From Critiques Of Libertarianism
Sometimes a story lets us think a bit more deeply about a subject.
- Libertarians haggling over price.
- It seems obvious.
- Parable of the ship: why Austrian Economics fails.
- The great fault of Austrianism is that it is not scientific. It is structured as a medieval philosophy based on authority, rather than systematic adherence to real-world data.
- NEW 6/10/2019: The Invention of Fire [More...]
- We need to move beyond arguments about whether there should be markets, or what proportion of production should be organised through markets. We need to instead start thinking about how we can control markets and when we should use them- the difference between free range fire, and fire in a hearth or forge.
- The libertarian and the genie.
- A libertarian finds a magic lamp, and when he mixes his labor with it a genie appears. The genie tells him he can have three wishes...
- Underpants Gnomes (1 link)
- A South Park idea satirizing wishful thinking about incomplete plans and explanations.
A journalist calls an economics professor for his view on whether free trade is a good idea. The professor responds enthusiastically in the affirmative. The journalist then goes undercover as a student in the professor's advanced graduate seminar on international trade. He poses the same question: Is free trade good? This time the professor is stymied. "What do you mean by 'good?'" he responds. "And good for whom?" The professor then launches into an extensive exegesis that will ultimately culminate in a heavily hedged statement: "So if the long list of conditions I have just described are satisfied, and assuming we can tax the beneficiaries to compensate the losers, freer trade has the potential to increase everyone's well being." If he is in an expansive mood, the professor might add that the effect of free trade on an economy's long-term growth rate is not clear either and would depend on an altogether different set of requirements.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"