Thesis

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The Intelligent Opposition to Equality

People with a (relatively) intelligent opposition to equality, and how (not?) to respond.

There is a problem-- I do identify emotionally with the left, even if my very simple economic theory is the most minor logical extension of normal and basically right-wing classical and even neoclassical economics.

If I'm to talk persuasively to all those who place themselves as libertarian and conservative, I need to get out of that headspace a little. It really has nothing to do with the actual economic facts or even much with the moral standpoint.

Radical Education Project first workshop class

Summary to a friend:

The first one was quite good. In addition to presenting how messed up things are and the need for radical change in a really good way to talk about, to continue the conversation with just anyone -- how the reaction to squeezed profits is to shift costs onto all of us (less pay for more work, but also tax subsidies, services cuts, so that you can come up with examples forever), the parts that were new to me:

- top 50 hedge fund managers paying themselves an average of $588 million

Power imbalance is inefficient

A couple quick thoughts relevant to ye old grande thesis which will be written, ten years after it could have had a useful impact on the world. (Nah, i'm kidding, if i have an underlying life philosophy it's that it is never too late.)

Here is the larger fact, which undergirds any other claims.
Power differences matter.

It's pretty weird to have to make this claim, but much of economic theory is based on imagining power differences away. This lunacy allows – or rather requires – F. A. Hayek to argue that a man in a hole is as free as a man outside.

Equality Engine

Andrew Grice on the Greater Economic Equality leads to greater economic growth thesis.

These words leaped out to me last night.

EQUALITY ENGINE

Equality is the engine of economic growth.

Equality IS the engine.

Equality Engine.

Only the engine of equality can restore economic growth and prosperity.

EQUALITY ENGINE.

Does this program have an equality engine?

Will this program run on a non-polluting prosperity generating equality engine?

Common Wealth and the ‘Entirely Self-Made’ Myth

Basically, the argument that the invaluable functions of government (especially invaluable for the rich) remove any claim to sole right to acquired wealth.

Starts with "Laws concerning property or contracts, and the public agencies that enforce such laws."

Yup, that covers a lot.

If we use these criteria to determine who can legitimately claim to be “entirely self-made,” the Forbes number drops dramatically. It’s not 270 out of 400. In fact, it’s precisely zero.

What's Wrong with Economics

A Guide to What’s Wrong with Economics (2004)
http://www.paecon.net/guidecontents.htm

Need for other visions beyond neoclassical.

Including a chapter by Richard Wolf.

From the chapter list it is mostly about what's wrong and the need for alternatives, but as it looks to be written by people who are studying and creating fuller, more useful, and more human models, I'm sure a lot of that gets in.

Roland G. Fryer Jr. and thoughts on economic injustice, racism, and achievement that are no fault of the fine man

A 2005 article on hot young economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. by Stephen J. Dubner got me thinking about my thesis again.

About all I need to know to want to keep track of his work is that his model is W.E.B. DuBois.

But this statement is disturbing, and the author is an economist himself. Following up on examples of Fryer's willingness and capacity to look at all things that might affect black achievement, including genetics, Dubner wrote:

So here is Fryer's final anomaly: he is a man who revels in his blackness and yet also says he believes, as DuBois believed, that black underachievement cannot entirely be laid at the feet of discrimination.

What sort of fool, let alone a self-described rogue economist, would frame the question as a matter of discrimination? Kidnapping and slavery and no compensation hardly fit neatly under discrimination. Follow history a tad longer and you get to sharecropping, which puts the problem squarely in an economic context.

Make wealth and resources equal, and I bet black people will overcome racism – with great difficulty, but ultimately overcome it – and achieve just about anything professors and bureaucrats care to measure.

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