Monday, 21 March 2011

ECONOMICS FOR REAL PEOPLE: The General Gain from the Existence of Others

The Auckland University Economics Group exists for real people to discuss real-life economics. Here’s what our friends at the Group have for you this week.

Hi all,
    Further below is a summary of what we discussed at our most recent meeting. But first:
    This coming Tuesday at 6pm in Case Room 4 of the Business School, we will continue looking at Economic Harmonies. Specifically, we shall examine some leading implications of the Division of Labour—and as you will see, this will be done is an interesting and unique way.

ECONOMIC HARMONIES, II: The General Gain from the Existence of Others

  • Why, in a division-of-labour society, prosperity is open to everyone
  • What Thomas Edison gained from his cleaning lady (and what she gained from him)
  • Why Lady Gaga should spend more time caterwauling and John Grisham more time writing books
  • Why Malthus was wrong, i.e., why greater population is a blessing not a curse
  • How it is that in a division-of-labour society each of us gains from the existence of each other

data=XCVihWRtq4WsaAaVG7VezksrTNzDcIEE_YWd04ht9zkDZSpIOEWoVOQcm6ijrNG-RJHfajJgcjB4DR3sumbBl1J9R-Uy_B7Qm4inb8s Where: Business School “Case Room 4,”
                  Level 0, Owen G. Glenn Building,
                  12 Grafton Rd,
                  Auckland University [Map here]
When:   Tuesday 22 March, 6:00pm

Summary of last week’s discussion: This last Tuesday we began looking at “Economic Harmonies,” which really begin with the economic concept known as The Division of Labour.
    We saw in the seminar that there is more to this idea than we are generally taught.
    Prof. George Reisman points out four fundamental points that underpin the benefits received in a Division of Labour economy:

  • The Multiplication of Knowledge;
  • The Benefits of Genius;
  • Economies of Motion and Learning; and
  • The Use of Machinery,

So important is Division of Labour to the field of economics that Reisman defines economics as “… the science that studies the production of wealth under a system of division of labour”.
    Every topic that we will discuss this year will therefore have, woven throughout, the Division of Labour.

Remember to visit - and join - us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with our programme for the year:

UoA Econ Group  22 March


  1. So how would one find this 'case room 4'? Is it in a particular building or on a specific street? If its on a street, would there be a street number which night register somewhere on a map (for the luddites) or (for normal people) a global positioning system of some sort...? Do tell us more....

  2. Yep, good point.

    I've amended the blurb.

  3. Thanks for the address PC. After being such a smartarse about it I feel a little silly that something came up at the last minute which prevented me from going. This series sounds really good, though, so next time....:)


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