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New Semster- Same BS

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Bowlcut Posted: Tue, Jan 6 2009 4:52 PM

Hello fellow Austrians,

It is easy to see why we in Canada and the USA are in such a predicament after one visit to a Macro class.

My statist prof whose claim to fame is working for the government, ranted an entire class about the causes of the financial "crisis" but neglected once to mention WHY interest were too low and who did it.

Instead lack of regulation caused all these companies to make bad loans which were then sold onto unsuspecting/ignorant investors, and all of this could have been prevented by a few bureacrats.

Not only that, but the reason Canada did not see this mess is because we have "better" regulations (no mention that interest rates here were substantially higher than the USA and lack of Fannie Mae, etc).

 

Well I have to go study about "liquidity traps" and aggregate supply now Hmm

 

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Want to hear something that may suprise you? Your teacher is far more knowledgable than you are.

Learn your place as student or don't bother studying it, even if you disagree with what the professor is saying, it doesn't mean you won't learn from it.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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Bogart replied on Tue, Jan 6 2009 5:27 PM

I feel your pain and unfortunately the USA is doing so as well.  But look on the bright side.  You will probably have future employment trying to solve this mess.

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Giles is right.  Use the situation to your advantage.  Either that, or drop out.  Because if you resist understanding the position of your teachers as well as possible, you're cheating yourself and wasting time/money.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Giles,

I know where you are coming from and what you are trying to say.  But, you come off as way too harsh and don't make the impression you should be making. The best advice is to say "It's very important to learn, even when you disagree, the best strategy is to 'know your enemy'" (which is simmilar to the position Walter Block takes on studying Keynes).

I, myself, am a student majoring in economics. I have taken semester after semester of courses, some good and some bad, and, yes, there were plenty of teachers I was far more knowledgeable than. I go to classes in the respect of a student, but treat my professors as intelectual equals. This means I can learn and study their ideas and the course material, but in the end I am the diciding force on what to believe... acting on that knowledge is the only way to learn.

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Chris replied on Tue, Jan 6 2009 6:02 PM

I fear that I will be facing the same problem when the next semester begins for me.  I'm taking a marco course and a money/banking course and I'm wondering how I'm going to prevent my blood from boiling especially if I have some clowns like the on you describe.

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Sorry to hear you have to study crap.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Don't listen to these people saying to drop out if you disagree... I say this primarily because education is extensively used as a barrier to entry in the jobs you may most perfer. You might have to deal with the BS, but the piece of paper saying you graduated is extremely important, even if you didn't learn a damn thing.

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liberty student:

Giles is right.  Use the situation to your advantage.  Either that, or drop out.  Because if you resist understanding the position of your teachers as well as possible, you're cheating yourself and wasting time/money.

Nothing in his comments suggested he is resisting understanding the position of his professor.  It sounds like he understands it just fine and disagrees with it.  As he should, since his professor is wrong.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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GilesStratton:

Want to hear something that may suprise you? Your teacher is far more knowledgable than you are.

Learn your place as student or don't bother studying it, even if you disagree with what the professor is saying, it doesn't mean you won't learn from it.

Want to hear something that may surprise you?  Spouting unsubstantiated opinions makes you look like a fool.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Solomon replied on Tue, Jan 6 2009 6:09 PM

Bowlcut:
Instead lack of regulation caused all these companies to make bad loans which were then sold onto unsuspecting/ignorant investors, and all of this could have been prevented by a few bureacrats.

Not only that, but the reason Canada did not see this mess is because we have "better" regulations (no mention that interest rates here were substantially higher than the USA and lack of Fannie Mae, etc).

OMG, I have to write this one down before I forget it!

Diminishing Marginal Utility - IT'S THE LAW!

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JackSkylark:

Don't listen to these people saying to drop out if you disagree... I say this primarily because education is extensively used as a barrier to entry in the jobs you may most perfer. You might have to deal with the BS, but the piece of paper saying you graduated is extremely important, even if you didn't learn a damn thing.

Fine, nobody is saying you have to do economics though.

 

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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Spideynw:
Want to hear something that may surprise you?  Spouting unsubstantiated opinions makes you look like a fool.

You know, there's a good reason these people are professors. Chances are they've done a great deal of studying on economics, even if it's fallacious. That doesn't mean you can't learn from them.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

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JackSkylark:

Giles,

I know where you are coming from and what you are trying to say.  But, you come off as way too harsh and don't make the impression you should be making. The best advice is to say "It's very important to learn, even when you disagree, the best strategy is to 'know your enemy'" (which is simmilar to the position Walter Block takes on studying Keynes).

You're correct, I don't. But I'm tired of this libertarian know it all mind set.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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Spideynw:
Want to hear something that may surprise you?  Spouting unsubstantiated opinions makes you look like a fool.

GilesStratton:
You know, there's a good reason these people are professors. Chances are they've done a great deal of studying on economics, even if it's fallacious. That doesn't mean you can't learn from them.
You know, the OP never said he wouldn't lean from them. Don't make an unreasonable leap.

