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  #1  
Old 03-22-2010, 09:39 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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  #2  
Old 03-22-2010, 02:11 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Just Wow. A really fascinating conversation. Also, a starting point for further inquiry. I hope more will follow.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2010, 02:14 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Interesting discussion. A couple of points from my own experience. One has to do with habit formation and the amount of "mental energy" required to establish a new habit compared to the amount of energy required to sustain it. If behavioral economists could figure out more efficient ways to establish new habits -- new forms of training and intervention that actually work, for instance, perhaps involving some kinds of incentives -- that would be a valuable area of research.

The second point involves what it is like to be poor and disorganized in a complex society. I was there once -- drug induced discombobulation -- during which time I would fantasize about ways to reduced the stresses I was constantly facing. Making monthly payments for example: I could never remember when the payments were due. I had no habit of paying my bills on a regular schedule and ended up with a lot of overdue penalties. How much simpler it would be, I thought, if I could arrange for automatic deposits and withdrawals from my bank accounts in a way that would make it physically impossible for me to make discretionary purchases that I could not afford. Not sure how to do that (might require a cashless economy) but that would be an interesting area to explore: making life simpler for simple minded people.
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2010, 02:53 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
... How much simpler it would be, I thought, if I could arrange for automatic deposits and withdrawals from my bank accounts in a way that would make it physically impossible for me to make discretionary purchases that I could not afford. Not sure how to do that (might require a cashless economy) but that would be an interesting area to explore: making life simpler for simple minded people.
Direct deposit and auto bill-pay are available now to address your basic concern. As for the bolded portion: Even in prison, you're free to choose which junk food to purchase against your account. A scenario that might help monitor choices is possible, but if it's controlled by forces outside of oneself... I've seen that movie... no thanks.
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2010, 03:59 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
A scenario that might help monitor choices is possible, but if it's controlled by forces outside of oneself... I've seen that movie... no thanks.
It sounded to me like Born-Again Dem was discussing voluntary constraints on his own behavior, which doesn't raise any particular red flags to me.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2010, 04:28 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
It sounded to me like Born-Again Dem was discussing voluntary constraints on his own behavior, which doesn't raise any particular red flags to me.
I agree. This point ties in nicely with the impasse that Glenn and Sendhil confronted a couple of times. How likely is it that behavioral economics will be immune from the highjacking that most social science succumbs to? Glenn offered illustrative and well formulated (he really is an accomplished speaker)
examples for consideration. Yet, at least in this dv, it wasn't that they were talking past each other, but that Sendhil is focused on development of the theory as much as consequences.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2010, 05:52 PM
cragger cragger is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
... How likely is it that behavioral economics will be immune from the highjacking that most social science succumbs to? Glenn offered illustrative and well formulated (he really is an accomplished speaker)
examples for consideration. ...
Consider it hijacking, exploitation, or just a type of rational persuit of self interest, but there is considerable use of at least some of the facts and tendencies that behavioral economics points out, and has been for some time. The industries of advertising and marketing are based on psychological manipulation and act to appeal to emotions, not to reason. Much of politics works the same way.
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2010, 06:16 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by cragger View Post
Consider it hijacking, exploitation, or just a type of rational persuit of self interest, but there is considerable use of at least some of the facts and tendencies that behavioral economics points out, and has been for some time. The industries of advertising and marketing are based on psychological manipulation and act to appeal to emotions, not to reason. Much of politics works the same way.
Definitely. An example of the impasse I was referring to was the example of the check cashing ops. Glenn posed the question of whether regulation ought to curb the predatory aspects. Sendhil, bemoaned the abuses, but chose to focus on the real need being met by the service. He seemed close to saying that the poverty that drives this behavior (using the service), could be mitigated if better strategy were employed. I think better regulation is a good first step to offset the abuses that spring from the demand. I heard him recommend caution before further examination. Why wait?
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2010, 06:47 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by graz View Post
Definitely. An example of the impasse I was referring to was the example of the check cashing ops. Glenn posed the question of whether regulation ought to curb the predatory aspects. Sendhil, bemoaned the abuses, but chose to focus on the real need being met by the service. He seemed close to saying that the poverty that drives this behavior (using the service), could be mitigated if better strategy were employed. I think better regulation is a good first step to offset the abuses that spring from the demand. I heard him recommend caution before further examination. Why wait?
cracking down on the check cash usury will only hurts those that the regulations purport to protect. it's a temporary "fix" that ultimately makes it so people will have a harder time making rent, car payments etc.

