Saturday, April 25, 2009

If people aren't rational, why do we believe in Economics?

Good question. ;^)

One of the problems with politics grounded in economics -- whether you're Marx or one of Milton Friedman's acolytes in Congress -- is that economics confuses wealth with happiness: a wealthy life with a happy life. At least Marx understood alienation of labour.

If you're going to be unhappy you might as well be rich, I always say.

My friend Deb sent this to me. It's a good job -- although the Aristotelian in me has to note that Professor Kozy got Aristotle a bit wrong. Aristotle noted trenchantly if not tragically (in Nicomachean Ethics Book X) that ethics only works if people are rational and, since they aren't, we have to make due with politics instead.


Global Crisis: Is Economics Rational?


1 comment:

James Dionne said...

"Classical/neoclassical economics has consistently protected the wealth of the privileged; it has preserved the status quo. This is capitalism's intent, and the evidence for it is overwhelming. It has impeded the improvement of the human condition for two hundred years, and unless it is scrapped, it will continue to do so. No mere change in government can stop it."

That is one hell of an opinion. I wholeheartedly disagree with it and point to the collapse of the Soviet Union as my rebuttal. Capitalism's true intent is survival of the fittest. But what he fails to comprehend is that under capitalism, anyone with the drive, intellegence, and ambition can succeed and achieve great things benefiting not only himself but mankind as well. There are numerous examples of people coming to America with nothing but the shirt on their backs and achieving great success. He seems fixated on the "sheep" that cannot figure out capitalism rather than the ability for the ones that do to make everyone's lives better. Capitalism (or better put competition) has spawned the greatest inventions and ideas in the history of man. His argument that mankind has been impeded by capitalism for 200 years is laughable. How many life saving vaccines were there 200 years ago? How about genetic farming technologies? How many billions of people are fed, sheltered, and clothed by his hated capitalism? I'm sorry but the internet would just not exist without capitalism. Under a socialist model, we are all kept struggling at the midpoint, and with no incentive to achieve, nothing great happens. Why don't we just paint everything gray and lock up the dissenters! BLAH.