A blupete Essay

Concluding Note, Part 7 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Economics"

Assuming production of goods and delivery of services will flow no matter what the incentive might be, it is tough to know how to answer the central problem of economics -- How are we to distribute scarce resources? And, Who is to get what? Is it, to be done by "the sordid distinction of money..." How else is it to done? -- By "toss up, draw lots, raffle, or fight..." "The socialist literati are the one-eyed accountants who see the liabilities but not the assets in every capitalist balance sheet, and the assets but not the liabilities in every socialist balance sheet ..." In such a fashion does Prof. Hayek come to his proposition that "Mind Is Not a Guide but a Product of Cultural Evolution, and Is Based More on Imitation than on Insight or Reason." Thus, it is a "Fatal Conceit" to think that reason can dictate the mind, "and that only those moral rules are valid that reason endorses." Man is not omnipotent, and while he may want to follow his natural impulses (meant to serve him in his familial relationships) to remedy remote suffering, he cannot, in any large scale, centrally driven, do so; for, it will bring on economic ruin, and cause ultimately much more widespread suffering. We much proceed as an army surgeon must, we must, economically speaking, engage in a "triage" type of procedure, thus, allowing the most economic good to the maximum number of individuals; it is the ultimate effect of the market system, a system which will give to most of us a fulfilling and rewarding life. Certainly it will not allow us to achieve the utopian vision of a life free of all conflict and pain, nor would any other system.

The main difficulty, as Joan Robinson, Professor of Economics, Cambridge, pointed out, is that economists are not strictly enough compelled to reduce metaphysical concepts to falsifiable terms" (Robinson, of course, picks up on the philosophy of Karl Popper). Professor Robinson continues and concludes: "The leading characteristic of the idealology that dominates our society today is its extreme confusion."31

Black eyed susans have to be one of my favorite wild flowers. Along the ditch of the main road leading to Nova Scotia's picturesque south shore they grow in profusion in what appears to be the worst of soils. I have tried to dig them up and turn them lose in my garden, to no avail. It seems such attempts to intervene in spontaneous order rarely result in anything closely corresponding to a man's wish.


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Peter Landry

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2007 (2017)