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Some friendly amendments from a Veblenian perspective.  

  1. Veblen taught that the most interesting class distinction was not between rich and poor but between the Leisure and Industrial classes.  He spent his life trying to explain what that meant.

  2. Veblen first learned economics from a professor at Carleton named John Bates Clarke.  Clarke was a plodding butt-kisser who spent his life trying to prove that theory of marginal utility could be applied to everything--not just how folks make purchase decisions.  Veblen thought this position was probably insane and wrote often to discredit it.  His 1909 essay on marginal utility in the Journal of Political Economy is a classic refutation of the utility fetishists--those super-dull "intellectual" children of the super-dull John Bates Clark.

It can be found here:

3) Veblen wrote that the desire for status emulation was second only to the survival instinct in most folks--and sometime not even in second place.

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

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Tue Jul 17th, 2007 at 02:46:31 PM EST

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