August 24, 2011

Unhappy the land that is in need of foresightful utility maximizers

Brad DeLong, contemplating the slide from bad things are happening because people do not act like economic models assume they do to people are irrational and deserve to be punished, remarks, sensibly enough, that "a system that for good outcomes requires that people act in ways people do not do is not a good system — and to blame the people rather than the system is to commit a major intellectual error." Somehow, this made me think of the following, which I offer with all due apologies to Brecht's memory:

Some economist decreed that the people
had lost the market's confidence
and could only regain it with redoubled effort.
If that is the case, would it not be be simpler,
If the market simply dissolved the people
And purchased another?

(This is related, of course, to the way that hexapodia is the key insight into neutralizing the Dutch menace.)

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The Dismal Science; Learned Folly

Posted at August 24, 2011 23:59 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth