Johnny Munkhammar skrev på denna blogg från 2004 till sin död 2012. Bloggen är upprätthållen som ett minne och som referens till Johnnys arbete av Johnny Munkhammars minnesfond.

This blog was operated by Johnny Munkhammar from 2004 until 2012 when he passed away. This blog is now in a memorialized state and operated by the Johnny Munkhammar fund.
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Wednesday 2020-08-12, 15:10:30

2005-04-21 12:24:20
Socialism With Psychological Arguments? Tonight, I will be debating the connection between growth and prosperity. One part of that will be the research into well-being. Some claim, such as my opponents tonight, that the research shows that peoples? well-being is not enhanced by growth. Let me present, below, some quotes from such research, which I believe to be quite telling. Basically, it is socialism with psychological arguments - by Richard Layard (in Prospect):

"When I earn more and adopt a more expensive lifestyle, this puts pressure on others to keep up - my action raises the norm and makes them less satisfied with what they have. I am like the factory owner who pours out his soot on to the neighbours? laundry. And the classic economic remedy for pollution is to make the polluter pay. ... This should become part of the social democratic case against tax cuts. ...

Crime rates are high when there is geographical mobility. ... So we should try to sustain communities and not rely on ?getting on your bike? or international migration to solve our problems, as free-market economists often urge. The case for regional support to help communities prosper is much stronger when you focus on happiness than when GDP alone is the goal. ...

We live in an age of unprecedented indivdidualism. The highest obligation many people feel is to make the most of themselves, to realise their potential. This is a terrifying and lonely objective. ... We are left with no concept of the common good or collective meaning. ...

So public policy should aim at producing the greatest happiness of the greatest number, and private decisions should aim at the greatest happiness of all those affected. ...

From the beginning it (a utilitarian aim of the greatest happiness to the greatest number, my point) had its critics, and an alternative philosophy based on individual rights became fashionable. But it has two drawbacks. First, it is difficult to resolve the dilemma when rights conflict. And second, it is highly individualistic. It tells you what you are entitled to expect, and what you should not do. But it provides little guidance on what you should do - what career you should adopt, or how you should behave when your mariage goes sour."

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