The term “Structural unemployment” has a technical definition and a colloquial definition. And authors frequently criticize the colloquial as not matching the technical, rather than the premise put forth by the colloquial. However, the colloquial definition is correct. That is, that there are people trained and experienced in skills that will not return to the economy, and that there are few if any sectors of expansion available to absorb them in any potential recovery, and if unemployed long term, they may be permanently ostracized from the work force. As an aside, it is unlikely that the USA will return to a consumer-debt economy. We will not be ABLE to. Not unless we play tariff and protectionist games, and deprive other geographies of their ability to arbitrage prices.

The high current level of liquidity is limited to the financial sector, and even there, to a narrow band of the financial sector. There are no savings going on anywhere, and instead there is debt reduction going on everywhere.. The country is operating at higher efficiency out of fear and necessity — a combination which cannot persist indefinitely.

So, the colloquial concept of Structural Unemployment is accurate in it’s usage.


From Economist’s View (In reference to Schiller’s argument (in an exceptional recent paper) that economists should be more interdisciplinary.)

Is Adam Smith Partly an Economist, or Wholly a Moral Philosopher?, by Brad DeLong: Tiago at History of Economics Playground reacted very negatively to an AEA Annual Meeting presentation by Robert Shiller and Virginia Shiller:

This is a question that posits a false dichotomy.

The correct question is either:

a) “Is adam smith … an econometrician, or a moral philosopher?” He is a moral philosopher.
b) “Is adam smith … an economist or an econometrician?” He is an economist.
c) “Is an econometrician an economist?” The answer is “No.” An econometrician is a statistician that works on economic data.

Why? Economics is a branch of moral philosophy, because the all branches of economics SOLVE for a political end – an end, and an input, without which the profession cannot exist as a discipline. (Yes, that’s right.) Therefore one cannot be an economist unless one is a moral philosopher, unless economics is a branch of statistics, in which case, there are no economic facts because there are no facts without theories. A fact is impossible to define without a theory in which to analyze it.

Because being an economist in academia has lost it’s philosophical content, it is possible for Brad to ask this silly question. And if more economists spent more time on philosophy before interpreting statistics, they would understand the erroneous and somewhat ridiculous claims made by the profession are not grounded in demonstrable scientific reality.

And they are not grounded in demonstrable scientific reality because economics is currently explanatory, but not predictive.


Do you know Godwin’s law? That any internet discourse eventually devolves into something involving Hitler?

There is a new law. I’m coining it, as Doolittle’s law: The minute someone mentions Sweden in an economic argument, you know that they’re analysis is wrong.

1) As Felix Salmon states, Wealth is very different from Income. The WEALTH distribution in the USA and Sweden is similar because sweden is a capitalist country albiet one with a great deal of redistribution, and wealth must be in the hands of the people with the knowledge to EMPLOY that wealth in order for wealth to exist.

2) Felix also states that countries with great retirement schemes require less wealth accumulation, since wealth accumulation is a retirement scheme. So individuals with retirement schemes have less incentive to develop wealth. Swedes have fewer incentives to accumulate weath.

Doolittle’s law: The minute someone mentions Sweden in an economic argument, you know that they’re analysis is wrong.

3) Redistribution that affects one’s family, tribe and culture is one thing. Redistribution that allows a group or class to compete with you is something else. Redistribution that is used for purposes that one objects to is something else entirely. No one is against redistribution. It’s the USE of redistribution that gets people up in arms – whether it’s the concentration of wealth in the hands of a competing minority or class, or redistribution to minorities seeking political power. And they’re right to do so. Homogenous cultures are comfortably redistributive. Heterogeneous cultures aren’t. That’s why multiculturalism fails, and always will fail. One can only have multiculturalism under a political system where there is no means by which competing interests can gain political power, and no matter of redistribution. This is why european cities were multicultural before the advent of democracy and nationalism.

4) Sweden is an outlier. It is a small, genetically homogenous, protestant, ascetic, nordic, resource economy with no border issues that did not experience the second world war. It is an abnormal country. It cannot be compared to heterogeneous countries of much larger size. The cultural comparison at scale is Japan, not the USA. Japan is an island based, racially homogenous ascetic culture.

5) Sweden doesn’t have all that much ‘wealth’ with which to create a distortion. The bigger the economy, the greater the potential for concentration of wealth. Sweden is a small country of 10M people, 85% of whom live in a very dense area, and who benefit from the remainder of the country’s low population density and the ability to export natural resources easily into europe. In the USA we have cities that big – and they are full of tribal and competitive minorities, and complex social class structures competing for political influence in order to demonstrate social status for themselves and their tribes. So, that’s why there isn’t a vast difference in income. It’s because sweden is a small country, it isn’t an empire, it doesn’t have the ability to concentrate capital, it doesn’t have the ability to create liquidity and it has a small market.

