Kevin Hassett the other day referred to our “human capital stock” being eager to get back to work. This kicked up an idiotic controversy, with Hassett getting denounced for his heartless use of a supposedly racially charged phrase. Making the point as ridiculously as possible, as usual, was AOC:
Human Capital Stock.
An ugly term w ugly history, but for many powerful ppl it‘s their most honest view of workers: human stock.
By their logic, the moment a person stops being useful to profit motive (retirement, health, etc) they are a liability. That’s the system we live in. https://t.co/ZihhtaI00W
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 26, 2020
But, of course, economists — and others — routinely refer to human capital, as our friend Michael Strain notes here:
This is a completely ridiculous attack on Kevin Hassett. It is baseless.
Professional economists know that this attack is nonsense.
Here are the NBER papers that use the phrase "human capital stock" in the last 5 yrs: https://t.co/f8DJr7Vfy7
It's a standard term in economics. https://t.co/eS8a0011hd
— Michael R. Strain (@MichaelRStrain) May 26, 2020
Gary Becker won a Nobel Prize for his work on human capital:
The rule in much of our public life now is shoot first, aim never.