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andalusia
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kvs
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    Economics and snake oil

    kvs
    kvs

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    Economics and snake oil - Page 2 Empty Re: Economics and snake oil

    Post  kvs Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:13 pm



    Sowell has a lot of excellent analysis on other subjects, but here he goes off the rails. Regardless of whether academics redefine words to serve their
    own agendas, the fact remains that the "free" market is a vapid concept. Sowell dismisses the oligopolistic control exerted by a few corporations in mature
    market sectors because consumers are supposedly free to shop elsewhere. His critique of Galbraith is beyond shallow. Oligopolies and monopolies do
    wield real power over the market.

    Take automobiles for example. All of them are made in similar categories and sell for similar prices in those categories. Their quality also moves in tune
    across all producers. Yes, that's right, Toyota, Ford, etc. all make the same shit and cut corners like there is no tomorrow. Take a look at the engines made
    by VW. So much for the vaunted German engineering. There is clear pressure on the producers in the car market to engage the same quality reductions
    because consumers do not have any choice. Not cutting corners means less profit for any car company and there is no penalty for cutting corners. Sowell
    is under the delusion that consumers will drive price reductions in this market. BS. They have no pricing control beyond what the oligopoly chooses to
    afford them. Clearly, there is some basic control since consumers cannot afford million dollar cars. But consumers are not given the choice of paying 5,000
    dollars for a 40,000 dollar car. There is no rapid turnover of car producers. The period of competition was early in the 1900s when cars started to be produced.
    By the 1950s most car manufacturers were consumed by a few main players.

    Free market koolaid drinkers are always in denial about the natural formation of oligopolies and even monopolies in their precious free market. They seem
    to lack a basic understanding of species dynamics. They advocate the law of the jungle but then expect a harmonious orchestra of self-regulation. What
    inanity. As in the jungle, the predators will dominate and in the case of real human markets, the predators consume all the less predatory species. The precious
    market is an arena for power and politics. Consumers are just a substrate and do not steer the evolution of markets. Transitional periods such as the adoption
    of new technology are not an example of consumer control. It is the loss of control by producers of outdated products. But as with cars, eventually new
    or made-over old producers reestablish control.

    Instead of romanticizing corporate power, the state power skeptics need to keep their eyes on the prize. The coercive power of government is real and
    a serious problem. But it is not some nebulous force and it is their vaunted corporations that typically corrupt government to use its power. We see this
    with Pfizer and Moderna and their insane profits generated through government coercion. Placing faith in unelected boards of directors while pissing on
    elected government is simply moronic. Here Russia is a good example. Thanks to being the dominant force in the Russian economy, the Russian
    government is able to crack the whip over the oligarchs instead of being their whore. By contrast, the US government is a used condom for the US
    kleptocracy which puppet masters the deep state. Americans can vote until Hell freezes over and will exert no control over their economic fate.
    Meanwhile, "oppressed" Russians will vote in a government that actually serves their interests. No matter the failings and limitations, this is on a whole
    other plane compared to the "exceptional beacon of humanity" the USA.

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    andalusia

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    Economics and snake oil - Page 2 Empty Re: Economics and snake oil

    Post  andalusia Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:25 am

    kvs wrote:

    Sowell has a lot of excellent analysis on other subjects, but here he goes off the rails.    Regardless of whether academics redefine words to serve their
    own agendas, the fact remains that the "free" market is a vapid concept.   Sowell dismisses the oligopolistic control exerted by a few corporations in mature
    market sectors because consumers are supposedly free to shop elsewhere.   His critique of Galbraith is beyond shallow.   Oligopolies and monopolies do
    wield real power over the market.

    Take automobiles for example.   All of them are made in similar categories and sell for similar prices in those categories.    Their quality also moves in tune
    across all producers.   Yes, that's right, Toyota, Ford, etc. all make the same shit and cut corners like there is no tomorrow.   Take a look at the engines made
    by VW.    So much for the vaunted German engineering.    There is clear pressure on the producers in the car market to engage the same quality reductions
    because consumers do not have any choice.   Not cutting corners means less profit for any car company and there is no penalty for cutting corners.  Sowell
    is under the delusion that consumers will drive price reductions in this market.   BS.   They have no pricing control beyond what the oligopoly chooses to
    afford them.   Clearly, there is some basic control since consumers cannot afford million dollar cars.   But consumers are not given the choice of paying 5,000
    dollars for a 40,000 dollar car.    There is no rapid turnover of car producers.   The period of competition was early in the 1900s when cars started to be produced.
    By the 1950s most car manufacturers were consumed by a few main players.  

    Free market koolaid drinkers are always in denial about the natural formation of oligopolies and even monopolies in their precious free market.   They seem
    to lack a basic understanding of species dynamics.   They advocate the law of the jungle but then expect a harmonious orchestra of self-regulation.   What
    inanity.   As in the jungle, the predators will dominate and in the case of real human markets, the predators consume all the less predatory species.   The precious
    market is an arena for power and politics.   Consumers are just a substrate and do not steer the evolution of markets.    Transitional periods such as the adoption
    of new technology are not an example of consumer control.   It is the loss of control by producers of outdated products.   But as with cars, eventually new
    or made-over old producers reestablish control.  

