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[[ Read Pdf ]] Ø Licence to be Bad: How Economics Corrupted Us á It is going to change the way in which we understand many modern debates about economics, politics, and society Ha Joon Chang, author of Things They Don t Tell You About Capitalism Over the past fifty years, the way we value what is good and right has changed dramatically Behaviour that to our grandparents generation might have seemed stupid, harmful or simply wicked now seems rational, natural, woven into the very logic of things And, asserts Jonathan Aldred in this revelatory new book, it s economics that s to blame Licence to be Bad tells the story of how a group of economics theorists changed our world, and how a handful of key ideas, from free riding to Nudge, seeped into our decision making and, indeed, almost all aspects of our lives Aldred reveals the extraordinary hold of economics on our morals and values Economics has corrupted us But if this hidden transformation is so recent, it can be reversed Licence to be Bad shows us where to beginOver the past fifty years, the way we value what is good and right has changed dramatically Behaviour that to our grandparents generation might have seemed stupid, harmful or simply wicked now seems rational, natural, woven into the very logic of things And, asserts Jonathan Aldred in this revelatory new book, it s economics that s to blame Licence to be Bad tells the story of how a group of economics theorists changed our world, and how a handful of key ideas, from free riding to Nudge, seeped into our decision making and, indeed, almost all aspects of our lives Aldred reveals the extraordinary hold of economics on our morals and values Economics has corrupted us But if this hidden transformation is so recent, it can be reversed Licence to be Bad shows us where to begin Big time academic economics is a strange area at times and is certainly an acquired taste Theory has been highly abstract and mathematical for quite a while and the empirical tribulations of trying to show evidence in the world for some theoretical claim are daunting Readers of popular books and policy summaries may easily fail to notice that this is also an elaborate occupation here, with its own detailed rules and status orderings Academic jobs that pay well are highly competitive and much Big time academic economics is a strange area at times and is certainly an acquired taste Theory has been highly abstract and mathematical for quite a while and the empirical tribulations of trying to show evidence in the world for some theoretical claim are daunting Readers of popular books and policy summaries may easily fail to notice that this is also an elaborate occupation here, with its own detailed rules and status orderings Academic jobs that pay well are highly competitive and much of the work and pay may come from consulting, litigation support, or other advisory activities and then there are the journal articles dense, abstract, with lots of numbers and symbols not very accessible to most readers It sometimes seems as if one has stumbled on an alternate culture.Jonathan Aldred s new book provides an intelligent and probing look at some of the backstories and inside baseball of contemporary economics The focal theme is that to build their area, economists have developed a detailed logic of rational man homo economicus and provided a simplified story of individual greed and autonomy as the basic story for how people do and should act in the brave new world of game theory, public choice economics, behavioral economics, strategic contracting, and the world of perfect competition, the cost disease, and the minimal state This is a generally well done tour of some key topic areas and is well written and highly informative.It is easy enough to dismiss some of the artificiality of these theories and models as the requirements of finding solutions to models or addressing statistical problems The key to the book, however, is how these ideas, have come to be treated as mainstream and even commonplace in current politics, regulation, and corporate management People in power have come to accept this stuff and economists have come to believe their own theoretical simplifications as being true The trouble, of course, is that real people do not seem to behave this way or did not, at least and Alfred suggests that by embedding economic excesses in rules and regulations, they may come to be adopted by the people involved who will then start behaving according to the dictates of rational man.The tone of the book is highly critical and in my opinion, Professor Aldred is both withering and effective in his critiques Perhaps the brush is a bit too broad In all fairness, however, I know many who understand the game and do not believe their own witticisms about selfish behavior There are many critics both in and outside the field who have made similar criticisms as well.Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it struck numerous chords with me It works as a distinct criticism If it prompts people to read further, that is even better Keynes quip that every person who considers themselves a practical person of action is in thrall to some dead economist or other Economic thinking contains values and shapes our view of the permissible Economics in the mid twentieth century the author pins it on Austrian School, Chicago Boys, and Strangelovian characters at the Rand Corporation but the villain is homo economicus becoming the paragon of ethics is the problem We abstracted away a lot of moral strictures in the pursuit of being Keynes quip that every person who considers themselves a practical person of action is in thrall to some dead economist or other Economic thinking contains values and shapes our view of the permissible Economics in the mid twentieth century the author pins it on Austrian School, Chicago Boys, and Strangelovian characters at the Rand Corporation but the villain is homo economicus becoming the paragon of ethics is the problem We abstracted away a lot of moral strictures in the pursuit of being good value maximizers that we took off a lot of guardrails that were out of bounds in simpler times I get the point when you shoehorn people into the role of little Pac mans gobbling up utility points of money you get a perverse idea of what is acceptable in law and politics Still, while I agree on the perversity of the current dispensation and respect some older taboos but I can t help thinking this is the same kind of argument a bible thumper can make on novel ideas like gay marriage because they are recent innovations An economic critique is needed but I don t think a decline narrative is an apt one from a better time economically As much as I loathe the economic players involved in neoliberalism it is not taboo breaking that bothers me buton what they want to do with their economic thinking and on whose behalf they work for that bothers me I really enjoyed this book The author takes a critical look at some of the major trends and schools of thought in contemporary economics.He first provides an overview of the significant figures involved in each, be they Nobel prize winners, authors etc Then he discusses the thinking, it s interpretation, and its effect on modern economics and society.Often, the interpretation is not as originally intended by the major proponents of the initial research His conclusion and general thread is tha I really enjoyed this book The author takes a critical look at some of the major trends and schools of thought in contemporary economics.He first provides an overview of the significant figures involved in each, be they Nobel prize winners, authors etc Then he discusses the thinking, it s interpretation, and its effect on modern economics and society.Often, the interpretation is not as originally intended by the major proponents of the initial research His conclusion and general thread is that economics has gone a bit off track.I found it well written and accessible It was interesting to hearabout names I d heard of but knew little about,