My Qualifications to Pontificate About Economics

  1. Masters and PhC in Economics from the University of California at Davis. PhC means I passed the orals for a PhD and I am ABD, all but dissertation
  2. Bachelors in Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara
  3. Taught Economics full time at St. John's University, College of Business Administration, in Queens, New York City for seven semesters in the 1980s.

Economics Pages

Western Civilization

Democracy is Benevolent Because You Will Never Cast the Deciding Vote In an election with many voters there is almost no chance you will decide the election. This frees you to vote your values.

The alchemy of Western Civilization transforms greed into efficiency and progress, and hypocrisy into justice and benevolence. You know the story about greed from economics class. Perhaps they did not cover hypocrisy in civics or political science. Because the voter knows that they are very unlikely to cast the deciding vote the hypocrite can safely vote for the virtues that they never practice in their private life. So the West triumphs through greed and hypocrisy.

Marx, Toynbee, and others created theories of history, that did not work. Academics decided to stop trying. I thought maybe they others simply got it wrong. Here is my theory of history or progress. It is about ten times as complex as the previous theories. No one has successfully built a two story building so I built a twenty story building.

I showed it to many professors. Many disagreed with what I said about the future, but few had any criticism about what I said about the past. At any rate here it is The Destiny of the Species, A Theory of Progress.

The theory of progress above covers so much that it inevitably will raise issues for religious people. Here is more recent short version that deals with these issues in a way that religious people may find more fair and balanced. Check out The Devil's History of Life and Humanity

Many tech experts, for example Musk and Hawkins, have worried that artificial intelligence will go rogue and endanger the human race. I explore a senario where artificial intelligence combines with democracy, and other valued institutions to threaten the human race.

Four institutions, democracy, civil liberties, the market economy, and empiricism are key to the success of modern Western Civilization. All of these institutions work because there are a large number of participants making it difficult for the individual to manipulate the government and society to their benefit. This essay ties these institutions together in ways that you will not expect. Check it out.

The modern world, including the four great institutions, democracy, civil liberties, the market, and empircism, are frequently regarded with distrust by religious people. But in many ways these liberal institutions work for religion.

Index of pages on the 4 Western Institutions, Democracy, Freedom, Markets, & Empiricism.

Developing Economies

All developing countries will make it to developed status and perhaps sooner than you think. Under developed status is temporary. Check out my reasoning.

The percentage of humanity living in low income countries was reduced by 80% in twelve years. The portion of the world's population living in low income countries shrank from 60% in 1998 to 12% in 2010. Low income countries have per person gross national output less than $1035, measured in 2012 US dollars. Click here for the video version.

Bill Gates has stirred controversy by claiming that by 2035 there will be almost no low income nations. He is probably right. The percentage of the world's population living in low income countries was reduced from 60% to 12% in the 12 years from 1998 to 2010. The low income countries had 9% of the world's poulation in 2018. The low income countries continue to grow rapidly and so most should make it past the middle income threshold of 1025 US dollars (2018 value) before 2035. Here is a link to the essay where Bill Gates' made the claim. This is my essay in support of Bill Gates' position.

Bill Gates says that low income countries will almost all become middle income by 2035 but theoretically we could raise all the low income countries to middle income now with only one half of one percent of the gross national income of the high income countries.

In the first 11 years of the new millennium the growth rate of the developing world was twice as fast as it was in the final decade of the last millennium. I think this rapid growth will continue and perhaps accelerate.

The tide has definitely shifted. As more and more countries move into to developed status and a larger portion of the world's population becomes rich the market for the poor man's labor is improving rapidly. The growth of China and other richer developing countries fosters the growth of the poorer. Read a newer analysis of the end of the Third World.

A collection of various economic statistics comparing China and US We are in an era where both the US and China lead by different measures. Learn who leads in what area.

Why is light industry so important to rapid Third World growth? Factory owners can get into light industry, make a quick profit, and move on up to more sophisticated industries, thus allowing quick growth. As growth is change, if you want rapid growth, you need to be able to live with rapid change.

Why natural resource rich nations have such difficulty growing. The economics of natural resource export slow growth, it is not principally an issue of bad politics, or inferior culture, and the natural resources handicap will not last forever.

