Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Among the "exponential patterns" at Bing Images...

Notes from the old computer:
In Essays in Persuasion Keynes touched on the ideas of Professor Commons. Commons described three economic epochs--the Era of Scarcity, the Era of Abundance, and the Era of Stabilization. The era of scarcity, Keynes notes, was "the normal economic state of the world up to (say) the fifteenth or sixteenth century". The era of abundance occupied the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and "culminated gloriously in the victories of laissez-faire". And in 1925 Keynes wrote that "we are now entering" the era of stabilization, identifying Professor Commons as "one of the first to recognize" it.

The era of scarcity was characterized by a minimum of individual liberty and a maximum of control by governmental coersion. The era of abundance was characterized by a maximum of individual liberty and a minimum of coercive control. The era of stabilization is characterized by "a diminution of individual liberty" brought about "mainly by economic sanctions through concerted action" [Keynes quoting Commons].

Two additional notes from that file:

"Concerted action" refers to groups and organizations--"corporations, unions, and other collective movements." Today we use the phrase "special interest groups" to refer to these sponsors of collective action.

In the 1930s Walter Lippmann wrote, "Men are asked to choose between security and liberty." [The Good Society, Introduction]

See also my prior post on Professor Commons.

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