Beware Biophysicists Doing Economics


This is a warning sign:

Isky Gordon is emeritus professor in the developmental imaging and biophysics section at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London.

There might well be some problems when one so trained does economics. Along the lines of not, perhaps, grasping the underlying concepts.

This is also a bad sign – it’s at Compass so it’s likely to not even grasp reality. And, sho’nuff, the piece entirely misses the damn point:

Universal Basic Income & Universal Basic Services: How can we bring them together?

We don’t want to bring them together. They are alternative – competing, mutually exclusive in fact – methods of achieving the same goal.

The goals of UBI and UBS are to improve the conditions of people’s daily lives – the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age – as well as to tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources.

Yep, and we choose one or the other.

The aim is that those without have. Cool. We have two different ways of gaining this goal. We can make lots of stuff, centrally, by government, and give it to everyone. Or, we can give everyone chitties for stuff and they go out and pick what they’d like from the available options.

If we do it the government manufacture and provision way we get the NHS which is why everyone who can afford it gets Bupa. If we do it the give everyone a chitty manner – give them some money to go buy it – then we gain the German health care system. Or the French. Both of which are better than the NHS.

Case solved, we want UBI not UBS. On the very simple basis that people empowered with effective demand to choose what they wish ends up in a system with better products and services than a system in which we get, for free, whatever the bureaucrats deign to provide. This is not a difficult observation, the world’s largest natural experiment in economics – the 20th century – proved this quite nicely.

So, tomorrow, on to a more difficult question – beige or taupe?

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Rhoda Klapp
Rhoda Klapp

As the world is full of economists who believe this sort of crap I don’t think your headline is valid. And of course the answer is neither, let them work for it not take money from me.

Mr Womby
Mr Womby

“beige or taupe?”
I lean towards the mushroom, personally.