Anders Sandberg wrote:
> Imagine that you believe economics is not a science or field or research
> but just a rationalization for the rich to get richer. Imagine that you
> do not know how to interpret or get statistics to check your opinions
> and frankly don't care. Imagine that you have this self-consistent
> belief system that tells you things are in general run by small selfish
> elites oppressing you and everybody else, that the market is the tool
> for these elites and that trade and globalization, being apparently what
> these selfish elites like, makes you worse off. If you held this belief
> system you would of course see evidence for it in all news - if people
> buy coffee at Starbucks, then they have been suckered by advertisment
> manipulations, if the Argentinian economy is not doing well then it must
> be the will of the Powers That Be showing how cruel they are, and so on.
> Then add in a number of groups with strong self-interest: farmers that
> do not wish to see any outside competition or decrease in agricultural
> support, unions that do not wish to encounter restructuring of their own
> industries and foreign competition, xenophobes that do not like the idea
> of open borders and intellectuals (of whatever stated party color) that
> have again found a forum where they can be taken seriously. These groups
> will of course argue for the above belief system - sometimes knowing the
> flaws of the model, more often even making themselves believe it. They
> also employ whatever channels will produce results, both lobbying
> politicians and supporting friendly demagogues.
> There is no need to assume secret cabals of ex-stasi or KGB agents
> behind the scenes. It is more a matter of a lot of well-meaning people
> who have a faulty model of how world economy works being partially
> influenced by some self-serving groups with compelling arguments.
This definitely agrees with my personal experiences with such. Now, if
this diagnosis is correct, what is the best cure? Education (but how
to get it into unwilling heads)? Publically discrediting this belief
system (but how to do so powerfully enough to pry it loose)? Or is
there a more effective way?
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:55 MDT