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Clarifying The Popularity Of Three Economic Rules

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Which rules are worthwhile?

Buchanan's Rule
23
33%
Quiggin's Rule
30
43%
Tabarrok's Rule
17
24%
 
Total votes : 70

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Xerographica
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Clarifying The Popularity Of Three Economic Rules

Postby Xerographica » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:51 pm

Surveys are very useful tools. They make it really quick and easy to clarify just how popular, or unpopular, something is. So I thought it would be helpful if we could clarify the popularity of three economic rules. Which rule is the most popular? Which rule is the least popular? Let's find out!

To try and avoid some potential confusion... I should mention that I took the liberty of naming these rules. It makes it easier to talk about them when they have names. I'm not very clever though so I simply named them after some of my favorite economists. James Buchanan was a Nobel Prize libertarian economist, John Quiggin is a liberal economist and Alex Tabarrok is a libertarian economist.

So here are their rules...

Buchanan's Rule: Using a resource one way means sacrificing the other ways that it could also be used

A nation cannot survive with political institutions that do not face up squarely to the essential fact of scarcity: It is simply impossible to promise more to one person without reducing that which is promised to others. And it is not possible to increase consumption today, at least without an increase in saving, without having less consumption tomorrow. Scarcity is indeed a fact of life, and political institutions that do not confront this fact threaten the existence of a prosperous and free society. - James Buchanan, Richard Wagner, Democracy in Deficit: The Political Legacy of Lord Keynes


Eisenhower probably put it best...

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron...Is there no other way the world may live? - Dwight D. Eisenhower



Quiggin's Rule: Society's limited resources should be put to more, rather than less, valuable uses

Even at the cost of lining up with [Tom] Friedman, I’d be pleased if the idea that war is a mostly futile waste of lives and money became conventional wisdom. Switching to utopian mode, wouldn’t it be amazing if the urge to “do something” could be channeled into, say, ending hunger in the world or universal literacy (both cheaper than even one Iraq-sized war)? - John Quiggin, War and waste



Tabarrok's Rule: Actions speak louder than words

Overall, I am for betting because I am against bullshit. Bullshit is polluting our discourse and drowning the facts. A bet costs the bullshitter more than the non-bullshitter so the willingness to bet signals honest belief. A bet is a tax on bullshit; and it is a just tax, tribute paid by the bullshitters to those with genuine knowledge. - Alex Tabarrok, A Bet is a Tax on Bullshit


In my opinion, these rules are all good rules. I think it's beneficial when we abide by them and harmful when we don't.

What do you think? Are these rules worthwhile or worthless? Do you know of any other economic rules that are more worthwhile?
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Postby Alvecia » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:05 pm

Buchanans seems less like a "rule" and more like common sense. As is Quiggins.

Tabarrok's, as previously noted, is fine in theory, but fails in practice as it fails to take into account relative wealth.

Also, abiding by rules is nice and all. But following them strictly and inflexibly is naive, short sighted and narrow minded.
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Postby Alvecia » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:09 pm

Poll could also do with a "none of the above" option.
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Postby The Liberated Territories » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:20 pm

I'm pretty sure the last is not a rule, but hey, some crazy shit happens in economics.
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Postby Xerographica » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:13 pm

The Liberated Territories wrote:I'm pretty sure the last is not a rule, but hey, some crazy shit happens in economics.

Might want to listen to this...Two Radio Guys Walk Into A Bar. Or you can just read the transcript...

SMITH: Two economists walk past a Tesla showroom, a beautiful Tesla showroom, and one of them points to a shiny car in the window and says, I want that one. And the other economist says obviously not.

KESTENBAUM: Total silence.

HARFORD: There was tumbleweed blowing across the stage during that joke.

SMITH: You're going to make me explain it? One of the worst moments of my life (laughter) it was so - my stomach hurt so bad, and you're going to make me explain it?

