walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Pro-Hegel evidence

Ever wondered about Hegel's whole thesis/antithesis thing as an explanation of the historical process? Well, never wonder again, because look at this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_income_hypothesis

Yup, _Milton Friedman_ came up with that one. If ever there was proof that a thesis creates -- inevitably -- its antithesis, it would be this idea from this man. Obvs, he's dead wrong. That only even looks like it's happening in the post New Deal era, with high tax rates, low income inequality, high employment, rising standard of living, 30 year mortgages and a stock market which really didn't do anything at all for a decade or more at a time.

I had no idea this kind of idea was kicking around until I was reading a paper that Krugman pointed to. The paper used census data in the service of Veblen style theory about income inequality and needing to flaunt that ya got it. I got really hung up on the authors mentioning the absence of permanent income information. Just the _idea_ of something called permanent income sort of stuck in my craw.

And yeah, I really do get the synthesis part of Hegel. I know that the generation after me will have ideas that partake of both my perspective and Friedman's generation's perspective.

The Krugman post: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/unseemly-notes/

The paper he refers to (he h/ts Bruce Bartlett): http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/feds/2014/files/201476pap.pdf

Anyone who _doesn't_ come from a stable, multi-generational middle-class-or-higher socioeconomic background knows perfectly well that people change their spending habits wildly in response to changes in income. It's kind of impossible to imagine any kind of plausible response to poverty coming from people who can't even imagine that.
Tags: our future economy today
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