24 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2020
    1. In 1968, Garrett Hardin, a biologist, published an article about social dilemmas in the journal Science, called ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’.
    2. social dilemma A situation in which actions, taken independently by individuals in pursuit of their own private objectives, may result in an outcome that is inferior to some other feasible outcome that could have occurred if people had acted together, rather than as individuals.
    1. In some, their spending on goods and services as well as on transfers like unemployment benefits and pensions, accounts for more than half of GDP.

      What is the government's proportion of the US GDP presently?

    2. Yet some things that we value are not private property—for example, the air we breathe and most of the knowledge we use cannot be owned, bought, or sold.
    3. James Bronterre O’Brien, told the people:‘Knaves will tell you that it is because you have no property, you are unrepresented. I tell you on the contrary, it is because you are unrepresented that you have no property …’16

      great quote

    4. Firms should not be owned and managed by people who survive because of their connections to government or their privileged birth: Capitalism is dynamic when owners or managers succeed because they are good at delivering high-quality goods and services at a competitive price. This is more likely to be a failure when the other two factors above are not working well.

      Here is where we're likely to fail in the United States by following the example of Donald Trump, who ostensibly has survived solely off the wealth of his father's dwindling empire. With that empire gone, he's now turning to creating wealth by associating with the government. We should carefully follow where this potentially leads the country.

    5. Figure 1.16

      Note the dramatic inconsistency of the scale on the left hand side. What is going on here?

    6. We should be sceptical when anyone claims that something complex (capitalism) ‘causes’ something else (increased living standards, technological improvement, a networked world, or environmental challenges), just because we can see there is a correlation.

      Great and ridiculous examples of this can be found at https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

    7. Market competition provides a mechanism for weeding out those who underperform.

      Note how this has failed in the current guilded age of the United States where it is possible for things to be "too big to fail".

    8. Capitalism is an economic system that can combine centralization with decentralization.

      How can we analogize this with the decentralization of the web and its economy?

    9. Government bodies also tend to be more limited in their capacity to expand if successful, and are usually protected from failure if they perform poorly.

      They can expand in different ways however. Think about the expansion of empires of Egypt, Rome, and the Mongols in the 12th Century. What caused them to cease growing and decrease? What allowed them to keep increasing?

    10. Yet some things that we value are not private property—for example, the air we breathe and most of the knowledge we use cannot be owned, bought, or sold.
    11. First, because capital goods do not fall from the sky: all countries that have successfully moved from poverty to affluence have done so, of necessity, by accumulating large amounts of capital. We will also see that a crucial feature of capitalism is who owns and controls the capital goods in an economy.

      3:11pm

    12. First, because capital goods do not fall from the sky: all countries that have successfully moved from poverty to affluence have done so, of necessity, by accumulating large amounts of capital. We will also see that a crucial feature of capitalism is who owns and controls the capital goods in an economy.
  2. Jan 2020
    1. If you have never seen an ice-hockey stick (or experienced ice hockey) this shape is why we call these figures ‘hockey-stick curves’.

      I'm glad they've included an image of a hockey stick to provide the context here, but I've always thought of it rotated so that the blade was on the ground and the sharp angle of the handle itself indicated the exponential growth curve!

    2. A thousand years ago, the world was flat, economically speaking.

      I don't think we have to go back even this far. If I recall correctly, even 150 years ago the vast majority of the world's population were subsistence farmers. It's only been since the 20th century and the increasing spread of the industrial revolution that the situation has changed:

      Even England remained primarily an agrarian country like all tributary societies for the previous 4,000 years, with ca. 50 percent of its population employed in agriculture as late as 1759.

      --David Christian, Maps of Time (pp 401) quoting from Crafts, British Economic Growth, pp. 13–14. (See also Fig 13.1 Global Industrial Potential from the same, for a graphical indicator.

    3. But some have taller skyscrapers at the back, meaning a greater disparity between the top 10% and the rest of the population, whereas others have a less steep profile.

      It might be more interesting if the top decile in each country were broken into tenths to show the even more severe disparities. I suspect that some of the height differences would be even more drastic if we could see the top 1% or even the top 0.1% on these graphs.

    4. PPP

      PPP stands for Purchasing Power Parity

      How to Calculate and Use Purchasing Power Parity – PPP

    5. Cyril Ramaphosa
    1. "Some inequality of income and wealth is inevitable, if not necessary. If an economy is to function well, people need incentives to work hard and innovate.The pertinent question is not whether income and wealth inequality is good or bad. It is at what point do these inequalities become so great as to pose a serious threat to our economy, our ideal of equal opportunity and our democracy." - Robert Reich

      An important observation. What might create such a tipping point? Is there a way to look back at these things historically to determine the most common factors that would create such tipping points?

  3. www.core-econ.org www.core-econ.org
    1. Read now

      The textbook for Marketplace's Econ Extra Credit program. (#)

      Here's a link to an .epub version and a .mobi (Kindle) version. For those who prefer a physical copy, Oxford has published it.

      There are also app versions: Google Play, iBooks, and Windows App.

      (Originally published at https://boffosocko.com/2020/01/28/economy-society-and-public-policy-electric-book-works/)

    2. Economy, Society, and Public Policy

      David Brancaccio and the kind folks at Marketplace are doing a public virtual bookclub with this book as their text for twelve weeks through the Spring of 2020.

      Given the complexity of the subject and the public nature, I might suggest that they consider using the opensource and free Hypothes.is platform as an academic discussion tool for allowing everyone to highlight, annotate, and respond to the text and conversations.

      I suspect the Hypothesis team would be happy to do a quick run through of their platform as well as potentially creating a private group if they preferred.