An excellent piece

Via David Thompson.

This piece.

This article is my call for artists, art writers, and the like, to the extent that they feel inclined to comment upon capitalism and related economic phenomena, to either learn how these things work or do the rest of us a mercy and zip it. Economics is a deep topic but the core concepts are within easy intellectual reach. If you can’t explain how prices are determined then you have no business complaining about “neoliberalism.”

Seriously tempted to round up every idiot lefty in the arts world and make them study it like this until they manage to grasp these simple truths so well explained.

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41 comments on “An excellent piece

  1. Learn? Who Me? I’m a celebrity, my word is my reality. If you cannot handle it, go somewhere else.

  2. Next to shut up some of the PPE graduates infesting our polity who have never held a real job! Their economics remains of the wishful thinking kind.

  3. I thought this one reported by David was even better:

    “The comments are great in that article.”

    Wow, you’re not wrong, Perry. A lone Lefty turns up acting all sniffy and superior, and gets hit by this:

    No you don’t get to get away with that. You don’t get to advocate policies which allow you to use force to deprive people of their jobs and their opportunities and then claim that those who would have provided the jobs are the heartless ones.

    You don’t get to trot out the insipid, mindless, tendentious talking points about how you are morally or intellectually superior when every “solution” you proffer is destructive and is based upon forcing others to do your bidding. You don’t get to decide whose job is worth preserving and whose isn’t and still claim the moral high ground.

    You have to own this. You have to accept responsibility for the suffering your ignorance has caused and you have to understand that there is no way forward as long as you remain ignorant. Until you can begin to think rationally instead of being so full of hate that you think the best solution to every problem is to use force against those you disagree with then you can’t be accepted into the company of decent people and will always be seen as supporting those who would oppress us because that is exactly what you are doing.”

    Beautiful. There’s still hope for America. Of course, on this side of the Atlantic the majority of the commenters would side with the idiot he’s replying to.

    From here: http://www.samizdata.net/2015/03/eatless-in-seattle/#comment-676630

  4. Isn’t part of the answer to end the odious tipping culture in the USA? After all, if you’re getting half of the salary of your professional customer with huge education bills to pay off, why should he or she be giving you additional cash under the table?

  5. The de facto State funding of the Arts and culture means they don’t have to. They can be the eternal stroppy teenager moaning about their boring bank manager father and how it’s all so unfair and corrupt.

  6. abacab:

    That’s an interesting point. Throwing away my Ockham’s razor as it is blunt from overuse, do Academia refuse to teach children the basic reality of economics to ensure they continue to sign up for six-figure Unemployability Certificates?

    Possibly tin hat territory.

  7. re: Bloke in North Dorset

    A great quote from “As Good As It Gets” has our misanthrope author explain how he writes women characters:
    I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.

    Now, apply that to your typical celebrities.

  8. “I’m teaching my kids the basics” your boys will find it a great topic to hit on chicks with …

  9. “PPE graduates” I have beencoming round to thinking its the study of how to use a nation’s credit rating on international markets, rather than anything to do with wealth of nations or stuff like that.

  10. Trying to teach “them” economics is the ultimate pissing in the wind. They don’t want to know, not troubling themselves with such real world tedium is all part of their patrician sense of superiority.

  11. You learn basic economics when you get your first full-time pay packet and learn what ‘gross’ and ‘net(t)’ means.

    That is the first lesson, and prepares you for the others.

  12. The Stigler

    I fear Johnny Bonk might be right. You may help them become wise, improve their critical capabilities, improve their appreciation of a host of things worth appreciating. But do ‘nice’ girls these days want anything to do with boys that don’t worry about the poor polar bear floating away to sea YOU TORY BASTARD?

  13. Ironman – “But do ‘nice’ girls these days want anything to do with boys that don’t worry about the poor polar bear floating away to sea YOU TORY BASTARD?”

    I would bet some reasonable amount of money that girls will like a boy who casually claims he does not give a sh!t about the poor polar bears and then steadfastly holds to that views no matter much she tries to shame him. At least they will like him a hell of a lot more than a boy who is willing to bend to her political whim.

    As I have said before, the only explanation for the Guardian is that the writers of both sexes are sick and tired of gutless leftist men and want some rough Talibs to come and roger them hard over their leather recliner.

