Author Topic: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?  (Read 707 times)

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Oliver Cromwell

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Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« on: July 14, 2017, 10:00:27 AM »
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As a former libertarian (who converted to the ideology partly because I was convinced by the arguments of Austrian economists), I look at Austrian economics now and I can't take it seriously in the slightest. It's basically one big cult of free-market fundamentalists finding all sorts of ways to rationalise capitalism, all the while insisting that we aren't living in "true" capitalism, but corporatism. Anything good that happens to the economy is thanks to capitalism, and anything bad that happens is thanks to the evil gubermint. Some of the stuff you see on the Mises Institute is comedy gold. In fact the RationalWiki article on these guys makes for hilarious reading:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ludwig_von_Mises_Institute

Praxeology is one hell of a pseudo-science. Doesn't stop people believing in it though.

Brainpolice2

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 02:04:36 PM »
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I concluded a while ago that Austrian econ is highly ideological. The whole praxeology thing and its insistence that their claims are a priori is basically an excuse to smuggle in unfalsifiable ideological claims and dismiss all empirical evidence that complicates their story out of hand. Half of the economic based articles at the Mises Institute are propaganda pieces trying to rationalize absolutist capitalism and making comical defenses of robber barons and corporations and such. They also have a strange kinship with eastern European racist and monarchist groups.

In a sense, they are right-wing Marxists - they talk about capitalism in the same way that traditional Marxists talk about communism, I.E. that everything bad associated with their ideology allegedly is not the real thing. Except Marxism does have one thing about it that Austrianism doesn't - they define capitalism in historical terms. Part of Austrianism includes an attack on "historicism", which is basically an attempt to make their claims immune to historical facts. They define capitalism ahistorically, as if pre-capitalist societies from hundreds or thousands of years ago are free market heavens. And they conflate moderate liberal democracies with communism.

In a sense, the Mises Institute isn't even faithful to the ideas of Mises either. Mises had some very flawed ideas, but he was not anti-democracy in the way that Hoppe and his followers are, nor was he an anarcho-capitalist. Rothbard basically took over the narrative at the Mises Institute. It really would have been more aptly named The Rothbard Institute. And Rothbard's legacy extended to Hoppe, who is basically the face of anarcho-capitalism turned into an explicit far right ideology that thinks monarchy is freedom and overtly supports extreme social conservatism.

Back in my ancap days, I used to hang out at their forum, which no longer exists. It was crawling with white nationalists and an assortment of far right people. Even back then, me and others in the minority endlessly went back and forth argueing with such people. The Mises Institute's culture and agenda is basically a field day for far right fundamentalist Christians, monarchists, white nationalists, civil war revisionists and conspiracy cranks.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 02:28:25 PM by Brainpolice2 »

js66

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 11:25:00 PM »
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I agree with Brainpolice2.

This is the way that I see it.
Racist are not agains welfare, immigration, and minimum wage laws, etc.
They are only against those things if brown or black people are using them.

If welfare and immigration only included whites they wouldn't care.

These racist then adopt this ideology because they can be against blacks without speaking about race.

I think trumps election shines a light on this movement.
Look at how many of these people fell for him, lol.


**Edit**

Not accusing everyone of being racist just that racist are attracted to this ideology.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 02:15:16 AM by js66 »

JimJesus

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2017, 12:22:20 PM »
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I have some agreements and disagreements with praxeology. On one hand the wholly empirical flavors of economics are extremely flawed. Because the amount of data is so vast, complex, and interwoven it's impossible to gather all of the relevant data to find conclusions.  Even if you could gather all of this information you couldn't possible presume any prescriptions that would solve any problems unless you were to go back in time, apply those policies, and then evaluate because trends and preferences shift too frequently amongst too many individuals. Only an identical group in time could be tested. So what ends up happening is that you'll find inherent biases in the when they do econometrics that will result in whatever outcomes the person wants. If you want to prove something, there's data you can crunch that will come to that conclusion.

Praxeology is a purely descriptive analysis on human behavior in an economy. How do humans act on a fundamental level and what abstractions can we infer? What happens when this policy is pursued, we can expect Y. It's trying to apply mathematical-style logic. Math is very much the same way. We don't need to go though the data and find every example of what happens when 2 objects are added to another set of 2 objects to solve the equation that is 2+2=? We do that using a priori knowledge in the same way we use it to determine supply and demand curves.

On the other hand, while geometry also is based on a priori knowledge  you can find examples of where Euclidean geometry isn't true without testing it against the real world empirically. This is where I diverge from most Austrians and side with Chicagoans. It's important to come up with these models and they're far more accurate than basing it completely on empiricism, but it should be tested to see if there's flaws or exceptions in that analysis.

Brainpolice2

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 09:29:39 PM »
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While there are valid issues with empirical economics, the problem is that Austrians want to make bold claims about the inherent nature and efficiency of markets on the basis of pure logic or deductive reasoning from first principles, and reality ends up being a lot more messy than their axoimatic thinking can account for. Part of this issue is the fact that this kind of analysis leaves out important factors of social/cultural/political context, while making generalized claims. Claims such as the idea that market activity is inherently mutually beneficial and voluntary to everyone ends up being a misnomer or meaning something more petty than it appears to mean.

In reality, markets are not a purely organic phenomenon, they are a social and political structure within which people act, and market actors are not isolated individuals doing whatever their preference is. Markets are not more inherently voluntary than the culture you are born into is inherently voluntary. Which is to say there's a sense in which it's inherently involuntary or predetermines the circumstances in which you make choices, especially when you are in a submissive position within it, without bargaining power, or some kind of political clout.

