The "Economic Calculation Problem" comes from scarcity NOT DESIRES. Mises does discuss the concept that people could somehow solve the twin problems of computing individual preferences WHICH CREATE THE PRICING SYSTEM and the Hayekian Knowledge Problem about how much bureaucrats must understand when addressing scarce resource distribution in an economy. Mises then contends even if people could solve these two issues then they still must have a free market pricing system to determine the best uses of scarce productive resources.
On that note, I find that many leftists have trouble understanding scarcity at all. Why is that?
"On that note, I find that many leftists have trouble understanding scarcity at all. Why is that?"
How do you mean? Some understand it and simply think stealing is an appropriate and neutral response.
The basic problem with economic calculation is you can't divorce the system from the information; they are one and the same. Market signals aren't some indicator of a constant objective truth that would exist if there was no market, they are the result and a part of a continuous process generated by human action and interaction, which basically form an infinite feedback loop that keeps creating new information and rendering it obsolete as even newer information is created ad infinitum. You can manage your own household or your own company like a socialist despot if you want. You can't manage the economy at large in the same way because the act itself destroys the process that generates the information which allows people to manage it themselves. The dispersed information generation and dispersed management model can't be cut in two; you can't have central management with dispersed information generation, and you can't have central information generation with dispersed management. You can have central management with central information generation, which is small scale individual decision making. As soon as you try to apply that model to a system with more than one actor, it starts to lose effectiveness.
They think that scarcity does not exist and/or is somehow imposed by capitalism.
The ZG/VP people are a cult.
When a person starts saying things like "We'll abolish scarcity with our communal AI-managed economy." You should know that they are manipulating fools.
Why is that?
Perhaps for the same reason that children are liable to belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?
I suppose, but I find this one a lot stranger than other leftist themes. There must be some kind of false rationalization for it.
@Aristippus: But when you think about it, they tend to have significant cog diss regarding this. On the one hand, "Earth's resources are (strictly) finite"... i.e. they are in denial about the fact that division-of-labor and specialization actually increases the carrying capacity of the environment. Cf. the Georgia Guidestones and the laughable 500M population limit. On the other hand, they insist that "if we can dream it, we can achieve it"... i.e. so long as magical gubbermint fairy dust is sprinkled on an endeavor, scarcity is a non-entity. I think this is symptomatic of any form of motivated belief.
I get a chuckle out of the fact that he's dressing like Dr. Evil now.
:DDD similarity is not accidental
Aristippus:They think that scarcity does not exist and/or is somehow imposed by capitalism.
There is a core of truth in it. E.g. patent laws drive up prices artificially. Nobody disputes that. And prices are the means by which the market rations the supply. So they just believe that as with patents the market operates in and of itself in a way that makes things scarcer than they really are through private ownership. This is of course nonsense. I have never seen anyone trying to explain how the market would do that..
For a commie there is no difference if you are granted ownership in something tangible like land or a hammer or in something abstract like ideas.
That is how I understand their general understanding about this.
Also I think it has a lot to do with the very widespread believe that capitalism leads to cartelization and monopolization...