KESTENBAUM: Yeah, you got to explain it.

SMITH: OK, this goes back to one of the fundamental things in economics, which is this - every time you buy something, you are showing a preference. You are saying that I want that item - let's say a sweater - I want that item more than I want the $40 in my pocket.

KESTENBAUM: That's why you're doing the exchange 'cause you'd rather have the sweater than the money in your pocket.

SMITH: Exactly. So clearly, the economist in the joke didn't really want the car because if the economist really wanted the car, he would've already bought it. Here, I'm going to play this one more time.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMEDY CLUB)

SMITH: And one of them points to a shiny car in the window and says, I want that one. And the other economist says obviously not.


Here's the earliest version that I've been able to find...

The market price of every particular commodity is regulated by the proportion between the quantity which is actually brought to market, and the demand of those who are willing to pay the natural price of the commodity, or the whole value of the rent, labour, and profit, which must be paid in order to bring it thither. Such people may be called the effectual demanders, and their demand the effectual demand; since it may be sufficient to effectuate the bringing of the commodity to market. It is different from the absolute demand. A very poor man may be said in some sense to have a demand for a coach and six; he might like to have it; but his demand is not an effectual demand, as the commodity can never be brought to market in order to satisfy it. - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
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Postby Kelinfort » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:19 pm

I would say most of those are quite consistent and common sense.

However, a bet doesn't necessarily necessitate honesty. While the analogy is flawed, the law appears to be correct.

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Postby Alvecia » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:14 am

Xerographica wrote:
The Liberated Territories wrote:I'm pretty sure the last is not a rule, but hey, some crazy shit happens in economics.

Might want to listen to this...Two Radio Guys Walk Into A Bar. Or you can just read the transcript...

SMITH: Two economists walk past a Tesla showroom, a beautiful Tesla showroom, and one of them points to a shiny car in the window and says, I want that one. And the other economist says obviously not.

KESTENBAUM: Total silence.

HARFORD: There was tumbleweed blowing across the stage during that joke.

SMITH: You're going to make me explain it? One of the worst moments of my life (laughter) it was so - my stomach hurt so bad, and you're going to make me explain it?

KESTENBAUM: Yeah, you got to explain it.

SMITH: OK, this goes back to one of the fundamental things in economics, which is this - every time you buy something, you are showing a preference. You are saying that I want that item - let's say a sweater - I want that item more than I want the $40 in my pocket.

KESTENBAUM: That's why you're doing the exchange 'cause you'd rather have the sweater than the money in your pocket.

SMITH: Exactly. So clearly, the economist in the joke didn't really want the car because if the economist really wanted the car, he would've already bought it. Here, I'm going to play this one more time.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMEDY CLUB)

SMITH: And one of them points to a shiny car in the window and says, I want that one. And the other economist says obviously not.


Here's the earliest version that I've been able to find...

The market price of every particular commodity is regulated by the proportion between the quantity which is actually brought to market, and the demand of those who are willing to pay the natural price of the commodity, or the whole value of the rent, labour, and profit, which must be paid in order to bring it thither. Such people may be called the effectual demanders, and their demand the effectual demand; since it may be sufficient to effectuate the bringing of the commodity to market. It is different from the absolute demand. A very poor man may be said in some sense to have a demand for a coach and six; he might like to have it; but his demand is not an effectual demand, as the commodity can never be brought to market in order to satisfy it. - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations


Again, pointing out that this being the case, demand is not an efficient method of determining who should have what in all things. It would work for items that are not needed, but desired. But not items that are needed.
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Postby Xerographica » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:17 am

Alvecia wrote:Buchanans seems less like a "rule" and more like common sense. As is Quiggins.

Alvecia wrote:Again, pointing out that this being the case, demand is not an efficient method of determining who should have what in all things. It would work for items that are not needed, but desired. But not items that are needed.

