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Keynes

Rationally Choose Your Fields of Ignorance

Ludwig von Mises

John Maynard Keynes

A reader, commenting on a recent post dealing with the coming economic collapse, had this to say:

Unfortunately I share your pessimism, and got into a fairly heated discussion about this very topic in the doctors’ lounge at work yesterday. I am still dumb founded at how very bright minds can still look at the figures and come up with the very illogical conclusion that everything will “be fine”. Economic reality doesn’t get put on hiatus because people OD’d on hopium. Meanwhile, our populace is no longer taught about the founding principles that made this nation great. They are no longer taught about the Constitution. They are more likely to have a class about proper condom usage or fisting rather than one about the Constitution. American Karaoke and iPhones are the new opium of the masses. We are collectively economically illiterate. There is no understanding of the free market. The little “understanding” we DO have is actually false as the media and academia have falsely demonized capitalism ignoring the wealth it generated and all of the amazing goods it created that bettered the world. The only version of economics taught in college involve Keynes and not Friedman, Hayek, Mises etc.

When one looks at the history of nations that have collapsed, one notices that the transition is usually not slow. There is typically some triggering event that leads to a series of events in a domino matter resulting in collapse virtually over night. We saw it in the Czech Republic, the former Soviet Union, Zimbabwe, Argentina, etc etc etc. The same will happen in Europe, and at some point here when people realize that over night our US dollar became absolutely worthless. As you accurately concluded: “There is no easy or safe solution to our problem.”

There is truth in these observations and also a sense of frustration. Others have expressed similar thoughts and concerns, so I thought some comments might be useful.

Arithmetical Ignorance: There is no excuse for arithmetic or logical ignorance, especially by “very bright minds.” Both subjects are learned adequately in grade school. Understanding them does not require bright minds, merely average ones. Thus, I suspect that something else is at work in the comments above.

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