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Essential Viewing

By ATWadmin On February 18th, 2009

AN ANTIDOTE is available for all that economic gibberish flying around right now.

(what does he mean, ‘right now’?)

Congressman Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell (Ludwig von Mises Institute) and Peter Schiff will all appear on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s internet TV program today (Wednesday) starting at 2:00 pm ET/7.00pm GMT.

You can live stream it here.

 

9 Responses to “Essential Viewing”

  1. Austrian economics is the key.

  2. Of course, the Austrians themselves haven’t implemented the policies of Austrian economics. That could explain why they are in the same credit and debt mess as most others.

  3. Politicians tend not be economists, Allan.

  4. It was, I think, Milton Friedman who said "there is no Austrian economics – only good economics, and bad economics." Most good economics is not Austrian.

  5. Jaz -

    Only the Austrian School has been consistently right – about monetary policy, the business cycle, about inflation, about interest rates and about fractional reserve lending.

    Gordon Brown boasted long and loud of abolishing the business cycle – well, economic reality will not be denied.

    If he had read a bit more von Mises and Murray Rothbard and a bit less of the orthodox economic corporatists we might not be in quite such a mess.

    You can’t blame Brown wholly, to be honest. We’re suffering from decade after decade of economic insanity. The belief that the state can continue always racking up billions and billions and trillions upon trillions in deficit spending, year after year without a reckoning has been orthodoxy. "We’ll get through, no problem, we’ll just sell more debt, inflate it all away" has been the unbending creed of a century of state/corporate fascist lite governance.

    Only the Austrians declared this as madness and warned of the inevitable reckoning and that reckoning is now.

    They are entirely, absolutely, completely vindicated.

  6. The problem with a lot Austrian economics is it is long on values and very short indeed on theory. It is almost totally without any mathematical under-pinning and if you read papers etc by Austrian school economists there is a lot of vague generalisations and not a huge amount of academic underpinning.
    It is also highly presumptive and works from a set of assumptions that it holds almost as self-evident truths but fails to prove.
    However there are a lot of elements of the thinking that are correct. Some aspects of its view of the business cycle have been shown to be sound and have been incorporated into classical theory.
    I know why you like it so much, because it fits very neatly with your view of the role of the state, and as such it provides some academic big guns for that viewpoint.
    But the school has been around for a very long time now – and it is striking how little of its academic output has been incorporated into economic theory. You may argue that classical economic theory has landed us in the mess we are in – perhaps – but it also gave us decades of unprecedented growth. What we now need to see is if the current crisis is a watershed or a blip. Alas only time will tell.

  7. Jaz -

    For goodness sake, why are people so resistent to plain reality? Please, why?

    Of course the Austrian School is less encumbered by theoretical baggage – that’s the point of Austrian economics. Its foundation is human behaviour, what humans do, how humans react to a stimulus, not what a chart says ought to happen. ‘Praxeology’ is the term, it’s what marks the difference between Austrian and mere other economics.

    Some aspects of its view of the business cycle have been shown to be sound and have been incorporated into classical theory.

    Fuck classical theory, if you’ll excuse me. Who the hell are classical theorists?! I’ll tell you – they’re the idiots who have got it wrong time and time and time again.

    Who the hell are they to incorproate any part of Austrian economics into their dreary, failed theories?

    Sorry, von Mises and Rothbard have just been completely vindicated, the classical theorists who underpin the corporatist state are nowhere.

    But the school has been around for a very long time now – and it is striking how little of its academic output has been incorporated into economic theory.

    Not quite. Austrian economics was pretty mainstream until the New Deal and Keynes was elevated politically and maintained its position position.

    Austrian economics came back with Margaret Thatcher’s influence under Hayek. Just a pity she lacked the will to smash the enemy class when she had a chance.

  8. By the way, did you just miss an hour of plain common sense tonight?

  9. By the way, did you just miss an hour of plain common sense tonight?
    Unfortunately I did miss it – alas too many other pressures, which is a shame because I would have been very interested to see what they say. Any time one’s belief system is challenged it is right to examine the challenger and see if it is of merit.

    What you see as the strength of the school’s practice is what many see as its weakness – and its fatal weakness at that. The problem with building a system of economic theory on "what humans do, how humans react to a stimulus" is, as many in the school have found, that while that sounds like an easy thing to do, in practice that is incredibly difficult.
    As a result, as I say, all too often, a lot of the theory is built on a series of assumptions, that are almost treated as a priori axioms. But these assumptions are just that – assumptions. If the assumption is false, then the theory collapses.
    But the nature of much of the argument around these assumptions – *because* they are subjective – is unprovable. It comes down to interpretation which is a slippery eel of a thing.
    The test of a theory is does it explain the historical record and can it help direct future action. Again this is where you and I will part company.
    The advantage of, to use your words, a chart is that it is demonstrably testable. Either the chart is right, or it is wrong – and you can use objective (or as close to objective as possible) measures to test that. Beliefs and assumptions, by their nature, are not in the same category.
    The closest (and it isn’t that close) parallel I can think of is religion. You can build a coherent theoretical structure around an omniscient god. But if there is no god, the structure collapses.

    Classical economic theory is certainly under threat – but it depends on what happens in the next 12 months. If the whole edifice collapses in a stinking, rotting heap, then I will make a very large pie out of my words and you can take great pleasure in force-feeding them to me.
    If, as I suspect, this is a (albeit rather massive) blip, then pie will be off the menu.

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