Imagine if every member on this forum was stranded on an island and there were only two goods... fish (necessity) and dancing (luxury). You think that demand should determine how many people dance... but you also think that not-demand should determine how many people fish. Except... according to Buchanan's Rule... if somebody's dancing then they can't also be fishing. At least not that well.

If there are 500 of us on the island... and we use demand to determine that 400 people should be dancing... then... what would not-demand tell us about how many people should be fishing? If not-demand tells us that 100 people or less should be fishing... then not-demand is entirely redundant. It's telling us exactly what demand already told us. But if not-demand tells us that more than 100 people should be fishing... then demand isn't redundant... it's straight up wrong and we should get rid of it.
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Postby Chestaan » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:19 am

Xerographica wrote:Surveys are very useful tools. They make it really quick and easy to clarify just how popular, or unpopular, something is. So I thought it would be helpful if we could clarify the popularity of three economic rules. Which rule is the most popular? Which rule is the least popular? Let's find out!

To try and avoid some potential confusion... I should mention that I took the liberty of naming these rules. It makes it easier to talk about them when they have names. I'm not very clever though so I simply named them after some of my favorite economists. James Buchanan was a Nobel Prize libertarian economist, John Quiggin is a liberal economist and Alex Tabarrok is a libertarian economist.

So here are their rules...

Buchanan's Rule: Using a resource one way means sacrificing the other ways that it could also be used

A nation cannot survive with political institutions that do not face up squarely to the essential fact of scarcity: It is simply impossible to promise more to one person without reducing that which is promised to others. And it is not possible to increase consumption today, at least without an increase in saving, without having less consumption tomorrow. Scarcity is indeed a fact of life, and political institutions that do not confront this fact threaten the existence of a prosperous and free society. - James Buchanan, Richard Wagner, Democracy in Deficit: The Political Legacy of Lord Keynes


Eisenhower probably put it best...

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron...Is there no other way the world may live? - Dwight D. Eisenhower



Quiggin's Rule: Society's limited resources should be put to more, rather than less, valuable uses

Even at the cost of lining up with [Tom] Friedman, I’d be pleased if the idea that war is a mostly futile waste of lives and money became conventional wisdom. Switching to utopian mode, wouldn’t it be amazing if the urge to “do something” could be channeled into, say, ending hunger in the world or universal literacy (both cheaper than even one Iraq-sized war)? - John Quiggin, War and waste



Tabarrok's Rule: Actions speak louder than words

Overall, I am for betting because I am against bullshit. Bullshit is polluting our discourse and drowning the facts. A bet costs the bullshitter more than the non-bullshitter so the willingness to bet signals honest belief. A bet is a tax on bullshit; and it is a just tax, tribute paid by the bullshitters to those with genuine knowledge. - Alex Tabarrok, A Bet is a Tax on Bullshit


In my opinion, these rules are all good rules. I think it's beneficial when we abide by them and harmful when we don't.

What do you think? Are these rules worthwhile or worthless? Do you know of any other economic rules that are more worthwhile?


The first one is usually called opportunity cost by economists.
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Postby Neutraligon » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:08 am

Xerographica wrote:Surveys are very useful tools. They make it really quick and easy to clarify just how popular, or unpopular, something is. So I thought it would be helpful if we could clarify the popularity of three economic rules. Which rule is the most popular? Which rule is the least popular? Let's find out!

To try and avoid some potential confusion... I should mention that I took the liberty of naming these rules. It makes it easier to talk about them when they have names. I'm not very clever though so I simply named them after some of my favorite economists. James Buchanan was a Nobel Prize libertarian economist, John Quiggin is a liberal economist and Alex Tabarrok is a libertarian economist.

So here are their rules...