6) When comparing the USA to another country you must use the whole of western europe, because that is the degree of diversity in the USA. We live in the Nine Nations of North America. And different nations are not generous to each other. They cannot be. I’m happy to debate this with anyone. But humans cannot build a large country with complex relationships and have high redistribution, unless they want to invite civil war.

7) The evidence is pretty clear. You an live a better life with more choices in the USA for less money if you ‘enter the system’. Entering the system means consumer credit, housing, and working reasonably hard for a living. If you don’t want to ‘enter the system’ you’re going to be in the lower quintiles. It’s pretty simple. Furthermore, It’s terribly expensive to live in Sweden and it takes little research of expat writings to see how few people from the USA want to live there after trying, and inversely, how many swedes come the USA and stay here because of greater economic freedom.

Social status matters because it determines access to opportunity, and access to mates. Status hierarchies are more valuable in-group than across groups, which means that humans will always be naturally racist and anti-culturalist except under two scenarios: a) at the margins where mate selection is advantageous for one or two generations, or b) (as in the UK) where a a social class can gain temporary social status for one or two generations by demonstrating ‘tolerance’.

No data will demonstrate otherwise. And that is what makes good economics. Use of statistics to create ‘errors of aggregation’ and ‘ignoring causality’ in order to intentionally create a false argument is bad economics. Whether bad economics is a a form of fraud and deception, or whether it is immoral, is a matter for someone else to decide. But I’m willing to stipulate that regardless of those potentialities, it’s is simply bad economics.


So, this silly person sends me a religious diatribe quoting scripture and all manner of other deists as if it’s some scientific and scholarly work that will convince me that it’s the will of god that I do this or that. What I love most about their arguments, is a failure to account for the ‘other gods’. The majority of people worship some ‘other god’. They have some other doctrine. Some other set of social assumptions. Yet they all take on faith that their god is the right one, their prophet the correct one, and their interpretation the best one.

But if we look at the OUTCOME of worshipping a particular god as the measure of any religious philosophy, the LAST god you want to worship is Jehova or his Janus-masked inverse Allah. They’re a near guarantees of social, economic, political, and technological failure. Or the poor Russians, who, because of their trade relationship with Byzantium, the Czar chose Byzantine Christianity over Western Christianity, and forever exacerbated their cultural and economic problems. And under that analysis, the Chinese repression of organized religion is a much wiser strategy than is our convenient and commercially beneficial strategy of “tolerance”.

Now, I’m not anti-christianity by any means. I understand the value of Christian monarchy, and the christian ethos. But I also realize that christianity is european paganism more so than it is biblical.

But you can’t argue with these people using reason. You have to meet them on their turf. It gives them nowhere to do. So I use this kind of argument pretty frequently. It almost always works. And the outcome is almost always humorous:

There is only one true god, and only one true religion.

Zeus. Jupiter. Dios Pater. Dyaus Pitar. Sky Father. Sun God. The God of Indo-European peoples.

His prophets are Homer and Aristotle, his acolytes are the rational philosophers, his ministers lawyers and judges, his clerics are the scientists and technologists, his disciples are the warriors and craftsmen, his laws The Natural Law for men, and Science for the universe.

Their tools are reason, technology, and the transformation of the earth for the benefit of man, in order to make the universe a heaven for man.

Zeus desires only that his children join him, and take their place next to him, among the gods. He asks nothing in return. He only offers wisdom.

The other prophets, the prophets of the false gods, are all dupes of the devil. They do the devil’s bidding. They serve the devil’s ends. They spread the devil’s lies.

Jehova is the devil. He teaches submission. Only the devil wishes submission. Only the devil would wish submission. Submission is the end of man and the beginning of slavery.

Jehova is the devil. The god of the hindus, buddhists, jews and muslims is a god that creates ignorance and poverty. This is the truth that history reveals to us.

Allah is the devil. The god of muslims. He asks submission, and in return, his worshippers live in ignorance, poverty, violence and are the lowest peoples of the earth.

The Hindus, and the Buddha teach followers to ignore the real world. To pretend it does not exist. And they live in poverty and ignorance because of it.

Zeus is the one true god, and reason is the one true religion, and history is the one true mythology, and study and accomplishment are the one true ritual.

We worship Zeus by with our achievements. We listen to his advice. We honor him by raising ourselves from animals to gods.

Only reason, history, study and technology make it possible for man to join the gods, by transforming the real world into heaven.

Only a devil would want man to seek submission and ignorance.

Jehova is the devil in disguise. Selling the slavery of ignorance and pover under the ruse of false salvation and submission.

Zeus seeks nothing in exchange. Jehova has nothing to trade. Allah has nothing to offer but ignorance.

Hail Odin! Zeus! Jupiter! Dios Pater! Dyaus Pitar! Sky Father! Sun God!

((Thanks to the Monliari Society for inspiration.))

I argue that anarchic propertarianism is a brilliant and fruitful research program. But it is, as currently envisioned, another luddite fantasy rather than an institutional solution to modernity that can compete with democratic secular humanism and irrational financial probabilism. Until we unite Austrianism with New Institutional Economics with modern technology we will not have a rational pragmatic alternative that preserves freedom.


Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of NPR. I’m a listener, albiet not a frequent one. On the other hand, using taxpayer money for purposes that are political in nature, content, or value judgements which other taxpayers find patently offensive is simply intolerable.

We will not have a government that we can all support unless it does very little, and what little it does, is acceptable to everyone.

NPR appeals to people who are educated but who largely do not participate in the market, or are wealthy enough not to need to participate in the market. It is an 11% demographic, and that 11% is decidedly left of center, because our universities are decidedly left of center. And for that reason, the use of public funds to promote the religion of secular humanism is simply offensive to other people.

NPR is The 700 Club for Democratic Secular Humanism.

It belongs in the private sector.

NPR Board Member Admits It Serves ‘Liberal, Highly Educated Elite,’ Wonders How to Justify Public Funding

    At least one National Public Radio board member has a firm grasp on arguments against the organization receiving federal funding. Criticisms of NPR “do have some legitimacy,” she noted, and “we must, as a starting point, take on board some of this criticism.”

    Sue Schardt, director of the Association of Independents in Radio and a member of NPR’s board, noted during the board’s Feburary 25 “public comment” period that “we unwittingly cultivated a core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite.”

    As a consequence, Schardt added, while the journalism NPR produces may be of high quality, the organization really only serves, by her telling, 11 percent of the United States. In light of that fact, she added, “we need to carefully consider whether we warrant public funding and, if so, what the rationale would be.”


An Ideology: Any reasonably coherent set of social, cultural, moral and political ideas that can be used to obtain and hold political power on the behalf of a part of a population that perceives it has similar interests.


There are three basic western philosophical traditions:

    1) Aristocratic and Conservative with the longest time preference.
    2) Middle Class and Classical Liberal with medium time preference
    3) Proletarian and Socialist with short time preference.

These three philosophies loosely correspond to social class sentiments and perceptions of social order. They also loosely correspond to the Monarchy, the Senate, and House of Commons. The insight of the british model was to give each social class it’s house, and to force the houses to collaborate in order to enact laws.


This class-based model was successful in adapting to changing currents until the thought leaders of the American and French revolutions attempted to break the class model and transfer full power to either the middle (american) or lower (french) classes. And was further exacerbated by the Russian and Chinese revolutions which (regrettably) succeeded in transferring political power to the proletariat – in the greatest destruction of human life in history after the Black Plague. After the world wars, Europe was broken economically and socially and the citizenry rejected the aristocratic model entirely. 1 Instead of the fraternal aristocratic model, which was the unique feature of western culture, governments sought solace in socialist doctrine and universal enfranchisement. Meanwhile western authoritarian and military leadership was absorbed by the Americans along with the British navy and port system. The parliamentary method of government has been moderately successful given the …….

Americans used this period of postwar economic prosperity to assert their inherited global military power to undermine global communism – successfully. But the cost was high, and the US is now largely bankrupt and unable to fund it’s existing military structure as well as it’s redistributionist benefit system. And the west must now combat the primitivism of Islam, which has taken on the proletarian strategy communists at a time when european postwar economies have recovered, but the developing economies are competing with western lower classes for jobs.

To fund this military empire to protect the west against proletariat primitivism, Americans export debt, and effectively charge the world an indirect tax, instead of taxing other countries directly and creating a political problem for them. Then americans use that debt to finance the cost of running the world trade and monetary system.

Unfortunately, in the process of running the empire, Americans have now become a fractured society, with race, culture and class divisions, as well as somewhere between four and ten different geographic ‘nations’ within the USA, each with different cultures, but operating under the administration of an international imperial government. Many of which, within these sub-countries feel the government is as oppressive to their cultures as do foreign nations. Under this trade empire, the US economy is now so dependent upon the value of the dollar, and the use of military force to determine the means by which trade is administered, that the citizenry will suffer if these obligations are reduced.

This series of events shows the danger of empire building to national cohesion — whether it is done on purpose as in the case of Britain defending herself from Spain and France, or by accident, in the case of the USA, trying to maintain stability, and defense from communism during and after the war period.


The government must reflect the class structure of society in one way or another, so that the classes that do exist can use the government to cooperate rather than regress into class warfare. And if government does not reflect society, then society will either change to reflect the government’s class structure, by the massess aspiring or attempting to become upper middle class, which has some value, or in the opposite case, the aristocracy will abandon the nation as it has in the USA and in Ireland, which is entirely destructive to culture and economy alike. Or the upper and upper middle classes will become a predatory diasporic class like it has with the Jews in the west, and the Chinese in Oceania.

