May 2015

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But did you noltice how "empty" his invocation(s) of Hayek was?

Great to have the whole of Hutt's book on line. He deserves a higher profile because he was one of the first to appreciate that the vote-buying motive was the Achilles heel of democracy, and also to demonstrate how the militant trade unions drive inequality and cramp wealth creation, in addition to undermining the rule of law. For a profile of his life and work...

Every time I see someone invoking a supposed tradition of racial equality in labor unionism and the left generally, I want to reach for Hutt's "The Economics of the Colour Bar".

"Electoral propaganda for novel proposals is often of exactly the same nature. But a product which does not come up to the claims made for it will not be repurchased, whereas policies for which politicians may have made possibly extravagant claims, once adopted, cannot be so easily discarded." - Hutt

Taxpayers would not "repurchase" faulty government products...if we implemented tax choice.

"All of this goes to show that without the initiative that comes from immediate responsibility, ignorance will persist in the face of the meritorious efforts that are being made to go beyond presenting information and to teach the use of it by means of lectures, classes, discussion groups. Results are not zero. But they are small. People cannot be carried up the ladder." - Joseph Schumpeter

Close...but not quite "rational ignorance"...

Speaking of Schumpeter...I added passages by both Nietzsche and Lachmann to the Wikipedia entry on creative destruction...

And the entry I created for concentrated benefits and dispersed costs is up for deletion...

Sachs merely shifted from Keynes’ short-run solutions to the Great D to Keynes’ long-run utopia in the back of GT in which the state directs all investment. So how different is Sachs’ proposal from the 5-yr plans of the USSR and communist China?

I doubt Sachs’ would see much use in the distinction between scientist and engineer. Engineering is just applied science. As for principle, Sachs’ clearly prefers pragmatism.

Sachs' empty invocation of Hayek is a typical strategy of "middle of the road" people. They place themselves in what they perceive is a superior position by first portraying two ideas as extremes and then being about to see the good and bad in each. In other words, they are superior to the extremists and pragmatic, not ideological.

I still don't understand why income inequality is supposed to be a bad thing. If it's impossible for my income to rise, why work harder? Why innovate? Why invest? Why develop my skills? Why study? Why do anything if I live in some ideal world where I'm just magically guaranteed the same income as everyone else?

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