  14. Not worth the link IMHO
    Here’s a conundrum:
    Actors
    Artists
    Geeks
    Politicians
    Footballers
    They all go through a similar highly selective winnowing, but why the division leftie / rapist remains so fundamental to the origin?

  15. Pingback: Socialism means no toilet paper? – Stoat

  16. What’s that wiki-fraud rambling on about now? If I understand the egregious twat, he thinks he’s teaching Tim / us about economics?

    I do wish he’d foad.

  17. Actually, our genial host is often at pains to make the distinction between free markets and capitalism, so the Stoat has a point to say that it is indeed a lack of markets, rather than necessarily socialism that means no toilet paper.

    He is however splitting hairs. Whilst it is possible to have socialism co-exist with markets, in reality it never happens: if you disallow ownership – i.e. impose socialism – at anything bigger the family scale, you also – necessarily – deny the existence of markets. And Socialism confined to the family unit basically means capitalism at anything bigger.

  18. Ironman,

    “But do ‘nice’ girls these days want anything to do with boys that don’t worry about the poor polar bear floating away to sea YOU TORY BASTARD?”

    Yes, lots of them.

    I think you’re suffering from something I have to be careful about: you watch too much BBC politics, and you assume that “Guardian” views are really common. When there’s a debate between newspapers, it’s someone from the Telegraph or Times vs someone from the Guardian. A campaign by some Guardian-reading types will always get airtime on the BBC.

    In reality, 2% of the people of this country read the Guardian. You can probably add another 5% of the country that are sympathetic to their views as the people voting Green. And the women in that group are women that I wouldn’t want to put my dick in – frumpy, ugly, stupid and with dull or repellent personalities.

    Most women don’t give that much of a shit about eco. They’ll buy organic stuff to one-up their neighbours, but I’ve met very few who have changed their behaviour by more than a token amount. I would bet my house on the fact that a young woman would sleep with a multimillionaire that goes out shooting polar bears for the fun of it, over a guy with student debt working at Greenpeace.

  19. The Stigler, +1 absolutely.

    Women, especially Mothers (and most of the former want to join the latter at some point) have a much more down-to-earth attitude to politics in my experience.

    In short, what matters is the affect on their offspring, and they can be fairly selfish about it. They will certainly have a keen interest in individual teachers, but less of an interest in esoteric arguments about streaming, direct v council funding etc.

    Wise fathers will always admit that it’s their wives who ensure the basics are covered (such as diet, clothing, and checking that there are 17 types of antiseptic cream available and stored in an airtight container).

    This suggests that women should be running government, but we only seem to end up with absolute shockers these days. Why is that? I may, however, have answered my own question.

  20. Bloke in Germany
    March 16, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Isn’t part of the answer to end the odious tipping culture in the USA? After all, if you’re getting half of the salary of your professional customer with huge education bills to pay off, why should he or she be giving you additional cash under the table?

    I would have said the ‘tipping culture’ is the *answer* to this.

    After all, if you think the server isn’t getting paid enough *wage*, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from topping that off voluntarily.

    But, of course, that would mean that no threat of *violence* is available to coerce those who don’t agree that restaurant workers are paid too little.

    It will have the effect of removing tips though – no one is going to be happy paying a bill that covers a $15 min wage *and* throwing in 10-20% of the total as a tip. No mater how good the service is.

    So I guess this, like all such regulation, really is about enshrining mediocrity.

  21. “the collective is made up of individuals.”

    Is he implying there is no such thing as society?

  22. Is he implying there is no such thing as society?

    To complete the quote: “there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.”

  23. Well there are certainly too many inflated boobs on the left who understand few of the benefits of markets and few of the shortcomings of government.

    These are matched by dumb rightists who have the opposite problem

    The fact is that the majority of actual economists are left wing. Centre left. The idea that economics somehow validates right wing positions is a fantasy.

  24. The fact is that the majority of actual economists are left wing. Centre left.

    But isn’t it the case that almost all students of the social “sciences” are left wing?

  25. @Stigler

    ‘I think you’re suffering from something I have to be careful about: you watch too much BBC politics, and you assume that “Guardian” views are really common.’

    My daughters attend quite a girls-only school attended pretty much exclusively by the children of Volvo/Range Rover drivers who have very nice views (of the countryside).

    The younger of them is waging a one-girl rearguard action against the leftism of both her friends and her teachers.

