11 April 1958

11 April 1958

Ideas for explaining economics.

Why are people so ignorant about economics? Is it against better intelligence to keep people stupid? What is wrong with our educational system when so little is taught in schools about economics – or is it that people are just greedy and don’t want to know? I cannot believe that! I really believe people just do not understand that we just keep raising economic imbeciles.

Why can’t economics be put on a childlike level for a bunch of grown-ups that are still infants about economics?

Just as in my talk with Mr. Merriman last Wednesday – He just mouthed the same old platitude: soak the rich; no matter what kind of work, no matter how skillful one man is over another, there should be no difference in pay if they are both men with families to support.

He had no idea of skilled and unskilled labor – even though he was a skilled man himself. When I pointed out the difference and the narrowing gap between the two kinds of labor – he caught on! And he told me about the nephew who went into a plumber’s apprenticeship at a lower salary until he finished the four year apprenticeship. Kurt knows that kind of thing from his own experience. The very man who makes more money while you are earning less while learning and laughs at the learner, is the same man who squawks when the graduate apprentice finally makes more than the fellow who laughed.

Then the idea of “profit” – how important profit is to stimulate growth.

Golly – at most might be a good idea to write funny little parables on economics. On a childlike basis for instance.

A man lives in a house with his wife. He earns a salary. His relatives come to live with them one by one. The relatives spend everything, accumulate nothing, crown him more and more, don’t pay the rent, want to borrow money from them, then squawked like the Dickens when the man who has saved enough to build another house rented to strangers who pay the rent promptly. The relatives are mad because he did not let them have the new house, and also because the man was a miser. He had so much money and didn’t give it all to them for their extravagant needs.