Sentence of Enduring Value

That point is that the principles of social interaction are the primary subject of moral evaluation, not the patterns [those interactions create] themselves.

Will the Lesser

My thing is talk of those patterns seem to pull hair triggers on normativity on both sides of the issue. Distribution should be a positive and descriptive aspect of social science just like the measurement of GDP and theory that explains its levels or the courting rituals of Amazonian tribespeople and the theories that explain them ((I dunno… I’m trying to throw the other social sciences a bone)).

Why isn’t the gini index, as an indicator of dynamics in the economy, as widely reported as GDP? If there were two economies with the same GDP, the one with changes in the gini would be more interesting.

Yes, I just made a normative claim about positivity.

1 thought on “Sentence of Enduring Value”

  1. Gini is more persistent than GDP at high frequencies, IIRC, in which case it doesn’t make sense to report it often. Plus, do you look at after tax or before tax Gini? Stuff like that.

    I do agree that I’d like to see more atheoretical Gini-based articles and graphs out there, just so I can point and I say I don’t care, but still…

    Gini is one thing… but those patterns might also be described in more detail and this is where it gets interesting. In Romania, for example, there are people one might call “oligarchs”, although nothing near the Russia level. People with connections both with the public and private sector, that move easily and who make money from nonproductive activities. So that would be one juicy story to tell…

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