In a message dated 2/3/03 4:36:50 AM, [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

>Alex Tabarrok wrote:
> > I am interested in the suggestions of list members as to
> > what the most important lessons economics has to teach.
>This essay might be useful

>Anton Sherwood,

In general the author of the article makes good points. I think on one point 
he concedes too much to the preservers of economic myths.  He writes

"Of course, it is the Market Pricing mode of interacting that is studied in 
economics. However, Market Pricing requires techniques and thought processes 
that have not always been available to mankind. As Pinker points out, 

Market Pricing is absent in hunter-gatherer societies, and we know it played 
no role in our evolutionary history because it relies on technologies like 
writing, money, and formal mathematics, which appeared only recently. 

One need not write, monetize, nor compute beyond counting on fingers and toes 
in order to engage in barter, which surely predates civilization by a 
signicant span of years, and most probably co-existed with hunter-gatherer 
societies, in which certain individuals specialized in weapon-making while 
most of the men and women generalized in hunting and gathering (though one my 
suspect that they specialized between hunting and gathering), trading weapons 
for food and so forth.  Thus it seems likely that the practive of market 
pricing co-existed with and may have even predated some of the allegedly 
early forms that the author mentions.  With different aptitudes, different 
opportunities, and different levels of work, it's likely that humans were 
trading from fairly early on, leftwing claims to the contrary notwithstanding.


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