Sunday, December 28, 2008

Economic Stupidity Does Not Exist

Libertarians generally agree that some individuals close-mindedly reject Austrian economics due to their aversion to extreme ideologies. This motivates the libertarians to call these situations causing from "economically ignorance," or ecognorance, what Michael Wiebe calls it.

For many libertarians, some say that there exists some "economically stupid" individuals. Economic stupidity, however, does not exist. General stupidity, can exist, but the specific economic stupidity, does not. No one has economic stupidity, since, by definition, in order for one to seem stupid, he has to appear stupid at all scientific and logical realms, not only in economics. Therefore, an individual must either have economic ignorance or general stupidity, not economic stupidity, since it does not exist.

The modern leftists, in fact, have extreme economic ignorance that may sometimes display themselves as generally stupid. Yes, this may seem true at times, since they often resort to emotional fallacies. Most of the modern leftists, however, would actually understand Austrian economics if they feel more open-minded about libertarianism. This shows that the leftists can understand Austrian economics, and proves that most of them do not have "stupidity" as defined as incapability, not close-mindedness, to understand Austrian economics.

So most of the leftists can understand Austrian economics if they chose to. But why would they close-mindedly reject libertarian ideology, as a whole? This has many causes, but the primary causes include the vulgar libertarian movement, as we will explain below, and the empirical/historical fallacies that libertarians use to defend their position.

Most libertarians would likely fall into the trap to defend that the current distribution of wealth would continue to similarly exist in a free market. This defense often shows up when debating health care and welfare topics. Instead of realizing that almost everyone would possess many times more wealth and would afford health care in a free market, the libertarians, however, would often defend the current American health care system and propose a welfare system funded by private charity.

This type of argument, however, would resort to problems. The "quality of health care," for example, differs from individual to individual. While the American may arrogantly claim that socialized health care would result in "slow waiting times," the Canadian would attempt to refute his claim, revealing evidence that he, in fact, did not wait very long. When the American, again, arrogantly claim that Canadian health care has low quality, the Canadian would attempt to refute it, by defending specific scenarios when the Canadian health care performs better. This debate would go on and on, making specific claims about each others system, until the Canadian exhausted his patience, and he would never again, try to confront a libertarian anymore. No one can "objectively" appraise his own or another's health care system.

The above scenario, however, demonstrates an inherent fallacy, resting on a huge mistaken assumption. The American, in refuting Canadian "socialized health care," implied that the United States has a free market health care system. But in fact, as you all may know, that the U.S. has a corporatist system that does not, in any way, resemble the free market.

While the American may have knew that the U.S. does not have a free market, he somewhat unconsciously "defended" the U.S. health care system. By arguing that while the Canadian "socialized care" has the supposed long waiting times, he implied that the U.S. does not have socialized health care (i.e. free market health care) and has short waiting times.

The conflation of the free market with corporatism, as with the health care example, occurs too often among libertarians. In fact, this occurs in even many of the self-identified left-libertarians. For example, David Z., a left-libertarian, acted like a vulgar libertarian when he unconsciously defended the U.S. health care system by denying that U.S. already has socialized health care. Kevin Carson termed this behavior as vulgar libertarianism, which means the defense of the current economic inequality and conflation of corporatism with the free market.

The empirical/historical arguments exemplify another reason of why the health care debate fails. Because the American and the Canadian use empirical arguments to examine the quality of health care systems, and since empirical examples have a hard time to advocate or refute, it will result in a convoluted discussion. And, because no discussion of theory exists, the Canadian might "subjectively" value his system better, with no knowledge of how bureaucracies and subsidized contractors of health care services causes massive inefficiency.

But socialized health care proponents primarily defend their position from a fallacious assumption in economic inequality. They think that because a free market has an inherent tendency to have vast inequalities of wealth, the rich should subsidize health care for the poor—who would not exist in a truly free market. Not just health care, but almost all of their positions—schooling, "education" subsidies, subsidized housing, wealth redistribution, and many other "social" programs. If the libertarian refuted that a free market does not have vast inequalities of wealth, he might refute the need for all of the social programs.

Another common example bases on the supposed "privatization" and "deregulation" in the real world.

1 comment:

Mike Gogulski said...

There's another problem, though.

Ask 100 people the question, "Do you believe that 60% or more of people are stupider than average?"

70% or so will agree.