One of the big complaints I hear from plant owners is that it can be a challenge to remember to water their plants, and with some plants, all it takes is one missed watering and it’s gone (especially with pickier plants like orchids). We had to quit buying plants for my mother because of this – we nicknamed her the ‘serial plant killer’.

Luckily, even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still enjoy the benefits of having indoor plants. It just takes a little more creativity up front. David Latimer, an English native, has kept the same plant alive in an enclosed ecosystem since 1972.

The spiderwort sprout Mr. Latimer used was given enough water to foster its own ecosystem, and with sunshine pouring through its glass case, it has no trouble composting and creating carbon dioxide. It’s a fascinating study of how the Earth works, and would be an excellent project for a science classroom, a family gardening experiment, or even as a gift to your favorite botanist.

If you’d like to learn more and perhaps build your own sealed bottle garden, you can get inspired by searching out and reading about David Latimer.

How Higher Costs Help the Biggest Companies - Peter G. Klein

Does any business like higher costs? Does any company like increased regulations, whether good or bad, which make it more difficult to operate? Does any company want a government that does this type of thing, and will support such a government?

Yes, in a competitive market, those types of difficulties benefit the biggest companies, who have the resources to do these things easily, and which will make business relatively harder for their smaller business competitors who might even go out of business. It’s in their interest to support governments who promise and execute these types of governmental actions, making it costlier to do business.

Economist Peter G. Klein, speaking at a recent Mises podium, gave some examples of this:

“Walmart can easily afford to design the parking lot in a certain way to make sure there are no steps as you enter the store. It’s easy for Walmart to do, and of course Walmart Corporation has hundreds, maybe thousands, of attorneys and compliance officers and all sorts of folks who specialize in understanding the regulations and making sure the firm is in compliance. Mom and Pop stores don’t have that. They can’t afford to build a ramp instead of stairs. They can’t afford to re-pave their parking lot. They don’t have a lawyer on retainer who can help them decipher the latest requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“So large companies often lobby for more regulation, for stricter government requirements on disclosure and so forth, because they know they can afford it and their smaller, newer rivals cannot afford it.”

 

Most important economics books, according to Prof. David Gordon

At a recent Mises presentation, American libertarian philosopher and intellectual historian and senior fellow at the Mises Institute Dr. David Gordon listed his top 8 picks for understanding economics. They are (with links to places on the Mises website where they can be downloaded free):