What do we do with these people?

And what if one of “these people” is you or I?

My observation is that we are eliminating many jobs now and we won’t be able to train the workforce, and Ray’s argument is that it’s always been like this and we’ve figured it out before and we’ll figure it out again. Looking at the pace of change, starting with self-driving cars that can now do the jobs of Uber drivers, taxi drivers, and truck drivers, that’s millions of jobs lost over there. What do we do with these people? Many of them are not retrainable for the technology economy and we’re not going to be able to create new jobs for them within five years or so.

The more I look into it, the more I’m convinced that change is happening too fast, disruption is happening too fast, jobs are being wiped out too fast, and the fact that we’re still in denial about it and not acknowledging that this destruction is happening gets me worried. We should instead be talking about how can we minimize its impacts or come up with a safety net or retraining program and create as many new jobs as we can and spread the prosperity. We are not having these discussions. ~ Vivek Wadhwa

Bold emphasis added by me.

See the rest of the interview with Vivek Wadhwa and his thoughts on how human jobs will be replaced here: ‘RoboCop is coming’ 


Kahneman’s Failed Revolution Against Economic Orthodoxy by Zeljka Buturovic & Slavisa Tasic

To download the article by Buturovic and Tasic (from Critical Review) click on the link below.


The original link to the article is here.


It is clear that in making real-world decisions people rely on various authorities—family members, media reports, experts such as school counselors, therapists, and real-estate agents; that they succumb to peer pressure or conform to childbearing, lifestyle, and other norms of their immediate environment; and that they sometimes fail to anticipate changes in their situations and themselves as they age. In many cases, the mistakes one makes are essentially due to a failure of the imagination (creativity, divergent thinking): a failure to picture possible scenarios accurately enough or, alternatively, a tendency to weigh, however precisely, a too-limited set of options or to construct a restrictive and overly abstract set of outcomes. This could happen for various reasons, from lack of critical thinking to limited exposure to diverse possibilities to poor memory of various scenarios. Relying too much on statistical knowledge as a substitute for contextual understanding of future possibilities would exacerbate instead of ameliorating these tendencies; there is a reason why concern with creative thinking is a staple in business, clinical, and educational contexts, to the point where phrases like “thinking outside the box” have become clichés. It is in the discovery of options and possibilities where most of the challenge of decision making lies, not in precisely comparing predefined and given options.
Like orthodox neoclassical economics, behavioral economics does not tackle any of these important aspects of decision making; its findings, ultimately, tell us very little about how people think. Artificially induced quirks of human cognition are examined in excruciating detail while everyday decision making of great individual and social consequence are ignored.
Kahneman’s undue focus on cognitive blunders that are defined as departures from the rational-choice norm is symptomatic of his failure to liberate his decision theory from simple consequentialism. His book’s illustration of the “endowment effect” (292–93) is one of the most striking examples of the closure of his research agenda within the narrow neoclassical framework. “Professor R” (later known to be Richard Rosett at the University of Chicago) bought wine at auctions at a price not higher than $35. Professor R would, however, not sell the bottles he already bought unless he was offered more than $100, which Kahneman interprets as evidence of a bias towards overvaluing an object simply because one owns it. The endowment effect has been documented in other cases, of course, although its importance in economic contexts has been disputed (List 2003and 2004). Regardless of the existence of the effect itself, however, it is baffling that Kahneman would in the first place assume, for example, that Professor R is supposed to be a profit maximizer when it comes to his wine collection. The same is true of other behavioral economists; Richard Thaler (2015, 17) describes Rosett’s behavior as “not rational.” Yet the professor is obviously not a wine trader; he collects wine for pleasure. If we see an error in his actions, that is only because we implicitly treat him as a rational maximizer—and only in order to show that he is not a particularly good one.

Composition (HUM425)


This photo of Joe McCarthy doppleganger Ted Cruz, among a series that were published then withdrawn by AP after complaints by several pundits, demonstrates emphatically that composition, the relationship between elements within the visual field, can signify powerfully. The photo was taken while Cruz, who wants to be your president, spoke at a “Celebrate the 2nd Amendment Shooting Range” in Johnston, Iowa on June 20.

credit: Charlie Niebergall credit: Charlie Niebergall

View original post

Using ‘complexity thinking’ to manage an increasingly complex world – by Paul Cairney, Robert Geyer and Nicola Mathie

ElgarBlog from Edward Elgar Publishing


Complex policy-making systems are ‘greater than the sum of their parts’.  To understand them we must examine not only the individuals involved but also the ways in which they interact with each other, to share information and combine to produce ‘systemic behaviour’.  Professor Paul Cairney,Professor Robert Geyer and Nicola Mathie consider what is involved in using ‘complexity thinking’ to inform policy decisions.

View original post 433 more words

Economics and the value of art

More than a “Veblen good” the recent record auction price for Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)” signals that the extraordinarily wealthy have nothing better to do with all of the surplus value that they have captured.

occasional links & commentary


Neoclassical economists don’t have a lot to say about the value of art. Basically, they start from the proposition that a work of art, such as Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’),” is often considered to have two different values: an aesthetic or cultural value (its cultural worth or significance) and a price or exchange-value (the amount of money a work of art fetches on the market). They then demonstrate that, within free markets, individual choices ensure that the price of art generally captures or represents all of the various dimensions of value attributable to the work of art, rendering the need for a separate concept of aesthetic or cultural value redundant. Therefore, on their view, Picasso’s painting is “worth” the record auction price of $179.37 million.*

But the Wall Street Journal (gated) observes that yesterday’s sale of other paintings—including Mark Rothko’s “Untitled (Yellow and Blue)”—reveals something else:

Some paintings act like object lessons in tracking the global…

View original post 814 more words

The new BIS ‘Handbook on security statistics’. A reason to celebrate.

Real-World Economics Review Blog

The BIS (Bank for International Settlements) has, together with the IMF and the ECB, published a new handbook on how to estimate debt. A reason to celebrate. Mainly, of course, as the handbook enables more consistent and better measurement of debt-securities (mortgages, bonds and the like). But also as this handbook shows how much economic statistics are consistent with the ideas and concepts of institutional and Post-Keynesian statistics. And how inconsistent with mainstream economics. About the first fact we can cite the website blurb (which does not mention the phrase ‘The Great North Atlantic post 2008 debt crisis’ but we all know what this is about):

The importance of securities markets in intermediating financial flows, both domestically and internationally, underscores the need for relevant, coherent and internationally comparable statistics. This need was recognised by the G20 Data Gaps Initiative

View original post 278 more words