An interesting thought

We know, from economics, that if you are a French economist, being a Frenchman predicts your political views better than does being an economist

Well, possibly. Piketty, Saez and Zucman don’t seem to have the Anglo Saxon distrust of the State for example.

Or perhaps it is meant that they deal with stinky, garlicky models? Which isn’t that far away from the statist idea to be honest.

But if all that is true then how the hell do we explain Bastiat? Presumably by noting that he was from Aquitane and therefore really English….

15 thoughts on “An interesting thought”

  1. Talking of Johnny Foreigner….

    “There is “emerging evidence” to suggest coronavirus is having a disproportionate impact on people who are black, Asian and minority ethnic.

    Research suggests that more than a third of patients who are critically ill in hospital with the virus are from these backgrounds.” BBC


    “Labour called for an urgent investigation into why these communities are more vulnerable.”

  2. “Labour called for an urgent investigation into why these communities are more vulnerable.”

    Results of investigation: these communities are disinclined to follow social distancing guidelines, due to cultural and religious superiority complexes.

    – Racist!

  3. Re: the French, I remember some years ago there was a survey asking people’s reaction to the term “bureaucrat”. Americans largely disapproved of them, the French largely approved. Americans apparently associated the term with “an overpaid, underworked government busybody”. The French concurred and said “and I want that job”.

  4. Esteban,

    I’ve heard similar things. The ambition of many French kids is going into public administration.

    I suspect a lot of this is about incentives. It’s really hard to build a large business in France. You get past (I think) 20 employees and a whole load of labour laws kick in that kill flexibility. You see this on French high streets. They are full of small family businesses, because no-one expands past a couple of shops. You don’t get chains unless they were formed before the 1970s.

  5. Selection effects, surely? There is already an ample supply of American & British economists with laissez-faire views. The only French economists who percolate through to international notability are ones with heterodox views.

  6. Presumably by noting that he was from Aquitaine and therefore really English….

    At least some of the things we consider fundamentally “English” were Plantagenet imports such as the legal reforms of Henry II. Therefore it is more about the English constitution being moulded by the principles of Aquitaine than vise versa.

  7. The racist corona virus article in the BBC that
    1-Uses 2011 % of BAME at 14% as a comparator when the figure is now higher
    2-Did not take into account that London is biggest hotspot and has different ethnic makeup to UK
    3-Hotspots outside London are cities and areas that have higher level of BAME

    Political grandstanding that the media should be calling Labour to account for not spurring them on.

    There also seems to be a creeping narrative that NHS has high BAME. Umbers and look how wonderful immigration is, we’ve been saved by them

  8. The elderly are a minority group. So too are men. They are disproportionately at risk by far more than any differences in ethnicity affecting outcomes. Will Labour stand up for these disadvantaged groups by calling for an urgent enquiry?

  9. Bloke in North Dorset


    Are there German economists?

    Karl Marx? Friedrich Engels?

    More seriously, from a free market perspective, Ludwig Erhard has never been given his due.

    On that same Sunday the German Bizonal Economic Council adopted, at the urging of Ludwig Erhard and against the opposition of its Social Democratic members, a price decontrol ordinance that allowed and encouraged Erhard to eliminate price controls.

    Erhard spent the summer de-Nazifying the West German economy. From June through August 1948, wrote Fred Klopstock, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, “directive followed directive removing price, allocation, and rationing regulations” (p. 283). Vegetables, fruit, eggs, and almost all manufactured goods were freed of controls. Ceiling prices on many other goods were raised substantially, and many remaining controls were no longer enforced. Erhard’s motto could have been: “Don’t just sit there; undo something.”

    Journalist Edwin Hartrich tells the following story about Erhard and Clay. In July 1948, after Erhard, on his own initiative, abolished rationing of food and ended all price controls, Clay confronted him:

    Clay:“Herr Erhard, my advisers tell me what you have done is a terrible mistake. What do you say to that?”

    Erhard:“Herr General, pay no attention to them! My advisers tell me the same thing.”2

    Hartrich also tells of Erhard’s confrontation with a U.S. Army colonel the same month:

    Colonel:“How dare you relax our rationing system, when there is a widespread food shortage?”

    Erhard:“But, Herr Oberst. I have not relaxed rationing; I have abolished it! Henceforth, the only rationing ticket the people will need will be the deutschemark. And they will work hard to get these deutschemarks, just wait and see.”3

    Of course, Erhard’s prediction was on target. Decontrol of prices allowed buyers to transmit their demands to sellers, without a rationing system getting in the way, and the higher prices gave sellers an incentive to supply more.

    I’m fairly sure you’ve referenced that piece in the past?

  10. @Andrew C April 12, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Yet we knew this since early March as I’ve been posting, but even here mostly ignored for fear of “racist”

    Last week on C4 News: pic of last 10 NHS Docs CV19 dead 1 white. NHS Docs not in poverty or lacking healthcare

    USA Surgeon General Adams [who is black] has urged communities of colour to stay home and practice social distancing measures, as data shows the death tolls are higher among Hispanics and blacks in parts of the US

    It’s genetic. UK Gov should be informing black/brown, not hiding from ‘you’re racist’ mob. No inquiry needed

    Not only racist, Covid-19 is also a confirmed misandrist and ageist, and a suspected ableist

  11. @Esteban


    – US President Trump said that the more than $8 million salary for Jeff Lyash, president of the Tennessee Valley Authority, is “ridiculous” and that he would support “reducing it a lot” as part of an infrastructure package.
    “I’ve been waiting for somebody to ask me about that,” Trump told reporters after taking a question on the subject. “It’s been bothering me for a long time, too.”

    – Gruppenführer Hancock unveils snoop & snitch App

    – Peter Hitchens in The Mail on Sunday spot on. I’ve been critical of Hancock’s nasty behaviour for weeks now

  12. Last week on C4 News: pic of last 10 NHS Docs CV19 dead 1 white. NHS Docs not in poverty or lacking healthcare

    Reflects the ratio of NHS staff in London. I’m surprised to see even one white face.

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