Download Economics for Real People PDF

TitleEconomics for Real People
File Size1.1 MB
Total Pages354
Table of Contents
                            Cover
Acknowledgments
Contents
Introduction
Part I: The Science of Human Action
	1. What's Going On?
	2. Alone Again, Unnaturally
	3. As Time Goes By
Part II: The Market Process
	4. Let's Stay Together
	5. Money Changes Everything
	6. A Place Where Nothing Every Happens
	7. Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker
	8. Make a New Plan, Stan
	9. What Goes Up, Must Come Down
Part III: Interference With The Market
	10. A World Become One
	11. The Third Way
	12. Fiddling With Prices While The Market Burns
	13. Times Are Hard
	14. Unsafe at Any Speed
	15. One Man Gather What Another Man Spills
	16. Stuck on You
	17. See the Pyramids Along the Nile
Part IV: Social Justive, Rightly Understood
	18. Where Do We Go From Here?
Untitled
Appendix A
Appendix B
Bibligraphy
References
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Economics for Real People

An Introduction to the
Austrian School

2nd Edition

Page 177

The differences among people as to their natural abilities,
their tastes, and their learned skills is the foundation of inter-
personal exchange, the division of labor, and therefore of
extended human society. As Murray Rothbard wrote in Free-
dom, Inequality, Primitivism and the Division of Labor:

The glory of the human race is the uniqueness of
each individual, the fact that every person,
though similar in many ways to others, possesses
a completely individuated personality of his own. It
is the fact of each person’s uniqueness—that fact
that no two people can be wholly interchange-
able—that makes each and every man irreplaceable
and that makes us care whether he lives or dies,
whether he is happy or oppressed. And, finally, it is
the fact that these unique personalities need free-
dom for their full development that constitutes one
of the major arguments for a free society.

Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” satirizes
attempts to create a society where everyone is absolutely
equal to everyone else. In the world he depicts, those who
can jump higher than the average person must wear weights
on their bodies. Those who are more attractive must be made
uglier. Those who are more intelligent must wear a device that
interrupts their thoughts with a loud noise every few seconds.

Short of measures like those in Vonnegut’s story, the ideal
of absolute equality is a chimera. The Soviet Union was not a
society in which all citizens were equal. The freedom of action
and access to goods of a high-ranking Communist Party offi-
cial was immensely greater than that of the average person.
But the pursuit of that chimera has resulted in some of the
worst tyrannies in history.

1 7 6 E C O N O M I C S F O R R E A L P E O P L E

Page 178

C H A P T E R 1 1

The Third Way
O N G O V E R N M E N T I N T H E M A R K E T

P R O C E S S

THE DYNAMICS OF INTERVENTIONISM

THERE HAVE BEEN many efforts over the years to develop a“third way” of managing social cooperation, a path thatwill take advantage of the efficiency of the market
process while controlling its “excesses.” The fascist movement
in Italy, National Socialism in Germany, and the New Deal in
America were all examples of the search for that path.

However, all attempts to improve market outcomes run
into the same problem that cripples the attempt to create a
socialist society, although to a lesser extent. Outside of mar-
ket prices, based on private property, there is no way to
rationally calculate how valuable an undertaking’s contribu-
tion to society’s well-being is. Arbitrary numbers can be
assigned to gauge the costs and benefits of, for instance, a
new environmental regulation, but they are just guesses. Only
real market prices convey information on the freely chosen
values of acting man.

Mises pointed out that all market interventions are likely to
produce results that are undesirable even from the point of
view of those forwarding the intervention. That is because the

1 7 7

Similer Documents