Economics

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nandu
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Economics

Post by nandu » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:24 am

Since this issue came up in Humanism thread, and I feel it needs to be discussed, I am posing this question here; so as not to derail the other thread.

Question one:

Do you consider economics to be evil?

Question two:

If so, why? If not, why not?

Question three:

Can economics (the science, not money making) be a bliss path?

Nandu.
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Post by jonsjourney » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:29 am

Do you consider economics to be evil?
No, but it is an easy path to all of our worst traits. My view, admittedly a controversial one, is that our evolution has largely stopped due to being stuck in an economic trap. Until we transcend economics, we will stay where we are...or even slip backward.
Can economics (the science, not money making) be a bliss path?
Sure, but in a world in which subjectivity dominates ethical views, that path may not be good for anyone else, so I guess I cannot judge that.
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Post by Neoplato » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:36 am

I'll have to find some more quotes from "Progress and Poverty" later that reflect my opinions (otherwise I may be accused that my opinions only belong to me). :lol:
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Post by nandu » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:39 pm

Neoplato wrote:I'll have to find some more quotes from "Progress and Poverty" later that reflect my opinions (otherwise I may be accused that my opinions only belong to me). :lol:
It's your (and other associates') opinions that I am interested in, Neo. If I were interested in Mr. Henry George's opinion, I could have read the book myself. :wink:

And quoting from a book does not give your opinion any more authenticity-it is the old "appeal to authority" fallacy. :P

And as far as I am aware, nobody can "accuse" anybody of holding an opinion. Last time I checked, it wasn't a crime! :lol:

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Post by Neoplato » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:20 pm

And quoting from a book does not give your opinion any more authenticity-it is the old "appeal to authority" fallacy.-nandu
In my case, I'm not appealing to authority, I'm just trying to show that someone over a hundred years ago wrote a book about "My opinion". And sometimes the authors can phrase it better than I can.
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Post by nandu » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:37 pm

Neoplato wrote:
And quoting from a book does not give your opinion any more authenticity-it is the old "appeal to authority" fallacy.-nandu
In my case, I'm not appealing to authority, I'm just trying to show that someone over a hundred years ago wrote a book about "My opinion". And sometimes the authors can phrase it better than I can.
But I was asking your opinion - not the opinion of an author who lived a hundred years ago.

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Post by JamesN. » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:00 pm

Nandu;

In the book " Reflections On The Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion "; ( pages 58 - 60 ); are devoted to this very subject. Metaphorically speaking he states money as a facilatating source like gasoline in a car to get you where you are trying to go; ( not as an end in itself ). And yes it can be a meditation in a positive way.

( For me my life life has been much like an economy car that runs on fumes. :lol: ) But the point here is that economics is used as a component of a vehicle you are utilizing to get you from one point to the next; ( again; not as an end in itself ). That is my take on it and what I have found to be true for me. Others may have insights to offer of their own.

I have to go to work so this is all I can give at he moment.

Cheers :)
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Post by nandu » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:00 pm

James, I was thinking about economy as a science, not as a way of making money. But as Jon said, since it is irrevocably tied to the generation of wealth, it has an inherent chance of bringing out the worst in human beings.

I was thinking about a particular person when I talked about economy as a possible bliss path: my niece. Her father is a doctor, her uncle (myself) an engineer, her mother a dancer and aunt (my wife), a special educator. With all these role models to choose from, she chose economics as her career after great deliberation, and is now (at this point of time in history, mind!) is going to start her career as an investment banker.

I have talked with her on this, and she really loves economics for itself.

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Post by JamesN. » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:40 pm

Nandu;

Sorry if I misunderstood my friend. I was in a hurry this morning when I saw the thread and may not have accurately caught the focus. ( Joe did say he met some wonderful people whose life was directed towards making money. ) Although economics was probably not what he was referring to. :wink:

Interesting topic you have brought up. 8)
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Post by Neoplato » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:09 pm

Me wrote:I'll have to find some more quotes from "Progress and Poverty" later that reflect my opinions (otherwise I may be accused that my opinions only belong to me). :lol:
Now is later.
nothing short of making land common property can permanently relieve poverty
So much for investment banking.
private property in land...lead[s] to the enslavement of the laboring class.
Mmmm...I think the following sounds familiar...
From all parts of the civilized world come complaints of industrial depression; of labor condemned to involuntary idleness; of capital massed and wasting; of want and suffering and axiety among the working class.
Wow...so much for "change".
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Re: Economics

Post by romansh » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:00 am

nandu wrote: Do you consider economics to be evil?
Definitely not!
nandu wrote:If so, why? If not, why not?
Do I really need to answer this ? ;)
nandu wrote:Can economics (the science, not money making) be a bliss path?
I can't see why not. It's definitely not mine though. But it is a useful tool.

Having said that I can't help thinking the net present value NPV calculation - the basis of fiscally valuing an entreprise is fundamentally flawed. The value of the future is essentially discounted to a value approaching zero. This is a little troublesome to me.
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Post by nandu » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:26 am

My take on the whole issue is:

Economics, as I understand, is the science of wealth. The problem here is that wealth itself is a nebulous concept. Unfortunately, most people define economics as "the science of accumulating wealth": and some add the corollary "in the hands of the privileged few". So immediately economics is seen as coming directly from the guy with the horns, tail and trident. :twisted:

I would disagree with the above narrow definition. The increase of wealth can be for the common good of humanity. I consider Capital to be one of the most important economic treatises of the twentieth century, for example.

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Re: Economics

Post by Einherjar » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:30 am

nandu wrote:Since this issue came up in Humanism thread, and I feel it needs to be discussed, I am posing this question here; so as not to derail the other thread.

Question one:

Do you consider economics to be evil?

Question two:

If so, why? If not, why not?

Question three:

Can economics (the science, not money making) be a bliss path?

Nandu.
Although evil is no more than a definition used to describe a subjective perception of elements of reality, I understand the purpose of using the definition to describe something. The problem is concept asked to consider. Economics does not exist. It is a constructed abstract thought with no independence from our mind.

Economics as science is fundamentally flawed. All theories and different economic schools are founded on the original belief of possible growth without limitations. In simpler words, something out of nothing. It violates natural laws as the laws of thermodynamics. Remove the implementation of conserved energy from fossil sources used the last hundred years and Thomas Malthus theory stand strong even today.
Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it only change form. As the ecosystem is a zero sum game with the added energy conserved from our sun, economics as we know it will be revealed for what it is as we gradually use the limited reserves of conserved fossil energy to fuel a system founded on unlimited access to the limited source.

But regarding economics as a path to bliss I guess it works for some. At least for those who settle for what illusions have to offer.
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Post by romansh » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:03 am

nandu wrote:
I would disagree with the above narrow definition. The increase of wealth can be for the common good of humanity. I consider Capital to be one of the most important economic treatises of the twentieth century, for example.

Nandu.
I have not offered any definition of economics Nandu. But the time value of money is central in many aspects to economics in general. Much in the same way Newtonian mechanics is a central concept to most of the engineering disciplines..

Using your 2 $ engineering example. What would an economist do with the engineer who could build a widget today for 2 $ and sell it for 3 $, or would he wait five years so the engineer could develop an equivalent 1 $ widget? Assuming a zero dollar development cost.
nandu wrote: ... The increase of wealth can be for the common good of humanity
I am pretty sure existence is pretty much a zero sum game.
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Post by Neoplato » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:25 am

I am pretty sure existence is pretty much a zero sum game.-Rom
Wow! I think we actually agree here. :D
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