I don't link to many videos, but this one deserves an exception.
One can learn a lot about the research methods of the modern economics profession in the comments of this post. I must say that I love this line: "And cold weather has never been a problem with our O-rings. I'm an engineer. Inductive data doesn't impress me." I often get in long discussions with economics PhDs at work and our disagreements seem to always come back to this point. Perhaps those of us who were trained as engineers will always come back to problem of designing systems that have to function in the real world.
At least in the financial world, the regulators just ask the banks how they want to be regulated.
Thoughts on reasoning versus trial and error:
This insistence on finding optimal theories a priori through reasoning is, in my belief, antithetical to actual progress in most areas. The world is a messy, complex place, and in general it is far better to go try something out, from which you can learn, and which can always be revised, than to sit around trying to perfect it and convince other people of its perfection. While I am not much of a scholar on Austrian economics, my understanding is that Hayek saw part of the advantage of a free market as allowing decentralized learning through experimentation.
"Harding did what Hoover is supposed to have done, reducing taxes and government expenditure. By 1923 the recession was over. It was the Great Depression that didn't happen." Read it all here.
A nice, but flawed article on Nock by Mr Goldberg. First the good:
He took pride in the fact that he was merely reminding those willing to be reminded that whatever is fashionable and new in the ideas of men is little more than a rebranding effort. We may change the wardrobe of humanity, but not its nature. And yet, to Nock’s exasperation, humanity’s innate folly is the belief that the clothes will somehow remake the man.
And the bad:
Really? The Right is in better shape, by what measure? The size of government has increased dramatically. Failures of government intervention are still seen as failures of freedom even as society becomes ever less free. Even when the Right manages to temporarily roll-back creeping statism, its victories are temporary – changes are never such that government’s form is changed or its powers are lessened.
Mr Goldberg concludes that Nock was incorrect in his assessments. I don’t see how Nock could have been more correct. I don’t think anything about today’s society or form of government would surprise him.
What completely vitiates Mr. Hayek’s work, Mr. Eric Johnston’s, and a whole shoal of others, is that they concede a small and strictly limited measure of State intervention — a sort of five-percent Statism. Apparently, like Mr. Shaw, these writers never heard of the Law of Parsimony, and have no idea of what it can do. If they had even considered the history of this country’s twenty-five years’ experience under the Income Tax Amendment, they would begin to see the reason why their notion is as absurd as the notion of a small and strictly limited implantation of tuberculosis, syphilis, or cancer.