About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Good Article By The Country Thinker

I like The Country Thinker blog. Today Ted Lacksonen analyzes an article in the Wall Street Journal by Professor Alan Blinder. Terrific. It moved me to comment:

Mr. Blinder illustrates the problem that economic elites have trying to figure out what's going on in the "economy" using macro-economic data, much less prescribing a "fix" for what they think is "wrong." Observing the "economy" is like observing thousands of fans pouring out of a stadium after a football game and trying to predict their post-game behavior. Will they get in their cars and drive straight home? Meet at a bar for pizza? Catch a plane?

Millions of variables affect the choices individuals make. Trying to pin down which variable is key to what we decide to do is futile. Most of the time economists use their statistics to prove what they want to prove. Competent economists use rational economic theory to explain what they observe, not the other way around. Blinder gives away the store when he observes: "As a mat­ter of pure logic that could be true."

No, Mr. Blinder, as a matter of pure logic something is either true, i.e., correctly deduced from true premises, or not. If his premises are true and his logic is correct, then -- as a matter of pure logic -- Blinder must explain how his observations can trump his logic. Unless, of course, his premises are not true.

Businessmen are hard-pressed to expand their business and, thereby, create jobs, if inventory is piling up and all their sales staff hears from customers is "maybe next year." There are a thousand and one reasons why businessmen and individuals hold their money instead of spend it. Fear and uncertainty are reasons as good as any.

Businessmen and individuals alike want to be creating, producing and trading. So what's the problem? In our advanced society we don't barter. The life blood of our human affairs is money. When deciding what money is worth at any given moment, we take our cues from interest rates, the price of groceries, the taxes we pay and the progression of federal spending from millions to billions and trillions. Then we decide whether to buy that stock or that robotic machine or to hire that extra employee, or to keep our assets nearby in liquid cash.

The more Blinder, Bernanke and friends mess with our money in order to cajole us into creating, producing and trading again, the more confused, scared and uncertain we become.

Mr. Blinder, how about you just stop trying to help us, leave our money alone and get the hell out of our way?
Check out Ted's words of wisdom here.


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