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The Economics Thread

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
your post is just a full copy-paste of a Marxism reddit post
To be fair, the name of the poster on reddit there strongly suggests an English cricket fan, and the unlikelihood of that being a coincidence makes me think he's just copied his own post at a time he felt it was relevant.
 

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
To be fair, the name of the poster on reddit there strongly suggests an English cricket fan, and the unlikelihood of that being a coincidence makes me think he's just copied his own post at a time he felt it was relevant.
You're right. I see it has been copy-pasted elsewhere too. Someone is really proud of a really crap thesis. He also hates Jordan Peterson going by the reddit posting...what a coincidence, a communist/socialist doesn't like someone who makes lectures on the atrocities of regimes that enacted those ideals. We have an actual radical leftist on our hands.
 
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Spark

Global Moderator
Looking forward to the explanations as to why Hayek's support for UBI means he didn't actually support UBI and saying otherwise makes you a Stalinist tankie.

For example:

The assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone, or a sort of floor below which nobody need fall even when he is unable to provide for himself, appears not only to be a wholly legitimate protection against a risk common to all, but a necessary part of the Great Society in which the individual no longer has specific claims on the members of the particular small group into which he was born.
Or this from The Road To Serfdom

Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision.
You can argue all you like as to what he meant by the mechanism as to what "assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone" would be, but it is literally the exact same thing said in eight words as "universal basic income" says in three.
 
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harsh.ag

Hall of Fame Member
UBI remains a promising idea, one that will probably become more and more compatible with machine based economies.

But, as you say, it has nothing to do with communism.
 

Spark

Global Moderator
UBI remains a promising idea, one that will probably become more and more compatible with machine based economies.

But, as you say, it has nothing to do with communism.
Yeah, it's entirely incompatible with, say, Marxism-Leninism, as it more or less presumes that the means of production will still fundamentally be in private hands with oversight, at best, by the state, rather than entirely owned by the state itself (otherwise, what would be the point of giving everyone money).

But of course that post made no reference to Marx or Marxism directly, merely pointed out that UBI has very diverse cross-spectrum support because starving to death is bad. Surely on this forum we can debate actual words in posts rather than trolling someone's reddit posting history?

Mind you I personally don't see UBI as the sort of cure-all that many on left and some libertarians do. It seems too black-box simplistic to me.
 
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harsh.ag

Hall of Fame Member
Yeah, it's entirely incompatible with, say, Marxism-Leninism, as it more or less presumes that the means of production will still fundamentally be in private hands with oversight, at best, by the state, rather than entirely owned by the state itself (otherwise, what would be the point of giving everyone money).

But of course that post made no reference to Marx or Marxism directly, merely pointed out that UBI has very diverse cross-spectrum support because starving to death is bad. Surely on this forum we can debate actual words in posts rather than trolling someone's reddit posting history?

Mind you I personally don't see UBI as the sort of cure-all that many on left and some libertarians do. It seems too black-box simplistic to me.
I mean he was directly replying to my post on Marx and his policies and why I think he was a bad thinker and refuting that with "many thinkers have argued for the need of social welfare policies".

Yeah, with UBI Voltaire's quote on work alleviating three evils - boredom, vice, need - is very helpful. It just alleviates one of those evils. Hopefully humans will be able to carve out niche and unique markets in machine based economies as well where they have the opportunities to do meaningful work.
 

Spark

Global Moderator
I mean he was directly replying to my post on Marx and his policies and why I think he was a bad thinker and refuting that with "many thinkers have argued for the need of social welfare policies".

Yeah, with UBI Voltaire's quote on work alleviating three evils - boredom, vice, need - is very helpful. It just alleviates one of those evils. Hopefully humans will be able to carve out niche and unique markets in machine based economies as well where they have the opportunities to do meaningful work.
Oh yeah I agree fully with that Voltaire quote and I appreciate that in some world where "need" at that level has been eliminated has potentially complex, counterintuitive and potentially unwanted structural effects in society that will have to be dealt with or managed. But I just kind of can't get past the fact that "work or die" which is, in effect, what you have absent of any other network or support system is immoral and, importantly, the fact that support networks whether private or state are necessary to avoid this system is rather like saying that a disease isn't bad because treatments exist. The other two, not such a big deal (but again it has to be managed, in particular because boredom + vice + young men = bad news for everyone else, usually)
 
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Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
Looking forward to the explanations as to why Hayek's support for UBI means he didn't actually support UBI and saying otherwise makes you a Stalinist tankie.

