Sunday, March 31, 2013
taxes drive immigration to and emigration from California and shrink the middle class and make more poor and idle rich
taxes drive immigration to and emigration from California and shrink the middle class and make more poor and idle rich
Every time I sit down at the computer I have to turn it off because of a thunderstorm or have to go to sleep because of tiredness due to weightlifting or and other exercise. We have gyrated from freezing several days in a row to 80s excessive heat to rain and thunderstorms almost daily. If Rain I go lift weights. If Dry I exercise outdoors.
New York has a high tax rate of 8.82% much less than the California top bracket. I wonder how California still has budget problems with a much higher tax rate? Could there be waste?
If NY raises their tax rate 1% for millionaires that will raise an average of $20,000 per millionaire for 32,000 filers which is at least $640,000,000 or about a billion dollars. I wonder if somebody making $2,000,000 per year would move out of the state to save $20,000? Maybe they would be better staying and running whatever racket they are running to continue to get $1,980,000 that they would lose to save $20,000! Same response as to California high tax rates.
The exodus of the rich has not happened either in California or New York because they get enough breaks already that the tax rate makes little difference, such as Facebook and Hollywood tax breaks in the article below. Similarly the poor will not move because of generous welfare benefits subsidized by taxes paid in states that have a more equal income distribution. Together the rich and poor conspire to take advantage of the working middle class who pay most of the taxes. This drives the middle class to become idle rich or poor to avoid oppressive taxation making the situation even worse and killing the economy that requires workers.
Probably those leaving California and New York are the middle classes who get tired of subsidizing their rich and poor neighbors. They are fed up and not taking it any more. By moving they get less smog, less crime, much lower costs, more sunshine, and a better ecosystem and better health elsewhere. Fog and smog filter out the best ultraviolet sun rays. Get clean air or a little altitude and a lower latitude to optimize Vitamin D and cholesterol sulfate production in the skin.
“I think partly there’s some recognition that the level of income inequality has grown, and the level of income inequality has especially grown in places like California and New York,” In New York, the high-tax bracket, with a marginal rate of 8.82 percent, applies to individuals who make more than $1 million and married couples who make more than $2 million, about 32,000 filers. renewal of the top tax bracket could drive the wealthy to leave the state — an assertion that is disputed by some. The business group said that the deal to increase federal taxes brought the combined marginal effective tax rate for New York City’s highest incomes to 54 percent, and that the extension in Albany would only further the state’s reputation for high taxes. “These are highly mobile people that have options and are being solicited daily by governors of Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, Utah — lower-tax states
The government could reap “tens of billions” of dollars by ending tax breaks for Hollywood and companies such as Facebook Inc. (FB), McCain, 76, said. The social media company went public with $16 billion in deductions to lower future tax bills because of the way current law allows it to value stock options. In many cases, though, executives who receive the options will have to pay taxes on income from them.*‘Special Interests’***“Why are we doing all these things that only benefit the special interests who still have enormous influence here?” McCain said. “Republicans have betrayed our base by allowing this kind of pork-barrel and earmark spending to go on.” The two-year extension of special expensing rules for movie and television productions that Congress enacted in January is estimated to cost only $248 million over 10 years. McCain also mentioned breaks for ethanol; a 45-cent tax credit expired in December 2011 after senators opposed its extension. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, has estimated that reducing corporate deductions for stock options and taxing carried interest as ordinary income rather than as capital gains could help raise at least $200 billion over 10 years.
Hrametsek!Welcome to Kansas City's Armenian Church website
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I agree with you on the problem of pirates which is why I suggested the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific is too bigand no pirates live there. Pirates aremostly in Africa, Middle East, and Indonesia, the worlds largest Muslim country.
I would recommend staying in the USA. Get a trailer and pull your boat to Branson Missouri, Chicago, Green Bay, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco,... or sail to Honolulu. We have lots of good places to dock boats without pirates. Move around to the best weather and opportunities. I lived part time on a sail boat in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and part time in Lake Tahoe. Marinas are often in the most interesting parts of town. Your boat is your home and escape mechanism if SHTF.
I agree with you and have known persons that lived aboard sailing vessels. One caveat though: "No criminals in the ocean"? Modern day pirates plague the ocean. Many are wanted by Interpol. International waters can be treacherous. I worked aboard a very small commercial Abalone boat for a short time in my youth. At least we had a 9mm pistol. A half dozen or more pirates with AK 47s could just ruin an idyllic afternoon on the ocean.
