How Learning Economics Makes You Antisocial - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14985818
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Evonomics wrote:How Learning Economics Makes You Antisocial
By Amitai Etzioni

One of the first experiments to test the hypothesis that teaching economics is debasing people’s morality was conducted by Gerald Marwell and Ruth E. Ames. They designed a game where participants were given an allotment of tokens to divide between a private account and a public fund. If every player invested all of their tokens in the public fund, they would all end up with a greater return than if they had all put their money into their respective private accounts. However, if a player defected and invested in the private account while the other players invested in the public fund, she would gain an even larger return. In this way, the game was designed to promote free-riding: the socially optimal behavior would be to contribute to the public fund, but the personal advantage was in investing everything in the private fund (as long as the others did not catch on or make the same move).

Marwell and Ames found that most subjects divided their tokens nearly equally between the public and private accounts. Economics students, by contrast, invested only 20 percent of their tokens in the public fund, on average. This tendency was accompanied by a difference in the moral views of the economists and non-economists. Three quarters of non-economists reported that a “fair” investment of tokens would necessitate putting at least half of their tokens in the public fund. A third of economists didn’t answer the question or gave “complex, uncodable responses.” The remaining economics students were much more likely than their non-economist peers to say that “little or no contribution was ‘fair’.
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This article is for all the posters who begrudge others on this forum for "not understanding Economics" enough. It suggests that posters who say "learn Economics" aren't looking for the enlightenment of others, but are simply looking to recruit more people into their anti-social worldview that they got by interacting with pro-selfishness propaganda.

soundtrack

(soundtrack comment: A sharp is the lowest form of individual . He has no respect for his family ,he has no respect for himself ,he blames everyone for his troubles ,he has never fit in, so he wants to lash out ,so they become sharps . Having no integrity they dont understand that there are people who care about a future for there families ,live a life free parasites who take and never give back !)
#14986245
Investing in the private fund is the dominant strategy in this game, you can't blame economists for not being stupid. :lol:

Generally I don't think such games are particularly meaningful because they have no real world consequences. But let's assume for a moment economics teaches students that humans are egotistical assholes (one can of course use the same theory to model altruism but it's rarely done). Is that such a bad thing? If we take the above game as an example, the economist would also conclude that an authority is needed that enforces cooperation. The economist would also not put that authority in the hands of single person.
#14986250
So basically; the entire point made in the OP is how its cool to commit the poisoning-the-well fallacy as a way of covering for one's ignorance of how the real world works (i.e. economics).

Dude One: Lets tax all the evil business-owners at 70%.
Dude Two: Wouldn't that deincentivize people from becoming business-owners?
Dude One: No way man, they will want to be business owners even at that rate, nothing will change and we'll have more welfare money.
Dude Two: Thats not how economics works; check out this treatise on supply and demand and the praxeological effect of taxation.
Dude One: Fuck off, your just being anti-social.

:eh:

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#14986312
@Victoribus Spolia,
You missed the point of the OP that I easily concluded.

Your reply shows that you accept the Bullshit that is taught in economics classes.
The OP is assuming that almost all that is taught there is BS.
And, one of the things that is taught is that morals have no business in economics.
#14986354
Steve_American wrote:And, one of the things that is taught is that morals have no business in economics.


I disagree with this entirely, I just don't think there is a conflict with sound economics and sound morals except when the state interferes. Indeed, my economic and moral theory are inferred from the same axioms.

thing is, the problem with the OP is that it implies that people who use economic arguments are anti-social, thus since you only post about economics @Steve_American, you must be anti-social.
#14986393
Victoribus Spolia wrote:
I disagree with this entirely, I just don't think there is a conflict with sound economics and sound morals except when the state interferes. Indeed, my economic and moral theory are inferred from the same axioms.

thing is, the problem with the OP is that it implies that people who use economic arguments are anti-social, thus since you only post about economics @Steve_American, you must be anti-social.

