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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Why not? How will you know that your views are correct if you ignore challenges to them?
    I think it's more the fact that there are 4620 articles and I have neither the time nor the inclination to search through them. Perhaps if you point out one or two of the more salient articles I happily read them.

    Edit: I read the first few but stopped there - the only justification for deflation seems to be mainly rationalistic i.e. saying something should work just because in your mind, your logic says it should work and through the lens of you a priori beliefs. This is common throughout a lot of Austrian Economics as far as I can tell - it isn't helped by the fact they reject scientific analysis. The problem with purely rationalistic theory is that you cannot know the full picture and, even you did, your a priori beliefs would irrationally select what you thought was the cause.

    The parable of the sinking ship explains this quite succinctly;

    The owner of a ship noticed that his ship was filling with water. Being an educated man (if not nautically trained) he knew there were many possible causes for water in a ship: leaks in the hull, the bilge pump being broken, waves washing over, condensation, and even the crew urinating in the hold. He heard the bilge pump running, he saw water from waves pouring in the open hatches, but worst of all he smelled urine in the hold! Being sensible, he ordered the crew to shut the hatches and then gave them a lengthy, stern harangue on hygienic use of the head. While he was lecturing the crew, his ship sank due to a combination of causes: large, unobserved leaks in the hull, a bilge pump that was running but not pumping correctly, and condensation that had shorted out warning circuitry.
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    (Original post by emvard)
    Where can you find "impartial" articles?
    Where did I say impartial?
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    (Original post by sconzey)
    At least they call a spade a spade. I've seen a fair few people claim to be impartial, but it's quite clear they've made up their mind already.

    Anyway, cognitive dissonance -- it's intellectually dishonest to shy away from articles and research that you disagree with solely because you disagree with it.

    *picks up Das Kapital again*
    There are 4620 articles to read. I've got a degree to do and I would otherwise be happy to read them, but I don't have the time to read to read more than one or two. Anyway it's more intellectually dishonest to just link to an article (or a search result) rather than provide a rebuttal to the point just made.

    As for cognitive dissonance, I totally agree. In order to prove your views you should attempt to disprove them, not reaffirm them with articles that agree with you. It's simple scientific method.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    I think it's more the fact that there are 4620 articles and I have neither the time nor the inclination to search through them. Perhaps if you point out one or two of the more salient articles I happily read them.

    Edit: I read the first few but stopped there - the only justification for deflation seems to be mainly rationalistic i.e. saying something should work just because in your mind, your logic says it should work and through the lens of you a priori beliefs. This is common throughout a lot of Austrian Economics as far as I can tell - it isn't helped by the fact they reject scientific analysis. The problem with purely rationalistic theory is that you cannot know the full picture and, even you did, your a priori beliefs would irrationally select what you thought was the cause.

    The parable of the sinking ship explains this quite succinctly;

    The owner of a ship noticed that his ship was filling with water. Being an educated man (if not nautically trained) he knew there were many possible causes for water in a ship: leaks in the hull, the bilge pump being broken, waves washing over, condensation, and even the crew urinating in the hold. He heard the bilge pump running, he saw water from waves pouring in the open hatches, but worst of all he smelled urine in the hold! Being sensible, he ordered the crew to shut the hatches and then gave them a lengthy, stern harangue on hygienic use of the head. While he was lecturing the crew, his ship sank due to a combination of causes: large, unobserved leaks in the hull, a bilge pump that was running but not pumping correctly, and condensation that had shorted out warning circuitry.
    So, how do you run controlled experiments in economics? Eliminate all the variables?

    Meanwhile, all the information empirical analysis can provide is that something happened. To explain why something happened requires theories about human motivation, etc. But once they are supplied, it becomes possible to arrive at a purely theoretical account of what will happen after X happens, and all empricial data can do is serve to illustrate the account.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    There are 4620 articles to read. I've got a degree to do and I would otherwise be happy to read them, but I don't have the time to read to read more than one or two. Anyway it's more intellectually dishonest to just link to an article (or a search result) rather than provide a rebuttal to the point just made.

