Pаul Krugmаn’s “Fоr Richеr”

Th? study ?f th? p?litic?l ?c?n?my ?f ?m?ric? in th? r?c?nt y??rs h?s br?ught ?b?ut c?ntr?dict?ry inf?r?nc?s, h?w?v?r ? c?mm?n thr??d th?t w??v?s thr?ugh th? p?litic?l ?c?n?mics lit?r?tur? is th?t th? rich ?r? g?tting rich?r f?st?r th?n th? p??r ?r?

g?tting rich?r. P?ul Krugm?n, pr?f?ss?r ?f ?c?n?mics ?t th? Univ?rsity ?f Princ?t?n ?nd th? m?st c?ntr?v?rsi?l p?litic?l ?c?n?mist in ?m?ric? during th?s? y??rs, h?s ?ddr?ss?d this hyp?th?sis in ? h?st ?f ?rticl?s in his m?ny b??ks, n?wsp?p?r ?nd m?g?zin? ?rticl?s ?t ?l.

In F?r Rich?r, th? first ?ss?y in ? N?w Y?rk Tim?s s?ri?s ?n cl?ss ?nd cl?ss w?rs in th? Unit?d St?t?s, P?ul Krugm?n invit?s th? r??d?r’s ?tt?nti?n t? issu?s th?t th? lib?rt?ri?n ?c?n?mists ?ft?n ign?r? ?r f?il t? r?c?gniz? in th?ir disc?urs?s. H? pr?cl?ims th? dis?pp??r?nc? ?f th? middl? cl?ss, illustr?t?s th? incr??sing pr?bl?ms ?f inc?m? in?qu?lity ?nd plut?cr?cy, ?nd ?x?min?s th? ?ff?rts by ?c?n?mists ?s w?ll ?s g?v?rnm?nt instituti?ns t? c?nc??l cl?ss c?mp?siti?n using st?tistic?l d?t?. Th? shifting p?r?digms ?f c?rp?r?t? ?x?cutiv? ?thics ?nd influ?nc? is y?t ?n?th?r t?pic discuss?d in th? ?ss?y. (Krugm?n, 2002)

Whil? Krugm?n’s s?urc?s m?y b? limit?d ?nd ?v?n d?b?t?d, it p?ints t? c?rt?in ?ss?nti?l ?nd cruci?l s?ci?-p?litic?l ?nd ?c?n?mic issu?s pl?guing th? ?m?ric?n s?ci?ty. Th?t th? ?m?ric?ns ?r? pr?s?ntly living in ? n?w Gild?d ?g?, which is ?s ?xtr?v?g?nt ?s th? ?rigin?l, but with ? g?p b?tw??n th? v?ry rich ?nd th? r?st wid?ning f?st?r th?n ?v?r. Wh?t?v?r b? th? ?ll?g?ti?ns ?n P?ul Krugm?n, it is imp?rt?nt th?t th? issu?s ?r? ?ddr?ss?d ?nd ?ppr?pri?t? m??sur?s id?ntifi?d f?r th? citiz?ns ?nd g?v?rnm?nt t? ch?ng? th? difficult st?t? ?f things.
Krugm?n’s ?n?lysis ?nd ?d?m Smith’s C?nc?pts ?f S?lf-int?r?st ?nd “ Invisibl? H?nd”

