Chris Scoggins, marginalist

Concerning my previous post, he sends me this email:

So if the typical person today couldn’t hack it in 1000 AD (I agree that we probably can’t) What is the furthest back someone from today could go and have a fighting chance to make ends meet?

I like the idea of walking into an LSE seminar in 1932 and making some nice points. 

If we try going back further, I don’t think 1700 would be so much easier for me than 1000.  Even if I fell into London, patronage would be hard to come by and I would expect that I would end up earning the subsistence wage.  Sorry guys, but I just don’t know much useful: blogging starts around 2001.  In most eras I would expect the subsistence wage, but after the late 1800s I could teach and write for greater pay and better working conditions.  As for the start date for effective insider trading, maybe that is the late 19th century as well.  You need some start-up capital: does anyone know the minimum market investment circa 1815 and could you sell short? 

In most eras my best bet is to be a shyster of some kind.

I don’t, by the way, think I would die in 1000, at least assuming I could avoid the plague and a few other maladies.  Temporary aid is the natural human tendency, among the poor too, and it is unlikely I would be killed for being a witch.  I would end up doing hard physical labor, just like most other people at the time.  The economic lesson here is that complementarity really matters.


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