Skip

"Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz talks about the corporate looting spree and Bush's woeful mismanagement of the economy."
July 6, 2002 10:19 PM   Subscribe

"Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz talks about the corporate looting spree and Bush's woeful mismanagement of the economy." "The fiscal mismanagement of the current administration -- leading to a change in the fiscal position of the United States over the past year -- is absolutely phenomenal; going from huge surpluses to huge deficits and the deficits are probably going to be larger than people anticipated."
posted by semmi (26 comments total)

 
Now if only our mainstream media would report these things...
posted by isobars at 10:57 PM on July 6, 2002


Sorry, semmi - it's a wonderful article, but it was posted last Wednesday. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:58 PM on July 6, 2002


And when the deficits are reported, Bush and Co. will blame it on Sept. 11, thereby once again using it to deflect criticism away from their grossly incompetent and corrupt administration.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 11:00 PM on July 6, 2002


I blame the blaming of sept 11 on the tragic events of sept 11.
posted by skallas at 11:05 PM on July 6, 2002


[ this is good ]
[ this is a repost ]

isobar, the media won't report this. It doesn't fit into a four line haiku.
posted by raaka at 11:15 PM on July 6, 2002


An Open Letter to Joseph Stiglitz from Kenneth Rogoff. The heart of the argument:
Throughout your book, you betray an unrelenting belief in the pervasiveness of market failures, and a staunch conviction that governments can and will make things better. You call us "market fundamentalists." We do not believe that markets are always perfect, as you accuse. But we do believe there are many instances of government failure as well and that, on the whole, government failure is a far bigger problem than market failure in the developing world.

But the money shot:
You cloak yourself in the mantle of John Maynard Keynes, saying that the aim of your policies is to maintain full employment.... [But] instead of Keynes, I would cloak your theories in the mantle of Arthur Laffer and other extreme expositors of 1980s Reagan-style supply-side economics. Laffer believed that if the government would only cut tax rates, people would work harder, and total government revenues would rise. The Stiglitz-Laffer theory of crisis management holds that countries need not worry about expanding deficits, as in so doing, they will increase their debt service capacity more than proportionately. George Bush, Sr. once labeled these ideas "voodoo economics."

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.
posted by dhartung at 11:25 PM on July 6, 2002


Why's MC's link to Met4Filter?
posted by hobbes at 11:30 PM on July 6, 2002


Well it's quicker; you earn a dollar per post and you get extra ponies if someone on MetaFilter points it out.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:35 PM on July 6, 2002


A recent article by Stiglitz summarizing his ideas: The conflicts of interest driving US financial scandals are being replicated on a global scale.
posted by homunculus at 11:59 PM on July 6, 2002


This guy, Kenneth Rogoff is such a blowhard. I'm not saying I'm a tenth the economist he is. But if there isn't rife fallaciousness in his technique, then call me taught in a public school.

I'm just gonna go with what dhartung embellishes.

We do not believe that markets are always perfect, as you accuse.

But you still believe the market's presence, insofar as it's been inculcated, is immutable and invulnerable. Invulnerable in the ways in which the working class shouldn't demand wholesale oversight committees, per respective country, to see to it that, on the backs of labor, labor also profits at the same rate as the ruling class? Still you believe in the "free market" as long as it employs you to think of ways to prevent its demise.

And demise of the "free market" for who?

Guaranteed, those who "call the shots", the people with the least to lose in such blunderingly unethical philosophy are also those with the most options should disaster arise.

But look hard at 'em. Look at them good. Who are these people who benefit directly from such pronoucements or retorts to criticism, for example, such as Rogoff's?

It's not even so much as it is true, what this Rogoff fella says. It's whether it's a policy that engages or seeks to engage the entire world in shaping the future of it -- More like Stiglitz's.

Sadly, Rogoff, for all his points and examples, thinks the working class should be safely kept on task and not worrying themselves with the cross the world's moneymakers must bear. Such that Stiglitz probably fancies himself as the clarion call against.