nikkibong goes mcardle: in a previous life i worked as a telemarketer. my coworkers were almost always close the edge, and genuinely DEPENDED on the services of the places.

what really needs to be examined is why people who are gainfully employed should have to resort to going to those places. wages are too low! but if nothing changes on the wage scale, fewer payday loan options will only hurt the poor.

great diavlog.
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2010, 06:57 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
cracking down on the check cash usury will only hurts those that the regulations purport to protect. it's a temporary "fix" that ultimately makes it so people will have a harder time making rent, car payments etc.

nikkibong goes mcardle: in a previous life i worked as a telemarketer. my coworkers were almost always close the edge, and genuinely DEPENDED on the services of the places.

what really needs to be examined is why people who are gainfully employed should have to resort to going to those places. wages are too low! but if nothing changes on the wage scale, fewer payday loan options will only hurt the poor.

great diavlog.
I'm open to your point. I also recall reading your relevant post on True/Slant.
Perhaps there is room for regulation (lesser usury?... oxymoronic, no?) that doesn't outlaw the practice altogether. You likely know the specifics on this?
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  #11  
Old 03-22-2010, 04:24 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Terrific episode.

People who enjoyed this one will probably like this podcast with Raj Chetty:
http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/3201

I think Mullainathan's too modest. I don't think behavioral economics needs to come up with its own grand theory of everything within 20 years to displace neoclassical economics. There's no grand theory of biology (not since the great chain of being) and that's a strength, not a weakness. "Behavioral economics" ought to be called "economics" and "economics" ought to be called something vaguely pejorative like "cyborg economics" or "theory of perfectly consistent preferences."
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2010, 04:28 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Mike Konczal had a post in the same spirit of rethinking supply and demand:

Quote:
Here’s the normal story. Picture you are in a room with 10 people. Each of them has a slice of cake. How much you are willing to pay for a slice of the cake is the ‘marginal utility’ of having it, and the more cake you have the less any more cake is worth to you. You’d be willing to pay a $1 for the first slice of cake, but you’d only be will to pay 90 cents for the second slice. You’d only be willing to pay 10 cents for the 9th slice, and a penny for the 10th slice. Eating the 10th slice of cake in that room would probably make you sick, hence you want it a lot less than the first slice, which is delicious. That’s declining marginal utility.

Now picture you are in a room with 10 people screaming. You hate it when people scream, and you can pay a person to get them to stop screaming. Would you pay in a similar way to the cake example? Would you pay a $1 to get the first person to stop screaming, and a penny for the 10th person to stop screaming?

No. Getting one person to stop screaming would make very little difference in how much you dislike being in the room. Modern psychology tells us you might not even notice it. You’d probably only pay a penny to get that first guy to stop screaming. However getting the second guy to stop screaming might be worth 10 cents. And the last guy, the difference between some screaming and no screaming, might be worth the full dollar to you. The more quiet it got, the more a marginal difference in how quiet it is would be worth to you. There’s increasing returns to this good; the 10th guy not screaming is worth more than the first guy not screaming, which is the exact opposite dynamic of the 10th cake being less delicious than the first.
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  #13  
Old 03-22-2010, 04:50 PM
sapeye sapeye is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

One of the things I really like about Loury is that he seems to actually reflect on what he is hearing in the conversation and allow it to influence his thinking...right there in front of the camera. So often I get the feeling that each participant comes in with his or her worldview more or less fixed and so the discussions can seem a bit sterile.
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2010, 06:06 PM
Ken Davis Ken Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Definitely not boring economics talk. Very enjoyable conversation.
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  #15  
Old 03-22-2010, 07:22 PM
Ken Davis Ken Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

I had the pleasure of hearing a lecture and other commentary by Werner De Bondt, over the course of a week's conclave, last July, of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. He is considered one of the founders of the discipline of behavioral finance. The topic for the all the week's lectures was personal autonomy, and De Bondt went into the extent to which, it seems, the subconscious slips subconsciously into the equation re: rationality, once thought to be so black and white.

Claymisher, here, here!
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  #16  
Old 03-22-2010, 07:37 PM
StillmanThomas StillmanThomas is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Another in a very long line of superb Glenn Loury conversations. To me, he seems to have a near-perfect blend of passion and compassion. He is masterful at honing in on the subtleties of his partner's arguments and raising objections with both respect and restraint.