Buchanan's Rule: Using a resource one way means sacrificing the other ways that it could also be used

A nation cannot survive with political institutions that do not face up squarely to the essential fact of scarcity: It is simply impossible to promise more to one person without reducing that which is promised to others. And it is not possible to increase consumption today, at least without an increase in saving, without having less consumption tomorrow. Scarcity is indeed a fact of life, and political institutions that do not confront this fact threaten the existence of a prosperous and free society. - James Buchanan, Richard Wagner, Democracy in Deficit: The Political Legacy of Lord Keynes


Eisenhower probably put it best...

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron...Is there no other way the world may live? - Dwight D. Eisenhower



Quiggin's Rule: Society's limited resources should be put to more, rather than less, valuable uses

Even at the cost of lining up with [Tom] Friedman, I’d be pleased if the idea that war is a mostly futile waste of lives and money became conventional wisdom. Switching to utopian mode, wouldn’t it be amazing if the urge to “do something” could be channeled into, say, ending hunger in the world or universal literacy (both cheaper than even one Iraq-sized war)? - John Quiggin, War and waste



Tabarrok's Rule: Actions speak louder than words

Overall, I am for betting because I am against bullshit. Bullshit is polluting our discourse and drowning the facts. A bet costs the bullshitter more than the non-bullshitter so the willingness to bet signals honest belief. A bet is a tax on bullshit; and it is a just tax, tribute paid by the bullshitters to those with genuine knowledge. - Alex Tabarrok, A Bet is a Tax on Bullshit


In my opinion, these rules are all good rules. I think it's beneficial when we abide by them and harmful when we don't.

What do you think? Are these rules worthwhile or worthless? Do you know of any other economic rules that are more worthwhile?


1. One is clearly true
2. Has the issue of what is considered more valuable
3. I completely disagree with. We can see examples of this in extremists within a larger group.
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Postby Alvecia » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:46 am

Xerographica wrote:
Alvecia wrote:Buchanans seems less like a "rule" and more like common sense. As is Quiggins.

Alvecia wrote:Again, pointing out that this being the case, demand is not an efficient method of determining who should have what in all things. It would work for items that are not needed, but desired. But not items that are needed.

Imagine if every member on this forum was stranded on an island and there were only two goods... fish (necessity) and dancing (luxury). You think that demand should determine how many people dance... but you also think that not-demand should determine how many people fish. Except... according to Buchanan's Rule... if somebody's dancing then they can't also be fishing. At least not that well.

If there are 500 of us on the island... and we use demand to determine that 400 people should be dancing... then... what would not-demand tell us about how many people should be fishing? If not-demand tells us that 100 people or less should be fishing... then not-demand is entirely redundant. It's telling us exactly what demand already told us. But if not-demand tells us that more than 100 people should be fishing... then demand isn't redundant... it's straight up wrong and we should get rid of it.


In your scenario I think that a better system would be to rotate the fishing duty so that a different 100 are fishing each week, everyone else can dance if they want to.
That way, there is enough fish for everyone to not die, and people still have an opportunity to dance should they wish.
Knowing the demand is not necessary and everyone gets what they need and are allowed to get what they want.
Seems much more efficient.
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Postby Alvecia » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:48 am

Chestaan wrote:
Xerographica wrote:Surveys are very useful tools. They make it really quick and easy to clarify just how popular, or unpopular, something is. So I thought it would be helpful if we could clarify the popularity of three economic rules. Which rule is the most popular? Which rule is the least popular? Let's find out!

To try and avoid some potential confusion... I should mention that I took the liberty of naming these rules. It makes it easier to talk about them when they have names. I'm not very clever though so I simply named them after some of my favorite economists. James Buchanan was a Nobel Prize libertarian economist, John Quiggin is a liberal economist and Alex Tabarrok is a libertarian economist.

So here are their rules...

Buchanan's Rule: Using a resource one way means sacrificing the other ways that it could also be used



Eisenhower probably put it best...




Quiggin's Rule: Society's limited resources should be put to more, rather than less, valuable uses




Tabarrok's Rule: Actions speak louder than words



In my opinion, these rules are all good rules. I think it's beneficial when we abide by them and harmful when we don't.

