“The Opportunity Cost of Socialism”

“The Opportunity Cost of Socialism”

Why is the Council of Economic Advisers producing party political propaganda for the GOP? As many folks have pointed out, the “report” is rather bizarre. My favorite part is Figure 1, which summarizes Milton Friedman’s argument that people spending “their own money” are “more careful how much to spend and on what the money is spent.” This, of course begs the question of how that money came to be defined as “their own.”

Let’s complicate that story, though, with a couple more matrices: First, Prisoner’s Dilemma:

 

Figure 2: Prisoner’s Dilemma

Next, Elinor Ostrom’s typology of property:
Figure 3: Typology of property
Figure 1 assumes that there is only one kind of decision situation and only one kind of good. Figure 2 introduces a different kind of decision situation and Figure 3 introduces three different kinds of goods. Are Trump’s “economic advisers” really so ignorant of basic economic concepts beyond the most elementary textbook simplification?

 

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