Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Branko the Conformist

1-I received lots of pushback (including some pretty nasty comments) on my tweets re. the most recent “Nobel Prize” in economics.

2-I believe that most comments reflect two entirely different views of economics: what it is and what its objectives are.
 
Rather than engaging in the methodological debate let me help you understand my views by giving examples of what are the big economic issues today--

3--which a big prize should acknowledge. 

Not so much to give these people money (they are rich anyway) but as a signaling device so that young economists should study topics that matter to people’s wellbeing in the entire world, and not minor issues.

4-Minor issues already matter to the rich and those who study them will be well rewarded anyway.

How did the economists get rich? What are the incentives?

I would avoid mentioning topics that I most care about, and when I mention some people by name they would not be the ones with whom I agree 100%.

5-Ok, let’s start with a huge topic that stares us in face. We have 40 years of the most extraordinary increase in income for the largest number of people ever. Do we know what propelled China’s growth? Perhaps not fully, but there are people who have been writing about it.

6-They might disagree among themselves, but let’s hear from them. Did, for example, any Chinese *ever* write anything to explain this extraordinary development?

7-For when we ignore this biggest issue of all, we are --as indeed we seem to be-- in the world of Nobel in literature. At the time when Tolstoy, Joyce and Proust were publishing, the Nobel prize went to… Sully Prudhomme. Yes, Sully Prudhomme (check it out). 

8-Lets go further. Who are the economists who highlighted how privatization might lead to crony capitalism & oligarchy in Russia? Should not they be singled out—as they spoke against the current, and against the popular wisdom at the time and were proven right.
9-I will mention here Stiglitz (who already got his Nobel, so that's not another nomination) but who was the only person whom I have heard explicitly warning against what happened afterwards. And I know there were others too.

10-Or people who made us understand how a whole socio-economic system works? The understanding of socialist economics was never the same after Janos Kornai’s works. Isn’t this  a big topic: how a system under which 1/3  of mankind lived and worked functions? Not worth highlighting?

11-The origins of the Industrial Revolution. You might say, who cares? But that’s wrong: if we do not understand how England took off, can we understand how growth that lifts millions of people out of poverty occurs?
12-There is a fierce debate raging among economic historians on the issue. It is important to bring up the participants. Let us hear them.

It goes to 20.

The Barbican. 

Before the film, leading scholar on income equality Professor Branko Milanovic (Centennial Professor at LSE and faculty member at City University of New York) explores the way the film’s story illuminates how we often unquestioningly accept the social values of the societies we live in, and why the wrongness of that choice is revealed only when a society starts to crumble. 

"Being alone is both our preference and a response to a world of competitiveness, commodification and higher incomes. The new world that we can glean will not be dystopian. It will be a Utopia, with a twist."

Milanovic defends history while ignoring his own. The idiot now has a tag

Replying to my deleted account.

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