You call us "market fundamentalists." We do not believe that markets are always perfect, as you accuse. But we do believe there are many instances of government failure as well and that, on the whole, government failure is a far bigger problem than market failure in the developing world.

Exceedingly easy double punch tu quo que -- non seq. Shit triple! Include disinformative appeal to ignorance in there too.

Governments are in the business of managing people. People in the business of managing governments. The factors that be who are in the business of seeing to it multinational corporations are appeased, are in the business of maximizing profit--they do not work nor speak for the people. Too many of those types meddling in the affairs of the people and of course you're gonna fucking have "government failure".
posted by crasspastor at 12:46 AM on July 7, 2002


[Governments are in the business of managing people.]

Therein lies the problem. It's not supposed to be like that, governments are supposed to protect certain rights and leave us the hell alone.

"...these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men..."
posted by revbrian at 5:16 AM on July 7, 2002


revbrain - tens of thousands of people are now out of work because of these accounting scandals. Their abilty to exercise those rights of Liberty and Happiness is now reduced, because in our western capitalist societies you need money to exercise them.
And what good is a right if you can't exercise it?
posted by iain at 5:42 AM on July 7, 2002


More generally, when information is imperfect - as it always is - Adam Smith's invisible hand, by which the price system is supposed to guide the economy to efficient outcomes, may disappear.

Ah finally an economist that agrees information is generally imperfect :) I'd add "the single particle of information may be perfect , but adding perfect information to more perfect information doesn't lead to 2(perfect-information) , it's not like in mathematics".

Say "the horse is white" is perfect information(1) because the horse really is white. Perfect information(2) "the horse is big". Sum the two and you get "the horse is big and white". BUT for this conclusion you need PI(3) " We're speaking about the same horse".

So even if in some economic theory perfect information is a status , a pre-condition that leads to perfect competition markets and to efficient markets , I think that it's way too much expensive in terms of time , give that information is naturally not constant but dynamic : so that if you need perfect info for efficient market, you'll never have both togheter because the time cost (of gathering and processing info) would probably make the market less then efficient if you measure efficency = infoprocessingcost/rewardfrominfo
posted by elpapacito at 7:44 AM on July 7, 2002


Anybody got a link on Stiglitz "Market for Lemons" paper ? Haven't found it yet
posted by elpapacito at 8:24 AM on July 7, 2002


http://www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2001/10/17_asyme.html
posted by scottymac at 9:12 AM on July 7, 2002


Thanks for help scotty, but I was looking for the original paper itself :D
posted by elpapacito at 10:18 AM on July 7, 2002


crasspastor, you're such a commie.

I give up. Who can argue against such sloganeering? Especially when you're so quickly willing to lie about what he said?
posted by dhartung at 10:58 AM on July 7, 2002


"huge surpluses to huge deficits"...the huge surpluses were the result of keeping taxes high while underfunding programs, while the deficits are the result of matching taxes to spending and trusting Arthur Anderson to play with the numbers.
posted by Mack Twain at 11:00 AM on July 7, 2002


Is July 6 the DoublePost holiday? With this thread and the America's Army one still going strong, it seems like we've become NostalgiaFilter.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:40 AM on July 7, 2002


crasspastor, you're such a commie.

Hardly. But if that makes you feel better.

And I'm curious what "lied about what he said" means.
posted by crasspastor at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2002


An interesting article (NYT)on the high standards for labor, none for management.
posted by semmi at 12:00 PM on July 7, 2002


Oh yeah. Rereading what I wrote last night:

I'm also curious how what I sloganeered on about makes you think of communism. Remind's me more of arguing on behalf of democracy. You know that "of, by and for the people" thing?
posted by crasspastor at 12:00 PM on July 7, 2002


Oh yes, a flack from a discredited institution is defending it from the man who discredited it. Yea, that's gotta hurt -- if by “hurt” you mean “prove Stiglitz's point”. Ouchies.

