2017-12-17

The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: Corporations, the Free Market and the Invisible Hand



“The first function of a mythology is to waken and maintain in the individual a sense of wonder and participation in the mystery of this finally inscrutable universe.” 
-- Joseph Campbell, quoted by Michael Toms in “An Open Life” (1988)




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James Lancaster VI, commander
of the first voyage of the
East India Company (1601) 
Long before the Old Ones, an ingenious new production organizing technology appeared. Elizabeth I of England chartered the first limited liability Corporation, a “company of merchants of London trading into the East Indies”, known as the East India Company. 125 shareholders contributed the initial 72,000 pounds of capital. The year was 1600.


The shareholders (a.k.a. stockholders) control a limited liability Corporation. The Corporation begins when the Corporation’s CFO Chief Financial Officer receives something of value, usually cash or an existing business, from the initial investors. The CFO gives them ownership shares, each share having same value. Each investor owns part of the corporation in proportion to the number of shares she owns. Almost simultaneously, the investors choose the CFO, the CEO Chief Executive Officer, who makes day-to-day decisions for the owners and manages employees, and a committee called the Board of Directors, which hires and fires the CxOs and decides questions for the owners.


The Corporation resembles a person, because it can autonomously conclude contracts, trade, incur debt, declare bankruptcy, and contribute to political campaigns.

"Limited liability company" means if the Corporation gets in trouble, then it’s the Corporation’s fault, not the shareholders’ fault. The shareholders bought their shares from the Corporation or on the Exchange. Their liability is limited to what they paid for their shares. Having already paid, they have no further liability.

East India Company Chop

If customers sue the Corporation for making a dangerous product, and the judge orders the Corporation to pay, then the shareholders pay nothing. If the Corporation borrows excessively and can't pay the debt, the Corporation pays what it can, and shareholders have no obligation.



That means shareholders aren’t responsible for the Corporation they own. That means the Corporation is a "moral hazard". That doesn't mean the Corporation is a bad thing. The big knives in your kitchen are physical hazards. They aren't bad things. You must be careful with knives and Corporations. But that’s another story.


Even before Elizabeth I, a Corporation was a more or less formal group of people, organized for some purpose, and empowered by law to act as an entity or person. The Old One Adam Smith described the economic role of trade guild corporations.  Since the Great Wars, "Corporation" has referred usually to business Corporations, organized by investors to dodge taxes and increase their personal wealth. In our modern Society, we use Corporations for the purpose of supplying many, perhaps most, of the goods we use.

The Corporation’s CEO outranks other Managers. If the Corporation’s profit usually increases somewhat from year to year, then the Staffs advise their Aristocrats to allow the CEO a free hand. And if the Corporation’s profit isn’t so good, then the Staffs usually sell their Aristocrats' shares, to avoid the excessive paperwork of dismissing the CEO. The remaining  apathetic and hopeful shareholders usually allow the CEO a free hand. Corporations owning Corporations and other ingenious legal elaborations of the art add further distance to the shareholders from the CEO. The authority of the CEO with a free hand grows perhaps so much that she chooses members of the Board. But that’s another story.



Certificate for Six shares of stock in a Corporation (1887)


In the Free Market, many buyers and many sellers compete. Any seller (or buyer), dissatisfied with a price (or product and price) offered by a buyer (or seller), can readily find another seller (or buyer) with whom to trade.


Adam Smith observed that, when we as buyers approach a seller in the Free Market,


"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity, but to their self-love ..."


The buyer gets the product, in exchange for the money she gives up.
The seller gets the money, in exchange for the product she gives up.
In the Free Market, each person gets what she wants more, in exchange for what she wants less. This is a public service distributing to all what they need.


Each buyer and seller, says Smith,


"... intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an Invisible Hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention."


Smith also wrote that the Invisible Hand guides an employer to distribute the necessaries of life in roughly equal quantities to the employees by the natural cascade of the Downward Trickle, so each person gets an approximately even portion. But that is another story.

