“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought – that is, a thought diverging from the principles of IngSoc – should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.“
— George Orwell
Something like this has happened to the field of economics, says Dan Sullivan. Terms which had clear meanings to Adam Smith, J S Mill, and other classical economists have got distorted and redefined– or obliterated– to prevent serious discussion of economic issues. Going back to the roots of political economy, Dan suggests the real point of a proper science of economics would be to efficiently satisfy the desires of the people, both individually and collectively.
Dan will help us distinguish between “rights” and “privileges,” “investments” and “acquisitions”, and several distinct concepts that all get called “wealth.” He’ll address the difference between “means of production” and “capital,” and differentiate “human capital” from modern slavery.
You can understand today’s economic issues such as minimum wages, tax policy, international trade, housing costs, and unemployment, but only if you have a clear idea of the fundamental terms. These terms can be readily comprehended by ordinary people and do not lead to any particular “left” or “right” public policy, but they facilitate informed communication.
There will of course be time for questions and discussion.
Based in Pittsburgh, Dan Sullivan is a popular speaker on economic issues, and Director of Saving Communities