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Monday Message Board

September 12th, 2016

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. September 12th, 2016 at 09:10 | #1

    Interesting article and book by Joseph Stiglitz.

    http://evonomics.com/joseph-stiglitz-inequality-unearned-income/

    He fails to recognise that the money created with debt is the mechanism for most rent seeking behaviour through the operation of money markets and other capital markets. Capital in its current form of debt is designed for rent seeking and is not designed to bring the greatest value for the least cost.

  2. September 12th, 2016 at 10:47 | #2

    No need for Dr Google
    Darling wife, showing sisterly solidarity, initially thought Hilary’s coughing fits were just a campaign bug. Cynical me, listening to the whimpering, hacking & wheezing, suspected the worst. Always a prudent counsel in politics.
    Bingo – Pneumonia “the old lady’s friend”.
    Trumps luck strikes again!

    The DEMs turnout obviously benefits from Sanders charismatic campaign. If, as expected, Clinton II wins the nomination she’s going to have an uphill battle matching The Donald’s populist momentum. Her 2016 campaign slogan should be “Vote Hilary: A cure for insomnia”.
    The turnout variable is the Trump trump card and must keep DEM strategists awake at night. Plenty can happen – recession, terrorist attack, assassination attempt – between now and Nov 2016. All summer long I’ve been saying to my friends that Trump is like one of Napoleans lucky generals, with a field marshals baton well within reach.

  3. Sancho
    September 12th, 2016 at 12:06 | #3

    Alternatively, Clinton could recover and fold the illness into a tough-as-nails narrative.

    Considering Trump is quite capable of ending civilisation as we know it, any Democrat is the better option.

  4. Troy Prideaux
    September 12th, 2016 at 12:27 | #4

    @Sancho
    Entirely possible, but presidential campaigns are notoriously incredibly gruelling and exhausting even for the fittest and healthiest fighters.

  5. pablo
    September 12th, 2016 at 13:31 | #5

    If Hillary bows out before November poll, is her nominated VP running mate ‘the main man?’
    Or does Bill get another gig?

  6. Ikonoclast
    September 12th, 2016 at 14:29 | #6

    @Kevin Cox

    Stiglitz nails it, within the confines of the really existing economic system of the world in general and the anglophone countries in particular. By “nails it” I mean of course that he is largely correct IMO. This would be an uncontroversial statement for most center or left economists to accept. Only a minority of neocon economists support the current settings of the really existing economic system. The rest of economists support a little to a lot of movement in the direction Stiglitz suggests. I suspect most of the population(s) in question would support significant movement in that direction as well.

    Given that support, why is the movement not happening? That is the real question. Some force or forces are consistently and comprehensively preventing movement in the popular direction and in the direction which would be recommended by most academic and business economists other then the hired guns of ideology and fnancial interests. Therefore, a minority group has captured effective control of the political apparatus and economic policy making in Western countries. That is very clear.

    The article “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” –
    by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, is easy enough to find on the net. It conclusively demonstrates what we can all deduce from the general evidence. A plutocratic and corporatocratic elite minority controls our governments. They control them with money, dirty money; immoral and undemocratic dirty money even when it is not legally dirty money. The great infiltration of this problem into our entire political system illustrates that it will not be easy to change.

    Stiglitz points out that labour and unions are weak and why they are weak. He does not go so much into the national democratic deficits demonstrated by Gilens and Page. It’s a complex of issues which all grow out of the basic nature of capitalism. But the sandpit is the place for fuller expositions of idées justifiées as well as idées fixes. Of course, I consider my ideas are justified. Otherwise I would not hold them. 😉

  7. Greg McKenzie
    September 12th, 2016 at 15:54 | #7

    Ikonoclast is correct to praise Joseph Stiglitz. Few economists in the USA see clearly national economic reality and even fewer are brave enough to write down what is really causing hoarding and inequality. I have not read the article mentioned by Ikonoclast but, if his precise is accurate, then Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page see deeper into this reality than most people living in the USA.
    Marginal Product theory is flawed if it ignores, or even belittles, the role of institutions in
    solving the economic problem of scarcity. For the tide to rise and lift economic units in an orderly manner, and not become a series of tsunamis caused by economic earthquakes,
    institutions must be both effectively combating inequality and be protecting the powerless.
    The increased Marginal Physical Product must be allocated on the lines of fairness not greed.

