The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries Tagged as 'Economics'

The art of the deal

August 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“It is not at all clear to me what a negotiation is. Union and management, say, terrorist and foreign minister, buyer and seller, kidnapper and F.B.I. agent, husband and wife, at least two parties anyway, disagree. They exchange views. A strike, perhaps, a war, a bankruptcy, a murder, a divorce impends. One side begins, and […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

If you don’t resist, you won’t be hurt

August 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“The idea of hostages is very deep. Becoming pregnant is taking a hostage—as is running a pawnshop, being a bank, receiving a letter, taking a photograph, or listening to a confidence. Every love story, every commercial trade, every secret, every matter in which trust is involved, is a gentle transaction of hostages. Everything is, to […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

How do we know this

August 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“Marine insurance is the granddaddy of all insurance. It predates written history. The ancient Phoenicians and Egyptians developed the concept of insurance to reduce their risks in commerce on the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile. Waterborne commerce offered huge rewards. A ship owner could realize a 300-percent profit on a single voyage. The risks, however, were […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

And still do

August 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“The ‘Tidewater’—the broad coastal plain along the Atlantic—had spawned one kind of culture. The ‘upcountry’ beyond—the great central plateau or Piedmont and the mountains forming its western border—had engendered a far different one. Tidewater North Carolina was rich. Upcountry was poor. Tidewater was a land of rice and indigo plantations worked by armies of slaves. […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Same as it ever was

August 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“This is the age of crime. I’m sure we all grant that. It’s the age, of course, of other things as well. Of the great chance, for instance, and the loss of faith, of the bureaucrat, and of technology. But from the highest public matters to the smallest private acts, the mugger, the embezzler, the […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Renata Adler · The American Constitution

Finding the value

August 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“What’s new? the biography of the opera star says she used to ask in every phone call, and What else? I’m not sure the biographer understood another thing about the opera star, but I do believe that What’s new. What else. They may be the first questions of the story, of the morning, of consciousness. […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

And it burns, burns, burns

August 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“Having too many rules leads to a culture of non-compliance that is every bit as lethal as having too few.” – “The tower and the anger,” The Economist, June 24, 2017

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

We can fix that

August 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“There exists an order of social problem that appears to be insoluble, but is not. At least not in the terms in which resolution of it is represented as impossible. A problem of that sort has at least some of the following features: it appears immensely complicated, with a resolution of any part of it […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

The great balance

July 31st, 2018 · No Comments

“Detectives and prison guards need criminals, social workers require that people should continue to be poor; there are, in short, many workers with a vested interest in the failure of institutions that employ them, and in the insolubility of problems they are paid to solve. The perfect instance occurs in the narcotics laws. A substance, […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Get to it

July 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“If the Back Forty has to be hayed, you go hay.” – Roxcy Bolton (quoted in “The naming of winds,” The Economist, June 17, 2017)

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Tags: Economics

Not to mention counter-productive

July 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“Trade flourishes best when it is free, and it is weak policy to attempt to fetter it.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Paine

Iraq and Ukraine furnish recent examples

July 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“If there is a sin superior to every other, it is that of wilful and offensive war. Most other sins are circumscribed within narrow limits, that is, the power of one man cannot give them a very great extension, and many kinds of sins have only a mental existence from which no infection arises; but […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

Hammer them into shape

July 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“A substantial good drawn from a real evil, is of the same benefit to society, as if drawn from a virtue; and where men have not public spirit to render themselves serviceable, it ought to be the study of government to draw the best use possible from their vices. When the governing passion of any […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

Another day at the office

July 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“To live beneath the authority of those whom we cannot love, is misery, slavery, or what name you please. In that case, there will never be peace. Security will be a thing unknown, because a treacherous friend in power is the most dangerous of enemies.” – Thomas Paine, “The Forester’s Letters”

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

It’s nothing personal

June 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. . . . Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

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Tags: Cormac McCarthy · Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

And diamonds are a girl’s best friend

June 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“What good is beauty, even youth? All that may be quite good and fair, But does it get you anywhere? Their praise is half pity, you can be sure. For gold contend, On gold depend All things. Woe to us poor!” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

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Tags: Economics · Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

