[Marxism] Critique of critique of communism?

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Sat Aug 4 13:16:55 MDT 2007

On 8/2/07, Haines Brown <brownh at hartford-hwp.com> wrote:

> To be honest, I'm not quite sure I understand the quoted passage (such
> as its "positional good"?),

"Frank urges fellow economists to look at numbers and data in relative
terms, not absolute ones. A Web surfer with a 56K modem today knows,
intuitively, that he is better off than he was 20 years ago, when he
had to rely on a 1,200-baud modem. But when everybody else has
broadband, that 56K makes you feel like a cyberloser. The desire to
avoid such relative deprivation drives consumption in a range of
goods, especially those that Frank calls "positional goods" — things
like housing and cars, in which differences in quality and size are
readily visible."

 -- <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/books/review/Gross-t.html?ref=review>

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