Guest Post: Regime Uncertainty And The Fallacy Of Aggregate Demand

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

In a recent New York Times column, economist Paul Krugman once again took to chastising a claim he has infamously dubbed  the “confidence fairy.”  According to the Nobel laureate, the “confidence fairy” is the erroneous belief that ambiguity over future government regulation and taxation plays a significant role in how investors choose to put capital to work.  To Krugman, the anemic economic recovery in the United States shouldn’t be blamed on this “uncertainty” but rather a “lack of demand for the things workers produce.”  Being the most prominent mouthpiece for Keynesian economic policy in modern times, the Princeton professor represents the school’s circular thinking very well.  Keynes and his followers saw most economic slumps as being the result of insufficient spending.  A slowdown in spending means the animal spirits aren’t so aggressive in their lust for immediate consumables.

As a thinker, Keynes viewed a preference for saving over spending as ignorant and asinine.  In his essay “Economic Possibilities for our Grand Children,” he belittled the “purposiveness” of misers who are forever looking toward the future instead of relishing in the present.  The man who behaves with a purpose is “always trying to secure a spurious and delusive immortality” while depriving those around him of his wealth.  This is the heart of Keynesianism.  Saving is seen as a necessary evil while instant gratification is looked down upon as morally repugnant.  Keynes was a hater of bourgeoisie prudence throughout his professional career.  It is likely that this antagonism played a role in the development of his theories on economics.

But even assuming that Keynes took the value-free, deductive approach to economic science, the view of spending as the driving force of improved living standards is still horribly inaccurate.  Human beings possess infinite wants.  So, in a sense, there is never a true lack of demand; just the resources to fulfill desire.  And these resources are not something to conjure up out of thin air.  They must first be produced.  As Henry Hazlitt explains,

…demand and supply are merely two sides of the same coin. They are the same thing looked at from different directions. Supply creates demand because at bottom it is demand.

Goods and services are what ultimately enhance human life.   Without them, man would still be relegated to live as a nomad desperately seeking out food each and every day.  It is through producing, saving, and investing that the eternal scarcity of the world becomes increasingly manageable.  In other words, the act of producing more than is immediately consumed is what saves humanity from a hand-to-mouth existence.  This improved material well-being can then lend itself to further spiritual pursuits.  Murray Rothbard recognized the necessity of available resources for less-material purposes when he wrote:

All great works of art, great emanations of the human spirit, have had to employ material objects: whether they be canvasses, brushes and paint, paper and musical instruments, or building blocks and raw materials for churches. There is no real rift between the “spiritual” and the “material” and hence any despotism over and crippling of the material will cripple the spiritual as well.

As a species, we are forever trying to achieve a happiness dictated solely by our own individual valuations.   This requires labor and production in order to meet whatever ends are sought.  With this truth in mind, it becomes clear that economies don’t necessarily suffer from an absence of demand but really a lack of investment or production.  Since there are always needs to be fulfill, an uninhibited market economy would never undergo a period of long-term unemployment.  There would be capital to be worked and put into use.  So what then causes entrepreneurs and capitalists to withhold investment?

In a landmark article in The Independent Review, economic historian Robert Higgs presented evidence that the Great Depression was not prolonged by a slack in demand but rather the unprecedented intervention into private life by the Roosevelt regime.  Titled “Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Resumed after the War,” Higgs summarizes his position:

