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#94014 - 17 Jan 09 16:26 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: L. Bellefontaine]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quoting: L. Bellefontaine
DO NOT...DO NOT CROSS THE LINE TOO MR FRED...YOU TOO ARE NOT IMMUNE TO THE INFLUENCE MY FRIENDS HERE WIELD.

Blank
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KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#94018 - 17 Jan 09 16:52 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: L. Bellefontaine]
fred Offline
Member*

Registered: 26 Nov 08
Posts: 743
Loc: here and there
Quoting: L. Bellefontaine
Quoting: fred
Quoting: bandersnatch
Listen, Lawrence, or may I call you Larry? I happen to know that you were a contributing author in Mala James's seminal reference book:"Expat Embezzlement for fun and profit." ( Winner of the "Pultheotherone Prize" for best non-fiction by a member of BIWA). Your attempt at hiding behind that "nom-de-plume" of Lazlo Beautiful-Fountain fooled no-one.


So you're a fan of his then. grin


DO NOT...DO NOT CROSS THE LINE TOO MR FRED...YOU TOO ARE NOT IMMUNE TO THE INFLUENCE MY FRIENDS HERE WIELD.


I'm sorry, really sorry, so sorry.
In fact I'm fucking sorry.

Please don't do anything bad to me sir. I've just shit my pants and now my wife is nagging me about having to wash them.
I'm going to look like boy George on a loose arse day on the way home.
Again I would like to offer my sincere appollllobogies to you for any hurt I may have caused you your thinking I was suggesting you may be in any way corrupt or a bent bastard who is likely to be in the papers in the next couple of years for pissing off with a load of your customer's cash. blush

I now know that the bloke in Hawaii was not being hunted by 5-0 , the tax bods FBI or any fucker else and that the pimp suited gentleman was, in reality, an honest businessman just a bit misunderstood.
_________________________
I have never been convicted of any crime involving sheep.

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#94019 - 17 Jan 09 16:54 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: fred]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
snigger

Do what I would have done...tell him to fuck off!
_________________________
Menace to Sobriety


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#94021 - 17 Jan 09 17:05 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Dilli]
fred Offline
Member*

Registered: 26 Nov 08
Posts: 743
Loc: here and there
Quoting: Dilli
snigger

Do what I would have done...tell him to fuck off!


I dare not. Maybe he'll do something very naughty to me.
Damm, shit myself again.
_________________________
I have never been convicted of any crime involving sheep.

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#94023 - 17 Jan 09 20:21 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: fred]
Polisi Cepek Offline
Member*

Registered: 17 Mar 07
Posts: 809
Loc: Di tengah hutan
I call shenanigans on the fake Mr Bellefontaine persona. Hands up, who is it?
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"Some people think I've been flogging my own sausage," he joked.

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#94024 - 17 Jan 09 21:00 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Polisi Cepek]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
there is an unbeliever amongst us!!
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KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#94026 - 18 Jan 09 01:42 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Marmalade Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 18 Apr 08
Posts: 2471
Loc: Jak
PC, stop dissenting and believe that JakChat is real?
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JakartaRestaurantReviews.com


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#94027 - 18 Jan 09 01:49 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Marmalade]
Marmalade Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 18 Apr 08
Posts: 2471
Loc: Jak
C'mon. We are all small pixies with magical charms.
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JakartaRestaurantReviews.com


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#94028 - 18 Jan 09 01:54 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Marmalade]
Vulgarian Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 25 Apr 08
Posts: 2369
Loc: Jakarta
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I like the dog. If he can't eat it, or fuck it, he pisses on it. I can get behind that.

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#94029 - 18 Jan 09 07:42 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Vulgarian]
bandersnatch Offline
Member+

Registered: 10 Dec 08
Posts: 33
Loc: dubai
I'm crapping my pants too. I was thinking of moving to greener pastures but.....


