Acton Institute Powerblog

Tyler Cowen finds economic answers in ‘Genesis’

Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University and all around internet impresario, has a new column up at Bloomberg on his recent rereading of the Book of Genesis,

Living standards rise throughout the book, and by the end we see the marvels of Egyptian civilization, as experienced and advised by Joseph. The Egyptians have advanced markets in grain, and the logistical and administrative capacities to store grain for up to seven years, helping them to overcome famine risk (for purposes of contrast, the U.S. federal government routinely loses track of assetsweapons, and immigrant children). It is a society of advanced infrastructure, with governance sophisticated enough to support a 20 percent tax rate (Joseph instructs the pharaoh not to raise it higher). Note that in modern America federal spending typically has run just below 20 percent since the mid-1950s.

Please do read the whole thing.

Dan Hugger

Dan Hugger is Librarian and Research Associate at the Acton Institute.