Brad DeLong on economists in the public square

Great article by Brad DeLong – go read it.

My only comment: I think #3 is incomplete. Markets can reinforce incentives to exploit power, but they also create powerful incentives & mechanisms for changing the distribution of power. The rise of the middle class & the flattening of social status are market-era phenomena, reinforced by the incentive to look past whatever social differences you have with other market participants & use them to make money.

EDIT: Chris Hayes, Adam Ozimek, & Matt Bruenig had a Twitter conversation that ties in to this: markets have the potential to displace social norms, which in specific instances can be a net positive or net negative, but I argue has been, on net, a large positive over the last roughly 250 years.

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About Joe Colucci

From Michigan, now in Boston via DC and NYC. BA in Economics from NYU. A geek and a nerd, of the type that thinks there's a meaningful difference between the two. Avid fan of good TV, good argument, good beer, good food. I work at the Lown Institute on reforming the health care delivery system, and I blog on anything else that strikes my fancy at wonkinakilt.wordpress.com. Obviously, anything that I post on Twitter or Wordpress is my own rambling, and is not endorsed by any employee, colleague, or acquaintance, past, present, or future. View all posts by Joe Colucci

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