Apropos Austrian Aphorisms

the T(hesaurus)-Rex of blogs chomping on malapropos market malapropisms

April 2009 - Posts

I often think how unimaginative statists are. When confronted with an argument against government services, or government itself, statists will at some point respond with a fallacy of a false choice.

"Well if the government won't provide X, what then? Do you just want X to not exist?"

Of course, X is anything from national defense to police protection to roads to health care to welfare. (An aside, a point does go to statists for imagining an innumerable amount of Xes for the government to act upon.)

It seems impossible for these people that they could imagine a legitimate alternative to a lack of government in X. I here defer to the wisdom of Henry Hazlitt and Faustino Ballve.

In his "Economics in One Lesson," Hazlitt goes into great depth of not the immediate effects of economic policy but the long-term effects. He further explains the effects of economic policy for not only one group but for all groups. Hazlitt here displays a wide and far-reaching imagination. This is because he has, as he says, developed the practice of using his "third eye."

I came across tonight of a wonderful passage in Faustino Ballve's "Essentials of Economics":

"Economics is not about anything that could be expressed in mathematical terms; its domain is rather that of imagination and invention, of adventure into the unknown, of a hazardous enterprise that is not for the cowardly."

Anyone familiar with Austrian writers, certainly Mises and Rothbard, are well familiar with using imagination to conceive of the greatest theoretical bulldozers to statist economics and intervention between free individuals. Is it any wonder that statists' economic ideas and political ideas are so dull, unimaginative, and harmful? Because they lack a keen "third eye" they are incapable of stating any sound economic position. & further, because they are myopic, they cannot envision a world where the government man does not take from the free man.