What do you think? Are these rules worthwhile or worthless? Do you know of any other economic rules that are more worthwhile?


The first one is usually called opportunity cost by economists.

That had occurred to me as well. Opportunity cost is used a lot I business.
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Postby Xerographica » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:38 pm

Chestaan wrote:The first one is usually called opportunity cost by economists.

The first one is actually called "scarcity" by economists. That's exactly what Buchanan called it in the OP. But I prefer the term "Buchanan's Law" (BL) because it feels... less ambiguous.

"Opportunity cost" and BL are very closely related. In fact, the Wikipedia entry for opportunity cost has a quote from Buchanan in the intro...

Opportunity cost is a key concept in economics, and has been described as expressing "the basic relationship between scarcity and choice". The notion of opportunity cost plays a crucial part in ensuring that scarce resources are used efficiently.

Here's the extended version of that quote...

The concept of opportunity cost (or alternative cost) expresses the basic relationship between scarcity and choice. If no object or activity that is valued by anyone is scarce, all demands for all persons and in all periods can be satisfied. There is no need to choose among separately valued options; there is no need for social coordination processes that will effectively determine which demands have priority. In this fantasized setting without scarcity, there are no opportunities or alternatives that are missed, forgone, or sacrificed. - James M. Buchanan


We can break it down like this...

1. Using your time to read this thread means sacrificing the other ways that you could also spend your time (BL)
2. If you're reading this... then evidently you decided that doing so (X) is more valuable than the alternative uses of your time (Y). You decided that X > Y
3. Y is the opportunity cost of X. In other words... Y is how much you had to pay in order to read this thread.

It stands to reason that you shouldn't do X if Y is greater than X. If Y is greater than X... then you should sacrifice X. This is where the second rule comes into play...

Quiggin's Rule (QR): Society's limited resources should be put to more, rather than less, valuable uses.

QR should hopefully beg the question of how, exactly, do we accurately determine the value of the various possible uses of society's limited resources. Which is where the third rule comes into play....

Tabarrok's Rule (TR): Actions speak louder than words

...or...

Tabarrok's Rule (TR): Spending speaks louder than voting

We can only accurately determine the value of the various possible uses of society's limited resources when each and every person is free to decide for themselves, with their own resources, whether X (ie war) is greater than Y (ie public education).
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Postby Alvecia » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:57 pm

Xerographica wrote:Tabarrok's Rule (TR): Actions speak louder than words

...or...

Tabarrok's Rule (TR): Spending speaks louder than voting

We can only accurately determine the value of the various possible uses of society's limited resources when each and every person is free to decide for themselves, with their own resources, whether X (ie war) is greater than Y (ie public education).


Except as noted several times before, spending does not take into account relative wealth and wealth disparity, and would give more power to rich people by virtue of being rich.

Spending speaks louder than words is no different from saying rich people should have more power because they are rich, which is begging the question.
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Postby Xerographica » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:53 pm

Alvecia wrote:Except as noted several times before, spending does not take into account relative wealth and wealth disparity, and would give more power to rich people by virtue of being rich.

Spending speaks louder than words is no different from saying rich people should have more power because they are rich, which is begging the question.

If wealth was randomly distributed... then I'd have absolutely no problem with redistribution. But I really don't think that wealth is randomly distributed. Instead, I think it's rationally distributed. And by this I mean that, more often than not, people endeavor to spend their money on the most valuable option. To put it differently... few people truly enjoy being ripped off. I sure don't enjoy being ripped off. Do you enjoy being ripped off?

Because few people enjoy being ripped off... most people endeavor to shop around. They try and get the most bang for their buck. As a result of this process.... consumer choice largely determines the distribution of wealth.

Unfortunately.... because most people don't truly understand/appreciate one or more of the rules in the OP... society ends up using voting to override their spending decisions. Massive amounts of society's limited resources end up in the wrong hands... and we're all worse off as a result.

