Skip to main content


I reserve the right to be wrong.

Tonight watching a silly but very entertaining action movie put me in a blogging mood.

So the movie Fast Five is set in Rio de Janeiro, and sets its plot against the backdrop of Brazilian economic inequality. Interestingly the villain is a rather wicked kingpin who is said to own the city, but not by naked cruelty or viciousness. His empire is one of carrots and sticks.

In one scene early on in the film this villain, Reyes, is talking to a couple of potential business partners in a plushly appointed office, and he contrasts the Spaniards with the Portuguese in their respective colonisation policies towards the area that is now Brazil.

The Spaniards charged in, killing everywhere they went, and in turn were slaughtered by the more numerous locals. The Portuguese, on the other hand, gave the natives gifts, which then turned into a form of bondage, by making the natives rely on them.

This Reyes treats the slum-dwellers in much the same way, by funding schoolrooms, water pipes, and power for the favelas. This reminds me of certain institutions in the real world. But who could I be talking about?

We don't choose where we're born, so we don't choose which society to be born into, and what kind of rulers we end up with. By and large there's only so much room in society for us humans to act, whether to produce, sell, give, whatever! And in the civilian sector it is only voluntary production, selling and giving.

The state sector can do these three things as well, of course. The Soviet Union did a marvellous job of it, and Cuba, Laos and North Korea are doing a marvellous job of it now, having succeeded in reducing their civil societies to husks in the face of massive state co-option.

This only serves to illustrate the moral bankruptcy of any unaccountable, irreplaceable mafia. Well, guess what, Fast Five showed me an irreplaceable regime get replaced.

This movie's twin themes are family and freedom. Seems pretty legit to me. The band of fiendish robbers are doing their dastardly deed with the express intent of undoing the unaccountable tyrant Reyes and destroying his hold over the people of the favelas. It's a bit of a vendetta against this evil gangster too, and admittedly the end kinda jumps over the impact his defeat will have on those who were subservient to him.

In any case, the imprisonment of being made reliant on an outsider who does not know or care about you is a gut feeling we all know, whatever our political bias. Our struggle continues, whether it be the struggle to be free, or merely the struggle to be heard, to be listened to, to simply be taken seriously!

For now, I reserve the right to be wrong, and watch as many shitty movies as I like, and infer whatever Libertarian mumbo-jumbo I want to from them!

On the next Ecomony Blogtime; ECON 3a, the economy as national system!


Popular posts from this blog

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 …

Trickle-down Economics as Economic Theory in Reality

I watched an interview with Deirdre McCloskey on the Youtube channel of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. [1]

After doing so I contributed to a comment thread, recreated in full below, wherein a chappy who claimed to be an economist tried to convince me that trickle-down economics actually is a serious thing after all. This was in response to my posting a link to Thomas Sowell's article The Trickle-Down Lie, and I am so far unconvinced by the tale the economist in question spun for me.

He cited a paper from the 90's as his example, and I entreat you to have a gander at its abstract and compare that to trickle-down as described by David Stockman in his interview with William Greider on supply-side economics. [2][3][4]

Steve Horwitz isn't in love with the phrase, but offers a decent definition;
It’s hard to pin down exactly what that term means, but it seems to be something like the following: “those free market folks believe that if you give tax cuts or subsidies to …