I also thought that Sendhil did a wonderful job of explaining his field and defending his insights and positions. I hope we get to see him back here on BHTV. This was a truly delightful way to invest a scarce hour of my life.
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  #17  
Old 03-22-2010, 09:31 PM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
Another in a very long line of superb Glenn Loury conversations. To me, he seems to have a near-perfect blend of passion and compassion. He is masterful at honing in on the subtleties of his partner's arguments and raising objections with both respect and restraint.

I also thought that Sendhil did a wonderful job of explaining his field and defending his insights and positions. I hope we get to see him back here on BHTV. This was a truly delightful way to invest a scarce hour of my life.
Very well put.
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  #18  
Old 03-22-2010, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

I'm just starting to listen to this one.

I was puzzled by the discussion about the snooze button. The snooze button isn't there to get you to get up. It's there to let you stay longer in bed. It has meaning and purpose. It's the first little happiness of the day. It allows you to wake up, feel comfortable and warm in bed, open your eyes slowly, and yet know that you don't have to get up immediately. You can turn, find a comfortable position, stretch a bit, doze off, knowing that there's no risk of falling asleep for hours and hours.

Snooze buttons are one of the greatest inventions of humankind. Truly.
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  #19  
Old 03-22-2010, 09:12 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

I finished listening to this diavlog. I really enjoyed the last half: understanding the psychology of poverty from a different angle.

It was a great interaction between two talented communicators. Yes, have them come back!
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  #20  
Old 03-22-2010, 09:25 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

As a warning to anti snooze button people. When I have hit the alarm off button by accident, it often led to waking up 2 hours later. No snooze button is dangerous.
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  #21  
Old 03-22-2010, 09:55 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

This really was great in every way. Good find with this guy Glenn.

I liked this discussion because Sendhil brought in some empirical results of human behavior and it mixed with Glenns default interpretations and worries and concerns.


One of the ideas that I really buy into is the idea that a great deal of how people turn out relates to behaviors of individuals. Not solely or even primarily the "societal and social" structure or legacy of oppressions or whatever else. Not that it does not exist, just that that is not the entire picture, and by ignoring more of the behavioral aspects of bad results we end up failing to help people. Why does person A spend money on a jacket when they need to save it, why do people spend more easily with credit cards as opposed to cash.


I never bought into the line that in modern times the major barrier to getting out of financial ruts over time or a broad range of negative outcomes was due to societal structure or simply not having as much money. At least not directly.

So I am very interested in information that illuminates why people make better or worse decisions that have a real impact on how well they do financially or in their work or in family life or whatever.

Glenn seems to be worried that if it turns out that we discover that a large part of why a certain group has greater issues with credit has to do with behavior as opposed to external societal structures that that might allow people to look at the poor and say dismissive things like - GET IT TOGETHER !!! It's All your fault, start acting better!


I get the worry, however simply I put it, but that is not the point. I want to know EVERY cause of better or worse results. Whatever the source. If it turns out that a certain behavior leads to a negative financial decision on a consistent basis, I want to KNOW about it. I want it studied. Not so we can throw it back at people and absolve us of any responsibility to care or act, but so we can better craft solutions that deal with ALL the aspects that create worse outcomes, not just targeting an incomplete picture of the causes.


One of my biggest annoyances with some people is a reluctance to focus on more attitudinal and behavioral aspects of outcomes and results. The conclusion that because results are not equal, it must be the case the the be all and end all area to target must be opportunity. Well, if part of the mix of outcomes deals with behavioral quirks that we all have, but are more damaging to people on the lower end of the income scale, then why not focus on understanding that, then finding solutions that target and attempt to spur better behaviors.

That is the point. Not all of us want to just say eff it to people, for my part, I just want people to expand their range of issues that cause people to do worse and prevent them from getting ahead.

It's not enough to want to do good, you need to actually do good for it to count. And if as I believe behavioral quirks are a large part of outcomes, then we need to focus on how to help people make better choices. That is precisely what this guys work is trying to inform, however early in the game we may be, and we need more of it.


EDIT @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Check out this section

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/268...3:15&out=45:08

Notice the shock and surprise on Glenns face and the inflections of his voice when he heard the statistic about 8-10% of a poor persons income going to transaction fees.

There it is not just a case of having no extra money, presumably 8-10% of it might be able to go to paying off debts or savings if those added transaction costs were eliminated. That is HUGE. And it has nothing to do with opportunity, it has to do with the logistics of how the pie is cut up at the lower bounds as Sendhil said.

