- Capitalism and Alternatives -

interesting but is it instructive?

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on October 04, 1999 at 15:22:40:

In Reply to: Prisoner's Lemmas posted by Gideon Hallett on October 04, 1999 at 14:05:13:

(That link didnt work for me)

: Yup. As Axelrod showed, the optimal strategy in a repeated-iteration Prisoner's Dilemma is tit-for-tat starting with co-operation, not competition.

But the moment someone 'cheats' for extra points its ruined. What ive always said about socialism was that if everyone woke up tomorrow and decided unanimously to work for pleasure, pride and supplying everyone with thier wants it would work. If they dont all wake up and unanimously agree on this then it wont work at all, it will be ridden with freeloaders and powergrabbing politicos in its descent into despotised poverty for the many.

So, it seems to work in small groups with fairly mutually complementary interests, but as doubt, misunderstanding, distrust, misinformation, freeloading - in a word chaos, increases so 'socialism' as a system is destroyed. When 'scientific' socialism attempts to take care of complexity it fails, when mass indoctrination programmes in schools and culture try to instill commonality in place of exclusivity it fails.

: Interestingly enough; in a human parallel, the OECD's employment group recently concluded that "...inequality and unemployment are positively correlated - rising wage inequality and rising unemployment go hand in hand." - in other words, the standard economic doctrine that says labour market flexibility is the way to high employment is utterly wrong.

I would be skeptical as to the causal relationship being suggested here. France has one of the worst long term unemployment rates but is less 'unequal' in net income that the US or the UK, I could suggest that high taxes and generous welfare were causing unemployment in france.


"Today, national unemployment rates are systematically lower in the richer and more equal countries of Europe where wages are high and social welfare systems are strong. Meanwhile, it is the lower-income countries with the weakest social welfare systems and the most inequality, such as Spain, where unemployment is highest in today's Europe."

But why presume the causal link to be the welfare system? How did they single that out of all the other contenders such as the *fact* they were poor anyway, the structure of their industries, the stability of their political historic and current intrusion into the economy.

: Interesting, no?

It is, but the focus is way to narrow to say much about causality.

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