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DrunkHamster
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#61
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#61
(Original post by Consie)
Can you explain how a different system would maintained international competativeness WITHIN the current international economic framework?
Sure - we get rid of the fiat pound, fix it to a certain amount of gold and let the market do the rest. How would this jeopardise our competitiveness at all?

Edit: You may be interested in this paper advocating a return to the gold standard...written by none other than Alan Greenspan, now chairman of the Fed. (although I've seen it written than Greenspan is to Austrian economics as Darth Vader is to the Jedi...)
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City bound
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#62
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Well there are parts of the Austrian's arguments that make sense and others that don't. Thus I prefer to pick and mix as, ultimately, a lot of one's policy conclusions are decided immediately after we finish stating assumptions; not to mention the fact that many a logically consistent argument has bitten the dust after it confronted the real world, rather like the gold standard. That, the gold standard, happens to be one their, the 'Austrians', worst ideas.

If the expansion of the (ultimately finite) gold reserve doesn't match that of (the inherently exponential) nominal output we inevitably get deflation as Fischer's equation holds in the long run. That in itself is enough to put a bullet in the head of that idea. Even before we get onto humanity's risk aversion, intergenerational interaction and the ensuing hoarding and flooding of gold reserves. (Long-run deflation isn't exactly desirable, what could possibly be good about imprinting on the public the idea that 'why spend today? deflation means you can buy more tomorrow'. See also 'the great depression'.)
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Consie
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#63
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Why do you think, in a town with just one supermarket, say Asda, there is no raising of prices or "abuse of market power" or so on? Because even though there is no competitor in the area, there is the threat of competition. And this is why towns with one Asda don't see prices going up - because it would just be unprofitable.
There isnt always the threat. If there is a Tesco express bolted onto the end of a row of shops, its hard to get in and compete. Moreover, why do you think pertrol station shops stay open, and places like tesco expresses do too? They do charge higher prices (i know for a fact tesco express does) but becasue demand is more inelastic in these types of shops (you may be on the run or just need to pick up some beans on the way home to finish off dinner) they can get away with it without demand being driven away and thus not provoking another competator to come in and pickup the lost demand. Also, dont forget, even if you think prices are dirt cheap, they can still get cheaper. Chances are, if Tesco didnt have its branding power, it would squeeze its profit margains even more to get customers in. A 7 quid shirt till probably costs 1:50 to produce and transport.

You keep saying that things are oligopolies, and I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean they're one of a few large companies who have a large share of the market? If so, what exactly is wrong with oligopolies? The whole reason I brought up supermarkets is because it's the classic example of an industry which has only a few big players, imperfect information, massive barriers to entry (in short, the opposite of perfect competition) yet it is still as competitive as it gets! I literally cannot image a situation where the supermarket industry gets more competitive, can you?
But its fairly heavily regulated competition wise and food quality wise, that's why the competition is sustainable. There have been anti-trust concerns lately that Tesco is opening too many stores for example (older article here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4694974.stm - look at tesco's share). Without this regulation, it is likely Tesco would dominate far more which, even if that doesnt lead to a concious decision on the CEO's part to hike prices to take advantage of their demand, a lack of competiton is bound to cause other, often unconcious and unpunished (due to a lack of competition) forms of inefficientcy and thus cost increases such as X inefficientcy -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-inefficiency - which would lead to things being productivily inefficient. Thus prices would not be as low they could be, even if the prices have not been rised, which is bad for the consumer. Its the concious or unconcious inefficientcies and barriers to entry oligopolies have, plus the risk of them being collusive. Even if you think the current supermarket set up is great, you've still lost a lot of soverignty due to their branding power or whatever. Marks and Spencer makes out as though its food is the best. Packages it really nice and that, Its actually no better than the normal stuff Tesco does.