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#94087 - 18 Jan 09 13:02 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Vulgarian]
Marmalade Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 18 Apr 08
Posts: 2471
Loc: Jak
I'd like someone to take my limited funds cynically. Any ideas?
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JakartaRestaurantReviews.com


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#94089 - 18 Jan 09 13:06 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Marmalade]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
What worries me most about the credit crunch, is that if one of my cheques is returned stamped "insufficient funds", I won't know whether that refers to mine or the bank's.
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Menace to Sobriety


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#94100 - 18 Jan 09 13:23 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Dilli]
Marmalade Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 18 Apr 08
Posts: 2471
Loc: Jak
:slow hand clap:
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JakartaRestaurantReviews.com


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#96721 - 12 Mar 09 22:03 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Dilli]
luludanlili Offline
Member+

Registered: 09 Mar 09
Posts: 37
Loc: jakarta, indonesia
why somebody, administrator or anyone banned him to join the forum? Seem he continue offering villas
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-lubang di dalam hati-

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#96798 - 13 Mar 09 16:28 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: luludanlili]
fred Offline
Member*

Registered: 26 Nov 08
Posts: 743
Loc: here and there
Quoting: luludanlili
why somebody, administrator or anyone banned him to join the forum? Seem he continue offering villas


Can't ban him. One day I may go mad and want some bent fuck to pinch all my cash.
Where the hell else would I go if he was banned?

I suppose I could donate it to a couple of the posters on here to get pissed off their faces with.
_________________________
I have never been convicted of any crime involving sheep.

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#96849 - 14 Mar 09 22:34 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Piss Salon]
Polisi Cepek Offline
Member*

Registered: 17 Mar 07
Posts: 809
Loc: Di tengah hutan
Quoting: Piss Salon
One of the underlying themes in the stories above is greed. Who the fuck buys silver coins and expects a 100 percent return on investment in a year. A fool and his money ...


