Body counts

michael perelman michael at
Sat Jul 11 11:40:00 PDT 1998

Brad DeLong has mentioned body counts several times. Some people have correctly questioned his figures. I want to add that if we set out to do such a questionable accounting, we have to put in both sides of the ledger. Look, I don't like Stalin -- I don't know why I even have to make such a statement any more than I need to say I don't beat my wife or molest children -- but the outcome did save lives also. In the case of the USSR, as Doug mentioned, mortality rates fell considerably. In the case of Indonesia, the intensification of inequality undoubtably cost lives.

Again, I am not recommended that we choose our preferred form of government on the basis of such accounting.

-- Michael Perelman Economics Department California State University Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321 E-Mail michael at

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list