June 3, 2021

256. Relative Values (preview)

Today on the podcast Phil Dobbie talks to Steve Keen about the value of things. Supposedly, price is a substitute for value, meaning if someone is prepared to pay more for something then they must value it more. But as they discuss, that only applies if everyone has the same amount of money. A poor household will place greater value, as a proportion of their wealth, on heating their home. A rich household will see extra use of that same resources as a discretionary item that they place little value on, particularly relative to their income. So, is the concept of value another broken element of a modern capitalist economy, and is there a way to allocate resources more effectively? We know, from the Soviet experience, that getting the state to do it creates even worse results.

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