in which brute says things about libertarianism

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
Jean
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Jean » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:07 am

Yes, economic prosperity is a bybroduct of freedom, not a goal of libertarianism.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by prognastat » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:23 am

As for the more is better axiom, wouldn't you say that this could only be true in a situation where all other factors were equal. However in the real non-theoretical world they never are.

Say for example TVs, if I value what I can do with TVs then having 1 TV is better than having 0. Now I could also say that having a TV in every room of my home is better than having 1 as I would be able to watch TV in any of those rooms without having to move the 1 TV around constantly I could even go slightly more ridiculous with this and say it is better to have a TV on each wall of each room that way I could watch a TV no matter which room I'm in and which direction I'm facing without having to move TVs.

However even ignoring the cost of the TVs themselves and that at a certain point the marginal improvement of another TV would be outweighed by the value that money spent on it would have on other aspects of my life let's say the TVs are monetarily free to me. There is still an inherent friction(a cost) with their acquisition. No matter how negligible the effort is, let's say delivery, installation and repair are included for free too. I would still need to be home to accept the TVs where at a certain point the utility of another TV doesn't outweigh the cost of having to be available to accept the TV. Furthermore at a certain point I would have no more room on my walls at which point acquiring more TVs would start to fill up my living space actively decreasing the utility of a different resource(my home) thus becoming a net negative. Now you could say well then it would be better if you had more house/living space. However the same argument can be made here that at a certain point having more house becomes a burden too.

So if you were to graph it with two lines one representing the utility of the item and the other the friction/cost then the utility would be a decreasing line and the cost/friction would be increasing and at some point they would intersect where it ceases to be worth acquiring another. I would say there are many costs other than monetary value when purchasing an item that can reduce it's value and as such there is always going to be a point when more isn't better anymore.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:36 am

I agree that the predictable life in communism will always be losing to the mirage of capitalism, even if in the course of getting rich or die tryin 'many people will literally die, and most will simply not achieve anything special. In the success story era, we all love Musks and Jobs, but we are not able to cover how many corpses (metaphorical or literal) did not reach even mediocrity, let alone a fraction of this success.

That's how the human psyche is constructed, just telling people: you will live a life worthily with millions of countrymen, intellectual, technological and scientific progress await you [1] , but (for this example) you will never have the media concern, three villas, fifty Lamborghini and treasury of Scrooge McDuck. Indeed, there are few people who will consciously accept it, after all one can go crazy from such consciousness. This is undoubtedly the Achilles' heel of humanity.

Oh yes? Who will admit that the "American dream", for which he escaped from this lousy USSR, is asbestos picking and death by pneumonia? Is being a shabez-goyim in a jewish villa in Detroit? Is it being swept in "businesses" even by the Irish, who in the nineteenth century were seen in the US worse than shit? As they say, there are no atheists on the deathbed. I prefer: there are no capitalists on the deathbed, because who will say:

Hey, I'm dying for atherosclerosis at the age of 54 because I can not pay a hospital bill, with five loans on my neck that my family will get inherited, I lost my life for a physical job, my wife left me and the children do not want to know me, but hey, at least I tried, capitalism is beautiful because it gave me such an opportunity!
inb4 this getting deleted for probably 3rd or 4th time :lol:

sources:
[1] check major steps during space war and who has won them...
somehow free market value more mindless consumers than educated masses vs how many people have been risen through poverty through mass schooling programs in USSR

if it's allowed to speak about Austrian school economic, which is simply based on "this must work this way, I'm Mr. Mises, trust me young boy, eckhm.... axiom of human action, bro!, criticism of such way of thinking should be also allowed

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Bankai
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Bankai » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:38 pm

@Stahlmann

What is this story supposed to illustrate?

Anecdotes aside, while communism was busy killing tens of millions, Capitalism was busy lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:06 pm

Bankai wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:38 pm
@Stahlmann

What is this story supposed to illustrate?

Anecdotes aside, while communism was busy killing tens of millions, Capitalism was busy lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.
Check what was going even between 1800-1930 in Eastern Europe... The Noble was interested in having obiedient workers. So numeracy, literacy and industrialization stats achieved by reds should be put in almanach of history.

Sounds familiar, isn't it?! Ok, there's difference - nowadays obidient workers can have tvs/cars because.... Many flats on real estate market are still flats which were built during so called communism.... For nowadays house real estate developers sometimes it's easier to tear down new estates than to lower the price... Because there are goods that won't be negotiated as price of bread. Of course, inefficiencies exist only in public sector, so people in private sector will behave very well.

