Monday, October 30, 2006

The G-20 summit is coming to Melbourne

Here's a brief perspective on how I view the history of economic development, and then contrast that to the crazed hysteria coming from the progressive left about the future.

Human's started off as primitive tribes living in remote areas spending most of their labour and resources on food and agriculture. There was initially a very basic form of trade, mainly barter, because no medium of exchange had yet developed (money). Property rights and ownership were almost non-existent for the majority, it seemed something reserved for nobles and royalty.

There was really very little growth, and due to disease and war, economic growth was rare and often there were huge setbacks, shortages, famines and depressions.

It took centuries of development, and innovation. People migrated to cities and urban centres to engage in trade and take advantage of the greater opportunities. A medium of exchange, initially gold, was used in place of direct barter. Nation-states with borders emerged. Financial institutions developed, rulers began to grant some property rights to citizens, slavery and forced labour diminished, so people seized the opportunity to work, improve their opportunities and save for their future.

Trade and technology flourished. People started shipping raw commodities to foreign lands. People began to specialise their skills, to areas that would provide the highest value and earn the highest return. Money could be used as a medium of exchange, which could then be traded at a later time for goods and services that people demanded. As trade evolved, so did competitive entreprise. Businesses competed against one another for customers, and they used prices as a signal to show how willing they were to provide a certain good or service.

Freedom continued to advance, humans continued to trade and even migrate in record numbers, governments granted even more property rights and freedoms to individuals and economies kept expanding.

So despite a tumultuous and slow path to our current, and still increasing, prosperity, a bunch of idiots known as the progressive left have butchered the English language to rewrite history. The aim is to generate an alarmist panic that too much trade is getting out of control, destroying the planet and punishing the poor people of the world. Next month the G-20 summit will be in Melbourne, and these crazed economic illiterates will be out protesting and rioting against ... well who knows what ?

  • McDonalds (who have served billions of customers)
  • Nike (who have provided billions with sporting goods and apparel, and supported sports worldwide)
  • Starbucks and Nestle (who buy tonnes of coffee from poor African farmers)
  • Microsoft (who have developed productive and popular software used in millions of PCs worldwide)
  • Banks (who provide millions of Australians with fantastic and useful services)
  • Oil companies (who have poured billions of dollars in risky ventures to locate and extract useful resources from the earth, and then refine them into fuels that can be extremely useful to billions of humans)