First, the Great Depression was not just another economic slump. In depth and duration it stands far apart from the next most severe depression in U.S. history, that of the 1890s. We are talking about history, not physics; unique events may have unique causes. Second, the hypothesis about regime uncertainty makes perfectly good economic sense. Nothing in the logic of the explanation warrants its dismissal or disparagement. Third, given the unparalleled outpouring of business-threatening laws, regulations, and court decisions, the oft-stated hostility of President Roosevelt and his lieutenants toward investors as a class, and the character of the antibusiness zealots who composed the strategists and administrators of the New Deal from 1935 t o 1941, the political climate could hardly have failed to discourage some investors from making fresh long-term commitments. Fourth, there exists a great deal of direct evidence that investors did feel extraordinarily uncertain about the future of the property-rights regime between 1935 and 1941. Historians have recorded countless statements by contemporaries to that effect; and the poll data presented earlier confirm that in the years just before the war most business executives expected substantial attenuations of private property rights ranging up to “complete economic dictatorship.” Fifth, investors’ behavior in the bond market attests in a striking way that their confidence in the longer-term future took a beating that corresponds exactly with the Second New Deal.

Much like the Great Depression, there is evidence abound to support the notion that regulatory uncertainty is presently withholding the private investment that is the true source of economic growth.  The newly released mid-year economic report from the National Small Business Association shows that 34% of small-business owners are expecting a sluggish economy on the horizon while 68% of respondents cited economic uncertainty as the biggest “challenge” to future productivity.  In the September 2012 Small Business Optimism Survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business, the results showed a new record of 22% of respondents who view political uncertainty as a leading cause of their reluctance to expand.  Higgs himself points out in a recent blog post that real private fixed investment has yet to surpass its lowest point during the bust of the dot-com bubble.

 

Historically, economic downturns have been met with upswings that matched in terms of intensity.  But at no other time since the Great Depression has the recovery been as weak as it is now.  The explanation lies in the fact that something is causing investors to keep money on the sidelines rather than risk putting it towards satisfying the limitless wants of consumers.  Empirical evidence and logic would suggest that it is the current atmosphere of tentative political measures that is frightening capitalists whose job it is to create wealth.  From the unknown consequences of the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill to the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts at the end of 2012, it is unclear as to the amount of income businessmen will be allowed to keep in the near future.  As economist John B. Taylor shows, the amount of federal government workers engaged in regulatory activity has taken off since 2008.

 

Likewise, the number of expiring tax provisions has also increased substantially over the past four years.

 

Since man is endowed with free will, the future is never certain.  Entrepreneurs and capitalists are never guaranteed a profit so they must invest with prudence if they hope to come out with more wealth in the end.  The incessant meddling by the political class makes this process all the more difficult.  There is little incentive to risk precious capital when it could be looted at any time.  Political obscurity and a growing class of planners who take it upon themselves to forcefully engineer society in their own vision makes for an unhealthy business climate.

The theory which puts a lack of aggregate demand as being the cause of economic recessions has the issue backwards.  Demand by itself doesn’t add to the stock of goods in society; only production does.  Because economic theory deals with the interactions of mankind it needs to be applicable to all times and places.  On a desert island, only a true charlatan would insist that a “lack of demand” is holding the primitive economy back from its full potential.  Desert islands are no different from today’s economy; both are still dominated by scarcity.  If the world economy is ever going to recover, the obstacles put in business’s place have to be lifted to make way for investment in real, tangible goods and services.  Consumption will come after.

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Fri, 10/05/2012 - 21:43 | 2861920 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Nonsense. Sorry.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 22:16 | 2861980 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Maybe...

Stand at an empty supermarket shelf and demand it fill up.

Let me know how it works out for you.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 22:44 | 2862031 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

No no no! Of course there was plenty of DEMAND for the iGadget BEFORE it was ever created, with total market certainty! I'd say Aggregate Demand for iPads was there way back in the 1950s and total sheeple confidence latent in this unseen demand curve.

 

KRuGMAN = MORON 

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 23:17 | 2862091 markmotive
markmotive's picture

Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman

http://www.planbeconomics.com/2012/05/01/ron-paul-vs-paul-krugman/

Let the better man win.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 00:12 | 2862162 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

One of the fundamental laws of economics is Say's Law: supply creates its own demand. Of course, this flies in the face of Keynesian doctrine, so Say's Law has been marginalized sine the 1930s.