The New York Review of Books
Volume 56, Number 5
Issue cover-dated
March 26, 2009
Capitalism Beyond the Crisis
By Amartya Sen
1.
2008 was a year of crises. First, we had a food crisis,
particularly threatening to poor consumers, especially in
Africa. Along with that came a record increase in oil prices,
threatening all oil-importing countries. Finally, rather
suddenly in the fall, came the global economic downturn, and it
is now gathering speed at a frightening rate. The year 2009
seems likely to offer a sharp intensification of the downturn,
and many economists are anticipating a full-scale depression,
perhaps even one as large as in the 1930s. While substantial
fortunes have suffered steep declines, the people most affected
are those who were already worst off.
The question that arises most forcefully now concerns the nature
of capitalism and whether it needs to be changed. Some defenders
of unfettered capitalism who resist change are convinced that
capitalism is being blamed too much for short-term economic
problems—problems they variously attribute to bad governance
(for example by the Bush administration) and the bad behavior of
some individuals (or what John McCain described during the
presidential campaign as "the greed of Wall Street"). Others do,
however, see truly serious defects in the existing economic
arrangements and want to reform them, looking for an alternative
approach that is increasingly being called "new capitalism."
The idea of old and new capitalism played an energizing part at
a symposium called "New World, New Capitalism" held in Paris in
January and hosted by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy and
the former British prime minister Tony Blair, both of whom made
eloquent presentations on the need for change. So did German
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who talked about the old German idea
of a "social market"—one restrained by a mixture of
consensus-building policies—as a possible blueprint for new
capitalism (though Germany has not done much better in the
recent crisis than other market economies). NYRB / Season of
Migration
Ideas about changing the organization of society in the long run
are clearly needed, quite apart from strategies for dealing with
an immediate crisis. I would separate out three questions from
the many that can be raised. First, do we really need some kind
of "new capitalism" rather than an economic system that is not
monolithic, draws on a variety of institutions chosen
pragmatically, and is based on social values that we can defend
ethically? Should we search for a new capitalism or for a "new
world"—to use the other term mentioned at the Paris meeting—that
would take a different form?
The second question concerns the kind of economics that is
needed today, especially in light of the present economic
crisis. How do we assess what is taught and championed among
academic economists as a guide to economic policy—including the
revival of Keynesian thought in recent months as the crisis has
grown fierce? More particularly, what does the present economic
crisis tell us about the institutions and priorities to look
for? Third, in addition to working our way toward a better
assessment of what long-term changes are needed, we have to
think—and think fast—about how to get out of the present crisis
with as little damage as possible.
2.
What are the special characteristics that make a system
indubitably capitalist—old or new? If the present capitalist
economic system is to be reformed, what would make the end
result a new capitalism, rather than something else? It seems to
be generally assumed that relying on markets for economic
transactions is a necessary condition for an economy to be
identified as capitalist. In a similar way, dependence on the
profit motive and on individual rewards based on private
ownership are seen as archetypal features of capitalism.
However, if these are necessary requirements, are the economic
systems we currently have, for example, in Europe and America,
genuinely capitalist?
All affluent countries in the world—those in Europe, as well as
the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, and
others—have, for quite some time now, depended partly on
transactions and other payments that occur largely outside
markets. These include unemployment benefits, public pensions,
other features of social security, and the provision of
education, health care, and a variety of other services
distributed through nonmarket arrangements. The economic
entitlements connected with such services are not based on
private ownership and property rights.
Also, the market economy has depended for its own working not
only on maximizing profits but also on many other activities,
such as maintaining public security and supplying public
services—some of which have taken people well beyond an economy
driven only by profit. The creditable performance of the
so-called capitalist system, when things moved forward, drew on
a combination of institutions—publicly funded education, medical
care, and mass transportation are just a few of many—that went
much beyond relying only on a profit-maximizing market economy
and on personal entitlements confined to private ownership.
Underlying this issue is a more basic question: whether
capitalism is a term that is of particular use today. The idea
of capitalism did in fact have an important role historically,
but by now that usefulness may well be fairly exhausted.
For example, the pioneering works of Adam Smith in the
eighteenth century showed the usefulness and dynamism of the
market economy, and why—and particularly how—that dynamism
worked. Smith's investigation provided an illuminating diagnosis
of the workings of the market just when that dynamism was
powerfully emerging. The contribution that The Wealth of
Nations, published in 1776, made to the understanding of what
came to be called capitalism was monumental. Smith showed how
the freeing of trade can very often be extremely helpful in
generating economic prosperity through specialization in
production and division of labor and in making good use of
economies of large scale.
Those lessons remain deeply relevant even today (it is
interesting that the impressive and highly sophisticated
analytical work on international trade for which Paul Krugman
received the latest Nobel award in economics was closely linked
to Smith's far-reaching insights of more than 230 years ago).
The economic analyses that followed those early expositions of
markets and the use of capital in the eighteenth century have
succeeded in solidly establishing the market system in the
corpus of mainstream economics.
However, even as the positive contributions of capitalism
through market processes were being clarified and explicated,
its negative sides were also becoming clear—often to the very
same analysts. While a number of socialist critics, most notably
Karl Marx, influentially made a case for censuring and
ultimately supplanting capitalism, the huge limitations of
relying entirely on the market economy and the profit motive
were also clear enough even to Adam Smith. Indeed, early
advocates of the use of markets, including Smith, did not take
the pure market mechanism to be a freestanding performer of
excellence, nor did they take the profit motive to be all that
is needed.
Even though people seek trade because of self-interest (nothing
more than self-interest is needed, as Smith famously put it, in
explaining why bakers, brewers, butchers, and consumers seek
trade), nevertheless an economy can operate effectively only on
the basis of trust among different parties. When business
activities, including those of banks and other financial
institutions, generate the confidence that they can and will do
the things they pledge, then relations among lenders and
borrowers can go smoothly in a mutually supportive way. As Adam
Smith wrote:

When the people of any particular country have such confidence
in the fortune, probity, and prudence of a particular banker, as
to believe that he is always ready to pay upon demand such of
his promissory notes as are likely to be at any time presented
to him; those notes come to have the same currency as gold and
silver money, from the confidence that such money can at any
time be had for them.[1]
Smith explained why sometimes this did not happen, and he would
not have found anything particularly puzzling, I would suggest,
in the difficulties faced today by businesses and banks thanks
to the widespread fear and mistrust that is keeping credit
markets frozen and preventing a coordinated expansion of credit.
It is also worth mentioning in this context, especially since
the "welfare state" emerged long after Smith's own time, that in
his various writings, his overwhelming concern—and worry—about
the fate of the poor and the disadvantaged are strikingly
prominent. The most immediate failure of the market mechanism
lies in the things that the market leaves undone. Smith's
economic analysis went well beyond leaving everything to the
invisible hand of the market mechanism. He was not only a
defender of the role of the state in providing public services,
such as education, and in poverty relief (along with demanding
greater freedom for the indigents who received support than the
Poor Laws of his day provided), he was also deeply concerned
about the inequality and poverty that might survive in an
otherwise successful market economy.
Lack of clarity about the distinction between the necessity and
sufficiency of the market has been responsible for some
misunderstandings of Smith's assessment of the market mechanism
by many who would claim to be his followers. For example,
Smith's defense of the food market and his criticism of
restrictions by the state on the private trade in food grains
have often been interpreted as arguing that any state
interference would necessarily make hunger and starvation worse.
But Smith's defense of private trade only took the form of
disputing the belief that stopping trade in food would reduce
the burden of hunger. That does not deny in any way the need for
state action to supplement the operations of the market by
creating jobs and incomes (e.g., through work programs). If
unemployment were to increase sharply thanks to bad economic
circumstances or bad public policy, the market would not, on its
own, recreate the incomes of those who have lost their jobs. The
new unemployed, Smith wrote, "would either starve, or be driven
to seek a subsistence either by begging, or by the perpetration
perhaps of the greatest enormities," and "want, famine, and
mortality would immediately prevail...."[2] Smith rejects
interventions that exclude the market—but not interventions that
include the market while aiming to do those important things
that the market may leave undone.
Smith never used the term "capitalism" (at least so far as I
have been able to trace), but it would also be hard to carve out
from his works any theory arguing for the sufficiency of market
forces, or of the need to accept the dominance of capital. He
talked about the importance of these broader values that go
beyond profits in The Wealth of Nations, but it is in his first
book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which was published
exactly a quarter of a millennium ago in 1759, that he
extensively investigated the strong need for actions based on
values that go well beyond profit seeking. While he wrote that
"prudence" was "of all the virtues that which is most useful to
the individual," Adam Smith went on to argue that "humanity,
justice, generosity, and public spirit, are the qualities most
useful to others."[3]
Smith viewed markets and capital as doing good work within their
own sphere, but first, they required support from other
institutions—including public services such as schools—and
values other than pure profit seeking, and second, they needed
restraint and correction by still other institutions—e.g.,
well-devised financial regulations and state assistance to the
poor—for preventing instability, inequity, and injustice. If we
were to look for a new approach to the organization of economic
activity that included a pragmatic choice of a variety of public
services and well-considered regulations, we would be following
rather than departing from the agenda of reform that Smith
outlined as he both defended and criticized capitalism.
3.
Historically, capitalism did not emerge until new systems of law
and economic practice protected property rights and made an
economy based on ownership workable. Commercial exchange could
not effectively take place until business morality made
contractual behavior sustainable and inexpensive—not requiring
constant suing of defaulting contractors, for example.
Investment in productive businesses could not flourish until the
higher rewards from corruption had been moderated.
Profit-oriented capitalism has always drawn on support from
other institutional values.
The moral and legal obligations and responsibilities associated
with transactions have in recent years become much harder to
trace, thanks to the rapid development of secondary markets
involving derivatives and other financial instruments. A
subprime lender who misleads a borrower into taking unwise risks
can now pass off the financial assets to third parties—who are
remote from the original transaction. Accountability has been
badly undermined, and the need for supervision and regulation
has become much stronger.
And yet the supervisory role of government in the United States
in particular has been, over the same period, sharply curtailed,
fed by an increasing belief in the self-regulatory nature of the
market economy. Precisely as the need for state surveillance
grew, the needed supervision shrank. There was, as a result, a
disaster waiting to happen, which did eventually happen last
year, and this has certainly contributed a great deal to the
financial crisis that is plaguing the world today. The
insufficient regulation of financial activities has implications
not only for illegitimate practices, but also for a tendency
toward overspeculation that, as Adam Smith argued, tends to grip
many human beings in their breathless search for profits.
Smith called the promoters of excessive risk in search of
profits "prodigals and projectors"—which is quite a good
description of issuers of subprime mortgages over the past few
years. Discussing laws against usury, for example, Smith wanted
state regulation to protect citizens from the "prodigals and
projectors" who promoted unsound loans:
A great part of the capital of the country would thus be kept
out of the hands which were most likely to make a profitable and
advantageous use of it, and thrown into those which were most
likely to waste and destroy it.[4]