While both the aristocratic (natural law) and proletariat (socialist) political philosophies specifically state that society consists of classes, our classical liberal and democratic socialist philosophies promote the false philosophy of egalitarianism: the factual equality of ability, and the couter factual equality of outcomes – rather than the equality of opportunity despite our differences in ability to produce beneficial outcomes. The socialists, in their effort to undermine the aristocratic political system so that their elites may sieze power, supposedly on behalf of the proletariat classes, have taken control of our educational system to reinforce the justification for their seizure of power in the popular consensus, and created enough of a popular mythos to affect voting patterns, reinforcing their political power, while at the same time, reducing the competitiveness of our lower classes against foreign groups, by a process of intentional “Harrison Bergeron-ing” – dumbing down.

This is not to say that giving people property rights is necessary a bad thing. In fact, it’s an exceptional thing for everyone in the society. THe question is not whether people should have individual property rights. Its whether people need poliitcal rights if they have property rights. And logic would dicate that no. NOt only do they not need political rights, but that by giving people the opportunity for political power, we distract them from developing more useful activities in the market.

We are argue over the absurdity of choosing the best single form of government, when what we mean is ‘which class should rule?’, and “if any class should rule it should be the lower, which is the majority.” When the question itself posits a false dichotomy: the question is, since society consists of different social classes, what institutions should we create to help them cooperate such than none harms the other, and only by mutual benefit can they reach their desired ends. And so we have chosen ‘winner takes all’ government, and because of that choice, we have also, of necessity, chosen perpetual class warfare, and the destruction of the cultural cohesion necessary for the perpetuation of our nations.

So, we should reframe the question, from “which class should rule, using their class’ philosophy”, to “which form of government best facilitates the cooperation of the social classes for achieving shared ends?”

That answer, logically, is that we can, with some effort, accomodate all three class philosophies into one form of government. In fact, we had that form of government. We foolishly have abandoned it, because of the rapid shift in economic power during the industrial revolution.


The first mistake we made was the transfer of political power from the landed aristocracy to the middle class, rather than replacing landed and inherited aristocracy with a new layer of aristocracy whose position was earned by merit. This allowed a new aristocracy to form, that is excluded from, and invisible to the politcal economy of society. American upper classes have abandoned participation in politics. The second mistake we made was egalitarianism, and structuring our government for rule by a single class. But we have made a series of other mistakes, partly because we lacked the knowledge of other options, lacked technologies, ideas, philosophical frameworks and processes to provide an alternative to the Hellenic and British models.

-The Errors Of The Political Process:
Scalability of the Debate form of government.
Rational Debate rather than Empirical Pragmatism: The problem of Calculation.
Taxes rather than loans.
Devolution of the defense provided by the senate / House of lords / Upper house
Descent From Utilitarianism Into Moralism
Failure to Keep Pace WIth Technology – debit cards and direct democracy.

-The Errors Of Abstract Ideas:
The Corporeal State, and the Corporeal Business
The Error Of Free Trade
The Error Of Intellectual Property
Probabilism From The Physical Sciences Applied To The Social Sciences

-The Errors Of Human Nature:
The Blank Slate vs Natural Law
The Prohibition of Political Wealth
Ignoring the Status Economy
Devaluing Aristocracy
Devaluing Voluntary Charity
The Universal Utility of Freedom, Democracy and Capitalism
The Impossibility of Agreement upon means, even if possible to agree upon ends.

-The Errors Of Credit and Money
The Relationship Between Time And Money
Breaking The Relationship Between Knowledge And Valuation Among Bankers and Lenders
Erroneous Priorities: The Financialization Of The Economy vs The Productivity Of The Economy
The Creation of Ponzi Benefits Packages Rather Than Saving and Insured Investments.

The Errors Of Incentives
The Transformation of Incentives from Negative Punishments, to Positive Rewards.
The Inability of governments to ostracize individuals and groups.
The Inability of popular government to punish real crime
The criminalization of political speech and action.


Governments consist of organizations of human beings who follow processes, rituals and rules. These processes and rules may be historical and habitual, or formal and written. The purpose of these rules is to allow people to PLAN: to make plans and to cooperate with one another. So that they may take the risks needed to increase productivity and trade. Even dictators need a bureaucracy: an organization that will execute their will. Democracies more so, because without the hierarchy they must rely upon the established rules to give them authority by which to persuade others to cooperate with them to achieve their goals. And people who wish to cooperate, and combine their capital to produce ends, need some assurance that their risk will allow them to take the profits from that risk.

We call these organizations, rituals, processes and rules ‘institutions’. Institutions are the means by which we cooperate and compete politically.



