(Analytic) sinners in the hands
    of an angry Brad

Why boycotting Third World goods is about the nastiest thing you could do to the people who make them.

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.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “(Analytic) sinners in the hands
    of an angry Brad”

  1. 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.

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