The Economists George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz wrote of snakes in the garden of the Free Market: information asymmetries. The holder of a product knows better than others the quality of the product. The seller of the used car knows if the car is a low-quality "lemon" or a high-quality "peach". The prospective buyer, knowing less, discounts her offered price, to mitigate the inferior quality of a "lemon". But if the seller knows the car is a "peach" then she hesitates to reduce her price. The seller’s price exceeds the buyer’s price. So no trade occurs. Neither party benefits. Each trader benefits in a fair trade.



Market, Padua, Italy (1891)


When the CEO goes to the Free Market to hire Managers and Workers, information asymmetry accompanies each hire. The current employer knows the individual employee's ability well. The prospective employer discounts the wage offered the prospective employee, as Stiglitz says, "knowing that they will succeed in luring him away from his current employer only if they bid too much. If they bid less than his productivity, his current employer will match. Labor mobility is impeded."


And negative externalities inhabited the Free Market. When people of the same industry meet, even at parties and entertainments, wrote Adam Smith, “the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."


The Professors sang to their students: "The only purpose of a Corporation is to serve the interests of the stockholders!"


In our next episode of FTC, we will consider the curious relation among Capital, the Chairman, and the 50 Percent.




Several friends read and critiqued the pre-publication draft, for which I am most grateful.



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Images 


“Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Stock Certificate” (1887, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chicago,_Burlington_%26_Quincy_Railroad_Stock_Certificate_1887.jpg)


The East India Company, “Chop” (17th Century, Fair Use, https://www.theeastindiacompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/EIC-Chop.jpg)


“James Lancaster VI” (1596, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England, Public Domain, https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficheiro:Jameslancaster.jpg)

Paolo Salviati (1818-1894), “Palazzo della Ragione, Padua, Italy” (1891, Hallwyl Museum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fotografi_fr%C3%A5n_Padua,_Sala_della_Ragione_-_Hallwylska_museet_-_102990.tif)




Sources



George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller, “Animal Spirits” (2009, Princeton University Press, http://amzn.to/2iar4Mz)

George A. Akerlof, “The Market for ‘Lemons’” (Aug 1970, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, http://www.unc.edu/~shanda/courses/plcy289/Akerlof_Market_for_Lemons.pdf)


Daniel Brockman, “The Eric Tetralogy: 2: The Tea Party” (Aug 29, 2017, https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/08/FTC-eric-tetra-2-tea-party.html)


Daniel Brockman, “The Eric Tetralogy: 4: Ideas as Monops” (Aug 29, 2017,

https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/09/FTC-eric-tetra-4-ideas-as-monops.html)

Daniel Brockman, "The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: CEOs, Growth and Prosperity of Society" (Mar 31, 2017, https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/03/ftc-ceos-growth-prosperity-society.html)


Daniel Brockman, “The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: Managers, Professors and Engels” (Jun 12, 2017, https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/06/ftc-managers-professors-engels.html)


Daniel Brockman, “The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: Rand, Marx and the Downward Trickle” (Nov 13, 2017,

https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/11/FTC-rand-marx-downward-trickle.html)

Daniel Brockman, “The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: Supercompensation, Income and The Exchange” (Apr 6, 2017, https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/04/ftc-supercompensation-income-the-exchange.html)


Daniel Brockman, “The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: Workers, GDP and Economists” (Mar 17, 2017, https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-fairy-tale-of-capitalism-workers.html)


The East India Company, “The East India Company’s Timeline” (http://www.theeastindiacompany.com/home/timeline/ retrieved Nov 18, 2017)


Adam Fresco, “With one eye firmly on the past, new chapter begins for East India Company" (Feb 8, 2010, The Times, London, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/with-one-eye-firmly-on-the-past-new-chapter-begins-for-east-india-company-6dmjkrdmwmr)


George E. Hoffer & Michael D. Pratt, “Used Vehicles, Lemons Markets, and Used Car Rules: Some Empirical Evidence” (1987, Journal of Consumer Policy, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00411482)