If someone wanted to start some non profit lending institution as a pilot to perform similar services of a pay day lender but at a much lower interest rate, that would be interesting, it would preserve the access to emergency funds, and lessen the magnitude of the transaction costs.

Last edited by JonIrenicus; 03-22-2010 at 10:11 PM..
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  #22  
Old 03-23-2010, 11:54 AM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
One of the ideas that I really buy into is the idea that a great deal of how people turn out relates to behaviors of individuals. Not solely or even primarily the "societal and social" structure or legacy of oppressions or whatever else. Not that it does not exist, just that that is not the entire picture, and by ignoring more of the behavioral aspects of bad results we end up failing to help people. Why does person A spend money on a jacket when they need to save it, why do people spend more easily with credit cards as opposed to cash.
Both Glenn and Sendhil see individual behavioral choices as constrained and shaped by social structures and conditions. That's the entire picture. And if I'm not mistaken, Sendhil seems to suggest even the way we think about scarcity and choices is influenced to a great extent by how and where we're situated in the social system. Of course, there are individuals who defy the constraints of their environments and overcome obstacles to experience success or upward mobility. But that's the exception rather than the rule.

The irony of your conversative sounding talking points is that it reminds me of the welfare reform debate in the 1990s. Conversatives were quick to blame the welfare system for producing a cycle of poverty yet they often claimed structures matter less than individual initiative.
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  #23  
Old 03-23-2010, 04:24 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by grits-n-gravy View Post
Both Glenn and Sendhil see individual behavioral choices as constrained and shaped by social structures and conditions. That's the entire picture. And if I'm not mistaken, Sendhil seems to suggest even the way we think about scarcity and choices is influenced to a great extent by how and where we're situated in the social system. Of course, there are individuals who defy the constraints of their environments and overcome obstacles to experience success or upward mobility. But that's the exception rather than the rule.

The irony of your conversative sounding talking points is that it reminds me of the welfare reform debate in the 1990s. Conversatives were quick to blame the welfare system for producing a cycle of poverty yet they often claimed structures matter less than individual initiative.

Well they were not correct, structures do matter, the problem with many of the blunt tools liberals used in the past was was that the policies were so divorced from realities of human behavior and incentives it often caused worse results.

If you are going to get all interventionist, at least try and do so based on methods tied to human psychology and cognition, not based off false assumptions about reality and what will get people to a better place. Subsistence is not progress, why so many "progressives" were content with that is beyond me.
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  #24  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:06 AM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
Well they were not correct, structures do matter, the problem with many of the blunt tools liberals used in the past was was that the policies were so divorced from realities of human behavior and incentives it often caused worse results.

If you are going to get all interventionist, at least try and do so based on methods tied to human psychology and cognition, not based off false assumptions about reality and what will get people to a better place. Subsistence is not progress, why so many "progressives" were content with that is beyond me.
Maybe you can explain how Great Society programs like Job Corp, Upward Bound, Head Start, etc. are "divorced from the realities of human behavior and incentives"? What are these "many . . . tools" you're referring to?
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  #25  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:47 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by grits-n-gravy View Post
What are these "many . . . tools" you're referring to?
Giving Cadillacs to welfare queens and T-bone steaks to young bucks, I imagine. Totally failed, because now we have global warming and an obesity epidemic.
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  #26  
Old 03-24-2010, 02:44 AM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Giving Cadillacs to welfare queens and T-bone steaks to young bucks, I imagine. Totally failed, because now we have global warming and an obesity epidemic.
lol! I was imagining food stamps, government cheese, and subsidized housing projects.
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  #27  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:22 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

I'll chime in on the idea that Loury is a very good diavlogger. He's good in all combinations. One of the things that's particularly good about him is that he tries to formulate things in a coherent and formal way, he tries to make sure that the conversation goes somewhere, in the sense that at the end there is at least a well-formulated question or two, but he also "keeps it real." He's someone who is on the lookout for hypocrisy everywhere, including in himself.
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  #28  
Old 03-24-2010, 11:17 AM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by grits-n-gravy View Post
lol! I was imagining food stamps, government cheese, and subsidized housing projects.
That's a real knee-slapper, B.

I think Jon meant the situation in which women could only get certain benefits if single, thereby down-playing the importance of having a husband, which in turn lead to more single mothers and a lot of playuh dads, all to the detriment of the kids.

