Provocation #117 Hayek remains important in large part because of his defense of free markets and attacks on the state for interfering with a natural process. Progressives are often saying free markets fail . But markets are not allowed by corporations to operate as free markets but as rules set up by monopolies. Free markets … Continue reading 1927. Hayek and corporations
Provocation #115. Economics should be about the the full spectrum of the basics, Some musings: Economics has become increasingly abstract, mostly through the influence of mathematics and the marginalists. But the reality of economy is organic. Manuel De Lande in his book Assemblage Theory says that in mechanical systems the parts maintain the integrity of … Continue reading 1923. Economics should be about the full spectrum of the basics.
To see an economy as a system is implicitly to treat it as though it’s a coherent set of parts that are adapted to each other. this implies the system has an internal integrity and purpose and those who interact with the system should help to keep it functioning, to repair it if it is … Continue reading 1922. The problem of seeing the economy as a system.
Provocation #113 The tendency in much of economics is to think in terms of closed system logic, ignoring context and worse, ignoring some of the states of the closed system. Here are two examples “The man who refuses to send his corn to market when it is at twenty pounds a load because he thinks … Continue reading 1917. limits to closed system thinking.
The social impact of technology is swamping the technology agenda. The result is a huge opening for those who can manage the interface between tech and society. This means an accurate overview of tech and a good understanding of history, society, law, social policy.
Provocation #106. Treating the economy as if it is a thing. Imagine a car parked on the street We think we see that car for what it is. But we do not see the flows within which it is embedded. - the finance, the road rules, the factory, the material extraction from open iron-ore pits … Continue reading 1903. Treating the economy as if it is a thing.
Provocation #105 The problem of narrowing perspective in history The strategy of historians, especially of a field or a nation, is simple. They pick out in the past the major figure, or a few, that are obvious points of origin of the best qualities of the current state of affairs. Adam Smith played (or was … Continue reading 1901. The problem of narrow history.
Optimism comes either from weak thinking, .....or from a serious understanding of the difficulties to be overcome.
The danger is that all the professionals and siloed agencies will rush in with the plan of rebuilding to match the past. It would be much better if we could first think of the goal (kind of society) and then plan on how to get there, taking into account further likely disruptions (eathquakes, plagues) and … Continue reading 1894. The better use of rebuilding after Irma (and Harvey, Jose)
The provocation is simple: economics doesn’t know what people want. Some related thoughts. (probabaly too long, the smokey hot weekend made thinking go lazy) Adam Smith was a little like Einstein: a personality and perspective so powerful that we don’t see much else, before or after. Though in Smith’s case, the immediate next generations of people … Continue reading 1892. Economics doesn’t know what people want.