[Marxism] Neoconservative Idiocy: How An Unconstrained Lust for Profit and Power Implodes

michael perelman michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Mon Oct 12 16:59:41 MDT 2009

I can understand the attraction of an unconstrained lust for profit and 
power, but I am puzzled by the stupidity of its practitioners.  I'm 
presently researching the life and work of William Petty, more than 
three centuries ago.  Petty was an avaricious land pirate, who is 
willing to move entire populations from one country to another and 
promoted wars in order to win favor with the government, but Petty was 
not stupid.

For example, Petty, who is trained in medicine, realized the economic 
benefits of a healthy population. He even called for clinics to care for 
orphans and poor children.

I was struck by a recent Wall Street Journal article that reminded me of 
Petty's intelligence. David Wessel reported on a paper from the Chicago 
branch of the Federal Reserve Board, showing how children's health care 
boosted test scores.  The study itself pointed to a relatively obvious 
outcome, I wondered why so little attention has been paid to the 
economic payoffs from better health care -- especially in the mainstream 

Here is a snippet from the articlet:

Wessel, David. 2009. "Wider Health-Care Access Pays Off." Wall Street 
Journal (8 October): p. A2.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Working Paper 2008-20

"Kenneth Chay of Brown University, Jonathan Guryan of the University of 
Chicago's Booth School of Business and Bhashkar Mazumder of the Federal 
Reserve Bank of Chicago ... (link) improvements in test scores of black 
teenagers from the South in the 1980s to improved health care they 
received as children after Southern hospitals were integrated in the 
1960s. The bottom line, in a working paper circulated by the Chicago 
Fed, is this: "Improved post-neonatal health among blacks born between 
the early 1960s and early 1970s ... led to long-term improvements in the 
academic and cognitive skills of these cohorts as teenagers."



Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA

530 898 5321
fax 530 898 5901

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