Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#032: Economics

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” - Murray Rothbard

Originally, I was going to label the two comic panels as “Austrian Economics vs. Keynesian Economics.” For starters, I didn’t want to limit libertarianism to the Austrian School of economics, as not all libertarians are Austrians.

Also, if I were to go for accuracy, the two panels would more accurately be labeled as “Real Economics vs. Phony Economics.” Differentiating the two schools as Austrian and Keynesian only creates the false dichotomy and equivalency that the two are equally-valid brands of economics, which they most certainly are not!

Take their approach towards the previous housing bubble. Prior to the 2008 recession, Austrian economists long warned of the encroaching housing bubble and the economic damage its burst would create. Meanwhile, Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman claimed that the housing bubble was necessary to replace the former dot-com bubble, and pushed for the reckless economic spending and policies that led to its creation and inevitable burst.

There's simply no comparing the two economic schools. It’s like trying to compare chemistry with alchemy, or modern medicine with homeopathy. One is based on fact; the other, ideological woo-woo. The sad thing is, the latter is given far more credence by the media and academia while the former is relegated to the fringes of the internet and ignored like Cassandra. Considering that we’re experiencing the third largest bubble in U.S. history, such ignorance is death, not bliss.

And before any willfully economically-ignorant statist tries to tell me that "Austrian economics isn't scientific because it denies empirical evidence", allow me to shut down your blatant bogosity with this essay and this video lecture:

Disclaimer: the previous comic was based on this comic.