Talk Show I

[From Bill Powers (2011.05.18.2200 MDT)]

I’m going to make a stab at trying the MOL talk show format as Moderator
of the discussion on economic models. As we get into this I expect others
will see the principles and have questions or comments for the Moderator
to present, so let’s think of the Moderator as a role that can be
performed by anyone who gets the MOL idea. I happen to be filling it
right now, but I can defer to anyone else who wants a turn at it. Let me
be ringmaster at first, and let’s see how it goes. I’ll either relay
questions from others I think are pertinent, or turn over the Moderator
Hat to someone else.

I can see one change that will have to happen early: we have to chop the
discussion up into shorter segments because questions will have to be
asked quite frequently and it will be important to get the answers before
going on. This means the questions should deal with specific subjects and
the answers should be as short as possible. Clarifications can always
follow. This would work better as a live panel discussion, but we simply
have to slow down to the pace of email.

I will operate almost entirely by asking questions, not presenting any
arguments or proposals of my own no matter how much I want to. After I
present a question and get an answer, others involved in the discussion
can present their comments – again, as short as possible. Then I may ask
more questions as follow-ups, or introduce questions to the commentators,
when they will then answer briefly. So I will be making the decisions
about whom to question, but anyone can offer comments that are not
answers to my questions.

I obviously haven’t anticipated all the problems, but if everyone is
agreeable we can just dive in and start swimming, and reorganize as we
go. I’m going to keep all this in a separate mailbox.

I don’t know if this is going to work, but here goes.

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COMMENT: [Martin Lewitt 18 May 2011 16:16]

On 5/18/2011 3:10 PM, Adam Matic > wrote:

On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 6:55 AM, > > Martin Lewitt > > mlewitt@comcast.net > > wrote:
[Martin Lewitt 12 May 2011 2242 MDT]

It seems you are missing enough surplus in production to enable some
controllers to defer some consumption in order to purchase capital
equipment and increase the productivity of
labor.

MODERATOR: Bill P:

  1. Speaking of “surplus in production” implies to me that the
    controllers you mean are acting as business managers/owners rather than
    as retail consumers. Is that correct?

  2. In this context, what do you mean by the controllers “deferring
    consumption?” What are they deferring? How does a surplus of
    production allow deferring consumption?

COMMENT: Adam Matic:

The increase in productivity can come simply from the division of labor.
It’s more productive to just do what you do best and trade the surplus
for everything else than to make all you need yourself. To further
increase productivity, capital goods should be somehow put into the
equation, you’re right, but I guess I should just start with the basics.

MODERATOR:

  1. Are you picturing a society without organized businesses already in
    existence? It sounds as if you’re starting with every individual working
    for himself, being a producer as well as a consumer, with no places of
    manufacture or service except what each individual owns. This doesn’t
    sound like what Martin L is talking about. Can you be more
    explicit?

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OK, that’s it for now.

Best,

Bill P.