2.0 without core tax, please

  • Generally speaking I find it pretty easy to identify those who talk about economics but actually have no qualifications in the subject - instead having read a history book or a politics book or attended a 101 course and then thought they understood the subject.

    Usually these are the confident people speaking in absolutes: "never", "always" and other similar types of word littering speech. The subject is hard; there is a reason smart people spend whole lifetimes studying the field. If you are saying something absolute with confidence it is a very strong indicator that in fact you know less than you think. I have been studying economics off and on for a decade and I surely know that outside my core areas there is a lot I can make an educated guess on but little of substance that is actually certain.

    Anyway, at least it can be fun to watch.
  • Throgg wrote:

    Generally speaking I find it pretty easy to identify those who talk about economics but actually have no qualifications in the subject - instead having read a history book or a politics book or attended a 101 course and then thought they understood the subject.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
    - Plato
  • Mr.Owl wrote:

    Throgg wrote:

    Generally speaking I find it pretty easy to identify those who talk about economics but actually have no qualifications in the subject - instead having read a history book or a politics book or attended a 101 course and then thought they understood the subject.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.- Plato
    If you would have kept silent you would have stayed a Philosopher.
  • Throgg wrote:

    Generally speaking I find it pretty easy to identify those who talk about economics but actually have no qualifications in the subject - instead having read a history book or a politics book or attended a 101 course and then thought they understood the subject.

    Usually these are the confident people speaking in absolutes: "never", "always" and other similar types of word littering speech. The subject is hard; there is a reason smart people spend whole lifetimes studying the field. If you are saying something absolute with confidence it is a very strong indicator that in fact you know less than you think. I have been studying economics off and on for a decade and I surely know that outside my core areas there is a lot I can make an educated guess on but little of substance that is actually certain.

    Anyway, at least it can be fun to watch.
    I guess that might have been directed at me so to clarify: I was merely citing Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman. The excerpt about nigh impossibility of monopoly in free market economy was taken from his book Free to Choose.
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  • Adam wrote:

    Throgg wrote:

    Generally speaking I find it pretty easy to identify those who talk about economics but actually have no qualifications in the subject - instead having read a history book or a politics book or attended a 101 course and then thought they understood the subject.

    Usually these are the confident people speaking in absolutes: "never", "always" and other similar types of word littering speech. The subject is hard; there is a reason smart people spend whole lifetimes studying the field. If you are saying something absolute with confidence it is a very strong indicator that in fact you know less than you think. I have been studying economics off and on for a decade and I surely know that outside my core areas there is a lot I can make an educated guess on but little of substance that is actually certain.

    Anyway, at least it can be fun to watch.
    I guess that might have been directed at me so to clarify: I was merely citing Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman. The excerpt about nigh impossibility of monopoly in free market economy was taken from his book Free to Choose.
    It wasn't aimed at you - it was a general point but I think your comment illustrates this perfectly:

    1) Citing a pop-econ book
    2) Book isn't the authors serious research but is their political agenda
    3) One source not considering alternative models
    4) Context free - no consideration of what degree of monopoly power counts as a monopoly
    5) Citing an expert in a field that isn't their core area.


    Milton Friedman was a great Economic historian and his work on the great depression was fantastic - his political stuff is just that: political. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the two apart.

    Aphorisms and oversimplifications lead people to believe markets work at times when they don't and a desire to apply rules of markets make us want to see things as markets when they are better modelled as other phenomena. This is why a market based pricing model is a pretty poor idea - no consideration has been given to the impact of market imperfections.
  • @Throgg I quoted economic historian on history of economy (aka, that there was single monopoly in history that existed without gov support), how that is political? The conclusion of near impossibility of monopoly without government based on that facts is not really that hard.
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    My battle reports: Adam Battle reports

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  • Adam wrote:

    @Throgg I quoted economic historian on history of economy (aka, that there was single monopoly in history that existed without gov support), how that is political? The conclusion of near impossibility of monopoly without government based on that facts is not really that hard.
    Firstly "Economic Historian" is pretty broad - MF was more focused on Monetary Policy and Macroeconomics than market structure. Secondly it depends how you define monopoly. Does Google have a monopoly on search? no, but it has massive market power. Likewise Facebook or anyone else who has positive network effects. On the other end of the scale I see shops in villages that have a near monopoly - it takes 50 minutes to get to the nearest settlement that has competing shops. The issue for market imperfection is not a binary thing of absolute monopoly but a sliding scale of monopoly power. Right at the far end of the scale you get individuals - you want to see a famous musician perform there is only one person that can provide that. They have a monopoly on their performance.

    It is also worth noting that now it is government preventing monopoly rather than promoting it - common carrier laws for example or anti-trust procedures.

    You also misunderstood my point. My suggestion was not that you yourself were being political, but that you were quoting from a book that was written for political reasons rather than something (a little) more neutral like a peer reviewed publication. You were innocently quoting something that a well known economist had written - I am not suggesting anything awry with your motives for that quote, it is just the hazard of going to pop econ books rather than journals. I don't blame anyone for this - journals are dense, hard work, difficult to get hold of and take quite some time and back study to understand.