Posted tagged ‘Scarcity’

Economic Ignorance Has Caused Our Political Chaos.

March 8, 2017

Microeconomics or Micro Economics as a Concept

What do Jeffery Sachs (economics professor at Columbia), Bill Gates, the Pope, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have in common?….. Economic ignorance!

Why are  pronouncements by people with authority rarely challenged?….. Economic ignorance!

I found some recent articles on economicpolicyjournl.com which have a similar theme: People with authority demonstrating their ignorance about basic economic principles.

Here are the articles.

Harvard Educated Economist Clueless About The Fundamentals Of Economics.

I Never Realized The Economic Ignoramus Bill Gates Is….Until Now.

The Pope’s Problem With Basic Economics.

Trump In Melbourne Spilling His Economic Plans And How Non-Free Market Are They.

House Republican Border Adjustment Tax Plan Gains Support In White House: Prepare For Higher Prices And Less Product.

Jeffery Sachs, Bill Gates and the Pope don’t have the power of Government behind anything they say. Their authority exists in the minds of the people who believe they have authority. They can’t force their economic ignorance on us

The President and Congress have the power of Government behind their policies. Politicians and bureaucrats can force their economic ignorance on us.

OUR ECONOMIC IGNORANCE

The increasing political chaos existing in the U.S is rooted in the economic ignorance of a vast majority of people. Both the masses, and people with “authority”, bear responsibility for our present political and economic situation.

People with “authority” being economically ignorant creates a problem because we the masses accept what they say as truth. This leads to the passage of Governmental policies which can’t produce the outcomes predicted by the people with authority.

We have the power to be a check on these people with authority. But we reinforce their authority on the one hand, and increase the economic ignorance of the masses on the other, when we don’t challenge the economic validity of what they say.

People with authority always want more power. Their power can’t be increased unless we allow it. Authority not backed by the force of Government isn’t real authority. We voluntarily give people their position of authority.

With politicians and bureaucrats it’s different. Their authority is backed by the force of Government. Our first non-violent voluntary recourse to their power is to vote the economically ignorant out of office, or not to vote them into office in the first place. Our second is putting political pressure on politicians. But this only works if a overwhelming majority of people put political pressure on them.

The ability of politicians and bureaucrats to grow their power, rests on the economic ignorance of the electorate. If the economic consequences of the policies passed by these politicians were known by the voters, they wouldn’t have been passed. Understanding basic economic principles allows us to look over the horizon and see the consequences of these policies.

EXAMPLES OF FAILED POLICIES

The Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare sounds great. But the laws of economics will not allow the ACA to lower the cost of healthcare. The costs can be shifted, but not lowered by government decree. The result of passing the ACA is chaos in the healthcare market, or what is left of a healthcare market.

Increasing the minimum wage for low skilled workers sounds great. But the laws of economics won’t allow increasing the minimum wage, above what that labor produces. The result of passing this law is fewer low skilled workers will be employed.

FORSEEABLE CONSEQUENCES

If, we the people, understood some basic principles of economics we wouldn’t allow these interventionist ideas to be planted, let alone take root.

Some of these basic principles are: 1) Scarcity, 2) Subjective Value, 3) Supply and Demand 4) Production Precedes Consumption.

Lets look at the Affordable Care Act and mandated minimum wage increases through the binoculars of scarcity, and supply and demand.

Scarcity is the first rule of economics. Scarcity simply means, “what everybody wants adds up to more than there is”. Put differently. Their are limited means available to satisfy the unlimited ends we seek. These limited means have to be allocated toward producing the ends we seek. There are two ways to allocate these means. One way is voluntary cooperation, through prices in a free market. The other way is force, through the edicts of politicians and bureaucrats using government power.