Poverty is the logical, but extremely detrimental, consequence of overriding people's spending decisions. The problem is that you really don't recognize that your solution to poverty is actually the cause of poverty. Your willingness to disregard people's spending decisions results in the inefficient allocation of resources... which is the cause of poverty.
Last edited by Xerographica on Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alvecia
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Postby Alvecia » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:53 pm

Xerographica wrote:
Alvecia wrote:Except as noted several times before, spending does not take into account relative wealth and wealth disparity, and would give more power to rich people by virtue of being rich.

Spending speaks louder than words is no different from saying rich people should have more power because they are rich, which is begging the question.

If wealth was randomly distributed... then I'd have absolutely no problem with redistribution. But I really don't think that wealth is randomly distributed. Instead, I think it's rationally distributed. And by this I mean that, more often than not, people endeavor to spend their money on the most valuable option. To put it differently... few people truly enjoy being ripped off. I sure don't enjoy being ripped off. Do you enjoy being ripped off?


The only relevant point here is the "people endeavor to spend money on the most valuable option".
I think you need to clarify this actually. What do you mean by valuable? Valuable monetarily? Because if so then I disagree. I think people will endeavor to spend the most on what is valuable to them which differs from person to person.

Xerographica wrote:
Because few people enjoy being ripped off... most people endeavor to shop around. They try and get the most bang for their buck. As a result of this process.... consumer choice largely determines the distribution of wealth.

This is simply not the case. Distribution of wealth is so much more complicated than that, and is dependant on a large number of factors of which consumer choice is very far down the list.

Xerographica wrote:
Unfortunately.... because most people don't truly understand/appreciate one or more of the rules in the OP... society ends up using voting to override their spending decisions. Massive amounts of society's limited resources end up in the wrong hands... and we're all worse off as a result.

I don't exactly disagree. What I disagree with is that your third rule would do a better job. Of anything, it will make us even worse off when applied practically. Voting is by far the most efficient and most representative of the two.

Xerographica wrote:
Poverty is the logical, but extremely detrimental, consequence of overriding people's spending decisions. The problem is that you really don't recognize that your solution to poverty is actually the cause of poverty. Your willingness to disregard people's spending decisions results in the inefficient allocation of resources... which is the cause of poverty.


Again I think that using spending instead of voting or redistribution would be less efficient, less representative of both need and want, and is far more corruptible.
I see no practical application where spending should replace voting. I'm highlighting replace because that's an important qualifier that you shouldn't overlook.
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New confederate ramenia
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Postby New confederate ramenia » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:26 pm

First is accurate. Second seems a bit like advocacy for a planned economy, but it's good. Third looks like bullshit.
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Skogin Federation of the Twelve Duchies
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Postby Skogin Federation of the Twelve Duchies » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:45 pm

Alvecia wrote:
Chestaan wrote:
The first one is usually called opportunity cost by economists.

That had occurred to me as well. Opportunity cost is used a lot I business.

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Postby Xerographica » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:31 am

Alvecia wrote:I don't exactly disagree. What I disagree with is that your third rule would do a better job. Of anything, it will make us even worse off when applied practically. Voting is by far the most efficient and most representative of the two.

You agree with the first rule...

Buchanan's Rule: Using a resource one way means sacrificing the other ways that it could also be used

... and you agree with the second rule...

Quiggin's Rule: Society's limited resources should be put to more, rather than less, valuable uses

... but you disagree with the third rule...

Tabarrok's Rule: Actions speak louder than words

You think that voting speaks louder than spending. Let's say that people voted for war. The government asked the people, "Do you want war?" and the people answered "Yes!"

Because you agree with the first rule... you agree that all the resources used for war will have to be taken from other uses... such as the production of food, computers and homes. The question is... how do you ensure that these other uses are less valuable than war? You can't. Voting just communicates what people want... it doesn't allow people to communicate how much they value war compared to the alternative uses of society's limited resources. As a result... voting guarantees that Quiggin's Rule will be violated.

