Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book acquisitions, and some funky market psychology

This was bad... I don't need to be buying books right now, but the closing Border's down the street from work was just too tempting.

I got Keynes's Essays in Persuasion. Most of it is essays on monetary topics, and most are from the 1920s. I'm especially excited to read his open letter on the franc (which, based on the first page, I think may reveal some parallel's to Jefferson's reaction to Hamilton) and a piece he wrote in response to an H.G. Wells novel (I'm not sure which one). He was apparently an H.G. Wells fan.

Second, I got Martin Luther King's Where Do We Go From Here?. This is the last book he wrote before he was killed. I referenced this book in this post on the macroeconomics of the black community. King talks about full employment policies and the guaranteed income in here, although I'm not sure how prominent a role that discussion plays in the book.

Mr. Keynes and Dr. King - not a bad haul.


I have to say - anyone who was in that Border's store today has got to question traditional neoclassical economics just a little. Everything in the store was 20% off (except magazines, which were 40%), which is nice but not huge. Nevertheless, the store was packed. I counted a forty person back-up in the line, despite the fact that they had twice as many cashiers working as usual. This was also about 1:30 in the afternoon, so it was not a traditional lunch-hour busy period (although it could have caught the tail end of that). The demand elasticity for a retail bookstore in a major city is simply not that high. Something psychological is going on here that we don't talk about in traditional economics.

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