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11-15-2010, 03:03 PM

Did he really just say that
"Americans undermined some very good ideas that Keynes was trying to put through?" Who says that? Mr Keynes, Europe and the USA are struggling because of lack of production compared to consumption and economies based on credit expansion.
  
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11-17-2010, 11:07 AM

Beings that economics is the study of human action, and engineers study the action of things, I don't think engineers could run an economy any better than Ivy League whackos.

Humans act and no one can predict how. EXAMPLE: What exactly are you going to buy today? Even the buyer himself cannnot predict the exact trades he'll make today...How can smart engineers have a chance to predict it accurately? They can't. Mutiply by 6 billion.

The problem isn't which smart guy is to run things; the problem is mystical belief that an outside authority can even have such magical powers.

Santa is not real and never was.

Jeff Livingston
  
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11-17-2010, 02:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefjeff View Post
Beings that economics is the study of human action, and engineers study the action of things, I don't think engineers could run an economy any better than Ivy League whackos.

Humans act and no one can predict how. EXAMPLE: What exactly are you going to buy today? Even the buyer himself cannnot predict the exact trades he'll make today...How can smart engineers have a chance to predict it accurately? They can't. Mutiply by 6 billion.

The problem isn't which smart guy is to run things; the problem is mystical belief that an outside authority can even have such magical powers.

Santa is not real and never was.

Jeff Livingston
Good points.

However, the main point of the "replace economists with engineers" saying is that many economists today don't have the mathematical tools nor the proper mentality (that engineers generally possess) to adequately analyze and model the economy. Unlike many "mainstream" economists out there, engineers don't accept certain assumptions as gospel truth unless they are supported by actual empirical data (for example, the myth that deposits create loans as opposed to the empirically valid loans create deposits). Most economists simply hold on to such absurd assumptions simply because that is what they were taught in school and they never bothered to question them or test them to see if they are empirically valid.

I accepted Austrian Business Cycle Theory until I read some of Keen's work. The main point in ABCT is that the boom and bust cycles are cause by the existence of a central bank that distorts the market by manipulating interest rates. Keen and other "Post-Keynesians" such as Hyman Minsky feel that in a credit-based economy, booms and busts are actually rooted in the "Ponzi financing" of asset price speculation. That means that as long as banks have the ability to create credit, the economy is inherently cyclical...even without a central bank controlling interest rates.

EDIT: BTW, I still highly value and respect Austrian economics and many of their economists (Mises, Rothbard, etc). I just feel they are a bit blinded by their anarcho-capitalist ideologies such that Austrian economics isn't totally complete, and in some aspects flat out wrong. But they are still much closer than "neoclassical", mainstream economics.

Last edited by jsp; 11-17-2010 at 02:53 PM.
  
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11-17-2010, 04:29 PM

There's no magical mystery quality inherent in engineers. There are many good engineers who rarely fug up, but happily also many average engineers who occasionally fug up and a LOT of bad engineers who fug up very frequently. I say happily for purely selfish reasons.....cos the latter two categories have been the prime cause of what eventuially results in sizeable fee incomes for me over the years

An engineering degree or other qualification is no more guarantee of real life competence in practice than a qualification degree in any other subject. There seems to be no logical reason to think that good/bad engineers in practice would be any more likely to be good/bad at economics in practice than comparably good/bad economists.


Mike
  
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11-17-2010, 04:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by memikey View Post
There's no magical mystery quality inherent in engineers. There are many good engineers who rarely fug up, but happily also many average engineers who occasionally fug up and a LOT of bad engineers who fug up very frequently. I say happily for purely selfish reasons.....cos the latter two categories have been the prime cause of what eventuially results in sizeable fee incomes for me over the years

An engineering degree or other qualification is no more guarantee of real life competence in practice than a qualification degree in any other subject. There seems to be no logical reason to think that good/bad engineers in practice would be any more likely to be good/bad at economics in practice than comparably good/bad economists.
I think people are taking the title of the thread a bit too literally. It's more the method than the people themselves.

Did you watch the videos in the OP?
  
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11-17-2010, 05:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by memikey View Post
There's no magical mystery quality inherent in engineers.
I used to like you Mike

Dave


























PS
  
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11-17-2010, 05:47 PM

I wish we could replace all politicians with people who don't have scales...


"...And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw..."

Neil Peart

...I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine...
Atlas Shrugged
  
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11-17-2010, 05:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
I used to like you Mike

Dave
Would it help ease the pain if I'm an engineer?


Mike

Last edited by memikey; 11-18-2010 at 03:26 PM.
  