Adam Smith, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” (1776, Public Domain, http://amzn.to/2jjusby)


Adam Smith, “Theory of Moral Sentiments” (1759, http://amzn.to/2Aq8wQL)


A. Michael Spence, “Signaling in Retrospect and the Informational Structure of Markets” (Prize Lecture, Dec 8, 2001, https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2001/spence-lecture.pdf)


Joseph E. Stiglitz, “Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics” (Prize Lecture, Dec 8, 2001, https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2001/stiglitz-lecture.pdf)


Michael Toms, "An Open Life" (1990, Harper Perennial, http://amzn.to/2Bz3Cnw)

2017-11-13

The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: Rand, Marx and the Downward Trickle



FTC the Fairy Tale of Capitalism is deeply, but inconsistently, sarcastic.




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 Once upon a time, ...

Ayn Rand, 1925, Public Domain

... economics described the behavior of people as observed by the Economists. The Economists included Old Ones David Ricardo and Adam Smith. They set their tales in scenes of the emergent industrial age and described human behavior for all time. Both were aware of the Downward Trickle, the waste stream of the Aristocracy, though neither of them named it that. The name arose in the time of Reagan as the Great Wars drew to a close, but that’s another story.


Smith wrote that the Invisible Hand guides the rich to divide necessities into equal parts for all.  Ricardo wrote that the capitalist employs Workers from the unemployed reserve to operate the highly productive machines of the new technologies. The capitalist pays wages of Labor to the Workers for their necessities of life, just enough to keep the Worker working for another week. When the business cycle flattened or turned down, as it did every 8 or 10 years, the employer capitalist dismissed the employee Worker, who would then join the unemployed reserve, receiving no wages, ready to work all day for bare necessities, and suffering privation. From this economic background emerged Karl Marx.


The Old One Karl Marx was a well educated newspaper editor, active in the hodgepodge of socialist political movements of post-Napoleonic Europe. He read Ricardo and Smith, understood them well, and didn’t dispute the main character of their descriptions.


Karl Marx, circa 1870, Public Domain
Marx and the Old One Engels met as young men and began a lifelong collaboration. Legend informs us they were dividing the bar bill with some anarchist friends in a Parisian bistro just after Christmas 1857, when Engels overheard one word which was the punchline of a joke, the word "capitalism".


Marx and Engels compiled factual detail of the Downward Trickle of wealth and income from the Ten Percent to the Workers. They saw chronic starvation among the Workers and their families, with some starving to death during business downturns. They said these deaths were the unavoidable consequence of private property. A minor political party commissioned them to write a mission statement, the "Manifesto of the Communist Party", in which the word “capitalism” appeared in print for the first time. The word “capitalism”, with the tranquility of a thunderbolt, cleaved modern governments into two parts.


Capitalism, wrote Marx and Engels, was the scientifically unavoidable result of private property. Communists opposed capitalism. Communists called for the abolition of private property beyond the modest house, garden, storefront and workshop of an ordinary household. The coercive powers of government defended capitalism, so that peaceful reform would never overcome capitalism. For Marx and Engels, Workers had no choice. Workers would rise imminently, unavoidably, inevitably in violent revolution to replace Capitalism with a new social structure featuring the control by the Workers over the means of production.


As you know, not uncommonly FTC uses a word with two different meanings. "Capitalism", named by Marx and synonymous in his work with "capitalist production" and "capitalist system", means the way a capitalist (person wealthy in private property) uses her capital (wealth in private property) to establish and operate a Firm with intent to increase her capital, employing Workers when necessary to operate the equipment. "Capitalism" also means a political view advocated by persons who favor the capitalist system, who may or may not have great wealth of their own. Perhaps you can easily imagine a capitalist of much private property would likely consider herself a capitalist of view, advocating for private property. Let's also remember that a poor person can be a capitalist of view, but can't be a capitalist of great wealth.


