Examining economic models...

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munnki
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Examining economic models...

Post by munnki » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:42 am

I'd like to have a formal discussion which will take as its topic the two dominant economic models of the 20th century which can roughly be called Keynesianist and Hayekian. I would like the discussion to make reference to the traditions that have formed around those two economic models and the influence those models have had on modern governmental planning. I would like a participant to take up the one of the models of their choosing - explain it as they understand it and explain its influence. I will do so with the other model. I would like the discussion to then take on the shape of a debate about which model is more likely to produce 'a better society' which of course will require the participant to explain their model of 'a better society'.

I would expect this conversation to make reference to the main economic thinkers of the 20th century, different governmental systems and their reaction to those models and the measurable effects of policies generated by those models on the citizenry within the various countries.

Any takers? If so, we can formalize this more. I would hope that at the tail end of the discussion we can widen things out to include the general community at the cafe.

Thanks,
Munnki

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:54 pm

We normally have a peanut gallery alongside any formal engagement so that other members can comment.

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munnki
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Post by munnki » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:10 pm

Sorry DMB I don't understand that...

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Post by DMB » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:16 pm

There are two threads. One is solely for the participants in the EE (call them A and B). The other is for everybody else to make comments on the subject and on the contributions of A and B. A and B are not allowed to join in the second thread (the (Wikipedia)peanut gallery).

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munnki
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Post by munnki » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:18 pm

Okay... gotcha... well we'll see if anybody will take this on...
:)

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Post by Jobar » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:23 pm

I'd like to read such a discussion, but I'm ridiculously unqualified to participate. I hope we have members who'd have the expertise to carry it on with you, munnki.

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Post by Celsus » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:20 pm

If you refine the proposition a bit (so we don't get dragged all over the place), I'll happily take an argument for whichever side you like.

For example:

"Hayek's central argument against collectivism that it leads to a command economy is unfounded."

Or

"Keynes' theory of aggregate demand management is not tenable in a globalised economy."

Or something: basically so there's a negative proposition for scope to deal with two sides in a relatively limited way... Otherwise your scope is currently far too large. And also, I'd rather not view them as polar opposites because I don't believe they are at all. Depending on what kind of topics you want to explore, I may be interested. I can take either side of course, but I guarantee you I'll come from a heterodox angle whichever side it's from. ;)

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Post by munnki » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:46 pm

Nice skills... give me an hour or two to think about it and i'll try to trick up the proposal. I deliberately left it open so that it could be 'sharpened'...
I myself will be coming from a Greek orthodox point of view ;)
Back with a posting in little while...

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Post by Celsus » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:58 pm

Incidentally, I've blogged a tiny bit about some stuff that's struck my fancy if you're curious about my positions, you might find hints there. Though I'm prone to telling you there's exceptions for everything I may or may not have said.

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Redshirt
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Post by Redshirt » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:32 pm

"munnki" wrote:Sorry DMB I don't understand that...


Hi munnki. To get a better sense of how it all works, check out the current formal discussion that's now underway. In the OP of that thread, you'll find a link to the Peanut Gallery thread which was stickied in the Religion forum.

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Post by BWE » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:10 pm

I'm gone this week but I'd love to do it next week.

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Post by munnki » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:41 pm

Having computer problems (my NAS is breaking down) will take me a few hours to sort...

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Post by munnki » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:53 pm

Okay Celsus... how about

The central argument in Keynes' The End of Laissez-Faire - i.e. that government can play a constructive role in protecting the individual from the crises of captialism - has been proved wrong time and again in the 20th century.

or, similarly

Hayek's fear of collectivism and government involvement in the marketplace as laid out in The Road to Serfdom has influenced decisions which led to some of the worst excesses of neoliberal capitalism.

I like focusing on particular texts and those two must surely be among the most famous of the two individuals. Please tidy/comment and write your thoughts. I have no objection to other key texts being referred to in the debate - I think a debate is better here - given the direction this is going in.

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Post by Celsus » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:05 am

Hm we may have a problem. I have neither of those texts (personally), and I'm more interested in theory and implications of their theories than (what might end up as) quibbling over the exact wording of their texts. The obvious counter to Keynes comes in two forms: 1) the Philips Curve and 2) the globalised economy and the problems with X+I and terms of trade and so discussing his General Theory in philosophical fashion will be quite difficult.

I also think the first proposition sets the proposer to fail - it should be The central argument in Keynes' The End of Laissez-Faire - i.e. that government can play a constructive role in protecting the individual from the crises of captialism - has been overwhelmed by inefficiency and enormous negative externalities generated by governments throughout the 20th century.

