- Nov 6, 2021
- Basic Beliefs
- Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
*wing-shrugs* Even if you were correct to entirely dismiss the neoclassical components of New Keynesian theory, which I am not sure about but not really interested in making a bone of contention, I think my core argument is still valid.That doesn't make it not trickledown. It strips out the demand-side logic of Keynes and retains all the "micro-founded" bits of neoclassical with supply-side logic baked in.New Keynesianism is not "trickle-down," but it is a synthesis of Keynesianism and neo-classical economic theory.SigmatheZeta said:*wing-shrugs*
I don't really think of myself in terms of whether I am left or right. My current notions are either accurate or inaccurate, and my priority is upholding the dignity of human life by the most efficient possible means. I am indifferent to inequality, per se, except insofar as it might be politically harmful in certain situations or beyond a certain threshold.
I am open to the possibility that the current extremes of inequality, in the present-day United States, might be damaging our democratic institutions and eroding our political stability, but that is not because I disagree with inequality, in principle: it is because I suspect that, beyond a certain threshold, inequality might contribute to fueling sociopolitical problems that could otherwise be avoided. If it could be demonstrated, to my satisfaction, that inequality were not causing such problems, then I would not be bothered by it, but that has not been demonstrated, to my satisfaction.
If there is any research that clearly proves that inequality could cause attrition in democracies, then I am not aware of it, but it just occurred to me in this moment that I might explore that for a while. I will get back to you on it, but in the meantime, feel free to fill me in on what you currently have at your disposal.
I am predisposed to being skeptical of the idea that an infinite expansion of inequality is either desirable or sustainable. There is a long history of supposed "god-king" dynasties being burned to ashes. If there is a possibility of such a threshold where this course of development would become inevitable, then it would behoove us to take that threshold into account.
We can produce evidence for that hypothesis, or we can fail to produce evidence for that hypothesis.
Just as a matter of arithmetic, slower growth with more inequality means most people worse off than they'd otherwise have been. Then there's the precarity, wage stagnation, unaffordable housing and all the other socially corrosive shit that has come with neoliberalism. If it was just some folks getting rich, few would care.
As far as your denial that we could possibly need a political alliance with billionaires, @Canard DuJour, the truth is that we currently are barely able to maintain a Democratic majority for even short lengths of time. They have made it abundantly clear that if we treat them as hated enemies, rather than as potential allies in the cause of preserving human dignity and advancing the human race, then they can fuck us from three different directions if they want to do so.
Like how? Galt's Gulch or something? Their power rests on a thin veneer of beliefs - e.g. trickledown economics - which we could just stop believing. That's why they spend fortunes pushing them.
Like what?The trouble with it is that the mathematics are actually accurate, and they actually predict what they are supposed to predict.
New Keynesianism has not "energised" the economy. Growth rates have fallen. Housing bubbles and the stock market are not the economy.What they are not taking into account are sociological consequences that can ultimately threaten the stability of the surrounding civilization. I was at the Black Lives Matter protest, and while it was, on one hand, the most fun that I had had since playing paintball when I was a kid, I cannot help but think that it is not really a sustainable way to run a country or to hold a civilization together.
Now, with disinformation about masks helping COVID-19 spread, I think that we might have a bit of a problem.
My opinion--and this is only my opinion--is that we are incorrect to look upon economics, mathematics, and political science as three different subjects. They are really different aspects of the same subject.
When you talk about an economic theory that can energize the economy,
They actually don't.that sounds good right up until you start noticing an upwelling of political extremism. It sounds good right up until people have started misguided moral crusades that are going to lead to a dangerous Puritanical state. It sounds good right up until the riots start, and at some point, you start questioning your decision-making process.
New Keynesian economic theory actually does work, but the problem is that it works too well. It overheats the system, and if we don't want to get cooked alive, we have got to figure out a way to regulate the heat.
Oh, I have an idea! Let's just cap inequality permanently at right where it was BEFORE we started breaking out in riots, and when inequality starts to rise above that ceiling, we increase taxes and start paying down the debt with the revenue.
That sounds good, but you would have to get a team of sociologists, political scientists, and economists together, so they can actually confirm whether or not that would actually work. There is a possibility that I could be wrong. It feels right, but I would want to see how the empirical evidence for it matches up with the math.
I suspect that the riots and the insurrection are not a coincidence, but they are happening for the same reasons why we were having labor riots and revolutions in the early 20th Century. Oh, and we had these two little wars I heard about. The early 20th Century was kind of nuts.
By comparison, people were actually protesting AGAINST war in the 1960's and 1970's, and we abolished the draft a little while later.
I think it is probably true that inequality DOES make people competitive, but competitiveness also makes people want to go to war.
That is what I think that New Keynesian theory is probably missing, and that kind of phenomenon simply cannot be taken into account by economic theory alone.
The historical economist that admire the most is Knut Wicksell. The reason why I admire him is that he merged multiple different theories that nobody, at the time, saw as being even fully the same subject. Some believe he created the underpinnings of Keynesian economics.
In the same spirit, we need to break the myth that economists are not responsible for what happens in our society or our politics. They are only looking at one side of the same system, which is like looking at someone's ass and assuming it gives you an idea of what their face looks like or making believe they are not both part of the same organism. I think we ought to put them under pressure to start having serious and open discussions with sociologists and political scientists, so they can work out a system that harmonizes these different facets of collective eudaimonia.
Just trying to tie a blindfold around our eyes and pretending the neoliberal theories don't exist would, I think, be misguided. They actually do get the effect that their proponents claim they do.
I mean seriously, can we get away from whether or not the neoclassical components of New Keynesianism are valid? I am glad to let you have that point if we can just get away from it. If you want it, have it. I need to try to get you on my side when we are discussing issues that I think are more important. I tend to trust the opinions of highly educated scientists, but I acknowledge the possibility that the popularity of New Keynesianism, among highly educated scientists that study the economy, could be politically motivated. I don't know it, but it's within the realm of possibility. It's not important to me, and I am willing to let it go. The fact that I misled you into thinking this was important to me was an accident. I am not really interested in dying on that hill.
My core argument is that inequality is probably substantially more harmful in underdeveloped areas, and I think that I have more than adequate evidence for this position.
This study might be from back in 2006, but I believe that the 2015 University of Wuerzburg study makes a similar argument:
Abstract: The inequality-economic growth debate remains unsettled. For instance, classical theories
point to the importance of incentives in increasing growth, but recent theories stress social and political
disruptions as causal factors in inhibiting growth. Conflicting empirical evidence has not helped, with
contradictory findings arising when employing different samples and alternative econometric techniques.
This study re-examines the linkage by contending that it is not surprising that past research uncovered
conflicting findings. For example, the transmission mechanism through which inequality/economic
incentives influence economic growth can be affected by factors such as urbanization and social cohesion.
Using U.S. county data over the 1990s, the empirical results suggest that the econometric results are
unstable when considering weighted regressions over the entire sample. Yet, consistent with our
hypothesized relationships, when separately considering metropolitan and nonmetropolitan samples, there
is a positive inequality-growth link in the urban sample, with the opposite holding in the nonmetro case.
Implications for both the inequality-growth literature and for public policy are discussed.
I came from a rural area, and that rural area could have genuinely benefited from redistribution.
What I would do would be to instate a high state tax on rural property that is not currently being used for agriculture, but I would combine that with bills that provide education opportunities and housing assistance for the poorest people in those areas. This would have the effect of income redistribution.
I am tired of seeing rural land barons clinging to gigantic tracts of land that they are not using. That land belongs in the hands of families in the same area that are struggling to survive.