Monday, August 11, 2014

A Relationship with Austrian Economics

This week I have finally started to read a book, The Economics of Time and Ignorance by O'Driscoll and Rizzo, which I have noticed referenced many times in my reading during the last five or ten years. Although I am still in the first chapter, I am struck this book may be more relevant to my work than any other book I have started for the past 15 years. I appreciate how clearly the authors state some of the precepts of Austrian economics. The authors clarify some views which have always been murky to me. But also I notice what is not in the book so far.

So I think I am seeing more clearly how this blog's theme, the Resource-Patterns Model of life (RPM*), can contribute to economic understanding and study. I think RPM adds axioms which are essential for a better understanding of social intercourse. I report that I have seen nothing so far in Austrian or mainstream economic literature which adds what RPM adds. While Austrian economics seems good to me, more useful for my ends than mainstream economics, still Austrian economics leaves big gaps. (You may safely assume that I am a biased reporter. :)

I continue to suppose that I need to write RPM as a book. I believe the book promotes a new Kuhnian paradigm. So the book will not pause in an attempt to establish a base of credibility in either mainstream or Austrian economics. Rather it needs to stand on its own, accessible to a curious layman. If I find readers who value RPM, these readers will probably not come from among established economists, although I will certainly be delighted if any established economists prove me wrong about this.

Perhaps there will be a chapter's worth of tie-ins with mainstream economics. After RPM is laid out and given many clarifying examples, I believe it will be a helpful exercise for me and other economists to revisit ideas such as market and equilibrium, to see how such ideas relate to structures we imagine in RPM. Indeed, once RPM is established in the mind of the reader, I hope that many old ideas will gain depth when seen from the direction of the new paradigm. Additional old ideas which will gain new perspective include: policy, firm, price, institution.

I plan to attend a meeting of Austrian economists in northern Virginia on October 2. Before that meeting I hope to have finished the book by O'Driscoll and Rizzo.  And I hope to have drafts completed for a few of the chapters of my fancied book on RPM.

* RPM.  While adopting this shorthand for my model, I recognize the precedent claims of both Revolutions Per Minute and Robert P. Murphy.

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