Economies are driven by production, not consumption.

Krugman is such a despicable fuckwit, he makes me want to puke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Say's_law

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 00:40 | 2862180 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

The funny thing is that they were both morons. Demand isn't created by the goods, it's created by human action.

The only part of Say's Law that is even close to reality is the pricing action through required commerce, but even that isn't from Say, so it's not worth using any of his "Law".

 

Yes, I have deep seeded issues with Say's Law.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 01:14 | 2862231 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

Say's Law is barely Econ 101. It makes a rudimentary point and s good counterpoint to Keynesian idiocy.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 01:50 | 2862259 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I remember learning about it in High School level Econ like 14 years ago. This is below 101 level, and even then the concept was barely notable. I agree that it's a usefull commentary to counter Keynes's idiocy, but Say's Law was outdated with Mises's "Human Action". Demand is created by the action of humans. It is created and driven by humans trying to solve problems and ease their condition in life.

 

I know why they don't used Austrian School in college, because most colleges are ran by the Government and the University level is stuffed full of Statists that simply suck the teat of the Government to garner funding. The biggest part Randian Philosophy I agreed with was her calling them Looter's.

 

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 03:26 | 2862278 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Demand is a function of purchasing power.  Any economic cliche that ignores this reality is a non-functional cliche.

Nothing will be demanded from the marketplace if wants run high but purchasing power is non-existant.  Nothing will be demanded from the marketplace if supply runs high but purchasing power is non-existant.

All of the things the above article discussed assumed a sufficient level of purchasing power.  Build it and they will buy it works only if sufficient funds are available to purchase what was built.  Purchasing power will be applied to needs first.  Only if there is purchasing power left over will it be applied to wants.  (Some may ignore needs temporarily in favor of wants, but not for long; needs are defined as those things you cannot stay alive without.)  Marketers for basic goods (gas; food; shelter) have gotten pretty good at raising prices so as to confiscate most disposable purchasing power from a significant percent of the population.  If most purchasing power is spent on needs, it is no wonder that not much is being spent on wants.

Elsewhere on Zerohedge we have a thread discussing the astounding increase in the number of SNAP users.  Couple these folks with the folks standing in bread lines in the Great Depression 1.  It is beyond stupid to say this group of folks aren't/weren't buying things only because no one is/was producing them - and that, if they were produced, these folks would run out and buy them.  What hubris to even write such trash.

The reality is this: without purchasing power spread widely throughout the population, supply will do nothing but sit there.  The owners of the means of production are not stupid (generally).  They know this.  They modify their production to match likely demand.  And they spend big bucks on marketing to create demand.  But demand can be created only if purchasing power is present.  It all starts there.  After all, isn't that why we buy gold - to preserve our purchasing power?  If we can buy stuff, magically just because someone produces it, why bother buying gold to protect purchasing power?

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 08:22 | 2862458 Richard Chesler
Richard Chesler's picture

"Saving is seen as a necessary evil while instant gratification is looked down upon as morally repugnant"

Pretty sure that was meant the other way around.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 10:57 | 2862663 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

"Empirical evidence and logic would suggest that it is the current atmosphere of tentative political measures that is frightening capitalists whose job it is to create wealth."

This is the new (and entire) Heritage Foundation line, yeah?

it wouldn't be that, unlike GD1, the country had been hollowed out by its own globalist (not "patriotic" but supra-national, Globalist) elites, stuffffed full of 3rd world peasants, and cast adrift in a "muscular" Obamney service economy while also, sowing uncertainty among, what's the phrase (?) .....those "capitalists whose job it is to create wealth"?

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 19:16 | 2863632 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

So say you've got an idea for a product. It'll cost you $10 in materials and 1 hour of labor for each unit. The most that people will pay for it is $25.
After you sell each unit, you must pay a tax on your profit.
If you don't know what your labor cost will be (hourly wage+FICA+SS+benefits) and you don't know what your tax rate will be (15%? 35%? 39.6%) then you cannot calculate whether your idea will be more profitable than a CD at your local credit union.
If you can't figure if the idea would be profitable, why not just wait a while, and collect your .25%?

