Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a "condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals". It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, e.g., under unruly scenarios resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.
I can’t help but see this definition and think it needs to be applied to economics immediately. In particular I can think of a few quick examples of economic anomie which are artificially covering up a free market and causing issues within individual communities.
Here publishers are marketing to professors who assign particular textbooks and subverting students which are the actual market and consumers of those textbooks. This causes an inflated market and has allowed textbook prices to spiral out of control.
The American Health Care Market
In this example, the health care providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) have been segmented away from their consumers (patients) by intermediary insurance companies which are driving the market to their own good rather than a free-er set of smaller (and importantly local) markets that would be composed of just the sellers and the buyers. As a result, the consumer of health care has no ability to put a particular price on what they’re receiving (and typically they rarely ever ask, even more so when they have insurance). This type of economic anomie is causing terrific havoc within the area.
(Aside: while the majority of health care markets is very small in size (by distance), I will submit that the advent of medical tourism does a bit to widen potential markets, but this segment of the market is tiny and very privileged in comparison.)
In a non-economic setting it also seems to be highly applicable to social media silos like Facebook, Twitter, et al as they break social norms. I’ll have to circle back to write a longer essay about this with regard to the IndieWeb movement.
How a plan to kill the fax machine with policy went awry.
This is a painfully sad and frustrating story. It also seems like something that business/capitalism isn’t going to solve on its own, but something which is crying out for an open spec to help things along. (And after that, if a business can come up with a better/faster solution, then more power to them.)
I can only think of the painful inefficiencies that are lurking in our healthcare system. And we wonder why things are so stupidly expensive?
This is a great example where applying César A. Hidalgo’s theory from Why Information Grows to decrease the friction for creating links can eliminate inefficiencies and create larger value. I still want to refine his statement into something simple and usable for both business and governmental use as well as to come up with some reasonably understandable math to provide a “proof” of the value.
JUST AS THE HOUSE Republican bill to slash much of the Affordable Care Act moved forward, Rep. Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican and member of Speaker Paul Ryan’s leadership team, added a health insurance company to his portfolio.
Aren’t there ethics rules to cover nonsense like this?
For-profit dialysis companies often maximize their profits at the expense of their patients. John Oliver explores why a medical clinic is nothing like a Taco Bell.
The lack of humanity showed by these corporations is simply horrific. Certainly a market failure which is causing some painful externalities. We need something more significant to fix the inequities that are happening here.
Journalists Bret Stephens of the WSJ and Reihan Salam of The National Review on the growing divide within the GOP over health care. A preview of the NCAA's March Madness with NY Times columnist William Rhoden, Washington Post sportswriter John Feinstein, and Joe Nocera of Bloomberg View.
Taking a quick lunch break to exercise the mind a bit.
The discussion on politics here is very smart and sober and lays out a better path for what the Republican party and the executive branch should be doing right now to have a chance to keep their seats in the quickly approaching midterm elections.
I was leery about the NCAA March Madness conversation, but it actually managed to be the shining star of the episode–a difficult task given the strength of the first half!