JAMES KWAK ~ ECONOMISM ~ 2017

~ BEATROI ~ Bad Economics And The Rise Of Inequality

~ E-ROTPT-PCAM-BAT-TA-TDIOAE101T-ETTABTDVNHTITRW ~ Economism – Rests On The Premise That – People – Companies – And – Markets – Behave According To – The Abstract – Two-Dimensional Illustrations Of An Economics 101 Textbook – Even Though The Assumptions Behind Those Diagrams Virtually Never Hold True In The Real World

~ EIAILTWPMSOR-BICTAO-‘E’-ECBAPRT ~ Economism Is An Interpretive Lens Through Which People Make Sense Of Reality – Because It Claims The Authority Of – “Economics” – Economism Can Be A Powerful Rhetorical Tool

~ WSEACSMP-ITWTMOJ-TESO-ATITIG-WETFOAATCI ~ While Superficial Economic Arguments Can Serve Multiple Purposes – In Today’s World They Most Often Justify – The Existing Social Order – And The Inequality That It Generates – While Explaining The Futility Of Any Attempt To Change It

~ RARWQTSM-A-ATITST-ITS-EILAI ~ Reducing All Real-World Questions To Simple Models – And – Answering Them In The Same Terms – In This Sense – Economism Is Like An Ideology

~ TCJFGDOW-INLTTSHWDBG-OTTSOTFIRFTPOTS-I-IIN-EC-BIITNOOAESTPTGGTTGN ~ The Common Justification For Great Disparities Of Wealth – Is No Longer That The Social Hierarchy Was Dictated By God – Or That The Survival Of The Fittest Is Required For The Progress Of The Species – Instead – Inequality Is Necessary – Even Celebrated – Because It Is The Natural Outcome Of An Economic System That Provides The Greatest Good To The Greatest Number

~ TAOETPA-AS-RT-RD-IOSOIS ~ The Ability Of Economism To Pass As – Abstract Science – Rather Than – Rhetorical Device – Is One Source Of Its Strength

~ EIAIBOISEAEP-A-C-U-POTW-WCBCQAE-DW-MAUF ~ Economism Is Also Influential Because Of Its Sedative Elegance And Explanatory Power – A – Clean – Uncluttered – Picture Of The World – Which Can Be Communicated Quickly And Easily – Dispensing With – Messy And Uncooperative Facts

~ ASSOAC-BOAUA-HB-WICS ~ A Small Set Of Abstract Concepts – Based On Admittedly Unrealistic Assumptions – Has Become – Widespread In Contemporary Society

~ IALETMAC-ITAWOSADC-TII-ITRWOPAI ~ It’s A Lot Easier To Make A Case – In The Abstract World Of Supply And Demand Curves – Than It Is – In The Real World Of People And Institutions

~ IGPPWTBUTAISOS-WTSTIOTG-O-PIWAFIOTW ~ Ideas Gain Power Precisely When They Become Useful To An Important Segment Of Society – When They Support The Interests Of That Group – Or – Provide It With A Favorable Interpretation Of The World

~ BBTPO-PT-SI-A-WP-CCTBUWEFTPOPTO ~ Befuddled By The Popularity Of – Progressive Taxes – Social Insurance – And – Welfare Programs – Commentators Continue To Blame Unfamiliarity With Economics For The Popularity Of Policies They Oppose

~ M-IC-WDNSIEI-ARATVOE ~ Many – Influential Commentators – Who Do Not Specialize In Economic Issues – Also Routinely Adopt The Vocabulary Of Economism

~ TM-NE-BMIASWOPADSAEI ~ The Media – Normalize Economism – By Making It A Standard Way Of Presenting And Discussing Social And Economic Issues

~ FC-WSGWHBACPQ-ERTQFTPSTTAROT-IWT-CLM-PT-P-I-S ~ For Centuries – Who Should Get What Has Been A Central Political Question – Economism Removes The Question From The Political Sphere To The Abstract Realm Of Theory – In Which The – Competitive Labor Market – Provides The – Perfect – Indisputable – Solution

