Looting is a natural response to the unnatural and inhuman society of commodity abundance. It instantly undermines the commodity as such, and it also exposes what the commodity ultimately implies: the army, the police and the other specialized detachments of the state's monopoly of armed violence.
In reality, every single negotiation involves another commodity that's far more important to us, which is time - minutes, hours, our investment in time. So even if you're talking about dollars, the commodity of time is always there because there has to be a discussion about how the commodity of dollars is moved.
The author points to the impact of what he called Dutch disease, where the discovery of found wealth from a particular commodity causes a culture to atrophy with respect to work ethic and broader development. Continuing wealth from the single commodity is taken for granted. The government, flush with wealth, is expected to be generous. When the price of that commodity drops, a government which would remain in power dare not cut back on this generosity.
I think a lot of longevity, especially as a performer, depends on kind of what your commodity is. If your commodity is your cuteness and your chubby cheeks and your big gap between your teeth, if that's what your greatest asset is, of course that fails or that changes, you know, that goes away. Of course that fades.
Labor, being itself a commodity, is measured as such by the labor time needed to produce the labor-commodity. And what is needed to produce this labor-commodity? Just enough labor time to produce the objects indispensable to the constant maintenance of labor, that is, to keep the worker alive and in a condition to propagate his race. The natural price of labor is no other than the wage minimum.
Economic theory has nothing to say as to what commodity will acquire the status of money. Historically, it happened to be gold. But if the physical makeup of our world would have been different or is to become different from what it is now, some other commodity would have become or might become money. The market will decide.
IQ is a commodity, data is a commodity. I'm far more interested in watching people interact at a restaurant with their smartphone. We can all read 'Tech Crunch,' 'Ad Age.' I would rather be living in the trenches. I would rather be going to Whole Foods in Columbus Circle to watch people shop with their smartphones.
Just being able to trade financial commodities is a serious limitation because financial commodities represent only a tiny fraction of the reality of the real commodity exposure picture. We need to be active in the underlying physical commodity markets in order to understand and make prices.
The best taxes are such as are levied upon consumptions, especially those of luxury; because such taxes are least felt by the people. They seem, in some measure, voluntary; since a man may choose how far he will use the commodity: They naturally produce sobriety and frugality, if judiciously imposed: And being confounded with the natural price of the commodity, they are scarcely perceived by the consumers. Their only disadvantage is that they are expensive in the levying.
The supply of time is truly a daily miracle, an affair genuinely astonishing when one examines it. You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. A highly singular commodity, showered upon you in a manner as singular as the commodity itself!
The banker, therefore, is not so much primarily a middleman in the commodity "purchasing power" as a producer of this commodity. However, since all reserve funds and savings today usually flow to him, and the total demand for free purchasing power, whether existing or to be created, concentrates on him, he has either replaced private capitalists or become their agent; he has himself become the capitalist par excellence.
Joseph A. Schumpeter
The great lesson in microeconomics is to discriminate between when technology is going to help you and when it's going to kill you. And most people do not get this straight in their heads. But a fellow like Buffett does. For example, when we were in the textile business, which is a terrible commodity business, we were making low-end textiles-which are a real commodity product. And one day, the people came to Warren and said, "They've invented a new loom that we think will do twice as much work as our old ones."
I don't even think about the money when I consider roles, I turn it over to my agency. Money will come. I respect it but I don't thirst for it. I wish Americans thought more like Europeans when it comes to money and work. They take time off, they do what they love. We think work is the most valued commodity. Really the most valued commodity is time.
If we disregard the exchange of present goods for future goods, and restrict our considerations for the time being to those cases in which the only exchanges are those between present goods and present money, we shall at once observe a fundamental difference between the effects of an isolated variation in a single commodity-price, emanating solely from the commodity side, and the effects of a variation in the exchange-ratio between money and other economic goods in general, emanating from the monetary side.
Ludwig von Mises