Check resumes of motherfuckes who preach (((free market)))) today in EE and how they achieved their accolades, education....


Coming back to USA example:

Anecdotes? This story about physical worker who lost health because somebody didn't test x substance is rather something popular in previous generations of emigrants. The problem is... You need to have broader horizon to spot it... Because the first paragraph of before mentioned story.

If we speak about successes of "capitalism" in USA:

Conducting proxy wars / not counting major ones / for the last 100-200 years is good when Mr Sam does it but when somebody else is doing it is bad? Especially if he isn't in our club...

Destabilizing whole world and increasing migration elsewhere but taking only the combination of very bright people and sometime cheap people to its home (and meantime preaching to everybody "you are just lazy! American dream is behind next corner! :Lol:. )

I wouldn't be fair if I neglected the following fact - It seems capitalism is better in creating more wealth for top 20-40 percent population in its HQ, but for the rest...

PS. This is not love song.
This is not love song.
This is not love song.

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Riggerjack
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:59 pm

But it sounds like a love song.
Endless simple verses. Check.
Angst. Check.
Unrealistic expectations dashed, check.
Now where's my old drum machine to give it a beat?
8-)

Jean
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Jean » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:59 am

Let's start à nuclear war at the gay bar

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:41 pm

I can already see that it's going to be difficult for me to go deep on markets since Austrians define markets and their goals differently and I don't have an intimate knowledge of these definitions.

1. How do Austrians define the "goal" of markets? "Reaching a Pareto efficient point" sounds like trash jargon talk unless you remember that markets main feature is that they are the most efficient distribution model. This "efficiency" is defined technically as Pareto efficient.

2. As far as I know, neoclassical economics doesn't depend on inter-human comparisons. Neoclassical utility is also ordinal not cardinal. A utility of "6" is not twice as much as a utility of "3", it is only more. The important thing is that each actor (aka human) seeks to maximize utility based on a set of preferences that adhere to the assumptions of utility theory. The word "rational" is often thrown around for someone who adheres to these assumptions. If these assumptions are not followed then the human would be irrational and the model will not lead to a Pareto efficient solution, which again is what it's striving to do. Thus, "irrationality" is not a strawman, it leads to a real problem. The strawman situation arrises when people declare something irrational based on another definition of rationality and then declare that markets don't work because humans are irrational (this happens all the time). It is perfectly fine for you to prefer steak to coffee and me to prefer coffee to steak. I can't simply declare you irrational because I am a die hard vegetarian and you can't declare me irrational because you are a die hard Keto follower.

I don't see anything in point 2 that is different than neoclassical economics except for the declaration that Austrians don't follow Utility theory. If they don't believe that consumers maximize utility, what do consumers do? Again I fear we may be reaching an impass based on lack of common ground and understanding of what is meant by opposing (but not totally opposing) theories.

3. Firstly, yes, inequality is a moral issue. The neoclassical model never claims to be equal. The strict neoclassicists will go on and on about how this is a moral component and how it never claims to be equal just efficient. IMO, this is bullshit. If a model is efficient but leads to a highly undesirable outcome then what's the point? I am diverging from neoclassism here and saying that I believe distribution matters. I think it is important to spell out exactly what kind of distributions are considered efficient under the neoclassical model and what conditions lead to highly unequal distributions. For fairness, it is important to note that highly equal outcomes are also possible. Assuming the assumptions are followed, where we each end up is determined by starting position. I don't think perfect equality is the goal either.

I appreciate that Austrians actually have the balls to say they think that markets lead to a more equitable distribution. Unfortunately, I don't understand the mechanism by which they do this if they don't think markets are Pareto efficient. Under the Pareto efficient model power can also be seized by the rich by A) beginning with control of most the resources (the situation I discuss above) or B) seizing market share such that they are able to influence price. B would be defined as a market failure, A would not.


Here is my description of how the neoclassical model works as succinctly as possible. Consumers maximize utility under a set of assumptions. Producers maximize profit under a set of assumptions. Consumers and producers trade in a market which functions according to certain assumptions. If all assumptions hold all actors achieve a Pareto efficient outcome.

Given this, my 2 questions to those who say that they believe in no government and a market only economy are, is the efficient outcome acceptable to you and are you willing to accept the outcome when the assumptions don't hold?

This is a lively debate within neoclassical economics as well. There are certainly neoclassicists who feel that the market is always the best solution.

Is there a similar way of describing how Austrians view the mechanisms behind the free market?