So you're welcome to disagree with the third rule... but this means that you must also disagree with the second rule as well.
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Postby Risottia » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:38 am

Alvecia wrote:Buchanans seems less like a "rule" and more like common sense. As is Quiggins.
Tabarrok's, as previously noted, is fine in theory, but fails in practice as it fails to take into account relative wealth.


Basically this: these "rules" are trivial or generic mottos. No scientific value whatsoever. Well, calling sociology and economics "sciences" would be quite a stretch, but there you are.
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Alvecia
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Postby Alvecia » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:53 am

Xerographica wrote:
Alvecia wrote:I don't exactly disagree. What I disagree with is that your third rule would do a better job. Of anything, it will make us even worse off when applied practically. Voting is by far the most efficient and most representative of the two.

You agree with the first rule...

Buchanan's Rule: Using a resource one way means sacrificing the other ways that it could also be used

... and you agree with the second rule...

Quiggin's Rule: Society's limited resources should be put to more, rather than less, valuable uses

... but you disagree with the third rule...

Tabarrok's Rule: Actions speak louder than words

You think that voting speaks louder than spending. Let's say that people voted for war. The government asked the people, "Do you want war?" and the people answered "Yes!"

Because you agree with the first rule... you agree that all the resources used for war will have to be taken from other uses... such as the production of food, computers and homes. The question is... how do you ensure that these other uses are less valuable than war? You can't. Voting just communicates what people want... it doesn't allow people to communicate how much they value war compared to the alternative uses of society's limited resources. As a result... voting guarantees that Quiggin's Rule will be violated.

So you're welcome to disagree with the third rule... but this means that you must also disagree with the second rule as well.


Not necessarily true. If someone thinks war is valuable then voting to go to war would not violate rule 1 or 2.
Because you've not yet defined valuable, two people can vote for opposite actions and still not violate rule 1 or 2.
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Postby Celseon » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:44 am

When you say things like "Pragmatarianism can solve global climate change" you're saying "People would, given the opportunity, allocate their tax money toward the cause of controlling global climate change." When the polling data showed that this wasn't the case, that only a small proportion of the US population are concerned about global climate change as a threat to their society and standard of living (and further that another part is convinced global climate change doesn't even exist) you basically ignored the point. When the subject of the Iraq War then came up after you said "Pragmatarianism could solve needless wars!" the polling data was again against you, contradicting the claim that people would, broadly speaking, have withdrawn their tax dollars from the US Dept. of Defence, President, and Congress until forces were either withdrawn (if the invasion had already happened) or the invasion plans were cancelled (if it hadn't). On that you did offer a response, but merely by noting that high income earners contribute a large proportion of government receipts. That doesn't really match up with your claim that you're interested in clarifying the true will of the people by having them communicate their preferences directly rather than having representatives make decisions unilaterally, because it implies you're actually more interested in realising the will of the rich (i.e. you're a plutocrat). If all but the wealthy supported war in Iraq or disregarding global climate change, but the wealthy directed more tax money toward global climate change research and away from the war in Iraq, the system would have actually run contrary to the will of the people. Finally, you responded to a note that people don't generally know much about the people running companies they're buying things from, instead more often associating firms with things like branding, trademarks, and marketing campaigns, as though this implied they distributed their money randomly. When people make purchasing decisions they tend to examine factors such as convenience versus relative price, quality or quantity per unit, and relative need, and aren't generally paying attention to who's in charge of each company that produces/distributes each brand of everything they buy when making these decisions. I didn't say that people were allocating their money randomly. I said that people aren't necessarily endorsing other people with their purchases, instead making their decisions based on other factors that I listed then and have now listed again. I said that the people who become rich haven't necessarily gotten there, nor do they necessarily stay there, because the people willed it to be so in some sort of bizarre market-based election or because they were simply more intelligent. To show that's the case I noted people who've gotten their wealth by illicit means and people who've maintained their wealth not due to cleverness, but rather to having access to superior financial planning resources.