 

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Knight_of_BAAWA:
You know, the OP never said he wouldn't lean from them. Don't make an unreasonable leap.

You're probably correct, it was more a generalized attack on the general arrogance of libertarians in regard to their professors.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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That too is an unreasonable leap. What you see as arrogance is actually frustration over the shilling for slavery and economic destruction. Please stop confusing the two.

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Knight_of_BAAWA:

That too is an unreasonable leap. What you see as arrogance is actually frustration over the shilling for slavery and economic destruction. Please stop confusing the two.

Not really, I've seen people who seem to assume that they know more than their professors.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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And I've seen people be frustrated with the shills for nonsense.

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Knight_of_BAAWA:

And I've seen people be frustrated with the shills for nonsense.

Yes,and? They seem to forget it's nonsense that they can learn from.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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You seem to PRESUME WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that anyone who complains about it does so because s/he thinks that there is nothing to be learned from it. Please stop doing that.

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Bowlcut replied on Tue, Jan 6 2009 7:25 PM

You make a good point and I wont argue wth you but this class is required for any BComm.

 

Obviously one can learn from any situation, but I don't wanna come off as arrogant. This Prof's ego is too big to allow another one in the room, and even though we have prof's with different opinions we can learn from them.

One of the best prof I had was a Zionist friend of the Clintons, and no friend of Reagan, but he did make interesting comments that few consider. He argued that the "best" thing Americans got from Reagan was "hope and the belief in America that was erroded by Vietnam and the Carter Administration". Right or wrong it sure shows why Obama is everybody's personal Jesus.

Being forced in a situation to learn and confront opposite ideals is beneficial to anyone who wants to be more than a recorder player quoting their little red book, but I was just commenting on why it is no surprise that students accept Keynes and the Chicago School as evident fact.

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I am curious giles as to when I can start to criticize a professor's stance - must I have finished my doctorate or is my BS/MS enough?

In my book, it doesnt matter what your status is in the food chain, if your ideas are sound then they should be able to hold footing against a snot nosed punk or a tenured professor.

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I can not speak for Giles myself, but I don't think that he meant you should not criticize a professor. But, rather, not to be egotistical and presumtuous about libertarian thought... also, in the respect to schooling, you do not have the right to do much else than attend class and listen to whatever the professor has to say (I believe this is what he meant when he said to know your place as a student).

Sometimes you get a professor who enjoys debating and welcomes varying viewpoints and sometimes you get a "If I didn't tell you about it, it's not true, unless you got a revelation from lord-Keynes or (worse) the great deity Marx". I don't mind disagreement, as long as I am learning about their thought process and how they approach the cause and effect relationships of economics.

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AndrewKemendo:
I am curious giles as to when I can start to criticize a professor's stance - must I have finished my doctorate or is my BS/MS enough?

By all means, criticize his stance. There's just no need to criticize the professor himself. Moreover, when you criticize his stance, remember your place. Keep in mind, he knows more than. Even if you think what he knows is false, he's been studying economics for far longer than you have.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

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JackSkylark:

I can not speak for Giles myself, but I don't think that he meant you should not criticize a professor. But, rather, not to be egotistical and presumtuous about libertarian thought... also, in the respect to schooling, you do not have the right to do much else than attend class and listen to whatever the professor has to say (I believe this is what he meant when he said to know your place as a student).

Sometimes you get a professor who enjoys debating and welcomes varying viewpoints and sometimes you get a "If I didn't tell you about it, it's not true, unless you got a revelation from lord-Keynes or (worse) the great deity Marx". I don't mind disagreement, as long as I am learning about their thought process and how they approach the cause and effect relationships of economics.

Yes, you basically summed it up.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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Bowlcut replied on Wed, Jan 7 2009 1:55 PM

You guys all make some good points.

However it seems like socialists/interventionists dominate all of the faculties. Obviously it is good to see altenate viewpoints, but when one's grade depends partially on accepting their professor's opinions it becomes frustrating.

 

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GilesStratton:

By all means, criticize his stance. There's just no need to criticize the professor himself. Moreover, when you criticize his stance, remember your place. Keep in mind, he knows more than. Even if you think what he knows is false, he's been studying economics for far longer than you have.

I'm sorry I have to disagree with this. I have gone through enough advanced economics to see that the majority of economists are either mired in the mathematics that many forget the philosophy of the dsicipline while those that retain the philosphy are by and large strong keynsians, who, no doubt have heard of and reject austrian economics - mostly for political reasons (Those being mainly, to keep their jobs).

Sure he may know more about Keynesian cross diagrams, open market operations and bi variate linear regression analysis of OLS models, but if it is only going to coercively hamper markets, then why bother? You know, Ill bet there were a ton of alchemists out there who knew a lot more than Mendeleev about alchemy, but Mendeleev knew it didnt work, just as keynsian economics doesnt work.

(I assume you have advanced economics background so...)You and I both know that doctrinal thesis' in economics weigh more heavily toward keynesian public policy and model driven analysis of current markets than does political market philosphy. At the point in which one is writing your thesis you are clearly weighing on one side or the other, as few economists havent at least heard of austrian economics  - to be sure, schumpeter rejected keynesianism.