Supply and Demand is easy to understand. Put simply; More is demanded and less is supplied at a low price, and more is supplied and less is demanded at a high price. Prices reflect and drive supply and demand. If their is a sudden drop in the supply of a product, the price rises. This increase in price rations the existing supply, and sends a signal that more needs to be produced. On the flip side of the coin, if their is a sudden increase in the supply of a product, the price will go down. This decrease in price sells off the existing glut, and sends a signal less needs to be produced.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND MINIMUM WAGE LAWS

The Affordable Care Act forced “30 million” uninsured people to enter the healthcare market. This meant the demand for healthcare was going to increased. Even though the supply of healthcare couldn’t be increased as quickly. (Example) It takes years for people to become doctors and nurses. Increasing the supply takes more time than the almost instant increase in demand brought about by the stroke of pen. If we apply the economic principles of scarcity, and supply and demand to the Affordable Care Act, what was going to happen to the price of healthcare? And this is not even calculating the cost of the regulations and new bureaucracy created by the 2500 page bill.

Raising the minimum wage increases the price of labor. According to the law of supply and demand, less is demanded at the high price. Voting for laws which increase the wages of people who we think are not being paid enough doesn’t help these people. Fewer people will be employed at the higher price. Many times these low skilled workers jobs will disappear all together because they can be replaced by automation. The price of labor was artificially increased to the point where it was economical to automate (read here). If we apply the law of supply and demand to the rhetoric of increasing the minimum wage, people wouldn’t have been fooled into thinking they were helping the people the law was actually hurting..

OUR CHOICES

Economic principles are always in play. Government edicts can’t negate economic reality. The political chaos we have today is the result of ignoring the reality of basic economics. We can’t wish these realities away because we don’t like the fact they limit what we demand.

I’m going to quote a person with authority at this point. So don’t take this quote as authoritative. Figure it out yourself.

F. A. Hayek a Nobel Prize winning economist, (how is that for status), said: “Planning, or central direction of economic activity, presupposes the existence of common ideals and common values; and the degree to which planning can be carried is limited to the extent to which agreement on such a common scale of values can be obtained or enforced.

Let’s get educated in basic economics. Life is easier to understand when you understand how the world works. Here is another quote.

F. A. Hayek: “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little the really know, about what he imagines he can design.”

We have two choices. Scarce resources can be rationed through prices voluntarily in the free market. Or Scarce resources can be rationed forcibly by politicians and bureaucrats through the power of Government. Which direction are we moving?

CONCLUSION

Political insiders of both parties have shaped the battle field into a choice between the R’s and the D’s. In reality the real battle is between the insiders in both parties who want to grow the power of Government, and people who stand for free markets and want to cut the power of government. Neither group is a majority. The majority of people are the economically ignorant. These people have been fooled into fighting the battle through the R and D paradigm.

Our job is to educate the economically ignorant. When this majority understands basic economic principles, they will they stop fighting on the fake R and D battlefield and start fighting on the real battlefield: central planning vs. voluntary cooperation.

 

Related ArticleMinimum Wage Laws Create Unemployment, at austrianaddict.com

Related ArticleIncome Inequality Part II: Increase The Minimum Wage, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleThe Reality Of Obamacare, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleThe Economics of Healthcare vs. The Right To Healthcare, at austrianaddict.com.

 

The Greatest Economic Myths by Jeff Deist

June 3, 2016

Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute gives a 20 minute talk about the myth that we can consume before we produce. He slams the central state for spending, and central banks for electronically printing counterfeit money. These two things promote consumption before production. Watch the whole talk. It is outstanding. The talk begins at 2:40. Below are some excerpts from the video.

Here are some excerpts:

If there is one over-riding economic myth that seems to plague us every election cycle….is the motion that society can do collectively what we can’t do individually. Namely get rich by living today at the expense of tomorrow. This is the doctrine of the political class, of central bankers, of professional economists…..and I would like to term it monetary and fiscal hedonism. It’s really hedonism masquerading as economics and technical analysis.”

“When the cumulative effects of certain bad government spending policies are for off into the future, It makes sense that voters are going to vote for them because it’s just a matter of time preference….Voters are going to support things when they don’t necessarily feel the pain themselves.”

