Sunday, June 22, 2014

Economics - Cui Bono

Ha Joon Chang captures what I regard as the fundamental error of the economics of the conservative mind:
Economics is a political argument. It is not - and can never be - a science; there are no objective truths in economics that can be established independently of political, and frequently moral, judgments. Therefore, when faced with an economic argument, you must ask the age-old question 'Cui bono?' (Who benefits?), first made famous by the Roman statesman and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Trickle down economics, free trade, allowing the market to solve environmental problems, deregulating finance, tax cuts for the rich.  They'd have us believe these are based on economics as a scientific discipline.  They don't ask who most obviously and immediately benefits from these policies.


Examinator said...

That is what I've been saying for how long?....ok
perhaps not so concisely :-(
The hard reality is that
a. all versions of economics are predicated on starting assumptions.
b.then they mass generalise (along set ideological lines... with usally "them" as the ideolised norm (sic))...the problem I have with most is that form of generalising i.e.
"one size" ... fits no one
and doesn't allow for an absolute cornucopia of uncontrollable circumstances that may be at play.
The post structualists say it best that the list of variables and the infinite number of variations render most comon opinions, beliefs as moot cirtainly not science. (see the three criteria that determines science.
In simple terms what works for Chad Jonathan el al is fine for them but is a nonsense to impose it on others.
Chad et al
This doesn't mean we give up and do nothing or imply the diametric oposite.
I am advocating a more "judge the specific topic by the specific circumstances applicable to the the individual involved.
i.e. not everyone has the luxury of the same choices as us.
e.g.Closing a factory and say that the workers should simply get another job...capacity, skill,ability and opportunity may simply not all there.

Chad said...

Therein lies the phallusy of the entire Progressive movement/argument Ex. Jon's ideas or his wish would be to have gov't level all playing fields in some magically way (one size to fit all) which by definition is joke because those in the chair of power be it 1 or 1,000 will always slant the table to benefit themselves. In addition to that the rules/regulations will always slant toward the group in power since they do have opposing view points created a massive web through time of policy that has tons of amendments and pork until the original idea has been killed by red tape and bureaucracy. All the while slowing job/small business growth and allowing the powerful to become even more powerful. he wants to replace one type of tyrant with another type of tyrant - as long as his tyrant believes in what he does.

That is exactly why I continue hammering what I feel is the best and strongest solution out there. It was foundation created by the founders and is in the Constitution already - Greatly limit the Federal Gov't and hold them to only a few powers. Then give the State govt's the power that they should have always had to create law, create policy, collect taxes, run welfare, healthcare, schools, pensions and do it with only their citizens money which would allow many many different voices to be heard at a much smaller level. We can see exactly how different ideas would work - those ideas that can not survive on their own will require immediate corrections. Just Imagine for one minute if Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, San Fran and New York suddenly became the problem of the citizens of that State alone? No federal money being sent to subsidize their progressive ideas, no way to tax a neighboring state for the money - the rest of the State would demand better policy and if not given would move to a state that had a more conducive way of living more in line with what they believe in. OR guys like Jon would gladly move to New York - surrender 70% of their wages and live happily every after.

It is not an error nor a weakness of the conservative mind - its an error and weakness of the progressive mind to actually think that replacing one group of tyrants with another would yield any different of results for 330 million people. In reality - Capitalism and the Conservative way is why America has survived, grown and prospered to the point it has.

HispanicPundit said...

Funny, this is how I feel about environmentalism...atleast economics is better at making predictions.

Examinator said...

The key is “how you feel.....” Science isn't about feel(ings) it's about logic that is based on fact not one example.
I assume you are arguing that AGW(if you must mislabel the concept) if taken on a large enough scale has happened before. i.e. X Million/ thousands of years ago ergo AGW is natural /not man made.

Using the metals bet as an analogy for AGW denial is false equivalence and poor logic.
GW has undeniably occurred before by “natural” circumstances. However what is missed is that the conditions that prevailed in these previous events simply Don't exist today.
e.g. Our orbit was different even the day/year were different than today as were the land masses and volcanic eruptions, frequency . All that means that the causal then were very different tan exist today and will never (can't) occur in the same way again. Therefore the AGW deniers aren't comparing apples with apples. Each previous Global Warming had different (unique) causal factors at play.
It's a bit like the old inductive logic example: I want a cat, cats have 4 legs, Hector has 4 legs - therefore Hector is a cat! Therefore I want Hector. (hmm?)....(imagine my surprise when Hector trumpets and stomps on my front garden when not enough variables are compared.)
Thee best that can be said for the metals example comparison is that the subject's parameters weren't adequately defined.
Fallacy not phallusy …. phallus = penis shaped... A bit like your argument (yuk yuk joke)
Again you can see only in binary 1's and 0's either one or the other extreme.
In reality the losers under your plan would be ALL Americans domicile in the USA.
Business knows the concept of efficiency in size. Poor states wouldn't be able to afford anything. Even the rich states would have to pare back on the essential things. Like power generation, telecommunications and so on. There would be so much red tape for Intra state businesses etc can you imagine a multi state business who has to cope with 50 odd tax codes import etc? It wouldn't be more efficient it'd be a disaster.
You'd have big corporations ducking tax, dictating to states … some corps have more money that some smaller states. They would play states off against each other. Manufacturing etc would be in states with the lowest wages and safety. Enforceable legal responsibility would be non existent. It would degenerate into kleptocracy (way more than it is now).
In short the union would disintegrate. Human nature being as you describe it.

Examinator said...

A new book for you.... what I've read of it so far it's very interesting
'the life of I: the new culture of Narcissism'
If you remember, way back When I first started commenting on PMW blog I spoke of business leaders etc tended to exhibit more traits of Sociopathology ( narcissism.. more than just selfish but a lack of empathy and balance for the the greater good. i.e. confusing it with my interests. Here is a book that refers to and expands on the research that underpinned my comments.