by Tyler Cowen
on April 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm
1. Complexity isn't going away; a critique of Clay Shirky.
2. One new Indonesian law.
3. Rent-seeking hypothesis about the Israeli iPad ban.
4. The forthcoming David Cronenberg movie.
5. Hernando de Soto on the financial crisis.
6. Weak fiscal multipliers.
7. The agenda.
Could the financial crisis be viewed as partially the result of private hyperinflation?
I learned much more from the Shirky essay than from the critique.
7. Yglesias: There is no pensions crisis. Seriously?
Viggo Mortensen is the zhizzle. As is Jung. I just wish Viggo Mortensen was playing Jung.
From the Shirkey critique:
And that populism is a problem, partly because for all his promotion of the underdog Clay ends up consistently on side of the free market and against collective efforts by working people to gain a respectable source of income.
The “free market” or “big companies”?
It’s unclear to me how helping working people gain respectable sources of income equates to “collective action”.
I’m not a big Shirky fan, but this is just lame.
#5 (de Soto) and #7 (Yglesias) go together.
The claim one wishes were true about modern forms of derivatives (that they are one of those terribly useful financial innovations) does need to be placed against de Soto’s argument that troublesome derivatives are contra-capitalist if they are not traceable factual assets fixed on paper (or electronic equivalent), and if, as such, they lie outside enforceable rule of law. Like most of what de Soto says, this is important.
Yglesias is having a typical intra-left dialog, in this case with an aussie. Yglesias says capitalism is OK if you face up to the fact that it is actually nothing more exciting than ‘welfare state capitalism’. My intuition is different. There are areas of decay in modern capitalism. Non-commercial digital activities are the way to go, though Yglesias conveniently forgets the preceding and hyper-commercial technological and managerial innovations.
But could be there *is* too much complacency or generosity about retirement, universities, migration, trade… the areas Yglesias is so positive about.
To survive at the top advanced societies may need to relearn something earthy and Weberian about capitalism, the same lessons that developing societies like China are or will be learning. Could be that the dangerous informality of derivatives is one such lesson. Could be the work ethic is another. Shock horror.
Is De Soto right, that finance creates no value?
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