May 15, 2006
AMERICAN CULTURE - Guns and Butter - Economics 101. Why YouTube.com can explain everything we do going forward - forever!
The first term I learned in Economics was Comparative Advantage. The old Guns and Butter story. Not to be confused with the old "banana in the tailpipe" theory preached by Eddie Murphy.
My first eureka moment before puberty. I believed in this theory the minute I heard it. It made sense to me. I loved Economics. I was "at one" with Economics. I had my calling!
Unfortunately, "Ceteris Paribus" is the second term I learned. Basically it said Guns and Butter theory was nice as long as you added "Ceteris Paribus" to the theory. Sounds like the lawyers and the media got a hold of the Guns and Butter research paper and wrote their first disclaimer. My hate for lawyers and media began the same day.
I loved economics because Guns and Butter made sense to me and Ceteris Paribus gave me reason to be cynical and make fun of the economists and lawyers.
The next 10 years of school were a breeze. I argued everything with that disclaimer. Who could argue with me. I was the "Ceteris Paribus" guy.
Tonight, I was reading Nicholas Carr. He is someone that I love to read daily and will now add to my blogroll. He is angry and smart and loves taking the other side of an argument. We need that view.
He had a great post today that made me think of Guns and Butter and Ceteris Paribus. Make sure you watch the YouTube video he links to. For those of you thinking that US kids are too caught up in the clip culture of YouTube - rest easy. There are young idiots around the world chasing the YouTube dream of fame.
Argue all you want about outsourcing and brain drain and all the other diarrhea that comes out of the talking heads on CNN and CNBC. You are missing the forest from the trees - or whatever the saying is.
YOU ARE missing the boom in American Culture. While the purists argue theft and trademarks and patents and cheating, they will miss the boom in American Culture being manufactured and distributed by Apple, Motorola, and Sony and Nokia and made relevant and more useful by the likes of iTunes and YouTube. I hope they never catch on.
Our last great export. It's catching steam. It is going to trend for a while. It is a phenomenon. Even the government may not be able to stop this freight train.
It may save the world if we can figure out broadband.
Huge margins. Huge leverage. Huge returns for those that stay the course.
Message to the government - stop dropping bombs from planes. DROP BROADBAND!