Complementary Goods

Also amusing from an economist's perspective: "Stop ruining my slogans with your logic!"

Is Scott Adams the new Henry Hazlitt? He does have an undergraduate degree in economics and an MBA. Here are his thoughts on capitalism and inequality:

The rap with capitalism is that in order for some people to do really well, some people are not going to do very well. Capitalism is just another form of discrimination. It discriminates against people who don't want to work hard or who are not capable. Why should they be discriminated against? We have internalized that it's the only kind of discrimination that is OK. You couldn't discriminate against skin color, age, and disability. Why could you discriminate against someone who is stupid? There's no reason. It's just we've all agreed -- and by we I mean the people who are not so stupid. If everybody voted, I'm sure the stupid people would -- well, who knows what the stupid people would vote? ...

Would stupid people -- people significantly below average, somewhere under a 100 IQ -- be worse off under communism? I think they end up roughly the same. I think average people are doing just fine and would prefer capitalism.

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"Is Scott Adams the new

"Is Scott Adams the new Henry Hazlitt?"


I bet you're lots of fun at

I bet you're lots of fun at parties, John.

To expand a bit on John's,

To expand a bit on John's, um, comment... Soott Adams gets almost all of his good ideas from reader email - that's how the strip is written, from reader suggestions. He can draw competently, has a middling gift for sharp turns of phrase and happens to have found a lucrative inroad into the professional zeitgeist, but he's no thinker. If you've ever read his long-form books (The Dilbert Principle, The Way of Way of the Weasel, etc.), you'll notice that his own thinking and writing are naive, self-indulgent, unworldly and muddle-headed - like the passages that you cited above*. To give another example, at the end of The Dilbert Future, Scott postulated that maybe our current notion of gravity is all wrong, that maybe there is no force attracting mass-having objects to each other, but instead, maybe everything in the universe is constantly expanding, and that's why things keep spontaneously getting close to each other. Similarly, in The Way of the Weasel, he argues that maybe it's better that all salespeople, politicians, etc. are weasels who lie to us constantly, because knowing the truth would just be too upsetting, and Scott would rather be shafted than upset. Finally, if you want to see what the Dilbert strip looks like when it's not being written by random strangers, check out the early "Dilbert" collections - but make sure you're in a masochistic mood first...

...So to summarize: I love "Dilbert" but think, based on years of reading just about everything he's written, that its creator is a gibbering moron. Having never read any Hazlitt, I can't comment on whether Adams is the next one.

*As I recall, he never offers any support whatsoever for his contention that stupid people would be "about the same" under communism as under capitalism - he just sort of tosses that in there a priori in order to get the conclusion he wants.

>>you’ll notice that his

>>you’ll notice that his own thinking and writing are naive, self-indulgent, unworldly and muddle-headed.

Yes, but at least he's rather up-front and honest about the limitations of his own wisdom. That's an important start.

"I bet you’re lots of fun

"I bet you’re lots of fun at parties, John."

I'm lots of fun but I can't bear parties.