~ OOTCPOEIT-T-A-V-V-B-AU-YCMTAEUAS-A-DD-TITHTDPFWATMSWOIPTSMDETOE ~ One Of The Core Principles Of Economism Is That – Taxes – Are – Very – Very – Bad – As Usual – You Can Make The Argument Easily Using A Supply-And-Demand Diagram – The Idea That Higher Taxes Discourage People From Working And Therefore Make Society Worse Off Is Probably The Single Most Deeply Entrenched Tenet Of Economism

~ MPABUOTTR-MHBFDABNOSCIROR-B-OPR-SA-‘SWILOAE’ ~ Many People Are Blissfully Unaware Of Their Tax Rates – Most Human Beings’ Financial Decisions Are Based Not On Sophisticated Calculations Involving Rates Of Return – But – On Primitive Rules – Such As – “Save Whatever Is Left Over After Expenses”

~ LTRITAOMTTGHTB-RTCATTPS ~ Lower Tax Revenues Increase The Amount Of Money That The Government Has To Borrow – Reducing The Capital Available To The Private Sector

~ TSMST-LITWISAG-DHUTS-LPKMOTSDNAMTTWM ~ The Simple Model Saying That – Lower Investment Taxes Will Increase Savings And Growth – Doesn’t Hold Up To Scrutiny – Letting People Keep More Of Their Salaries Does Not Always Motivate Them To Work More

~ AGISAMBWWOCAOSTWDNTTPSTLAE-AS-TQOWTAWDOWFWEFOGAHWIFT ~ A Government Is Simply A Mechanism By Which We Organize Certain Aspects Of Society That We Do Not Trust The Private Sector To Look After Effectively – And So – The Question Of Whether Taxes Are Worthwhile Depends On What Functions We Expect From Our Government And How Well It Fulfills Them

~ TGPOAWITSTBOWPBIEP ~ The Greatest Power Of A Worldview Is To Set The Boundaries Of What People Believe Is Even Possible

~ ERM-FTP-HBIACWBIAWOE-IFC ~ Economism’s Rosy Model – Failed To Predict – How Both Individuals And Companies Would Behave In A World Of Ever-Increasing Financial Complexity

~ I2008-WRTLTACMDNMETCFTIMPU-I-P-SBLBPACTMTIGIWTDLDAWR-SOATMS ~ In 2008 – We Relearned The Lesson That A Competitive Market Does Not Magically Ensure That Capital Flows To Its Most Productive Uses – Instead – Profit-Seeking Behavior Leads Both People And Companies To Maximize Their Individual Gains In Ways That Distort Lending Decisions And Waste Resources – Sometimes On A Truly Monumental Scale

~ TMTNCALAMCTE-A-CRASTLTETTBWSTNCI ~ The Megabanks That Nearly Collapsed Are Larger And More Complex Than Ever – And – Capital Requirements Are Still Too Low To Ensure That Those Banks Will Survive The Next Crisis Intact

~ IARWLM-TADCCL ~ In A Real-World Labor Market – Trade Agreements Do Create Clear Losers

~ TGAOEHBT-RAPI-AAL-E-T-U-SN-FFSTW ~ The Great Achievement Of Economism Has Been To – Repackage A Political Ideology – As A Lightweight – Easy-To-Use – Seemingly Neutral – Framework For Seeing The World

~ BCTSO-AT-EDTTIADAA-TWSITWII-IYDA-YMNU-E101 ~ By Claiming The Status Of – Absolute Truth – Economism Denies That There Is Any Debate At All – The World Simply Is The Way It Is – If You Don’t Agree – You Must Not Understand – Economics 101

~ EPAIRIOCPI-PCTOAAA-WPOTTM ~ Economism Plays An Important Role In Our Contemporary Political Institutions – Prioritizing Certain Types Of Analyses And Arguments – While Pushing Others To The Margins

~ FASTBR-CMANE-TMAB-PDPI-TPEF-MP-SC-A-SAESOR ~ For A Society To Become Rich – Competitive Markets Are Not Enough – There Must Also Be – Pluralistic Democratic Political Institutions – That Prevent Elites From – Monopolizing Power – Suppressing Competitors – And – Seizing An Excessive Share Of Resources

~ U-IWTA-NW-TDBWTO ~ Ultimately – It Will Take A – New Worldview – To Do Battle With The Old

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