    1) A written constitution enumerating the specific powers of the government, and restricting the government only to those specifically enumerated powers.

      a) An onerous process by which the constitution can be altered incrementally, and limits on what may be altered.
      b) Specific constraints upon the courts from the judicial creation of law.
      c) Specific definition of all terms used in the constitution, expressed as observable and measurable human actions.

    2) A hereditary monarch, who is the head of state, and who has veto power, and veto power alone.
    3) A senate of commerce and banking whose members must meet rigid criteria, and who are chosen by lottery.
    4) A house of redistribution that is open to all over 60, and who are democratically elected for one year.
    6) An independent judiciary operating on the common law, whose supreme court members are appointed by the monarch

Managed Corporate Institutions

    2) A Ministry of Defense and intelligence
    3) A Ministry of State (foreign relations)
    5) A Ministry of Electors: The electronic presentation of all house legislation, and direct democratic voting on individual bills. (Economic democracy)

Managed Private Institutions:
Each institution operates as do the medical, legal and accounting industries, which are largely self regulating, and self-educating. They report to senate committees.

    1) An independent Bank whose chairs are appointed by the monarch
    2) A Ministry of Registry that allows people to register titles to all property, public and private (titles, intellectual property, copyrights, etc)
    3) A Ministry of Insurance: for disasters, emergencies, and health (all insurance is private, but the government must insure the insurance companies)
    4) A Ministry of Transportation: roads, rail, air, etc.
    5) A Ministry Of Audits, Warranties, Representations, Weights and Measures: (Consumer Protection)



    1) The government has no right to create new taxes.
    2) There is only one “tax”, which is a “sales commission on income”. It is small, and and is highly progressive. Corporations are taxed on retained earnings, not distributed as dividends. Capital Gains are taxed. Dividends are taxed only at the individual level.
    3) The government shall issue loans, not laws, nor levy taxes – loans are calculable and forecastable. (admittedly, this will take more space than I have time for here.) The senate must borrow money from the house, and the interest collected by the bank is returned to the house for use in redistribution via the payment of services. The purpose is to limit state interference in the economy through taxation, and instead have the government focus on increasing production so that it may earn income with which to pay for services.
    4) The senate shall invest in business and industry, approved by the house, in exchange for stock in those industries, the profits of which return to the house for use in redistribution.
    5) The privatization of all functions of government, so that a bureaucracy cannot form and seize power. Members of the state may not participate or take membership in unions or collective bargaining.


Money, Insurance, War are global but all trade and culture is local.

    1) The return of the majority of political power to the states, and the limitation of the federal government to money, insurance, and defense.
    2) the right of nullification and secession is inviolate.
    3) Education is privatized and under the sole jurisdiction of the states.


    1) Immigration requires cultural assimilation and language adoption, as well as purchased right of entry, and accountable sponsorship of the individual.
    2) A religion is a personal and social experience not a temporal and political experience, therefore any religion that asserts temporal, legal or political action is not a religion but a political party for the purpose of undermining the cooperative social order, and it should be treated as such. Religions may contain no temporal tenets or ambitions.An Ideology: Any reasonably coherent set of social, cultural, moral and political ideas that can be used to obtain and hold political power on the behalf of a part of a population that perceives it has similar interests. Monarchy needs a sufficient ideological base. The people have abandoned the church. The church has abandoned christendom. Economics has replaced cultural nationalism, and empirical tools have replaced the moral sentiments. For monarchy to prevail in the post-mystical age, we must remake it’s foundations so that they rely upon economic and cultural superiorities, not desire to return to the past.

Monarchs have been superior to elected leaders because they have a longer time preference. And with a longer time preference they can more wisely veto those fashionable changes which will, in the long term, harm the society, or transfer power between social classes.




Monarchy needs a sufficient ideological base. The people have abandoned the church. The church has abandoned christendom. Economics has replaced cultural nationalism, and empirical tools have replaced the moral sentiments. For monarchy to prevail in the post-mystical age, we must remake it’s foundations so that they rely upon economic and cultural superiorities, not desire to return to the past.

Monarchs have been superior to elected leaders because they have a longer time preference. And with a longer time preference they can more wisely veto those fashionable changes which will, in the long term, harm the society, or transfer power between social classes.

Monarchy has a high correlation with Nationalism.

Under monarchy multiculturalism is not a problem, because cultures can form communities of interest in as many monarchies as they wish. And there is no threat from them, because they are denied access to political power, and must compete in the market, rather than politics. IN fact, this is the primary virtue of aristocratic society: people compete in the market to serve one another, rather than in politics to enslave one another. And the monarch profits from the fact that this competition, which he or she presides over, serves better to serve the people, than politics ever shall. Politics cannot create wealth. It an only create an an environment where wealth can be created.

So, under monarchies, and nationalism, people form nations, or states, which must compete against other states. These competitions then inform their value judgements – benefitting or punishing them for their decisions.


