February 2019

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I enjoyed listening to this podcast. Regarding ABCT, I have a question/criticism (by way of David Ramsay Steele)that I hope someone on this blog will take a stab at. Given the heterogeneous nature of capital, why wasn't there a severe downturn after WWII due to the necessity of reconfiguring the structure of production when we swtiched to a peacetime economy? Thanks.

Professor Boettke,

Thank you so much for another great podcast. The socialist calculation debate discussion was interesting as always. One question: In 2007, Myerson, Hurwicz, and Maskin won the Nobel and all of them mentioned the Socialist calculation debate with Myerson talking about it most extensively. However, I was surprised to here that Myerson discussed the debate in terms of the incentives of communal property and moral hazard rather than tackling what I thought was the real question i.e. economic calculation under a Socialist system. Myerson goes on to say that Mises and Hayek lacked the mathematical tools to design incentive compatible mechanisms and that was the missing link in the debate. I'm curious to here your thoughts about this. Thank you.

Mr. Waaks,

If I could rephrase your question and say, "Why didn't productivity go down after WWII," I would say down from what? The goods that were being produced in the war economy were being consumed by warriors. When it was no longer necessary to support a war, those resources became available for consumption by citizens. So while the structure of production did have to be reconfigured there was nowhere to go but up. It is like finding a lost cache of wagon-making implements after the automobile has been established. That capital is not as productive as it was during the time of the wagon, but since it was previously unused, its addition to capital stock is a marginal improvement.

These particles of light are the fastest things in the universe, so an optical computer could theoretically process information at speeds that make even a supercomputer look glacial.

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