Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
What I'm attempting to do here is a very economics way of going about things.  

Basically, it's talking to them in their own terms to explain why much of what they are saying is wrong...

I agree that, in a debate, it is always best to defeat an opponent in an argument by using the terms of his argument against him.  I do not mean to criticize you for doing what you set out to do--and succeeding.  But this is not an academic debate and I see two problems with this approach:

1) Unless you have the standing of, say, Paul Krugman the supporters of the neo-liberal/neo-classical capitalist economic world view will simply ignore you. "Efficiency" to them concerns the effectiveness with which the policies put money into their own and their employer's pockets, not with how well it enables the economy to function for all.  After all, few of their employers even have come close to losing all that they had made in the last 30 years, and they are well positioned to ride out and even profit from an economic collapse.  

The goal of these economists now is public relations damage control-- making certain that their wonderful system of wealth extraction survives the winter so that it can feed again next season.  Few will be swayed by even the most cogent rational analysis.  They know which side of their bread is buttered.  

Instead, neo-liberal economics, as it has been presented in the USA since Ronald Reagan, must be thoroughly discredited and made repugnant in the minds of a preponderance of the US population as being the chief implement by which our current misery has been brought upon us.

2) Debating these issues on their terms renders them at best highly arcane if not largely incomprehensible to the vast majority of the population.  Most of that population would be outraged at the moral implications and consequences that are routinely accepted as obvious and necessary within the profession as it now exists.  I started to explain your "rent seeking" behavior by labor to my wife and she immediately exploded: "But what about "rent seeking" by the CEOs and owners?!!"  

What is needed is to accurately translate their terms into language that most can understand and then to show it for what it is.  Showing if for what it is in today's context means clearly including the trans-national arrangements and the way the system has been manipulated to the benefit of the wealthy at the cost of everyone else.   An angered and aroused public will do the rest....  I hope. :-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 10th, 2009 at 05:05:02 PM EST
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