Saturday, July 16, 2011

With all due deference

Dear Prof. Zmirak,

I have not a whole lot to say, against Austrian Economics generally, or Roepke's writings specifically, or any of that; but I will raise my concern now about the well-foundedness of the "price system", what I'd prefer to call the Monetary Standard: as with all things democratic, it's only as smart as the average vote, and people both rich and poor can be terribly stupid. Not only is "the last whiskey you're willing to pay for" often much too late to stop buying whiskey. Furthermore, as with all things democratic, nobody really knows enough to make infomed judgments about what the next or last whiskey or mobile phone service plan or college application or mortgage really costs him, before he's had it and waked up again the next morning, or until all the peripheral missed opportunities and consequences have echoed around him again. So how can he tell if 5€ really is not too much?

As examples of things which would cost far too much even if you were paid to take them with you, which yet seem to move lots of money around, here is a very short list:

  • recreational opiates

  • pornography

  • idle speech

  • Anyways, there we are. As Churchill said of democracy, it might well be the worst system imaginable, except for all the rest.

    A Subsidiarist


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