Subject: If SHTF then live on a boat in the Pacific Ocean
Sailboats get over 1000 miles per gallon and no traffic jams or collisions! Sail all over the world nearly free!
Eat fish and seaweed!
No criminals in the ocean.
Sell your guns and buy a sailboat.
Used boats are cheap and available everywhere.
Or buy a kit and build one.
Thousands of USA families already live on a boat in the Pacific Ocean.
Pakistani Engineer Missing in Nigeria for a Month, Employer Says
Pakistani Engineer Missing in Nigeria for a Month, Employer Says
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Sea Marshals Urges Ship Operators to Stay Vigilant in High Risk Area
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Anybody with a good idea should write it up in a blog and maybe paper too. For-Profit and non-profit organizations can help.
The article below gets me to think I could make my own paper books. This UC Berkeley grad makes electronic books for google as a day job but also runs a profitable hobby of paper book publishing.
Videos on youtube make it look easy.
I can do the writing, typing andbook building.
I just now realize I can do the binding part.
I likethe old fashioned dot matrix printers too.
They really slammedcharacters hard onto the paper.
I like cotton high quality paper forhigh quality writing.
More beautiful and ergononomic too--reducespaper cuts.
Much easier to read and flip thru than any computer or e-reader. Most importantly, can control circulation and intellectual property rights.
In a Bind
Matt Werner talks about the politics of hand-binding his book.
Berkeley alumni are a prolific bunch. They all have something to say, and many are moved to put it in writing. What is unusual is to not only publish your own book but to print it yourself, bind it by hand, and cart it to the bookstores on your own. Add in that the
author/publisher has a day job at Google, and we think you’ll agree that Matt Werner ‘07 is unusual even for a Berkeley grad. We caught up with Matt via email to ask him a few questions about why, and how, he released his book—Oakland in Popular Memory, a collection of interviews with Oakland artists—the hard way.
Why did you—as a Google employee involved in ebook publishing—choose to publish Oakland in Popular Memory as a printed book?
Printing today has now become a political statement, and with my books, I don’t think you get the full experience reading the digital version. By printing and hand-binding the books myself, I want to give people a reason to buy the physical copy. Because I put my sweat into the printed copies—making the individually numbered copies by hand in Berkeley using 100% cotton paper—you get something special and personalized, which is hard to replicate in the digital format. However, with digital publishing you can create more interactive content, like what Push Pop Press did with iBooks. You can have people zoom in and zoom out on images, watch videos, and have a rich media experience while reading the book.
But I don’t think these devices will replace the printed book. People have a special relationship with books as physical objects that can’t currently be replicated in a digital format. This includes marginalia, and large-scale foldouts and visualizations. It’s hard to replicate that experience on a phone or tablet.
How did your background influence your decision to start Thought Publishing and to self-publish your first three books?
I was fortunate as a student at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco to be one of the first students to take writing classes from Dave Eggers and Michael Chabon at 826 Valencia, Eggers’s writing nonprofit. And I was also fortunate as an undergrad studying English at Cal to have Professor Julia Bader sponsor my independent study, where I’d go to McSweeney’s Publishing in the Mission District every Friday and pick up writing and editing assignments for McSweeney’s publications. At that time, the entire publishing house consisted of a tiny room packed with quirky editors. You’d get to it by climbing up a ladder behind the pirate supply store at 826 Valencia Street. This experience with 826 and McSweeney’s gave me skills in editing, design, and layout using Adobe InDesign, and it also showed me that I could run a publishing house on my own. So I took over a high school friend’s small, independent publishing house called Thought Publishing in 2010, and I’ve been publishing a book a year since, outside of my work at Google.
Could you elaborate on the process of printing and hand-binding the book?
When I was an undergrad at Cal, I worked at the Bancroft Library. If we wanted something to last a long time, we printed it on 100% cotton, archival-quality paper. Today the trend in publishing is to
mass-produce books as cheaply as possible. However, if you’re printing books on newsprint, you aren’t giving people a good reason to buy the physical book over the digital copy.
I used six cartons of Strathmore Pure Cotton ultra-white paper, similar to what people use to print Ph.D. dissertations or resumes. Because I was able to cut costs by using family resources for printing and binding, paper was the one area where I splurged. I negotiated a great deal for 30,000 sheets of some of the finest paper money can buy, through the Xpedx Paper Store in Berkeley before it closed.
