Beiträge vom 25. Dezember 2010

Economists on Ebenezer Scrooge — Compassion, Coercion and Frugality

Samstag, 25. Dezember 2010 21:55

Greg Mankiw points to four economists‘ interpretations of the old Christmas story of Ebenezer Scrooge. The first one, by Paul Krugman, does not really talk much about Scrooge at all, but is an interesting read for it’s coverage of systematic media manipulation by the Political Right in the US (demonstrated on the issue of an allegedly expanding government workforce under President Obama).

The second, by David Henderson, stays closer to the story, and tries to make an interesting point. The claim is that increasing government welfare is actually the „scroogeish“ thing to do, contrary to what many would think at first, and that it is individual charitable giving that follows the true spirit of Christmas. These two approaches are polarized as coercion vs. compassion. I’m blogging about it because I think it is a recurrent theme in discussions, and maybe one issue where political „left“ and „right“ are truly separated by contradicting perspectives.


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