Now, why is that circumstance of nationalism a “good”? Because cultures consist of a series of hypothesis and value judgements. Each value judgement in the cultural catalogue asks each member of the community to suffer the cost to himself of forgoing opportunities to fulfill his self interest in order to ‘fund’ the social order. Social orders consist of these rules, and the associated costs in forgone opportunities. In nearly all societies these rules consist of forgoing opportunity to lie, cheat, steal, hurt, and murder. And in most advanced societies, we convert these social words into market language, and call them Fraud, Theft and Violence. But they are effectively synonyms. People can then use this market for behavior to form the society that they wish to. In other words, nationalism, or monarchies, allow people to form and join communities where they have shared values. And to enjoy the benefits of those values, and to bear the costs of those values. People are happiest when they know the rules, when they agree with them, when they can choose which community to belong to, and when it is possible to judge a set of values by their visible outcomes. Furthermore, diversity of communities does not require that we oppress one another. Diversity today is a mask for one group, largely the proletarian, for empowering the state to equally oppress everyone, and to transfer power from the meritocratic-ally endowed classes to those who are not using a false language of morality, that is framed in religious tribal language, but under analytical scrutiny simply is nothing more than exploitation. It is anything other than diversity. It is using the mask of diversity to institute their version of homogeneity.

  1. And did so wrongly. Germany’s intellectuals were right: the anglo social order was socially destructive without the empire to support it – as the experience of both Spain and Portugal had demonstrated. German social order is the most economically productive yet discovered because it mobilizes the working class to produce quality exports. Exactly as it’s 300 princes had done during the medieval era prior to unification. []

Copied here from

On Climate ETC: Judith Curry writes:

If climate scientists were to use their past accomplishments to bolster their current claims, there would be less controversy, as it’s more difficult to undermine the credibility of established achievements.

Which is a distracting straw man argument that posits the climate issue as one of communication rather than credibility.

I responded with:

Why do I know that what I say here will not make a difference? Because researchers in the physical sciences have perverse incentives because of the economic structure of labor in academic research. Therefore, scientists will not change their behavior because it would cause them to pay the cost of that change, and that cost is too high in relation to ALL THEIR OTHER COSTS AND BENEFITS. …. In other words: People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

I’m an economist. (A political economist. I’m not an econometrician – the kind of people who in economics make the same mistakes as physical scientists – forecasting.) Whether economists are scientists is still open for debate, but we have a similar problem of credibility in our field, even though economics and politics are more naturally interdependent than are the physical sciences and politics.

Regarding Past Achievements.
If we study both the history of science, the history of political activism, and the history of marketing we end up with a very different conclusion than you state above, and storytelling wont’ cure it:

1) Science is riddled with as many faulty conclusions as successful achievements – in fact, of necessity, far more faulty conclusions than successful achievements. (Everything from the notorious Phlogiston theory, to the Mathusian error, to the 70′s fascination with ‘global cooling’ and the upcoming ice age. Furthermore, Apocalyptic pronouncements are almost universally false if we look at the history of ideas across all fields. The universe is far more equilibrial than we are. Christendom in particular, is anti-apocalyptic because the apocalyptic vision is attached to ancient sentiments.)

2) Far more than 90% of research papers that achieve public attention contain errors in reasoning that invalidate the premise. (Depends upon whose study you look at — but, it’s bad no matter how you look at it.) A random selection of papers from PhD’s and candidates from any number of fields from any university’s library will contain amateurish exaggerated conclusions from insufficient data, and erroneous interpretation. (Reasons? First, because graduate ‘training’ work is publicized, and second, because the short form peer reviewed process for scientific achievement appears to be far less valuable than the long form book process for scientific achievement.)

3) Nearly all research work that reaches the public contains overreaching editorial content that invalidates the research. This is a combination of the desire for attention by researchers and editorial license that seeks attention on the part of publishers.

4) Good science is meticulous. Bad science is not. (I lost a quarter of a million dollars of my own money backing climate science, and the November 09 scandal was the reason for it. The field must take responsibility for the shoddy science.)

5) It certainly seems that economics as a profession is more skeptical of it’s calculations than are the physical sciences, partly because economic variables are so complex that we are afraid to make pronouncements. We realize we can be descriptive of the past but we cannot be PREDICTIVE of the future in economics. The same applies for highly complex systems of all kinds, even the environment – the heuristics of which is not terribly different in intertemporal terms than are social constructs.

And, as an economist I can observe that the physical sciences are reversing the accumulated prestige of the field for a single reason: the perverse incentives of the graduate training process in research universities.