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:57 pm

@protganist: If the model assumptions hold, all costs are considered by the consumer. If they are paying some sort of transportation fee or storage fee or hanging fee then the TVs are not truly free. Utility must always increase with more TVs but it increases at a decreasing rate (decreasing marginal utility). At some point, the more TVs you have the less you will want a new one and, in practice, you will begin purchasing something else, given a limited budget. I'm not saying this is an inherent law of the universe, just how the assumption is structured.

"If the model assumptions hold" is always a stumbling block of discussion in necoclassical economics because the assumptions are confusing at first, obviously wrong in some ways and often poorly explained, even to those who are interested. The strength of doing it this way is all terms are defined so we don't get lost arguing forever arguing about what a word means. The weakness is the barrier to understanding is high and economists are generally smug assholes, so they end up only talking to each other.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by prognastat » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:40 pm

@Jin+Juice
Right, what I meant was that in finite universe and with matter, time and space being limitations there is always a cost of some sort and due to the marginal utility decreasing there will always be a point where more of said thing isn't better? Or are we talking past one another and is it more of a general more rather than being applicable to more of a specific type of product? Though if it holds for a specific product I'm not sure why it wouldn't hold for everything combined. Or is the assumption being posed as in a vacuum separate from the laws of nature for our universe?
Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:57 pm
The weakness is the barrier to understanding is high and economists are generally smug assholes, so they end up only talking to each other.
Worse yet often talking to economists that tend to agree with them.

As you can see from the Neoclassical vs austrian economists divide.

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Jin+Guice
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:01 pm

The way finite resources effect the consumer is through his budget constraint and through the tradeoff vs. other goods. The more is better assumption by itself exists in a vacuum though. If you could somehow get a TV truly free, you would always prefer more to less. The fact that you never really can could actually be seen as a defense of this assumption. In theory we assume you would always prefer more to less, all else equal, in practice we can never realize this assumption because of these other tempering elements that are accounted for in the overall model. We keep the assumption because it is necessary for our theory to work.

There's probably a better way to explain this. I think these assumptions have always been somewhat controversial, you can make them apply to the real world if you squint at them just right. This is why behavioral economics has become popular, though there are still those who argue against it, based on arguments like the one above.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:11 am

Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:41 pm
1. How do Austrians define the "goal" of markets? "Reaching a Pareto efficient point" sounds like trash jargon talk unless you remember that markets main feature is that they are the most efficient distribution model. This "efficiency" is defined technically as Pareto efficient.

2.If [Austrians] don't believe that consumers maximize utility, what do consumers do?

3.If a model is efficient but leads to a highly undesirable outcome then what's the point? I am diverging from neoclassism here and saying that I believe distribution matters.

Here is my description of how the neoclassical model works as succinctly as possible. Consumers maximize utility under a set of assumptions. Producers maximize profit under a set of assumptions. Consumers and producers trade in a market which functions according to certain assumptions. If all assumptions hold all actors achieve a Pareto efficient outcome.

[..]

Given this, my 2 questions to those who say that they believe in no government and a market only economy are, is the efficient outcome acceptable to you and are you willing to accept the outcome when the assumptions don't hold?

[..]

Is there a similar way of describing how Austrians view the mechanisms behind the free market?
it is very interesting, because it seems that Neoclassicism and Austrianism are not very opposed, they share a large overlap. yet the mechanics, definitions, and language is almost completely different. maybe like a whale and a fish. brute will attempt to answer.

1."markets" are not conscious beings, and therefore don't have "goals". Austrians would probably describe markets as emergent systems or mechanisms. well-functioning markets would likely lead to the goals or desires of many or most of its participants being realized.

2.it's not that "consumers" don't "maximize" "utility". intuitively, Austrian economics feels more descriptive than what brute is hearing from neoclassics. the core observation (not assumption!) of Austrian economics is that humans prefer some things to other things at any given time. this leads to an ordered list of preferences. everything else follows from that.

saying "consumers maximize utility" feels wrong in the way that "the goal of humans is to drive frantically from home to work and back again every day" feels wrong.