    As for cognitive dissonance, I totally agree. In order to prove your views you should attempt to disprove them, not reaffirm them with articles that agree with you. It's simple scientific method.
    Which is why articles that claim to refute your position are relevant.

    (Actually, as an add to my last post, didn't Vernon Smith win his nobel prize for his work on empirical testing in economics? And isn't he an Austrian?)
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Where did I say impartial?
    You didn't say impartial. You said you wouldn't read "biased" articles. So one might assume that you only read impartial ones. Hence my question.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Because deflation (of purely money at least) means that the value of my money will be worth more in the future than now. So why spend anything?
    Because you're not immortal. Things are worth more now than at some point in the future. That's what interest is - the price in future money you have to pay to get present money. If you don't agree with this analysis, you presumably possess the intellectual warewithal to open a bank account, which will generally make your money worth more and more each year, so ask yourself, why do you ever spend anything?

    This argument - that any return from waiting doesn't merely result in an increased tendancy to wait, but that it completely eliminates any reason not to - seems pretty ridiculous to me. Again, try applying it to "normal" products, rather than money. Computers will always be cheaper and better next year than this year, so why does anyone ever buy a computer? Jobs will pay more next year than this year, on average, so why does anyone get a job? It's pretty obvious when examined this way: people have needs and wants that have to be satisfied now.

    With no-one investing or spending you end up in a deflationary spiral that's difficult to get out of
    Hang on a minute, you can't just slip 'investing' in there. If the value of money is increasing, holding money is an investment (and a sound one).

    just like in Japan in the 90s.
    Though interestingly, Japan also had a central bank before its crash, followed orthadox fiscal policy, and responded to the recession with just the sort of Keynesian stimulus you seem to believe is beneficial. So why did Japan stagnate for a decade? To intervene somewhat in your argument with Richard Gardner, this is the big problem with empiricism in economics: there's nothing wrong with it on a fundamental basis, but the evidence that is available to us tends to be pretty useless for drawing any firm conclusions.

    However, if you refer to deflation in the 19th century, obviously that's far more transitory than the deflation I'm describing. However, this was just as bad - the boom and bust cycles of the 19th century made for economic instability, exactly what the central banks were set up to prevent.

    Well individuals don't control anything. The free market might 'work' but it can be extremely myopic. Hence the boom and bust cycles of the 19th century.
    If individuals don't control anything, who do you think does? Who else is there? Boom and bust cycles did not end when the Federal Reserve was established in 1913, replacing a less comprehensible but nonetheless invasion system of bank regulations in the US, let alone when the Bank of England was established in the 17th century. The creation of the Federal Reserve was followed fairly soon by the Great Depression, and thereafter recessions following WWII, stagflation in the 70s and finally credit bubble collapses in the 90s, early 2000s and at present.

    The historical record seems, at worst, inconclusive, but the overwhelming evidence of general state control indicates that it is inferior to a free economy at determining outcomes. This isn't really surprising. How can a handful of men in the BoE decide the time preference of money for 60 millions? What advantage is there to doing so?

    But money isn't a normal commodity in the same way as cars. It is the only commodity that is directly and universally valued against every other commodity. Therefore it's value affects the value of everything else when most of you capital is stored in monetary values. As such, the state can't overvalue or undervalue as everything over or values and adjusts accordingly. In a free market system, you would have a currency who's value is so easily determined.
    Money is exactly a normal commodity. If you wanted, you could value everything against the value of cars.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    So, how do you run controlled experiments in economics? Eliminate all the variables?
    Well you can't. However, this didn't stop biology or astrophysics from sticking to the scientific method.
    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Meanwhile, all the information empirical analysis can provide is that something happened. To explain why something happened requires theories about human motivation, etc. But once they are supplied, it becomes possible to arrive at a purely theoretical account of what will happen after X happens, and all empricial data can do is serve to illustrate the account.
    Not necessarily. I mean Hume wrote at length about this - we can perceive causation from empirical evidence, however there is nothing necessarily to imply that the perceived causation was i)correct ii)due to the factors percieve iii)repeatable.