  8. Julie Thomas
    September 12th, 2016 at 17:13 | #8

    It’s a good thing Roosevelt didn’t have to campaign the way US presidents do now.

    “Roosevelt was able to convince many people that he was in fact getting better, which he believed was essential if he was to run for public office again. In private he used a wheelchair, but only to go from one place to another. He was careful never to be seen in it in public, although he sometimes appeared on crutches.

    “He usually appeared in public standing upright, while being supported on one side by an aide or one of his sons. For major speaking occasions, an especially solid lectern was placed on the stage so that he could support himself on it; as a result, in films of his speeches Roosevelt can be observed using his head to make gestures, because his hands were usually gripping the lectern. He would occasionally raise one hand to gesture, but his other hand held the lectern.”

    And the press? What were they thinking not to out him?

    The extent of Hilary’s illness and how serious it is, is not nearly as interesting and significant as the way right wingers now have no problem supporting Trump and his links Russia, that hotbed of Marxism, and his liking for a strong leader rather than democracy also doesn’t raise any criticism.

  9. Donald Oats
    September 12th, 2016 at 17:28 | #9

    Just read Amanda Meade’s piece in the Guardian online, discussing various bits of Chris Mitchell’s memoir. Apart from the various snide and nasty comments from the least effective PM of a generation, it really does show how the Murdoch run news print media in Australia had a lot more to do with power politics than with facts and dissemination of information to us mugs.

    And in the wake of this “book,” Julia Gillard’s comments on misogyny seem rather apposite.

  10. Ikonoclast
    September 12th, 2016 at 17:36 | #10

    @Julie Thomas

    Minor correction, if I may. 🙂

    Russia is not now a hotbed of Marxism. Actually, it’s hard to say what it is. It was a hotbed of crony capitalism in the 1990s after the US necons and IMF applied neocon economic theory to Russa. Now it is more a Chekist state under Putin with some quasi-democratic window dressing .

    “Chekism (from Cheka, the first Soviet secret police organization) is a term to describe the situation in the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia, where the secret political police control everything in society…

    Some observers note that the current Russian state security organization FSB is even more powerful than KGB was, because it does not operate under the control of the Communist Party as the KGB in the past.[10][15] Moreover, the FSB leadership and their partners own the most important economic assets in the country and control the Russian government and the State Duma. According to Ion Mihai Pacepa,

    In the Soviet Union, the KGB was a state within a state. Now former KGB officers are running the state. They have custody of the country’s 6,000 nuclear weapons, entrusted to the KGB in the 1950s, and they now also manage the strategic oil industry renationalized by Putin. The KGB successor, rechristened FSB, still has the right to electronically monitor the population, control political groups, search homes and businesses, infiltrate the federal government, create its own front enterprises, investigate cases, and run its own prison system. The Soviet Union had one KGB officer for every 428 citizens. Putin’s Russia has one FSB-ist for every 297 citizens.” – Wikipedia.

  11. GrueBleen
    September 12th, 2016 at 17:44 | #11

    @Julie Thomas
    Your #8

    Yair, JFK wasn’t all that well either. A small extract from an article titled ‘The Medical Ordeals of JFK’ in The Atlantic (back in Dec 2002, but still relevant)

    “Not only the extent of Kennedy’s medical problems but the lengths to which he and his family went to conceal them were significant. According to Bill Walton, a Kennedy family friend, JFK was followed everywhere during the 1960 presidential campaign by an aide with a special bag containing the “medical support” that was needed all the time.”

    And FDR’s successor had his problems too:

    “Harry Truman was a healthy President who was very rarely kept away from his office due to sickness. That changed in the summer of 1952, when he was hospitalized with a streptococcus infection. What is remarkable about that episode is how little the White House revealed about Truman’s illness and how accepting the press was with White House responses to its numerous questions about the President’s health.”

    Apparently Truman eventually died, in 1972, of [cough cough] pneumonia.

    Such is life.

  12. Ikonoclast
    September 12th, 2016 at 20:03 | #12

    I think the bottom line here is that both HRC and DJT have serious health issues. Neither is fit to be President of the USA. Hillary’s physical health is not up to the task and there are now real questions about her temporary physical collapses and lapses into confused mental states.