The implicit faith in the ability of the market economy to
correct itself, which is largely responsible for the removal of
established regulations in the United States, tended to ignore
the activities of prodigals and projectors in a way that would
have shocked Adam Smith.
The present economic crisis is partly generated by a huge
overestimation of the wisdom of market processes, and the crisis
is now being exacerbated by anxiety and lack of trust in the
financial market and in businesses in general—responses that
have been evident in the market reactions to the sequence of
stimulus plans, including the $787 billion plan signed into law
in February by the new Obama administration. As it happens,
these problems were already identified in the eighteenth century
by Smith, even though they have been neglected by those who have
been in authority in recent years, especially in the United
States, and who have been busy citing Adam Smith in support of
the unfettered market.
4.
While Adam Smith has recently been much quoted, even if not much
read, there has been a huge revival, even more recently, of John
Maynard Keynes. Certainly, the cumulative downturn that we are
observing right now, which is edging us closer to a depression,
has clear Keynesian features; the reduced incomes of one group
of persons has led to reduced purchases by them, in turn causing
a further reduction in the income of others.
However, Keynes can be our savior only to a very partial extent,
and there is a need to look beyond him in understanding the
present crisis. One economist whose current relevance has been
far less recognized is Keynes's rival Arthur Cecil Pigou, who,
like Keynes, was also in Cambridge, indeed also in Kings
College, in Keynes's time. Pigou was much more concerned than
Keynes with economic psychology and the ways it could influence
business cycles and sharpen and harden an economic recession
that could take us toward a depression (as indeed we are seeing
now). Pigou attributed economic fluctuations partly to
"psychological causes" consisting of
variations in the tone of mind of persons whose action controls
industry, emerging in errors of undue optimism or undue
pessimism in their business forecasts.[5]
It is hard to ignore the fact that today, in addition to the
Keynesian effects of mutually reinforced decline, we are
strongly in the presence of "errors of...undue pessimism." Pigou
focused particularly on the need to unfreeze the credit market
when the economy is in the grip of excessive pessimism:
Hence, other things being equal, the actual occurrence of
business failures will be more or less widespread, according [to
whether] bankers' loans, in the face of crisis of demands, are
less or more readily obtainable.[6]
Despite huge injections of fresh liquidity into the American and
European economies, largely from the government, the banks and
financial institutions have until now remained unwilling to
unfreeze the credit market. Other businesses also continue to
fail, partly in response to already diminished demand (the
Keynesian "multiplier" process), but also in response to fear of
even less demand in the future, in a climate of general gloom
(the Pigovian process of infectious pessimism).
One of the problems that the Obama administration has to deal
with is that the real crisis, arising from financial
mismanagement and other transgressions, has become many times
magnified by a psychological collapse. The measures that are
being discussed right now in Washington and elsewhere to
regenerate the credit market include bailouts—with firm
requirements that subsidized financial institutions actually
lend—government purchase of toxic assets, insurance against
failure to repay loans, and bank nationalization. (The last
proposal scares many conservatives just as private control of
the public money given to the banks worries people concerned
about accountability.) As the weak response of the market to the
administration's measures so far suggests, each of these
policies would have to be assessed partly for their impact on
the psychology of businesses and consumers, particularly in
America.
5.
The contrast between Pigou and Keynes is relevant for another
reason as well. While Keynes was very involved with the question
of how to increase aggregate income, he was relatively less
engaged in analyzing problems of unequal distribution of wealth
and of social welfare. In contrast, Pigou not only wrote the
classic study of welfare economics, but he also pioneered the
measurement of economic inequality as a major indicator for
economic assessment and policy.[7] Since the suffering of the
most deprived people in each economy—and in the world—demands
the most urgent attention, the role of supportive cooperation
between business and government cannot stop only with mutually
coordinated expansion of an economy. There is a critical need
for paying special attention to the underdogs of society in
planning a response to the current crisis, and in going beyond
measures to produce general economic expansion. Families
threatened with unemployment, with lack of medical care, and
with social as well as economic deprivation have been hit
particularly hard. The limitations of Keynesian economics to
address their problems demand much greater recognition.
A third way in which Keynes needs to be supplemented concerns
his relative neglect of social services—indeed even Otto von
Bismarck had more to say on this subject than Keynes. That the
market economy can be particularly bad in delivering public
goods (such as education and health care) has been discussed by
some of the leading economists of our time, including Paul
Samuelson and Kenneth Arrow. (Pigou too contributed to this
subject with his emphasis on the "external effects" of market
transactions, where the gains and losses are not confined only
to the direct buyers or sellers.) This is, of course, a
long-term issue, but it is worth noting in addition that the
bite of a downturn can be much fiercer when health care in
particular is not guaranteed for all.
For example, in the absence of a national health service, every
lost job can produce a larger exclusion from essential health
care, because of loss of income or loss of employment-related
private health insurance. The US has a 7.6 percent rate of
unemployment now, which is beginning to cause huge deprivation.
It is worth asking how the European countries, including France,
Italy, and Spain, that lived with much higher levels of
unemployment for decades, managed to avoid a total collapse of
their quality of life. The answer is partly the way the European
welfare state operates, with much stronger unemployment
insurance than in America and, even more importantly, with basic
medical services provided to all by the state.
The failure of the market mechanism to provide health care for
all has been flagrant, most noticeably in the United States, but
