Whether you work by the piece
Or work by the day
Decreasing the hours
Increases the pay.
-- Mary Steward
(1) The consumer is king;Stated somewhat more evasively, these also happen to be the tenets of the dominant frame in contemporary economics -- the "equilibrium price-auction view of the world" (aka subjective preference theory or conservative ideal). Surprise, surprise!
(2) The process of production is none of the public’s business;
(3) The economy is driven by great business leaders and entrepreneurs;
(4) The workplace is a meritocracy; and
(5) Collective economic action is bad.
"Economists call this the lump of labor fallacy, which holds that the amount of available work is fixed. If one person gets a job, another loses it. But the addition of new workers into a market, especially skilled workers, can increase the productivity of companies in a way that expands the supply of work for everybody." -- Wall Street JournalExcept, of course, when economists "call this the lump of labor fallacy," they do not do so as economists. They are performing as hack propagandists. When "more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette," they are not offering a medical opinion.
"People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news." -- A. J. "Joe" LieblingTwo somber thoughts. First, economics is not only not a science; it is not even a scholarly discipline. It is a subsection of journalism. There is the style section, the sports section, the front pages and economics. The academic jargon mills with their fancy maths are there solely to lend a cachet of prestige to the front line hacks. Case in point: Henry Hazlitt.
Guy Standing on top of an airplane
As a rule, new modes of economy will lead to an increase of consumption, according to a principle recognised in many parallel instances. The economy of labour effected by the introduction of new machinery, for the moment, throws labourers out of employment. But such is the increased demand for the cheapened products, that eventually the sphere of employment is greatly widened....
Now the same principles apply, with even greater force and distinctness, to the use of such a general agent as coal. It is the very economy of its use which leads to its extensive consumption....This theory is known as the Jevons Paradox or the rebound effect. Substitute "fossil fuel" for coal and the theory predicts pretty accurately the results presented in the above table.
And if such is not always the result within a single branch, it must be remembered that the progress of any branch of manufacture excites a new activity in most other branches, and leads indirectly, if not directly, to increased inroads upon our seams of coal.
The moon belongs to everyone,
The best things in life are free;
The stars all shine for everyone,
They're shining for you and me.
The flowers in Spring,
The birdies that sing,
The sunbeams that shine,
They're yours--they're mine.
The sky belongs to everyone...
The lawsuit was brought by the Texas Environmental Law Center, and is part of a court campaign in a dozen states by an Oregon-based nonprofit, Our Children’s Trust. The group is using children and young adults as plaintiffs in the lawsuits — some state and some federal — filed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.As David Morris reported in On the Commons, Peter Barnes proposed treating the sky as a public trust in his 2001 book, Who Owns the Sky. Barnes's idea was the basis for a "cap-and-dividend" bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009.
By relying on ‘‘common law’’ theories, the group hopes to have the atmosphere declared a public trust for the first time, granting it special protection. The doctrine has been used to clean up rivers and coastlines, but many legal experts have been unsure if it could be used successfully to combat climate change.
With a few important exceptions (the work of Herman Daly and colleagues, e.g., Daly and Townsend 1993 ; see also Princen et al. 2002 ; Meadows et al. 2004 ; DeGraaf et al. 2005 ; Whybrow 2005 ; Victor 2008 ; Schor 2010 ), most of the research, teaching, and popular discourse on sustainability continues to focus on technological solutions—more energy, more resources, more efficient eco-friendly growth—while the actual leverage point—voluntarily limiting our consumption—remains largely undiscussable, particularly among our business and political leaders.DeGraaf 2005, Victor 2008 and Schor 2010, by the way, all prescribe reductions of working time as key to reducing emissions. Wagner and Weitzman on Sterman's bathtub analogy: "climate scientists -- and the rest of us -- would be well advised to remind ourselves daily of its significance." Paul Krugman on Martin Weitzman's fat tail analysis: "So what I end up with is basically Martin Weitzman’s argument: it’s the non-negligible probability of utter disaster that should dominate our policy analysis. And that argues for aggressive moves to curb emissions, soon "
"...I have become convinced that the retention of the structure of private enterprise is incompatible with that degree of material well-being to which our technical advancement entitles us, unless the rate of interest falls to a much lower figure than is likely to come about by natural forces operating on the old lines. Indeed the transformation of society, which I preferably envisage, may require a reduction in the rate of interest towards vanishing point within the next thirty years. But under a system by which the rate of interest finds, under the operation of normal financial forces, a uniform level throughout the world, after allowing for risk and the like, this is most unlikely to occur. Thus for a complexity of reasons, which I cannot elaborate in this place, economic internationalism embracing the free movement of capital and of loanable funds as well as of traded goods may condemn this country for a generation to come to a much lower degree of material prosperity than could be attained under a different system."
A basic income would help people be more rational, more long-term in their outlook, and more prepared to take entrepreneurial risk.
It would not reduce labor supply. This was shown by our pilots in India, in which we were able to provide over 6,000 men, women and children with a basic income for 18 months and monitor what happened by comparison with a larger number not provided with one, through a randomized control trial. It has also been shown in experiments in the US, Canada and several European countries.
The simple fact is that people with basic security work harder and more productively, not lessA commenter:
NO. I don’t know how you set up that experiment in India, but common sense says the conclusion is wrong.Proof (if any was needed) that "el mayor necio es el que no se lo piensa y a todos los otros define."
There is an adage in economics known as ‘the lump of labor fallacy’. It is that technological change is destroying jobs and generating rising unemployment. It rests on an image of a finite number of jobs.
This is nonsense. What is happening is more subtle and potentially liberating, but also potentially generating a dystopia of socially unsustainable inequality, in which a growing share of the population will be mired in chronic insecurity, through no fault of their own.Who is the greater fool: smart Guy with his condescending "subtlety" or stupid guy with his anti-evidence "common sense"? My middle-sized facts post the other day started out a couple of weeks ago with a somewhat different meditation on Dr. Pepper's inquiry into the limits of unknowing.