Tuesday, February 25, 2014


by Ray Jason

My hands just would not let go!  For 30 seconds they remained attached to my lovely AVENTURA even though I was already standing in the launcha ready to head off on the first leg of a long trip back to the so-called “real world.”  Finally, the boatman said, “Ramon, are you okay?”  This shook me out of my trepidation trance and I replied, “Sorry, Ignacio, vamanos – let’s go!”
I have now returned from that journey - and my hands were right.  Each reunion with “normalcy” staggers me so brutally that I wonder whether I can ever go back again.  For a sea gypsy like me, who experiences it only every few years, the modern world looks like low-grade lunacy.
·       The frantic yet fruitless frenzy of the car culture – accelerating up to sixty mph even though the next gridlock stoppage is clearly visible 100 yards ahead. 
·       The sad and tragic disconnection of those who believe that they are so “connected.”  
·       The cultural mean-spiritedness that worships competition and power and ridicules co-operation and sensitivity.
·       The Everywhereness of Television.  In this NSA version of our Cowardly New World of 1984 Plus 30, it is even more troubling knowing that The Screen is probably watching us as much as we are watching it.
·       The ever-increasing incompetence and unpleasantness of the bureaucracies that are utterly inescapable in the modern world.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


by Ray Jason

    It was Nautical Swap Meet day in my quiet corner of the southwest Caribbean.  Sailboats were arriving from all over the archipelago to buy, sell, trade or give things away.  We affectionately refer to the goods as “treasures of the bilge” but many of the items could just as easily be described as “donations for the dumpster.”  The event, which takes place every couple of months, is not just about commerce - it is also about friendship.  Many people attend with the primary intention of just visiting with their sea gypsy pals from the far shores of our little inland sea.
I love these events - not just for the camaraderie - but because they are proof positive that economic activity does NOT have to be convoluted and incomprehensible.  It can be honest and fair and beneficial.  This face-to-face, no middleman type of commerce is such an abnormality in our world, that it got me pondering the nature and purpose of modern economics.  In order to make this complex topic more understandable, I decided to frame this essay as an open letter to the Nobel Prize for Economics Committee.