Re: From another time of division

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From: Dave Long (
Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 22:39:21 PST

> > And the guy got shot... over yet another war started because of
> > economics--free-trade vs protectionism.

> Yangkung puts the event in an interesting light.

Yes, and history has been kind to the protectionist
liberal Republicans who won that war.

At least Lee survived reconstruction, (you all are
spared his similar sentiments due to my being away
from my Freeman) even if such magnanimous ideals
of unity only made it into the last century about
as far as the Great War. (yet another war started
because of economics -- well, idiocy, but if there
hadn't been Markets At Stake, perhaps the idiocy
wouldn't have been so inflammable)


> Perhaps a better analogy would be the methodology
> of testing drugs where some people receive placebos.
> In the long run test subjects may be worse off, or die,
> but you have an answer of which you are more confident.

Does experimental economics actually have any situations
where enough factors are held constant (and there is a
large enough sample population) that anything can be said
with confidence about any effects of the variations?

I look at areas (of the US, and of my limited experience
in southeast asia) where there are vibrant economies, and
I see higher tax rates and leftward leanings. I look at
areas where there isn't much going on (and what there is
tends to be organized or owned by people from the former
areas), and I see lower tax rates and rightward leanings.

Could it be that people tend to want as much government
as they can afford, much like they choose restaurants?

Liberal government is like dining at a white tablecloth
place: one should tip the staff, but bread and oil and
salt and spices and tea are all available for no charge.

Conservative government is like feeding at the drive-
through: one must pay extra for more fries, but one
can enjoy the entire experience in the privacy of one's
own vehicle.

Campaign-manager government is like eating at a family
restaurant: it's somewhere between the two, and gets
an awful lot of business, but somehow satisifies nobody.

Given that it's difficult to get large groups of people
to go to lunch at the same place at the same time (wait,
one more compile, and I'll be right out), it's no wonder
we can't get very large groups of people to agree on an
optimal level of government.

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