The Economics of Good & Evil – Thomas Sedlacek – Talk at the RSA

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Finance, Economics, Money, Philosophy
Tags: , , , , , ,

Below, I’ve embedded a talk given by Tomas Sedlacek at the RSA in London.  Sedlacek is a young, Czech economist/historian/philosopher who has written and spoken about the problems of economics in both it’s current & historical context.

Something that is noticeable in Sedlacek’s economic thinking is the moral philosophy aspect.  Most economists often speak with a lot of “shoulds”, but very few have any real background in the history or moral philosophy behind economics.  In this regard, Sedlacek is a refreshing break from a lot of the economic thinkers who focus too narrowly, or don’t incorporate historical thinking.

In any case, it’s worth checking out.

A few take-aways from Sedlacek’s talk:

  • Economics is now a religion – we ask it today, the same questions that we asked Gods in earlier days.
  • Compares the dicey relationship of monetary policy & fiscal policy to JRR Tolkien’s Ring in Lord of the Rings.  A force that is too powerful to be allowed to exist.
  • How interest is analogous to alcohol.  Interest & alcohol are similar in that that they allow us to make energy time-travel from the future to the present for the purposes of current consumption (and leverage).
  • Talks about the wisdom of Aristotle, the Islamic tradition & the Pharaohs with respect to interest rates & business cycles.

Additional Resources:

Does Economics Trump Ethics? Does it Pay to Be Good? (link)

Thomas Sedlacek’s site

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Comments
  1. michael says:

    thank you for this contribution Thomas.
    Time will come – sooner or later 😉

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