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 08:56 | 2862462 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You fail to allow for time preference and saving. There are reasons people do not spend and it has nothing to do with "purchasing power". People reduce spending in times of uncertainty for reasons of personal security. 

People own gold and silver because of risk associated with other instruments and the destruction of value in an atmosphere of low interest rates. If banks paid interest at a rate above inflation plus a small return, people would place their savings there. They would not worry about risking their savings. 

The author never says people aren't buying because people aren't producing. He says that production begats demand. This is the counter argument to the Keynsians that emphasize demand as a driver for economic activity.

The next part of that argument regards producing products people WANT and at a price they perceive to be fair value. There is a reason as people age, they consume less- even though they have plenty of purchasing power. They don't need as much. They have other drivers(human action) that are purposing their behavior (savings for old age, etc).

Giving a society greater amounts of purchasing power, without first demanding greater production to pay for it is what got us into this problem. We have spent the last thirty years dumping "purchasing power" onto people through debt creation, rather than production. Now that we are having to compete with Europe and others to export our inflation, the chicken has come home to roost. 

It is debt that is at the center of the supply/demand problem. Debt from the selling of fascism through pretty trinkets and socialized entitlements. Debt from crony capitalism and protected industries. 

Miller is not always cogent or as deliberate as he should be, but here, he has sucessfully pointed out the deficiencies in Keyne's and Krugman's machinations. Demand is not the driver of economic activity, production creates the wealth and goods that lifts all boats.

Sun, 10/07/2012 - 04:36 | 2864133 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Demand is not the driver of economic activity ...

Perhaps we have different definitions of demand.  When people have no purchasing power, they don't buy things (I include credit as purchasing power; no purchasing power means no access to credit).  When people don't buy things, inventory doesn't move.  When inventory doesn't move, production slows down or stops.  Economic activity slows down or stops.  All because people are not buying things because they have no purchasing power.

You conclude: production creates the wealth and goods that lifts all boats.  History has demonstrated time and again how untrue that statement is.  Production may create wealth and goods, but that wealth and goods usually stay with the owner of the means of production - unless they are forced to let go of it through the actions of unions or governments.  That is the history of the world.  And when the majority of purchasing power accumulates in only a few hands, which it has a tendency to do without outside intervention, economic disruption ensues.

Sun, 10/07/2012 - 08:46 | 2864473 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Your definition of demand is redundant and pedantic- quite a combination. All goods sell at the RIGHT price. Therefore demand always exists. Producers can save just as consumers do and decide to hold out for a greater price, but this has nothing to do with your precious "purchasing power".

As for history, please read a little. The standard of living of the people in the western world, people that embraced capitalism, grew at a faster rate and to a higher plateau than ANY other time in history. For starters, read, "Classical Economics" by Rothbard. 

There is a reason that wealth and goods stay with the owners of the means of production- they take on the risk, they invest the capital and they have the vision and ideas that create productive goods. Labor is just that- a wage for effort. However, with sophistication of machinery and processes, labor has the opportunity to gain in education and skills that make themselves more valuable in the marketplace, generating better salaries.

Economic disruption is a function of government and intervention by said government or its' proxies (even if said proxies own them-The FED e.g.). If people want "purchasing power" they must earn it. To the extent government and unions allow this, people can work and be paid a salary. 

Free markets would eliminate the benefits crony capitalism bestows upon the connected elite corporations. People don't need to worry about purchasing power, they need the liberty to succeed and no barriers to entry. They need a level playing field. 