Now as for Hayek, here's a better idea because he was more philosophical (impractical perhaps). He criticised Von Mises for holding to utilitarian-rationalist philosophy (i.e. modernism!), which he said made Mises' critique of socialism self-defeating because pure utilitarian decision-making (a la Bentham) feeds into the 'logic' of socialism. Since I reckon philosophy is more your thing than economics, how about we discuss something along those lines? There's a brilliant essay out there by someone I can't recall who called Hayek some kind of proto-postmodernist (slightly ironically perhaps) because he recognised the modernist assumptions in both Marx and Von Mises led to difficulties with his anti-collectivist ideas. Though to be fair I think he never realised how much the logic of capitalism he pushed would have disqualified himself as an out-and-out pomo ;)

So a sample proposition that uses TRTS as its basis: Hayek's warnings against collectivism and the heading towards an authoritarian command economy are irrelevant in a postmodern economy. (I suggest the case for Mises being irrelevant is much harder to defend, along the above lines.)

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Post by munnki » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:52 am

"Celsus" wrote:Hm we may have a problem. I have neither of those texts (personally), and I'm more interested in theory and implications of their theories than (what might end up as) quibbling over the exact wording of their texts. The obvious counter to Keynes comes in two forms: 1) the Philips Curve and 2) the globalised economy and the problems with X+I and terms of trade and so discussing his General Theory in philosophical fashion will be quite difficult.

I also think the first proposition sets the proposer to fail - it should be The central argument in Keynes' The End of Laissez-Faire - i.e. that government can play a constructive role in protecting the individual from the crises of captialism - has been overwhelmed by inefficiency and enormous negative externalities generated by governments throughout the 20th century.

Now as for Hayek, here's a better idea because he was more philosophical (impractical perhaps). He criticised Von Mises for holding to utilitarian-rationalist philosophy (i.e. modernism!), which he said made Mises' critique of socialism self-defeating because pure utilitarian decision-making (a la Bentham) feeds into the 'logic' of socialism. Since I reckon philosophy is more your thing than economics, how about we discuss something along those lines? There's a brilliant essay out there by someone I can't recall who called Hayek some kind of proto-postmodernist (slightly ironically perhaps) because he recognised the modernist assumptions in both Marx and Von Mises led to difficulties with his anti-collectivist ideas. Though to be fair I think he never realised how much the logic of capitalism he pushed would have disqualified himself as an out-and-out pomo ;)

So a sample proposition that uses TRTS as its basis: Hayek's warnings against collectivism and the heading towards an authoritarian command economy are irrelevant in a postmodern economy. (I suggest the case for Mises being irrelevant is much harder to defend, along the above lines.)


Okay... I think we're on ground we can agree on here...i.e.
Hayek's warnings against collectivism and the heading towards an authoritarian command economy are irrelevant in a postmodern economy

Shall we discuss terms...?

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Post by Celsus » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:42 am

Sure.

For simplicity, can we restrict "postmodern economy" to features of mature capitalist societies from about 1990 onwards (i.e., the arrival of the 'IT' age)?

Otherwise whoever is proposing should identify the major parts of Hayek's thesis against collectivism that are to be deemed irrelevant, such that his argument collapses.

I suggest the following parameters:

1. Proposition (1500 words)
1a. Opposition (1500 words)
2. Rebuttal by Proposition (2000 words)
2a. Rebuttal by Opposition (2000 words)
3. Closing by Opposition (1500 words)
3a. Closing by Proposition (1000 words)

Which side do you want to take?

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Post by munnki » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:04 am

Sure... I'm happy with the structure ... can we agree that the word limits be +/- 300 words... and can we mutually agree to list texts or urls referred to at the bottom of the entries... timewise I'm pretty flexible but I'd like this to be of a reasonably high quality so shall we allow a number of days between each posting and, obviously, a number of days for the first posting...I'm also happy to have the proposition settled by a coin toss, in which case I nominate DMB to toss a coin and I'll choose tails... I'm sure she'll not mind... I hope this falls within the normal parameters of an exclusive engagement if not please advise...
:D

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Post by Celsus » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:22 am

That's fine by me - basically word limits are just guidelines to keep people from wandering up the garden path. ;) Give a limit of 7 days between posts (extenuating circumstances can be appealed of course) to keep it going but not too rushed? 2a-3 will be by a single poster so leave it up to that person how he wants to go about with that part as well.

