Open thread Aug. 29, 2014 Dan Crawford | August 29, 2014 9:45 am Tags: open thread Comments (11) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I wrote this elsewhere, but seems that my mobile post didn’t take hold, or was *accidentally* deleted.
In two of Maggie’s posts I was accused of comment hijacking by run. On the Maggie’s second post, which was about the popularity of Obama care and that part of the popularity was subsidies (e.g., “nearly half of the “switchers” acknowledge that after using the tax credit, their new, more comprehensive Obamacare plan costs less than their old policy. This means that they are getting more for less. And I would predict that as they use their new policies ( and discover, for example, that preventive care is free) many will become more enthusiastic.” [emphasis in original] I responded to comments regarding the financing of “Medicare for All” as an alternative to Obamacare, and then responded directly to bullet points countering my comment. To associate this line of commenting as “hijacking” strikes me as an extremely narrow view on the [any] topic.
In the prior post (also regarding popularity of Obamacare), all prior to making my comment (which was in response to an earlier comment, i.e., I didn’t raise the issue) that apparently offended delicate sensitivities, others had made comments on corporate subsidies, income inequality, economic mobility, tax breaks for the rich, corporate financing of politicians, and finally cost of education (the latter of which was raised first by OP Maggie). In a response to Maggie, I addressed two points, one of which was cost of education.
The accusatory commenter then directed questions at me and in so directing, said that saving for education was difficult because of the rising cost of healthcare – thus demonstrating the relevance of tying the two together (but apparently unable to see it). He (I assume) then flipped a lid when in a 25 line comment, primarily directed at someone else, I used 3 to answer his (I assume) questions. And it’s not like the commentary was robust and I was shutting off some line of thinking – there was one additional relevant (I assume) comment that followed those 3 lines.
On an entirely different previous post, this same accusatory commenter called me out for not offering a reply to a third person in that comment thread. Oh my what to do? I get scolded for responding to questions and scolded for not responding to questions.
This is how conversations based on debate happen. Someone raises a topic, and another person says “ya but. . .”. In the mind of the second person what follows but is usually relevant to the topic at hand. Sometimes it’s not, like “the Cubs are going to be good in 2015. . . ya but did you know that more people are going to enroll in Obamacare and it’s going to be more popular”
Neither beene nor I were practicing anything resembling the latter. And if the blog admins don’t see that, well I hope you enjoy your vacuous echo chamber.
I think a lot of people understand that higher paying workers higher wages makes more prosperous consumers and that it is good for the economy. We even hear how Henry Ford understood this – he needed to make his cars at a cost where his workers could afford them.
But I wonder about the economic model. Ford could pay his workers because he made many more cars than his wokrers could but. He did not have a closed economy – he exported cars beyond the sphere of his workers. I see no mechanism for workers to gain a share of advances in production unless the owners are investing with the expectation of a larger economy. In Ford’s time and post war, the US had exports to let the economy grow. Now that the economy is global, there are no net exports (and the US has net imports).
We still have population growth and the next version of the iPhone, but that is not so much. Supply-siders just assume that we can invest, produce more, and consume it to grow the economy. Even Krugman, Baker, and DeLong seem to assume as much. But I don’t see the model of mechanisms for economic growth that will actually make it work.
This sentence “I see no mechanism for workers to gain a share of advances in production unless the owners are investing with the expectation of a larger economy.” sums it up. Most of the things I would consult in on green and brown field manufacturing would eliminate or reduce Labor input to increase profits with no guarantee any of the gains would trickle down to Labor. If you read Sandwichman, he has a point.
i didn’t see the exchange you complain about. But I have been a victim of the “off topic because you disagree with me” mentality. So don’t take it personally, or even ideologically. It appears to be common human nature.
Angry Bear seems to me to be generally pretty good about letting people say what they want to say. But not perfect. And it is true that some people DO hijack sites, so some kind of “censorship” may be necessary..
which brings up the eye of the beholder problem.. you may need to learn… as i may need to learn… how to say things that don’t trigger the censorship reflex. you… we… won’t always succeed.
Sadly, Arne, I don’t notice anyone understanding the exponential function. I haven’t a clue where economists seemingly hide it other than by completely ignoring it and the implications.
(after reading sandwichman)
From wikipedia about lump of labour fallacy:
“1.The number of hours of labour per day that are demanded by the market is constant.
2.Suppose we reduce the hours any single person can work in a day.
3.Now workers will produce fewer hours of labour.
4.The difference between the constant in (1) and the reduction of productivity in (3) must be made up by employing more workers.
5.Therefore the strategy in (2) increases employment rates.
The lump of labour rebuttal argues that (1) is false.”
Tha fallacy in the lump of labor fallacy is that it does not require a constant number of hours in (1) for (2) to be effective. It only requires that the number of hours of labor demanded be constrained. Thus, an economic critique of reducing unemployment by reducing hours needs an economic model of constraints on the change in labor demand.
Wikipedia does also have a section about “Economic analysis” which ends with “There is no reason to expect that this same process cannot be continued in the future.”
I say that without a model, there is no reason to expect that this same process can be continued in the future. I suggest that the model should indicate that with lower population growth and negative exports (and no bubble being inflated), we should expect the growth of labor demand will be lower. Perhaps to the point that leaning on the lump of labour fallacy may be wrong.
Re: Arnies Comment about Henry Ford: The main reason Ford raised wages was that employee turnover was killing the business, high turnover raises costs in that you have to find new workers. He figured that golden handcuffs would solve the turnover problem, and it did. Turnover decreased drastically after the wage raise, and folks even dealt with the social department peering into employees lives afterwords.
Arne: “I don’t see the model of mechanisms for economic growth that will actually make it work. ”
I would agree. That is not to say that such a model is “impossible.” I don’t know. But I do understand that the extant growth models don’t show what their proponents think they show. To simplify, what they show is “assume growth; therefore growth!” But of course they need 12 to 15 pages of superfluous calculus to “show” it.!
My latest on the lump of labor fallacy takes the story back to the 17th century and John Graunt’s Observations on the Bills of Mortality. Graunt speculated about a certain PROPORTION of work to be done. The fallacy claim alleges the assumption of a fixed QUANTITY of work to be done. (One would hope that mathematically-inclined folks would be able to tell the difference between a proportion and a quantity, or between a ratio and an integer. Apparently, though, this subtle mathematical distinction has eluded the Harvard / M.I.T. / L.S.E. adepts.)
You wrote, “It [the strategy of hours reduction] only requires that the number of hours of labor demanded be constrained.”
I agree and will elaborate (in a future post at EconoSpeak) on the proportions that govern those constraints on the demand for labor, as I had indicated I would do in my recent post there, “Graunt Work”. Please have a look at that post for the preliminaries.
I actually found this post spoke to me (about my thoughts on growth)more than the Graunt post.
“Lump of Labor Day Special: Advanced (Elementary) Concepts in Mathematics”
just testing if links still work here