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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Debased Culture of Economism

In which two sides blithely discuss what kind of "good" kids are without any hint of self-awareness that they have reached the moral basement.

7 comments:

  1. But is cultural debasement a normal good or an inferior good?

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  2. I typically roll my eyes at these debates, but I don't see how they've reached the moral basement. The question they're asking is simply "do people desire additional children of their own as they get richer, or fewer?" In using technical language to ask this question, they throw off unfortunate connotations: "children are infereior goods? How dare you???", but that's not itself a sign of moral depravity. You yourself have asked the same question with respect to your own preference, albeit not in these terms.

    And of course, few live up to their own high standards, but I doubt you think such a discussion was in the "moral basement". (I wonder if there's a "Moral Penthouse"...)

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  3. Silas, I don't think Gene is upset that someone might call a kid an inferior good. I think he's upset that someone might call a kid a good in the first place. As was I.

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  4. What Bob said, Silas.

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  5. So because a topic makes you "queasy", it's therefore in the moral basement? I'm going to need a little more substantiation on this one.

    If you value your children, that *means* they're a good. If it makes you queasy, that just means you still feal some incongruity between the literal meaning of terms and your feelings about your choices.

    lol @ captch: "tojew"

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  6. "If you value your children, that *means* they're a good."

    In the debased world of economism, it does. Well-adjusted people do not view other people as goods. Nor do some poorly adjusted people like me, who at least know who our moral betters are!

    IF you value your children in terms of exchange value, or put a market price on them ("Well, I guess I'd turn him into dog meat for a billion dollars") THAT means you consider them a good.

    That also means they are going to have pretty messed up lives.

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  7. IF you value your children in terms of exchange value, or put a market price on them ("Well, I guess I'd turn him into dog meat for a billion dollars") THAT means you consider them a good.

    Not a requirement for a good. Again, you're just attaching connotations to economic terms rather than cashing them out to their ultimate meaning, and then beating your chest at how noble you can be for taking a superficially noble stance. Not helpful.

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