Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Same here Mr. Caplan

I am certainly not an Austrian economist by any means for many of the same reasons as Bryan Caplan. However, he brought up many points in this piece that I have never considered. The most notable, in my opinion, was the topic of continuity. Mises and Rothbard, as Caplan points out, reject the idea of continuity. However, as Caplan also states, "s a mathematician will tell you, you can't differentiate a function that isn't continuous. This means that if Mises and Rothbard is correct, the pervasive use of calculus in economics must be rejected in toto." Although this would be great for any econ major dreading higher level math, it is very flawed logic that could definetely be devestating for emperical measures, which, in my opinion, is the best way to approach economic theory. However, it does not surprise me in the slightest that the Austrian perspective rejects the idea of continuity. From our last reading we learned that the Austrians seem to reject many empiracal methods. Maybe I am biased because in my field of study I scoff at theorethical work. Nevertheless, the subject of economics demands empiracal research. Attacking continuity leaves no room for changing variables or inevitabilties that might occur in economics. From what I have learned from my fellow SWEET scholars is that the economy is highly enpredictable and can act in ways we cannot imagine. This is likely why those same people reject government interferance to a large extent. If this is the case, this claim seems to be backed up by the concept of continuity.

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