also in the sharp halt in the progress of health and longevity
in China following its abolition of universal health coverage in
1979. Before the economic reforms of that year, every Chinese
citizen had guaranteed health care provided by the state or the
cooperatives, even if at a rather basic level. When China
removed its counterproductive system of agricultural collectives
and communes and industrial units managed by bureaucracies, it
thereby made the rate of growth of gross domestic product go up
faster than anywhere else in the world. But at the same time,
led by its new faith in the market economy, China also abolished
the system of universal health care; and, after the reforms of
1979, health insurance had to be bought by individuals (except
in some relatively rare cases in which the state or some big
firms provide them to their employees and dependents). With this
change, China's rapid progress in longevity sharply slowed down.
This was problem enough when China's aggregate income was
growing extremely fast, but it is bound to become a much bigger
problem when the Chinese economy decelerates sharply, as it is
currently doing. The Chinese government is now trying hard to
gradually reintroduce health insurance for all, and the US
government under Obama is also committed to making health
coverage universal. In both China and the US, the rectifications
have far to go, but they should be central elements in tackling
the economic crisis, as well as in achieving long-term
transformation of the two societies.
6.
The revival of Keynes has much to contribute both to economic
analysis and to policy, but the net has to be cast much wider.
Even though Keynes is often seen as a kind of a "rebel" figure
in contemporary economics, the fact is that he came close to
being the guru of a new capitalism, who focused on trying to
stabilize the fluctuations of the market economy (and then again
with relatively little attention to the psychological causes of
business fluctuations). Even though Smith and Pigou have the
reputation of being rather conservative economists, many of the
deep insights about the importance of nonmarket institutions and
nonprofit values came from them, rather than from Keynes and his
followers.
A crisis not only presents an immediate challenge that has to be
faced. It also provides an opportunity to address long-term
problems when people are willing to reconsider established
conventions. This is why the present crisis also makes it
important to face the neglected long-term issues like
conservation of the environment and national health care, as
well as the need for public transport, which has been very badly
neglected in the last few decades and is also so far
sidelined—as I write this article—even in the initial policies
announced by the Obama administration. Economic affordability
is, of course, an issue, but as the example of the Indian state
of Kerala shows, it is possible to have state-guaranteed health
care for all at relatively little cost. Since the Chinese
dropped universal health insurance in 1979, Kerala—which
continues to have it—has very substantially overtaken China in
average life expectancy and in indicators such as infant
mortality, despite having a much lower level of per capita
income. So there are opportunities for poor countries as well.
But the largest challenges face the United States, which already
has the highest level of per capita expenditure on health among
all countries in the world, but still has a relatively low
achievement in health and has more than forty million people
with no guarantee of health care. Part of the problem here is
one of public attitude and understanding. Hugely distorted
perceptions of how a national health service works need to be
corrected through public discussion. For example, it is common
to assume that no one has a choice of doctors in a European
national health service, which is not at all the case.
There is, however, also a need for better understanding of the
options that exist. In US discussions of health reform, there
has been an overconcentration on the Canadian system—a system of
public health care that makes it very hard to have private
medical care—whereas in Western Europe the national health
services provide care for all but also allow, in addition to
state coverage, private practice and private health insurance,
for those who have the money and want to spend it this way. It
is not clear just why the rich who can freely spend money on
yachts and other luxury goods should not be allowed to spend it
on MRIs or CT scans instead. If we take our cue from Adam
Smith's arguments for a diversity of institutions, and for
accommodating a variety of motivations, there are practical
measures we can take that would make a huge difference to the
world in which we live.
The present economic crises do not, I would argue, call for a
"new capitalism," but they do demand a new understanding of
older ideas, such as those of Smith and, nearer our time, of
Pigou, many of which have been sadly neglected. What is also
needed is a clearheaded perception of how different institutions
actually work, and of how a variety of organizations—from the
market to the institutions of the state—can go beyond short-term
solutions and contribute to producing a more decent economic
world.
—February 25, 2009
Notes
[1] Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the
Wealth of Nations, edited by R.H. Campbell and A.S. Skinner
(Clarendon Press, 1976), I, II.ii.28, p. 292.
[2] Smith, The Wealth of Nations, I, I.viii.26, p. 91.
[3] Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, edited by D.D.
Raphael and A.L. Macfie (Clarendon Press, 1976), pp. 189–190.
[4] Smith, The Wealth of Nations, I, II.iv.15, p. 357.
[5] A.C. Pigou, Industrial Fluctuations (London: Macmillan,
1929), p. 73.
[6] Pigou, Industrial Fluctuations, p. 96.
[7] A.C. Pigou, The Economics of Welfare (London: Macmillan,
1920). Current works on economic inequality, including the major
contributions of A.B. Atkinson, have been to a considerable
extent inspired by Pigou's pioneering initiative: see Atkinson,
Social Justice and Public Policy (MIT Press, 1983).
Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard. He
received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998. His most recent
book is Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny. (March
2009)
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#96870 - 15 Mar 09 11:29 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Polisi Cepek]
Marmalade Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 18 Apr 08
Posts: 2471
Loc: Jak
TLDR
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#96871 - 15 Mar 09 11:38 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Marmalade]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Quoting: Marmalade
TLDR
x 2
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Menace to Sobriety


