(Image Courtesy of Google Images)
Milton Friedman on Freedom
Rothbard on Friedman
Classic Friedman Teaches a Liberal an Economic Lesson
Capitalism and Freedom
Is Milton Friedman a Statist
The Minimum Wage Myth
"Finally these valuations are entirely subjective in two ways: Jones's utility or satisfaction from wearing a pair Oakley's cannot be compared quantifiably to his satisfaction from wearing a pair of Ray-Bans. Even by his own inspection."As I mentioned in the previous post, Austrian economists make this claim very often. One thing I have never seen them do though is argue against von Neumann and Morgenstern who wrote in 1944 that we can make such interpersonal measurements. Furthermore, to do so, it takes no more than a simple thought experiment which Austrians should love.
"All this [utility] is strongly reminiscent of the conditions existent at the beginning of the theory of heat: that too was based on the intuitively clear concept of one body feeling warmer than another, yet there was no immediate way to express significantly by how much, or how many times, or in what sense.
This comparison with heat also shows how little one can forecast a priori what the ultimate shape of such a theory will be. The above crude indications do not disclose at all what, as we now know, subsequently happened. It turned out that heat permits quantitative description not by one number but by two: the quantity of heat and temperature."They go one further and argue that
"The historical development of the theory of heat indicates that one must be extremely careful in making any negative assertions about any concept with the claim to finality. Even if utilities look very unnumerical today, the history of experience in the theory of heat may repeat itself, and nobody can foretell with what ramifications and variations"