Right there where I bolded it is where you went wrong.
The OP implied that students that are in economics are anti-social. To use your phrasing at the end.
If the same test was done at the Univ. Of Mo., at Kansas City the result would be different because those economics students are not learning the propaganda of mainstream economics. They are learning MMT economics. At least that is my prediction.

Also, I don't always post about economics. I posted about model RR and in science and I hate Trump.
#14986396
Victoribus Spolia wrote:
Dude One: Lets tax all the evil business-owners at 70%.
Dude Two: Wouldn't that deincentivize people from becoming business-owners?


Dude Two is wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taxing people or businesses above a certain threshold with taxes even up to 99.9%.

Where this threshold should be is the real question. The EU is currently looking to put a 3% tax on digital companies with profits over 750 million(only for those profits above the threshold). I am not sure if that is a good threshold, I think we should reduce it down to at least 200 million.

By having a 200 million threshold means that anything above 200 million(personal or corporate profit) will essentially become public property, this does not dis-incentivise anyone and it has the added benefit of forcing companies to self-break(de-centralise) once they are approaching the threshold rendering anti-trust legislation mundane. At this moment we are facing huge troubles precisely because of these 2 issues(lack of public finances and too-big-to-control companies), companies becoming too big for their own good as well as the public good turning these companies into untouchables who can be pissing on us while we call it rain, imposing monopolies, buying up our countries, resulting in both sub-par products as well as limited products and all that with premium price-tags.
#14986402
@noemon, the example I gave was basically chosen at random and I am not particularly married to it; my problem with the OP is that its always a poisoning of the well fallacy if you dismiss someone for using an appeal to economics as being anti-social.

For instance, If I responded to your discussion of EU economic policy as "well I don't agree with that discussion because it promoting anti-social behavior; namely economic analysis" I think we would agree that such is a stupid response that does not address the substance of your claims.

If @QatzelOk didn't mean that with his OP, I would love to see him explain to me what he did mean. Otherwise, I am not here to advocate any particular economic theory, i'm just defending the discussion of economics in general by rejecting the idea that learning economics implies that you are anti-social.
#14986403
QatzelOK did not mean that in his OP and he will not try to explain it to you in terms that you would be keen to follow anyway. But if you put some thought into it the proposition that economic students are greater assholes than other people in general is probably true and I say that as I studied Economics myself. It doesn't mean they are wrong, or that their economic arguments are wrong, it simply means that they are being brainwashed through their modules to think about profits more than anything else...
#14986406
noemon wrote:did not mean that in his OP


If thats the case, then my critique was clearly misplaced.

noemon wrote:But if you put some thought into it the proposition that economic students are greater assholes than other people in general is probably true and I say that as I studied Economics myself.


:lol:

noemon wrote: It doesn't mean they are wrong, or that their economic arguments are wrong, it simply means that they are being brainwashed through their modules to think about profits more than anything else...



This is possible, but I have a hard time seeing people playing in a game where personal profit is a "win" for one's self-interest as being always bad. It seems the conclusion was already predetermined before the experiment was conducted; those who show competence in securing their own profits were going to be regarded by the researchers as the baddies.....and big surprise, the economic students showed the most competence in investing money for personal profit. :lol:


The underlying presumption is: Those who are economically naïve are more likely to spend money in public assets; thus, economic competence leads to people spending less of public assets and more on personal returns; thus, since investing in the public is assumed to be morally superior; economic competence (through education) implies morally inferior choices.

That doesn't seem like a rigged experiment to you where the presumptions and conclusions were already built into the "game?"
#14986411
That doesn't seem like a rigged experiment to you where the presumptions and conclusions were already built into the "game?"


All of these studies are in one degree or another, I am actually impressed by this particular study, the variables it has chosen to look into are quantifiable and measurable and of course they already "knew" the conclusion beforehand but they have taken the time to demonstrate their conclusion with good data.
#14986417
Imagine my shock to learn backstabbing at the expense of cooperation infests the minds of the student of profit. Whilst Capitalism reigns, self interest is paramount to promote personal advancement in this society. Only an idiot would split on "Golden Balls".
#14986418
Victoribus Spolia wrote:That doesn't seem like a rigged experiment to you where the presumptions and conclusions were already built into the "game?"


