Mark Schaffer

Mark Schaffer

  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I think you are probably thinking of "consumer surplus". Related example: there is an argument that GDP does not properly capture the impact of the internet on economic growth and welfare because so much of the consumption is of goods...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Sigh ... this may be so, but it still isn't what you claimed. You claimed intent, and implied this is what they are trained to do: "conventionally trained economists try to externalize". Sorry, this is silly. Internalising externalities is part...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    "Stuff that falls outside the standard economics framework includes producing children, donating organs, breathable air, fish in the ocean, wildlife and wildlands in general, carbon underground, and so forth." I'm sorry but that's just not the case. All this stuff...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    "[W]hat is the value of something that, if it ceased to exist, would instantaneously cause the entire economic system within which you are valuing it to also cease to exist?" It's not a meaningful question in a standard economics framework....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Not an example of what you claimed. You claimed intent: "conventionally trained economists try to externalize". This is silly. Conventional training for economists is to internalise externalities, i.e., they are taught to try to do the opposite of what you...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Err ... hmm ... I don't know where to start, there is so much misunderstanding there of how economists use "value". Value in economics is based on what individuals are willing to give up to get something. There are problems...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Worth noting that Preobrazhensky was (a) a close ally of Trotsky's, and (b) advocated a model of economic development where the surplus product of the traditional sector (i.e. agriculture) would be mobilised to support investment in industry. Not a million...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "It demonstrates that those who keep arguing the Soviets did it all by themselves with no technology transfer from the west are (at best) mistaken." Err... nobody here was arguing the the Soviets did that, or indeed that any late-industrialising...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    (which is the same thing as "missing" as in "omitting", yep, true)...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    I didn't miss it - was thinking about Trotsky, didn't want to load the question, but maybe should have given your point. I am assuming a leadership that either did or didn't choose the Stalin FFYP strategy, but that isn't...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    (Or the North American Commonwealth, for that matter.)...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "maybe I'm right that they couldn't have done it without the help they did get from the west (especially in the period after the Russian Civil War and before Hitler went off his nut and started a two front war)...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "Let's look at Soviet Industrialization. The problem is that the counterfactual is ignored. Namely, how would an evolving Russian Empire look like without the Soviet Union?" You are mixing two different counterfactuals. Yours is October Revolution (1917). The one we...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "you missed some key differences" Well, I didn't necessarily miss them, I was just listing a few similarities and one big difference (Stalin) and hoping for a response. :) (For which, thanks!) "most important of all, imagine how the USSR...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    I read icehawk's claim differently: "The Soviets achieved huge economic gains with fairly limited support from the West both before WW2 and in WW2." "Huge economic gains" meant (to me) the rapid industrialisation in 1928-40. I haven't looked at the...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "While we're agreeing to disagree, I'm curious as to how you're qualifying the above..." You can point to particular material or products where Western deliveries were big, sure. I specifically mentioned tanks and aircraft because you specifically referred to them...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Writing about Soviet economic history: "It all failed. Morally it failed early on. But economically... any story about why they failed needs to account for their first 40 years of economic success. It wasn't simple." There is a sort-of-standard explanation...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    I think we'll have to agree to disagree here. I am not claiming that the outcome of the German invasion would not have been different had the aid not arrived (very different question, interesting, debatable and in any case out...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "The Soviets achieved huge economic gains with fairly limited support from the West both before WW2 and in WW2." "Not correct. You might want to check out how many trucks, tanks, and aircraft were shipped to them in WW2" The...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "And the Soviets' 'full industrialization' wouldn't have been possible without the massive transfusions of material and technology they received from the west during the 'Great Patriotic War'." Umm ... no. In terms of military production and industrial mobilization for war,...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    And now, with exquisite timing, here comes Brad DeLong (Berkeley economic historian) with a lovely blog entry on whether, in an alternative history, Rome could have experienced an industrial revolution and made the transition from Malthusian to modern growth: http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/11/notes-on-mark-koyama-on-rome-on-medium.html...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    Fair enough, though strictly speaking I think you should be comparing agricultural capacity (a stock) to population (also a stock) rather than to fertility (a flow). The declines in fertility are huge - according to the UN, from around 6...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    Well, I don't really want to get into a longwinded defence of economics and economists here, esp when I did it already in the comments of a different blog entry here - environmental economics, externalities, pollution, resource constraints etc are...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    "Drop the money talk." Oops, sorry, you are right in this respect. (I'm an economist, we teach this stuff in economics courses, and we sometimes use "income" as shorthand even when it doesn't imply a monetary economy. Nostra culpa.) What...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    (Infertile "immortals" who can starve to death, that is.)...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    The world average fertility rate in 1950 was 5 live births per woman. It has been falling continuously since then and is now around 2.5 or so. The UN projects (medium variant) that it will be around 2.0 in 2100....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    "it is impossible to base any policy on deflationary currency such as gold" Well, not literally "impossible", rather just a very bad idea (which is what you mean, I think). The Great Depression is the classic example - the sooner...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Good timing: the Lindau Nobel Laureate economics meeting just took place, and Chris Sims did a talk on central banks and fiat money. I haven't watched it but Frances Coppola has a nice blog entry about that starts with this:...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Geoff wrote: "My point, unclearly conveyed, was that governments tend to hire economists to shape policies that make it easier for businesses to get away with such behavior. ... Aren't economists (perhaps masquerading as MBAs) up to their armpits in...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    "When did teaching externalities and basic environmental econ become standard in principles courses?" Probably nobody cares but I checked some old textbooks in my office. The first edition of Samuelson's textbook (1948) covers externalities in a footnote. By the 11th...
Subscribe to feed Recent Actions from Mark Schaffer

Following

Not following anyone

Specials

Merchandise

About This Page

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog

Propaganda