Added: Also, segregating the poor into the projects was a poor move.

Last edited by look; 03-24-2010 at 11:19 AM..
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  #29  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:03 PM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by look View Post
That's a real knee-slapper, B.

I think Jon meant the situation in which women could only get certain benefits if single, thereby down-playing the importance of having a husband, which in turn lead to more single mothers and a lot of playuh dads, all to the detriment of the kids.

Added: Also, segregating the poor into the projects was a poor move.
Certain aspects of the welfare system were not well thought out, that much is true. I just don't know why Jon thought it necessary to use it as a typical example of how 'liberal' programs and policies are divorced from the social realities of poor folk.
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  #30  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:59 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by grits-n-gravy View Post
Certain aspects of the welfare system were not well thought out, that much is true. I just don't know why Jon thought it necessary to use it as a typical example of how 'liberal' programs and policies are divorced from the social realities of poor folk.
The 1990s were all about revamping liberal ideas that hadn't worked and coming up with better ways to achieve the same basic goals. Washington Monthly, TNR, The American Prospect, etc ran hundreds of articles about poverty traps and making work pay. In the Clinton years we had welfare reform, major expansion of the EITC, and shifting public housing from warehousing to vouchers. Anybody who says it's back to the 1970s again hasn't been paying attention to the last 20+ years of progressive thinking (Not all of this was great; see Kausism). With guys like Mullainathan doing important basic research it's only going to get better.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:49 AM
look look is offline
 
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Default grits and clay

Quote:
Originally Posted by claymisher View Post
The 1990s were all about revamping liberal ideas that hadn't worked and coming up with better ways to achieve the same basic goals. Washington Monthly, TNR, The American Prospect, etc ran hundreds of articles about poverty traps and making work pay. In the Clinton years we had welfare reform, major expansion of the EITC, and shifting public housing from warehousing to vouchers. Anybody who says it's back to the 1970s again hasn't been paying attention to the last 20+ years of progressive thinking (Not all of this was great; see Kausism). With guys like Mullainathan doing important basic research it's only going to get better.
What do you think of the rescinding of welfare reform in the 2009 stimulus bill? At the time it was being discussed, I recall reading an article discussing why Clinton's reform worked. My main recollection was that it was psychologically beneficial for those out of work to just get out of the house to meet with their case worker or unemployment counselor. The jobless would often be depressed or have low self-esteem, and talking with the officials and then going out on interviews would improve their emotional outlook, and of course, they would be pleasantly surprised and gratified when they landed a job.

As I understand the welfare provisions in the stimulus bill, states are now being rewarded again for increasing welfare rolls (with welfare reform, that had been eliminated; states were given a flat rate, rather than more money for more enrollees). If I understand it correctly, the federal government will now pay 80% of the tab of each enrollee.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/...m_appreci.html

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=971_1234850301
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  #32  
Old 03-26-2010, 12:19 AM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Maybe you can explain how Great Society programs like Job Corp, Upward Bound, Head Start, etc. are "divorced from the realities of human behavior and incentives"? What are these "many . . . tools" you're referring to?
people already posted examples, but here is another snippet



http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010...rss-topstories

Here is a sampling written by Joe Klein about Moynihans resistance from liberal circles when talking about the role of the breakdown of the black family as it related to outcomes.

I have some experience with a party intent on committing suicide. The Democrats were profoundly self-destructive when it came to race and crime in the 1970s and 1980s. They nearly excommunicated Daniel Patrick Moynihan--one of my mentors--because he told the truth about the impact of out-of-wedlock births on the black family. Over time, Moynihan's thesis was proved by sociology--and supported by prominent AFrican-American progressive scholars like William Julius Wilson--but he was never really welcomed back into the fold. And he didn't really care. Because he knew he was right.



Let's not "blame the victim" as Glenn might put it. As if a finding that said the source of problems was internal is not an acceptable finding, lets look elsewhere... and if that is where a major source of the problem lies?

Personally, I don't care who is blamed, just give the correct and full diagnosis, wherever it lands, then try to fix it. If the source is primarily the "victim" then we need to know that too, no held punches, anything less is spinning out wheels and not getting at root problems.



