Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guess what? Paul Samuelson hates me

From the German magazine Spiegel:

Libertarians are not just bad emotional cripples. They are also bad advice givers. I refer of course to the views of both Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek. The “serfdom” they warn against is not that of Genghis Khan or Lenin-Stalin-Mao or Hitler-Mussolini. Rather, they warn against the centrist states of the modern world. Think only of Switzerland, Britain, the US, the Scandinavian countries, and the Pacific Rim. Why do citizenries there report high indexes of “happiness” and enjoy broad freedoms of speech and belief?

Don't hold back Paul. Let it out, bro.

using markets is not the same thing as unregulated capitalism so beloved by libertarians. Such systems cannot regulate themselves, either micro-economically or macro-economically. Wherever tried they systematically breed intolerable inequalities. And instead of such inequality being the necessary price to encourage dynamic progress via technological and managerial innovations, it instead breeds dysfunctional shortfalls in what economists call "total factor productivity."

Huh? Did anybody get that? Bueller?

Sigh.

If what we've seen in the US the last 15 years is "unregulated capitalism", libertarians DON'T love it.

And how in the world does inequality "breed disfunctional shortfalls" in TFP?

May I take this opportunity to remind everyone that measured TFP is a residual that is correlated with a lot of stuff that technological progress shouldn't be correlated with?

Guess I won't be getting invited to his 100th birthday party.

7 comments:

Tom said...

Spiegel: "Wherever [unregulated capitalism systems are] tried they systematically breed intolerable inequalities." Okay, Spiegel, please name just one of these places where Unregulated Capitalism has been tried. And please take note of one of the hallmarks of UC: there will be no -- Absolutely NO -- industry lobbyists there. (They'd have nothing to beg for.)

I'm waiting.

br said...

intolerable inequalities = rampant jealousy

Anonymous said...

Samuelson hasn't been relevant for 20 years...and for the record his principles textbook sucks!

Anonymous said...

What was it, the 1990 edition of his textbook that claimed the Soviet Union proved central planning could work?

Paul is not so much with the R-square.

kurt9 said...

I find it amusing whenever people criticize libertarians for not understanding of human nature.

All large social institutions are bureaucracies. The larger the organization, the more bureaucratic it is. Bureaucracies, in turn, are dysfunctional. The larger the bureaucracy is, the more dysfunctional it is. This is a law of nature because it is human nature for people to form bureaucracy. Since the libertarians are the only people who recognize this reality and its basis in human nature, it is reasonable to say that it is the critics of libertarianism who are willfully ignorant of human nature.

Brian Macker said...

Anyone notice how all the Socialist and Keynesians are attacking the free marketers now that their stupid monetary policies are blowing up in their faces?

Some of them are blaming this all on libertarians. When were the libertarians ever in power?

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