    Her German master rocked up at school the other day in a This Is What A Feminist Looks Like t-shirt, and declared himself a ‘third-wave feminist’.

    My daughter said she was a third wave misogynist, and he absolutely did not get the joke (which it was) and called her back for a talking to.

    (She stumped him by asking ‘Are you, a male, saying that I, a female, cannot have views that differ from yours?’)

    They also get lots of pro EU propaganda, and general pro State bull fed to them, and most of them seem to lap it up.

    She got bollocked again for saying that she thought drugs should be legalised.

    (I swear I am extremely careful to put opposite points of view to them, in fact I probably overdo it which explains why she thinks this way – in her mind she is rebelling against me…!)

    Anyway, point is, the views are not held by many people, but those who do hold them tend to be important people, such as the teachers of kids who in the future may form part of the influential cadre.

    Added to which, the ratchet is tightening.

  26. Bloke is Wales.

    not students, professors.

    For example Sir Jim Mirrlees, he of the Mirrlees report about tax that Tim regularly uses to beat Murphy with, favours progressive taxation and redistribution. There is a large gap between economically literate left wingers and the buffoons that this blog occupies itself with

    yes most other academic disciplines are more left wing.

  27. > Well there are certainly too many inflated boobs on the left who understand few of the benefits of markets and few of the shortcomings of government.

    It’s worse than that. In my experience, lefties understand the shortcomings of government extremely well in specific cases. They have as many gripes and moans as the rest of us about dealing with the myriad stupidities of the state. But they are somehow still convinced that government is the solution in general, no matter how often they see it fail specifically. “I don’t care if it works in practice. Does it work in theory?”

    My sister, even though she’s pretty much the quintessential Guardian-reader, still thought it was ridiculous that an acquaintance of hers was nearly killed by the repeated shortcomings and malpractice of her dirty old maternity ward and then, shortly afterwards, was campaigning to stop its closure.

  28. “The fact is that the majority of actual economists are left wing. Centre left. The idea that economics somehow validates right wing positions is a fantasy.”

    A majority of economists support a philosophy and corresponding system of government which promises stature, importance and well-remunerated sinecures for like-minded economists.

    What a shocker.

  29. @Interested

    Your daughter sounds like a splendidly feisty young lady. If I were a teenager now, I’d want to date her.

  30. Congratulations, Interested, for raising such a wonderfully independent, self-confident daughter, she’ll go far.

    I always tried to bring our children up with a healthy disregard for authority, but I confessed at our eldest daughter’s wedding that I’d fondly imagined that it would not have stretched to my authority.

    I drive a Range Rover, the wife has an XF, but we don’t have a nice view of the countryside, the sea and islands get in the way.

  31. not students, professors.

    But every professor has to be previously a student of their subject (except those such as Murphy that work it out from first principles!): so if those that study a subject tend to be left wing, it follows that those that teach or perform the subject will be also.

    The fact is that the majority of actual economists are left wing. Centre left. The idea that economics somehow validates right wing positions is a fantasy.

    So if my premise holds (that almost all social science students are left wing) then the surprising outcome would be that there are so many right-wing economists. And further, that maybe some of those lefties that understand the fundamentals of economics become less left wing.

  32. Sq2: Precisely. I have an academic friend who bemoans the way university beraucracy stifles and hinders academia to no good effect, but is quite happy to say the answer to almost any question is more regulation…

    BiW, Luis: I would be interested to see how the left-right continuum correlates with the macro-micro continuum…

  33. @AndrewWS

    She’s only fourteen, and she ain’t dating anybody yet.

    I have a shotgun, and I actually can hit the back of a barn door with it, too!

  34. @DocBud

    Funnily enough, all I want for her is marriage to a nice man. Not that it’s any of my bizney once she’s of that age, I suppose.

  35. There are lots of left wing economists, but I take literally no unforced notice of anyone who has never run a business.

    Theory is one thing, real life another.

    Run a business for a bit, then become an economist (or a politician), and you have earned the right to begin to talk about redistribution.

  36. “I take literally no unforced notice of anyone who has never run a business.”

    you read quite a lot about Adam Smith on this website. He never ran a business.

  37. If what Adam Smith believed and wrote had not been confirmed by people who have put it into practice in the real world he would be irrelevant. But as it is, his work has been confirmed many times by actual reality, as opposed to conjecture. It’s the reality I follow, not the ancient Scot.

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