Frank Knight’s footnote on wise social policy

Knowledge Problem

Footnote 16 in Frank Knight’s article, “Cost of production and price over long and short periods,” concluded with a sentence that ought likely to be added at the end of every expert’s policy proposal:

Of course this does not mean that they should be required to change quickly to such a basis from the present system, nor is the proposal expected to be taken seriously from the standpoint of that complex of auto-hallucination, humbug, and knavery which we call practical politics.

Of course I do not expect my proposal to be taken seriously from the standpoint of those complexes of auto-hallucination, humbug, and knavery which we call academic economics and “serious” policy analysis.

CITATION: Knight, Frank H. “Cost of production and price over long and short periods.” The Journal of Political Economy (1921): 304-335.

View original post

Milton Friedman Word of the Day: Augury

Capitalism and Friedman

Augury – an event that is experienced as indicating important things to come; “he hoped it was an augury”; “it was a sign from God.”

From Milton’s Capitalism and Freedom:

As Adam Smith once said, “There is much ruin in a nation.” Our basic structure of values and the interwoven network of free institutions will withstand much. I believe that we shall be able to preserve and extend freedom despite the size of the military programs and despite the economic powers already concentrated in Washington. But we shall be able to do so only if we awake to the threat that w face, only if we persuade our fellow men that free institutions offer a surer, if perhaps at times a slower, route to the ends they seek than the coercive power of the state. The glimmerings of change that are already apparent in the intellectual climate are a hopeful

View original post 28 more words

Reagan: “We can have peace this second, if we surrender.”

Critical Politics

This is the text of Ronald Reagan’s great speech.

“Let’s set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace–and you can have it in the next second–surrender.

Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face–that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand–the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure…

View original post 476 more words