3.brute would say it's a trade-off. some humans seem to value equality more than efficiency. brute is likely more on the efficiency side, but he also believes it's technically a false dichotomy. brute is against the actions of one human hurting other humans. so he is against rent seeking and lobbyism and so forth. any voluntary (=non-political) interaction is win-win by definition, so brute finds it hard to be against that.

the trade-off for brute would probably be that even the worst-off humans in that society would still benefit, and not be completely left behind. brute thinks that there exists currently no country that leans too far on the efficiency side, and maybe there never has been one. historically, the rising tide has been lifting all boats.

is there a hypothetical dystopian society where brute would conceded inequality is not worth the extra efficiency? probably.

this is going to be weird, but Austrians explicitly do not base anything on assumptions. they use Praxeology (at least the Misesian tradition), which derives everything from first principle, like the aforementioned "humans act in order of preference". this sounds unscientific to many humans, and tbh brute doesn't really know how to square this with other sciences and stuff, but it does make intuitive sense to him after reading Human Action.

if brute had to sum up the Austrian case for free markets in one paragraph, it would go something like this:
every voluntarily interaction by individuals is subjectively optimal, and intervention by government would lead to a less efficient solution. the reason is that if there was a path of action perceived as more efficient than the one taken, the individuals would have taken it instead. thus, every intervention in the market is a net loss for the economy as a whole.
there's also the whole calculation problem, which basically says (proves, according to some) that the most efficient way to balance the subjective order of preferences of all humans is to let them interact voluntarily, and every attempt to improve on that is going to be less efficient. this is very technical and brute would have to read up on it, but it's worth mentioning.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Jean » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:05 am

Actually, this first principle is an assumption, humans could be acting randomly, or commanded by god, or anything. It's just that this assumption is so conservative, that it's hard to imagine how it could be wrong.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by ajcoleman22 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:50 am

I feel like the critiques on libertarianism based on a case by case basis miss the point of libertarianism. The idea is not to have a "solution" for every situation that may come up. Each problem will have its own issues based on very complex scenarios. Libertarianism allows for the evolution of solutions for whatever problems arise and those solutions can be different based on different factors.

Allowing for the evolution of solutions inherently means you don't know the exact solution to all problems. I believe that framework is a more robust solution than the way we do things now.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by prognastat » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:08 am

Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:01 pm
The way finite resources effect the consumer is through his budget constraint and through the tradeoff vs. other goods. The more is better assumption by itself exists in a vacuum though. If you could somehow get a TV truly free, you would always prefer more to less. The fact that you never really can could actually be seen as a defense of this assumption. In theory we assume you would always prefer more to less, all else equal, in practice we can never realize this assumption because of these other tempering elements that are accounted for in the overall model. We keep the assumption because it is necessary for our theory to work.
Ok so the assumption is held true more in a hypothetical way. Such as if I were to have a bag that had infinite space with time frozen folded within it's confines that could store any item with no additional weight and could be retrieved from the bag simply by willing it at any time, thus also removing maintenance and storage costs from the equation, then having 1,000,001 Free TVs in said bag is still better than having 1,000,000 Free TVs in the bag as there is no cost whatsoever and having that additional TV though having extremely marginal utility in future potential use is still not an absolute 0 and as such would make sense to have.

This does mean though that the assumption by itself isn't very representative of the human experience of economics and a lot has to be compensated for by other assumptions and parts of the theory. I can understand how the assumption can then be very counterintuitive as it doesn't really hold true when held separate from the rest of the theory when compared to the real world.

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Bankai
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Bankai » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:18 am

Having a bag with gazillion of TVs might be mentally taxing/depressing as well - that's additional cost.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:25 pm

Tangential from the recent posts in this thread, but I am reposting from the “Swiss Vote to end Fractional Reserve Banking” thread for posterity:
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:22 pm
Resumed.

Harry Browne interviewed in 1970:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jK01aLsKw7w

Bald arrogant jackass Eliot Janeway acting as functionary of corrupt and incompetent state at 7m25s: “Get off the gold kick, nothing good will come of it.”

Harry Browne at 9m45s: “I don’t consider myself a pessimist at all. I have my affairs in order.”

From the same taping:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mkVGTx92Ka0

If you sold an average home in 1972 and bought silver with the money and then sold the silver 8 years later, you could buy 14 average homes with the profits.

I am looking forward to the comeuppance. I have my affairs in order.

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Bankai
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Bankai » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:31 am

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:25 pm
If you sold an average home in 1972 and bought silver with the money and then sold the silver 8 years later, you could buy 14 average homes with the profits.
Sounds like a plan!

However, if you bought internet stocks in 1998, sold & went short on them in early 2001, covered and went long a couple of years later, sold and went short in 2008 and finally covered and went long in 2009, you'd be even richer!

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BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:06 am

something something bitcoin

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:03 am

Rule No. 1: Never lose money.
Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.

Warren Buffett

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