So​ what you’re saying is …

13 February, 2018 at 08:55 | Posted in Politics & Society | 7 Comments




  1. Capitalism is about the nature of class societies: the social antagonism that accompanies social class differences, and not only about the ever-increasing social inequality.

    The two kinds of identity: personal identity and social identity must be interrelated. It is simply not true that the West valorizes personal identity over social identity. Not only are ingroup vs outgroup tensions based on ascribed statuses like social class, gender, age and race/ethnicity but achievement or status mobility is often constrained by social identity markers. The West has not dissolved its racism, sexism, or classism through its social systems or political belief systems – the necessary reforms have not yet been made.

  2. “You can try to stop people from winning crookedly, which is what you should do.” (6:41-6:46)

    How can this be done when mainstream economics doesn’t even look at the ways that individuals and firms “win crookedly”? If fraud, asymmetric information used as power to manipulate markets, lobbyists and big donor money in politics, etc., if these are not in the model, how then can such opportunism be stopped?

    “There seems to be something like a law of nature that’s described by this statistical model called the Pareto distribution and it basically suggests that in any creative domain there is going to be a small number of people that will do almost all of the output. But it doesn’t just apply to human beings. It applies to the heights of trees in the Amazon rain forest. It applies to the size cities and it applies the mass of stars, Which is, and it’s something like, the more you have the more you get.” (6:59-7:30)

    Is the Pareto principle really a natural law? Does a star collect mass the same way the rich use money to rig the system to make them more money? Are we not conflating domains here?

    • There are networks of people, connections to insiders in organizations like banks, schools, corporations, state agencies that let some people get a leg up or deceive others.

      • See Song et. al., 2015 regarding deception in simultaneous cyclic networks. Song notes: “Markets with increasing specializations and diverse professions demand embedded ties where people exchange services, forming networks of mutual delegations (see Bolton and Dewatripont, 2005; Gibbons and Roberts, 2012 for a review). For example, considering a situation where CEOs of company A, B, and C sit on each other’s board of directors (A on B’s, B on C’s, and C on A’s) and determine each other’s compensations, forming a cyclic network of compensation evaluation (A evaluates B, B evaluates C, and C evaluates A). Each CEO needs to decide whether to inflate another CEO’s compensation…. This is an example of an indirect, simultaneous cyclic network where there are no direct ties between any dyad. Individuals in the network, however, share indirectly reciprocal ties such that if everyone ‘scratches the back’ of the person next in the chain, everyone will be better off.”(Song et al. 2015, 98) Except of course, the shareholders, stakeholders, and society at large. Song also notes, “Recent work in behavioral economics has shown that one motive of the delegation mechanism is to shift and evade responsibility of an act that may cause negative externality (p. 106).” The euphemism “negative externality” has long been used by economists and the corporate elite they serve to excuse the negative social consequences of their pursuit of profits over people and the wellbeing of communities. See also Conrads et al., 2013; Danilov et al., 2013, for some evidence that team incentives, by helping justify dishonest acts, might increase overall dishonesty. See also Garrett et. al. 2016, for evidence of the gradual escalation of self-serving dishonesty as a neural response to repetitive dishonesty. Do we really want to be training our children’s brains to become habituated to dishonesty? See Logsdon et. al. 2009, for evidence of how the medium of online communication has a significant influence on deception and remedies for detecting and discouraging deception in online networks. See Fleming et. al. 2007, for evidence of how undetected lies lead to an increase in ease, severity, and pervasiveness of deception in organizations. 11. Erat, Sanjiv (2013). Avoiding lying: The case of delegated deception. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization; 93:273-278. (ScienceDirect)

        • Your post is interesting but your citations do not permit research. Who is Song, Conrads, Danilov, Garrett, Logsdon, and Fleming?

          • Sorry, they used to have hyperlinks but lost in translation, will cite them appropriately shortly.

    • It’s not a natural law; that is scientism. Fraud and deceit are conscious moral (actually amoral) choices individuals make and have social repercussions.

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