The addition of new factories drives up wages and drives down the price of farm land which in turn encourages family farms. Furthermore, each new factory tends to drive up wages for all the other factories, and everyone else who hires labor. Therefore the new factory benefits labor, though in many cases the benefits to the workers who work at the new factory are marginal.

Here is a YouTube video I created in response to a video by The School of Life, Why Some Countries Are Poor and Others Rich. Their video is filled with errors and blames culture, religion, and other factors for poverty. It has about one and three quarters million views at this writing. I point out the errors and use arguments from the above web pages to correct their errors.

Developed Economies

This page has a list of countries that are high income and free, as determined by the World Bank and Freedom House.

Congratulations to newly developed countries of Eastern Europe

Developed democracies are stable and never fight each other, so a world of developed democracies will be a world at peace. The West is reasonable in wanting every country to be a developed democracy.

As the developed democracies are challenged by China's rapid rise we should remind China that our alliances are often a lot older than their government. To emphasis this we should emphasize alliance anniversaries.

When you correct for differences in prices America is more productive than almost all other oil importing countries. What is our secret? Violent Street Crime the Secret to America's economic super success.

Rapid technological progress rapidly makes investments obsolete, which discourages investment. This has driven interest rates to zero for much of the last two decades. Say's Law does not guarantee full employment if there are no profitable investments available. Read about this in more detail in this page on Say's Law meets the Technological Singularity.


Why do middle income voters support the Republicans in general and Trump in particular? This confuses a lot of people. Read this and you will understand American politics.

With possible Democratic victories handing the House and Senate majorities to the Democrats people wonder will they impeach Trump and what happens then. I go over the process and the numbers to show that the Presidency will probably remain in Republican hands until 2020.

Is the constant investigation and attempts to impeach Republican presidents an effective strategy for the democrats? They have been doing this for almost fifty years and the income distribution just becomes more and more unequal. Furthermore, America once a leader on the ecology, falls farther and farther behind.

Both parties have too many candidates running that are far too old. It was bad before but Biden and Sanders are taking a bad idea to really bad extreme.

The Pundits think Trump was crazy to ask foreign governments to investigate the Biddens. I argue that he was crazy like a fox.

Both liberals and conservatives complain about the media, but both have such a diverse set of media assets that it is difficult to determine who has the advantage.


Why did Blockbuster fail? In earlier decades a new technology or strategy could wreck your business plan. In today's more rapidly changing economy several new technologies will eat your market simulaneously.

Why did Amazon buy Whole-Foods? What is the synergy?

I like Amazon Prime, this is why I think it is worth it.

Subscriptions Like Netflix, Prime, Spotify have many advantages for consumers, chief of which is no ads.

Economics Fun

I was a graduate and undergraduate economics student at the same time as Paul Krugman. Paul Krugman mostly preaches that old time economics that we were taught back then. So of course I am a Krugman fan on economic issues. Here is my Ode to Paul Krugman

Topics Outside of Economics

Darwin was inspired in part by economists to create the theory of evolution. The concepts of competition and equilibrium apply to both fields. I speculate on evolution and biology, particularly the spread of communicable disease among related species. Distinguished biology professors have frequently said they were impressed.

For more than a decade this site has been near the top of the Google rankings for AM radio reception.

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Last updated May 22, 2020


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Economics Pages

Development Economics-Hopeful Views

This is my most popular economics page. A hopeful look at the prospects for the growth of the 3rd World.
How the 3rd World will become 1st World

A newer look at the prospects for 3rd World growth.

The 3rd World is Growing twice as fast in the new millennium

Why low income nations will quickly become middle income

Gates says the low income category will be largely empty by 2035 This explains why he is right.

More Development Economics-Special Topics

How resources slow economic growth

Light industry, key to rapid growth

Family farms thrive with factories die without them.

Economics of the Developed World

List of Free and Developed Nations Has your country made the club?

Developed and Free, Congratulations Eastern Europe

Democracy, Development, and Peace

A World of Developed Democracies, A World at Peace

Developed democracies a grand old alliance.

China vs USA comparing the numbers

Irony and Song

How crime makes America richer and helps us assimilate Muslims

Ode to Paul Krugman