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#96887 - 15 Mar 09 16:34 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Dilli]
Marmalade Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 18 Apr 08
Posts: 2471
Loc: Jak
Short attention spans ru
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#96891 - 15 Mar 09 17:45 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Marmalade]
Polisi Cepek Offline
Member*

Registered: 17 Mar 07
Posts: 809
Loc: Di tengah hutan
Too Long, Don't Read?
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#96893 - 15 Mar 09 18:39 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Polisi Cepek]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Didn't
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#96894 - 15 Mar 09 18:46 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Dilli]
Marmalade Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 18 Apr 08
Posts: 2471
Loc: Jak
BAS
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#96904 - 15 Mar 09 19:14 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Marmalade]
luludanlili Offline
Member+

Registered: 09 Mar 09
Posts: 37
Loc: jakarta, indonesia
I read it (half), it's tiring.
The truth is financial analyst been trained to see the lack of regulation as an opportunity to get cash. Not all analyst even understand about the derivative product. If it made analyst sick (especially me) how could an investor understand? At the end of the presentation, he will only ask, how much return?
To redefine capitalist, why bother recall Smith or Keynes, let them rest in peace.
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#96907 - 15 Mar 09 19:28 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: Marmalade]
kenyeung Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 16 Apr 07
Posts: 2374
Loc: Indonesia
Summing up that dull article for those with short attention spans: There's an economic crisis, possibly even a depression. So should capitalism be dropped in favor of, er, neo-capitalism (perhaps with more state intervention/regulations in the free market)? Waffle, waffle, bollocks, rhubarb and flying custard. No, not really, capitalism is still the way to go.
The End.

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#96908 - 15 Mar 09 19:29 Re: Barry "Lawrence" Bellefontaine: Bule Crook living in Bali [Re: luludanlili]
Marmalade Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 18 Apr 08
Posts: 2471
Loc: Jak
Boring Adult Stuff
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