Seeking Profit by Denying History

by Martin Harris You need not go back solely to St. Thomas Aquinas and his praise for pecuniativa in household or business management; the same concepts of prudence in money-matters and the virtues of profit-seeking were described earlier by Aristotle and later by Adam Smith. It was the latter who enlarged on the concept by…

The Vermont Anomaly and the German Experiment

by Martin Harris This column has frequently addressed “the Vermont Anomaly”, that curious mix of governance policy and resident response, which in all other States shows up whenever negatives for economic growth –State-and-local-government-decided business climates, tax rates, land use regulations, costs-of-stay, both one-time (housing) and continuing (food/energy/services) and so on– are reflected in substantial resident…

When a McRobot Replaces McDonald’s Ronald

by Martin Harris Future cliometricians (folks who study history in conjunction with mathematical measures of economic activity) will look back to the first half of the 20th century when, as labor costs began to rise, employers in retail began training customers to do their own service-and-sales, for free. First to do so in the US,…

“Demographics Is Destiny” ? Maybe Not

by Martin Harris Confusion between singular and plural notwithstanding (maybe, as in so much of modern literacy education, such things doesn’t matter any more) the old Sociology 101 saw about demographics determining a population’s destiny was, and still is, fairly true for large populations –think cultures, nations or races– and demonstrably untrue for smaller ones…

Conditional Credibility of Academics, Redux

by Martin Harris The definitive book on the tilt-to-the-Left of American Higher Education has yet to be written, and two aspects of that fairly remarkable post-WWII ideological emergence have yet to be studied by historians (how far back into the late decades of the 19th century its roots go) and academicians: how the hard sciences…

The Northeast Kingdom Growth Surge

by John McClaughry On June 15 some 120 people from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom came together for a session at Lake Region High School on “building action to advance the health and prosperity of NEK communities while maintaining their character and protecting the working landscape that surrounds them.” The event was cosponsored by the Vermont Council…