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 13:32 | 2862939 meghaljani
meghaljani's picture

This argument is clearly refuted by the austrian business cycle theory. Recession is a process where malinvestments, which were created by inflationary credit expansion, are liquidated. Therefore, unemployment and purchaning power will reappear when resources are realocated. In depression 1, people did not have purchasing power for so long because government did not allow realignment of markets to take place; just like they are doing it for now.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 19:08 | 2863621 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Purchasing power is created by one's own supply. When farmer Joe wakes up in the morning, he has no excess purchasing power. He milks the cows, collects the eggs from the chickens, and harvests some herbs and tomatoes from his garden. Due to his new supply of food, He now has purchasing power.

Laborer Bob wakes up in the morning with no purchasing power. He goes to his J O B and works for eight hours, and his boss pays him. Now he has purchasing power.

When beaureaucrat Kathleen says that the farmer cannot sell his milk, he has less purchasing power. When she says laborer Bob must spend a large portion of his labor on taxes, fees, and Ocare insurance, his purchasing power is reduced.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 20:56 | 2863747 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Demand exists externally from purchasing power. Not all things have a fiscal cost, and yet they are still in demand. Human Action creates demand, nothing else. Other things may influence the demand to be expressed through fiscal and market movement, but they do not create the demand.

You can use fallacies all you wish and denounce this basic Economic Law, but you are incapable of proving your point outside of the Free-Market. The Human Action argument is the base driver in even Socialist systems, it's the only constant that is present at all times, therefore it's the only rational conclusion that it's the only creator of demand. All other potential "creators" are merely inferrences to the end demand of the chain of Actions. 

 

What you allude to is Monertariast Theory, and it shouldn't be advocated, because it's irrational and simply incorrect. It didn't work in the 80's and it does work now.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 15:32 | 2863223 Bloodstock
Bloodstock's picture

I am in full agreement with the above statement, "Demand,,,is created and driven by humans trying to solve problems and ease their condition on life." First and foremost we will attempt to fulfill our needs, then our wants. THose in the need business tend to do better.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 17:54 | 2863505 LooseLee
LooseLee's picture

Not unlike Buffet, most mutual fund managers, and all Bulltards far and wide.....

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 11:56 | 2862786 Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

The point of Say’s Law is really that production, of necessity, precedes consumption.  Cars, iPads, and college educations, to name a few, do not grow on trees simply waiting for us to pluck them (but even if they did, the “plucking” itself would constitute a type of production—taking those goods from their native state and putting them into a usable state).   Said differently, one cannot consume what does not exist, and production is process of bringing into existence that which we desire. 

The hoary simplification that “supply creates its own demand” was designed to undermine this basic insight by making Say seem absurd.  There are plenty of individual examples where supply (produced goods) did not meet up with enough demand.  This is not a failure of Says Law (as it holds at the economy-wide level), but rather is an indication that demanders are telling the suppliers to find another (more valuable) line of work.  For the economy as a whole however, a system wide glut of ALL goods implies that goods as such are no longer goods (i.e., they have ceased to be desirable means of achieving some end). 

Looking at Say’s Law from the demander’s perspective, his/her ability to demand goods arises from having first produced something of value for his/her fellow man.  That is, effective demand (ability) comes from production.  In a general sense, the subjective willingness to demand, though directly unobservable in itself, can be taken for granted so long as survival remains a value to be pursued. 

The idea of putting aggregate demand in the driver’s seat was a deliberate attempt by Keynes to unhorse production from its primary role.   His goal was to address the 1930s problem of how supply had become some badly mismatched with demand.  He simply took this imbalance as given, and further, took supply as given, and proceeded to develop ways to stimulate AD so that it would match the level of AS.  By failing to consider how the 2 had become so badly out of balance, his “solution” was bound to fail (as the entire 1930s sub-par economic performance was testimony).   

To make a long story short, the prior decade’s buildup of excessive credit acted as a wedge driven between AS and AD, and in the 1930s it would require both deleveraging and liquidation to restore balance.  This process started but was short-circuited (by Hoover and FDR policies aimed at propping prices and AD).  Does any of this sound familiar for Japan (since 1990), the US (since 2000 or 2007 take your pick), and Europe (since 2010)?  It should.  SSDD. 

