Thinks 467

Donald Boudreaux: “My George Mason University colleague James Buchanan won the 1986 Nobel Prize in economics in part for his work explaining why it’s mistaken to conclude that internally held debt imposes no (or only minuscule) burdens on the economy. Buchanan reasoned that the burden of the debt isn’t borne by the lenders: They lend voluntarily in hopes of receiving an attractive return. Had they not loaned to the government, they would have used their money in other ways, likely as loans to private investors. Nor is the burden of the debt borne by today’s taxpayers. It’s precisely to avoid raising taxes today — to avoid burdening today’s taxpayers — that government borrows. The burden of the debt falls just where common sense tells us it falls: on the people whose taxes are raised to pay it. Those people are taxpayers in the future.”

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita: “Why Europe became distinct after the year 1000 and not before can be reduced to this surprisingly simple reason: in Europe, the head of religion and the head(s) of state were different people who faced off against one another in long-standing, long-lasting, intense competition for political control. Certainly, the rulers of China and Japan were thought to be gods.” [via Tyler Cowen]

Dan Shipper: “In creative work there are two phases: exploration and execution. In the exploration phase, you don’t know what the thing is going to be, you don’t have all of the information or ideas you want to have, you don’t even know if what you’re thinking about is important, and any little breeze in the wrong direction might blow you off course. In the execution phase, you are inspired, you know what the thing is, you know how to make it, it feels urgent; all you need to do is sit down and do the thing. Execution is Elton John writing Your Song in 20 minutes. Exploration is everything that happened before that.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.