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More Jerome bashing from our least favorite Welshman. And I think he's taking a potshot at me as well.  Why is it that I think of the old line, "How do you know when a Welshman is lying?" when I read something written by him.  Well he is speaking English.

Why socialist economics on Dkos feels so dismal

Yesterday, I read on here another in the series of recommended diaries under the strangely xenophobic title of "The Anglo Disease". My heart sank as commentator after commentator propounded economic theory in the tired rhetoric of the extreme left-wing that I last heard in the UK in the 1970's. Throwing off the yoke of this enabled the British economy to become the largest in Europe, to the chagrin of many of its continental competitors.

What this language of socialist economics does is promote the real and unreal virtues of its philosophy whilst ignoring the fact that we progressive capitalists equally recognise not just the benefits of our system but also the abuses that can, and have, brought it into unwarranted disrepute..

Having a swipe at Ronnie Reagan and Maggie Thatcher doesn't bother me in what was written. Only partly satirically, but certainly with some satire, I admit that what really bugged me about hearing the attacks on even a Democratic president like Clinton, in that thread, is that the thoughts on which these were based seemed so utterly dreary,  uninviting and ...well, unexciting.

Then he went on to cite articles about how recent research has shown that people's assessment of their income situation is dependent on that of their peers.  Where there is greater peer group equality, peeople feel better off on the sole basis of their wage, compared to where the same wage is lower compared to te peer group.  

The econospeak for it is the difference between indepedent utility, my value for this good depends on only what I think of it, and interdepedent utility, my value for a good depends on who much I have of it relative to other people.  

It's the difference between the Lexus and the Olive Tree.  The Lexus is valued primarily because it's something that other people don't have, it's utility is interdependent.  The value of the Olive Tree is primarily independent, people value olives because they like to eat olives, it doesn't matter whether other people eat olives or not.

I've been writing about this and it's relationship to redistribution for the past week for a paper I'm doing for a class.  The key thing being that if utility is indepedent, then you can make people better off by growing the size of the economy, but if it's interdepedent, then the economy becomes a zero sum game.  Distribution matters in the latter case far more than in the first.  It's a major assault on welfare economics, and the politics of economic redistribution.  And European journals have been where most of this work has been published.

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 Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 02:50:07 PM EST
is that the thoughts on which these were based seemed so utterly dreary,  uninviting and ...well, unexciting.

Because economics has to be exciting, like Enron, and Northern Rock ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:08:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the thread is a lot more interesting than the diary.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:09:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Armando did not like my diary either, finding it bigoted.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:11:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly people either have not read or have not understood the first Anglo Disease diaries where you made the explicit analogy with the Dutch Disease, which apparently nobody finds bigoted.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that an explanation of why it's called the Anglo Disease would remove the idea that it's somehow bigoted.  This having been said, don't forget that our friend Armando lawyered for Walmart, which is hardly a paragon of corporate social resonsibility.

The problem is that there's an increasing tendency to Liberalism, which really does nothing to deal with the economic issues that underlie much of the current economic debate.

Ironically, in the reading up I've been doing for this paper I've sacrificed my Thanksgiving to, there was a piece that linked the inability of individuals to attain status through consumption with the rejection of mainstream social values.  So the skinhead is driven at least in part by the recognition that while he will likely always be poor and looked down upon in a culture where economic inequality is prevalent, he can turn to race and culture as status markers that can't be taken away from him. This isn't an insolated idea.

The idea that people who can't succeed in the economy turn to other means to get status is something that many books have been written on in recent years, and of course there's the historical case of what happened in Germany.  And even in Rwanda, there was  increasing ineqaulity before the genocide broke out.  Capitalism as the peacemaker doesn't look like such a winner at this point.

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 Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:33:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you've annoyed Welshman and Armando you're doing your job.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:03:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading Welshman is so inspiring, so exciting... zzzzzzzzzzzz snore....
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:44:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fucking concern troll ... can we ignore him now?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:59:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Give the guy a break.

He's just trying to get a job with the FT.

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins

by EricC on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The brainscans stuff is hilarious. The addiction to non-understood curves and figures instead of actual reasoning and explanations is pathetic.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:57:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Repost of a comment that I posted on the Orange site)
wu ming wrote:
any argument built on the idea of human nature as fundamentally driven by greed, competition and power over subordinates tends to overlook these sort of obvious counterexamples.

Our capitalist overlords can only assume that human nature is fundamentally driven by greed, because they're only driven by greed themselves.

I don't know how to name this, but it's just similar to the homophobic preachings of closeted homo rightwingers: obviously, if everyone else was as much interested in young boys as they are, humanity would cease to exist within a generation. They are so convinced that everyone is hiding the same urges that they are.

What our capitalist overlords and our gay republican overlords have in common is not just Fox News, it's that they probably believe that everyone else is just as crooked and evil as they are. That's also why they're big proponents of primitive religiosity such as 10 commandment displays: since they would (and probably do) get away with murder if they could, they assume that everyone else would too. So they try to brainwash everyone with their "thou shalt not kill", while doing all the killing they want, needless to say.

A 'centrist' is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

by nicta (nico@altiva․fr) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 10:00:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the obvious thing that i missed at first was that if someone's feeling superior because they have more than the others, there is at least one person feeling inferior for having less.

which has its own cost as well, when you look a bit deeper.

recipe for an unhappy society.

the trick is, if you're reading that article from a marketista perspective, you're assuming that you're the guy with the higher salary.

by wu ming on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 03:48:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
from a marketista perspective, you're assuming that you're the guy with the higher salary.

That's exactly the marketista con-trick.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 11:20:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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