6) Movements need to be skeptical of their acolytes. For example, certain musicians who employ the compositional structure of hymns to rock music, must sometimes specifically eschew association with Christian groups because they know it will impact their credibility with the broader audience. The fact that the international communist movement has effectively co-opted the green movement means that the entire research program is now effectively discounted as a political movement. The global warming movement must associate itself with commerce if it is to succeed. And it is not impossible to do so. Moral arguments are UNIVERSALLY masks for wealth transfers. Without exception. Scientists are notoriously ignorant of economics and politics. Where science succeeds, is where it unifies with the pragmatism of commerce. Not where it aligns with religion and politics.

In economic terms, science as a profession is discounted in the marketplace because of a record of exaggerated claims and faulty advertising. It isn’t that scientists need to tell better stories. It’s that science needs to produce better work, and be extremely cautious with public pronouncements. Scientism is a religion if it believes it has a lock on forecasting the future, even of simple physical events.

So, it’s about credibility. The degree to which the academic scientific community in the west, since the 1970′s has undermined scientific credibility is not understood in the incestuous circle of academia.

To counter this effect: Write books that fully articulate an idea, not micro-papers. Falsify your own work. Seek to justify opposing views. Ruthlessly attack others who undermine scientific credibility in the public debate. Reduce the number of graduate students and hide their work unless it is extremely well argued. (this is a contrary incentive)

It’s not about achievements. Because the achievements are currently dwarfed by a ocean of contrary-indicators. In fact, if we look at the data, it is not in academia that the great inventions are coming from. In fact, it’s not from the large commercial capital bureaucracies either – they only refine discoveries. Innovation appears to be coming almost entirely from the efforts of individuals.

It’s not about storytelling. It’s about doing good science. And right now, climate science is insufficiently articulated for human beings to justify paying the huge cost associated with the apocalyptic visions. Human beings are rational. They just need a rational argument and to understand the costs and benefits in relation to ALL THEIR OTHER COSTS AND BENEFITS.

Why do I know that what I say here will not make a difference? Because researchers in the physical sciences have pervers incentives due to the economic structure of labor in academic research, and the failure to separate research from teaching lines of business and faculty in large universities. Therefore, scientists will not change their behavior because it would cause them to pay the cost of that change, and that cost is too high in relation to ALL THEIR OTHER COSTS AND BENEFITS FOR THEM.

In other words: People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.


And one more thing that I just see too much of – arguments over definitions.

I. A definition is a contract between two or more people on the properties, causal relations and utility of those relations.
I.I A term is the name for the set of properties, and causal relations and the utility of those relations.
I.II One cannot debate what a term ‘means’ in the abstract. One can only (a) debate the validity of properties, causal relations and utility with others, (b) debate the assumedly normative properties, causal relations and utilities associated with the term and (c) debate what properties, causal relations and utility that someone else attributed to the term. But the properties, causal relations, and utility of an object of consideration are either true or they are not.

In general, even most educated people rarely understand such terms that they commonly employ such as ‘true’, ‘freedom’ and ‘law’, or ‘right’, because they cannot express these concepts using non-contradictory, necessary and sufficient properties, causal relations and utility. Instead they rely on either normative, or personally biased usage, as convenient tools for justifying their existing biases.

II. There is no other description of the term ‘definition’ that is applicable to the concept of rational debate. Since any non-contractual definition is an appeal to authority that is outside of the contract of debate between the parties.

III. One cannot impose a definition. This is a logical fallacy. One can only negotiate it, or describe the properties and causal relations, then debate over the properties and relations, and the utility of those properties and relations. Debating about the ‘meaning’ of a term as normative, is not the same as debating the utility of it’s necessary properties.

IV. One cannot QUOTE a definition as a means of appealing to an authority. This is a logical fallacy. You can only use a definition of a term as a means of clarifying your use of that term as a shorthand for the purpose of conveying properties, causal relations and the utility of those properties and causal relations.

V. One cannot rely on a normative usage of the term as an appeal to authority. This is a logical fallacy. You can only use this as a starting point for debating on the true and false properties, causal relations, and utility of the properties and relations. Once at the starting point, one must then negotiate over the properties, causal relations and utility of the properties and causal relations.

VI. One may defend one’s usage of the term by refering to a normative usage, or a quoted definition as justification for your USAGE of the term. But this does not mean that the properties, causal relations, and utilty of the property and causal relations is true, or even normative. (Evolution for example is assumed to be directional by most people, when in fact, it only favors complexity within a niche, which in turn leads to fragility.)



My rights are protected by my willingess to kill in order to defend them. Legal documents either require that many people are willing to kill to defend them, or that many people are willing to kill to enforce them, or that many people are wiling to kill to change them.