The point is, just because a professor is an expert on and has long studied a flawed philosophy doesnt mean we should automatically respect them. On the contrary, based on the comments that bowlguy[sic] made, if they are accurate, it shows quite strongly that this professor is very pro state and has advocated this position for quote some time.

Perhaps you want to help prevent the libertarian community from being continually labeled badly and ignored, or perhaps you are a professor. Either way I think it would be well of this student to challenge the biases of his professor, rather than prostrating before his years of likely studying models and flawed policy.

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Bowlcut:
Obviously it is good to see altenate viewpoints, but when one's grade depends partially on accepting their professor's opinions it becomes frustrating.

Well, yes, this is a fair point. And I'd definately agree with you that it's not fair. Keep in mind though, that there are statist professors with whom you may disagree on every issue who are very receptive to well argued alternatives to their views.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

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I got my undergrad degree from a Lutheran run university. I had to take a theology class and am very glad I did. I learned a great deal even though I strongly disagreed with the point of view. It is good to understand the point of view of those you have strong disagreements with. I am reminded of a P.G. Woodhouse story called "Comrade Bingo". When Wooster has some Marxist guests Jeeves impresses these guests with his knowledge of Marxist theory. After the guests leave Wooster asks Jeeves why he knows so much about Marx. Jeeeves replied "It is good to know the tune to which the devil dances."

I am an eklektarchist not an anarchist.

Educational Pamphlet Mises Group

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ryanpatgray:

I got my undergrad degree from a Lutheran run university. I had to take a theology class and am very glad I did. I learned a great deal even though I strongly disagreed with the point of view. It is good to understand the point of view of those you have strong disagreements with. I am reminded of a P.G. Woodhouse story called "Comrade Bingo". When Wooster has some Marxist guests Jeeves impresses these guests with his knowledge of Marxist theory. After the guests leave Wooster asks Jeeves why he knows so much about Marx. Jeeeves replied "It is good to know the tune to which the devil dances."

Agree wholeheartedly. It is when you understand the depth of the other side that you will know their folly.

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Bowlcut replied on Thu, Jan 8 2009 5:51 PM

Great points about learning the devil's tune.

 

However I just spend another 1.5 hours listening to Paul Krugman-lite talk.

Did my prof really say "tax cuts are not effective to stimulate our economy because people might save their money and we need spending"? I could have sworn Krugman said the same thing.

 

The irony is that universities are supposed to be a form of "higher" education, but if the only opinions being expressed are that of the establishment then why bother with a degree and just watch CNN, MSNBC, and read the NY Times to get all the info one ever needs.

The ONLY professor I have ever had challenge fiat money, the authority of the state, and the direction of the USA grew up in the Third Reich and draw a firsthand account of the crimes of National Socialism. It is amazing as to how much one can learn about economics, political science, and society when taking a history class on WWI.

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MacFall replied on Fri, Jan 9 2009 11:01 PM

Spideynw:

liberty student:

Giles is right.  Use the situation to your advantage.  Either that, or drop out.  Because if you resist understanding the position of your teachers as well as possible, you're cheating yourself and wasting time/money.

Nothing in his comments suggested he is resisting understanding the position of his professor.  It sounds like he understands it just fine and disagrees with it.  As he should, since his professor is wrong.

I've taken three economics courses and none of my professers knew jack-all about economics. I'm not exaggerating. They were complete sock-puppets for the state and total ignoramuses in their supposed field of expertise. It is quite possible that the OP does know more than his professor. He should not assume he does, but he should also not assume that his professor is an academic god just because he's the one behind the podium. Nor should he treat him like one in any case.

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

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Bowlcut replied on Wed, Feb 4 2009 8:15 AM

It is hard to really evaluate a professor's skill in many historical classes, but when a professor makes blatantly false assertions, there is some concern. I have also learned that hedge funds are gone in the USA (100% wrong), and that nobody saw this crisis coming. Obviously it is easy to judge and pretend ot be a Monday Morning Quaterback, but I guess I was fed up when I started the topic.

My worst class has been the "Social Context of Business" where environmental scare mongering, socialism, and what Lew Rockwell calls "voluntary poverty" are advocated.

Granted every Austrian needs to learn Keynesianism, but everyone has to admit that if they had a choice not to read about "pump priming"  and take it seriously they wouldn't.

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Bowlcut:
My worst class has been the "Social Context of Business"

Why would you ever sign up for a class of that name? Are you suicidal?

 

Bowlcut:
Granted every Austrian needs to learn Keynesianism, but everyone has to admit that if they had a choice not to read about "pump priming"  and take it seriously they wouldn't.

Thank-fully enough, Professor Garrison's powerpoints on the business cycle help with this.

Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found.

          - Edmund Burke

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Bowlcut replied on Wed, Feb 4 2009 12:09 PM

Social Context is a required course for the program. LOL.

 

I didn't mind it because 50% mark is jsut participation and no final exam.

 

I am sure there were tons of classes you wish you could have no wasted money on. $600 down the drain.

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