Monday, September 24, 2018

Branko Milanovic — Hayekian communism

"Hayekian communism" an oxymoron? Branko Milanovic says not at all.

Global Inequality
Hayekian communismBranko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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Konrad said...

Hayekian Communism

“Nowhere, I think, is wealth and material success more openly celebrated than in China. Rich entrepreneurs are celebrated in newspapers, television, conferences. Their wealth and rags-to-riches stories are held as examples for all.”

It’s okay to admire wealth, as long as we sincerely empathize with people who don’t have wealth. Average Americans have very little empathy. We praise the have’s, while we condemn the have-nots. Our worth as a human being depends on how much money we have. It is a sin to be poor. It is a crime. If we lose our house because a bank illegally foreclosed on us, we are scum. If we lose your livelihood because a major health crisis wiped out our savings, we are sub-human.

Chinese society likewise has little empathy. A YouTube video shows cars running over and crushing a 2-year-old Chinese infant twice, while pedestrians ignore it.

“Ayn Rand would feel at home in this environment.”

Ayn Rand’s paradise is a world with zero empathy for anyone but herself. She spent her miserable life attacking people who received government assistance, but took government assistance herself when her chain smoking gave her cancer. She was a sociopathic parasite.

“Celebration of wealth comes naturally to Marxists.”

Marxists (ideally anyway) celebrate collective wealth, while Americans celebrate wealth for a handful of cruel oligarchs.

Average Americans secretly pine for a nostalgic, romanticized, and imaginary past where everyone lived in an idyllic Thomas Kinkade painting. Publically, however, American behavior is, “Screw you; I’ve got mine.”

Next the article gives us a real knee-slapper…

“Collectivist efforts worked for a decade or two, but eventually growth fizzled out and the efforts flagged. It was left to China and to Deng Xiaoping to stumble on a combination where the rule of the communist party would be maintained but full freedom of action, and social encomium, would be given to individual capitalists.”

Nonsense.Much of China is a sweatshop. Many factories have specially constructed nets around them to catch workers who attempt suicide by jumping. Air pollution is infamous. Tobacco abuse is extreme. Maybe things will improve in the future, but today I have no wish to move to China.

Perhaps the author is trying to say that unlike the USA, the Chinese government has equal power with rich oligarchs. Perhaps he fails to understand that many Communist Party members are themselves rich oligarchs.

China is “CINO” (Communist-in-name-only).

Kaivey said...

I saw a video recently where it said that China had sentence to death 4,000 people in one year. They even put drug dealers to death. The Chinese Communists may just be carryon with Chinese condition where in the past an emperor enforced the death penalty for drug addicts during the opium wars with Britain, I don't know? Anyhow, it seemed to be very cruel to me, and so authoritarian. Our cultures are different and perhaps they see drug dealers as murderers, but I felt sad when I saw a woman drug dealer crying after being sentenced to death.

Andrew Anderson said...

Publically, however, American behavior is, “Screw you; I’ve got mine.” Konrad

I see it as despair of traditional Progressive/liberal "solutions" except direct cash transfers which, being the most just, are the most successful and popular too. Fancy that, control freaks everywhere! You know who you are.

Soon Americans will despair of neoliberal "solutions" too and hopefully they won't full prey to faux-libertarian/goldbug hypocrisy.

Let's not blame the victims who are generally too busy struggling to survive themselves to give much thought to why they should have to do so in the richest country on Earth (for now).

Konrad said...

Yes China likes to execute people. China executed 1,551 people last year, while the USA executed 23. The USA imprisons people at six times the rate of China (665 per 100,000 in the USA vs. 111 per 100K in China) but China’s population is 4.3 times larger than the USA’s, so the total number of people imprisoned in China is 9.5 million vs 2.2 million imprisoned in the USA.

The USA and China both share the same madness of outlawing only some drugs. Meth and coke, for example, are illegal, but tobacco and alcohol are not, even though the latter two statistically kill far more people.

I once visited Shanghai. I didn’t care for it. Singapore is not bad, but I hate the equatorial climate. There is no cool season.

I've been to numerous cities around the world. My personal favorite is San Diego California. I myself am from Hollywood CA, but I don't live there now.

Kaivey said...

If sounds like had an interesting life, Konrad.

I wish i could go back in time and work hard to get into university. I would study psychology and probably become a therapist to earn a living, but my main aim of study would be to understand the psychology of left and right so as to be able to do better politics.

Kaivey said...

I quite like the 'nanny state', Andrew. It's a nice feeling because the security is good. Much better than leaving it to the dodgy - and often thieving - private sector.

Kaivey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Anderson said...

Much better than leaving it to the dodgy - and often thieving - private sector. KV

It's good to hear you support debit/checking accounts for all citizens at the Central Bank or Treasury itself.

Or do you?

Konrad said...

“I wish i could go back in time and work hard to get into university.”

A university isn’t much good unless you’re go into something really applicable. I have a B.A. in philosophy, an M.A. in archaeology, and an M.B.A. (Masters in Business Administration). If I had my life to do over again, I’d be a brain surgeon or some other kind of surgeon.

Oh…and when I say I have lived in several countries, and visited many more countries, I do not mean in any official, professional or vocational way. I mean as a tourist. I lived in Japan for a while because my sister was there and she was married to a guy in the US Air Force. I lived in Mexico for 2.5 years because I went down there with my next door neighbor (a Mexican national) and I stayed. I lived in India 2.5 years because my ex-wife was from India (I met her in the USA). I lived in Singapore for a month before there was a foul-up with my passport and I was stuck there. I lived in Russia for 6 months because I had a friend who moved there. Same with the UK for 6 months. That sort of thing. Nothing important or official. My father before me was the same. He was a US Marine during WW II, and afterward he traveled the world as a merchant seaman, just to see the world. He was a globe-trotting vagabond, just like me years later.

Everyone on my mother’s side was a Canadian citizen all their lives. My aunt (mother’s brother’s wife) was a British citizen all her life. None of this meant anything. Nobody in my family was ever important, or a public figure of any kind.

Kaivey said...

Andrew, I like the idea of public banks where people can be paid a small interest on their savings. But Richard Werner's idea of small private banks, many of which would be non profit, seems appealing too. The big banks need some competition in the high street.

Andrew Anderson said...

Andrew, I like the idea of public banks where people can be paid a small interest on their savings. Kaivey

And if you were king (not just a figurehead), we could have that, until you died and someone with different tastes became king.

But principles, especially good ones, can last and last.

Then here's a principle: Risk-free assets should not have a positive yield or interest rate lest we have welfare proportional to account balance rather than need.

Can we not agree on that?

But Richard Werner's idea of small private banks, many of which would be non profit, seems appealing too. ibid

Sure, why not, only they should be 100% private with 100% voluntary depositors.

Can we not agree on that?

The big banks need some competition in the high street. ibid

Banks, big or small, have no inherent right (as individual citizens do) to use a Nation's fiat for free and may be charged negative interest on their reserves in addition to being 100% private with 100% voluntary depositors.

There's no accounting for taste, true, but when it comes to justice, principle, not individual preference, should rule.

Andrew Anderson said...

And what about fiat creation? Should it only be created for the common welfare or may it also be created to lend to or buy from the private sector, typically the banks or the rich - those with assets.

Why not instead, if it is deemed that interest rates are too high, simply distribute new fiat equally to all citizens to lower them? Using Overt Monetary Finance (OMF) or perhaps negative interest on large accounts at the Central Bank as the source of fiat?