Macro Follies appear to be endless

How weird the discussion on Macro Follies has been. I will assume that the 98% who don’t buy in are less obtuse than some of those who have. This was from someone by name of Rob Tye.

Steve Kates writes

It was, in fact, the early classics who pointed out that in an area ruled
by some member of the nobility that the common people would be better off if
the local member of the landed aristocracy was an absentee landlord.

The exact opposite, then, of “the foot of a master is the best manure”

This latter point genuinely does have classical precedents – being repeated
in agricultural manuals in various forms since the time of Cato.

But if we consider Xenophon (Economicus (XII, 20) :

The King of Persia….. asked one of those who were considered knowing
about horses what would fatten a horse soonest, it is said that he answered
‘the master’s eye.’

We might well suspect this contrary point to have a prehistoric, Babylonian

Thus it would be useful if Steve Kates could cite who, in the “early
classics”, was involved in overturning perhaps 3,000 years of wisdom?

In the particular case I cited earlier, the absentee landlord, Clanranald,
wasted all the vast profits of the industry, and more besides, alongside the
Prince Regent at Brighton gambling tables. The bust bankrupted him.

I have not studied the biographies of those promoting the classic economic
writers much, but I seem to recall McCulloch made his living as a young man
arranging the affairs of absentee landlords in the West Highlands.

So I feel a need to declair [sic] an interest, on behalf of the late Mr McCulloch.

Rob Tye, York, UK

Such erudition. Such inanity. This was my reply:

Interesting proverbial quote from Rob Tye. It doesn’t mean what he seems to think it means as this list of proverbs with manure in them shows. Where Rob writes “master” the proper reading is “farmer”. If there is any constant theme, it is very much a form of discussing how private ownership and the entrepreneur make an enterprise go better.

But really, in going back to my original point, why not just see the common sense of what the classical economists would say. Doesn’t it at least make sense that having your landlord and his retinue (ie a plague of locusts) absent leaves more for distribution amongst the rest?

14 Proverbs with Manure.

1. Making money selling manure is better than losing money selling musk.
Egyptian Proverb

2. The master’s foot is manure for the estate.
Spanish Proverb

3. The best manure is under the farmer’s shoe.
Danish Proverb

4. The foot of the farmer manures the field.
Danish Proverb

5. The foot of the owner is the best manure for his land.
Danish Proverb

6. The master’s eye and foot are the best manure for the field.
Dutch Proverb

7. Better make profit out of manure than losses with musk.
Arab Proverb

8. Manure is the farmer’s gold.
Estonian Proverb

9. The horse loves oats; the earth, manure; and the governor, tribute.
Russian proverb

10. Does sheep manure turn to caramel?

11. Making money on manure is better than losing money on musk.
Egyptian Proverb

12. Manure and diligence makes the farmer rich.
Swedish Proverb

13. Lime and lime without manure makes the farmer rich and the son poor.
American Proverb

14. There is no better manure than the farmer’s foot.
English Proverb

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3 Responses to Macro Follies appear to be endless

  1. Boy on a bike

    Sounds like crap to me

  2. Helen Armstrong

    Apologies Steve, but as soon as I saw the headline, this popped into my head, season and all.

    Deck the Halls with Macro Follies
    FaLaLaLaLa LaLaLa
    It is the season to be Jolly
    FaLaLaLaLa LaLaLa
    Kiss the Master neath the Holly
    FaLaLaLaLa LaLaLa
    Deny him not twould be your Folly
    FaLaLaLaLa LaLaLa

  3. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    ‘Where there’s muck, there’s brass’.

    And a master.

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