Monday, July 14, 2014

Dear Rothbard, The Government Isn't Beyond Repair

Context: Progress Depends on Freedom


LO! I have definitively proven that Neodoxianism maximizes output and utility. What is this missing? Microfoundations explaining how I get here. The problem with this analysis is that it is missing analysis. What I have learned about the true economist, for if there's one thing that I am, it's a true economist, and of the difference between the faux and the true economist, for if there's one thing that I've seen in failed economic analyses it is this, is that the true economist explains in a step-by-step manner the underlying foundations of his theory. We have a million utopian schemes, and few economic ones, exactly because this is so hard to do. - Neodoxy

The underlying foundation of my theory is that consumers want the most bang for their buck. If, in a pragmatarian system, taxpayers choose X rather than Y, then it's because X > Y. Do you want to argue that they will choose the less valuable option? If so, then you're arguing that markets create less, rather than more, value over time.

Let's consider a specific example...

X = boycotting congress
Y = supporting congress

Is X > Y? Does X provide more value than Y does? If so, then wouldn't taxpayers choose X rather than Y? If they did...then pragmatarianism -> (would lead to) anarcho-capitalism. If they didn't...then here are some possible explanations...

#1. Y > X
#2. taxpayers are not value maximizers
#3. taxpayers are mistaken...and they are too dumb to exchange error for truth
#4. taxpayers are mistaken...but they are smart enough to exchange error for truth

Which explanation do you pick?

If #1, then: pragmatarianism > anarcho-capitalism
If #2, then: socialism (imposed valuation) > pragmatarianism AND anarcho-capitalism
If #3, then: socialism (imposed valuation) > pragmatarianism AND anarcho-capitalism
If #4, then: pragmatarianism -> anarcho-capitalism

Is there another possible explanation for why taxpayers would support, rather than boycott, congress?

And once more, no economist are you! This time your error is merely of exact incarnation, rather than type, however. If you're interested in the exact error that you are making, Dr. Rothbard describes it best here: Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics.  In short, utility cannot be quantified and the only standard we have for welfare maximization is pareto-optimality, which you violate. - Neodoxy

Really, no economist am I? I already explained that I will always beat you because I always do my homework. I'm not a slouch like yourself. If you had done your homework you would have realized that I cite that exact paper by Rothbard in 5 different blog entries...

Rothbard correctly identified exactly how the government is seriously broken...99.999% of citizens are prohibited from individually valuating goods supplied by the government. Except he mistakenly concluded that the government is beyond repair. Therefore, Rothbard's recommendation, which was to throw the government away, was incorrect. The government can easily be repaired simply by permitting individual valuation. Taxpayers just need to be free to choose where their taxes go. Each and every taxpayer would valuate whether X > Y. This would ensure, assuming as Rothbard (and every other free-market economist) does that consumers are utility maximizers, that whatever the government does, it will increase, rather than decrease, social utility. If allowing congress to determine the tax rate increases social utility...then taxpayers will support it. If it doesn't, then they won't. Presuming what does, or doesn't, increase social utility is the fatal error of socialism. Rothbard ironically, but inadvertently, made this exact same error by being more than willing to push a button that would abolish the government in one fell swoop.

I have to explain this to you because clearly you don't grasp Rothbard's argument. If you did, then you would understand that pragmatarianism (individual valuation in the public sector) completely invalidates Rothbard's recommendation.

Let me break it down for you...

1. Rothbard correctly diagnosed the disease (absence of individual valuation)
2. But he incorrectly assumed that there wasn't a cure (addition of individual valuation)
3. So he incorrectly recommended that the patient be euthanized.

Rothberror = right diagnosis, wrong remedy.

1. The doctor correctly diagnosed that the disease was scurvy (absence of vitamin C)
2. But he incorrectly assumed that there wasn't a cure (addition of vitamin C)
3. So he incorrectly recommended that the patient be euthanized.

The doctor committed a rothberror.

The question is...why are you citing a paper that you either haven't read or don't understand? Oh yeah, it's because you're a slouch. Please do us all a favor and follow the advice that I gave you last time...spend less time writing and more time reading.

The rest of what you wrote is just as ignorant as your understanding of Rothbard.


Here's an update on some Reddit communities...

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