    Donald has very obvious markers of a serious narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

    “According to a number of top U.S. psychologists, like Harvard professor and researcher Howard Gardner, Donald Trump is a “textbook” narcissist. In fact, he fits the profile so well that clinical psychologist George Simon told Vanity Fair, “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops.” ”

    “What of Trump’s tendency to position himself as a possible savior to the economy despite the fact that four of his companies have declared bankruptcy? “It’s mind-boggling to me that that’s not the story,” said Michaelis.” – Vanity Fair.

  13. Donald Oats
    September 12th, 2016 at 21:12 | #13

    @Ikonoclast
    The problem with using video clips of Trump as evidence of narcissism is that when he is speaking publicly, he is acting a part. Everyone does it when speaking to an audience, a rare few managing to convey authenticity perfectly. Most people confine the “acting” to using a stage voice, to speaking in a manner that sounds like a seminar or an oration; the people aiming at becoming a president are almost certainly coached by professionals on how to speak and to project emotion, etc, as part of the overall public speaking process.

    Perhaps it is possible for a trained psychologist to read something of the private person from their public appearances; I would like to know more about how they manage that trick, though.

    As another example of the difficulties of assessing people from public behaviour, think of Ronnie Barker in Porridge, or as one of The Two Ronnies: he seems quite self-assured and extroverted, but he was playing a part as a very good actor would do. His private life was very different to what his stage persona would have suggested.

    Trump is someone who has spent the better part of his life on making deals, so it would be a fair bet that he is well versed in how to act a part, for that is what deal-makers do. Think car sales person, they have a rehearsed routine that they use on prospective buyers. I’m not defending his words and actions in public, but I’m doubtful that those public behaviours can tell us that much about him, from a psychological perspective.

  14. Ikonoclast
    September 12th, 2016 at 22:30 | #14

    @Donald Oats

    Fair points. I guess I think that we have more data about Trump’s behaviour than just his public speeches. There are the data about his life story, or at least those parts of his life story that are known from biographical sources. Another issue is that people are almost always acting a part in any public, social or work situation and even doing so in diagnostic situations when they know psychologists, doctors etc. are assessing them, even if they themselves have sought treatment. The relevant professionals are well versed, though certainly not perfect, in seeing through role projections and seeing more of the person, though never all, behind the role(s).

    Trump’s narcissism and even megalomaniacal tendencies appear clear to some professionals.

    “Donald Trump is “remarkably narcissistic,” according developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

    “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis explained.

    Clinical psychologist George Simon said that Trump is “so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics.” He conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior exhibited by narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths – all related Anti Social Personality Disorders. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

    Above quotes from Counter Current News.

    Now, professionals like this are usually guarded about offering such opinions publicly and about persons they have not interviewed, assessed or treated. Academic teachers seem to be less reluctant to do this than practitioners. Academics often have a kind of public intellectual role and feel, I think, a duty to speak up in some cases in the public interest. Trump is clearly dangerous enough, in my lay opinion merely as a citizen of the world, to warrant a a judgement that his personal rights are less important than the rights of the many he likely will endanger if he gets into public office. Mind you, I think Hillary Clinton is bat-sh*t crazy as well (again a lay citizen of the world opinion) albeit in a different way. It’s a terrible choice.

    I don’t believe in the Fates but I get a surreal and fateful feeling from the rank insanity of all this. These are the people who would rule us? It’s a terrifying thought. What is it about our system? Does it promote lunatics to the top? Are they better suited to rising through the system or does what is required to reach the top send people this way? I think it is a bit of both. The system selects disturbed and disturbing people and they go crazier and crazier with every increase in power. The ones who remain sane must be particularly strong people, like Obama. However, even Obama is terminally morally compromised. Not that is matters, really. We live, we die and we decompose back to atoms.

    “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
    Signifying nothing.” – Shakespeare.

  15. jrkrideau
    September 13th, 2016 at 08:32 | #15

    @Julie Thomas
    And the press? What were they thinking not to out him?

    The press had ethics? The press actually wanted to report “news’ not silly gossip? The press was too busy drinking and carousing to bother with such stupidity?

    It is hard to see Ernest Hemmingway writing an article on the “shock” that the president used a wheelchair.