My cousin Sean Kelly spent years remanufacturing toner cartridges, and he currently tests printer cartridges in Sacramento. His warehouse is full of printers. When I went out there, he pulled toner cartridges out of the trash and was able to make a working cartridge out of two or three broken ones. I’d then print as many pages as I could off that cartridge, then give it to my cousin to swap out whatever needed to be fixed for me to keep printing.
After printing the 30,000 sheets on both sides, I then took the boxes of manuscripts to my uncle Jim Kelly’s (who got a bachelor’s in physics at Cal in the late ’60s) book binding shop, Saddle Point Systems on 9th Street in Berkeley. My uncle sells the same binding equipment that many copy shops in Berkeley use to bind course readers. I also used his foil printers to print the covers and spines with silver foil.
How do you sell and promote your books?
I fundraised for my last two books by running successful Kickstarter campaigns. Funds from these campaigns went to pay my editors, illustrator, cover art designer, ebook conversion on oDesk, and to pay for my modest marketing budget. I used Adobe InDesign to do the design and layout for the books. I sell them online through Fulfillment by Amazon, the Google Play Store, and ThoughtPublishing.org. And I also sell quite a few books at local events such as Oakland’s First Friday Art Murmur.
For publicity, I use Eva Zimmerman, Rick Steves’s publicist. I met her at The Albatross in late 2011 at a Berkeley classmate’s birthday party. I asked her if she’d be willing to help publicize Oakland in Popular Memory with a very limited marketing budget. She agreed, and helped me get placement in The Huffington Post, among other
publications. I leveraged this publicity to approach Bay Area independent bookstores to take my books on consignment.
Oakland in Popular Memory is now at over a dozen local bookstores, and I warehouse my extra books at my parents’ house near the Claremont Hotel. On weekends, I ride my bike to different stores with books in my backpack, and I check to see if the stores need any restocking. I get great exercise and the opportunity to chat with some of the most knowledgeable people about publishing today—bookstore owners. The danger is, once I collect my royalties in-store, I may be tempted to purchase a book they recommend. They know my book preferences better than Amazon’s recommendations.
What is the political statement you’re making by printing your books?
I’ve self-published my writing because I want to have creative control over it and to distribute it how I like. Currently, my format of choice is the old-fashioned printed book, but I am flexible as I evaluate the best format for my next book, Graduating During the Recession. Given my intended audience of recent college grads, the rich media content in the book, and the proliferation of e-reading devices, I may consider publishing that book straight to digital.
Many trade magazines are mourning the “death of print,” similar to when Nas said “hip hop is dead” in 2006. However, neither print nor hip hop is dead. Yes, they’re undergoing deep transformations, but they are by no means gone. Current publishing models just aren’t effectively meeting many readers’ needs and expectations.
The political statement in my print-first self-publishing model is to reduce the distance between the producer and consumer. I’ve tried to connect directly with my readers by printing and binding my books by hand. In addition, Kickstarter.com has enabled me to do a subscription model, where people donate money to my book project in return for a copy of the book; this helps me gauge interest in the book before I print it.
Where many industries want to scale, replicate, and cut costs in all ways possible, I’ve paradoxically found that by sparing no expense and printing on arguably the most expensive paper money can buy, I’ve given my work value as a handmade object—and unlike many large, corporate publishing houses today, Thought Publishing is profitable.
What is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.
We’re a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, more than 3.7 million people have pledged over $545 million, funding more than 38,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.
Each project is independently created.
The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control over and responsibility for their projects. Kickstarter is a platform and a resource; we’re not involved in the development of the projects themselves. Anyone can launch a project on Kickstarter as long as it meets our guidelines.
Together, creators and backers make projects happen.
Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. All-or-nothing funding might seem scary, but it’s amazingly effective in creating momentum and rallying people around an idea. To date, an impressive 44% of projects have reached their funding goals.
Creators keep 100% ownership of their work.
Backers are supporting projects to help them come to life, not to profit financially. Instead, project creators offer rewards to thank backers for their support. Backers of an effort to make a book or film, for example, often get a copy of the finished work. A bigger pledge to a film project might get you into the premiere — or a private screening for you and your friends. One artist raised funds to create a wall installation, then gave pieces of it to her backers when the exhibit ended.
Creative works were funded this way for centuries.
Mozart, Beethoven, Whitman, Twain, and other artists funded works in similar ways — not just with help from large patrons, but by soliciting money from smaller patrons, often called subscribers. In return for their support, these subscribers might have received an early copy or special edition of the work. Kickstarter is an extension of this model, turbocharged by the web.
“ The most democratic way art has ever been made.”
— Stephen Heleker, who raised $21,000 for his short film “Smoke”
Backing a project is more than just giving someone money.
