Zero-Sum Games

I am currently reading Barry Gordon’s Political Economy in Parliament, 1819-1823, detailing David Ricardo’s time in Parliament.  What strikes me in this book is just how wedded most thinkers (including Ricardo) were to the idea of intractable and necessary class conflict.  A fair amount of this was due to Ricardo’s static equilibrium analysis, but the only person in the book who really disengages himself from such thinking is Mathias Attwood, who believed that (as a result of Robert Peel’s currency act), there was no conflict simply because _everybody_ was getting worse.   Even people who found themselves strongly against Ricardo held firm to the battle between landowners and farmers, workers and capitalists, “dead capital” owners and entrepreneurs, etc. etc.  The idea that there could be a general increase in prosperity which tended to serve the interests of no particular group* seemed a completely foreign concept.

Even in Britain during the beginning of the classical liberal era, the zero-sum game was a commonly accepted notion, one which definitely had a negative effect in terms of the creation of good policy.

* – Naturally, any dynamic economy will have winners and losers.  What I mean here is the idea that no one broad sector of the population (defined a priori) would be the primary beneficiaries.

Zone Blocking

There is a good description of zone blocking over at the over-acronymed DGDB&D.

Buffalo tried some zone blocking this season, but it didn’t work out so well and they gave up on it pretty quickly.  Unfortunately, not much else worked either…  They ranked 25th in run blocking this season and 13th in pass blocking according to Football Outsiders.

The really weird thing is that despite having Jason Peters and Derrick Dockery over on the left side, the Bills were horrible on runs to the left.  They ranked 29th on rushes out left and 23rd on middle left.  Middle right got them 19th place, but right tackle was 6th, and right end 26th.  On the other hand, there were only 32 rushes to the far left, so a small sample size probably explains some of it.