    Without meaning to go into the age-old empiricalism vs rationalism, I do not believe the human mind can understand the entire picture in any situation, especially where people's behaviour is concerned. As one philosopher pointed out, if we could understand the human mind, it would have to be so simple such that we wouldn't have the capacity to understand it.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Which is why articles that claim to refute your position are relevant.
    Well yes, if they contain arguments that I haven't already rejected. I know what grounds Austrians argue along, and posting articles that respout them doesn't really add to the debate.
    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    (Actually, as an add to my last post, didn't Vernon Smith win his nobel prize for his work on empirical testing in economics? And isn't he an Austrian?)
    I'm not sure he's an Austrian at all - he was more of a behavioural economist.
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    (Original post by emvard)
    You didn't say impartial. You said you wouldn't read "biased" articles. So one might assume that you only read impartial ones. Hence my question.
    I said I wasn't inclined to trawl through a search result of articles of whom I already know the a priori belief, where the belief is usually the grounds on what they argue on.
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    property is not freedom,self ownership is freedom
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    property is not freedom,self ownership is freedom
    First, every secular argument I have heard in favour of self ownership or some form of natural rights has always been severly lacking/begging the question.

    Second, from almost all justifications of self ownership, property rights logically follow.

    Third, what is so important about freedom anyway? Liberty is not God.
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    (Original post by Collingwood)
    Because you're not immortal. Things are worth more now than at some point in the future. That's what interest is - the price in future money you have to pay to get present money. If you don't agree with this analysis, you presumably possess the intellectual warewithal to open a bank account, which will generally make your money worth more and more each year, so ask yourself, why do you ever spend anything?
    You could easily turn this around about your criticism of inflation: You live for relatively long time and will have needs and wants that need satisfying in the future. Given that even under inflation, people save (with interest above inflation rate), your criticism that people live hand to mouth is unsubstantiated.
    (Original post by Collingwood)

    Hang on a minute, you can't just slip 'investing' in there. If the value of money is increasing, holding money is an investment (and a sound one).
    Perhaps I should have clarified with investment aside from sitting on it. Investment by deflation doesn't cause any real economic growth.
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    Though interestingly, Japan also had a central bank before its crash, followed orthadox fiscal policy, and responded to the recession with just the sort of Keynesian stimulus you seem to believe is beneficial. So why did Japan stagnate for a decade?
    I hardly followed orthodox fiscal policy - indeed the criticism levelled at it was that it didn't commit to steady positive monetary growth followed by the rest of the Western economy.
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    To intervene somewhat in your argument with Richard Gardner, this is the big problem with empiricism in economics: there's nothing wrong with it on a fundamental basis, but the evidence that is available to us tends to be pretty useless for drawing any firm conclusions.
    But equally rationalism is sorely limited by our minds - we cannot foresee outcomes and will be hugely biased in favour of a priori beliefs. But I guess this boils down to the old rationalistic vs empirical debate, of which I'm firmly on the latter side.
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    If individuals don't control anything, who do you think does? Who else is there?
    I should have clarified - not every individual has control. Evidently those with economic or political power do, but the individual alone has no control to, say, correct for inflation by themselves. They require society as a whole to act or someone with aforementioned power.
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    Boom and bust cycles did not end when the Federal Reserve was established in 1913, replacing a less comprehensible but nonetheless invasion system of bank regulations in the US, let alone when the Bank of England was established in the 17th century. The creation of the Federal Reserve was followed fairly soon by the Great Depression, and thereafter recessions following WWII, stagflation in the 70s and finally credit bubble collapses in the 90s, early 2000s and at present.
    The regular boom and bust cycle before was, however, more frequent and more efficacious at affected the lifestyle of the normal man - indeed it killed many administrations in the 19th century. Given there have only been 3 major recessions and a couple of minor ones since the establishment of the Fed reserve, I think that's an adequate price to pay for the economic stability in between. Not of course that we should just accept the recurrence of recessions, but it's certainly not an argument to revert to the economic situation of the 19th century.
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    The historical record seems, at worst, inconclusive, but the overwhelming evidence of general state control indicates that it is inferior to a free economy at determining outcomes. This isn't really surprising. How can a handful of men in the BoE decide the time preference of money for 60 millions? What advantage is there to doing so?
    A free economy is myopic though. It be better at determining outcomes now, but not in the more distant future hence the wild fluctuations in the economy in the 19th century. Even if Keynesism is less effective in determining outcomes - it allows the smoothing of the business cycle which is a desirable outcome that the free market doesn't provide in itself.
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    Money is exactly a normal commodity. If you wanted, you could value everything against the value of cars.
    Cars aren't universally identified as a measure of value and aren't regularly accepted in exchange for goods. Money, however, is, unlike any other commodity.

    Indeed, if I barter, I weight up the value of goods I'm offering for goods I'm recieving. Money is essentially the materialisation of the arbitrary values I give and therefore is a commodity whereby it is a unique and universal medium for exchange.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Well yes, if they contain arguments that I haven't already rejected. I know what grounds Austrians argue along, and posting articles that respout them doesn't really add to the debate.

    I'm not sure he's an Austrian at all - he was more of a behavioural economist.
    Here is Vernon Smith's fiftieth anniversary tribute to Mises' Human Action. In fact, googling "Vernon Smith Austrian" gets quite a few references to him as an Austrian economist, or sympathiser.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Here is Vernon Smith's fiftieth anniversary tribute to Mises' Human Action. In fact, googling "Vernon Smith Austrian" gets quite a few references to him as an Austrian economist, or sympathiser.
    like a terrorist sympathiser?
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    like a terrorist sympathiser?
    *headdesk*
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Here is Vernon Smith's fiftieth anniversary tribute to Mises' Human Action. In fact, googling "Vernon Smith Austrian" gets quite a few references to him as an Austrian economist, or sympathiser.
    Every economic philosophy has aspects that you can bring away from it without subscribing to it's ideology. Many economists admire Hayek despite the fact they are adamantly non-Austrian. I don't really see the evidence that Smith is a Austrian.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Every economic philosophy has aspects that you can bring away from it without subscribing to it's ideology. Many economists admire Hayek despite the fact they are adamantly non-Austrian. I don't really see the evidence that Smith is a Austrian.
    Well he does call Hayek 'the leading economic thinker of the 20th century' and does quote Mises and Hayek throughout his work, and spends most of his latest book showing people how he rediscovered Hayek. Whether or not he is an Austrian (and I'm not sure that it is even a very good i.e. meaningful question), he certainly thought very highly of them.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    First, every secular argument I have heard in favour of self ownership or some form of natural rights has always been severly lacking/begging the question.

    Second, from almost all justifications of self ownership, property rights logically follow.

    Third, what is so important about freedom anyway? Liberty is not God.


    What does God have to do with freedom?
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    First, every secular argument I have heard in favour of self ownership or some form of natural rights has always been severly lacking/begging the question.
    Have you ever seen any argument towards any moral position which is not question-begging? I ask in all seriousness, because it is a really, really tough task. Self-ownership is an intuitively plausible principle which unifies and underlies many of our considered moral judgements (why slavery, forced labour, murder, rape, organ theft, assault, etc are all wrong) and has non-trivial consequence; I don't know what else you can ask for, to be honest, when it comes to the justification of morality.
 
 
 
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