Skyline of New York City, circa 1950, Public Domain
Marx's christening capitalism stirred a shiver of alarm among the capitalists of wealth at the time. Though capitalists controlled the governments, socialists and other friends of communists successfully got legislation over the next decades to abolish child labor, to limit the hours of the workweek, to legalize labor unions, etc. Capitalists of wealth and their allies self-identified as capitalists of view and organized to preserve private property and to prevent impairment of profits.


A century after Marx's midwifery of capitalism, during the Great Wars, Ayn Rand emerged to write gigantic novels and host an intellectual salon of capitalists of view in Manhattan. She gave the most lucid defense of capitalism. She sang like a Professor, but she was not one. She was not an Old One, nor an Economist, but she wrote long unintelligible tales. Like Jeanne d’Arc, she evades classification.


Rand claimed virtuous selfishness was objective and rational with the same superstition that Marx claimed communist revolution was scientific and inevitable. Rand conflated Stalinist and Maoist tyrannies with communism and socialism. Stalin and Mao were dictators. Stalin and Mao were socialists and communists. Therefore, all socialists and communists are dictators, so her reasoning went.


Rand said private property was necessary for human rights. Marx said the 90 Percent had no rights, and that only the Ten Percent (whom he most frequently called the "bourgeoisie"), the possessors of capital (which he called "bourgeois property"), enjoyed rights.


Marx said capitalism had produced wonders of production far surpassing the Egyptian pyramids. Rand said capitalism produced the grand skyline of New York.


Pyramids of Egypt, circa 1900, Public Domain
Rand said the Downward Trickle of capitalism raises the standard of living of all people, and the inhabitants of the slums lead a life of luxury compared to an ancient Egyptian slave. Marx said the slums are where the workers die under capitalism. Marx explained why slums exist under capitalism. Rand did not.


The word "slum" was seldom used after the death of Reagan. Earlier, when the children of the Ten Percent asked "Daddy, what's a slum?", they were told "That's where the poor people live."


The Staffs, promoting enhancements to the Firehose Up, describe how the Downward Trickle, the waste stream of the Aristocracy, conveys a rising standard of living to all people. Several verses of the Professors' song "Growth of GDP" focus on per capita GDP, Adam Smith’s promised equal parts for all by the Invisible Hand. As the 50 Percent pluck their rising standard of living from the Downward Trickle, children starve.


In our next episode of the Fairy Tale of Capitalism, the amazing Invisible Hand will guide the Corporations as they frolic in the Free Market.




My kind friends who read the prepublication drafts and sent me their comments have my sincerest thanks.


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Images


“Ayn Rand” (1925, USSR passport photo, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ayn_Rand.jpg)


Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc., “New York City skyline” (Mar 14, 1950, Library of Congress, LC-G613- 56750, Public Domain, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/gsc1994001246/PP/)


John Jabez Edwin Mayall, “Karl Marx” (circa 1870, UK National Portrait Gallery, http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw75680/Karl-Marx, Public Domain in USA, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karl_Marx_by_Mayall_c1870.jpg)


“U.S.S. Raleigh, sailors at the pyramids” (circa 1900, Library of Congress, LC-D4-20921, Public Domain, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/det1994010117/PP/)


Sources

Crane Brinton, “The Anatomy of Revolution” (1965, Prentice Hall, https://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Revolution-Crane-Brinton/dp/0394700449)

Daniel Brockman, "The Eric Tetralogy: 3: The Firehose Up" (Sep 9, 2017, https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/09/FTC-eric-tetra-3-the-firehose-up.html)


Daniel Brockman, “The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: Land and Ricardo” (Apr 27, 2017, https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/04/FTC-Land-and-Ricardo.html)

Daniel Brockman, "The Fairy Tale of Capitalism: Workers, GDP and Economists" ( Mar 17, 2017, https://daniel-brockman.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-fairy-tale-of-capitalism-workers.html)


Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory and Anita Singh, “Household Food Security in the United States in 2016” (2017, U.S. Department of Agriculture,  https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/84973/err-237.pdf?v=42979 )


