Socialism–Disconfirmed But Not Discredited

    Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

     Academics are almost overwhelmingly statist. My theory is this: If people can regulate themselves better than the Elite, which they can, what good are the Elite? This question should have academics staring into The Void–a world which not only doesn’t need them, but does better without them.

     Peter Foster is describing a meeting of economists scrambling to justify their beliefs.

“Nevertheless, even though their interventionist ideas had received an enormous setback in the previous decade, many of the laureates were keen to assert that the important thing was that their moral sentiments were in the right place. Jan Tinbergen was not embarrassed to admit that he had entered economics “to find a scientific base for a socialist order.” Significantly, socialism — the notion that governments could guide economies both more efficiently and more morally than the Invisible Hand — wasn’t the conclusion of Tinbergen’s studies any more than it had been for Marx. It was his starting point, his unshakable moral conviction.


   If a socialist has to choose between facts and his ability to control others–absolute certainty about his own superiority—belief in his ability will win every time.

He saved his political praise not for Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan, leaders who had together sought to hold back the advance of the megastate, but for Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who had cluelessly presided over the inevitable collapse of Soviet Communism. Paul Samuelson was perhaps the most prominent representative in Edinburgh of the many followers of the macromanagerial pretensions of John Maynard Keynes, even though Keynesianism had collapsed in a heap in the previous 20 years (and would be back to collapse again in the wake of the 2008 crisis). Samuelson was famous for introducing complex mathematics into the profession. His predictions had included that the United States would suffer a postwar depression (it had boomed) and that the Soviet Union would likely surpass the United States in economic performance (it was collapsing). He had described capitalism as being like a car without a steering wheel, a telling analogy since it betrayed the aspirations of himself and those like him to “steer” the economy. Like many of his brethren, Samuelson saw market failure everywhere. Depressingly, he was the author of America’s best-selling economics textbook.


    Samuelson was famous for stating, in 1989, that the Soviet Command Economy could not only survive, but thrive. Then it collapsed. The sales of his textbook were not effected. If these people were to write parodies of themselves they couldn’t do better than their sincerities of themselves.

Foster, Peter (2014-04-27). Why We Bite the Invisible Hand: The Psychology of Anti-Capitalism (Kindle Locations 4530-4543). Pleasaunce Press. Kindle Edition.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “
Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


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