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I ONLY bring up Veblen because you seem to have reached similar conclusions.  If you cannot cut through the 19th century language, I see your point.

As for the so-called "rational" choice crowd, I find their worldview less convincing than that of a Southern Baptist.  At least the Baptists know how to make music ;-)

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Tue Jul 17th, 2007 at 03:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry if I sounded hostile.

The biggest problem I have with Veblen is that he takes 20 big words to convey something that could have been said with two small words.

I really hate rational choice.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jul 17th, 2007 at 04:05:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK!  Here is my short summation of Veblen on utility.

When confronted with the "what do YOU propose?" question, Veblen came up with three motivations he thought more economically important than utility:

  1. The Parental Instinct
  2. The Instinct of Idle Curiosity, and my favorite
  3. The Instinct of Workmanship

All three can be EASILY demonstrated, yet we still have to listen to the utility extremists because IMHO, it gives a "scientific" luster to naked greed.  The Alchemy of Neo-Classical economics is turning a vice into a "virtue".  Not surprisingly, it doesn't work well.

Not only are the utility extremists batshit insane, they cause GREAT harm to both people and the biosphere.  Our only hope is to ridicule them out of the legitimate debate on our economic future.

And as you know, utility extremists lie thick on the ground throughout the Anglo-American academic world.  In fact, an unquestioned belief in utility is one of the boundary maintaining mechanisms of the profession.  We have lost a whole generation of economists to the cult of utility.  The damage has literally been incalculable.


"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Wed Jul 18th, 2007 at 05:46:26 PM EST
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