for universal barter but that the pretense of barter just becomes restrictive and cumbersome is practice.


But it is historically not true that barter precedes money; on the contrary, barter has only been central to economies of people accustomed to use money which become suddenly deprived of it (prisons, concentration camps, refugees...). Historically, barter has typically been either a prestige supplement which was never applied to basic needs, or a device used for external trade between hostile groups. So the idea that money developed because barter was too awkward is a backwards projection of modern monetary logic.

A few years ago I read a very interesting monograph on barter by a Cambridge historian that I could track down if you are interested (it'll be in one of my notebooks). David Graeber also discusses (and refutes) the money-as-barter hypothesis in his recent (and excellent) book on the history of debt.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
verandi wrote:
Shadrach wrote:

This may be a horrible idea...


I think it's a great idea. Didn't there used to be an RSP book club? We should get that going again. Nothing fosters substantive discussion like reading a book together.


It was more of a "I just read this book, here's what I thought about it" club. [url="http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/8352969#8352969"]Marshall had a thread for 2012.[/url] And there's the [url="http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/RSP_Book_Club"]RSP Book Club[/url] wiki that Ray launched long, long ago.

There were a number of runs at "let's all read this and talk," but none ever really amounted to anything.
1 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HeinzGuderian wrote:
whac3 wrote:
From what I have learned of economics, my understanding is that money theoretically may have started as a item for universal barter but that the pretense of barter just becomes restrictive and cumbersome is practice.


But it is historically not true that barter precedes money; on the contrary, barter has only been central to economies of people accustomed to use money which become suddenly deprived of it (prisons, concentration camps, refugees...). Historically, barter has typically been either a prestige supplement which was never applied to basic needs, or a device used for external trade between hostile groups. So the idea that money developed because barter was too awkward is a backwards projection of modern monetary logic.

A few years ago I read a very interesting monograph on barter by a Cambridge historian that I could track down if you are interested (it'll be in one of my notebooks). David Graeber also discusses (and refutes) the money-as-barter hypothesis in his recent (and excellent) book on the history of debt.

Interesting because we know historically that the Lydians invented coined money. The Greek quickly adopted it. We also have economic records from taxes and palace expenses in ancient Mesopotamia before that. How would you characterize payments in kind if not barter?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HeinzGuderian wrote:
whac3 wrote:
From what I have learned of economics, my understanding is that money theoretically may have started as a item for universal barter but that the pretense of barter just becomes restrictive and cumbersome is practice.


But it is historically not true that barter precedes money; on the contrary, barter has only been central to economies of people accustomed to use money which become suddenly deprived of it (prisons, concentration camps, refugees...). Historically, barter has typically been either a prestige supplement which was never applied to basic needs, or a device used for external trade between hostile groups. So the idea that money developed because barter was too awkward is a backwards projection of modern monetary logic.

A few years ago I read a very interesting monograph on barter by a Cambridge historian that I could track down if you are interested (it'll be in one of my notebooks). David Graeber also discusses (and refutes) the money-as-barter hypothesis in his recent (and excellent) book on the history of debt.


I'm completely open to refuting Smith's assertions or seeing how they've mutated over the centuries. However in order to get there we need a common terminology and frame of reference. That was my purpose for reading smith in the first place. It will make a good entry point both in economic theory and be helpful when I hear it applied(normally wrongly) in political debate.

Once I am done with this, I'll branch out. I'm not trying to get my entire concept of economic theory from it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
MGK
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
Interesting because we know historically that the Lydians invented coined money.


They invented coins, but not the concept of money - plenty of societies used beads, specific shells or particular types of metal or stones as commodity-based money before they transitioned to coins (and many societies did so independently of one another, because coins are more durable and less replicable than most things you can use easily as commodity money - it's a pretty obvious step). The Sumerians and most of the other Mesopotamian nations used small weights of silver (talents and shekels).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Steak Fairy
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Games? People still play games??
badge
Specious arguments are not proof of trollish intent.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HeinzGuderian wrote:

For instance, I think Ricardo is a much more (conceptually) interesting classical theorist.


Certainly his work on I Love Lucy was above reproach.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
whac3 wrote:
Interesting because we know historically that the Lydians invented coined money. The Greek quickly adopted it. We also have economic records from taxes and palace expenses in ancient Mesopotamia before that. How would you characterize payments in kind if not barter?


But the logic underlying a tax payment in kind is very different from a barter exchange in kind. This was precisely the gist of the theory of German school (in the late 19th century) on the origin of money: that governments launched it as a debt token for the specific purpose of payment of taxes and tributes.

Edit: to elaborate the position, the earliest Mesopotamian temples (and later, Royal palaces) redistributed products through requisition from the population and allocation to a number of purposes, but they did not just take the products needed for the functioning of the temples; they deliberately accumulated excedents, controlled certain prestige products, etc. However, accounting evidence shows that this variety of products was not considered as such - there are detailed lists of value-equivalents between different products so that these different products could be used to pay equivalent tributes. Eventually, tax-debt was more or less standardized, and coinage was seen by the German school as an attempt on behalf of the State to provide a universal measure of debt that the State could issue and circulate, thus generating a market around it, and then recover coins as a (non-perishable, uniform, universalized) tax-debt repayment, which could be further put in circulation or used to pay tribute to foreign polities, etc.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HeinzGuderian wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Interesting because we know historically that the Lydians invented coined money. The Greek quickly adopted it. We also have economic records from taxes and palace expenses in ancient Mesopotamia before that. How would you characterize payments in kind if not barter?


But the logic underlying a tax payment in kind is very different from a barter exchange in kind. This was precisely the gist of the theory of German school (in the late 19th century) on the origin of money: that governments launched it as a debt token for the specific purpose of payment of taxes and tributes.

Why is tax fundamentally different than other payments?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
galad2003 wrote:
It would be nice if we could stick on topic and discuss the Wealth of Nations chapter 1 instead of the origins of money.

Anyway to answer your question:

1)Does automation as we have it now increase the value of capital past an equitable equilibrium point, while reducing the value of labor conversely?

Hmm to a degree yes it has IMO. With automation the demand for labor has decreased, therefore that moves the demand curve for labor to the left.

However the biggest thing I think that has decreased the value of labor is that we have too large of a supply of labor. In other words we have too many damn people. With such a large population in places like China the supply curve for labor has shifted very far to the right so the value has gone down significantly, especially for unskilled labor.

Sorry I can't think of a way to do graphs to show this.

If the origins of money undermines the assumptions of Chapter 1, then it is on topic to discuss that.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The question is if the model has maintained enough characteristics to be able to approximate the real world. In other words, which properties are the key ones?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.