The AI Economist: Let’s Automate Politicians Away…

It’s long been a personal bugbear that many of those who govern us are highly-paid economists. The mantras they live by — and by which we are obliged to live — derive from unproven theories. This article from Paco Jariego suggests that all that may be about to change, with the assistance of AI….

Mind the Post

Capitalism and neoliberalism have been severely questioned lately. The rise of inequality in many countries (even though globally may be balancing due to China’s ascent) is a source of social and political tension. And productivity stagnation also raises doubts about the whole economic system. COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the doubts and the debate, and not surprisingly a lot of new and not so new but marginal ideas are back on the scene. For example, the opportunity and potential benefits of a universal basic income.

Not surprisingly, in countries like my own, Spain, where there is a widespread lack of knowledge about technical and economic issues among the political class (not necessarily some people behind them who nobody hears) , and with governments controlled by populist parties and political value propositions, the debate is clumsy, to say the least.

Therefore it is refreshing and encouraging to see that there are…

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About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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5 Responses to The AI Economist: Let’s Automate Politicians Away…

  1. I agree with the overall thrust of this, but sitting on top of any kind of mechanics, if this then do that, there are a politician’s priorities. For example in the UK, somebody has decided that we will spend over £1 bn on a new nuclear weapon system, or on a new high-speed rail link, while it is still acceptable to have people resort to food banks. It’s that kind-of top-level decision that is wrong and that AI will not change. Plus, how would we ever trust an AI system to allow it to make decisions for us? We can barely manage the weather, let alone the economy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • pendantry says:

      Your examples are good ones: but where AI may be able to help is in improving the underlying economic theories. For instance, one thing that gets my goat is the fact that the wealthy get what I consider to be absurd tax advantages. For instance, Warren Buffett is on record as complaining that he has paid a (much) smaller percentage of his income than his (much) lower paid staff. If the basis upon which such wealthy folk benefit (unfairly, in my view) can be challenged through scientific methodology as opposed to the current arcane mythology, maybe we could see changes that would benefit society’s coffers, and thus make the kind of expenditures you mention less onerous to society.

      [edit]Of course, we would still need to convince the politicians to prioritise things such that food banks and homelessness go away![/edit]

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s the thing – that there is still somebody pulling the levers who does not think that having a billionaire is absurd. I wonder how much of this the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England do already? Dunno. I used to work in London and while the banks used IT to do a lot of the heavy lifting, they had humans making the decisions.

        Liked by 2 people

        • pendantry says:

          This is not going to be solved overnight. The reason we have such (increasing!) wealth inequality is all down to the bizarre beliefs in things like ‘trickle-down’ and ‘rising tides floating all boats’ (which I believe are fictions perpetrated by the rich to ensure they keep their wealth).

          But we need proof that such things are based on faulty premises before there can be any possibility of change. All we have at the moment is a bunch of economists in echo-chambers patting themselves on the back for knowing it all….

          Liked by 2 people

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