Friedrich Engels, “The Condition of the working Class in England” (1886 American Edition, first published 1845, republished by Penguin 1987, http://amzn.to/2zzUygE)


Karl Marx (Friedrich Engels, ed.), “Capital” (1867, 2010 republication by Digireads, http://amzn.to/2jmOjac)


Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, "Manifesto of the Communist Party" (1858, 1908 New York Labor News Edition, http://amzn.to/2hl0LCS)


P. J. O’Rourke, “On the Wealth of Nations” (2007, Grove/Atlantic, http://amzn.to/2zDk9Uc)


Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged” (1957, Penguin, 1168 pages, http://amzn.to/2ytJpuy)


Ayn Rand, “The Virtue of Selfishness” (1961, Penguin, http://amzn.to/2hmkC4u)


David Ricardo, “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation” (1817, 2013 Heraklion Press edition, https://smile.amazon.com/Principles-Political-Economy-Taxation-ebook/dp/B00EINTMBI)


Adam Smith, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” (1776, http://amzn.to/2jjusby)


Adam Smith, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” (1759, 2010 republication by Digireads, http://amzn.to/2ADCAYL)








2017-09-14

The Eric Tetralogy: 4: Ideas as Monops

A subsaga of FTC the Fairy Tale of Capitalism

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Hansen, "Coronation of Eric of Pomerania" (1884, Public Domain)
Who could object when governments, such as Elizabeth I of England and Eric of Pomerania, granted or allowed Monops to their subjects, their citizens or themselves? Complaints did arise, as we saw a few episodes back. The government receives the loyalty of the Monop, possibly taxes or part ownership, political campaign contributions, opportunity to trade on the Exchange in advance of news, and perhaps some undisclosed deposits in foreign bank accounts. The Monop receives suppresson of competitors by the coercive powers of government. As with all fair trades, both parties gain benefits from the trade. Some governments, citing the peoples’ right to pursuit of happiness, didn’t generally require advance grant of permission to operate a Monop, and benefits to government weren’t visible.  


Each gets something valuable in the trade for something less valuable. From where do complaints arise? While the counterparties to a trade do benefit, the trade may have pros and cons, called “externalities”, for people who don’t participate in the trade. If your neighbor establishes a bakery on her premises, you may enjoy the “free ride” (positive externality) of delicious aromas when she removes bread from the oven each morning, though you never buy anything. If your other neighbor establishes an unlicensed retail pharmacy, though you never buy the wares, you may suffer the negative externality of strange people shooting each other in your neighborhood at all hours to resolve customer service issues.
The Monop’s customers don’t participate in the cozy trade between the Monop and the government. With each customer trade, the Monop gathers Rent, which diminishes the net benefit the customers receive. Their diminution of benefit, which Sam Adams called tantamount to tax, is a negative externality of the Monop’s trade with the government.

With sufficient political opposition to negative externalities, governments acted against Monops. Sometimes, governments broke them up into multiple smaller firms, as with Standard Oil Company and AT&T. Among other actions were monetary fines, regulation, mandated sharing of intellectual property or changes in operations, requiring compatibility with component parts from other companies, and disclosure of secret business information and software.

On the other hand, governments protected, even enabled, some Monops, like the IPRs we mentioned in the last episode. A government granted to an applicant an IPR on an idea. Of course you know what an idea is. You probably had an idea recently, like today, and maybe it was “original”, that is, no one ever thought of it before. The government granted IPRs only for original ideas. If a person had an IPR, then government protected the idea like property, and no one could use the idea without permission from the holder of the IPR. Before governments began granting IPRs, anyone could use a idea, whether they thought of it themselves or knew of it from someone else.

With the IPR, the protected idea became artificially scarce, thus enabling a Monop. Before the great wars, the grand Monop J. P. Morgan said

A man always has two reasons for what he does --
a good one and the real one.

