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Pete is right!

Prof. Boettke,

I am glad that you are focused on the framework of Hayek and Mises, and would remind you of what it is.

Mises: "The idea underlying all inerventionist policies is that the higher income and wealth of the more affluent part of the population is a fund which can be freely used for the improvement of the conditions of the less prosperous. The essence of the interventionist policy is to take from one group to give to another. It is confiscation and distribution. Every measure is ultimately justified by declaring that it is fair to curb the rich for the benefit of the poor.

In the field of public finance progressive taxation of incomes and estates is the most characteristic manifestion of this doctrine. Tax the rich and spend the revenue for the improvement of the condition of the poor, is the principle of contemporary budgets. In the field of industrial relations shortening the hours of work, raising wages, and a thousand other measures are recommended under the assumption that they favor the employee and burden the employer. Every issue of government and community affairs is dealt with exclusively from the point of view of this principle."

Hayek: "Redistribution" was "the crucial issue on which the whole character of future society will depend" and "it would be disingenuous to avoid discussing" it.

So, when are you going to discuss it?

Mr. Lesvic,

I have raised the issue ---


Prof. Boettke,

I raised the issue, after which you nodded to it, but never got past your nodding acquaintance with it.

If you want to allocate your time most productively, why all the discussion of whether or not to discuss redistribution rather than discussing it; if you want to stem the tide of statism, why concede its most fundamental assusmption, that taking from the rich to give to the poor reduces inequality?

Another great post. I would agree (though certainly not with the enthusiasm Rizzo expressed) that science progresses through the dogged commitment of scholars working within a particular paradigm. But we have to be careful. While commitment to a research program makes possible the recognition of error, it does nothing to promote it. Scholars pursuing such a path often smell of dogma. They are averse to novelty and favor instead theoretical exercises that clearly spell out the legitimate areas of their science so that solutions to problems that concern them can always be anticipated in advance. This environment certainly does not encourage the discovery of anomalies. "Paradigm shifts" are the result of acts of resistance by younger generations, not those already committed to a particular course. Scientific progress depends on pluralism. If younger generations pursued their science with the same dogged commitment as their mentors, I doubt scientific progress would obtain at all.

In the aggregate, perhaps there is something to be said about the possibility of scientific progress with each individual doggedly pursuing a different paradigm. But the success of this argument depends on the quality of dialogue that exists between scientists of different stripes. And this is the point Polanyi tried to make. Jerry Gill wrote a great book entitled "The Tacit Mode" in which he discusses at length the meaning of Polanyi's work in this area. To summarize, our concern is not with objective truth, because that would imply that the human social context can be ignored, but instead with the acceptance, by the scientific community, of certain findings and statements. I would argue that the existence of a collection of dogmatic scientists does not guarantee the advancement of science. Respect for competing ideologies and a willingness to engage in dialogue are prerequisites to scientific progress. Again, these are characteristics that are not usually found among the doggedly committed. The younger generations are the engine of scientific progress.

There are of course time constraints, and one cannot learn everything. But someone who remains curious can certainly find the time to read widely. What I have found is that you can either read things that confirm what you already know, or read things that challenge what it is you think you already know. Lately, my reading list has focused on the latter.

Your posts are great, and I wish I could comment on every sentence, but I will end here. Thanks again for another great read!

Every day that you avoid the issue is one day closer to Hillarycare. So, when you get it, don't blame anyone but yourselves.

If you do not pay attention to me Lesvic Junior, I shall stamp my feet and roll around on the floor screaming and leaving 1 line comments all over this blog.

So start paying attention to me because I am very very important and know more economics than Peter Boettke.

Make that more economics than anybody.

Wow! The modesty of this Lesvic fellow is truly staggering. You austrians must be real spineless to not ban him!

I thought you boys would like that one.

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