(Analytic) sinners in the hands
    of an angry Brad

Brad DeLong unloads on dumb, smug anti-globalization talk. His point is simple: however bad it is to be exploited as a third-world producer for first-world markets, not being exploited is worse.

Brad’s righteous rant reminds me of Holland Hunter, the Quaker who taught me economics as if it were still a branch of moral philosophy, as it was in Adam Smith’s day. That’s something that today’s economics-as-a-game model-builders and data-crunchers tend to lose sight of.

Economists can and do overestimate the reach of their intellectual tools, but those tools are, within their proper sphere, unmatched in power. Combine them with altuistic passion, and they can work wonders.

Comments

  1. says

    Strawman

    I guess I'm unduly answering for Stevenson here, but the point is not to drive demand for coir doormats through the floor. Why would he want that? The point is to drive demand for coir doormats made by exploiting* labour to zero.