For example:

Or this from The Road To Serfdom

You can argue all you like as to what he meant by the mechanism as to what "assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone" would be, but it is literally the exact same thing said in eight words as "universal basic income" says in three.
The crux of the issue is old and often repeated: neither Friedman nor Hayek were anarchists and those that are not and are minarchists will seek some use for government but that does not mean they want anything outside of their very limited scope of government. Friedman basically saw government for nothing else but police, national defence and courts of law. In the most generous reading: they hated government involvement and even saw UBI is a bad measure but better than what existed. To translate that into marxism or as indication of their inclination towards government programs is nonsense.

These are the kind of takes only casual followers of economic thought would confuse themselves into - or people who have the kind of cognitive dissonance that takes to be a marxist/socialist.
 
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Prince EWS

Global Moderator
Friedman basically saw government for nothing else but police, national defence and courts of law.
This isn't really true IMO. He was something slightly less libertarian than a minarchist IMO, although obviously far more libertarian the status quo, no matter what the anti-Koch conspirators want to tell you.
 

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
This isn't really true IMO. He was something slightly less libertarian than a minarchist IMO, although obviously far more libertarian the status quo, no matter what the anti-Koch conspirators want to tell you.
I've seen one of his lectures where he says that exact thing when asked the role of government, even with respect of the UBI. As he aged he seemed to become more libertarian - he changed his stance on the Fed for example.

The thing with Friedman and even Hayek, if you read enough to put together their thought processes, is that their entire outlook pointed towards the harm of government and the less of it existing the better. They just didn't make the final leap into what people would consider anarchism. I think if you could question them (if they were alive) they themselves would not be able to rationalise why exactly although their rationalisations are intelligible enough to forgive their doubts.

They aren't Rothbard and Rothbard doesn't get enough credit.
 
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Spark

Global Moderator
The crux of the issue is old and often repeated: neither Friedman nor Hayek were anarchists and those that are not and are minarchists will seek some use for government but that does not mean they want anything outside of their very limited scope of government. Friedman basically saw government for nothing else but police, national defence and courts of law. In the most generous reading: they hated government involvement and even saw UBI is a bad measure but better than what existed. To translate that into marxism or as indication of their inclination towards government programs is nonsense.

These are the kind of takes only casual followers of economic thought would confuse themselves into - or people who have the kind of cognitive dissonance that takes to be a marxist/socialist.
This isn't true. The entirety of Chapter 9 of The Road To Serfdom is spent explaining why certain state support for the common people in the form of financial aid amongst other things is morally justified as true freedom requires security, and not just as a necessary evil. He merely didn't want that to be in the form of complete replacement of the market via central planning. I'm not aware that he ever recanted this view, I remember reading stuff he wrote as late as the 90s which essentially confirms it.
 
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Prince EWS

Global Moderator
This isn't true. The entirety of Chapter 9 of The Road To Serfdom is spent explaining why certain state support for the common people in the form of financial aid amongst other things is morally justified as true freedom requires security, and not just as a necessary evil. He merely didn't want that to be in the form of complete replacement of the market via central planning. I'm not aware that he ever recanted this view, I remember reading stuff he wrote as late as the 90s which essentially confirms it.
Hayek didn't so much recant it as just totally contradict it. But I think most people contradict themselves so it's not particularly surprising.

Perhaps interestingly I ultimately just came to see Friedman as a consistent moderate liberal rather than anything else. I honestly think he'd probably have as much in common with you and harsh than with me and Corrin, or even Nozick. Hayek was different -- an anarchist at heart sometimes.
 
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Spark

Global Moderator
Hayek didn't so much recant it as just totally contradict it. But I think most people contradict themselves so it's not particularly surprising.

Perhaps interesting I ultimately just came to see Friedman as a consistent moderate liberal rather than anything else. I honestly think he'd probably have as much in common with you and harsh than with me and Corrin, or even Nozick. Hayek was different -- an anarchist at heart sometimes.
Hayek - and I do not mean this in a remotely disparaging way - more or less had as his core worldview which he built on later as basically pointing at the Austro-Hungarian Empire and saying "not that, please". Fair enough, too.

