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Some cool posts on r/badeconomics

The subreddit called Badeconomics is a great place to go if, like me, you are trying to nudge your way towards being serviceably knowledgeable about economics. So I decided to share a few links to posts that recently pleased me...

Badecon posts re often so-called R1s in which an article, book, video or other piece is savaged for its economic illiteracy. The links that kick off each paragraph below are R1s added in the last two months.

Socialism is astonishing... Apparently economic growth over the past two centuries has not also led to growth in leisure time... despite clear data showing that it has.

Most Americans don't understand basic economics and r/Socialism thinks that's great... This R1 is attacking this post wherein some silly sausages get all confused over the significance of the opinions expressed in the survey, and over the consequences of actually implementing those policies.

Economists... a piece critical of economics using the matter of causes of the financial crisis of 07-08 as its in.

"Economics needs a scientific revolution..." blah blah fucking blah... Hal Varian wheezing about econ being mushy, followed by some pointers about useful things economics has given us in just the last few decades.

Low hanging fruit... in which somebody has apparently argued that capitalism has not lifted millions out of poverty at all in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. I have encountered this guy and his economic illiteracy in the past but let it slide despite his being a professor at the LSE.

Popular posts from this blog

Will Automation Make All of the Jobs Disappear?

... No.

There is no reason to suggest that automation will dramatically increase unemployment in the short term, or at all in the long term.

Seriously, it will not.

Do read the links in the order in which they appear please. Finding the right comments in the third link might be quite interesting. They are all by a user called BestTrousers and start with "RI" meaning R1.

The main argument used by HealthcareEconomist3 is to give a survey of several works, while BestTrousers goes for comparative advantage.

Why I Am Not a Historical Materialist

Hopefully you good folks can indulge me by forgiving this post. It is an unfinished mess because I wanted it out there as the anchor for a hyperlink from a Reddit thread.
At the momebt everything below is a jumble of notes, but I will be reworking it bit by bit starting today.
Hopefully this post will be sorted out and typed in full before the end of April 2017.


Historical materialism is the idea that history progresses in stages - slavery, then feudalism, then capitalism, then socialism, then communism - driven by changes in the technologies or techniques of production, and that any human civilisation will exemplify this process.

This makes historical materialism an exercise in both historicism and materialism.

Historicism is the idea that studying the past can reveal history's in-built course or narrative, and so show you the future.

Materialism is the idea that ideas ( and institutions) ultimately* don't matter in determining our destinies, and that therefore only material…

Capital & Labor in the Race to Exploit the Other

The idea that labor exploits capital is equally as plausible, sans assumptions*, as the idea that capital exploits labor. This is only intended as a response to the formal concept, descriptive or normative, of exploitation in Marx's schema from Capital Volume I.

* Assumptions include the power relation whereby capital is just assumed to be above labor hierarchically.

~ Capital exploits labor because... ... Capital earns income from production done by labor that capital didn't perform
~ Labor exploits Capital because... ... Labor earns income from capital that labor didn't buy
Basically in good old formal logic fashion both of those cases above, being factual descriptions, are true at once or are false at once.