It’s supporting their dream to create something that they want to see exist in the world. People rally around their friends’ projects, fans support people they admire, and others simply come to Kickstarter to be inspired by new ideas. It is not uncommon for projects, particularly complex ones, to take longer than anticipated. But creators who are transparent about issues and delays usually find their backers to be understanding.
Our mission is to help bring creative projects to life.
We’re a for-profit company based in New York City’s Lower East Side. We spend our time making Kickstarter a little bit better every day, answering questions from backers and creators, and finding new projects to share. If a project is successfully funded, we apply a 5% fee to the funds collected.
We believe that creative projects make for a better world, and we’re thrilled to help support new ones. After 35,000+ successfully funded projects, we know that building a community of backers around an idea is an amazing way to make something new.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Brad DeLong : Why Does Gavyn Davies Think "The Fed’s exit [from extraordinary accomodation] will be gradual and difficult"?
I've seen a lot of statements like this flying around, and what it comes down to is that the people who don't understand the process of easing and exiting assume it will be difficult. What they really mean is that it is difficult for them to understand the process. It just sounds better to say the process is difficult than today the process is difficult for them to understand.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, but for tax purposes, it is treated differently. Most residents of Puerto Rico, with the exception of federal employees, already pay no federal income tax. A person needs to live 183 days a year on the island to become a legal resident.
Known for its white-sand beaches and killer rums, Puerto Rico hopes to stake a new claim: tax haven for the wealthy.
Since the beginning of the year, the island has gone on a campaign to promote tax incentives that took effect last year, marketing its beautiful beaches, private schools and bargain costs in an effort to lure well-heeled hedge fund managers and business executives to its shores.
So far, Puerto Rico’s pitch has attracted a handful of under-the-radar millionaires. Several American executives of mostly smaller financial firms say they have already relocated to the island, and Puerto Rican officials say another 40 persons, mostly from the United States, have applied.
The new tax breaks are a radical shift in that they focus on financial, legal and other services, not manufacturing. Puerto Rico slashed taxes on interest and dividends to zero from 33 percent, and it lowered taxes on capital gains, a major source of income for hedge fund managers, to zero to 10 percent.
The incentives work with existing United States breaks. While residents still have to file a federal tax return, they do not have to pay capital gains taxes of 15 percent on assets held before moving and sold after 10 years of island residency.
Because of its new aggressive tax breaks, Puerto Rico is a supercharged version of Florida, which does not tax individuals on ordinary income.
“discretion to billionaires is important,” she said multiple individuals had recently looked at the 8,379-square-foot penthouse in the Acquamarina in the chic Condado neighborhood of San Juan. The $5 million condo has underground parking and a panoramic view of the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows, and is near luxury boutiques like Cartier, Salvatore Ferragamo and Louis Vuitton. It’s like being in the best part of Manhattan,”
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I would probably want to write for a mainstream high rank journal out of the 1117 at http://ideas.repec.org/top/top.journals.recurse.html so it does not get lost and may get read. Maybe even if it requires moving to Chicago and living in a slum to talk to editors and referees for years to convince them. Tony Lawson mentioned in his interview that he rarely goes to the major meetings or gives many seminars (unless somebody pays him). Probably that is why nobody heard of him. There is more audience in the USA. Some people commented similarly on Amazon.com reviews below. Rather than saying math is irrelevant and a distraction I would point out exactly how the models are wrong mathematically going through encyclopedically model-by-model (I found a book by UCB math Smale in Reno library 1997 that was clearer than what I had found in Economics started me thinking alternatively). Lawson probably needs to get more specific on this. I got excited when I read Lawson has a pure math degree which is the kind of math I think is needed and is easier and clearer than the applied math mess usually encountered. I also agree with Gintis and many other that computable agent-based modeling is probably the way forward (I wrote such a model in 1980 after thinking of it thru the 1970s). And I may discuss one reason why the models wrong -- what social classes benefit from the erroneous math and exactly why using detailed USA
Ontology and Economics: Tony Lawson and His Critics (Routledge Advances in Heterodox Economics)
This original book brings together some of the world's leading critics of economics orthodoxy to debate Lawson's contribution to the economics literature. The debate centres on ontology, which means enquiry into the nature of what exists, and in this collection scholars such as Bruce Caldwell, John Davis and Geoffrey Hodgson present their thoughtful criticisms of Lawson's work while Lawson himself presents his reactions. Of course many social scientists disagree with him, but Lawson’s arguments are so powerful that few economists now feel that his case can be ignored. Bringing Lawson head-to-head with eleven of his most capable critics, this is a book of intellectual drama. More than that, it is a collection of fine minds interacting with each other and being changed by the process.
