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Economics 101, Quiz #1

Adam Smith

Adam Smith

Q. What does the phrase “Privatize the profits, socialize the losses” refer to?

A. It refers to an economic system where a private enterprise keeps whatever profits it makes, and taxes society at large to cover its losses.

Q. That sounds impossible! Can you give an example?

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

A.When the banking system in Cyprus made bad bets and suffered losses in billions of Euros, putting the nation’s economy at risk, the grand plan to make up for those losses was to take money from the bank accounts of those trusting souls who had put their money in the bank.

Q. Then what happened?

A. The depositors, no longer trusting souls, immediately began to take their money out of the bank.

Plan B should be ready soon.

More Notes

Tim Carmody, in his excellent piece, "How Haiti Became Poor", notes that President Trump's racist policies and vulgar language have sullied the word "shithole" which used to be one of the all-time great swear words. He's right. It's another terrible power this careless President wields.