1. Joined
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    21 Jun '16 16:025 edits
    Christian theological prof, R.C. Sproul gives 32 minute lecture on Economics.

    YouTube

    Any comment is of interest to me. But only if you have watched the entire 32:14 minutes of the talk.

    Anyone who has the decency to listen to the entire 32:14 minute talk, I would like to know your reaction.

    This is sonship

    1.) Do you think Sproul has any grasp of Economics ?

    2.) Do you think he explains Economics well ?

    3.) Do you think he represents accurately a Christian view of Economics ?

    4.) Do you think his description of world economic problems has any insight ?

    Brow beatings are welcomed, BUT you have to have seen the whole thing. No cheating please.
  2. Joined
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    21 Jun '16 18:38
    Originally posted by gswilm
    Christian theological prof, R.C. Sproul gives 32 minute lecture on [b] Economics.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYes7-pvFfA

    Any comment is of interest to me. But only if you have watched the entire 32:14 minutes of the talk.

    Anyone who has the decency to listen to the entire 32:14 minute talk, I would like to know your reaction.

    Th ...[text shortened]... w beatings are welcomed, BUT you have to have seen the whole thing. No cheating please.[/b]
    Sonship, I served with Jack Wilmore. I knew Jack Wilmore. Jack Wilmore was a friend of mine. Sonship, you're no Jack Wilmore.
  3. Standard memberRajk999
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    21 Jun '16 20:16
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Sonship, I served with Jack Wilmore. I knew Jack Wilmore. Jack Wilmore was a friend of mine. Sonship, you're no Jack Wilmore.
    Sonships/Jack Wilmores are dime a dozen 😀
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    21 Jun '16 22:20
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Sonship, I served with Jack Wilmore. I knew Jack Wilmore. Jack Wilmore was a friend of mine. Sonship, you're no Jack Wilmore.
    Could there be more than one?
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    21 Jun '16 23:546 edits
    Originally posted by gswilm
    Christian theological prof, R.C. Sproul gives 32 minute lecture on [b] Economics.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYes7-pvFfA

    Any comment is of interest to me. But only if you have watched the entire 32:14 minutes of the talk.

    Anyone who has the decency to listen to the entire 32:14 minute talk, I would like to know your reaction.

    Th ...[text shortened]... w beatings are welcomed, BUT you have to have seen the whole thing. No cheating please.[/b]
    I watched the whole video. I will not comment on Christian ethics as applied to economic issues.

    My degrees are in economics. My professional career was as a consulting economist in a small area (pensions—not the focus of my thesis research, which had to do with internal labor markets and transaction costs).

    Dr. Sproul demonstrates no real understanding of “the science of economics” (his term). I suspect that he may have read a few popular books, from this or that school of economic thought. He makes no distinction, for example, between microeconomics and macroeconomics. But his focus seems to be on applying certain microeconomic principles (as he understands them Biblically) across the board.

    Anyone who has studied what I’ll call “mainstream western economics” (whether neoclassical, Keynesian or post-Keynesian Institutional economics, for example) knows that economics is at least the study of the efficient allocation of scarce resources.* The opposite of the efficient allocation of scarce resources would be what Dr. Sproul calls “waste” (the opposite of which he calls “stewardship”, as the Biblical translation of oikonomia).

    It is quite possible (and demonstrable in economic analysis) that the most efficient outcomes in terms of resource allocation are compatible with vastly inequitable distributions of income and wealth. I doubt that that statement is arguable among economists of various schools (though they may argue about what is the most efficient system, and what is an acceptable degree of inequity, and what the acceptable trade-offs are). But both a Marxian and a Neoclassical economist understand that there are trade-offs.

    In his brief remarks on profit, Dr. Sproul seems to assume that profits are willy-nilly re-invested in real capital (i.e., plant and equipment for further production—in his words, “tools” ). He makes no distinction between such real capital and mere “financial capital”, such as stocks and bonds—basically instruments for trading money for financial gain over time. No rational capitalist would re-invest profits in real production without some indication of a future increasing market for their goods--profit, alone and per se, is not a good predictor of future real investment.

    A further lack is his failure to even mention labor costs in production—is the low-wage sweatshop worker really able to buy more shirts because of low production costs. Is there such a thing as capitalist exploitation (based on returns to marginal revenue product)? How about Marxian definitions of exploitation? Perhaps even more egregious is absence of discussion of unemployment (except as a concern for compassion?)—i.e., the difference between friction, cyclical and structural unemployment, their concequences and how to deal with them.

    Really, there is no reason to go into any further detail (e.g., of Post-Keynesian Institutionalist critiques of neoclassical economics—such as those of Steve Keen or Paul Davidson—generally where I tend to reside). It would be pointless.

    Again, I make no comment on Biblical ethics, in economics or elsewhere. I recall from years ago a Christian theologian named M. Douglass Meeks who wrote a sustained treatise on Biblical economics, and I thought at the time that he had spent a great deal of effort researching the economic literature. You might try there.

    ______________________________________________

    *Classical economics (including Smith, Ricardo and Marx) spoke more about value—and had differing definitions and understandings.
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Jun '16 00:152 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I watched the whole video. I will not comment on Christian ethics as applied to economic issues.