  16. jrkrideau
    September 13th, 2016 at 08:57 | #16

    @Ikonoclast
    “Trump’s narcissism and even megalomaniacal tendencies appear clear to some professionals.”{

    Have a look at Code F60.81 of the ICD 10. An literate layperson could diagnose that in Trump

  17. jrkrideau
    September 13th, 2016 at 08:59 | #17

    @Ikonoclast
    The KGB successor, rechristened FSB, still has the right to electronically monitor the population, control political groups, search homes and businesses, infiltrate the federal government, create its own front enterprises, investigate cases, and run its own prison system.

    Substitue CIA/NSA for FSB and what do we have?

  18. J-D
    September 13th, 2016 at 09:10 | #18

    pablo :
    If Hillary bows out before November poll, is her nominated VP running mate ‘the main man?’
    Or does Bill get another gig?

    The Democratic National Committee would be responsible for choosing a new official party nominee. They might choose Tim Kaine or they might choose somebody else; they couldn’t choose Bill Clinton, because after being elected President twice he’s no longer eligible to be elected to the position.

    The closest thing to an actual precedent is what happened in 1972, when it was the Democratic National Committee that officially named Sargent Shriver to replace Thomas Eagleton as the party’s vice-presidential nominee, but in that case they were really only formally ratifying a decision actually made by presidential nominee McGovern.

  19. Julie Thomas
    September 13th, 2016 at 09:46 | #19

    @jrkrideau

    On my fb page I see that you Canadians are defacing your paper currency to make one of your somebodies look like Spock from Startrek.

    I wonder if it was political correctness of the patriachal kind that stopped most journalists from reporting on things that they thought didn’t really concern the hoi polloi and they may have been right about need to know. In some contexts and from some viewpoints, that would be true, but that is the way moral judgements can’t be objective unless made from one level or viewpoint.

    When I was young and because of my upbringing from a totally non-sexist father I suppose, I read things as if I was not a girl who would grow up to be a wife – I read both of those anthologies of stories for boys and girls -and I did enjoy Hemmingway in my teens; but not now.

    He comes across as such a needy man and I feel so sorry for him.

    And then there was Churchill who was probably bi-polar and a drunk, and Reagan who had alzheimers for much of his presidency.

  20. pablo
    September 13th, 2016 at 09:53 | #20

    Thanks J-D. At the back of my query was the issue …would the DNC have time to convene and determine who’s next? Unprecedented it would seem.
    I recall the Eaglelton issue where revelations of his previous ECT (for depression?) ‘ruled’ him unfit and (supposedly) he resigned. You wonder if such a revelation would have the same effect today. Sadly I think it would, whereas Trump’s NPD goes un-noted. At least when Dave Letterman was still doing late night tv hosting we got a regular commentary on the state of the squirrel atop Trump’s head.

  21. sunshine
    September 13th, 2016 at 10:03 | #21

    John Faines’ radio guest Damien Kingsbury just said the Libertarian (Gary someone) candidate is polling at 10% now . Apparently if no candidate gets enough votes to form an ‘absolute majority ‘ then the Republican dominated house of reps decides the president from the top 3 candidates ?

    As a sign of the times a recent letter to the editor of The Herald Sun has stuck in my mind . The writer mentioned the Chinese government and said that they would be prepared to live in a police state if that meant they would be kept safe .

  22. Tim Macknay
    September 13th, 2016 at 11:05 | #22

    @sunshine

    Apparently if no candidate gets enough votes to form an ‘absolute majority ‘ then the Republican dominated house of reps decides the president from the top 3 candidates

    Fivethirtyeight (Nate Hagens’ poll analysis blog) rates the chance of this happening at 0.5%.

  23. Tim Macknay
    September 13th, 2016 at 11:07 | #23

    @sunshine
    Sorry, that should be Nate Silver’s blog. Not sure where I got Hagens from.

  24. Ivor
    September 13th, 2016 at 11:40 | #24

    @jrkrideau

    Substitue CIA/NSA for FSB and what do we have?

    ASIO

  25. GrueBleen
    September 13th, 2016 at 17:13 | #25

    @Donald Oats
    Your #13

    You say: “Trump … when he is speaking publicly, he is acting a part.”

