Reply To: Bob Murphy and David Freidman debate


You’re on the right track. The Austrian view is that to make decisions about production that economize for society entrepreneur must use economic calculation. The use of resources in one line of production is justified if the revenues generated by satisfying consumer demands in that line exceed the revenues generated by satisfying consumer demands in another line of production. This occurs when an entrepreneur pays the opportunity costs of the resources (which are their prices) he uses to the resource owners and more than covers these costs with the revenues he generates from selling his outputs. Neither the production of fiat money nor fiduciary media is so regulated by profit. Their production does not require the producer to compensate for the opportunity cost others incur to allow for the satisfaction of the demand of those who issue fiat money and fiduciary media. Instead when they spend the fiat money or fiduciary media, people in general throughout the economy have their command over resources reduced to allow the issuers to have their command over resources augmented. And yet, no test has been passed to show that the value of the satisfactions gained relative to money to the issuers exceeds the value of satisfactions lost relative to money to people in general. The only test is voluntary exchange. But the issuers, who gain, do not compensate the people in general, who lose. They do not beat the opportunity costs of their actions.