K's Shoe can work on ad-hominem distraction techniques all he wants, the fact remains, the worst shitholes of human poverty exist where representative government does not. Where warlords and anarchy reigns, people suffer miserably. The second worst shitholes on this planet are those that live under some flavor of Marxism. North Korea to China to the former Soviet Union, human suffering, poverty and practical slavery are rampant. The only societies in which the common man has been able to elevate himself above such levels of poverty and subjugation, have been societies where free markets and individual freedom are valued. This has a gold record in history, and you aren't going to be able to come up with a historical record to refute it. You do realize that the poor and homeless in Santa Barbara are better off and better cared for than the laborers in Rawanda, or the peons in North Korea don't you? The historical evidence is irrefutable, central planning of the life and death of people has only ended in disaster, and you can't refute that, because it's historical fact.
I think this is the third or fourth thread I've presented this argument in, but you haven't ever been able to successfully refute it. Actually, you've never even acknowledged it, so I suppose it hurts your brain pan. This is an argument that stabs at the heart of Marxist thought, is backed by science and mathematics, and breaks any theory which requires a centrally planned economy in two.Originally Posted by Wee Wee Wee
The nail in the coffin of Marxist theory is mathematical in nature, and since Ludwig Von Misses postulated the scenario in the 1920's , and F.A. Hayek expanded upon this hypothesis in the 50's through the 70's, no one in the world of economic science has been able to refute it or counter this argument. This argument is the Economic Calculation Problem, a problem the free market evolved to conquer, and centrally planned economies cannot work around because they didn't evolve specifically to deal with this problem.
Now if you want to understand the problem, you have to understand the reason an economy of some sort exists in the first place. Furthermore, you have to understand human nature. An economy exists to bring the resources of nature, in a usable form, to the people who have use for those resources in the most efficient, meaning lowest cost, manner possible. When a lioness stalks a herd of gazelle on the plains of Africa, she doesn't choose the biggest, strongest, alpha male in the herd to be her meal. The lioness balances efficiency on calories expended versus calories earned, and that is how lowest cost is determined, and highest profit is calculated.
However, economics isn't about profit and loss, that's business. Economics is about the distribution of resources. After all, when you go to work, if you worked, you wouldn't work for the dollar, it's just a means of exchange. You work for what that means of exchange can provide for you. In other words, you aren't working a week for $600, you are working for that new T.V. or down payment on that car the $600 can provide. From the T.V. to the dinner table your dollars represent usable, material goods, and nothing more.
From the raw ore, petroleum, organics and geology required to make one T.V., a group of people free to make their own decisions based on the prices of these raw materials decide which glass and plastics and components enter the plant and leave the plant in the form of a T.V. You have hundred of thousands of independent actors deciding how to make the best product for the lowest labor cost in order to compete. The decisions are made based on price signals. When the price of ore, or glass, or labor increases, these hundreds of thousands of market actors, from Samsung to Visio make decisions all the way from switching purchases from a different glass wholesaler, to moving plants to a more labor friendly environment all in the name of bringing a competitive product at a competitive price to store shelves. It takes literally thousands of people making decisions based on price signals to bring a single 52" Flat Screen T.V. to market for the competitive price of $650. This design of individual actors creates a fault tolerant, neural network of buyers and sellers that can deal with most resource shortages locally, and supplement consumer value with import goods when scarcity demands price increases. Under this system, maximum production is utilized based on net purchase of raw materials. This is how we employ fully, and consume what we earn.
Contrast that to a centrally planned economy, which is a requirement of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need". After all, there must exist some sort of planning agency able to assess needs and abilities in order for this scheme to work. Think about that single T.V. which is manufactured. From the raw materials required for copper, and plastics and glass, to the intermediate components, not manufactured for retail sale, but manufactured to be used as components in T.V.'s. Now imagine a congressional committee debating, once every few months which resources, from those mined and welled, to the transport required to bring them to manufacturing, to the intermediate plants pressing out silicon chips. How much debate and decision would that sort of planning require in committee, and more importantly, how many experts from each field (i.e. manufacturing, mining, geological survey, chemical engineering, smelting, etc) would be required in this committee?
The sum and substance is this: In order to accommodate the demand for T.V.'s these resources, under centrally planned Marxist ideology, must be divvied up, by committee, amongst the manufactures of T.V.'s, cars, trains, planes, paper plates, automobiles, laptops, and every single other industry in the correct amounts. In order to accomplish this feat, this committee must include as many experts as required to accomplish this feat under a free market. However, since this committee will be a competition for resources amongst several industries, the debate won't end and there will be too many people within the committee to reach a quorum.
So, there you have it, the economic calculation problem, which free market actors have been solving for centuries, brings the Marxist theory of labor and production to its knees, and insures that a planned economy of any sort is doomed to failure. No economist since the 20's has been able to work around this problem with a government or centrally planned theory, ever.