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May 30, 2014

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Phil

"New research shows that Marx was right"

About time. Does that mean we can all go home?

Phil

Confused by the McCloskey ref, though (and not just because I'm not familiar with McC). Doesn't the experiment suggest that the introduction of market relations *promotes* predation?

chris

@Phil - no. Transfers on average were smaller under competition than in the dictatorship gap (see the bars in fig 1A). In this sense, competition seems to reduce predation - though this might be because less predative dictators select the competitive process.

Cince Vable

I'd be surprised if "blaming immigrants" had anything to do with economics. It seems to me that it's more likely a result of:

1) Innate cognitive biases. It's only natural to identify with "your" group. Consider the psychological effect that has to be accounted for in eyewitness testimony - that people are far better at identifying members of their own ethnic group over any other, which applies across all races. This kind if thing is evolutionarily hardwired - it has nothing to do with "blame", or "hate".

2) Cultural conflict. It is stupid to discriminate against people for skin colour, but perfectly reasonable to do so on the basis of religious and cultural values. Barely a day goes by without a massacre, assassination, stoning, execution, kidnapping, female circumcision, enslavement etc. in the Muslim world. Why only yesterday the husband of the woman stoned to death on the courthouse steps for *gasp* marrying for love was found to gave murdered his first wife because...he found someone he liked better. No wonder people don't like (Muslim) immigrants' cultural values. The evil ignorant racists!!!!

Peter Risdon

People prefer outcomes they themselves shaped - this is an argument *for* capitalism, not against it.

NoniMausa

Take it further -- the interconnected structure of banks, corporations, insurance companies, employers and so on effectively deflect blame altogether, not letting it come to rest on any single sector or agent. The structure dissipates it.

Corporations and other employers have to maximize their income, banks too, and as they all compete with each other they claim that if they didn't take the advantage then someone else would. But the ugly truth is, they are constructs, not living creatures, and are all quarrelling over who can derive the most control and benefit from the human population from which they derive their very existence. They need to be seen for what they are, and harnessed back to their proper roles.

Noni

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