Sunday, January 24, 2021

896: Homo Economicus.........

 In a previous project we defended the thesis, that most people are OK. It almost felt counter-intuitive. Therefore is a possible explanation.


Some religions see man as bad by nature, but what probably has more effect, is, that we are told almost every day how bad people are.


All new media report mainly about people and evil or criminal behavior. What isn't clear most of the time, is, that they report about small minorities.


Citizens often do not see enough of what is happening in society in the social field. This is understandable because the daily news is mainly about all kinds of problems. 


The reality of ordinary life is hardly discussed in the media. Consequently, there is a significant asymmetry between the image that many have of society and what actually happens in society.

Something similar happens with the homo economicus, the calculating, money and profit-oriented individual. If you meet his needs you are doing well, the conviction is often.


That is the conviction of neoliberal politicians and their focus on economics. But is it that, which leads to a sound and just society? Let's have a closer look.


To get an answer we'll turn to the World Happiness Report. (


The World Happiness Report ranks 153 countries around the world according to how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. 


2020 marks the eighth edition of the report and has the theme “environments for happiness”. It examines data from 2017, 2018, and 2019 to put together a conclusive ranking.


The ranking is compiled using data from the Gallup World Poll, in which respondents are asked to evaluate the happiness of their own lives on a scale of one to 10. 


Using the survey results, the ranking also shows the estimated extent to which six different factors impact happiness: 


[1] Gross Domestic [2] Product per capita, [3] Life expectancy, [4] Generosity, Social support, [5] Freedom, [6] Corruption.


Among other things, the report underlines the thesis that mutual support and social networks are very important. 


The decisive question is whether people in their immediate environment can rely on a social network to promote not only their happiness but also their health. 


It is certainly important when economic crises and other setbacks present themselves. Where the social network is well developed, 


such a crisis can even bring about more happiness because in that case, people come to mutual support and cooperation


The report (2017 version) refutes the common view that happiness is primarily about salary levels. Non-economic aspects appear to be much more important, 


such as the experience that one's work gives a certain status, that you can establish social relations, that you achieve your goals.


In summary, you can say that people are not primarily happier from a higher salary, but just from cooperation, social support, social networks, relatives, family..


But where does that homo economicus come from? It was created by politicians, administrators, and policymakers, who still want to see humans as calculating creatures with a hint of greed.


An important cause is, that the Civil services adopted in the 1980s  the ideas of "New Public Management"  (NPM), 


a politically-conservative appeal for government to reduce bureaucracy and adopt private sector, management models.


Maybe it would be interesting next time to go into more detail about NPM and its great influence, but for the Netherlands, I can at least say that it has been a major failure


Thank you for your attention again.....    


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020

The Discussion  

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:18] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): Thank you, sir

[13:18] herman Bergson: So your conclusion can be that not a higher salary, but social support and networks etc create human happiness

[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): reducing bureaucracy sounds good

[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): how

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i call it

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): paper turning

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sometimes I think we need it

[13:19] herman Bergson: The underlying idea is that it is not all about and only about money in creating a just society

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true

[13:19] CB Axel: Turning everything over to the private sector is a bad idea.

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): really bad

[13:20] CB Axel: They just take our money and give poor service.

[13:20] herman Bergson: That is a proven fact these days CB

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they just chase profit

[13:20] CB Axel: Tell that to US r

[13:20] CB Axel: *US Republicans

[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh

[13:20] herman Bergson: The NPM ideas are still strong......but also crumbling slowly

[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh h

[13:21] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): still, the private sector is "us" ...therefore "we" must value social support, too.

[13:21] herman Bergson: Behind me you see the first 20 countries in the happiness list

[13:21] Rebecca (rebecca.rozen) is offline.

[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): by private sector I think we mean corporations here

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): big business

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ?

[13:22] CB Axel: I can't believe the US is in the top 20.

[13:22] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): please don't bring politics into this as "we" all are a product of politics of one from or another and "we" all still value social support

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they did not add 2020 cb

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:22] CB Axel: LOL

[13:22] herman Bergson: There you begin to hear ideas about their social responsibilities.....maximization of profits loses its priority somewhat

[13:23] CB Axel: I'm curious about what countries are in the bottom 20.

[13:23] herman Bergson: The US is number 20 Gemma :-)

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that i can believe

[13:23] herman Bergson: At the very bottom are Zambia, Sudan, if I am not mistaken

[[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): North Korea?

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Syria (if there is anyone left alive there)

[13:24] CB Axel: MBla?

[13:24] herman Bergson: Netherlands is number 6 :-)

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(

[13:24] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): the US has been run by democrates, almost exclusively, for the last few decades put things into perspective if one must.