Moral arguments by contrast are a form of deceptlon by which the weak attempt to gain advantages without paying the costs for obtaining those advantages. That is the sole purpose of moral argument. By contrast, any right that is possessed by virtue of social contracts, formal or not, is possessed only because of the willingness of people to use violence in order to protect it. The government does not protect my rights. I do. Instead, government is a shareholder system whereby we each obtain the productive efficiency of scale in enforcing our defense of established rights, and therefore obtain them at a discount. But the government has that power only because we relinquish it to them. And we do not pay those costs equally. Some of us have a greater virtue of violence at our disposal than others. We are initially wealthier in violence than other people, so the cost of our privileges is higher. While those who are weaker, obtain a higher benefit than do the stronger. This is looking at the mythology from the opposite perspective. Since in all of history, the minority who has the greatest capacity for violence has established all political orders.

Moral arguments by contrast are a form of deception by which the weak attempt to gain advantages without paying the costs for obtaining those advantages. That is the sole purpose of moral argument. By contrast, any right that is possessed by virtue of social contracts, formal or not, is possessed only because of the willingness of people to use violence in order to protect it. The government does not protect my rights. I do.

The west was built diffrently from the east or middle east, because it was built by a fraternity of warriors. Even with our vast specialization of careers, it is still protected by vi olence. Violence is a virtue. The fact that women are poorer in violence, and that the poor and ignorant are less able to pay the sacrifice nand discipline eeded to use it, is why they rely on moral arguments.

There is no argument among philosophers, and certainly among political economists, that the system of property rights and exchange, regardless of culture, is a proxy for violence. By monopolizing violence, ‘governments’ force people to compete by production rather than violence. This provides people wiht incentives to produce. Production vastly favors discipline. Wealth vastly favors IQ. Productivity has the negative emotional consequence of amplifying the differences between individuals, and rewarding individuals more diversely than under tribal society, and therefore subjects the proletariat to more negative status signals, and making a social class out of the proletariat because of it, that our tribal sentiments and cognitive biases support.

Moral statements depend on economic circumstances.
In pre-agrarian society, murder, plunder and rape are heroic, not prohibited activities.
In post-industrial society, some sort of redistribution is at least suggested by human sentiments.
“rights” are a MORAL not NECESSARY argument.
Rights are POSSIBLE only when there is very limited SCARCITY.
Legal RIGHTS are only POSSIBLE when a minority is willing to exercise violence to protect them.
We ACKNOWLEDGE the POSSIBILITY of certain rights only because we can AFFORD them at some period in time.
There are vast differences between social classes on what ‘rights’ we can afford at one period in time or another.
The lower social classes argue for rights. The upper social classes argue for utilities. The lower classes breed. The upper classes don’t.
The lower classes envy the productive classes, the upper classes protect their assets.
Property, civilization, society, in ALL CASES WITHOUT EXCEPTION were created by the application of violence by a minority

Ideas held in ignorance are just evidence of ignorance, and nothing more. Moral arguments are irrational arguments because they do not enumerate their properties. Economic arguments are NECESSARY arguments, not the display of PREFERENCES nor MORAL arguments.

The lower classes use resistance movements rather than actions to work against stronger forces.
Resistance movements are ‘costs’. They are opportunity costs. They create economic friction. They create cooperative friction.
Resistance increases the costs for the middle class, and can overwhelm the ability to export violence by the upper classes.
Moral statements on rights made under the threat of the application of either resistance, political violence, or street violence.

“Might may not make right. But might certainly makes all Rights.”

“Might may not make right. But might certainly makes all Rights.

Hence, my correct statement that my rights consist of my willingness (along with others) to use violence to protect my rights.

Violence is a virtue. It is the first virtue. And those who argue otherwise do so out of either ignorance or fraud.
Because it is fraud to make a moral argument rather than a necessary and economically necessary argument.
Moral arguments are, without exception, arguments made from either ignorance or deception.
In most cases they are made from deception, in order to obtain transfer payments in order to accumulate resources at a discount.
IN effect most if not all proletariat arguments for transfer payments are threats of organized violence against others.

You are welcome to debate this topic with me but I am fairly sure I will prevail. Because unlike you I am not arguing from a network of silly moral deceptions.

In moral arguments “follow the money” is a more valuable technique than it is in forensic investigation.
Because the world is very clearly separated into people who produce and those who form resistance movements in order to obtain the productive results of others by the reliance on moral arguments the implication of which is violence if their wants for transfer payments are not met.

The only good and bad is whether the transfer payments requested by the proletariat threat of violence is Pareto Efficient or not. ie: whether more harm to the economy is done by the transfers (redistribution) than by failing to do so, and over what period of time that harm is created. There is no harm in creating roads because roads increase productivity which is for the good of all. But all redistribution to individuals that is for personal consumption has significant negative consequences. While there is some benefit to Poor Farm’s and Social security, as long as it is a very minimal cost. Creating a dependent class of people by failing to force them to save, is creating an economic hazard. No matter what transfer we talk about the society is exposed to risk by the creation of supposedly risk abating transfer payments.

It is very simple really.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.