As to your idea that Tesco would somehow not adhere to basic standards of building safety and let their own roofs blow off, are you serious? Do you honestly think they have no incentive to make their shops safe? First of all, it costs a hell of a lot more to make a new roof every time theres a storm than to build it right in the first place. And secondly, who the hell would go and shop somewhere they know is unsafe, when they could go to alternatives? It is completely in Tesco's own interest to have safe buildings, and to sell good food, and all the rest of the things that people want. Because if Tesco didn't provide these things, they would lose out to other shops, which just illustrates the beauty of competition: Tesco, through their own self interest, provide the things that other people want.
Who sets the basic standards independant of commercial interests? Its not a case of it being unsafe the majority of the time, its paying extra to ensure its safety in exceptional conditions. Even if these conditions dont happen often, its still going to suck for those in the building when it does. When my dad was building our extention he was constantly looking for safety measures to avoid which dont really provide any safety except in the most extreme circumstances becasue it would cost far less. Its likely that such a situation in which these safety features would be needed will never occur. Nevertheless, they still can, and while its commercially unwise to cover this, its a regulator's job to ensure it is.
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DrunkHamster
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#64
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#64
(Original post by City bound)
Well there are parts of the Austrian's arguments that make sense and others that don't. Thus I prefer to pick and mix as, ultimately, a lot of one's policy conclusions are decided immediately after we finish stating assumptions; not to mention the fact that many a logically consistent argument has bitten the dust after it confronted the real world, rather like the gold standard. That, the gold standard, happens to be one their, the 'Austrians', worst ideas.
Interesting. I'd like to start a thread on economic methodology and ways of approaching the science, because it is interesting. I'm not sure how much response there would be here though...

If the expansion of the (ultimately finite) gold reserve doesn't match that of (the inherently exponential) nominal output we inevitably get deflation as Fischer's equation holds in the long run. That in itself is enough to put a bullet in the head of that idea.
I think you need to avoid conflating deflation in the monetarist sense of a contraction in the money supply which could not happen (for of course the money supply is fixed, or as good as...), and deflation in the everyday sense of decreasing prices. Of course we would have deflation in the second sense - society is getting more efficient every year, technology is getting better, we are producing more goods in the same amount of time, so it seems only natural that prices would decrease. On the contrary, why do you think we need prices heading ever upwards?

Even before we get onto humanity's risk aversion, intergenerational interaction and the ensuing hoarding and flooding of gold reserves. (Long-run deflation isn't exactly desirable, what could possibly be good about imprinting on the public the idea that 'why spend today? deflation means you can buy more tomorrow'. See also 'the great depression'.)
Do you know the concept of time-preference? People prefer goods sooner rather and later, and this is true no matter what currency we have. Don't you see that by putting their money in banks when there is a positive real interest rate, people already could have the "why spend today when you can buy more tomorrow" attitude? The reason they don't do so is the same reason that even if there was long term deflation there would be consumption: because people have time-preference, and they would rather have goods sooner than later.

As to your problem with hoarding, it doesn't matter if people hoard, in the same way that it doesn't matter exactly how much gold there is: prices will stabilise relative to the amount of gold in circulation. Look here for better arguments against the "problem" of hoarding.
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Consie
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#65
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#65
Don't you see that by putting their money in banks when there is a positive real interest rate, people already could have the "why spend today when you can buy more tomorrow" attitude? The reason they don't do so is the same reason that even if there was long term deflation there would be consumption: because people would rather have goods sooner than later.
but you have to take into account discounting, a 1% real interest rate probably isnt worth it. And though logically your right, in practice people usually dont see the merits of saving if you have like 2% real interest rates, they tend to see it more in terms that you can get credit to spend cheaply (e.g. British economy from 2000 till 2006)
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DrunkHamster
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#66
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#66
(Original post by Consie)
There isnt always the threat. If there is a Tesco express bolted onto the end of a row of shops, its hard to get in and compete. Moreover, why do you think pertrol station shops stay open, and places like tesco expresses do too? They do charge higher prices (i know for a fact tesco express does) but becasue demand is more inelastic in these types of shops (you may be on the run or just need to pick up some beans on the way home to finish off dinner) they can get away with it without demand being driven away and thus not provoking another competator to come in and pickup the lost demand. Also, dont forget, even if you think prices are dirt cheap, they can still get cheaper. Chances are, if Tesco didnt have its branding power, it would squeeze its profit margains even more to get customers in. A 7 quid shirt till probably costs 1:50 to produce and transport.
In the case of the petrol stations, people obviously value the added convenience of having a closer-by station to the money they would save by going to a cheaper but further-away one. How is this a bad thing? And if supermarkets really could sell stuff considerably cheaper, why don't they? For god's sake, you already have supermarkets using loss-leader tactics (i.e. selling stuff cheaper than they bought it for!) in order to get people into their stores, why do you think they wouldn't jump at the opportunity to steal a march on their competitors by producing products cheaper.


