Two hours before the first Trump-Clinton debate I was teaching just price from the Summa Theologica.
fixing fixing breaking fixing (2/29/2016)
What started as junior high school taunting has led to a fairly constructive and reasonable debate over fiscal stimulus and potential GDP. Dollars and Sense has a series of links (with some new ones here) on the debates over Friedman’s analysis of Sanders’ economics and the establishment backlash that are probably somewhat dated now, but google does exist. This elevation in seriousness is a good development, but I’d like to return to the childish stuff.
For completely unrelated reasons I was looking at Steve Keen’s critique of the labor theory of value and Joan Robinson’s An Essay on Marxian Economics. Both attack the distinction between constant and variable capital.
The reasons I wonder why I bother looking at the huffington post are the reasons I bother looking at the huffington post.
No, I’m not playing WoW.
I have no problem with people disliking Starbucks. Many of the “race together” motivated criticisms of Starbucks are deserved and spot on. As with anything that becomes a thing, there are some people jumping on the “Starbucks is problematic!” bandwagon that seem to be playing the conspicuous symbolic politics game (“I’m white and have a $200,000 education but I really hate Starbucks and love Beyonce!”), but whatever. Such is life. Even if I’m skeptical about trends on a macro level I’ll give each person the benefit of the doubt individually.
A few weeks back Ian Seda found this libertarian critique of the labor theory of value on youtube:
I’ve been reading some commentary this week, and apparently there are so many different events and reactions that could trigger “victory for the terrorists” that I have a hard time maintaining any optimism or keeping anything straight.
The dog has advantages in the way of uselessness as well as in special gifts of temperament. He is often spoken of, in an eminent sense, as the friend of man, and his intelligence and fidelity are praised. The meaning of this is that the dog is man's servant and that he has the gift of an unquestioning subservience and a slave's quickness in guessing his master's mood. Coupled with these traits, which fit him well for the relation of status—and which must for the present purpose be set down as serviceable traits—the dog has some characteristics which are of a more equivocal aesthetic value. He is the filthiest of the domestic animals in his person and the nastiest in his habits. For this he makes up is a servile, fawning attitude towards his master, and a readiness to inflict damage and discomfort on all else. The dog, then, commends himself to our favor by affording play to our propensity for mastery, and as he is also an item of expense, and commonly serves no industrial purpose, he holds a well-assured place in men's regard as a thing of good repute.
(Veblen. The Theory of the Leisure Class)
I have difficulty learning names. More precisely, I have difficulty gaining confidence that I know people’s names, which leads to second-guessing, social anxiety and general name-recall dysfunction. (I have a similar problem giving correct change to cashiers.)