Mon, 10/08/2012 - 12:14 | 2868262 BigJim
BigJim's picture

  The funny thing is that they were both morons. Demand isn't created by the goods, it's created by human action.

Except Say never said 'supply creates its own demand'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Say's_law#Assumptions_and_critiques 

Keynes (deliberately, in my view) mis-stated the law so he could 'refute' it. What an asshole the man was. 

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 01:11 | 2862229 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

Ah, i remember my econ professor teaching Say's Law. It always made sense, in a most basic way. The opposite of this was like most of economics: unreal and forced. 

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 00:20 | 2862158 ACP
ACP's picture

Yeah this article was entirely confusing. It seemed like the first and last sentences in the last paragraph were somewhat contradictory.

I don't agree with the first sentence in the last paragraph, but I do agree with the last sentence in the last paragraph (conclusion). However, based upon the rest of the article, the last sentence means something different to the author than it does to me.

The author seems to think obstacles placed in front of businesses are suppressing production, which is in turn are suppressing the economy by not producing "a bunch of stuff."

My belief is that obstacles to business are suppressing investment in employees/capital expenditures in anticipation of future demand (risk factor). Edit: Increased capital investment during a period of weak demand (with a favorable business environment) would create more employment, thereby accelerating consumption and demand for the "next guy's" product. And so on and so forth.

It seems the author is attempting to apply the wrong economic principles to the current situtaion. Not only that, the explanation is incredibly dissociated.

The author must have a PhD in Economics.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 00:42 | 2862198 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I don't even know a Ph.D. that is this confused and contradictory. I know some people with Master's that are though. Most of the Ph/D/'s I know are Austrains though, and they are not that slow on the uptake and usually can point out irrationality.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 02:30 | 2862283 RichardP
RichardP's picture

I agree with your assessment of the article.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 09:08 | 2862488 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Krugman is a MORON becuase he equates Keynes' published writing with improving "society"

Keynes was an aristocrat trying to preserve and extend the wealth of British Empire and TPTB, at the expense of the serfs and lenders alike.  Keynes was the PT Barnum of economic ruling class, and Krugman is a sucker.  

Or, Krugman understands perfectly what Keynes actually thought and expressed in less public forums, and thinks the American people are suckers, who can be easily conned into extending the life of a dying empire.

Regarldless, it's not economics, it's politics.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 10:05 | 2862541 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

I think you have it pretty close to the mark.  I would simply add that the Keynesians need a healthy slave sector to acheive their maximum profit and lifestyle at the top of the pyramid-edifice they constructed.

And you are spot on with Krugman using double speak for public consumption.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 11:58 | 2862790 Kayman
Kayman's picture

In a closed economy Keynes' pumping of aggregate demand might have a chance of putting people to work.

China should thank the likes of Krugman and Bernanke for boosting aggregate demand in the Chinese economy.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 22:47 | 2862038 Carp Flounderson
Carp Flounderson's picture

it will if you show up with money in hand... pretty sure you just made a point against yourself.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 23:30 | 2862110 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

How do you think he got that money? Just by demanding it?

 

Productivity is at the center of an economy. Demand is infinite, it's basically an irrelevant constant.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 23:52 | 2862138 Carp Flounderson
Carp Flounderson's picture

Way to confuse the simplest of economic concepts.  Saying demand is infinite makes exactly as much sense as me claiming supply is always zero.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 01:10 | 2862228 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Sell Side = Un-natural.

Demand side = Reality.

Demand side mechanics cometh, this is the fear of the Krugwoman, supply-siders. 

http://squareandc.net/vision.html

ori

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 00:45 | 2862200 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Human Demand is infinite. Productivity is merely the focus, not the center. Satisfying Human Demand is the center of the economy, only satisfying that demand is worth noting.

