Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

This is amusing . . .

Someone (an anonymous coward) wrote this in a comment:

Imagine trying to explain to a bunch of liberal professors that in the history of the world, no other economic system has created more wealth for more people than capitalism. It just goes against their deeply held socialist and political beliefs.
It's fascinating what people think goes on in universities. In all of my travels through Tufts, Brandeis,  Boston University and Brown University as a graduate student and faculty member, I have never met a single liberal (or other) professor who does not know that economies that fall broadly into the classification of capitalist have become the wealthiest. As a matter of fact (funny thing here!) Karl Marx believed that capitalism was the most dynamic economic system for creating wealth. Nowadays, there are very few professors anywhere in the U.S. who think that Marx mostly had things right, but even if there are a few, they do not need to be convinced that "no other economic system has created more wealth than capitalism." All those liberal professors, with their briar pipes and leather patches on the elbows of their tweed jackets, believe it or not, actually know this.

However, economists -- and other people who think about the economy, such as sociologists, political scientists, and historians -- have various viewpoints about how best to organize and manage complex, modern economies. Capitalism, as I have suggested, is quite a broad concept and there are many capitalist economies in the world today, and in history, that have had differing characteristics. I should also add that the term "socialist" has come to be conflated with Soviet communism, which leads to much misunderstanding.

In Europe, the term "democratic socialism" as most people use it refers to advocacy for a program in which government assures certain standards of welfare within an entrepreneurial, market economy. As in the U.S., there is also some amount of government enterprise and economic activity -- perhaps our correspondent has noticed that someone maintains the roads, puts out fires, educates children and so on. People who call themselves socialists may want to see government do more to invest in human, physical, and intellectual capital than it does now. But socialism as it is commonly used today really refers to a form of capitalism.

Economists today -- even respectable conservative economists -- understand that markets are not forces of nature. They are social constructs. They require various forms of regulation and public infrastructure to function. The question is how best to structure and regulate them, not whether they ought to exist.

If you are interested in what liberal professors really think and argue about the economy, you might check out the blog of Bradford DeLong, a Berkeley (I know) professor, which is very active and has all sorts of interesting material pretty much daily. He's an economic historian, so there's a lot of emphasis on that, but there's plenty of other stuff as well.

Educate yourself, is always my advice.


Anonymous said...

This author should have started out with "I'm no economist, but..."

"But socialism as it is commonly used today really refers to a form of capitalism."


Clearly, those who have only occupied the hallowed halls and Ivory towers of Tufts, Brandeis, Boston University and Brown University...all snobby elitist Eastern universities... know little about common language of even how regular people use language.

While technically not owning the means of production, economies that are controlled by a powerful central government through either direct votes of corporate control, punitive taxation and/or the redistribution of the wealth created can be considered socialist in the popular vernacular.

More info for you on how real people speak:

Those who believe that it is the mission of the powerful centralized government to solve all perceived social problems and demand more and more social services and more and mnore taxes to pay for it would also be called 'socialists'.

Savvy politicians who have never held office before in their life have won the presidency using this technique of speaking the language as it's commonly used.

Might give it a try

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why this blog attracts such ignorant jackasses as the above writer (Anonymous), who clearly cannot spell, write grammatically, or articulate a coherent thought...all that such people seem to be able to do is spout pablum and talking points that truly make no sense.

And the assumptions! If the writer (Anonymous) only knew the work history of Cervantes, he would realize what a presumptuous moron he (Anonymous) is. He is the one who sounds out of touch--that is to say, when he is even making sense...

It is depressing how many ignorant buffoons there are out in the world. But it does explain why we are in the mess we're in. They see themselves in the king of ignorant jackasses, Donald T. Rump. And Anonymous has a hell of a nerve talking about how "real people" speak. Does he mean jackasses like himself? He sounds like an insecure dude who wishes he'd had the brains to become one of the "ivory tower" professors he so demeans.

BTW, Anonymous, I'm a "real person." So is Cervantes. So are you. Go haunt a right-wing echo chamber inhabited by people like yourself who can't spell, think clearly, or elaborate on a coherent train of thought.

"Snobby elitist Eastern universities" you realize what a bitter moron you sound like, dude?

Anonymous said...

Note to anonymous:

About half of the country didn't vote for your liberal political ideas on governing and as President Obama famously said "Elections have consequences".

You may recall most all of the media and even Secretary Hillary Clinton saying that those who would not accept the results of the election were "horrifying", "dangerous" and were a "direct threat to democracy".

I also understand that you don't have to like the results of the election or the political philosophy of the party who won and are in charge. However, I would ask you to accept the results as you have asked others to do when you thought the election was in the bag for Hillary.

What makes you all look like a bunch of crying babies is to call those who disagree with you all "ignorant buffoons", "jackasses", etc. which only further demonstrates your self-admitted misunderstanding of about half of the citizens in this country.

Educate yourself, is always my advice.