Sunday, January 31, 2010

How To Have An Austrian School Economy

Salute to the Western Confucian. Full article at A Conservative Blog for Peace. Actual text by Bishop Williamson of the SSPX.

Excerpted are the seven commandments of Austrian School Economics:
  1. Thou Must Earn.
  2. Thou shalt not spend more than thou earnest.
  3. No state may make too many rules.
  4. No state may tax too much.
  5. No state may spend its way out of a recession.
  6. No state may print its way out of a recession.
  7. No state may employ its way out of a recession.
Seem like very solid rules to me. I wish we had a government that would follow them.


Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

Well, they're more like common sense than rules, but some objections could be listed to them.

1) Earn... money? Perhaps be productive would be better? But then, what about people who through no fault of their own, say Down Syndrome, cannot even produce?

2) Too many, too much are not actually defined. It would be better to say there is a rational, knowable limit to the laws and taxes that may be put upon society. Of course, even then you'll have people who believe in numbers instead of principles and claim if you can't delineate it with a specific, concrete code your principled definition somehow doesn't count. Personally, these are among the few types of people who make me tempted to say there should be qualifications for voting, but then, I know better than to think that even with those sorts of idiocies floating around.

3) WHY do we have to get these common sense notes from +Williamson?! Come on... when you have to choose between people with no common sense and holocaust deniers, you might as well give up on society altogether.

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

1. I have no issue with people whose income consists solely of things freely given to them. But they are clearly going to be the tiny minority. Even those with Down Syndrome and some Autism Spectrum disorders are able to be productive.

2. This is re: 3 and 4, of course. At the very least, these can serve as conversation starters about the rational limits on laws and taxes. While I have my own ideas about these, I would invite you to share what you think.

3. We get these from +Williamson in part because he is not entirely bereft of grace, and it would do us well to remember that. He has great love for the liturgy and the Eucharist. As I get older and read more, I am more and more convinced that the new springtime of the Church will be preceded or perhaps accompanied by an end to much of the liturgical twaddle that abounds in the Ordinary Form.

Also, I bear constantly in mind that every person on earth has useful knowledge that I do not. And when it comes to +Williamson, the things he believes that we know or have good reason to believe are false, all have to do with Jews and the Shoah.

The Shoah was extensively documented by the perpetrators, and I see no point in pretending they got it wrong, which is what +Williamson does. But that is not sufficient reason to presume he cannot be right on anything else.

Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

I suppose what bugs me is less that someone with... some odd views, to put it lightly, is speaking common sense on others, and more that there are so few people who will use common sense among the vast majority of people who, for better or for worse, tend to disregard anything related to someone who offends the social pieties.

Re. too many rules, too much taxation... There are a couple ways to go about them, actually. One method is to limit what sorts of things can be regulated by rules and what sorts of rules can regulate them; our Constitution was a good example of that... for a few generations at least... Another would be simply to forbid the making of a rule that would require a tax that would violate the taxation limit or otherwise require disproportionate effort to actually enact. I'm not as sure how to regulate taxes; actually, it's possible at least some of the Founding Fathers, to return to the US Constitution example, saw it the other way around: taxation is the power by which rules have force, ergo set the limits you would have on rules upon the taxes instead. Now I can't remember which side in the debate argued that, though, and whether the Constitution takes that method or whether that was one of the things its critics said it ought to have taken... not that it matters to the discussion of the theory.

Well, it is as you said a place to start. 8^)

some guy on the street said...

I think there's an inherent contradiction between #2 and #6; but maybe I'm just not subtle enough.

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

I'm pretty sure that in #6, "printing" specifically refers to printing money. When you're printing money, you have most certainly not earned it, regardless of whether it's legal to do so or not.

/dev/null said...

Yes, I understood #6 was against tampering with mint governance and operation. I'm afraid you're talking around the point. Perhaps I am, too...

My point is that all money is, fundamentally, borrowed, though most anyone who has it probably worked for it honestly, as did whoever payed them. My point is that the Central Bank (or Federal Reserve or whatever...) borrowed it from God or from Satan, and everything will work fine only so long as the Central Bank doesn't need to repay their loan. As long as that's what currency means, there is only printing available to keep the economy fluid; you can't get an "economy" going, with what money means these days, without someone spending money they don't really have.

Perhaps another perspective to take on what I'm trying to get at is that it's not that you shouldn't print your way out of a recession, it's that you can't print your way out of one; that the volume of circulating liquidity vs. public participation in the material economy (of actual goods and useful services) are largely unrelated things.