J. P. Morgan (Public Domain)
The “good” reason for IPRs was to reward persons with good ideas by giving them a potentially lucrative Monopoly, and the reward would enable people to think. Security had to escort out a few impolite people who observed that humans thought for thousands of years before IPRs were granted. The “real” reason, of course, was the IPR allowed unlimited income from Monopoly Rents. After the great wars, the most esteemed dean of the Staffs, himself an unintelligible Economist, asserted that “conceptual products” (IPRs) increasingly dominated “the economy” (GDP). The Staffs acquired and tended and leased IPRs for their client Aristocrats, thereby increasing Firehose Up capacity, making more likely they could describe increasing after-tax income in their quarterly reports to their Aristocrats, and thus Staffers anticipated enhanced future personal income.

If 40% of the workers in a small town work for your company and can’t easily get jobs elsewhere, or if you own nearly all the oil refineries in America, or if no one can buy tea unless they buy it from your company, or if 90% of all new computers won’t work except with software sold by your company, or if every telephone call runs through your company’s switching network, or if all the merchant vessels must pass through your strait and pay your toll, then you have a Monop, by which the Firehose Up delivers a stream of Rents to you.

As a professional courtesy, the other Great Powers didn’t object to the negative externalities of King Eric’s magnificent Monop, for they also had Monops to enrich their treasuries and keep their wealthier nobles compliant.

Further, the monarchs tempered professional rivalries with nepotism. When Eric was in his twenties, his aunt Margaret arranged Eric’s marriage to the twelve-year-old Princess Philippa of England. Their marriage continued 24 years. Philippa died.

Love blossomed publicly between the recently widowed Eric and Philippa’s lady-in-waiting, the beautiful Cecilia, scandalizing the kingdom. Seeking relief from the critics, Cecilia wed Eric with a brief pre-nuptial agreement by which she got nothing but Eric, which was all she wanted. But the scandalmongers persisted. Ten years after Philippa’s death, exasperated, Eric said “Cecilia, the scene drags. Let’s split.” Cecilia said “We can’t. You’d lose the Sound Dues Monop and the throne.” Eric said “But I’ll have you.” Cecilia gasped and threw herself into his arms.

He was heard to mutter something like “fake news”, and off they went to Visby on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, a centuries-old pirates’ and smugglers’ hideout. Supposing the ever-intemperate Eric had yet another tantrum, the nobility waited for him to return to Copenhagen. But he didn’t. Eric took up piracy. The nobility elected Christopher of Bavaria to the throne.

Epilog

Monops are components of the Firehose Up, conveying streams of Rents extracted from trade counterparties. The Monop gets a better price than would prevail in competitive markets.

Tea Party votes politically supported Staff efforts to enhance the Firehose Up, the Aristocracy’s stream of income.

Royal officers collected the Oresund Sound Dues until, four centuries later, Denmark limped, diminished by wars. The Great Powers demanded and got zero toll for their vessels, in exchange for a one-time payment. Likewise, the young government of the United States paid $400,000, which was less costly than sending a warship to Denmark. Made ineffective, the Sound Dues Monop ended.

In Eric’s time, a contemporaneous Silk Road bandit might have started with ambushing travelers in a defile, then building a fortress on a high hill to secure the takings, then driving competitors from the lands visible from the fortress, then establishing orderly customs houses for bloodless loot collection at the periphery of lands he claimed. He would end his life the greatest and most serene of kings.

But Eric lived his kaleidoscopic adventures in reverse. He ended his life a pirate commandeering merchant vessels in the straits, preceded that with a levy on travelers passing his tax collector in the fortress at Helsingor. Before that were wars with contentious foes, and he began his life as the splendid dashing Prince and King of the unsurpassed Kingdom of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

In our future episodes of FTC the Fairy Tale of Capitalism, we’ll meet Ayn Rand and Karl Marx and tell the story of the Downward Trickle, the Aristocracy’s waste stream.

The Workers told their children that money can’t buy love.

Thus ends the Eric Tetralogy. Cecilia and Eric lived happily every after.



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I appreciate friends. Their criticisms of prepublication drafts improved FTC.