Assorted links


"where massive white elephant projects went unquestioned for a decade, and where the banks that funded them, boards stuffed with appointed politicians, have now gone bust."
That's most amusing from the Beeb's Trotskyist reporter. Can it be that he opposes government expenditure, or objects to banks managed by government rather than capitalist running dogs?

I don't know about the vagaries of Trotskyism, but "state monopoly capitalism," or "stamocap", is a pretty basic Marxist-Leninist critical theory. I don't think this was a view about which Trotsky had a significant disagreement with Lenin. So, yes, it is rather likely that a Marxist opposes collusion between banks and the state.

It's not "collusion between the banks and the state" in Spain: many banks are simply part of the state. (Same's true in Germany.)

many banks are simply part of the state. (Same’s true in Germany.)

Same is now true in the USA.

And you think that makes a difference from the standpoint of a theory of state monopoly capitalism?


You Americans...what will you come up with next?!

From the #5 article:
INET is attempting to find common cause between lefty theologians and lefty economists

and politicians

Who knew they were so supportive of the merger of church and state? Like some on the right. And those who support sharia....

Persuasion people, not coercion.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
- C. S. Lewis

1. Wonderful idea to parent via a book not from a book (and to lump self help and horror books together).

5. Point of info: appointing people arbitrarily to positions and titles and then claiming possession of the position and titles justifies merit is NOT a true meritocracy. Get that worked out and the path forward is more clear.

@ 2 - good call on e. e. cummings. Though the image of Uncle Sam twitching a liberal titty might be overmuch even for a Tea Partier:

His angry protest of Hungary's fate in 1956 was unpublished at the time. No sitting president escaped his scorching pen. The man who visited the USSR in 1931 on a special "without party" visa would have been far too independent a thinker to be useful to any politician today.


Anyone else find it ironic that Stiglitz lamblasts Republican economic faith in a lecture delivered to people of faith? Reminds me a lot of the article he wrote about petro-dollars for Zmag back in the day. Poor guy is too brilliant to be a real left-winger, but I guess not brilliant enough to realize that he shouldn't want to be, either.

Regarding the intersection of economics and neuroscience:

Much of the NIH money comes from its institutes for drug addiction, mental health, and aging. "Most of us, to get funding, have to sell our ideas along disease lines," says Phelps.

Of course it is not just neuroscience.

If anyone has a doubt the anti-Japanese protests in China were orchestrated by the government, have a look at this:

You wouldn't dare wave those flags in the PRC without government approval. Even with government approval if I were asked to carry one of those flags, I'd be afraid I was being set up to be shot.

"There was just one question from the audience at the event, from a woman who said that she loves the Bible. “It says there’s something deeply unhealthy about the pursuit of wealth,” she said, and she’s absolutely right about that. But you’re not going to find many economists who agree with that, and certainly Stiglitz didn’t. "

No, she's not absolutely right about that! Nor do I even have any idea what Biblical verse would support that interpretation.

The Bible indicates that pursuing wealth for it's own sake with no other consideration is ill advised (i.e choosing money over God or being in love with wealth is wrong). That money is useless when your dead and being rich won't get you into heaven. And that those who are rich should be generous and do good. And that it's hard to be greedily rich and get into heaven.

That article about Valencia can't be accurate. With all that spending on public works, surely the economy is soaring now.

That Stiglitz article was embarrassing to read. Left-wing economists are letting their logic lead their rhetoric instead of back it up. Helping the poor is the morally correct thing to do AND is much better for the economy. That's a no-brainer argument to laypeople. If folks on the other side start attacking your statements, then you break out the math.

@6: Neuroscience to the rescue of economics--once AGAIN a chess player to the rescue! This cannot be a coincidence...
[i] This is not exactly the confluence dreamed of by the chess players. One of them, Paul W. Glimcher, director of the Center for Neuroeconomics at New York University and author of the standard textbook in the field, wrote in a 2004 paper published in Science that "economics, psychology, and neuroscience are converging today into a single, unified discipline." Today he is more measured. "We are a very young science," he says, "and we've taken more from economics than we've given. I hope in the coming years you'll start to see us give more back."[/i]

#5: Well, not sure I've heard of Felix Salmon before, but he goes on my list of "read at the risk of becoming stupider.'


Here is a link for your "there is no great stagnation" column:

A poet for Romney? One won't do. This calls for the Mad Men to recruit William McGonagall.

That is a no-brainer argument to laypeople. If folks on the other side start attacking your statements, then you break out the math.

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