Vegetables growing quick

It’s nearly the longest day of the year and the vegetable patch is in full flow.

veg-planter

I’m really happy with the cucumber plant on the right. I bought a small seedling four weeks ago, and it has grown really quick. The one on left came mailorder a week ago, but doesn’t look as healthy as the one I grew. It is a bit of a suntrap in this veg planter. I planted the odd lettuce as gap fillers, but the broccoli has soon smoothered. I think I made beginner’s mistake of planting too closely – I think everyone does first time.

I have bought some nets for upcoming butterfy season.

Let’s see if the cucumber start to grow! Continue Reading →

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Asking for the receipt

Yesterday I went shopping at a local health food store. It is in the same location as the former ‘Inner Bookshop’. I loved that shop because I bought many spiritual books there. A health food store is a poor comparison. But I still like to support a few local independent stores – I do enough buying from Amazon and Tesco.

Anyway first up I bought some Paleo organic cereal for £6.75 (375grams) I think I bought mainly because of the outrageous price. In economics, we might call it a Veblen good (the higher the price, the better we think it is – the demand curve goes the other way) I may do an economics blog post on this to justify the purchase (market research and all that)

Anyway, by the time I’m getting to the back of the shop, my inner Yorkshireman is coming to the fore. After spending £6 for a few seeds, I’m looking for a bargain to square the money circle. I see my favourite soup is on special offer £3.39 cut in price to for £2.50 – because it is getting close to its sell-by date. So I take one of these – I can eat it for lunch. I also buy some avocado humous – reduced in price. Continue Reading →

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Kant, Pettinger and Kierkegaard

I was amused to see in Oxford Blackwells my new economics book in between the great philosophers Immanual Kant and Søren Kierkegaard. I’ve always fancied myself as something of a philosopher.

But when I studied PPE at Oxford University, I was hopeless at philosophy. I couldn’t read a page of Kant for love nor money. One of the few rebelllious things I’ve done in life is when I worked out you could more or less fail philosophy, but still pass on to the second year of PPE where you could concentrate on just economics and politics. So I stopped going to philosophy lectures – never read a philosophy book and scrapped a third on the philosophy 1st year exams. Then I dropped the philosophy to a great sense of joy and relief.

In my second and third year, I did start going to lectures in economics and politics!

When I joined Sri Chinmoy’s path, a disciple told me that in his youth Sri Chinmoy read all the western philosophers. But, now he prays to God to be able to forget all this dry philosophy! I was so happy to hear that – because I don’t feel any joy in western philosophy. But, I hope there is a little joy in my philosophical economics book!

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The clever economist gets caught out

With my new book – What would Keynes do? – The brief was to write essays on how famous economists would respond to everyday questions. So for example, with the question – Is it OK to be selfish? I examined how the likes of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Arthur Pigou and Alfred Marshall might answer this question – using their economic teachings.

It was a good experience to research and share the views of different economists, but now I’ve finished writing the book, I’m writing my own perspective on my economics blog.

#2. Should I park illegally?

The essence of this question is that – an economist may calculate it is worth parking illegally and risking a fine because the probability of getting fine is less than the utility of just parking. It is called rational choice theory – we maximise our individual utility by careful evaluation of the different benefits and costs.

It is a philosophy I practise to a certain degree. But, it reminded me of a story where the clever economist got caught out. 

I was in London, and my friend wanted to buy something from a shop. There were no parking spots anywhere, so I parked on a single yellow line, while my friend ran into the shop. I waited by the car, ready to drive off – if a parking warden came. No one did come, my friend got his food, and we drove off. I thought I was clever to save a lot of hassle and park for free.

However, one week later, I got a very nice parking fine (something like £80) from Wandsworth Council saying I spent 10 minutes on a single yellow line. Not only that – they had a picture of me standing nonchalantly by my car, waiting for a traffic warden to appear.

So in that case, the clever economist got caught out by CCTV!

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