Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.
Display:
Holy shit, this is golden: MMP Blog #42: Introduction to the Job Guarantee or Employer of Last Resort (18 March, 2012)
I think that once the program is fully understood the only opponents will be those who enjoy seeing others unemployed. As I have argued, we cannot rule out cruelty. It is part of the human condition. So I do understand that some people like to witness the suffering of others--those they consider to be "undeserving". Cruelty will always exist. But we should never let the cruelest people in our society dictate public policy.

As readers will recall, J.M. Keynes recommended directing cruelty toward management of balance sheets rather than toward tyrannizing fellow humans:

There are valuable human activities which require the motive of money-making and the environment of private wealth-ownership for their full fruition. Moreover, dangerous human proclivities can be canalised into comparatively harmless channels by the existence of opportunities for money-making and private wealth, which, if they cannot be satisfied in this way, may find their outlet in cruelty, the reckless pursuit of personal power and authority, and other forms of self-aggrandisement. It is better that a man should tyrannise over his bank balance than over his fellow-citizens; and whilst the former is sometimes denounced as being but a means to the latter, sometimes at least it is an alternative. (GT Ch 24)
And as recent research demonstrates, we have created a sector of the economy that specializes in employing such people:
Studies conducted by Canadian forensic psychologist Robert Hare indicate that about 1 percent of the general population can be categorized as psychopathic, but the prevalence rate in the financial services industry is 10 percent. And Christopher Bayer believes, based on his experience, that the rate is higher. Bayer is a well-known psychologist who provides therapy to Wall Street traders. The type of psychopath the author is writing about is characterized by compulsive gambling.  And the Wall Street psychopath doesn't necessarily show up to his or her first day of work in this condition.  These "financial psychopaths" generally lack empathy and interest in what other people feel or think. At the same time, they display an abundance of charm, charisma, intelligence, credentials, an unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation, and a drive for thrill seeking. A financial psychopath can present as a perfect well-rounded job candidate, CEO, manager, co-worker, and team member because their destructive characteristics are practically invisible. They flourish in fast-paced industries and are experts in taking advantage of company systems and processes as well as exploiting communication weaknesses and promoting interpersonal conflicts. Unfortunately-writes the author-the best candidates for many Wall Street jobs exhibit the traits of a financial psychopath. http://www.businessinsider.com/wall-street-psychopaths-2012-2#ixzz1oFcrIIq0
I think Keynes might have under-appreciated the damage such psychopaths on Wall Street can do to our economy. In any case, we should not let the cruelty of these psychopaths prevent us from pursuing sensible programs, such as full employment for anyone who wants to work.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 at 04:40:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series