Dear Lord this is a stupid one from the Lord High Tax Denouncer:
Third, that utility is a useful economic concept. It isn’t. Distribution matters.
Utility is how we fucking discuss the important of distribution!
Take, for example, how we justify the extraction of money from the rich to give it to the poor. This is, BTW, something that just about everyone other than the most rigid of Randian Objectivists agrees with. The discussions revolve only around how much, not whether.
So, the marginal utility of an extra £ to a rich man is less than the marginal utility of an extra £ to a poor one. Thus we can increase the total utility experienced by all by taking a £ from a rich man to give it to a poor one. We might want to keep doing this until we come to a Pareto Efficient distribution. One in which we cannot increase the utility experienced by any one member of the society without reducing that of another one. Or, we\’ve maximised total utility.
So to say that utility isn\’t a useful economic concept is entirely nonsense: if you\’re in the business of reordering society through taxation and benefits that is. Because utility is the intellectual foundation of your entire structure of distribution!
The whole damn point of reducing inequality depends upon the usefulness of utility as an economic concept.
At which point we might open a little competition. Is there actually any economic concept at all that Murphy has managed to get right?