Reply To: Lecture 17: Developing the principles of economic theory.


Hello Professor Herbener,

I just learned a lesson that I thought I learned many years ago regarding “saving often”…..I had just typed up a very long missive in reply to you in this thread, and I hit SUMBIT….or so I thought….and of course, here I am not seeing it posted. (hard lesson learned)

So rather than try and remember the post, or even clone my thoughts, let me just capture the basics of “most” of it.

First, I thank you for pointing me at the above article. It is wonderful, and I have read it twice and need to read it again. I am finding great insight and wisdom in it. (I wish I had more of an appreciation for history when I was growing up)

Second…..I had talked about a point in your lecture where you spoke about the Command Economy not having the price mechanism to signal the economy in order that it allocate resources to serve the needs and preferences of people….that reminded me of some of my friends at work who “escaped” from the USSR back in the 80’s and 90’s….and their description of the black market there, that everyone seemed to participate in. That exactly shows your point of not service needs….but it also shows that people, even when subjected to such an inefficient system, continue to find ways to get their preferences met. Sure, not as efficiently….but then again, their desires did not simply go away…..their desires forced them to create a parallel (albeit illegal) system to help fill them. (thank goodness for this “grand design” we have been created in….it might just lead to fulfillment, no matter the obstacles we set in our own path) So even in our hampered economy, the vestiges of whatever free-market we have will indeed work to serve the preferences / needs of people that “illegal yet still-created” black market did for those in the USSR….so the vision is to open up ALL aspects of the market so we can maximize progress.

Thirdly…..I made comment about using analysis methods from other complex systems in the analysis of others. Weather and electronics are other complex studies….and there are things like network theory and / or piece-wise linear analysis used to study complex responses to complex circuits. I noted how the progress of computer design had sort of stalled until the idea of a RISC (reduced instruction set computer) replaced the CISC (complex instruction set computer) thereby unleashing computer design in dimensions (clock rate and multi-level pipelines) that were not possible using CISC architectures. I suppose that Praxeology of the Austrian School is a similar “tool”, and so I wonder if the science of economics isn’t similar in that it grows to a point where it might perhaps “stall”, until another breakthrough thought helps define the next “step” that will further propel economic thought. (on which is can be built further) Again….it is wonderful to be part of a grand design.

I hope this posts makes it…..I have to CUT-N-PASTE it into a file just in case I botch this one too. 🙂


PS: I finally did a little looking into Grove City College, and you in so far as other things you wrote, and I suppose it was silly for me to be so worried to connect my thoughts on your post to God. (20/20 hindsight) Also, as an aside….I am always fascinated by online websites like “Rate my professor” and how it must feel to have a place where people can publicly comment on you. As an Electrical Engineer, I might have a hard time with it….but as a person who ran for and held local office, it was a part of the territory…oh, and I thought the write-ups were actually very good….when you consider the age of the folks posting, and the situation they might feel having just either succeed or not-so-successfully completed your class….they might not have the emotional depth to make the sort of assessment that themselves might give after a few more years of growth. (but even so… seem to be a very good professor)