    I think that Trump is actually “performing” a part, since to call it “acting” would imply that Trump is at a greater distance from his actions and with more control than I believe he has. When he’s in public he is wholly in the grip of his psychosis.

    It’s kinda like that (inaccurately retold) story of Hoffman and Olivier on Marathon Man where Hoffman had to play a scene where he had been up and sleepless for three days. “So what did you do ?” asked Olivier. “I stayed up for three days and nights” replied Hoffman. “My boy,” said Olivier, “why didn’t you just try acting ?” [You can get Hoffman’s somewhat different version of this from the Wikipedia article titled ‘Marathon Man (film)’]

    So, “acting” versus “performing”. Trump is quite a lot like some computer salesmen I once knew (and worked with): they could say anything, tell any furphy, because they fully believed what they were saying. Well, for just about as long as it took to get it out of their mouths, anyway.

    Or, as the political aphorism has it: “Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, then you’ve got it made”. And the best way to “fake it” is to actually “believe” it.

    PS: and if you don’t believe in Olivier’s ‘acting’ ability, just listen to the Peter Sellers version of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. Inspiring.

  26. James Wimberley
    September 13th, 2016 at 19:33 | #26

    JQ has an update on the Carmichael mine implosion at The Conversation. (No link to avoid moderation but easy to find.) An additional question for JQ’s next post here: what do Adani think they are doing? They are not putting any more real money in, but a lot of top management effort.

    Hypotheses:
    1. It’s an attempt to blackmail the Queensland govt. into subsidising the project.
    2. Mr. Adani trying to save face, or just being bloody-minded (anything Aussies can do, Indians can do worse).
    3. Underlings trying to save face, careers and stock options.
    4. Trying to hold up the stock price.
    5. A long-shot bet on the coal price bouncing back, for some quite unexplained reason.
    Enlightenment welcome.

  27. J-D
    September 13th, 2016 at 20:33 | #27

    pablo :
    Thanks J-D. At the back of my query was the issue …would the DNC have time to convene and determine who’s next? Unprecedented it would seem.

    Correct that there’s no direct precedent; it seems to me that the DNC would be very highly motivated to treat it as a high priority and act with dispatch, but we won’t know for sure until the situation actually arises. (The same applies equally to the Republican National Committee if they had to deal with a corresponding situation.)

    In 1872 Horace Greeley, nominated by the (dissident) Liberal Republicans and endorsed by the Democrats, died between the casting of the popular vote and the voting of the electoral college; but the popular vote had already chosen electors a majority of whom were pledged to vote for incumbent Republican President Grant, so it made no difference who the Democratic electors voted for and the party did not designate a single official substitute candidate. The largest number of the Democratic electors voted for Greeley’s official vice-presidential running mate, some for other people, and a few for Greeley even though he was dead (the Congress, which has the official responsibility for receiving and tallying the votes of the electoral college, rejected the votes for Greeley as invalid).

    Although that’s not an exactly parallel situation, it’s worth noting that Democratic and Republican candidates for electoral college positions have been nominated and those who are elected to the college would have the same constitutional right to exercise their votes even if their party did not have an officialy designated candidate for the Presidency.

  28. jrkrideau
    September 14th, 2016 at 03:41 | #28

    @Julie Thomas
    @19 Julie Thomas

    On my fb page I see that you Canadians are defacing your paper currency to make one of your somebodies look like Spock from Startrek.

    We are? Nobody told me! Why was I not consulted?

    I wonder if it was political correctness of the patriachal kind.…

    I suspect it was partly due to the fact that there was no journalism schools and reporters either graduated from the school of hard knocks or from some respectable field at university. They had the background and experience to evaluate the actual value of the news item.

    My suspicion is that journalism schools teach the techniques but don’t give the experience required in many cases.

    It also is probably due to technological advances that a)demand MORE new items to feed a relentless media and b) what appears to be shortening attention spans for anything but celebrities and sports.

    I did enjoy Hemmingway in my teens

    Detested him at first encounter and have never changed my mind. I was thinking of his career as a reporter not a “writer”.

    I am not sure that Churchill was a drunk, he just was never quite sober. Perhaps just a bit tiddly all time.

    I was just listening to an interview about US Presidents’ health and the quoted expert said that he thought it was unlikely from the testimony of Regan’s doctors that had Alzheimers while president and they were watching him like hawks. He just naturally forgot things. I am not sure how much better this is.

  29. Ikonoclast
    September 14th, 2016 at 07:12 | #29

    Americans really have Hobson’s choice in this election. Hillary is physically unfit and Donald is mentally unfit. Both are morally unfit. Both want more endless, pointless and destructive war. Both are directly connected to outright corruption and dirty deals.

  30. Julie Thomas
    September 14th, 2016 at 07:12 | #30

    @jrkrideau

    http://qz.com/353488/canadians-spock-their-banknotes-to-honor-leonard-nimoy/

    About doctors who look after presidents and their health or welfare, I’m not impressed with doctors and their ability to observe objectively or to diagnose ‘alzheimers’ from observation alone.

    Speaking from experience with some work I did in the past assessing the cognitive deficits of people post stroke, it is very difficult to determine the actual deficits and the functioning level with respect to people who pre-stroke had high levels of social skills. Perhaps that is just as true and relevant in the case of diagnosing alzheimers in Reagan.

    Hemmingway? ” I was thinking of his career as a reporter not a “writer”.”

    It would probably reveal something ‘true’ about his self if we wanted to spend the time and effort working out the core assumptions he makes about life and the universe that underpin the stories he tells in both his reporting and his novels.

  31. Julie Thomas
    September 14th, 2016 at 07:15 | #31

    jrkrideau

    first comment with 2 links has gone into moderation so I’m reposting without the link to the author of the original comment.

    Check it out

    http://qz.com/353488/canadians-spock-their-banknotes-to-honor-leonard-nimoy/

    About doctors who look after presidents and their health or welfare, I’m not impressed with doctors and their ability to observe objectively or to diagnose ‘alzheimers’ from observation alone.
    Speaking from experience with some work I did in the past assessing the cognitive deficits of people post stroke, it is very difficult to determine the actual deficits and the functioning level with respect to people who pre-stroke had high levels of social skills. Perhaps that is just as true and relevant in the case of diagnosing alzheimers in Reagan.

    Hemmingway? ” I was thinking of his career as a reporter not a “writer”.

    It would probably reveal something ‘true’ about his self if we wanted to spend the time and effort working out the core assumptions he makes about life and the universe that underpin the stories he tells in both his reporting and his novels.

  32. Troy Prideaux
    September 14th, 2016 at 09:53 | #32

    Don’t know if JQ watched The Business on the ABC last night, but there was a segment on monetary economics perhaps outliving its used-by-date and calls for more fiscal intervention.

  33. Ivor
    September 14th, 2016 at 10:50 | #33

    @Troy Prideaux

    Yea – have they started to realise that nothing has worked and therefore we now get calls for a new solution to the crisis of capitalism. Get Central Banks to purchase equities.

    Dogs chase tails, capitalists buy their own assets, and we all live happily ever after.

    Fools gold.

  34. jrkrideau
    September 15th, 2016 at 09:04 | #34

    @Julie Thomas
    I am definitely out of popular culture. I had never heard of spocking a $5 bill. I’ll have to keep a closer on on my fives for the next little while. I also seem to have missed the news that Leonard Nimoy had died.

    Good point about the social skills compensating. I believe I heard of a case of a master chess player ? or other skilled performer claiming he was deteriorating mentally but to the outside observer, the skill level was so high that it was not noticeable.

  35. Ernestine Gross
    September 16th, 2016 at 09:14 | #35
  36. Ernestine Gross
    September 16th, 2016 at 21:52 | #36

    @Kevin Cox

    Good to read Professor Stiglitz is publishing in the USA on topics on which Prof Quiggin publishes in Australia.

    Prof. Stiglitz uses the marginal productivity theory as a unifying them for his critique. I am sure he has a reason for doing so – he writes primarily for the USA audience and I assume he chose the conceptual framework he knows is the prevailing one in the USA.

    I’d like to note here that the marginal productivity theory is devoid of financial capital (ie no finance sector at all). Hence, the point you are making about debt creation is excluded in line one, so to speak. Prof Stiglitz nevertheless hints at the role of debt in rent seeking by writing about banks lending to people who own real estate to acquire more real or financial assets.

    Thanks for posting the link.

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