“As recently as 15 years ago we still could have dealt with the debt. Now I’m not that the political will existed at that time. I’m saying mathematically it was still possible to cut benefits and do other things to make that debt or restructure that debt to deal with it mathematically….There is nothing that’s going to come along that’s going to make us pay off this debt in any real sense…No change is coming that’s going to have a huge spike in federal tax coffers….The world knows that we are never going to pay off this debt in any real sense.”

“The world is awash in dollars especially Asian creditors of ours. So they’re caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand it’s not in their short-term interest for the dollar to sink rapidly but it’s very much in their long-term interest to no longer have the dollar as the worlds reserve currency because the people behind the dollar, the U.S. congress, is completely out of control, and they know this. The debts never going to be paid. Entitlements are never going to be paid….and this is the result of the myth that we can live for today at the expense of tomorrow….This is what congress is doing this is what democracy leads to….”

“There is also a monetary element to this. I’ll call it monetary hedonism. The increase in the money created by the Fed is unprecedented in human history. We have no idea what this is going to lead to. We have never had an example like this in human history where the worlds reserve currency, not a national currency, has done this….We’ve been monetizing debt for so long that it’s beginning to feel like it could go ion forever and ever….It’s monetary hedonism…it’s kicking the can down the road and saying instead of taking the bullet today we’re going to push it off to some time into the future….Is this the new normal, because I think it’s hard to conceive of an event where the Fed would ever reverse this trend or even significantly raise interest rates.”

“The desire to build things beyond ones life time is innately human. We are hard wired as human beings to build societies….Building lasting modes of living is not possible unless people work toward a future that you will not be around to enjoy themselves….. We can see the congress and the Fed are encouraging us to do the opposite.”

“Healthy societies produce capital and consume less than they produce because capital accumulation produces the upward spiral, increases productivity, increases investment and makes the future richer and brighter. Capital accumulation is what’s made it possible for human population to rise up out of subsistence and create agricultural revolution and industrial revolution the digital revolution…..Production Precedes Consumption…We have to produce before we consume. That’s what real world scarcity means…..Society produces goods or we return to subsistence living.”

“The two most powerful forces in the modern world, central states and central banks, work tirelessly to force us into this economic hedonism….. At the root of our problem is mythology. We’ve cast aside our most human impulse to save for a rainy day and build a better tomorrow for ourselves and for future generations and we bought int the myths of politics and political money. We’ve bet them get away with this economic hedonism…..We’ve lived at the expense of our grandchildren. It’s been a great party for America but good luck electing someone who will talk about the hangover.”

Make sure you invest the time to watch the video. Below are some articles related to what Jeff Deist is talking about.

Related ArticleWhat Comes First, Production Or Consumption? at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleCapital Consumption, aka. Eating Or Seed Corn, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSay’s Law And The Permanent Recession, by Robert Blumen, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleReal Savings vs. Counterfeit Savings, at austrianaddict.com.

Must Reads For The Week 12/5/15

December 5, 2015

Economics Is About Scarcity, Property, and Relationships, by Michael J. McKay, at mises.org. A free market is about  individuals making voluntary exchanges of what they own (property) in a world of scarcity.

The Department of Agriculture is a Welfare Scam, by Dan Mitchell, at freedomandprosperity.com. Crony capitalism for big Agribusinesses consists of subsidies, handouts, and favorable regulation, all on the tax payers dime. We also have to pay higher prices than would be charged in a true free market.

Black Friday Breaks Record With 185K Gun Background Checks, at tammybruce.com. No comment needed.

Chart Of The Day: More Guns Less Gun Violence Between 1993 and 2013, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. No comment needed.

