Skip to main content


I reserve the right to be wrong.

Last time we ploughed our mucky furrow through the meadow of production, so it seems fitting, actually necessary, to touch upon the town square of exchange also. Exchange, or trade, is the sibling of production as the other human action that creates economics.


So to begin with people would trade one product for another product. As long as each of us has something the other wants, that's OK, but that situation is very unlikely to arise. In fact, most times I meet others, even if I'm careful and choose who I trade with so I know they have what I want, I can't be sure they'll want what I have. So let's introduce a medium of exchange that I can hand you in exchange for whatever I want from you!


A medium of exchange is pretty nifty. I'll go into that in more detail later. All that matters now is that, once trade consists of a medium passing from me to you, and a product from you to me, engaging in trade becomes easier and more predictable. And when it comes to trade, humans love predictability!

All consumption, as measured by macroeconomists, is trade / exchange.

We're in chicken and egg territory as to which of the two economic activities -production or trade- predates the other; I have no idea whatsoever. If you do, feel free to share your insights in the comments below.

On the next Ecomony Blogtime;

Matt wanders off into the wilderness to bring insights on the origin of species (of money).

Popular posts from this blog

So I was reading a piece on The Outline about identity politics when the author, Sean McElwee, brought up a survey he had penned and collated to establish how positions on economic and racial issues align;
Could Democrats win over racially conservative whites with economic populism? It’s unlikely, because people who oppose racial justice also tend to oppose liberal economic policies.  To test this, I created scales of economic and racial liberalism, using two questions that have been on the American National Election Studies surveys since 1972. One question asks respondents to place themselves on a one-to-seven point scale on government aid to black Americans, the other on a one-to-seven scale on guaranteeing jobs and income for all Americans. In 1972, only 54 percent of white Americans who took the racially liberal position (supporting aid to black Americans) also took the economically liberal position (guaranteeing jobs and income).  By 2016, 74 percent did. And in 1972, 77 perce…

What Lingos Are Most Similar to English, Though?

Commentaryism - The Death Toll of Capitalism

How many people have died because capitalism exists? How many would still be alive if it had never existed? Let's dig in!

We will take two approaches over the course of this blog post by looking at the the death tolls attributed to the word in its broad popular definition - everything socialists don't like - versus the toll that fits the definition offered previously on this blog.

By the same token I will not lay any outsized figures at any other mode of production's door except where that mode of production demonstrably caused the problem that killed people. It's political ideologies that really matter here, and this is where the first big problem with even trying to lay a specific body count before capitalism runs into problems - there is no political ideology called capitalism.

Now then, Alfonso Gutierrez says in a comment thread that "capitalism and free-markets have murdered billions of people" which is a risky claim at the …