March meeting report

April meeting: April 11th sorry 12th (Wednesday) at 15:15 as usual. We will read the beginning of “The Road to Surfdom” and chapter 4 of “How an Economy Grows and how it Crashes”.

(The Road to Surfdom is a simplification of the ideas in Friedrich Hayek’s classic, “The Road to Serfdom.”  Here’s a short video that introduces the book’s key ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONATaFzi82I   )

We read “The Tuttle Twins and the Miraculous Pencil” and discussed some  key economic terms. Have you already read the book? Be sure to read the original essay or watch the video! http://tuttletwins.com/pencilvideo/

Rapeseed oil (also called Canola) was mentioned. Where does the name come  from? Wikipedia tells us: “The name derives from the Latin for turnip, rāpa or rāpum, and is first recorded in English at the end of the 14th century”.

Here are the key concepts from the book:

central planning: control and regulation of the masses by a limited number of people using government to enforce their decisions and alter the behavior of other individuals.

Competition: multiple producers or service providers trying to attract more customers by lowering their price, improving their product or service, or otherwise setting themselves apart.

Economy: a network of individuals who produce, distribute, and use goods and services.

Division of labour: a production process involving many different people, each of whom specializes in and works on a different task, thereby collaborating to do something greater than any one of them could do alone.

Spontaneous order: when social harmony and market efficiency  are achieved through the independent decisions of countless individuals, each guided by their own desires and self-interest.

 

February Meeting Report

Today’s session

We  finished reading and discussing chapter 3. There was much discussion about political decisions regarding financial matters, and the government’s ability to create money out of thin air and to limitlessly increase debt or deficit spending.

As I did not have copies of chpater 4 with me, I provided copies of a non-fiction book for children about the division of labour. It is based on a famous essay by Leonard Read called “I, Pencil”.  The original essay is available online at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) here: http://bit.ly/2k1Yvo3

Our March session will be held on March 8th. We will read the story about the MIraculous Pencil, then continue with chapter 4 (I will bring copies).

December meeting report

Our December meeting was held today, Dec 7th. We finished reading chapter 1 and almost finished chapter 2 of  “How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes” by Peter and Andrew Schiff.  (There is now apparently a Japanese translation, too!)

Our January meeting will be on January 11th. We will finish chapter 2 and read chapter 3. Depending on members’ interest, we may continue to chapter 4 or we may choose something else.

Thank you to all of you who attended today, and thank you to all of you who have attended this year.  I hope you have enjoyed our meetings as much as I have.

I wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year and I look forward to seeing you again in 2017.

 

November meeting

Our November meeting was held on the last day of the month.

Our December meeting will be held Dec. 7th.

We read a short illustrated children’s  story called “The Pot with the Hole” . (There is also a Japanese version .)

Then we read the first chapter of an introduction to economics for young adults called “How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes” by Peter and Andrew Schiff.  (There is now apparently a Japanese translation, too!)

As our readers enjoyed this easy-to-read economics book, we decided to continue reading it. I will bring copies of chapter 2 next time.

Some members made suggestions for future readings, including

October meeting

In our September meeting, we discussed what we had been reading recently.  What have I been reading recently? I’ll tell you later.

We also welcomed a guest today. I hope she enjoyed the session and that we will see her again.

By the way, the next session will be October 19th. We have not quite finished the Alice Munro story, but we should finish it next time.

Next time, I will bring some non-fiction for us to read and discuss. Feel free to bring something that you enjoy reading. I will bring something short that we can read and finish discussing in one or two sessions.

Today, I mentioned Youtube videos of Barack Obama when his teleprompter breaks down.  There are many such videos out there, but here are just two that I found:

And can you tell which woman is the real Hillary Clinton? Observers have noticed at least two women used as “body doubles” for Hillary Clinton recently.

Take the quiz here: https://www.quiz-maker.com/Q0UHTP1

Background story here: https://steemit.com/politics/@aggroed/hillary-clinton-guessing-game-can-you-pick-the-real-hillary-out-of-these-photos-of-impersonators-randos-and-actors

Now you know what I have been “reading” recently.

April meeting report

Our April meeting took place today. The rain made the flowers look beautiful.

We continued reading and discussing Alice Munro’s short story “To Reach Japan”.  As we haven’t finished, we will continue next month.

Our next meeting will be May 25th. We may be joined by a new guest who asked about our group today.

I plan to finish this short story next meeting.

Today’s discussion centred on Greta’s experience at the writers’ party. It reminded me a little of this comedy sketch about a party by British comedienne Victoria Wood, who passed away a few days ago of cancer.

A blog for my informal reading group