This is another example of the point that Sivad is always talking about with respect to science. One of the biggest problems is that people will often design their experiment in a way that it will give them a positive result. This is because a paper with a positive result is more likely to get published than one with a negative result.

I think it's valid to question this experiment. it feels very contrived. However, I think the best way to prove that it's probably bullshit, it to run an experiment that is "better" than this one.
#14986420
I doubt the experiment was misleading but the title of the article. The experiment merely reached a conclusion that perhaps could have been assumed beforehand. It was the article that associated personal self interest and aligned it to anti social behavour.
#14986600
I think you have to look at what "anti-social" means before you can have an opinion on the validity of the OP article.

Economics is the only "science" that students will go on to try to "win" later on. And this "win" is at everyone else's expense, and often degrades the community in its entirety (anti-social).

The only other science where I can see this is warfare science (Physics: nukes, Chemistry: weapons, Biology:weapons) and it's interesting to note how much of the weaponization of other real sciences has been the result of former Economics students trying to "win" their "science."

A real science involves a neutral observer, who is granted power and time to do his research because he has been well-educated in morality.

In the case of Economics-competition, it's obvious by the current "winner" (hedge fund managers, banksters, Oil companies, arms makers) that having little-to-no morality makes you better at winning at the "science" of Economics.

For example, calling people you don't agree with "cock-suckers" (as a pro-Economics farmer has done above) might be acceptable to casino-owners and fellow pickpockets, but it isn't really the vocabulary or tactics of a "science." Very few real science discussions fall into the language of street crime, whereas economics seems to have the same kind of hustler mentality as street crime.

And in much the same way that "facts" are abused to make money, I think Economics might be an example of a fake science that was invented (molded) to make money for a few.
#14989145
Good job @QatzelOk in basically confirming my entire criticism of this stupid OP.

QatzelOk wrote:conomics is the only "science" that students will go on to try to "win" later on. And this "win" is at everyone else's expense, and often degrades the community in its entirety (anti-social).


I think you are a bit confused, as economics as a field is sub-divided into a whole host of differing "schools," from the Marxist to the Austrian and everything in-between. Fact is, the study of economics is either scientific or philosophical, but both methods are objective in their analysis and not everyone who studies economics goes onto to be a wall-street mogul, a oil-company exec, or a goldman-sachs lobbyist (or whatever fill-in-the-blank baddies you would prefer). Just like not every "scientists" goes on to create smart-bombs, climate-change hysteria, or books on eugenics.

QatzelOk wrote:A real science involves a neutral observer, who is granted power and time to do his research because he has been well-educated in morality.


The same thing can be said about REAL economics.

QatzelOk wrote:I think Economics might be an example of a fake science that was invented (molded) to make money for a few.


The newest variation of this same poisoning-the-well fallacy: "ECONOMICS IS FAKE NEWS and FAKE SCIENCE!!" -Qatz

:eh:
#14989315
QatzelOk wrote:It suggests that posters who say "learn Economics" aren't looking for the enlightenment of others, but are simply looking to recruit more people into their anti-social worldview that they got by interacting with pro-selfishness propaganda.

Don't worry, Qatz, I myself would never suggest you learn economics, but not because you're too social. Your understanding of economics, I mean your understanding of what it is at all, seems so limited that you only care to recognise it as an enemy on your radar and shoot at it, and nothing could ever change that.
#14989336
Victoribus Spolia wrote:
Dude One: Lets tax all the evil business-owners at 70%.
Dude Two: Wouldn't that deincentivize people from becoming business-owners?
Dude One: No way man, they will want to be business owners even at that rate, nothing will change and we'll have more welfare money.
Dude Two: Thats not how economics works; check out this treatise on supply and demand and the praxeological effect of taxation.


Dude One: That's in fact exactly how it did work in the real world. We did it for like 40 years and it worked like a mug.

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