Forum Replies Created
October 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm in reply to: The Minimum Wage #17244
Thanks MichaelP. That definitely makes sense in regard to the 1st objection. It actually disappears as an objection when you look at it like you said.
Welfare does seem to be a different animal, but people will often use that trick of switching the topic or bringing in another factor to avoid dealing with the minimum wage arguments head on. Thanks again for the response.October 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm in reply to: Predatory Pricing #15790
How about the claim that the Diamond Mining company is a monopoly? I don’t remember the name of the industry, but I think Milton Friedman even used to say this was one example of true monopoly.
And a widespread common objection (and defense of anti-trust laws) is the fact that many industries have barriers to entry. That is, it takes an awful lot to whip up something to even compete with them so businesses won’t try. How would you guys answer that?October 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm in reply to: Did the states REALLY have the right to secede? #14880
Brion or Tom could you address these objections when you have a chance?October 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm in reply to: Factors Fueling American Industrialization – Govt Intervention/Laissez Faire #15849
Well I think an indictment of tariffs across the board is the most appropriate response. There may be a specific article about a good that was taxed that got more expensive for consumers or something. But usually the benefits of what would have happened without the tariff go unseen. Moreover, we wouldn’t want people to think that the absence of some article against a specific tariff is an endorsement of that tariff’s success. But glad to see we agree on this in general.
Hopefully an expert or someone can provide a citation of something to further your case!October 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm in reply to: Factors Fueling American Industrialization – Govt Intervention/Laissez Faire #15847
It’s great to see a U.S. History teacher on Liberty Classroom! Let’s give our kids the real American History!
The basic theoretical point (Hazlitt has all the basics in Economics in One Lesson): Tariffs hinder production and increases in the standard of living. If consumers can buy sweaters for $30 that are imported rather than buy domestic sweaters for $50, then they have $20 left over to save, invest, or purchase something else. When the govt uses a tariff and to bump up the price of foreign sweaters, then consumers don’t have as much leftover money to save, invest or purchase something else. However, we want consumers to have the extra money because when they save, invest, and purchase other items that gives other businesses a chance to produce and sell goods that otherwise would have gone un-produced or un-sold. Ultimately, productivity is what allows for increases in the standard of living.
Also, a separate issue is that countries frequently issue tariffs in retaliation. So, the consumers lose twice because the have to pay higher prices on more than one item (on sweaters AND shoes for example).
The experts can probably articulate that better than I did above, but that is the gist!October 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm in reply to: Public Sector Unions #19254
Interesting. The one seems to say that we shouldn’t side for or against public sector unions, since it is government beating up government. So, I guess we shouldn’t support Governor Walker type actions?October 13, 2012 at 5:54 am in reply to: are Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid sustainable? #19267
Interesting comment. People responding usually bring up the massive amount of unfunded liabilities at this point. But this author would probably retort that if we keep running surpluses, we can handle all liabilities because the bills don’t all come due at once.October 12, 2012 at 10:18 am in reply to: The Liar's Paradox #19015
Dr. Casey, thanks very much for your analogy. I do find it helpful. And for the record, I don’t think string theory is the answer.
And I think you pointed out an important point above. Since if we were to judge the meaning of a sentence based on how “people” interpreted it, then it depends on which people we choose. Would it be better to define the meaning of a sentence as “the content that the sentence’s author intended to convey?” But then that gets all subjective too if you have an author that uses nonsense word order to convey meaning, like government code words and stuff. Oh boy this is confusing.
It’s funny because I really do find all these specific cases and special circumstances fascinating, but I realize it would be more useful to learn the basics of the formal system first before getting into those things. Thanks again for the responses.October 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm in reply to: The Liar's Paradox #19012
Also, I credit both David and Dr. Casey for (3) and (4) in the solution above. Thanks!October 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm in reply to: The Liar's Paradox #19011
David Konietzko: Thanks very much for your brief reply above. I agree that when someone says, “This sentence is false” it is in no way clear what the content of the sentence is, so there is nothing of which anything is affirmed. However, just because it is UNCLEAR that the sentence has an intelligible content, does not necessitate that it HAS NO INTELLIGIBLE content. So, it seems you are begging the question when you say “this sentence doesn’t even have an intelligible content.” Do you agree? I know this may seem like word games, but I am sincerely interested in your response to that.