This book is particularly useful for students and researchers concerned primarily with methodology and future development of economics. It is also relevant to the concerns of philosophers of science and to all social scientists interested in methodological issues.
"Tony Lawson is famous for being the most powerful and effective critic of mainstream economics. His criticism is made more effective by the fact that he has an alternative conception of economics and indeed the rest of the social sciences, a conception deriving from his ontological theorising. This volume gives eleven important writers from a variety of fields and points of view within economics a chance to appraise Lawson's work; and with his replies the reader gets a deeper sense of Lawson's point of view and achievement." John Searle, Slusser Professor of Philosophy, University of California at Berkeley
"Over the past 15 years, Tony Lawson's prosecution of a programme to establish a field of social ontology has inspired leading
post-positivist economists to think anew about the ends, means, and possibilities of economics as a social science. Much constructive dialogue and debate has been generated and Ontology and Economics chronicles and extends these probing dialogues. Lawson's fans and critics, and first-timers looking for a colourful snapshot of the realist movement in contemporary economics, will find this an immensely rewarding read." Rob Garnett, Texas Christian University, USA
"This collection of essays between Tony Lawson and his critics is an important contribution to the ongoing critical discourse on ontology, realism and heterodox economics. While the critics do have their say, Lawson's responses convincingly demonstrate that his project in social ontology not only makes a significant contribution to heterodox economics but also is indispensable for its future development." Frederic S. Lee, Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA
About the Author Edward Fullbrook is the founder and editor of the Real-World Economics Review and a research fellow in the School of Economics at the University of the West of England.
Herbert Gintis (U Mass Amherst): This book, which consists of brief critiques of Tony Lawson, a professor of economics at Cambridge University, by eleven economists, along with replies to each by Lawson, is part of the Routledge Press series "Advances in Heterodox Economics." Heterodox economists generally agree that mainstream economics enjoys an unwarranted degree of legitimacy, power, resources, and political influence. Indeed, the top economic journals are all more or less "mainstream." Moreover, although the journals are not ideologically rigid, they generally agree on what constitutes publishable economic research, and this covers an extremely narrow range compared to some other disciplines, including sociology and political science. Finally, this narrowness is not deserved in terms of the explanatory power of the theory they espouse. Many articles in the journals run by heterodox economists are superior to many articles in the most prestigious of the mainstream journals.
I think it is fair to say that not only Lawson, but all of his critics in this volume are more or less firmly attached to the heterodoxy camp. This does not lessen the value of their critiques, several of which are extremely insightful in pointing out and analyzing key weaknesses in Lawson's opus. The only substantive distortion arising from this within-group parry-and-thrust is the strong tendency of participants, and especially the editor, --- vastly to overstate Lawson's presence in the economics profession. ---- "Tony Lawson has become a major figure of intellectual controversy...Lawson's arguments are so powerful that few economists now feel that his case can be ignored." (overleaf). The truth is exactly the contrary: in my experience, most economists neither know of Lawson's critique nor are the impressed with this critique when it is presented to them (e.g., by students). Having suggested as much in a critique of Lawson several years ago, I am accused in this book of being a "defender of the status quo" who resorts to "hurling personal abuse at [Lawson]." (p.7). A more monster misrepresentation of my position in the economics profession would be difficult to imagine; I have been considered an enemy of the received wisdom in economics throughout my career.
It is true that I have been critical of the general tendency of the "heterodox economists" to set up an alternative set of journals and to ignore the mainstream by simply talking to one another and complaining about being frozen out of the big time. My personal attitude is that there is only one truth, and we must do the research necessary to convince "mainstream" economists that we deserve to be published. In this sense, I am "homodox" rather than heterodox. The heterodox position tends to be that the mainstream is ideologically biased and closed to new ideas, but this is true only of a fraction of mainstream economists. I am convinced that if my ideas are rejected by major economics journals, the error is mine, not the editors and reviewers of the journals. My evidence is the breathtaking rate at which such fields as experimental economics and neuroeconomics have been represented in the top journals, and the extent to which relatively innovatory journals, such as the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Journal of Economic Perspectives, have increased in readership and citation popularity in recent years.