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Post by DMB » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:27 pm

I tossed a Spanish 2-euro coin and it came up tails. :)

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Post by Celsus » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:42 pm

Cool!

Does this mean Munnki is the proposition or that he gets to choose? (wasn't clear on that, sorry :p )

Per the guidelines of this forum:

(1) Topic

Hayek's warnings against collectivism and the heading towards an authoritarian command economy are irrelevant in a postmodern economy

(2) Participants, positions and sequence
(4) Length in rounds
(5) Maximum statement length

Munnki, Celsus

1. Proposition (1500 words)
1a. Opposition (1500 words)

2. Rebuttal by Proposition (2000 words)
2a. Rebuttal by Opposition (2000 words)

3. Closing by Opposition (1500 words)
3a. Closing by Proposition (1000 words)

(3) Scope

Applicability of Hayek's critique against collectivism to the late 20th/21st century economy. Discussion should involve Hayek's writings/philosophy on collectivism and inherent tendency towards authoritarian economy and discuss its relation to post-1990 mature capitalist societies (ok, post-oil shock 1970s is fine by me, but I think it favours Hayek this way, at least initially :p ).

(6) Maximum duration between statements

7 days

(7) Start date

Munnki to determine - 7 days from today?

(8) Additional criteria (optional)

+/-300 word flexibility on word limits
Just a quick addition: no new arguments should be introduced in Round 3, though ones that arise out of rebuttals are acceptable.

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Post by Redshirt » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:26 pm

I just wanted to make a clarification. The word limit refers to the maximum statement length, not the expected statement length. The first round would have a word limit of 1800 words in this case.

Regarding the +/- 300 flexibility, are you saying that if someone posts 1650 words for a statement in the second round then it should be considered a parameter violation?

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Post by Celsus » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:34 pm

Oh er... I sorta copied-and-pasted that, I presume it really means "can exceed the limit by 300 words", but munnki will have to say for sure. The psychological statement of having a target well below the actual limit is worth retaining though :p

As a side point... if time permits, want to switch sides at the end of the debate and do the whole thing again but against our original positions? :) I have a feeling if I proposed the topic, I would come from a very, very different angle from munnki, so it might be an interesting exercise :D

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Post by munnki » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:45 pm

Hi...right... my first impulses are that I agree with the propostion of this motion and so therefore I'd like to oppose it. So I'm gonna ask you to propose it.. it may indeed be very interesting to repeat from opposite sides at the end but let's see how we get on with this structure and we can take it up from there at that time should be both still be enjoying it...you may begin when you wish......
Redshirt 1800 words max but with a tendency for forgiveness down to 1200 if that makes more sense... we all set?

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Post by Celsus » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:43 am

Great, that's fine by me! I was dreaming up all kinds of ways to tear the proposition apart last night but I guess I could propose instead ;)

I'll try to get a first post in this weekend, if someone will do the honours and set us up?

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Post by Redshirt » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:23 am

Here's another summary of the parameters. Celsus, I picked Saturday for the start date (the day I will start the debate thread) since you said the weekend. Feel free to suggest another date if either of you wish it.

Otherwise, we just need both of you to confirm everything below and then it will be official.

(1) Topic/resolution

Resolved: Hayek's warnings against collectivism and the heading towards an authoritarian command economy are irrelevant in a postmodern economy

(2) Participants, positions and sequence

Celsus, going first, will affirm and munnki will oppose.

(3) Scope

The debate participants will engage on the applicability of philosopher Friedrich Hayek's critique of collectivism to the late 20th and 21st century economy. Discussion should involve Hayek's writings/philosophy on collectivism and its inherent tendency towards authoritarian economy and discuss its relation to post-1990 mature capitalist societies (or optionally, post-oil shock 1970s capitalist societies).

(4) Length in rounds

Three rounds.

(5) Maximum statement length

Round 1: 1500 +/- 300 words
Round 2: 2000 +/- 300 words
Round 3: munnki has 1500 +/- 300 words; Celsus has 1000 +/- 300 words.

(6) Maximum duration between statements

1 week.

(7) Start date

Aug. 22 (opening statement is due by Aug. 29)

(8) Additional criteria

- In Round 3, munnki will go first
- Each statement must be within 300 words of the maximum statement length permitted in each round (see #5).
- Endnotes will have a separate word limit from the main statement. Up to 300 words are permitted for Rounds 1 and 3 and 400 for Round 2. The endnotes should not substantially add new arguments or provide important proof points for arguments in the main body.
Last edited by Redshirt on Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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