Dr. Casey: Thanks for a very well thought out and thorough response. I actually find your solution very satisfying (the one where you say the sentence implies contradiction either way and is therefore false). That has the ring of Russell’s paradox in Set Theory, and it certainly seems to be a viable argument.
The thought of ALL THOSE DIFFERENT LOGICS is quite disturbing. I thought since logic is the science of necessary inference (proper thinking) that we could rely on it to yield certain truths. But with so many logics to choose from, where does that leave us???
My attempt at Synthesis in Solving the Liar’s Paradox:
(1) Let L = “This sentence is false”
(2) It is not clear if L has intelligible content.
(3) If L has no intelligible content, then it is not a proposition since it contains nothing that is affirmed or denied of something else.
(4) If L has intelligible content, then employ Dr. Casey’s solution (i.e. If the sentence is false, then it is true [contradiction], and If it is true, then it is false [contradiction]) to show that the statement is meaningless. I.e. just stringing words together does not necessarily make a proposition, and in this case no proposition has been made. Just like in Set theory, merely defining a set with a property does not prove the set’s existence.
(5) Since L is not a proposition, it does not fall within the realm of the law of excluded middle.October 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm in reply to: Purpose of government #19257
Some might say that the Constitution had always been thought of as a living, breathing document that ought to change with the times. That the government powers were not limited to a mere list in Article I Section 8, but rather their powers were elastic and could be stretched for the good and needs of the people.
TO THE CONTRARY, the founders did not believe this. Most important, the states ratifying the constitution did not believe this. They believed they were ratifying a document that gave the Federal government specific enumerated powers.
James Madison said the Federal government’s powers under the constitution were “few and defined.” Edmund Randolph, future attorney general of the U.S. at the time of the ratification campaign, said the Federal government had only the powers “expressly delegated” to it. [These are straight out of Kevin Gutzman’s Ratification campaign lecture].
I’m sure people on here will have some excellent reading recommendations, but a few that are probably good that I have not got around to reading yet are:
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution – By Kevin Gutzman
The Founding Father’s Guide to the Constitution – By Brion McClanahanOctober 11, 2012 at 10:07 am in reply to: The Liar's Paradox #19008
Yes that is the typical reply. But why does it fail Dr. Casey’s definition for proposition?
If a proposition is “Something that is affirmed or denied of something else,” then why is “This sentence is false” not something that is affirmed or denied of something else?
Couldn’t someone argue that the “something” is “this sentence” and the “something else” is “false.”
I agree that it is meaningless, but I would love to be able to explain why it is NOT a proposition according to how we define propositions.October 11, 2012 at 1:40 am in reply to: Honest Critique of Austrian Economics #17225
Good find JamesHarrySchaeffer. Bob Murphy has a great way of putting complicated things in simple terms.October 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm in reply to: What exactly is an unfunded liability? #17219
I believe the total unfunded liabilities refers to ALL of the future payments old.
A typical response from someone about the 200+ trillion number would be to say that since the bills do not all come due at the same time (i.e. people retire go on medicare/SS at various ages), then it’s not really a problem since we just make the payments that need to be made as we go. Not sure exactly how I would respond to that.October 10, 2012 at 9:58 am in reply to: Honest Critique of Austrian Economics #17223
If you search Bryan Caplan, he is probably the most well known scholarly critique of the Austrian School. He is one of few tries to fully understand their arguments before critiquing them.
He has a famous essay, “Why I am Not an Austrian Economist” which I’m not sure has been refuted in print by anyone from the Austrian School.
There probably are many other critics, but he is one I have seen. He also has a debate on youtube where he goes against Pete Boettke, an Austrian from George Mason University.