This does not mean that there is no substance to the ideas that the reigning orthodoxy is too narrow, and that there are likely to be great gains from recognizing the limitations and biases of this orthodoxy. However, as I argue in my book The Bounds of Reason (Princeton, 2009), overcoming these weaknesses is likely to require more formal modeling, analytical, agent-based, and other, rather than the less formal modeling preferred by Lawson.
Lawson's economics is all philosophical critique and hence fails to present a viable alternative. Scientists---not just in economics but in all areas of natural and behavioral science---do not care about methodology. Rather, they uniformly adhere to the notion that the only effective critique is a superior alternative. Every smart, young, economist who goes the way of reading Wittgenstein and Popper, and whining about the shortcomings of traditional methodology, rather than rolling up his or her sleeves and tackling the weaknesses of mainstream theory with superior alternatives is, to my mind, another creative possibility lost. This is not, of course, an argument against being well-read in philosophy; rather it is an argument against thinking a philosophical critique is an alternative to the status quo.
http://www.amazon.com/Reorienting-Economics-Social-Theory/dp/0415253365/ref=la_B001H6WSU6_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1364353680&sr=1-2 Reorienting Economics (Economics as Social Theory)
This eagerly anticipated new book from Tony Lawson contends that economics can profit from a more explicit concern with ontology (enquiry into the nature of existence) than has been its custom. By admitting that economics is not exactly a picture of health at the moment, Lawson hopes that we can move away from the bafflingly intransigent belief that economics is at its core reliant upon mathematical modelling. This maths-envy is the reason why economics is in a state of such disarray. Far from being a polemic against the mainstream, this excellent new book is concerned that if economics is to be saved from itself then there must be a realistic dialogue between the classical heterodox fields. Of interest to philosophers, sociologists and social scientists as well as economists, this comprehensive, logical book is a vital contribution to an important debate.
Lawson's systematic philosophical work on the reorientation of economics warrants a careful reading by any economist, heterodox or mainstream, who takes seriously the intellectual responsibility for the scientific viability the discipline. –Paul D. Bush, California State University, Fresno
By Herbert Gintis (Northampton, MA USA)
I finished reading Lawson's first book a few days ago, Economics and Reality. I did not have much sympathy with his argument (see my review), but when I saw that there was a new volume coming out, some seven years later, I purchased it to see what progress had been made on forging an alternative to mainstream economics. The answer is simple: none. This book is simply a rewrite of his earlier book, with several journal articles appended as chapters.
The fact is that the twin ideas of ontological commitment and critical thinking are simply generalities that have no possiblity of generating a research program. Lawson will appeal to people who (a) don't like math; (b) have a vague idea that there must be something better than contemporary capitalism, but they don't quite know what; (c) believe that superficial description, when suitably enveloped in philosophical jargon, becomes deep (critical realism, ontology, consciousness, human subjectivity, etc.)
Lawson's assertion that there is something wrong with contemporary mainstream economics has no intellectual basis at all. He notes that undergrads are not majoring in economics (not true, except perhaps in a couple of countries), that French students critique their
curriculum, and mainstream economists sometimes gripe about the discipline. Economics is not a popularity contest for undergraduates. Economics is quite imperfect, and there is lots of room for
complaining. But Lawson wouldn't know success in economics if it smacked him in the face, because he never deals in the least with modern economics. Nothing on classical game theory. Nothing on evolutionary game theory. Nothing on experimental economics. Nothing (more) on econometrics. The economics of the period 1950-1975, which he continues to take for all of economics, has been mightily succesful, and more than half of economists are employed (at good salaries) applying it in industry and government. Perhaps their employees are also completely deluded. Perhaps they should hire economists who understand ontology. But I doubt it.
Lawson is the height of blandness. He doesn't say economics should be an art rather than a science. He doesn't say that mainstream economists are evil or self-serving. He doesn't claim that mainstream economics is an ideological apology for capitalism, patriarchy, or materialism. He simply says that mainstream economics ignores methodology, and hence can't be sufficiently scientific.
The problem is that scientists never care much about methodology. The great economists (like great physicists, geologists, et al.) learn a very simple set of messages concerning how research is done, and then they do it. It doesn't require extended training. Philosophers who think they can preach to scientists how they should ply their trade are profoundly wrong. Philosophy is wonderful, but not when it tries to tell scientists how to do their work.
It is really sad, to me, that something this shoddy could get the rave blurbs it does, from people who should know better. I am, frankly mystified. The simplest explanation is that Lawson has a small but loyal following, and he is preaching to the choir. I will get lots of "unhelpful" votes for this review, but I've never seen an naked emperor without exclaiming his lack of suitable attire.