As promised, here is the first followup to my consideration of profit as a series of asymmetries. The first (“best”) reference point in our model is when transactions are motivated by an imbalance of interest - not the percentage charged on a loan, but the “excitement of feeling, whether pleasant or painful, accompanying special attention to some object.”
I find it interesting that Webster’s definition allows for both pleasant and painful possibilities. But regardless of source, interest entails an agent having an intrinsic preference or desire that may impact their behavior.
And so, if a monetary exchange occurs simply because the seller is personally interested in providing the good/service, and the buyer is both satisfied with the terms and is purchasing for their own interest as well, that is perhaps capitalism working at its best.
Or is it? How cleanly does this model actually correspond with reality? To critically evaluate the above claims, I am going to engage in a (meta-ish) case study - I am going to start a free email newsletter.