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11-18-2010, 07:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsp View Post
Good points.

However, the main point of the "replace economists with engineers" saying is that many economists today don't have the mathematical tools nor the proper mentality (that engineers generally possess) to adequately analyze and model the economy. Unlike many "mainstream" economists out there, engineers don't accept certain assumptions as gospel truth unless they are supported by actual empirical data (for example, the myth that deposits create loans as opposed to the empirically valid loans create deposits). Most economists simply hold on to such absurd assumptions simply because that is what they were taught in school and they never bothered to question them or test them to see if they are empirically valid.

I accepted Austrian Business Cycle Theory until I read some of Keen's work. The main point in ABCT is that the boom and bust cycles are cause by the existence of a central bank that distorts the market by manipulating interest rates. Keen and other "Post-Keynesians" such as Hyman Minsky feel that in a credit-based economy, booms and busts are actually rooted in the "Ponzi financing" of asset price speculation. That means that as long as banks have the ability to create credit, the economy is inherently cyclical...even without a central bank controlling interest rates.

EDIT: BTW, I still highly value and respect Austrian economics and many of their economists (Mises, Rothbard, etc). I just feel they are a bit blinded by their anarcho-capitalist ideologies such that Austrian economics isn't totally complete, and in some aspects flat out wrong. But they are still much closer than "neoclassical", mainstream economics.
A central bank backed by the guns of govt.

THAT changes everything.

Jeff Livingston
  
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11-19-2010, 08:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefjeff View Post
A central bank backed by the guns of govt.

THAT changes everything.

Jeff Livingston
From 1837 to 1913, the US had no central bank, but the economy still was peppered with recessions/depressions...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...eat_Depression

As long as banks can create their own credit and there are borrowers willing to go into debt to speculate on asset prices, there will be booms and busts...with or without a central bank. Sure things can get greatly exacerbated with a central bank if it kicks the can down the road and prevents the healthy debt-purging of recessions to take place, but booms and busts would still occur even without a central bank.

Now, I might agree that if you stop the ability of banks to create credit out of nothing, then you might actually solve the boom and bust cycles. Rothbard was on to something when he proposed the 100% reserve gold standard. But as I said before, that would only work with government intervention.

If you really want a completely laissez faire economy with absolutely no government intervention, then we'll have all just have to deal with the periodic booms and busts inherent in capitalism.
  
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11-19-2010, 08:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsp View Post
From 1837 to 1913, the US had no central bank, but the economy still was peppered with recessions/depressions...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...eat_Depression

As long as banks can create their own credit and there are borrowers willing to go into debt to speculate on asset prices, there will be booms and busts...with or without a central bank. Sure things can get greatly exacerbated with a central bank if it kicks the can down the road and prevents the healthy debt-purging of recessions to take place, but booms and busts would still occur even without a central bank.

Now, I might agree that if you stop the ability of banks to create credit out of nothing, then you might actually solve the boom and bust cycles. Rothbard was on to something when he proposed the 100% reserve gold standard. But as I said before, that would only work with government intervention.

If you really want a completely laissez faire economy with absolutely no government intervention, then we'll have all just have to deal with the periodic booms and busts inherent in capitalism.
I know...I'm the only who REALLY knows that utopia isn't one of the choices.

Here's a thought: Because these ups and downs are REAL problems, business can solve those if free to do so.

Jeff Livingston
  
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11-19-2010, 08:23 AM

Another thing, these booms and busts were localized mostly.

This one involves the whole fuggin' world! (integrate imperialist foreign policy here)


Jeff Livingston
  
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11-19-2010, 10:58 AM

Congress is also a group that needs some solid engineering people. The way they managed the Toyota unintended acceleration incident prior to BP was a complete failure. Congress financed a multimillion dollar study of Toyota vehicles through the National Transportation Safety Board to conclude that the unintended acceleration event could not be re-created.

The Transportation Committee then decided that the conclusion was not satisfactory and has financed NASA to work with the NTSB and develop a more specific conclusion about the Toyota unintended acceleration event.

When politicians have to deal with engineering disasters like the BP spill and the unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles it results in government waste. The studies making conclusions that do not enhance existing information about the unintended acceleration event is a waste. The BP attempts to fix the oil spill with containment was a waste because deployed boom could not be maintained or installed properly.

Politicians are over-extending their intellectual capacity when facing engineering based problems. The issue of government failure is evident in these situations. The only options available to unhappy Americans are a discussion of these issues while politicians suggest unity for support of our leaders.

Last edited by justnum; 11-19-2010 at 11:00 AM.
  
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