Book on Economics, Written in 1994


From The introduction to my book …

I first had the idea of writing a book such as this about ten years ago. It seemed to me that each of us learns something of value as we go through life, but most of us do not succeed in passing along our knowledge to others before we die. This, then, is my attempt to pass on to others what I, over my fifty-odd years, have come to believe are the truths of life and what I believe may be a path into a better future. Much of what I write about involves economic issues, since I am an economist by training. Economics, however, is a social science, and my excursions into other areas of the social sciences are therefore not totally out of line.

I have had a great deal of “life” experience (both educational and professional) and this book thus covers many subject areas. While analyzing these subjects, I have tried to be logical and objective (as I have tried to be all my life), and hopefully this proclivity is reflected herein. You, the reader, will probably disagree with some or much of what I have written. That’s fine if your disagreement is based on fact; it’s unacceptable, however, if your disagreement is the result of prejudice and preconceived ideas.
Throughout this book, I have included editorial writings, which I felt were astute, and which help to illuminate my ideas. In each case, I have credited the author and distinguished his/her writing from my own.

Much of what I write about could be construed as anti-religious; it is not. It has not been my intention to support or deny the existence of God or a Supreme Being.
A thought that should be kept in mind when reading this book is that virtually nothing we do today is done as it was in the past. By this I mean the “near past”–remember that radio was invented only ninety-nine years ago, and it has been only ninety-one years since the first powered flight. Most of the technology that we now take for granted has been developed in the past fifty years. The corollary to this is that our ideas and attitudes must also be different from those of the past. Try to imagine how people will regard the “absurdly primitive” last decade of the twentieth century in the year 2045 (when all that we know today will have been gone for fifty years). The point is to keep an open mind, don’t pre-judge, and don’t be too certain about anything.

We live in a world of fantastic ideas if only we can keep an open mind!

The link below will allow you to download the book, if you want, and at no cost.

Power Economics

Turkey & the Real Risk of a Debt Crisis


The Treasury and Finance Ministry of Turkey announced that the country’s net external debt stock totaled $286.2 billion going into the end of the 3rd quarter of 2018. The country’s net external debt stock to its gross domestic product (GDP) ratio was 34.4% at the end of the third quarter of 2018. However, Turkey’s gross external debt stock amounted to $448.4 billion at the end of the 3rd quarter, bringing the debt/GDP ratio to 53.8% according to the official figures.

Interestingly, because of the fear of the Turkish lira, Turkish corporations have been often compelled to borrow in dollars. Therefore, the private sector’s share in the country’s gross external debt stock was 68.2% ($305.9 billion), while some $215.9 billion of this amount consisted of long-term debts with a maturity of more than one year. The Turkish public sector’s share of this debt was 30.6% in the country’s total foreign debt, which is about $21.4 billion in short-term (under one year) with $115.7 billion in the long-term (over one year). The banking sector’s (lenders and the central bank) external debt stock was $176.99 billion at the end of the 3rd quarter.

When we break this down further, 58.5% of the total gross external debt is denominated in U.S. dollars with only 32.3% denominated in euros. The amount denominated in Turkish lira among the external debt stock was a trifling 5.9%. This illustrates the crisis that will emerge with a change in the currency values.

 

Roman Coins Wash up on Beach in Florida


 

There have been discoveries of Roman coins in Japan as well as in North America. There has even been the discovery of a Roman sword in Newfoundland. Now, a treasure hunter with a metal detector uncovered seven Roman coins that washed up on a beach here in the Tampa region. This is strong evidence that there must have been a Roman shipwreck off the coast of Tampa or in nearby proximity.

These coins are of the 4th century from the era of Constantine. They are bronze and of no particular rarity. In such a condition, they are really worthless. Nevertheless, there certainly seems to have been Roman ships that crossed the Atlantic long before even the Vikings, no less Columbus.

There are accounts that the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius sent diplomats to China around 180 AD. There are no written records from Rome, but there are written records from China confirming that meeting and even a recording of the name of the Roman emperor.

There are no documents that confirm Romans traveling across the Atlantic, yet there is evidence that they were indeed here in North America. This raises the possibility that these were one-way trips, perhaps from a ship caught in a storm and set on its path to America.

The left coin in this photograph is clearly one of Saint Helena who was the mother of Constantine I the Great. She was a devout Christian who set out to discover the major places in the Holy Land. She built the church in Jerusalem over Calvary and near the tomb of Jesus Christ