    Instead of romanticizing corporate power, the state power skeptics need to keep their eyes on the prize.   The coercive power of government is real and
    a serious problem.   But it is not some nebulous force and it is their vaunted corporations that typically corrupt government to use its power.   We see this
    with Pfizer and Moderna and their insane profits generated through government coercion.   Placing faith in unelected boards of directors while pissing on
    elected government is simply moronic.    Here Russia is a good example.    Thanks to being the dominant force in the Russian economy, the Russian
    government is able to crack the whip over the oligarchs instead of being their whore.    By contrast, the US government is a used condom for the US
    kleptocracy which puppet masters the deep state.    Americans can vote until Hell freezes over and will exert no control over their economic fate.  
    Meanwhile, "oppressed" Russians will vote in a government that actually serves their interests.    No matter the failings and limitations, this is on a whole
    other plane compared to the "exceptional beacon of humanity" the USA.  

    I strongly agree and moreover, libertarians like Sowell will never address the root cause of the problems of the US economy and that is usury.  The Federal Reserve is not owned by the government but is a private bank.  Libertarian ideologues like Sowell simply ignore that money power:

    http://entityart.co.uk/usury-the-root-cause-of-all-problems-on-the-planet-debt-slavery-central-banks-wars-assassinations-nwo-solutions-caesar-napoleon-hitler-jfk-lincoln-gaddafi-zionism-federal-reserve/
    kvs
    kvs

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    Economics and snake oil - Page 2 Empty Re: Economics and snake oil

    Post  kvs Wed Sep 29, 2021 1:49 pm

    Indeed, we have an international bank mafia. That may be the go to for tin foil hat paranoiacs, but is reality. Controlling the money means having the
    strings of control over any company and even governments. This is possible because a political climate is created where politicians put banks on a pedestal.
    We saw this in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and how banks were treated like privileged entities "too big to fail". Taxpayers were used to bail out
    rotten banks and financial companies. All of the sudden the free market was not a consideration, in particular the cleaning mechanism of bankruptcy
    that is always invoked to show what a great thing it is.

    It is interesting in the case of Russia that the banks are weak and not capitalized like in the west. This is a weakness but may also be a strength since
    these banks don't have the resources to manipulate political parties and oligarchs. Idiots spazz about Putin, but he is above board. So much of
    real world power and economics operates in the shadows.

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    andalusia

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    Post  andalusia Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:51 pm

    This is another good post about the subject:

    https://www.facts-are-facts.com/news/the-federal-reserve-is-privately-owned#.W9XuUDFlBdh


    This is a good short review of Sowell on quora:

    https://www.quora.com/What-did-Thomas-Sowell-get-wrong-in-Basic-economics


    I saw this review on Amazon of his book: "Intellectuals and Society" which is pretty accurate in my opinion:

    Thomas Sowell is a gifted applied economist with much of importance to say about the larger issues in social policy and government regulation of economic affairs. I have reviewed several of his books and recommend them to the reader.

    Sowell, however, has two failings. First, he has no heart for the plight of the poor, so his work in this area is illuminating for the false ideas he debunks, but does not contribute in any way to dealing with the problem of poverty. Second, he is a thorough-going right-wing ideologue, who is often cogent in his critique of liberal ideas, but is blind to similar, indeed often parallel, problems with conservative ideas. This book suffers especially from the second of these weaknesses. The book endlessly repeats the errors of left-wing intellectuals (especially in the Cold War era, when many embraced some form of socialism, with totalitarian forms of Communism heavily represented), but says nothing about the errors of right-wing intellectuals (many of whom embraced fascism and even Nazism, and argued in favor of tolerating racial segregation and gender discrimination, as well as the abolition of government regulation of food and drug quality).

    Sowell's book adds fuel to a right vs. left dialog that is petty, vituperative, Manichean, and unilluminating. The social division between left and right persists throughout democratic societies and will doubtless continue to do so. The reason is that both types of political world-views have strong positive contributions to make, but both are deadly and destructive when pushed too far. Sowell encourages pushing the right too far by his lack of insight into the virtues of liberalism.

    Sowell knows applied economic theory quite well, but he never presents the balanced model of government-market interaction that has been taught to graduate students of economics for half a century, and has no serious critiques in the professional literature. This is because this model of "public economics" does not fit the conservative free market ideology. This ideology has no scientific validity and cannot even be formulated in an intellectually rigorous form. It is simply wrong.
    Sowell has no understanding of information economics. He follows Hayek on the distributed nature of information, but he never confronts the literature that deals with the transformation of private information into public information. The importance of public information, central for instance to Durkheim and Aumann, is completely ignored in his treatment of government regulation.

    This book preachs to a right-wing choir, a wordy version of the radio talk-show hucksters I so regularly avoid. There are many factual gems and cogent insights in this book, but they are smothered in invective. If you want to be preached to, this is the book for you. If you want insight, look elsewhere.

    https://www.amazon.com/review/R1NX9L84XFXFY2

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    kvs
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    Economics and snake oil - Page 2 Empty Re: Economics and snake oil

    Post  kvs Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:38 am

    Ideology is inferior theorizing. A real theory admits empirical data without bias. But all ideologies filter empirical data to promote their
    own dogma. I personally cannot stand listening to political type arguments in the science realm. Science is not about opinions and nobody
    has any "right" to cherry pick the data that suits their agenda. So I find myself disagreeing with hysterical global warming amateurs and
    the denier drones who ultimately serve Exxon, the Koch brothers and other corporate interests. If you listen to the US right, they just
    have to assume that global warming is a leftist hoax. Politics and ideology will never deliver on the truth.

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    andalusia

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    Post  andalusia Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:22 am

    This is a good article on the influence of Economist James Buchanan on the libertarian worldview:

    https://evonomics.com/how-to-disguise-racism-and-oligarchy-use-the-language-of-economics/
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    Post  andalusia Sat Oct 09, 2021 5:45 am

    Henry George and the land value tax needs to be revisited:

    https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2018/02/henry-georges-land-value-tax-idea-whose-time-come/

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