Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Paul Krugman Responds To Income Inequality Value Signal

Check out this title...

Paul Krugman – Who Assails Income Inequality – Will Take Quarter-Million-Dollar Job With Income Inequality Institute

Hey Robert Gehl, how awesome is your title?  It's super awesome.  Way more awesome than my title.

The concept is...

In which our hero Krugman responds to the brightest value signal...

More about our hero... (Is This Forum A Market?)...


Is it strange to think of pragmatarianism as a sort of economic incarnation of direct democracy? I've been thinking about that lately, and to an extent it seems to hold up. It's effectively a party list, proportional, direct democracy with an election threshold, and where each individual's voting power is determined by the proportion of tax receipts drawn from that individual. - Orham

It's not strange to think of pragmatarianism (PG) as a direct democracy. Just like it's not strange to think of a market as a direct democracy. Neither is it strange to think of participatory budgeting (PB) as a direct democracy.

However, PB and PG are very different. PB is shallow flowcilitation while PG is deep flowcilitation. And we should all understand that actions (deep input) speak louder than words (shallow input).

If a society is to put an economic democracy in place, this doesn't seem the way to have one. I mean, voting power being determined by one's individual proportion of tax receipts? - Orham

Let's do a bit of substitution...

Voting power = influence over how society's limited resources are used
proportion of tax receipts = proportion of productivity

Making the substitutions in your original sentence...

influence over how society's limited resources are used being determined by one's individual proportion of productivity

Well...yeah. Right?

Productivity can't just stand on its own though. Just because you're extremely efficient at producing poison oak doesn't mean that we should give you all the farm land.

A mind, just like farm land, truly is a terrible thing to waste...but a productive mind only has as much value as society assigns to the product.

Markets give everybody the freedom to go around determining how much other people's thoughts/products are worth.

As a result, if I want Paul Krugman's thoughts on pragmatarianism...then it's going to cost me a lot more than just a penny.

As a result, space in the New York Times is not divided equally. Should it be? Or should Super Krugman have a huge chunk of it? Is it fair for Krugman to have infinitely more space in the NY Times than I have? Why should Krugman have infinitely more influence than I have? Why should Elizabeth Warren have infinitely more influence than I have? Why should Obama have infinitely more influence than I have? What's going on here? Why is my megaphone, by comparison, microscopic?

It seems to me that this would be a serious problem. If we're all voting for pizza toppings, and everyone but me gets a single vote while I receive fifty votes, whose preferred pizza toppings are going to be served? Hope you like anchovies, because I do.- Orham

I do like anchovies.

Let's tweak your scenario. There's 50 of us at a party. We each have a vote. If you end up with 50 votes...would I call shenanigans? Maybe if you cheated.

Would it be cheating if you went around buying votes? I like anchovies too so I probably wouldn't charge you anything for my vote. So, all things being equal, the less somebody likes anchovies...the more you'll have to pay them. But if somebody voluntarily accepts your money in exchange for their stands to reason that the exchange was mutually beneficial.

What if you went around exchanging your epic homemade brownies for votes? What if you went around exchanging skillfully drawn portraits for votes? What if you went around exchanging sexual favors for votes?

If somebody voluntarily gives up one thing (x) for another (y)...then we can conclude that, from their perspective, y > x. This means that in a market, if you ended up with everybody's vote...then it was because everybody else ended up with things that they value more than their vote. So why would we complain about vote trading if the outcome is better as a result?

Whether we are talking about ballot votes or dollar votes, giving people the freedom to exchange votes certainly doesn't subvert the will of the people. On the contrary, it clarifies the will of the people. Deep flowcilitation is the realm of shows us what's beneath the surface.

Allowing Krugman to have infinitely more space in the NY Times than I have doesn't subvert the will of the people. It reflects the will of the people. The question accurately does it reflect the will of the people? More accuracy is certainly better...which is why deep input should always trump shallow input.

If we created a market in the public sector...then Krugman's megaphone would be infinitely larger than my own. This is because nobody is paying me a quarter of a million dollars a year to study income inequality or pragmatarianism or anything else. Neither is anybody giving me a huge chunk of space in the NY Times. Therefore, in a pragmatarian system, Krugman would have infinitely more influence/power/control than I would over how tax dollars were allocated.

The moral of the story is that preventing Krugman from using his large megaphone in the public sector doesn't just block his deep blocks the deep input of the millions of people who have willingly sponsored Krugman's megaphone. The masses have magnified Krugman's influence. The multitude has multiplied Krugman's power. The crowd has clearly deified Krugman. This means that preventing Krugman from shopping in the public sector blatantly subverts the will of the people.


The topic of this blog entry plucked the phrase..."in which our hero..." from my memory.  But I wasn't even vaguely close to remembering the source.  I thought it might have been from a poem.  Then I wondered whether it was from a song.  Surprisingly, I somehow managed to remember that it was from a song by Dntel... "In Which Our Hero is Decapitated by the Evil King"...

Here's the story from the album Something Always Goes Wrong...

"In Which Our Hero Begins His Long and Arduous Quest"
"In Which Our Hero Finds a Faithful Sidekick"
"In Which Our Hero Is Put Under a Spell"
"In Which Our Hero Dodges Bullets and Swords"
"In Which Our Hero Frees the Damsel in Distress"
"In Which Our Hero Is Decapitated by the Evil King"

In a better world...when anybody hears the word "decapitated" they will automatically think "obamerated"...

"In Which Our Hero Is Obamerated by the Evil King"

Would it help if I sent a letter to the Evil King?

Dear Evil King, 
Please don't obamerate Krugman.  We will be worse off if you block his deep input.  

Who is the Evil King?  He's anybody who wants to prevent Krugman from shopping in the public sector.  Except, doesn't Krugman want to prevent himself from shopping in the public sector?  Probably...right?  So Krugman is the hero and the Evil King.

It's self-obameration.

Clearly Krugman doesn't completely obamerate himself though...he partially obamerates himself.

It's partial self-obameration.

Like a man who wants to be chained when it's a full moon?  Krugman is our hero...except when the moon is full...then he turns into a blood thirsty werewolf.  In the absence of strong chains...he would devour all the people that he had previously rescued.

Krugman tells us something like...
In the private sector...I use my powers to help people....but in the public sector...I would have no choice but to use my powers to hurt people.  I can't be trusted in the public sector!  Whatever you do...please prevent me from shopping in the public sector!  It's imperative that you never allow me to allocate my tax dollars.  The results would certainly be catastrophic.  In the private sector I endeavor to fight income inequality...but in the public sector I would fight for income inequality.  
When Krugman is in the private sector he's Dr. Jekyll...a very informed, intelligent and capable person who endeavors to efficiently allocates his resources.  But in the public sector Krugman is Mr. Hyde....a very uniformed, unintelligent and incapable person who intentionally misallocates his resources.

We live in interesting times.  And by that I mean that we live in the Dark Ages.

No comments:

Post a Comment