Ludwig von Mises
Check out this awesome article from Values and Capitalism: “People-vs-Profits” is a False Dichotomy.
I wished business schools would remind themselves of this. I think b-schools students should be taught Austrian Econ, as a prerequisite
Personally, I’d replace “profits” with “incentives”. People far to often think of profits as purely monetary gains. But some people believe in gains that are not necessarily monetary in nature, such as emotional gains.
There are those that engage in supplying consumers for some sort of emotional gain and that, to them, is the incentive of doing business.
This is where the theories of economics start to diverge with the theories of ethics and philosophy; specifically with the ethics of altruism of David Hume.
Maybe it’s just me, but if we started talking about “income” and “profits” as things that go beyond just monetary gains, maybe we’d attract more individuals to the ideas of capitalism and anarcho-capitalism.
Anonymous asked: I know you're what Americans call "libertarian," so when I see you promote wealth of nations, I am confused... you realize Smith was a Libertarian Socialist, right? He condemns free markets left and right in "Wealth of Nations," and I'm guessing you've never read it?
I guess you can call me a libertarian. I’m a market anarchist or an AnCap or an anarchist or a marketist or a voluntaryist or whatever. To make it easy on you, I don’t believe in the justification of government force.
Why did I post a link “promoting” Wealth of Nations? Because it’s a profound piece of writing, not just for economics, but for government, politics and society as a whole. Even if I completely disagreed with it, I’d still link people to it so that they can read it.
I have copies of Marx and Upton Sinclair in my personal library, not because I’m a communist or a socialist or even because I believe there is some merit to those theories, because I think they are complete bunk. But I’ve read them because it’s important to read them and understand them if I’m going to discredit them and promote my own theories. What point is there in limiting yourself to only reading and studying those works which align with your theories. Confirmation bias much?
Yes, I’ve read Wealth of Nations (Ironically, it wasn’t a voluntary decision at the time) and, no, he does no condemn free markets. If that was your takeaway from The Wealth of Nations, I strongly encourage you to reread it (or actually read it for the first time).
As for Adam Smith being a “socialist”, I’m guessing you derived that idea from reading ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’? Or did you come to that conclusion because Smith talked about how earners should pay back to society (which I think many people misunderstand this to mean pay more taxes).
And if you’re as confused and as misguided as this message makes you out to be and as lazy as I suspect you are, you can bypass the 1,000 pages of reading and have P.J. O’Rourke read the book for you:
Part I: http://youtu.be/TWu_1qrwf3E
Part II: http://youtu.be/e7fG6XdDFDU
Thanks for playing,
America is the richest nation in the world. Our GDP was $15.09 trillion in 2012. That is enough money to eliminate extreme poverty worldwide 276 times over. Yet 146 million American’s (half of our population) live in poverty or are ‘near poor’.
#1, I don’t you understand how GDP works and what it actually measures.
#2, American “poverty”. The poorest American lives like a king in comparison to a significant portion of the world.
#3, You’re assuming that simply taking money from people and giving it to others is a way to eliminate “poverty”.
Some of you guys should just stay away (very, very far away) from economics.
Politicians should be required to wear the logo’s of the companies they accept interest money from, like NASCAR drivers.
I can get with this.
Contempt for Capitalism. How A Lack of Understanding Sparked Hatred
This is a prime example of how limited the people are in their knowledge of how wealth is created and how that process is beneficial to all.
What anti-capitalists don’t understand about the advancement and progress of technology, industry and markets is that overtime what once seemed unattainable and luxurious eventually becomes the norm and even sub-par.
People are fairly clued up on how products come to market and we all can see how innovations eventually become cheaper. Your entire analysis misses is the point of the capitalist mode of production and why anti-capitalists have a problem with it.
Why don’t you enlighten us.
Contempt for Capitalism. How A Lack of Understanding Sparked Hatred
A new theme I’ve seen gain popularity among the youth, both in America and in Europe, is a spurning of capitalism that stems from the notion that successful people owning rare or high-priced goods is evil. This is the idea that a select few should not have possessions that the masses don’t also have access to. This is a prime example of how limited the people are in their knowledge of how wealth is created and how that process is beneficial to all.
What anti-capitalists don’t understand about the advancement and progress of technology, industry and markets is that overtime what once seemed unattainable and luxurious eventually becomes the norm and even sub-par. This process is how
People are so blinded by their present-day greed or envy or even disgust that they don’t realize that someday, in the future, what you have a demand for, yet see as unattainable today will eventually become a common good or even an obsolete good.
It’s these volunteer ‘beta testers”, if you will, who put up their own money to buy high-priced yet typically unrefined goods that pave the way and open up markets for more competition, more supply and more efficiency in production (costs, time and price).
Let’s look at some examples:
Automobiles: Only the rich had cars. Then, because the rich actually spent money and smart people entered the industry, cars became affordable and the masses could have cars. We’ve become so accustomed and spoiled by this becoming the norm that some people are embarrassed of their lower-quality cars. 50 years ago, you’d drive around in a beat up Carola like you were a Rockefeller.
Let’s look at something even simpler than a car.
Running hot water: Today, almost everyone in America has running hot water and we’re getting tot he point that almost everyone on the planet has the same. Sure, in other parts of the world, it’s more rare, but let’s focus on America. 100 to 200 years ago, you’d shower once a week, if lucky, in reused, lukewarm water. Today, we take daily is not multiple showers a day.
Thanks to progress, these things have become the norm, yet we don’t appreciate it. And some people, the anti-capitalist crowd, are to stupid to even realize to be taught.
Look at every industry. Look how Airbags and ABS went from only a Mercedes feature, most couldn’t afford. Today, the worst car has 6 airbags and giant breaks. Look at medical advancements. A 100 years ago, the common cold would kill you. But with the advancement and investment by those vilified rich, those that could afford the emergent, cutting edge treatment, today we have tech available for people how have no money that would seem like science fiction for our great grandparents.
Accumulation of funds and the investment of those funds bring about progress. When people who have brilliant ideas and need the resources and the funding to develop them, that’s what advances humanity. That’s what brings progress. Without the ability of market interaction and voluntary investment, everyone would hoard their ideas and their resources and we’d never accumulate short-lived pools of ideas and funding to ever create new wealth for all to benefit from.
Appreciate what you have and understand that overtime, progress touches us all and we all benefit. Don’t hate those that benefit now due to their ability to afford it for themselves. Their high-priced investment today will help bring that product to the masses for cheap in the future, improving the daily lives of all of society’s members and paving the way for demand of newer and better technology. It’s a beautiful cycle that continues to grow and continues to give to all so long as we all appreciate it’s overall impact.
*This was a comment I had posted on another post, but I liked it too much to let it be lost as an obscure comment, so I made it a post.