Friday, October 23, 2009

Meretricious Economic Theory

by the Sandwichman
meretricious a. of or befitting a prostitute; (of ornament, literary style, etc.) showily but falsely attractive; [f. L meretricius f. meretrix -tricis harlot [mereri be hired; see -trix) + -ous] Concise Oxford


Martin Langeland said...

To the extent that economic theory is crafted to justify the bosses' (whether capitalist, collectivist, or plain piratical) claims to the majority of the goods, it is self-evident whoredom. We need economics that leads us to a better provision of all our needs that also fits into the ecosystem of the entire planet with minimal destruction.

Anonymous said...

Yes. The latest episode in this soap opera is Krugman bashing the Chinese for hamstringing the Federal Reserve as it floods that global markets with fiat:

Can't they see we hit an iceberg? Why do they keep hanging on to the lifeboat?

Doru Dan Lung said...

I much prefer JK Galbraith´s honest and truthful assessment to Victor Lebow´s encomium of consumption:
"Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns. The very meaning and significance of our lives today expressed in consumptive terms. The greater the pressures upon the individual to conform to safe and accepted social standards, the more does he tend to express his aspirations and his individuality in terms of what he wears, drives, eats- his home, his car, his pattern of food serving, his hobbies.
These commodities and services must be offered to the consumer with a special urgency. We require not only “forced draft” consumption, but “expensive” consumption as well. We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption."

Unfortunately this view was virtually unchallenged until recently.

Jack said...

Given this definition:
"meretricious a. of or befitting a prostitute;" I suggest that it is an insult to all those working in the trade to compare their effort with that of the average economist. At least they provide a service with minimal collateral damage to the economy.