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Robert Vienneau: Thoughts Economics

Flummery From Robert A. Heinlein

He had been droning along about 'value,' comparing the Marxist theory with the orthodox 'use' theory. Mr. Dubois had said, 'Of course, the Marxian definition of value is ridiculous. All the work one cares to add will not turn a mud pie into an apple tart; it remains a mud pie, value zero. By corollary, unskillful work can easily subtract value; an untalented cook can turn wholesome dough and fresh green apples, valuable already, into an inedible mess, value zero. Conversely, a great chef...

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Elsewhere

[embedded content]The Banach-Tarski ParadoxThe Hahn-Banach theorem is related to how mainstream economics model perfect competition. The video above is mind-bending math. The Mountain Goat blog. A profile of some economists at Berkeley, some of who I have read when they collaborated with Thomas Piketty or A. Dube. I have read deLong, as well, of course. If you cannot name 'capitalism', 'neoliberalism', or 'neoclassical economics', it is difficult to criticize them. Here is a popular...

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The Production Function In A Discrete Technology

Figure 1: Isoquants For The Production Function1.0 Introduction I often assume a discrete technology in my demonstrations that what many mainstream economists teach is mostly incoherent balderdash. Some incompetents have told me that such well-established results "just show that the particular production functions that you have chosen don't work. This is not a generic result." So, for my amusement, I will go through a simple example here to explain how any continuously differentiable...

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Private Truths, Public Lies In Mainstream Economics?

I sometimes wonder if most mainstream economists think that most of what they were taught, teach, and research are some combination of false, incoherent, and useless for understanding actually existing capitalism. But they go along out of some sense of professionalism and a belief that their colleagues do not share their views. That is many privately think they are a minority of one, but publically espouse the orthodoxy. As far as professionalism goes, I suppose some believe that those...

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Bushwa From Jeffrey Clemens In The Journal of Economic Perspectives

"The labor supply curve slopes upward, reflecting differences in workers’ reservation wages (as driven by outside opportunities related, perhaps, to leisure, home production, and economic assistance that can be received while out of work). The labor demand curve slopes downward, tracing out the relationship between the quantity of labor employed and the marginal revenue product of that labor. This, in turn, reflects the assumption of a constant price (due, perhaps, to a perfectly...

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Vienneau (2005) Is A Necessary Resource For Arguments About A Minimum Wage

Maybe, perhaps, that is a bit hyperbolic. But it has been known for at least half a century that, even in competitive markets, wages and employment cannot be explained by the interaction of well-behaved supply and demand curves for labor. If you do not want to read me, check out, for example, Garegnani (1970) or Opocher and Steedman (2015). Shove (1933) illustrates how far awareness of the difficulties go. White (2001) is a demonstration that I am not the only one to draw practical...

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Neoclassical Economists Being Wrong

What is neoclassical economics? (This post draws on something I wrote on Usenet more than a decade ago.) I believe I might have introduced this list of three key assumptions, as noted by Roy Weintraub, into the wikipedia article on the topic: People have rational preferences between outcomes that can be identified and associated with values. Individuals maximize utility and firms maximize profits. People act independently on the basis of full and relevant information. One should recognize...

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Elsewhere

A start (see links on the left) of advice to a student interested in how to introduce an evolutionary approach into economics. A podcast severely critical of mainstream economics. A substack post of an avowed creed for neoliberals. I don't think the author has studied the scholarly literature on the topic. These links do not present a hopeful picture.

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Greg Mankiw Should Try To Make A Honest Living

[embedded content]A Discussion On The Best (or Worst) Of Mankiw Peter Bofinger has expanded a series of tweets to point out some stuff that is just wrong in Mankiw's introductory textbook. The video above is a virtual panel discussion in which Mankiw graciously pretends to respond to Bofinger. Rüdiger Bachmann and Anna Reisch also participate. I do not know the host, Thomas Fricke. Questions from the audience are fielded towards the end. I concentrate on Sascha Buetzer (1:07:45) below....

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On The Empirical Verification Of The Cambridge Capital Controversy

1.0 Introduction My consistent position is that Sraffa and his followers, besides recovering an alternate approach to value and distribution found in classical economics and Marx, demonstrated the logical invalidity of marginalist economics. Empirical results are irrelevant to questions of logical validity. Wage curves, as constructed from input-output matrices, are rational functions with the numerator and denominator both being some high order polynomial functions. I would have liked to...

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