But its fairly heavily regulated competition wise and food quality wise, that's why the competition is sustainable. There have been anti-trust concerns lately that Tesco is opening too many stores for example (older article here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4694974.stm - look at tesco's share).
I really don't buy the anti-trust argument against Tesco. If they're opening "too many" stores in the sense that people don't value them enough, they'll soon know about it because they'll be losing money. If they're opening up "too many" stores in the sense that their competitors don't like being out-competed, basically, that's tough ****. There's no room for a company which produces things that people don't want at too high a cost in the free market.

Without this regulation, it is likely Tesco would dominate far more which, even if that doesnt lead to a concious decision on the CEO's part to hike prices to take advantage of their demand, a lack of competiton is bound to cause other, often unconcious and unpunished (due to a lack of competition) forms of inefficientcy and thus cost increases such as X inefficientcy -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-inefficiency - which would lead to things being productivily inefficient. Thus prices would not be as low they could be, even if the prices have not been rised, which is bad for the consumer. Its the concious or unconcious inefficientcies and barriers to entry oligopolies have, plus the risk of them being collusive. Even if you think the current supermarket set up is great, you've still lost a lot of soverignty due to their branding power or whatever. Marks and Spencer makes out as though its food is the best. Packages it really nice and that, Its actually no better than the normal stuff Tesco does.
You still don't get it that even if Tesco did knock out all its competition, it would be because people had chosen to buy their groceries from Tesco. Why would they not raise up their prices to an uncompetitive level? Because as long as there is even the threat that another supermarket could come in and out-compete them, it's not in their interest. And as to your point about MnS - if you don't like the food, or don't think its worth it you know what? Don't buy it. People obviously do put some value in the differences between MnS and Tesco, and that's their own choice. Why shouldn't they?


Who sets the basic standards independant of commercial interests? Its not a case of it being unsafe the majority of the time, its paying extra to ensure its safety in exceptional conditions. Even if these conditions dont happen often, its still going to suck for those in the building when it does. When my dad was building our extention he was constantly looking for safety measures to avoid which dont really provide any safety except in the most extreme circumstances becasue it would cost far less. Its likely that such a situation in which these safety features would be needed will never occur. Nevertheless, they still can, and while its commercially unwise to cover this, its a regulator's job to ensure it is.
The customers set the safety level. If Tesco got a reputation for having unsafe shops, and allowing its customers to be blown away by a gale whenever a roof came off, do you honestly think people would still shop there? If people value going to a safe shop over going to an unsafe one, the market will reflect that.
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Consie
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#67
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#67
You still don't get it that even if Tesco did knock out all its competition, it would be because people had chosen to buy their groceries from Tesco. Why would they not raise up their prices to an uncompetitive level? Because as long as there is even the threat that another supermarket could come in and out-compete them, it's not in their interest. And as to your point about MnS - if you don't like the food, or don't think its worth it you know what? Don't buy it. People obviously do put some value in the differences between MnS and Tesco, and that's their own choice. Why shouldn't they?
You miss the point. The more powerful Tesco gets, the bigger its barrier entries can be. If Tesco buys out most other supermarkets and has most of the prime places in cities, how are other people going to come in and compete exactly? How are they going to beat their economies of scale (which leads to vastly lower prices) because they’re such a big company? In that situation, Tesco can effectively do what it wants because consumers WONT have a choice because Tesco will have the power to stop others from sprouting up and stealing a sizeable proportion of demand. If Tesco has contracts with all the grain sellers, all the producers in China, or better yet has bought them all out themselves, who are its competators going to get their raw materials off? How are they going to match the low prices Tesco manages to get by owning their raw material providers?

