Economics

These articles provide background and elucidate specific issues. The list will be supplemented over time.

Common-Law Economics: An Introduction

Common-Law Economics: An Introduction

We need an understanding of economics that takes into account the realities of really existing economies, not textbook abstractions or political campaigns. And really existing economies function in terms of sovereignty, property, contract, debt, taxes,...
A Common-Law Critique of Traditional Economics

A Common-Law Critique of Traditional Economics

In the last chapter [“Common-Law Politics,” ch. 2 of Common-Law Conservatism ] we characterized contemporary conservatism as “State of Nature Conservatism.” That holds true for politics; it also holds true for economics. Contemporary conservatism is fund...
Christianity and Economic Development

Christianity and Economic Development

The process of economic development is the process by which closed societies are broken open, reestablished upon new foundations built upon freedom on the one hand and accountability on the other. Historically, this was not a mechanical process; nor was...
Malthus, Human Nature, and the Social Question

Malthus, Human Nature, and the Social Question

The founder of state of nature politics, Hugo Grotius, was motivated by the desire to move beyond religion, specifically Christianity of one form or another, as the basis for legitimating sovereignty. Sovereignty had to be grounded in something other...
The Gold Standard and the Social Question

The Gold Standard and the Social Question

Three chapters in the history of money and labor relations. From Follow the Money :
Natural Liberty and Classical Economics

Natural Liberty and Classical Economics

The English authorities' attitude of wilful indifference in the face of currency shortage was more than mere recalcitrance. The mindset of the age was shifting away from the mercantilism of the age of coinage, toward the philosophy of classical economics,...
The Automatic Mechanism

The Automatic Mechanism

The logic of natural liberty was used to justify the shift to gold in the English economy in the 18th century. One of the gold standard's leading proponents, William Shaw, put the matter bluntly. "The verdict of history on the great problem of the nineteenth...
The Social Question Unravelled

The Social Question Unravelled

In a well-known passage, John Maynard Keynes provided a lucid picture of the pre-1914 era: The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see...
The Mystery of Capital

The Mystery of Capital

This review of Hernando de Soto's important book The Mystery of Capital  was written back in 2001, before I unravelled for myself (and for those with ears to hear) the mystery of capital: the relationship of the institution of property to contract, d...
Thoughts on Migration

Thoughts on Migration

Originally published at the Calvinist International, Oct. 30, 2015. This is a complex matter that cannot be understood if we simply engage in emotivist responses to the latest news items that cross our paths. It's time to get serious with this discussion....