Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Profit Sharing on the Plantation and the Social Cost of Slavery

Following up on my previous post, the thought occurred to me:  what if someone proposed that instead of abolishing slavery (which would be detrimental to GDP growth), a system of profit-sharing should be introduced to enable the slaves to buy their freedom? The profit-sharing plan would be optimized by gradually ramping up the profit share over the span of, say, fifty years, given a discount rate of "x" determined by the projected GDP growth rate.

Then some Stanford researchers come along and point out that the social cost of slavery is actually six times as high as estimated by the standard models and that a much more stringent slavery mitigation policy is warranted.

Would it be too moralistic of me to point out that the quantitative casuistry is obscene? John Brown's body lies a mouldering in the grave.

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