DT: According to my dictionary the word ‘axiom’ can refer either to a self-evident truth or a universally accepted principle. Economists seem to be assuming the first of these and forgetting about the importance of the second, as exemplified in the ways of denoting sounds and numbers.
JB: Dave, this is a major issue, is it not? Self-evident to whom? And universally-accepted by whom? And with a meaning mutually understandable/accepted in each instance by whom?
A standard example is the German word, “gift” = “poison” in English. While a medaeval meaning like “poison” exists, there is a large group of cultures who would say, “receiving a gift implies an obligation to return it, of larger value if possible to signify status or commitment”.
What is the etymology for the german word gift? It might be enlightening. Cultures that associate gifting with propitiation, which is what is described in the actions and ideas expressed, are undoubtedly authoritarian and so would result in such resentful meaning. They are obviously not the traditional meanings associated with grace-graciousness, nor are they in any way relevant to monetary gifting as a resolving factor in economics.
Ironically, the definition exactly describes borrowing and the the current monetary paradigm of Debt Only/Burden/Additional Cost Post Retail Sale.