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We Work to Consume, Not for the Sake of Working

My discussion with David Henderson on how best to describe the ultimate goal of those who export prompted T. Norman Van Cott to e-mail me to remind me of his – Norman’s – excellent 2008 essay  titled “Exporting and Importing at the University” – and subtitled “Only Workaholics See Intrinsic Value in Their Exports.”

This essay is indeed timeless and worth reading. I recommend it highly.


I pick with it only one nit: I worry whenever I encounter the phrase “national household.” Even with the explicit qualification that Norman supplied, much danger lurks in the false impressions that this phrase conjures in the minds of some people.

But as I say, the nit that I pick is indeed small. It doesn’t begin to detract from the importance of Norman’s short but insightful essay.


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