Hunger And War In WWI Germany: Remembering The Slaughter Of Pigs, by T. Hunt Tooly, at mises.org. The During WWI, the German Government fixed the prices of potatoes. This made it more profitable for the farmers to feed them to their hogs. The result was a potato shortage (which is what happens when government sets a price ceiling). The government solution to the potato shortage they created was to kill a third of the pig population. This resulted in a shortage of pork and potatoes. Central planners are much smarter than the market!

Extreme Poverty Worldwide Has Plummeted As Market Economics Has Spread, by Ryan McMaken, at mises.org. The best anti poverty plan is to keep governments from interfering in the free market. Just think how prosperous the world would be if government sanctioned central banks hadn’t printed multiple trillions of dollars over the past ten years.

Incentives, Ideology, and Climate Change, by Peter G. Klein, at mises.org. Excerpt from the article: “journalists think  that “scientists are disinterested truth-seekers immune from institutional and organizational constraints. This is the default assumption about scientists working within the general consensus of their discipline. By contrast, critics of the consensus position, whether inside our outside the core discipline, are presumed to be motivated by ideology or private interest.”

A Behind The Scenes Look At The November Jobs Report, by Jonathan Newman, at mises.org. Government jobs and jobs created because of Obamacare provisions are part of this increase. Tax payer funded jobs are not productive jobs.

Video Captures At Least Nine Cops Surround, Shoot A California Knife Wielding Man, at reason.com. I have one question. Why don’t cops carry billy clubs anymore? This guy would be beaten and bruised, but at least he would be alive. Can someone help me out on this?

Person Who Made Racist Death Threats Against Blacks…Is A Black Woman Who Participated In Protests, at thepcgraveyard.com. No comment needed.

Specialization And Trade Create Wealth

July 24, 2013

In our previous post I briefly touched on specialization and trade. Civilization advances  through specialization and trade not just from the stand point of creating more wealth, but also from the stand point of creating a more peaceful world because of the cooperate involved in trade. This short video from LearnLiberty.org, featuring Art Carden, is a very good explanation of these concepts.

Specialization and trade utilize scarce resources, time, labor, and capital as efficiently as possible. Labor, time, capital, and resources are freed up, because of specialization and trade, and can now be used for other activities that couldn’t have been attempted before these scarce resources were freed up. These new activities may prove to be productive or they may not. The good news is that in a free market they will be allowed to succeed or fail depending on their ability to produce more value than the cost of the production.

For a more in-depth analysis of this subject read, People Can Just Get Along, by Robert P. Murphy, at mises.org.

Ticket Scalping, The True Free Market In Action.

March 21, 2013

I’m going to the Ohio High School Basketball Tournament this weekend not and not just to watch the games. I like to observe the economic principles at play in the free market for tickets,(aka scalping) that takes place outside of the arena, it is a real education. This video explains whats going on.

Most of the people who participate in the free market of ticket scalping, have no understanding of the economic principles they are demonstrating by their actions. Supply and demand, subjective value, (more…)

A Look Over The Horizon At What Lies Ahead If We Continue Down The Central Planning Road.

February 8, 2013
Nebraska tornado, May 24, 2004 (DI02257) Photo...

Nebraska tornado, May 24, 2004 (DI02257) Photo by Bob Henson (Photo credit: AtmosNews – NCAR & UCAR)

Read this article titled, Greek Tax Hikes Backfire As Tax Revenues Plunge 16%, at Zerohedge.com, if you want to see what will happen in the U.S. if we continue to make economic decisions through the political process.

CENTRAL PLANNERS IGNORE THE FIRST RULE OF ECONOMICS

No matter how hard Government and politicians try to create a world of abundance, the reality that we live in a world of scarcity hits them square in the face. Their answer when their plans don’t work as advertised, is to ignore the reality of the first rule of economics, which is scarcity, and continue going ever faster down the same central planning road that created the problem in the first place.

CENTRAL PLANNERS WORK AGAINST ECONOMIC FORCES

As a Government starts its intervention, slowly at first, into the workings of the free market through regulation, and taxes, the economy will reach a point where it will not (more…)