Saturday, August 14, 2010

Theory and History

While listening to lectures by Andrew C. Fix of Lafayette College on the Renaissance and Reformation, I found him discussing the great inflation in Europe that followed the discovery of the New World (with no fiat money!). He kept discussing how this group and that group hurt by the higher expenses they faced. Never did he acknowledge that these very higher expenses must have been higher income for somebody, as well!


  1. I bet he neglects the upside of the slave trade, too.

  2. I don't see the point of your remark, Bob. Certainly, an analysis of the slave trade that implied no one economically benefited from it would be somewhat lacking, wouldn't it? And this inflation arose through 'market forces' -- at least on the European end of things -- as Spanish gold and silver from the New World poured into the European economy. It COULD have been the case that the New World was empty when the Spaniards arrived, and they discovered unhomesteaded gold and silver. The inflation than would be a pure market phenomenon -- and aren't those all benign?


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