    My degrees are in economics. My professional career was as a consulting economist in a small area (pensions—not the focus of my thesis research, which had to do with internal labor markets and transaction costs).

    Dr. Sproul demonstrates no real underst ...[text shortened]... mith, Ricardo and Marx) spoke more about value—and had differing definitions and understandings.
    Addendum to my above post:

    In sum--

    1. No (based simply on this lecture).
    2. No.
    3. No comment.
    4. From a strictly economic point of view, not demonstrated.
  7. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
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    22 Jun '16 02:51
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Addendum to my above post:

    In sum--

    1. No (based simply on this lecture).
    2. No.
    3. No comment.
    4. From a strictly economic point of view, not demonstrated.
    Thanks.

    So even for a "layman's" audience his brief introduction, you think left out too many important concepts for a 32 minute talk?
  8. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
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    22 Jun '16 02:53
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Sonship, I served with Jack Wilmore. I knew Jack Wilmore. Jack Wilmore was a friend of mine. Sonship, you're no Jack Wilmore.
    A friend of yours ? Interesting.
    I know that guy. Where did you serve with him ?
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    22 Jun '16 08:20
    Originally posted by sonship
    A friend of yours ? Interesting.
    I know that guy. Where did you serve with him ?
    Be funny if you two actually knew each other in real life.
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Jun '16 12:242 edits
    Originally posted by sonship
    Thanks.

    So even for a "layman's" audience his brief introduction, you think left out too many important concepts for a 32 minute talk?
    Yeah, I did. I wouldn’t expect him to outline a whole “principles of microeconomics” course, of course. But, for example, his discussion of profit and investment begs a whole lot of fundamental questions—e.g., even assuming that his claim that profits are necessary for the economy is correct (it isn’t, necessarily), then the questions of levels of profitable (real) investment, profit maximizing allocation of payments to factors of production (labor and capital equipment, for example) and such come into play. And, as I noted, the most efficient (least wasteful/best stewardship) allocation of resources can come with large income/wealth dispersions—more than individual charity could alleviate. Then I think even his model shows tension between efficiency and equity--and I think he acknowledged that early on, but addressing that requires some real economic analysis as opposed to broad generalizations.

    Then there are macroeconomic questions: e.g., unemployment and its causes, as I noted; inflation; international capital flows; exports/imports as part of the GDP (national income).

    Also (if I recall rightly, going from memory a day later), I think he erred in his description of socialism in terms of income/wealth distribution to achieve economic equality—socialism is about collective ownership of the means of production (his “tools” ), whether by society as a whole or private cooperatives (such as Mondragon).

    Just to reiterate, I am not criticizing his theology or emphasis on stewardship or Biblical exegesis—and there is probably plenty for a discussion thread there, even from a 32 minute presentation. (And I note this was part of a series, so there is a larger context I’m not looking at.) I am only responding to the particular economics questions you asked.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know any current introductory texts just for laypersons (as opposed to university students), but there are likely some out there that are relatively non-sectarian. But if you prefer to spend time on the internet, my memory is that Wikipedia is pretty good on the subject—including wide ranging articles on the many sub-categories. Just start here, realize that this is introductory (and so not comprehensive), and branch out from there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics. (Just to get a broader view, I might suggest clicking here next, though: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schools_of_economic_thought.)

    EDIT: I looked up the Meeks book: It's called God the Economist. As I said, it's been many years, but my recollection is that his command of the economic literature was pretty good for a non-professional.
  11. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
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    23 Jun '16 03:12
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Yeah, I did. I wouldn’t expect him to outline a whole “principles of microeconomics” course, of course. But, for example, his discussion of profit and investment begs a whole lot of fundamental questions—e.g., even assuming that his claim that profits are necessary for the economy is correct (it isn’t, necessarily), then the questions of levels of profitab ...[text shortened]... ollection is that his command of the economic literature was pretty good for a non-professional.
    Also (if I recall rightly, going from memory a day later), I think he erred in his description of socialism in terms of income/wealth distribution to achieve economic equality—socialism is about collective ownership of the means of production (his “tools” ), whether by society as a whole or private cooperatives (such as Mondragon).


    I thought that his description of China seemed out of date to what I am accustomed to hearing in the last decade and a half.

    He spoke of the many fold productivity of Formosa as opposed to mainland China. I think it is being said in the West that Chine is doing better as to personal wealth of its citizens. .



    Just to reiterate, I am not criticizing his theology or emphasis on stewardship or Biblical exegesis—and there is probably plenty for a discussion thread there, even from a 32 minute presentation. (And I note this was part of a series, so there is a larger context I’m not looking at.) I am only responding to the particular economics questions you asked.


    I almost stopped listening to the talk when he began to talk about the New Testament OIKONOMIA. Stewarship is one rendering. Dispensation is another.

    But my main problem for which I was tempted not to listen all the way, was that I think Paul's speaking of HOUSE LAW or God' OIKONOMIA is related more to the household of FAITH rather than the world in general.

    But I resisted the knee-jerk and listened all the way through. And thanks for you opinion.

    If you wish, you could say a little bit to me about the concept of Supply Side Economics. But don't take it too seriously in terms of in depth tutorial.

    If you also wish, you could latter say something about, ( if I understand correctly ) why Marx said that excess profit belonged to the worker.
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