Re: feedback and sharing knowledge

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 12:22:53 -0700 (PDT)

> Yes but if you ask 100 guitar player what is an A chord, they will ALL
> give you the same answer. However, if you ask 100 economists if
> free-markets are the best solutions, they won't give you the same
> answer. Free-markets is not (at least for many people) the best
> solution, it's not the ultimate truth. An A chord is always an A chord
> and if anyone disagrees on that he is immediately wrong, if someone
> disagrees with free-markets he is not necessarily wrong.

If you ask /anyone/ such ambiguous, badly-defined questions, you'll
get ambiguous answers. The question of "best economic system" isn't
even a valid question. Define your terms and your standard of
measurement, and then you'll get consistent answers. If you ask
economists something clear, for example "among these X economic
systems (list them) which has historically produced prosperity for
the most people, measured as (state standard of measurement)?" Then
you'll get pretty consistent answers, even from those who think
your stadard of measurement is the wrong one, or that your list
excludes eir pet idea.

The free market is not "best" for a large number of possible definitions
of "best"; for example, any definition that includes stability, or
equitability. None of us argue that; we argue that those definitions
of best are less important than others. If you want to argue that it
performs badly, then you must specifically define your criteria of
judgment, otherwise, you're not saying anything meaningful.

My own personal definition has only one criterion: morality. Since the
free market is the only possible just and moral system, the only one that
does not require theft, it is the only one I can support, regardless
of how it performs. Fortunately, it performs well on other criteria as
well, like general prosperity, and those criteria it performs badly in,
like stability, I don't care about.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC