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What a lovely definition

There is a place for randomness. But to pretend that it is the essence of political economy is wrong. Political economy is all about defeating the randomness of markets and the poewr structures that they create to ensure that the basic needs of all are met.

Does sorta insist that political economy will never come up with the answer “Nah, markets have got this one, leave it be” doesn’t it?

19 thoughts on “What a lovely definition”

  1. OK, let’s look at this in its own terms.
    Individuals will seek to maximise what they perceive as their personal advantage
    So the political economy is a power struggle over which individuals will gain the greatest personal advantage in power. There is no relationship between that & the utility of the economy they’re controlling.
    The market is exactly the same. But since the root to power is by maximising the utility of the economy to enable maximum financial gain to the individuals, the economy as a whole benefits.
    Why he should think there is a difference between the randomness of the political economy & markets I can’t imagine. Both are comprised of individuals seeking to maximise they’re own personal advantage. So, essentially, they’re both chaotic. However, in markets, the randomness will tend to be in a similar direction since the aims of the players are coerced.

  2. Do you think I should be in line for a third of a professorship in Political Economy & a renowned (snigger) UK university? Or at least a grant?

  3. From that quotation I don’t have an inkling of what he thinks he means by “randomness”.

    Sounds a bit like Kevin the Teenager to me.

  4. Well, I think you’d do better than Spud!!!
    At getting grants? Hardly. I defer to the maestro in that discipline. I’m surprised he hasn’t managed to obtain one for the examination of his own stools.

  5. There are some people who like things to be ‘tidy’ and if reality is too messy they will try and make reality more tidy by squeezing it into boxes they can control. Perfect Prefects.

    But if you have ever let your children/grandchildren/cats play with carboard boxes you know that the boxes do not last.

  6. bis
    Yer what? A difference without a distinction. Or maybe I mean a distinction without a difference, I dunno.

  7. He went out to look at owls and birds and from that he concludes that the government should meet everyone’s basic needs. Everyone? Including the daily influx of maritime rocket scientists? And no doubt he wants to be on the committee that decides your basic needs, peasant.

    Maybe next time he could get an insight that the birds live perfectly happily without fat fake professors telling them what their needs are and demanding a nest tax for him to control

  8. @philip
    If you look at the history of most towns & cities, their origin lies in a commercial activity. A port, a mine, a factory maybe just a popular trading market. Then people come to service the activity & more people come to service those people & so on. Remove the commerce & you can see what happens in some US & UK cities & towns. They start to die. The process reverses.
    What councils are doing with towns. Pedestrianising, parking restrictions, the “15 minute city” removes the reasons people come from outside to engage in commerce. Its convenience. Businesses start to close & the businesses served them. And the inhabitants of a town can’t survive on selling each other bootlaces.

  9. The centre of my city was dying.

    So council made parking up to 2 hours free. Now you can’t find a park, but at least people are back in the city centre.

  10. Noticed that at the local shopping centre Chester.

    They introduced charges for parking. So people just zoomed in and out, and all the little businesses began to die. So you now have free parking for the first three hours.

  11. @boganboy
    Something similar in the centre of my French town. Pay & Display. First period free, second 30 cents, third 90 cents & got incrementally dearer, the longer the stay. Town shops were thriving.

  12. bis
    Yeah. Towns rely on people that don’t live in towns, country people come to town to sell country stuff (food fr’instance) and buy town stuff (nails, fr’…)
    Why are we arguing this…? People have been exchanging goods for ever, and towns are good for exchanging ideas, which is why they tend to be richer than the surrounding ountry
    (Just noticed my pwn typo. Apologies to Hamlet.)

  13. Why are we arguing this…? Because it’s a concept that the people running the towns & cities seem to have lost touch with.

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