Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Ideological Use of Cost Benefit Analysis

This short section from my forthcoming Invisible Handcuffs discusses the ideological use of cost-benefit analysis.


Charley said...

We mostly pretend to ourselves, here in the United States, that we have no ideological prejudices - we are pragmatists. Never realizing, of course, that such a boast simply means we do not question our assumptions.

This goes much deeper than economics, with its assumption of the rational individual - and even of the variants that the presume an individual prone to irrational bouts of exuberance, despair and other flaws.

None of these have yet to show what is a necessary presupposition of their assumptions: That a human individual is capable of individual thought and action; that the essential condition of the individual's thought and action is not her social environment.

I thought about this a lot when I was participating in morning battalion run cadences like: "Kill a commie for your mommy."

Travis said...

Nice case study Michael. Also helps explain why it is only post Nobel that Krugman can find the courage to quit his advocacy for the government failure school.

david said...

Ackerman and Heinzerling, Priceless, deserves a mention.