Tuesday, October 12, 2010
There are no Austrian economists
Still being completely undereducated in the "Austrian school of thought", I feel that it is natural for me to agree with Dr. Caplan. I fear that I may be biased toward his arguments, yet I have not seen any convincing reason to question it. So far, I have seen what the Austrians claim as an independent school of thought as being nothing more than a slightly different interpretation of the same principles that lead to the same general conclusions. The attempt to rid economics of the devices of science seems to me a futile attempt to banter at other economists while the rest of the world pays no attention. The difference between whether or not a tree in the woods makes a sound, and the attempt to measure the distance of that sound, is purely semantic and has no bearing on the fundamental question at hand. Economics is a philosophic study at heart, but that does not mean we cannot measure it. To say that only through observation of physical decision making in a market we are able to deduce choice and therefore in the absence of action there is no preference is preposterous. Of course you can be indifferent between two goods. Here, choose between these identical dollar bills. Of course you can measure decision making with quantitative measures. A wise young man once said “you can’t count money without math”.