Its also a case of the often unconscious and inevitable offsets of monopoly, as I pointed out, such as X inefficiency. Why should the CEO work longer hours to try and drive down prices if there is no competition chasing him down? He can just settle for the easy life, which means efficiency would drop and prices would stop being as low as they could be.

The customers set the safety level. If Tesco got a reputation for having unsafe shops, and allowing its customers to be blown away by a gale whenever a roof came off, do you honestly think people would still shop there? If people value going to a safe shop over going to an unsafe one, the market will reflect that.
Do the customers have the knowledge of what is safe and what isn’t, how to achieve that safety? You miss my point. The roof blowing off would be so uncommon it may well not happen for half a century, so people wouldn’t have a reputation to go on. The point is, the external regulator ensures that SHOULD such an incident happen, the roof would be fine. How can the market decide if it has so little information to go on (i.e. if there had never been such a strong wind before, despite it being possible?)

On my M&S point, what I was trying to get across is that it has built up a brand in that some people THINK they are getting better quality food, even when they’re not. That is thus imperfect information on the consumers part, and the consumer’s conventional demand pattern being distorted due to the lure of branding which doesn’t actually reflect the prodcut’s true quality.
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Oswy
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#68
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#68
Two small queries;
1. Is the consumption of food (eating an apple, say) an act of acquiring private property? If so, does an individual need every other individual's consent before depriving them of this resource (by claiming exclusive benefit for himself)?

2. An implication of equality of opportunity is that the opportunity might yield a positive outcome for the individual (not society); but if there is to be "strong redistribution and regulation," isn't there a cyclical futility about raising capable people to the job through subsidies and "equality of opportunity" then destroying their wealth because they've actually achieved something with the opportunity you gave them, in order to give it to younger people - ad infinitum? thermoregulatio.
1. Substantive property, like land and buildings, are both finite in their availability and fixed geographically. This kind of property creates meaningful inequalities in that A has the power to use their land to sustain themselves when B has no land and must wage-labour. A also gets to pass on the advantages of their land to their offspring, something which B cannot do. It follows that substantive property ownership is inimical to equality of opportunity. I'm less worried about apples!

2. Why do you assume that a positive outcome for the individual must equate to capital accumulation? Hunter-gatherer life-styles show us that it's possible to enjoy life and obtain rewards for efforts which do not have to involve material wealth. But even if you won't go that far, it is possible to permit material advantages for the individual who works hard, yet still place an upper limit on what can be accumulated. It's possible to engender values which make positive outcomes for the individual as the positive outcomes for society. But I'm pragmatic, provided there can be no private ownership of property or land, other forms of wealth accumulation can be accomodated, up to a point.
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City bound
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#69
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#69
(Original post by DrunkHamster)
I think you need to avoid conflating deflation in the monetarist sense of a contraction in the money supply which could not happen (for of course the money supply is fixed, or as good as...), and deflation in the everyday sense of decreasing prices. Of course we would have deflation in the second sense - society is getting more efficient every year, technology is getting better, we are producing more goods in the same amount of time, so it seems only natural that prices would decrease. On the contrary, why do you think we need prices heading ever upwards?

--------

Do you know the concept of time-preference? People prefer goods sooner rather and later, and this is true no matter what currency we have. Don't you see that by putting their money in banks when there is a positive real interest rate, people already could have the "why spend today when you can buy more tomorrow" attitude? The reason they don't do so is the same reason that even if there was long term deflation there would be consumption: because people have time-preference, and they would rather have goods sooner than later.

