[OPE] Neoconservative Idiocy: How An Unconstrained Lust for Profit and Power Implodes

From: michael perelman <michael@ecst.csuchico.edu>
Date: Mon Oct 12 2009 - 18:59:31 EDT

I can understand the attraction of an unconstrained lust for profit and
power, but I am puzzled by the stupidity of its practitioners. I'm
presently researching the life and work of William Petty, more than
three centuries ago. Petty was an avaricious land pirate, who is
willing to move entire populations from one country to another and
promoted wars in order to win favor with the government, but Petty was
not stupid.

For example, Petty, who is trained in medicine, realized the economic
benefits of a healthy population. He even called for clinics to care for
orphans and poor children.

I was struck by a recent Wall Street Journal article that reminded me of
Petty's intelligence. David Wessel reported on a paper from the Chicago
branch of the Federal Reserve Board, showing how children's health care
boosted test scores. The study itself pointed to a relatively obvious
outcome, I wondered why so little attention has been paid to the
economic payoffs from better health care -- especially in the mainstream

Here is a snippet from the articlet:

Wessel, David. 2009. "Wider Health-Care Access Pays Off." Wall Street
Journal (8 October): p. A2.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Working Paper 2008-20

"Kenneth Chay of Brown University, Jonathan Guryan of the University of
Chicago's Booth School of Business and Bhashkar Mazumder of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Chicago ... (link) improvements in test scores of black
teenagers from the South in the 1980s to improved health care they
received as children after Southern hospitals were integrated in the
1960s. The bottom line, in a working paper circulated by the Chicago
Fed, is this: "Improved post-neonatal health among blacks born between
the early 1960s and early 1970s ... led to long-term improvements in the
academic and cognitive skills of these cohorts as teenagers."



Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA
530 898 5321
fax 530 898 5901
ope mailing list
Received on Mon Oct 12 19:01:51 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Oct 31 2009 - 00:00:02 EDT