The nature of the questions that Austrian economics talks about often bleeds over into areas that really are psychology and sociology, or theory of human behavior. And human behavior really isn't very well described by an apodictic a priori kind of philosophy approach that tries to make universal claims, because human behavior is messy and unpredictible. Describing human phenomenon just doesn't work in the same way as "laws of nature".
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 09:55:50 PM by Brainpolice2 »

Kronze21

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 05:26:13 PM »
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Austian enconics is a god sent and the reason for most proparity in the world in history.  It's funny how some people can't see that.  It's starring you right in the face.

I don't quite understand thought because you just stated that everything good that occurs is from capitalism and all the bad is from corporatism. That's true for the most part and can be backed up with facts so what's the problem?

sacredfire222

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 07:58:52 PM »
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Why does it have to be ONE OR THE OTHER?  Why can't agriculture be capitalism with a sustainability backbone.  Why can't health care be socialist with a wellness maintenance and disease prevention focus. Why can't education be socialist?  Why can't technology be more competitive and purely capitalist?  Allowing different aspects of society to have different economic models that govern it makes more sense. 

Kronze21

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 11:47:28 AM »
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Why does it have to be ONE OR THE OTHER?  Why can't agriculture be capitalism with a sustainability backbone.  Why can't health care be socialist with a wellness maintenance and disease prevention focus. Why can't education be socialist?  Why can't technology be more competitive and purely capitalist?  Allowing different aspects of society to have different economic models that govern it makes more sense.

What makes the most sense to be is to do what's most effective.  It just so happens capitalism is the most effective in every area.

I'd be more than willing to have a mixed economy if I was convinced it worked more efficiently but it doesn't.    Health care is better and more efficient in a free market model, education the same.  Even countries like Sweden at least have school choice which includes private schools.  We don't even have that in America.

The only socialism that makes sense to me is socialism for children.  However once you turn 18 you need to pay your own way.  Unless you can get someone or some group to voluntarily help you.

money detonator

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 08:23:26 PM »
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Even countries like Sweden at least have school choice which includes private schools.  We don't even have that in America.

There are no private schools in America?  Is this a joke?
"They are just money detonators!"  - Stefan Molyneux, passive-aggressive parenting expert, describes his wife and child as worse than taxation, podcast 2650

JimJesus

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 08:52:50 PM »
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Even countries like Sweden at least have school choice which includes private schools.  We don't even have that in America.

There are no private schools in America?  Is this a joke?

So wait, my private school wasn't private? I better call them and let them know.

Kronze21

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 12:35:15 PM »
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Even countries like Sweden at least have school choice which includes private schools.  We don't even have that in America.

There are no private schools in America?  Is this a joke?

No, we don't have school choice.

JimJesus

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2017, 12:58:08 PM »
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Even countries like Sweden at least have school choice which includes private schools.  We don't even have that in America.

There are no private schools in America?  Is this a joke?

No, we don't have school choice.

Yea, you do. You don't have to send your kid to a school. Lots of people are home-schooled, unschooled, or go to private institutions. "School choice" is a buzzword for being allowed to chose what public school you want to attend as opposed to being assigned based on your home address. In that sense no, but in an actual sense you can chose to privately educate your kids.

Kronze21

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2017, 07:21:41 PM »
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Even countries like Sweden at least have school choice which includes private schools.  We don't even have that in America.

There are no private schools in America?  Is this a joke?

No, we don't have school choice.

Yea, you do. You don't have to send your kid to a school. Lots of people are home-schooled, unschooled, or go to private institutions. "School choice" is a buzzword for being allowed to chose what public school you want to attend as opposed to being assigned based on your home address. In that sense no, but in an actual sense you can chose to privately educate your kids.

LMAO that's not a school, by definition we don't have school choice, a country like Sweden does.  You can go to a pubic school or you can take that money you would use to go to a public school and go to a private school instead.  that's what school choice is.  The choice to go to public or private school, K-12 free of charge.

money detonator

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 08:21:49 PM »
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Even countries like Sweden at least have school choice which includes private schools.  We don't even have that in America.

There are no private schools in America?  Is this a joke?

No, we don't have school choice.

Yea, you do. You don't have to send your kid to a school. Lots of people are home-schooled, unschooled, or go to private institutions. "School choice" is a buzzword for being allowed to chose what public school you want to attend as opposed to being assigned based on your home address. In that sense no, but in an actual sense you can chose to privately educate your kids.

LMAO that's not a school, by definition we don't have school choice, a country like Sweden does.  You can go to a pubic school or you can take that money you would use to go to a public school and go to a private school instead.  that's what school choice is.  The choice to go to public or private school, K-12 free of charge.

Anyone that doesn't even know that U.S. has private schools while claiming to live in the U.S. probably would not know how educational systems work in any other country.

Anyone who expects the government to pay for private school while claiming to prefer, and understand capitalism, probably does not.

LMAO
"They are just money detonators!"  - Stefan Molyneux, passive-aggressive parenting expert, describes his wife and child as worse than taxation, podcast 2650

JimJesus

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Re: Thoughts On Austrian Economics?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2017, 08:38:27 AM »
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Yea, you do. You don't have to send your kid to a school. Lots of people are home-schooled, unschooled, or go to private institutions. "School choice" is a buzzword for being allowed to chose what public school you want to attend as opposed to being assigned based on your home address. In that sense no, but in an actual sense you can chose to privately educate your kids.

LMAO that's not a school

I don't even know how to respond to this it's so stupid.