If it makes you feel any better I think liberals are much better at this today than they were in decades past, they have learned. Not completely, most people have not gone there completely, but it's a start.
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  #33  
Old 03-26-2010, 11:17 AM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
people already posted examples, but here is another snippet



http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010...rss-topstories

Here is a sampling written by Joe Klein about Moynihans resistance from liberal circles when talking about the role of the breakdown of the black family as it related to outcomes.

I have some experience with a party intent on committing suicide. The Democrats were profoundly self-destructive when it came to race and crime in the 1970s and 1980s. They nearly excommunicated Daniel Patrick Moynihan--one of my mentors--because he told the truth about the impact of out-of-wedlock births on the black family. Over time, Moynihan's thesis was proved by sociology--and supported by prominent AFrican-American progressive scholars like William Julius Wilson--but he was never really welcomed back into the fold. And he didn't really care. Because he knew he was right.
If I understand the point of this quote, you are implying welfare benefits were a significant cause of out-of-wedlock births in black communities. This view has long been debunked, though I'm sure there are some conservatives still deluded about it. You need another example of a liberal policy that is "divorced from realities of human behavior and incentives" because that one ain't cuttin' it.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:52 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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If I understand the point of this quote, you are implying welfare benefits were a significant cause of out-of-wedlock births in black communities. This view has long been debunked, though I'm sure there are some conservatives still deluded about it. You need another example of a liberal policy that is "divorced from realities of human behavior and incentives" because that one ain't cuttin' it.

It is not that out of wedlock births were caused by welfare benefits, it's more that the reason more people were candidates for welfare to begin with had to do in part with a breakdown of the family, a rise in single motherhood etc.

That welfare was a "solution" that did not attack the core dysfunction. It was at best a bandaid, a subsistence measure, not a cure.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:23 PM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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It is not that out of wedlock births were caused by welfare benefits, it's more that the reason more people were candidates for welfare to begin with had to do in part with a breakdown of the family, a rise in single motherhood etc.

That welfare was a "solution" that did not attack the core dysfunction. It was at best a bandaid, a subsistence measure, not a cure.
Joe Klein is dead wrong when he suggests William J. Wilson's work affirmed Moynihan's thesis. Moynihan essentially gave empirical support for a culture of poverty thesis, which Wilson's research flatly rejects. So if you're talking about what causes people to need welfare in the first place then we're back to structures and how the poor's attempt to negotiate those structures often reinforces them. The payday loan scheme is a good example of how this structure and agency dynamic sometimes plays itself out. Are payday loans divorced from the human behavioral realities and incentives of poor folk?
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  #36  
Old 03-22-2010, 10:10 PM
Ken Davis Ken Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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As a warning to anti snooze button people. When I have hit the alarm off button by accident, it often led to waking up 2 hours later. No snooze button is dangerous.
I was putting a fellow who had lost his lease up in the living room of my one-bedroom flat. He would set his alarm for seven, and I didn't have to get up until eight-thirty. Well, his alarm would go off, he'd hit snooze, repeat and repeat -- all within earshot.... Finally I storm in hollering, swat his feet there at the end of the sofa to stir him, he leaps up, there's a shoving match.... He's gone that day. So the way a snooze button is used can be dangerous.
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  #37  
Old 03-23-2010, 11:59 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

I don't use the snooze button because like Brendan's post, I tend to end up more rushed for time when I use it. But one thing I always loved about the snooze (back when I was still a user) was that I always had wierd dreams (and remembered them afterward) in those little 5 minute sleep cycles.
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  #38  
Old 03-23-2010, 01:33 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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I don't use the snooze button because like Brendan's post, I tend to end up more rushed for time when I use it. But one thing I always loved about the snooze (back when I was still a user) was that I always had wierd dreams (and remembered them afterward) in those little 5 minute sleep cycles.
Yeah, agreed. A legal high.

That's probably why I had so many instances of snooze button abuse.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:46 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Communitas: Rethinking Scarcity (Glenn Loury & Sendhil Mullainathan)

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Yeah, agreed. A legal high.

That's probably why I had so many instances of snooze button abuse.
Huh? Weird dreams are an incentive? Go figure!


But on a more serious note, people have different types of transitions from sleep to wake. Those who transition quickly are probably better candidates for the no-snooze way of waking up. For those of us who transition slowly, snooze buttons are heavenly.

I don't know whether there are studies about this, I'm purely speculating.
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  #40  
Old 03-24-2010, 12:17 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Huh? Weird dreams are an incentive? Go figure!
Oh hell yeah. I shouldn't have said "legal high." "Free trip" would have been better.
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