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i figured

[13:24] herman Bergson: Typo =  Zambia

[13:24] CB Axel: Ah. Thank you.

[13:25] herman Bergson: It was Clinton who embraced the NPM

[13:25] Ladyy Haven (ladyy.haven) is offline.

[13:25] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): It looks like the Western World wins out by far.

[13:25] herman Bergson: and the homo economicus belief with it

[13:26] herman Bergson: There is a link to the report in my lecture

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will look

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki

[13:27] herman Bergson: For the future there may come a shift from economics to more social aspects of society and a leaving of the belief in market forces as the driving power in society

[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): money is not everything

[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that we know

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): friends, love, social company in general

[13:28] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): money is everything

[13:28] herman Bergson: But neoliberalism has still deep roots

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): like in the 70 ties...flower power time?

[13:29] herman Bergson: even so deep that when you point at these social aspects of society in the US they call you a socialist a pejorative meaning

[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:31] herman Bergson: New Public Management had done much  harm already. I told you about the Child benefits affair here in the Netherlands for instance

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes

[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well

[13:33] herman Bergson: The view of man  of it is wrong and one-sided

[13:34] herman Bergson: I can hear you thinking :-)

[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hard

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): "CRUNCH CRUNCH"

[13:35] herman Bergson: I'd say, keep doing that and I'll prepare for the next lecture

[13:35] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): :)

[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): need to read more about New public Management

[13:35] herman Bergson: Mayby NPM is interesting and otherwise we gonna start thinking of a new approach and replacement of neoliberalism as the mani political view

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:36] herman Bergson: OK Gemma.....then I'll dig into it for next Tuesday

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): problem maybe is, that we are used to the system

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we got a bit

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes might be so indeed

[13:37] herman Bergson: We are used to the system Beertje, quite right....

[13:37] herman Bergson: It's everywhere.....

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope i can make it tuesday

[13:38] herman Bergson: But we can change our world too

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is in wiki so will look at it

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a individuals?

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): as

[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes there is a lot of information available

[13:38] herman Bergson: We are not alone with our ideas Beertje :-)

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Just don't mix it up with Node Package Manager, a completely different thing

[13:39] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): Is New Public Management another way of saying New World Order?

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that i like to use

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :9

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:39] CB Axel:

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well

[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): got it

[13:39] herman Bergson: For Civil Servecis it meant a new world order indeed CIa

[13:40] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): so ...Agenda 2030, then

[13:40] CB Axel: So it's not turning over public services to the private sector?

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): NPM is as i get it basically making money on peoples health and education/future

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the privatization issue

[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha

[13:41] CB Axel: It's just trying to run government services like a private company focused on giving good service and product?

[13:41] herman Bergson: No it is introducing business and management models in the civil bureaucracy....

[13:41] CB Axel: That might not be so bad.

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mixing it together sort of?

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we just got out of that kind of gov

[13:41] CB Axel: I would like to see more efficiency.

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): always

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in any case NPM don't sound like a good thing

[13:41] herman Bergson: clients become customers......police doesn't produces a product  and so on

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:42] herman Bergson: Efficiency increase was the promise of NPM

[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so it had good intentions

[13:42] Cia (cyberpedia.bolissima): so elections and democracies will become obsolete?

[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in the beginning

[13:42] herman Bergson: on the contrary......

[13:42] CB Axel: Why would that be the case, Cia?

[13:43] CB Axel: If we don't like the service we're getting we can vote them out.

[13:43] herman Bergson: The people should be heard, be involved in shaping society

[13:43] herman Bergson: That is what John Locke already had in mind CB :-)

[13:43] CB Axel: Just like in the public sector, if we don't like the service we're getting we can vote with our feet and go somewhere else.

[13:44] herman Bergson: right :-)

[13:45] herman Bergson: Ok, guess we are ready for the next lecture now :-)

[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa checked a bit now at least

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): * PLUPP *

[13:45] herman Bergson: Unless you have that last question or remark.....thank you all again

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): time!

[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will do homework

[13:45] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....

[13:45] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you herman and class!

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting lecture again

[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): always

[13:46] herman Bergson: It is an interesting subject Gemma

[13:46] CB Axel: I'm looking forward to next week. :)

[13:46] herman Bergson: Where did it come from.....? to begin with

[13:46] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman and class.

[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope to make it Tuesday

[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): shall see

[13:46] CB Axel: I hope you can, Gemma.

[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): see you !!!

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu then

[13:47] bergfrau Apfelbaum: see you Gemma:-)

[13:47] herman Bergson: I keep my fiingers crossed Gemma ^_^

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hugs

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

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