I mean no one is completely consistent all the time and it's IMO given way too much attention when people are. But I would say Hayek's support for UBI isn't that contradictory with his broader views on political economy: okay, he didn't like government, but the main things he didn't like were micromanagement either in the form of central planning which stunted spontaneous order or in random targeted interventions designed to engineer particular outcomes. If the state just takes taxation money and goes "everyone have this in numerically equal amounts", then that's still consistent with that view. And certainly I'm not aware that he called that idea a lesser evil per se.

As for the second line, I swear we've talked about that before :p
 

harsh.ag

Hall of Fame Member
Hayek - and I do not mean this in a remotely disparaging way - more or less had as his core worldview which he built on later as basically pointing at the Austro-Hungarian Empire and saying "not that, please". Fair enough, too.

I mean no one is completely consistent all the time and it's IMO given way too much attention when people are. But I would say Hayek's support for UBI isn't that contradictory with his broader views on political economy: okay, he didn't like government, but the main things he didn't like were micromanagement either in the form of central planning which stunted spontaneous order or in random targeted interventions designed to engineer particular outcomes.
Yeah, this is what I think of Hayek too.

When I read him, I don't usually leave thinking he is a beacon for the modern libertarian movement, but that he's just trying to change public opinion far enough towards libertarianism from the position it was in his day.
 

harsh.ag

Hall of Fame Member
Hayek didn't so much recant it as just totally contradict it. But I think most people contradict themselves so it's not particularly surprising.

Perhaps interestingly I ultimately just came to see Friedman as a consistent moderate liberal rather than anything else. I honestly think he'd probably have as much in common with you and harsh than with me and Corrin, or even Nozick. Hayek was different -- an anarchist at heart sometimes.
I genuinely lose respect for people who don't contradict themselves :happy:
 

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
This isn't true. The entirety of Chapter 9 of The Road To Serfdom is spent explaining why certain state support for the common people in the form of financial aid amongst other things is morally justified as true freedom requires security, and not just as a necessary evil. He merely didn't want that to be in the form of complete replacement of the market via central planning. I'm not aware that he ever recanted this view, I remember reading stuff he wrote as late as the 90s which essentially confirms it.
I probably shouldn't have lumped him with Friedman who explicitly called it a bad measure (although less bad than the other measures) but even Hayek realised this implicitly in his argument in that chapter. Even he has reservations for which standard and what length time minimum income should be given for. What he's arguing is also about the flawed nature of man in terms of being strong and having integrity when he is not assured of some kind of income/security. And this is only once a society attains a certain level of wealth. The chapter is also densely littered with his own warnings further illustrating that he recognises that there is a danger and slippery slope to this idea (he actually refers to Nazi Germany to argue the inherent danger in seeking security).

When you argue on pure economics, even using his own ideas, these are in conflict though. It stands out poorly in the book but you also have to take his ideology as a whole. It is not the kind of argument you can translate into free college or free health care for our time. His point was not to give full security, but just a limited amount of it and only this in a state where the government cannot regulate and interfere in the walks of life as it does now so as to control or replace the market. The state just becomes an actor that serves the minimum, bare essentials, still in competition with the economy.

Even with the respect I have for Friedman and Hayek, they're copping out and their reasoning isn't great or as self-evidently strong as their other ideas - and they know this intuitively which comes across in their writing. It's kind of like how the founding fathers although wanting freedom and equal rights for every man, were not sure or did not make great arguments using their own logic for slaves at the same time. For whatever reason, they didn't go all the way. Perhaps, they, like Friedman and Hayek, thought they would encourage more people to change their outlook on economics and governance if such a provision existed or didn't want to be seen as extremist.

Hayek didn't so much recant it as just totally contradict it. But I think most people contradict themselves so it's not particularly surprising.

Perhaps interestingly I ultimately just came to see Friedman as a consistent moderate liberal rather than anything else. I honestly think he'd probably have as much in common with you and harsh than with me and Corrin, or even Nozick. Hayek was different -- an anarchist at heart sometimes.
Come on mate. Moderate liberals don't argue against licensure for medicine and for the abolishment of the fed.
 
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