 

Gah, it's like everyone read Mises but misinterpreted him.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 12:06 | 2862805 Kayman
Kayman's picture

"Human Demand is infinite."  Nonsense. Satiation trumps all.

How many meals can you eat? How many cars can you drive? How many iPhones can you answer at any one time? How many times can you pull your pud ?

Supply and Demand are 2 wobbly tops dancing drunkenly around each other.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 19:29 | 2863648 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Ask a guy in Calcutta what a meal is, and how much it costs. Translate that into USD, and then translate that into politico fundraiser Waygu steak and lobster with beluga caviar and Cristal. Then Translate that back into rupees, and tell the guy in Calcutta how much people spend one one meal in the USA. He will tell you that Americans are, in fact, insatiable.

Mon, 10/08/2012 - 12:21 | 2868284 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 "Human Demand is infinite."  Nonsense. Satiation trumps all.

How many people who play the lottery, and win 'enough to keep them going for a lifetime', wind up being poor again 5 or 10 years later?

People's demand, on average is virtually infinite. It certainly trumps the ability of the Earth to supply it all. 

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 02:33 | 2862285 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Demand is infinite  ...

Demand is non-existant without purchasing power.  Since purchasing power is not infinite, demand cannot be infinite.  Therefore, demand is a function of purchasing power (even if purchasing power = barter).

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 07:14 | 2862413 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Bullshit. I need food. I kill you. Now I have food.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 09:23 | 2862496 CynicLaureate
CynicLaureate's picture

Eat me.

Oh, wait, I guess that's your plan.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 22:39 | 2862025 Carp Flounderson
Carp Flounderson's picture

Let's see, economics on zero hedge... I haven't read the article yet, but I pretty much assume that the opposite of whatever it says is true.  Will read now and check back in shortly.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 22:55 | 2862054 Carp Flounderson
Carp Flounderson's picture

yeah, terrible.  priorities=rage first, education second.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 23:36 | 2862119 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

I looked at your post history. Found this:

Mises articles on economics are always so bad its amazing.

 

Looks like you could use some education yourself.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 23:54 | 2862140 Carp Flounderson
Carp Flounderson's picture

Educate me great one ;)  I'll knock down your mises educated ass any day of the week.

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 00:29 | 2862177 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

FUCKNUT ALERT! FUCKNUT ALERT!!!

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 00:52 | 2862206 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I always hear you retards claim that, but I haven't lost a debate on Economics with any of the critics of Mises... Working on my Master's in Economics as we speak. Would you like to discuss this topic in length?

I can send you my Screenname some where and we can do it in public, or I can send you my email if you are too scared to do it in public.

 

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 02:37 | 2862288 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Working on my Master's in Economics as we speak.

Be careful what you lead with.  There is a contingent here who think those with PhDs in Economics are stupider than corn.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 22:46 | 2862032 centerline
centerline's picture

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6566/text

Maybe I am late to this party.  If not, wake up dumb dumbs... here it comes.  Bullish for body bags.

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 23:50 | 2862135 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

about those body bags ..

if you're not a member of the 48-hour burialists, you're about to be subordinated. with all the attendent smelliness and crows-pecking-out-the-eyeballs etc
that'll teach you.

"Congress finds the following:
(1) Emergency preparedness .. fails to plan for how to prepare for and respond to mass fatalities ..
(2) Funeral homes, cemeteries, and mortuaries could be overwhelmed should mass fatalities arise ..
(3) Different religions have different customs surrounding death; for example, the Jewish and Muslim religions call for burial of the deceased not later than 48 hours after death."

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6566/text

aka the 2012 super-senior death tranche and free meals for the zombies act

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 10:44 | 2862637 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

with all the attendent smelliness and crows-pecking-out-the-eyeballs etc

 

This is when I'd like the option for multiple up arrow-ing. 

 

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