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EconOptimisim

This category contains 10 posts

Technology lurches onward

Change is predictable, the rate of change is not.  Typically governments trail people in adoption but when a government manages to change before becoming irrelevant, leaders can usually avoid exile or execution. The new year has brought with it several major and minor headlines that, though reported disparately, show government leaders engaging with technology that … Continue reading

Make Money, Not War

Humanitarians and politicians have spent decades and careers in attempts to end the conflict between Israel and Palestine.  The growing business between the two nations, particularly with Palestine supplying outsourcing services to Israel, has motivated some to suggest that peace may shortly follow. It is correct to note that business between the two implies cooperation. Two … Continue reading

Why touch that dial? Advertising can benefit consumers

Jana, the world’s largest mobile payment network, with access to 100% of cell users in over 100 countries throughout the developing world, could be the dystopic novel Feed finally realized.  For those of you who were not young adults in the early 2000’s , in the novel people have a device wired directly to their brain … Continue reading

Money’s on the move, slowly

Money that moves grows the economy.  Moving money means people spending, which signals potential profitability from production.  Greater production then leads to a greater Gross Domestic Product.  Anything that makes it easier to people to spend money, like a standard currency in the United States or credit cards, then grows GDP.  While mobile commerce or … Continue reading

Bank on the future

While Mr. Potter may be the proverbial banker who tries to bleed a community for every cent, in the technicolor, real world banking provides great benefit by moving money between people.  Technological changes mean that beneficial banking extends beyond the Bailey Savings and Loan.  There may be only one George Bailey, but these days, benefits … Continue reading

Does supporting trade a traitor make?

History seems to repeat itself often and in earnest, in spite of all of our attempts to know better.  Perhaps the reason is not that we haven’t adequately learned our lessons, but that, like any good student just trying to get through the next test, we have learned our lessons too literally. The Treaty of … Continue reading

Technology to break the picket line

Unions often get a bad reputation for doing what everyone can be expected to do: working to advance their own self-interest.  However, if the teacher’s union in Chicago was sufficiently forward-looking, it would know to walk softly and carry a pen poised for signing a long-term contract: their days of teaching children are numbered. Property taxes … Continue reading

Wealth unlimited by nations

Perhaps its symptomatic of my prevailing political philosophy: I’m more of a Mill than a Marx or DeMaistre, but I am immediately wary of any argument that uses “culture” to explain outcomes.  To me, in such lines of reasoning, “culture” seems akin to amber that locks organisms in one position eternally.  But there is a … Continue reading

Start-Ups Despite Separation

While no where near Palo Alto levels, both Palestine and Israel have entered the start-up technology arena.  There may be only one Jerusalem, but creating a tech company on one side of the wall seems to encourage tech on the other. The New York Times  recently reported on the business environment in Ramallah, a city in … Continue reading

Intent to Profit

Long ago, philosophers discovered two competing ethical frameworks: one that says only intentions matter and the other concerned only with consequences.  Even longer ago, people realized that both matter, and economists chimed in with “it depends.”  This is why we have phrases like, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” and people are … Continue reading