Cashing in

May 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“Most of the Galician Jews, like Polish Jews residing in the General Government, died in the course of 1942 after spending months isolated from the rest of the population in ghettos created on Nazi orders. Acting on instructions of German police commanders, the Jewish and Ukrainian police rounded them up and shipped them to extermination […]

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Tags: Economics · Serhii Plokhy · The Second World War

A fine-looking bunch

May 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“By early October 1939, the Polish army had ceased to exist . . . . The Red Army, which was no match for the Germans in mechanization, demonstrated its superiority to the Polish troops in the quality of its armaments, which included new tanks, aircraft, and modern guns—all products of Stalin’s industrialization effort. But to […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Serhii Plokhy · The Second World War

Dictatorship of the proletariat

May 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“The ‘Russian revolutionary sweep’ that Stalin wanted to combine with American efficiency came to Dniprohes with tens of thousands of Ukrainian peasants unqualified to do the job but eager to make a living. The number of workers employed in the construction of the dam and the electric power station grew from 13,000 in 1927 to […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Serhii Plokhy

Just another industry

May 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“Courts acknowledge that running a prison is an inordinately difficult undertaking that requires expertise, planning, and the commitment of resources, all of which are peculiarly within the province of the legislative and executive branches of government. Courts must therefore accord substantial deference to the professional judgment of prison administrators, who bear a significant responsibility for […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

One among several

May 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“Prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse.” – Douglas Richard Hurd, Baron Hurd of Westwell, Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, 1985-1989

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Children of the lesser gods

May 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“Utopianism isn’t hope, still less optimism: it is need, and it is desire. For recognition, like all desire, and for the specifics of its reveries and programmes, too; and above all for betterness tout court. For alterity, something other than the exhausting social lie. For rest. And when the cracks in history open wide enough, […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Form is function

April 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“It is the essence of fascism to have no single fixed form—an attenuated form of nationalism in its basic nature, it naturally takes on the colors and practices of each nation it infects. In Italy, it is bombastic and neoclassical in form; in Spain, Catholic and religious; in Germany, violent and romantic. It took forms […]

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Tags: Adam Gopnik · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Not the building of walls

April 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“Cosmopolitanism is not a tribal trait; it is a virtue, as much as courage or honesty or compassion. Almost without exception, the periods of human civilization that we admire as we look back have been cosmopolitan in practice; even those, like the Bronze Age, that we imagine as monolithic and traditional turn out to be […]

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Tags: Adam Gopnik · Economics · Politics & Law

Same as a modern political party

April 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Unlike the masters of other great empires, the Mongols contributed little to the civilizations that came after them. They adopted the cultures of their subjects and when their empire disintegrated the world forgot them, but they had altered the course of history and they had left it scarred. Russia was torn away from Europe, and […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

The good artist borrows, the best artist steals

April 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“No one owns anyone’s culture, and that to believe otherwise is to deprive us of the human fullness and richness we all deserve. To reconcile this insight with an equally compelling American truth—that racial injustice is our inheritance and our responsibility—is the challenge for every artist and critic, black or white.” – George Packer, “Race, […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Let not their name be legion

April 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“Ought we to make as many friends as possible? Or will the mot juste about hospitality, ‘not too many guests, nor yet none,’ also fit friendship in the sense that a person should neither be friendless nor have an excessive number of friends? The saying would seem to fit exactly those who become friends with […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Economics · The Ancients

The crux of the matter

March 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“Race was—is—the fundamental American issue, underlying not only all matters of public policy (economic inequality, criminal justice, housing, education) but the very psyche of the nation.” – Nathaniel Rich, “James Baldwin & the Fear of a Nation”

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Tags: Economics · James Baldwin · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

It’s called racism

March 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“Police killings of unarmed black children, indifference to providing clean drinking water to a majority-black city, or efforts to curtail the voting rights of minority citizens are not freak incidents but outbreaks of a chronic national disease.” – Nathaniel Rich, “James Baldwin & the Fear of a Nation”

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Tags: Economics · James Baldwin · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Drilling down

March 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“If it were in my power to change the mercantile laws of literary society, I could easily spin out my existence writing and rewriting the same story in the hope that I might end up understanding it and making it clear to others.” – Ignazio Silone (quoted by Dorothy Day in The Catholic Worker, January […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit