There is a lot of discussion in economics and society over the idea of choice. This is the notion that we can choose the life we want to live. Libertarians in particular claim that people’s situations are a result of their choices. However this is an illusion. We are not individuals in a vacuum choosing from a menu. Rather almost all our decisions are based upon our circumstances. We do not have free will in the sense of being able to freely choose our life. Continue reading “The Illusion Of Free Choice”
Introductions to economics usually start with gushing tales about the magic of the free market. It is usually stated that the free market allows everyone to get the best quality goods at the cheapest prices. The magical invisible hand guides everyone to the best place without any unnecessary government intervention. Below is a link to a video typical of the kind. (I’ll ignore for the moment that it completely misrepresents what Adam Smith said). Its short and simple, but it is a simple argument. This is the typical free market argument with its claim that left alone it will bring the best world for everyone.
Libertarians advocate reliance on the private sector and the down play or even abolition of the public sector. However, what they don’t seem to realise is that this system is enormously wasteful. Privatising public industries would result in duplication, under capacity and under use of resources. Libertarians fail to recognise the power of economies of scale that the state wields to keep costs low. There are simply are some times when we are better together than alone. Continue reading “The Waste Of Privatisation”
On this blog I have been very critical of mainstream economics, to the point that I feel most of it should be thrown out. I believe the orthodox theory of demand, supply, labour theory, wages, recessions, competition and information are fundamentally flawed. The obvious question is, if we are to ditch these unrealistic and useless theories, what do we replace them with? I cannot only criticise and knock down, I also have to create. I believe we should replace the current theory based on graphs of supply and demand with one based on power. The economy is not governed by unseen and unchangeable impersonal forces but by the competition of different sources for power. I believe neo-classical economics has outlived its usefulness and instead should be replaced with “The Theory of Power”. Continue reading “A New Economic Theory”
Jesus is best known for his commandments to love and forgive others. He is widely admired for his appeal to “love your enemies” and forgive your enemies no matter what they do. Even secular people admire these noble aims. However, even these are deeply flawed. Whatever the intention, they have rarely been actually followed. Even if they were it wouldn’t work. You see however well intentioned his words sound, they are deeply unrealistic to the point of impracticality. Continue reading “Jesus Wasn’t Great Part 3”
Yesterday I spoke about the problem with what Jesus didn’t say. Today, I will talk about the problems with what he did say. While Jesus is generally thought of as being kind, considerate and forgiving, there is another side to him that is rarely mentioned. Contrary to popular perception Jesus is a warmonger, racist, a proponent of thought crime, a defender of the Old Testament, a believer in devils, someone who made failed prophecies and a man who threw hissy fits when he didn’t get his way. Continue reading “Jesus Wasn’t Great Part 2”
Jesus is one of the most influential figures of all time. Even those who aren’t religious presume he was a pretty good guy, while the religious devote their lives to him. However, I started thinking about it and I realised Jesus wasn’t that great. In fact, I could fill three posts about why he wasn’t great. Firstly, there is a lot he didn’t say, secondly he said some terrible things, and thirdly his main points and rules for life would never work. This has been called “Christianity’s God awfully awkward, nightmarish question”, namely why did Jesus not say anything useful? Continue reading “Jesus Wasn’t Great Part 1”