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Theories of voluntary self-constraint?

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Random Walk Down Earth posted on Mon, Oct 22 2012 1:12 PM

Hello altogether,

a question that is in my mind for quite a while already: When and under which conditios can I make sense to constraint yourself (even if there is NO budget-constraint) in order to maximize your utility?

Are there any theories on that topic?

I've summed up my thoughts here: http://randomwalkdownearth.blogspot.com/2012/09/should-i-eat-that-apple-today-or.html

and here: http://randomwalkdownearth.blogspot.com/2012/10/should-i-eat-that-apple-today-or.html

Each kind of feedback and related thoughts warmly welcome.

Thanks, S.

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You want us to click on your blog to read what it is? Why not post it in your thread here?

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Suggested by zg7666

 If it was consumed in previous periods, it keeps providing utility, but less than in previous periods - because the consumer gets saturated (the technical term is marginal utility).

This is false.

Contrary to a typical spending function, the consumer is indifferent between consuming the apple today or tomorrow.

This directly contradicts Austrian theory.

utility function

utility is ordinal

whether a free good should always be consumed, or if it might make sense to abstain from consumption under certain circumstances.

Confusion of terms. Rothbard makes it clear that consuming an item today and consuming an item at some other time can very well mean that you're not consuming the same good. Like his example of "ice-in-the-winter" and "ice-in-the-summer." See MES.

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the consumer is indifferent between consuming the apple today or tomorrow

Any parent knows this is false :)

The Voluntaryist Reader - read, comment, post your own.
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It's an assumption the OP is making, but one that runs counter to (I think) all of economics.

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I'm indifferent to everything, participation in discussions is reflexive. Ha!
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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That was unexpected! Has any economist ever tried arguing that? :P

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Probably not. Theres not much more you can say before the hypothesis becomes unsustainable. As far as I know O.o
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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Hi guys, 

thanks for your good remarks. In the light of what was mentioned, I can see clearly that I'm required to re-consider several parts.

Do you know of any other theories that deal with that topic?

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This http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Time_preference looks like a good place to start.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Oct 25 2012 11:23 AM

I don't know what your background in economics is, but maybe consider Lessons for the Young Economist, followed up with Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State.

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