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Showing posts from May, 2017

Matt Bruenig versus definitions...

Private property was a necessary precondition for the long-term adoption of farming. Matt Bruenig had a bee in his bonnet about libertarian entitlement theories, and I would sympathize if the attack was purely against the 'non-aggression axiom' crowd, but in practice it's an attack on private property rights per se, hence my previous post on the subject back in December 2015.

Matt's definition of the libertarian position on property rights makes a big omission and needs to be changed from;
Theft occurs when (1) you threaten or use force against someone (2) to exclude them from scarce material resources (3) without their consent. ... to; Theft occurs when (1) you threaten or use force against someone (2) to exclude them from previously legitimately claimed scarce material resources (3) without their consent.
Those three words in bold are very important. Could 'legitimately' above be a synonym for peacefully? For consensually? At least for now I'll defer to … for all your essay needs!

There is a website called Aeon that is home to many essays. One by Joel Mokyr summing up the thesis of his 2016 book A Culture of Growth was quite lovely, whereas another by Peter Fleming about human capital theory was bizarre.

The site, overall, seems to be well worth a read. Whatever your outlook on life the essays will be a mixed bag, with a defence of organisational hierarchy perhaps catching in some craws.


That third essay seems to be defending a situation that Deirdre McCloskey (or myself) would call 'bourgeois equality' or equality of fundamental status (dignity in McCloskey's locution) and equality before the law. Good.

Jeffrey Tucker, Max Eastman and the New York Times on Communism in the Twentieth Century

Trickle-down Economics as Economic Theory in Reality

I watched an interview with Deirdre McCloskey on the Youtube channel of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. [1]

After doing so I contributed to a comment thread, recreated in full below, wherein a chappy who claimed to be an economist tried to convince me that trickle-down economics actually is a serious thing after all. This was in response to my posting a link to Thomas Sowell's article The Trickle-Down Lie, and I am so far unconvinced by the tale the economist in question spun for me.

He cited a paper from the 90's as his example, and I entreat you to have a gander at its abstract and compare that to trickle-down as described by David Stockman in his interview with William Greider on supply-side economics. [2][3][4]

Steve Horwitz isn't in love with the phrase, but offers a decent definition;
It’s hard to pin down exactly what that term means, but it seems to be something like the following: “those free market folks believe that if you give tax cuts or subsidies to …