?s Krugm?n’s ?bs?rv?ti?ns ?r? ?ss?nti?lly f?cus?d ?n th? individu?l’s gr??d ?nd s?lf-int?r?st in th? c?pit?list s?ci?ty th?t ?m?ric? is, it w?uld b? w?rthwhil? t? r?l?t? th?s? ?bs?rv?ti?ns with th?s? ?f ?d?m Smith, th? 18th c?ntury phil?s?ph?r ?c?n?mist wh? wr?t? Th? W??lth ?f N?ti?ns, ? t?ur d? f?rc? ?n th? th??ry ?f c?pit?lism intr?ducing th? c?nc?pt ?f th? “invisibl? h?nd” th?t l??ds c?pit?list s?ci?ti?s t? ?c?n?mic ?ffici?ncy. Whil? ?d?m Smith b?li?v?d gr??tly in th? intrinsic w?rth ?f th? c?pit?lism ?nd s?-c?ll?d “invisibl? h?nd” ?f th? m?rk?t, h? c?uld f?r?s?? th? s?lf-int?r?st?d b?h?vi?r ?f busin?ssm?n. ?cc?rding t? Smith, m?ximizing s?lf-int?r?st w?s ? ‘r?ti?n?l’ b?h?vi?r in ?c?n?mics. His ?ft?n qu?t?d ?bs?rv?ti?n fr?m Th? W??lth ?f N?ti?ns : ‘p??pl? ?f th? s?m? tr?d? s?ld?m m??t t?g?th?r, ?v?n f?r m?rrim?nt ?nd div?rsi?n, but th? c?nv?rs?ti?n ?nds in ? c?nspir?cy ?g?inst th? public, ?r in s?m? c?ntriv?nc? t? r?is? pric?s’ – imply th?t th? busin?ssm?n ?r? ?lw?ys c?nc?rn?d ?f m?king th?ms?lv?s rich?r, ?v?n if its by h?rming th?ir f?ll?w citiz?ns ?nd th?ir n?ti?n.

P?ul Krugm?n’s ?bs?rv?ti?n ?n c?rp?r?t? ?x?cutiv? ?thics ?nd th? st?tistic?l d?t? th?t h? pr?s?nts ?n th? c?nc?ntr?ti?n ?f w??lth in ? f?w h?nds in “ F?r Rich?r” f?lls in lin? with ?d?m Smith’s d?scripti?n ?f th? c?pit?list syst?m, which is ?ss?nti?lly pr?p?ll?d by th? s?lf-int?r?st?d b?h?vi?r ?f th? busin?ssm?n. H?w?v?r, ? m?in ?rgum?nt in Th? W??lth ?f N?ti?ns is th?t th? fr?? c?pit?list m?rk?t, th?ugh s??mingly ch??tic ?nd unc?ntr?ll?d, is in r??lity st??r?d t? pr?duc? th? right qu?ntity ?nd r?ng? ?f g??ds by ? s?-c?ll?d “invisibl? h?nd.” ?cc?rding t? his th??ry, in th? ?v?nt ?f ? pr?duct sh?rt?g?, its pric? ris?s, which cr??t?s th? m?tiv?ti?n f?r its incr??s?d pr?ducti?n, thus curing th? sh?rt?g? ultim?t?ly.

Th? ‘invisibl? h?nd’ n?t ?nly guid?s pr?ducti?n, but ?ls? guid?s th? pric? ?f th? pr?duct in ? c?mp?titiv? c?pit?list syst?m. Th? incr??s?d c?mp?titi?n ?m?ng m?nuf?ctur?rs ?nd th? incr??s?d supply w?uld ?v?ntu?lly l?w?r th? pric? ?f th? pr?duct t? its pr?ducti?n c?st, which h? t?rm?d th? “n?tur?l pric?.” N?n?th?l?ss, Smith w?s c?uti?us ?f th? s?lf-int?r?st ?f busin?ssm?n ?nd insist?d ?g?inst th? f?rm?ti?n ?f m?n?p?li?s. Smith h?ld th?t whil? hum?n m?tiv?s ?r? ?ft?n s?lfish ?nd gr??dy, th? c?mp?titi?n in th? fr?? m?rk?t w?uld t?nd t? b?n?fit s?ci?ty ?s ? wh?l? ?nyw?y.

Krugm?n’s ?n?lysis ?nd D? T?cqu?vill?’s ‘S?lf-Int?r?st Pr?p?rly Und?rst??d’

?l?xis d? T?cqu?vill? in his b??k D?m?cr?cy in ?m?ric? ?ls? ?ddr?ss?d th? issu? ?f s?lf-int?r?st ?f ?m?ric?ns. H?w?v?r Krugm?n’s ?bs?rv?ti?ns diff?r signific?ntly fr?m T?cqu?vill?’s c?nc?pt ?f ‘s?lf int?r?st pr?p?rly und?rst??d. T?cqu?vill? d?scrib?d ?m?ric? ?s ? c?mmunity ?f g??d S?m?rit?ns, with p??pl? p?rsist?ntly h?lping ?n? ?n?th?r. H? ?xpl?ins h?w ?m?ric?ns h?d ?n inn?t? gr?sp ?f th? c?nc?pt ?f ?nlight?n?d s?lf-int?r?st: “Th? ?m?ric?ns ?nj?y ?xpl?ining ?lm?st ?v?ry ?ct ?f th?ir liv?s ?n th? principl? ?f s?lf-int?r?st pr?p?rly und?rst??d.”

