Cass Sunstein details intrinsic flaws in group discussion, even in ideal deliberation, and draws attention to prediction markets and information-aggregation devices on the internet as supplements to discussion. I respond that the supposed flaws do not affect ideal deliberation, and that the evaluation of group discussion is too pessimistic: there are alternative hypotheses to account for his findings, and there are doubts about their external validity. Also, I contend that his evaluation of prediction markets and internet devices is too optimistic. The markets have failed miserably, and the internet is vulnerable to astroturfing by the powerful and wealthy.
A Marxian Analysis
Richard D. Wolff
The U.S. economy’s high-tech sector (internet, computers, telecommunications, etc.) burst its classic speculative bubble in 2000. The Nasdaq stock market lost 40 per cent of its value during the year and lost another 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2001. The Nasdaq dragged down most other stock market indicators in the U.S. Trillions of dollars in U.S. wealth vanished. The wealthiest citizens turned away from the stock market as rapid losses replaced the absurdly high gains of 1999. Other U.S. citizens watched in horror as their recent expansions of securities holdings rapidly shrank in value (also confronting many with vanished savings and reduced retirement benefits since their pensions were invested in ‘history’s greatest boom’). See Appendix 5 for the details on U.S. stock ownership patterns. Industries began to scale back their investment programs as rapid growth shifted to slow growth and recession loomed. The majority of workers slowed their spending and their accumulation of debt because of falling stock prices and because they fear a recession’s impact on wages, benefits, and job security. All these negative developments are continuing into 2001.
situation, see for example Deutsche Bank research: https://www.dbresearch.com/PROD/DBR_INTERNET_EN-PROD/PROD0000000000276448/Bank+profitability+after+the+crisis.PDF ; on the U.S. see FDIC statistics: https://www.fdic.gov/bank/statistical/ 2 For discussion
Updated for Big Data and Predictive Analytics
unbounded purchasing environment. Stores are everywhere (as long as you have your phone and are internet connected), and you are constantly in the checkout line (two clicks buys any product appearing on the screen). The coercive potential is unlimited: you