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Showing posts from December 18, 2016

Kill kill kill kill kill the poor

One of my emphases in the little book I wrote on Marx some time ago was that Marx made the great leap towards what became Marxism in  Cologne in 1842, when he became the editor of a newspaper there and did a few articles on a local controversy: the new legislative rules that eliminated the time honored custom of gathering sticks in forests owned by the great landholders.  Marx at this time was a graduate of law school. He gets it that the legislature  is creating something new here – a property – out of the denial of something old – a customary right. But it occurred to him that it was not enough to remain on the level of the law – for what was driving the legislative proces was not so much any legal confusion, or any unfolding of some previous logic in the legal code, a la Hegel, but instead, was a basic, extra-legal social force. The custom of gathering fallen wood, as Marx came to see it, had its roots in another kind of social order. Marx latter on considered this social order

the political welfare state: why conservatives oppose political laissez faire

I've made this argument before, but it is always fun to make it again. The electoral college is mostly treated as a political and ideological question. However, from the neo-classical economics viewpoint, it is obviously simply a question of welfare. First, voting is, like buying and selling, an action regarding a property. Given the rule that every citizen in a republic has the right to vote, we can treat voting in the way we treat income or earnings. The state can either lower the tax on voting - which means treated every vote the same way - or it can tax and redistribute the value of the vote. In the electoral college, successful states are like successful corporations. They are defined by having more people. Unsuccessful states are defined by having less people. This definition ignores other standards for success, but it is functionally sound, in that those states with more people are also states that generally have higher GDPs. This is only semi-circular - although more pe