As to your problem with hoarding, it doesn't matter if people hoard, in the same way that it doesn't matter exactly how much gold there is: prices will stabilise relative to the amount of gold in circulation. Look here for better arguments against the "problem" of hoarding.
Ah but the two are linked. That is, once you recognise that the contraction only has to be relative. (To real terms output)

Isolated deflationary events (in recent years, the price of anything that could fit into a container and be shipped from China) shouldn't be confused with deflation in a macro sense. Deflation, as with inflation, is a process and not an event. When we talk about de/inflation we don't just mean that prices have changed but that it is broad based, self-replicating, carries an element of contagion and influences the assumptions and 'psyche' (I hate that word) of the public. If the public get used to prices decreasing they have a predisposition toward saving and leisure rather than consumption and work, a change that contributed massively to the severity of the great depression. In the same way that inflation is an incentive to capital and asset (both physical and intellectual) accumulation, central to productivity growth and subsequently real output growth, deflation is a disincentive to them. Why consume, why invest in capital, why invest in R&D in an economy where deflation is inherent? Chances are that prices would find a level and remain relatively stable, but so necessarily must output.

Hoarding isn't an aggregate problem, it's a local problem. One prevalent in every society that has used commodity backed currencies. It was crucial in fostering the 'trade as a war' mentality that still grips much of the public today and the subsequent rise of mercantilism. Indeed I read another paper that plotted the relationship between aggregate monetary expansion and aggregate conflict; remove the zero-sum nature of global liquidity and you remove a crucial instigator of world conflict. Again, I'll try and dig it out but it might be tucked away on my uni's network, can't remember.
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Bastiat
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#70
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#70
(Original post by Oswy)
1. Substantive property, like land and buildings, are both finite in their availability and fixed geographically. This kind of property creates meaningful inequalities in that A has the power to use their land to sustain themselves when B has no land and must wage-labour. A also gets to pass on the advantages of their land to their offspring, something which B cannot do. It follows that substantive property ownership is inimical to equality of opportunity. I'm less worried about apples!
So there can be non-land/buildings private property, in your opinion? For example, can I exclusively own a cow, without the consent of other people?

I want, however, to focus on a specific issue - about which you're "less worried" - because it seems to me that, at any given instant, the number of apples ripe is just as finite in their availability and fixed geographically as the number of buildings. I appreciate that land (in the conventional sense on the earth) is physically constrained; and therefore, if anything which is scarce (your examples of land and buildings) cannot be justly owned as property, the implication must be that there is a finite capacity for production - only a certain number of apple trees can ever be grown on the surface of the earth - and that removing something from this finite capacity leads to "meainingful inequalities," the criteria you set down for determining whether property ownership was justified.

And, on another point, supposing you do need the consent of all other people (because property is held in common not by a certain collective - which would just be like a private voluntary association - but by all men), how can it ever be possible to be sure that you have acquired it?

(Original post by Oswy)
2. Why do you assume that a positive outcome for the individual must equate to capital accumulation? Hunter-gatherer life-styles show us that it's possible to enjoy life and obtain rewards for efforts which do not have to involve material wealth.
I find this argument self-contradictory. Firstly, you describe people as "hunter gatherers" and asser that they "enjoy life"; secondly, you say their enjoyment does not "involve material wealth." By definition, a hunter-gatherer hunts and gathers wild animals for himself or his family. So it is material wealth - albeit not monetary - that satisfies a "hunter-gatherer."

In addition, I don't know a) how we can know that "hunter-gatherer life styles show us that it's possible to enjoy life" and b) where the evidence for this is - by use of the word "show," you implied empirical proof, which you didn't provide.

(Original post by Oswy)
But even if you won't go that far, it is possible to permit material advantages for the individual who works hard, yet still place an upper limit on what can be accumulated.
Suppose, for example, that I'm a prolific painter. Everybody wants my paintings, which are the product of applying my labour to canvass and nothing more. I charge $5 for a print of my painting.

Suppose ten million people each give me their $5, without any compulsion to do so, just because they appreciate and enjoy my paintings. So I receive $50 million, but I haven't coerced anybody or deprived anybody of the opportunity to achieve their happiness - indeed, my paintings have contributed to many people's personal satisfaction.

Is an upper limit on earnings justified in this case? Even if, as a result, I cease to sell prints (because there's no benefit to me in doing so) and fewer people are satisfied?

(Original post by Oswy)
It's possible to engender values which make positive outcomes for the individual as the positive outcomes for society. But I'm pragmatic, provided there can be no private ownership of property or land, other forms of wealth accumulation can be accomodated, up to a point.
What other forms of "wealth accumulation?" One's wealth, as I understand it, is the sum total of one's personal property, money and estate.