This entire thread is predicated on a lie about the criticisms others and I've been leveling against you, and frankly this is becoming sad. This is what, the third thread now? And you've done exactly what I said you'd do: started up another thread and begun to pretend criticisms leveled against you never happened.
Last edited by Celseon on Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:56 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Alvecia
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Postby Alvecia » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:09 am

Celseon wrote:
When you say things like "Pragmatarianism can solve global climate change" you're saying "People would, given the opportunity, allocate their tax money toward the cause of controlling global climate change." When the polling data showed that this wasn't the case, that only a small proportion of the US population are concerned about global climate change as a threat to their society and standard of living (and further that another part is convinced global climate change doesn't even exist) you basically ignored the point. When the subject of the Iraq War then came up after you said "Pragmatarianism could solve needless wars!" the polling data was again against you, contradicting the claim that people would, broadly speaking, have withdrawn their tax dollars from the US Dept. of Defence, President, and Congress until forces were either withdrawn (if the invasion had already happened) or the invasion plans were cancelled (if it hadn't). On that you did offer a response, but merely by noting that high income earners contribute a large proportion of government receipts. That doesn't really match up with your claim that you're interested in clarifying the true will of the people by having them communicate their preferences directly rather than having representatives make decisions unilaterally, because it implies you're actually more interested in realising the will of the rich (i.e. you're a plutocrat). If all but the wealthy supported war in Iraq or disregarding global climate change, but the wealthy directed more tax money toward global climate change research and away from the war in Iraq, the system would have actually run contrary to the will of the people. Finally, you responded to a note that people don't generally know much about the people running companies they're buying things from, instead more often associating firms with things like branding, trademarks, and marketing campaigns, as though this implied they distributed their money randomly. When people make purchasing decisions they tend to examine factors such as convenience versus relative price, quality or quantity per unit, and relative need, and aren't generally paying attention to who's in charge of each company that produces/distributes each brand of everything they buy when making these decisions. I didn't say that people were allocating their money randomly. I said that people aren't necessarily endorsing other people with their purchases, instead making their decisions based on other factors that I listed then and have now listed again. I said that the people who become rich haven't necessarily gotten there, nor do they necessarily stay there, because the people willed it to be so in some sort of bizarre market-based election or because they were simply more intelligent. To show that's the case I noted people who've gotten their wealth by illicit means and people who've maintained their wealth not due to cleverness, but rather to having access to superior financial planning resources.

This entire thread is predicated on a lie about the criticisms others and I've been leveling against you, and frankly this is becoming sad. This is what, the third thread now? And you've done exactly what I said you'd do: started up another thread and begun to pretend criticisms leveled against you never happened.


Some people just can't let go of their pet theories. When you've invested such time and effort into something you will do anything to defend it, even if it means closing your eyes and ears to the truth.
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Celseon
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Postby Celseon » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:25 am

Alvecia wrote:Some people just can't let go of their pet theories. When you've invested such time and effort into something you will do anything to defend it, even if it means closing your eyes and ears to the truth.


Well, he's coming off like Glenn Beck at his infamous chalkboard at this point.

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The Joseon Dynasty
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Postby The Joseon Dynasty » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:26 am

Risottia wrote:
Alvecia wrote:Buchanans seems less like a "rule" and more like common sense. As is Quiggins.
Tabarrok's, as previously noted, is fine in theory, but fails in practice as it fails to take into account relative wealth.


Basically this: these "rules" are trivial or generic mottos. No scientific value whatsoever. Well, calling sociology and economics "sciences" would be quite a stretch, but there you are.

Don't be misled into thinking this thread has anything to do with actual economics.
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