Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Linvoid - A Word That Needs To Be Invented

Is there a word for words that need to be invented?   I don't think so...because if you google words that need to be invented you'll see results like "10 Words That Need To Be Invented" and "5 Words That Need To Be Invented".  If there was already a word for words that need to be invented then the results would be "10 Fhqwhgads" or "5 Linvoids".

So...since I'm on a word inventing roll (obamerate, obamertine)...

Linvoid (linguistic void) = a word that needs to be invented

A wordsmith is a "skilled user of words".  I think it would be more logical for a wordsmith to be somebody who creates words.  If somebody is skilled with words then they should be a wordwhiz...short for wordwizard.

"Coining" is to invent new words.  So somebody who invents new words is a coiner?  A newly coined word is a neologism...and neolexia is...

My comment on Arnold Kling's blog entry...What is to be Done?

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Yeah, when my friend says something stupid I like to joke about getting a refund on public education.  Unfortunately I can't get a refund...which is exactly why public education is crappy.  That's the problem in a nutshell.

The quality of goods and services only really improves when people can choose not to spend their money on crappy products.  You'd figure this would be an easy concept to convey.  But I haven't seen any Youtube videos that wonderfully depict the logical and beneficial consequences of consumer choice.

I think a candy store would be a pretty excellent subject for a Youtube video.  The kid is so happy to be in the candy store because there are so many items that really match his preferences.  The video could illustrate the process by which the candy store came to have such a wide and wonderful selection.

I think part of the problem is that we might be missing a term.  If you could only choose one economic term to tell somebody to Google...which do you choose?  Consumer sovereignty?  Dollar voting?  Legal plunder?  Concentrated benefits and dispersed costs?  Opportunity cost?  Partial knowledge?  Market process?  Individual valuation?   Obamerate?  Obamertine?  Pragmatarianism?  Tax choice?

There's always room for improvement.  There's room for improvement in the available selection of candies and there's room for improvement in the available selection of economic terms.  If you create a better candy...you can make millions.  What happens if you create a better economic term?

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Also on the topic of economic linvoids...

Reply to a reply on:  Everybody Hated My Comment On Wealth Inequality, But Nobody Said Why

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Here you are talking about economics so much.  It seems doing so matches your preferences.  This particular use of your resources (x) provides you with utility.  But I don't know how much utility it provides you.  Would it help if I knew what the opportunity cost is (y)?

I know what x is...but only you know what y is.  Whatever y is...I know that according to your preferences... x > y.  But y isn't always the same activity...right?  And whatever y is...I'm sure you engage in it sometimes.

In the bible it says that god loved the world.  Evidently the world matched his preferences...so it provided him with some amount of utility.  This in itself doesn't say much.  This is why the bible quantifies the love by saying that god loved the world so much that he was willing to sacrifice his only son to save it.  The opportunity cost wasn't insignificant.  We all know that y is extremely valuable...so if x > y...then x must be even more valuable.

Unlike opportunity cost, utility maximization doesn't tell us about sacrifice...so can it really help people understand why method 2 results in the most valuable allocation of resources?  Telling me that you love Klondike bars  just tells me that they provide you with utility.  It doesn't tell me much.  In order for me to have a clearer picture of your love for Klondike bars...I have to know exactly what you would be willing to sacrifice for them.

Why revealed preferences instead of demonstrated preferences?  Is it because you love Samuelson and hate Rothbard?  Do you know what Samuelson was trying to do with revealed preferences?  He used it to assume omniscience on the part of people who control the power of the purse.  If the king in method 1 is omniscient...then method 1 will produce at least as much value as method 2.

Samuelson's paper has been cited over 5000 times.  Do you know which one I'm talking about?  It provides the definitive economic justification for our current system.

Not sure if any of this will match your preferences...

1. The Logical Absurdity of Libertarianism - Partial Omniscience
2. Libertarians: Riding a Moral High Horse and Tilting at Windmills
3. S Is Never Going To Shrug...at this rate...

There's a process by which we arrive at the optimal amount of funding for the production of milk.  It can't simply be people choosing milk because it provides them with utility.  It has to involve people sacrificing other things that they also value.  For a long time I've referred to this process as "opportunity cost"...I envisioned a crowd of consumers...each one holding a scale...weighing the various uses of their own resources...choosing the most valuable one (at that exact point in time)...and sacrificing the alternatives.  But it's been a mistake to refer to this process as "opportunity cost" because, as you've helped clarify, opportunity cost isn't a process...it's just the best alternative foregone.  A "mundane" cost can't be a process.
Perhaps what I'm referring to is the market process...but I can't tell somebody to google "market process" and expect that they will "see" the process I just described.  If I tell somebody to google "market process" I can expect that they will be inundated by an ocean of irrelevant information.  It will be a waste of both our time.  The "invisible hand" is better... but it focuses more on self interest rather than weighing and sacrificing.  "Individual valuation" is good...but kings also engaged in individual valuation.

If there was a better term than "opportunity cost", "market process", "invisible hand" or "individual valuation"...then I'm sure I would have already learned of it by now.  Therefore, the logical conclusion is that I need a new word.  Something unique...so when I tell somebody to google it I can be confident that all the results will be relevant.

In a nutshell...

Opportunity cost, like a price, is a thing but  _________ is a process.  It's the process of everybody...

1. weighing the various uses of their own resources
2. choosing the most valuable use (and foregoing the other uses)

The result of this process is the optimal amount of funding for car washes, PETA, cancer research, national defense, welfare, etc.   If somebody understands this process then they will understand the importance of allowing taxpayers to choose where their taxes go.  Conversely, if somebody doesn't understand the importance of pragmatarianism, then it's because they don't understand this process.

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