Back to the Bog? Subrick, self-interest, and socialist calculation
Subrick takes issue with some points made in Crampton and Farrant, "Relaxing Benevolence". We agree with Subrick that robust political economy remains in its early stages. We address Subrick's critique that the empirical record cannot speak to the success or failure of the calculation argument. We also argue that our results are not contingent on unwarranted assertions of either a median-utility welfare metric or of a strongly diminishing marginal utility of income. The median is the appropriate welfare measure where an outlier -- namely, the perfectly-extracting planner -- causes the mean to be an unrepresentative population statistic. Even under a mean utility framework, only the mildest of diminishing marginal utility of income is necessary to cause us to question the desirability of the perfectly-extracting planner.