RE: [OPE] Otto Neurath and calculation in kind

Date: Sat May 10 2008 - 14:19:21 EDT

Hi Paul C:
Well, I would say that this bias on the part of most economists of
various persuasions is rooted in the character of the mode of
production. I.e. capitalism _itself_ tends only to value those objects 
which have value and are quantifiable.  But, Neurath does have a
point even insofar as capitalism is concerned because even though
many aspects of social life are inherently unquantifiable - or can't
be quantified directly with any degree of precision - they nonetheless
exist. Mainstream social welfare economists like Gary Becker try 
(unsuccessfully)to resolve this contradiction by placing a monetary 
value on everything that is not value.  I agree with you that there 
can be 'happiness' and 'quality of life' measures, but there's a lot 
that can be done to twist the numbers both through mis-measurement 
and mis-definition: I certainly don't consider the UN statistics to be
satisfactory, unbiased, and unambiguous measures. They also tend, I 
think, to embody some cultural biases.
In solidarity, Jerry

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