And I would fundamentally (unsuprisingly) disagree with your first point - that forms of intervention which restrict the market place can "make positive outcomes for the individual as [well as] positive outcomes for society." The point, here, is that society is not organic and distinct from individuals - it is merely their aggregation. So the mentality of maximising happiness - this quasi-utilitarian formula which adopts "pragmatism" as a virtue rather than a vice - means that you must hurt some peoples' ability to satisfy themselves to achieve other peoples'. For example, suppose I'm qualified as a doctor but I prefer to practise dentistry. To satisfy peoples' desire to be healthy you either have to restrict my capacity to satisfy my own desire (by assigning me, without appeal to work as a doctor) or offer me price signals - which, with an upper limit on earnings, is nonsensical. If doctors were in high demand, with the free market equilibrium price at $500k p/a, and dentists were in lower demand, with the free market equilibrium price at $250k p/a, and you put a $250k p/a upper limit on annual earnings, there would be no reason for to me to respond to the price signal - because I prefer dentistry and I have no self-interest in switching; therefore, you are compelled, when you decide that positive "societal" outcomes must be the end result, to resort to force and fiat.
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DrunkHamster
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#71
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#71
(Original post by City bound)
Ah but the two are linked. That is, once you recognise that the contraction only has to be relative. (To real terms output)
Again, you're conflating two separate issues. actual contraction in the money supply (a bad thing) simply can not happen under the gold standard for obvious reasons. But of course there will be a "relative contraction", and of course this will cause the prices of goods to lower - but like I said earlier, this is because society is getting more productive, technology is allowing us to make more things with the same amount of resources, and so on. So it is only natural that prices would go down, and in no way a bad thing.

Isolated deflationary events (in recent years, the price of anything that could fit into a container and be shipped from China) shouldn't be confused with deflation in a macro sense. Deflation, as with inflation, is a process and not an event. When we talk about de/inflation we don't just mean that prices have changed but that it is broad based, self-replicating, carries an element of contagion and influences the assumptions and 'psyche' (I hate that word) of the public.

I still don't see what is wrong with a sustained lowering in prices, as long as it is fed by underlying growth in the economy...
Take, for example, the computer industry in the last 10 years. It is the classic example of an industry which has "suffered" from a huge amount of deflation ( how much is a 10 year old computer worth now?). But it is one of the healthiest industries we have...

On a larger scale, look at the 19th century - a period of sustained deflation, but still with massive economic growth. Check out this paper which ends up conlcuding: "Thus our empirical evidence suggests that deflation in the nineteenth century was primarily good." Not that empirical evidence matters if you look at it from an Austrian standpoint, but it might help to convince you.

If the public get used to prices decreasing they have a predisposition toward saving and leisure rather than consumption and work, a change that contributed massively to the severity of the great depression. In the same way that inflation is an incentive to capital and asset (both physical and intellectual) accumulation, central to productivity growth and subsequently real output growth, deflation is a disincentive to them. Why consume, why invest in capital, why invest in R&D in an economy where deflation is inherent? Chances are that prices would find a level and remain relatively stable, but so necessarily must output.
There's something really wrong with your argument : replace every instance of "deflation" with "only 3% inflation" and every instance of "inflation" with "hyperinflation" and it everything it says is still true. Taking what you say to its logical conclusion, the more inflation the better because it will encourage capital investment, productivity growth etc etc much more than lower inflation would. Now, I doubt you'd argue for Zimbabwe style hyperinflation as a way to stimulate "asset accumulation" and "real output growth", so perhaps you'd like to deconstruct your own argument here.