“We do not believe that markets are always perfect ... [W]e do believe there are many instances of government failure ... and that ... government failure is a far bigger problem than market failure in the developing world.”

Ragoff puts himself and his fellow market fundies in a little quagmire here. If markets are not “always perfect” and “government failure” constitutes “a far bigger problem” what makes him think markets can fix governments? Eh?

Alternately, does he think austerirty plans and capital liberalization fix governments? Let's use a smaller example. A mafia don is put on a budget and told not to pay his thugs so much. By the Ragoff/fundie worldview, the Mafioso will eventually become an accountant. When you have irresponsible politicos, all you need are good market policies to fix them.

Either way, the IMF is really showing it’s hand here. I'll take the Nobel winner over the flack any day.

crasspastor: “Governments are in the business of managing people. People in the business of managing governments.”

revbrian: “[G]overnments are supposed to protect certain rights and leave us the hell alone.”

Governments can’t protect the rights of individual citizens without managing them as a whole. This is one form the crisis of modernity takes. People struggle for freedom, governments struggle for soverignty. Constant struggle, constant crisis.
posted by raaka at 2:24 PM on July 7, 2002


crasspastor, Rogoff said nothing about "the working class", nor whether they deserve oversight capability or not (though you seem to think "labor [should] also profit at the same rate as the ruling class": which is a Red flag if I ever saw one); nor did he mention "multinationals". Yet you seem to believe -- since you say you were relying on just the text I quoted -- that this tells all about his inner mind, which reveals him to be an "appeaser" who favors the "moneymakers". You claim he used flawed arguments, and then engage in straw men and red herrings. Oh, save us.

Rogoff is asking Stiglitz to stop demonizing his co-workers, which seems a reasonable request. It would seem that "blowhard" and "flack" are not terms which demonstrate an interest in ending that demonization. That would be really nice, but I don't think I can expect that around AntiGloboRhet'ricFilter.

Certainly Stiglitz has some good points, but Rogoff makes his, unless you believe as raaka does that the IMF is thoroughly discredited -- by placing standards on it that are likely impossible to meet. More precisely, no, Rogoff doesn't seem to believe that the IMF can magically "fix" governments in the sense that you mean. But then, as he notes, doctors are often found around sick people. Does that mean the doctors made the people sick, or that because sick people keep coming through the door, that the doctors are responsible?

In any case, it would be nice if this place would recognize that there's at least a debate. A spirit of open inquiry would be nice, but brickbat-throwing seems much more popular. Is Stiglitz right? I'd love to know that, but the hagiographic approach doesn't seem to lead to the answer.
posted by dhartung at 1:08 AM on July 8, 2002


Welp. We're debating amongst ourselves right?

I didn't just choose Rogoff's points as you conveniently laid them out for us dhartung. I'd read Rogoff's letter earlier.

I'm skeptical of his position only insofar is he is paid and directly benefits from keeping the status quo. Therefore you can include the issues of "the working class", "multinationals", "ruling class" ad infinitum in such a blatantly stated position as mine.

When one speaks of the economy, it's best he includes the sentiment of the poor, working poor, middle-class in his position and not try to glom the concern of such problems onto commies. It's us commies' economy too y'know.
posted by crasspastor at 2:20 AM on July 8, 2002


“ending that demonization”

Yes, because as well all know, no one from the corporate trade regimes have ever, not once, demonized anyone in the anti-globalization movement. When one of their own sees the error of his ways and start dishing it out they get so personal and hurt about it. Well, if they can dish it they can take it.

“The IMF is an international organization ... established to promote .... high levels of employment ...”

When the IMF reaches the goals it sets for itself, instead of enacting policies that make situations worse, I will 1) stop calling IMF flacks “IMF flacks” 2) stop using their own yardstick as a reason to call them failures.

“But then, as he notes, doctors are often found around sick people. ”

Doctors have a pretty good record of making sick people better.
posted by raaka at 3:17 AM on July 8, 2002


« Older outer space will have to be colonized   |   Space Colony... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post