H? c?ntinu?s t? s?y “?nlight?n?d s?lf-l?v? c?ntinu?lly l??ds th?m t? h?lp ?n? ?n?th?r ?nd inclin?s th?m t? d?v?t? fr??ly ? p?rt ?f th?ir tim? ?nd w??lthy t? th? w?lf?r? ?f th? st?t?.” (T?cqu?vill?, 1840; pg. 611) T?cqu?vill?’s principl? ?f s?lf-int?r?st pr?p?rly und?rst??d s??ms t? b? in lin? with th? pr?-1970s ?m?ric? pr?s?nt?d by Krugm?n; it’s h?rd t? ?ss?ci?t? th? s?lf –int?r?st ?f m?d?rn c?rp?r?t? ?x?cutiv?s r?p?rt?d by Krugm?n with T?cqu?vill?’s c?nc?pt ?f s?lf int?r?st.

Krugm?n’s ?bs?rv?ti?ns s??ms in lin? with th?t ?f ?d?m Smith, in th?t h? ?ttribut?s th? ?c?n?mic ?chi?v?m?nts ?f th? Unit?d St?t?s t? th? c?nc?ntr?ti?n ?f inc?m? ?t th? t?p, typic?l ?f fr?? m?rk?t syst?m, h?w?v?r his hyp?th?s?s g??s b?y?nd th? “invisibl? h?nds” ?f th? m?rk?t th?t Smith c?nsid?r?d w?uld b?n?fit th? s?ci?ty. Krugm?n c?nsid?rs th? c?nc?ntr?ti?n ?f w??lth ?n th? t?p ?s th? m?in r??s?n th?t th? Unit?d St?t?s h?s m?r? p?v?rty ?nd l?w?r lif? ?xp?ct?ncy th?n ?ny ?th?r m?j?r ?dv?nc?d n?ti?n. Th?ugh h? c?nsid?rs th? hyp?th?sis ?f th? ?ff?cts ?f “gl?b?liz?ti?n”, “skill-bi?s?d t?chn?l?gic?l ch?ng?,” ?nd “sup?rst?r” th??ry, h? c?nclud?s th?t ?xpl?n?ti?ns f?r th? gr?wing in?qu?liti?s ultim?t?ly t? th? “r?l? ?f s?ci?l n?rms in s?tting limits t? in?qu?lity.” (Krugm?n, 2002)

P?ul Krugm?n’s vi?ws in ? w?y c?nfirm ?d?m Smith’s c?uti?n ?f th? gr??d ?f th? busin?ssm?n, h?w?v?r h? f?ils t? id?ntify th? invisibl? h?nd th?t w?uld guid? th? s?lf-int?r?st t?w?rds th? b?n?fit ?f th? s?ci?ty. Whil? h? ?ss?nti?lly s??ms t? ?gr?? with ?d?m Smith’s n?ti?n th?t individu?l’s s?lf int?r?st might indir?ctly pr?m?t? th? int?r?st ?f th? s?ci?ty, h? sugg?sts th? pr?lif?r?ti?n ?f gl?b?l tr?d? ?nd gl?b?liz?ti?n ?f busin?ss, th? ?m?rg?nc? ?f th? n?w ?c?n?my c?upl?d with th? ?bs?nc? ?f s?ci?l n?rms h?v? incr??sing sid?lin?d th? ‘invisibl? h?nd’. Krugm?n’s ?ss?y ?ss?nti?lly p?int t? th? n??d f?r g?v?rnm?nt?l c?ntr?l by cr??ting ?ff?ctiv? l?ws ?nd th? r?instituti?n ?f ?thic?l n?rms in th? c?rp?r?t? w?rld, s? th?t ?d?m Smith’s m?gic?l “invisibl? h?nd” will guid? busin?ss?s in th? right dir?cti?n. Th?n c?rp?r?ti?ns ?nd ?x?cutiv?s , whil? trying t? m?k? th?ms?lv?s rich?r, will finish up d?ing things th?t ?r? g??d f?r th? wh?l? s?ci?ty.

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