Addicted to risk?

December 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

occasional links & commentary


Are we addicted to risk? Or, perhaps better, are those in power addicted to risk?

Naomi Klein, in her TED talk (above), argues that we (or they) are addicted to risk, especially with respect to the natural environment—and it’s because there is a master narrative of limitlessness.

George DeMartino, in a recent paper [pdf] published in the Real-World Economics Review, that mainstream economists are addicted to risk—and it’s because they often use a maxi-max decision rule when they advise or decide for others.

Klein’s answer is interesting, at least in relation to mainstream economics, because the usual neoclassical assumption is scarcity not limitlessness. But if the natural environment is treated as a completely external object, then the scarcity assumption with respect to the rest of the economy is quite compatible with a presumption of limitlessness in terms of everything else—the natural environment but also the extent…

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