The fundamental presupposition of economics is cradled in the simple idea that we prefer gains to loss and seek to maximize those gains. Seems “natural” enough, however, “gain” will always look like the obvious choice when it is in the proximity of “loss”. But is it really possible to gain anything? Not in the obvious sense of getting a paycheck, or eating a burger, but the problem of not being able to establish what is truly and absolutely good/gain or bad/loss. This can’t be better illustrated by anything other than the ancient universal moral writ nobody can abide by, do unto others as you’d blah, blah, blah. Is a paycheck good? It’s paper and symbols – like the dollar, it works because we “agree” it does. Economic theory mistakenly assumes goodness is empirical and can be measured in Excel. These binaries harken to a moral universe, a ghost – an invisible hand. And while you can believe those things are out there, it’s impossible to prove anything other than the underlying matrix of constructions we call “economics”.

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