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“Sachs, in other words, I am arguing should know better.”

Sachs does know better, just as Krugman knows better. They are simply dishonest. The interesting question is why men of such intelligence find it necessary to resort to dishonesty?

Thanks for the link to the WSJ article on McCloskey. Major life crises often precede changes in worldviews such as McCloskey’s. I wonder if her change in thinking on economics would have happened without her identity crisis.

Sachs and Krugman are prime examples for a generation that has abandoned bourgeois values.

People resort to dishonesty for the same reasons they set up straw men or engage in ad hominem attacks: because they know they have the weaker argument. Sachs and Krugman in particular do it additionally for demagogic power.

I have the greatest respect for McCloskey, who is an excellent economic historian. We corresponded back in the 1970s.

I am uncomfortable with an explanation that ideology changed. It sounds like a deus ex machina.

Property rights are difficult. The English common law evolved to deal with transference of real property (very important). It was not so well-equipped to deal with commercial transactions.

Dutch/Roman law was more suited to the newly emerging commercial order. English common law only fully adjusted to the new commercial/industrial order in the 19th century, after statutory over-rides of common law. The common law was filled with anti-market rules (forestalling, regrating, etc.).

Scotland always had (and still has) a different legal system than England. As I understand it, Scottish law was a variant of Dutch/Roman law. And that was why the commercial/industrial revolution developed first in Scotland, then in England.

Property rights rule when their complexity is understood. The details of property rights law are very important. We need to drill down into those details.

The game of cricket is a byword for good values, hence the saying "it's just not cricket (old chap)". Is it accidental that McCloskey became a huge cricket fan when he visited Oxford? On return to Chicago, after departmental shindigs, he would invite all comers to go back home for indoor cricket.

Check out Bowles and Gintis on "homo reciprocans".

http://bostonreview.net/BR23.6/bowles.html

Ian Suttie, the great neo-Freudian revionary ("The Origins of Love and Hate" 1935) was onto altruism as a basic trait. Pity he died while his book was in press.

McCloskey distinguishes between values and property rights and shows that many civilizations had property rights without sparking an industrial revolution.

I would quibble there. Hernando de Soto has demonstrated that nations can have property rights on paper without them being enforced. Western Europe had property rights for a long time with little effect because the nobility were informally exempt from them. When nobility stole something they did so with impunity.

Property rights aren't effective if they exist only on paper. As McCloskey shows there has to be a culture of property behind the law or the law is impotent. But once people embrace the bourgeois values, real property rights suddenly get enforced. So there is a close connection between rights and the values of the majority.

BTW, Israel and De Vries argues that the industrial revolution began in the Dutch Republic in the 17th century and spread to England.

I agree with Jerry that the discussion of both property rights and their relation to legal codes has been way oversimplified in much conversation in economics. While many economists have been eager to jump on board the "legal origins" ship, lawyers have been accurately pointing out that this ship is not quite it has been portrayed to be. And indeed, Jerry is right that the details of property law are extremely important, something that the old institutionalists emphasized most vigorously (see John R. Commons The Legal Foundations of Capitalism).

see what is said here and am amazed at the anger and overall disgust people have for Bryz. Yes he shouldn't have said what he said, but if he would have said nothing this guy would've been pissed off as well. He is the scapegoat for alot of the issues the Flyers do have, but if you read the 1st part of this he did take responsibility for the way he played Saturday

see what is said here and am amazed at the anger and overall disgust people have for Bryz. Yes he shouldn't have said what he said, but if he would have said nothing this guy would've been pissed off as well. He is the scapegoat for alot of the issues the Flyers do have, but if you read the 1st part of this he did take responsibility for the way he played Saturday

This is surely a very good read, I'm sure this one will help everybody in research.

- Sahil

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