Hoarding isn't an aggregate problem, it's a local problem. One prevalent in every society that has used commodity backed currencies. It was crucial in fostering the 'trade as a war' mentality that still grips much of the public today and the subsequent rise of mercantilism. Indeed I read another paper that plotted the relationship between aggregate monetary expansion and aggregate conflict; remove the zero-sum nature of global liquidity and you remove a crucial instigator of world conflict. Again, I'll try and dig it out but it might be tucked away on my uni's network, can't remember.
I don't think there really is a problem of hoarding in the first place: could you tell me specifically how long someone has to take his money out of circulation before it become "hoarding", as well as exactly what the problem with hoarding is?
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Oswy
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#72
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#72
I wasn't so much looking to resurrect the debate of this thread as add a fantastic looking resource for left-leaning/maxist debaters:

http://www.resistancemp3.lpi.org.uk/

It's well worth a navigation around and you can download material from some very prominent thinkers. Enjoy!
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Bismarck
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#73
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#73
I wonder how many religious people are so obsessed with only reading things that they agree with.
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Oswy
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#74
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#74
(Original post by Bismarck)
I wonder how many religious people are so obsessed with only reading things that they agree with.
And how many people, especially young students today, criticise 'commies' without knowing anything about Marx? We all gravitate towards what we find ourselves agreeing with, but by all means tell me you're a regular reader of Alex Callinicos just in case he persuades you of the other view. Haven't heard of him? :rolleyes:
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Thud
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#75
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#75
(Original post by Oswy)
And how many people, especially young students today, criticise 'commies' without knowing anything about Marx? We all gravitate towards what we find ourselves agreeing with, but by all means tell me you're a regular reader of Alex Callinicos just in case he persuades you of the other view. Haven't heard of him? :rolleyes:
I wouldn't judge Callinicos too highly.

The other guy Molyneux deserved to be on the CC imo, Callinicos like all the others is just hanging on; a seat for life. If they need new CC members they just create more CC places! Perfect model party! :rolleyes:
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Melancholy
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#76
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And how many people, especially young students today, criticise 'commies' without knowing anything about Marx? We all gravitate towards what we find ourselves agreeing with, but by all means tell me you're a regular reader of Alex Callinicos just in case he persuades you of the other view. Haven't heard of him?
It sounds right but I don't think that's always necessarily the case.
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gurk
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#77
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And there was me thinking that the idea was to formulate your own political views from reading neutral accounts of what's going on in the world, rather than reading somebody else's, and regurgitating them as your own. Oh well.
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Oswy
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#78
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#78
(Original post by gurk)
And there was me thinking that the idea was to formulate your own political views from reading neutral accounts of what's going on in the world, rather than reading somebody else's, and regurgitating them as your own. Oh well.
Unfortunately, in the real world, there's no such thing as a 'neutral' account. Nor is it possible for you to formulate a political view without adopting a conceptual position (or a cluster of them) which steers you towards such a view. Your alternative is to sit on a fence or delude yourself your position is the 'neutral' one.
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Oswy
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#79
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#79
(Original post by Thud)
I wouldn't judge Callinicos too highly.

The other guy Molyneux deserved to be on the CC imo, Callinicos like all the others is just hanging on; a seat for life. If they need new CC members they just create more CC places! Perfect model party! :rolleyes:
I only really know Callinicos from his Marxist critique of postmodernism, especially re postmodernism in relation to history, where I think he's a very potent thinker.

I'm still keen to hear Bismarck identify his regular reading of Marxist (or at least anti-capitalist) material as a corrective to his capitalist orientation. No matter that he has no idea what materials I actually read, Marxist or otherwise.
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Bismarck
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#80
Report 11 years ago
#80
(Original post by Oswy)
I only really know Callinicos from his Marxist critique of postmodernism, especially re postmodernism in relation to history, where I think he's a very potent thinker.

I'm still keen to hear Bismarck identify his regular reading of Marxist (or at least anti-capitalist) material as a corrective to his capitalist orientation. No matter that he has no idea what materials I actually read, Marxist or otherwise.
Why should I bother wasting time reading about fairy tales? I don't bother to read Scientology or pink unicorn publications, so why should I bother reading yours? Fact is that I do read mostly neutral sources, and when I don't, I keep in mind the fact that the information is likely to be slanted in a certain direction. You don't even bother reading about anything other than your make-belief world. You're going to be in for one heck of a surprise when your world collapses around you.
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