Monday, February 9, 2015

History: The Year is 1516

I've uploaded year 1516 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Beginning of Welfare Housing -- Jakob Fugger the Rich has begun construction of the first welfare housing project. He requires the residents to prayer for his soul three times a day and I talk about Hebrew and "service".

Sir Thomas More Mocks Communism But No One Gets the Joke -- The fictional book "Utopia" is published. It mocks a number of social ideas that sound a lot like communism. More is mocking these ideas but the Soviet Union will fail to get the joke.

Price Control and the Beer Purity Laws! -- Holy Roman Empire sets price controls mostly because the bakers (not brewers) fear price competition. I also talk about President Nixon's price controls.

The Beginning of Welfare Housing

Count Jakob Fugger [FOO-gur] the Rich has begun construction of the first home for the elderly in Augsberg called the Fuggerei [FOO-guh-RAY]. The requirements for residence are a demonstrable need, one Rhenish guilder per year in rent (in today's money about 1 or 2 dollars) and three prayers a day for the souls of the Fuggers. The construction of this facility marks a change in attitude toward care for the poor and elderly. The Fuggerei will remain a home for the elderly into the modern day and as of 2015 it costs 0.88 euros a year rent and three prayers a day are still required. For visitors, the entrance fee is 4 euros and the guided tour is 30 euros per person. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Three prayers a day may seem like a lot of praying but it is no less than most serious Christians will pray. It could be handled by adding a prayer to one's normal morning and bedtime prayers, and adding a prayer before a meal in the afternoon. How difficult could this be? In Hebrew this is called avodah [ah-voe-DAH] which means "service." It is related to the word for "indentured servant." When you accept residence at the Fuggerei, you have taken on an obligation to serve the landlord. That is also the reason why the military is called "the service" and going to church or synagogue is called "going to services". These are all related ideas in the biblical language.

Sir Thomas More Mocks Communism But No One Gets the Joke

Utopia is published this year in Belgium. It is a fictional account of the island kingdom of Utopia nowhere near the British Isles at all... but some place in the New World, you see. And Sir Thomas More is not advising King Henry the 8th on how to run his kingdom any better. Oh no! That would be insane! No. For the most part Utopia is promoting what we would call communism in the modern day but these beliefs go against most of what Sir Thomas More holds dear as a Catholic. Therefore Utopia must be mocking many of the solutions offered by the intellectuals of his day... and coincidentally of the modern day as well. Yet the Soviet Union will praise More for Utopia illustrating once again that intellectuals can't recognize a slam even when it hits them between the eyes. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Frankly, the story of Utopia sounds like unabashed communist propaganda. Gold is bad. There is no private property yet each household has 2 slaves. Thus proving that in any perfect world created by intellectuals, the lessers must suffer to make good things happen for their betters. Utopia will not be published in England until several years after Sir Thomas More is beheaded for upholding his principles as a Catholic and refusing to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn because he believed King Henry the 8th was engaged in bigotry! Imagine that. [11]

Price Control and the Beer Purity Laws!

The Holy Roman Empire has instituted standards for beer purity by limiting the ingredients to water, hops and barely at the request of bakers who didn't want wheat and rye prices to rise due to competition over these ingredients. These regulations are for the commercial sale of beer and a price cap is placed at 1 to 2 pfennigs per mug. It is not clear how much a pfennig is actually worth which may explain why the cap allowed for leeway. This law was modified over the years and was finally replaced by the Provisional German Beer Law in 1993 after the Reunification of Germany.[12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The King of England once set price controls on ale during the Great Famine, but price controls never work. People will find a way around the law or stop making the item. I remember laughing when President Richard Nixon instituted price and wage controls and called for one meatless day. We shouted at the TV... "We'd like ONE MEAT DAY, PLEASE!" Ultimately, the grocery stores found ways around the price controls but the wage controls worked quite well. [14]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1516, Wikipedia.

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