Archive for May 16th, 2017

The Economic School you’ve barely heard of : Austrian School

May 16, 2017

The author of this article titles it as “The Economic School You’ve Never Heard Of”. I have been kinder and replaced never with barely. But yes the author could be just right. It is highly unlikely that today’s economists have never heard about the Austrian School of Economic thought. I just wrote about reading dead economists but we have case for many important things being just dead in economic teaching.

Valentin Schmid of Epoch times writes a nice piece about the forgotten yet highly important teachings from Austrian School (HT: Cafe Hayek blog).

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Reading and Listening to Dead Economists…

May 16, 2017

Good friend Niranjan once told me how at a conference on so called new economics. To his shock and amusement,  none of what they were saying was new but old economics!

In the same spirit, Jeff Deist of Mises Institute says we should read and listen to dead economists:

We don’t revere dead economists to maintain their place in some academic hierarchy, or to satisfy an atavistic desire for an unchanging intellectual order. We revere them because their ideas still have purchase, because their work yields knowledge that is sorely needed today. We read them and promote them in order to understand the world as it is, filled with billions of purposeful but often irrational human actors. We need dead economists to save us from ourselves and to refute the stubborn myths of collectivism. We need them most of all because their work and their insights are far superior to those of most economists alive today. There is no “New Economics,” only new academic work that painstakingly advances the the knowledge bequeathed to us.

Totally agree!

Why does it cost more to cross platforms in railway stations compared to crossing the city by taxi?

May 16, 2017

There have been some appreciable changes in Indian railways especially its immediate responses to complaints sent via twitter while traveling. However, somethings have not changed at all.

One of them is the luggage transportation system within the station. It is highly ironical that one pays more to just cross a few meters of platforms compared to a taxi which travels many a kilometres within the city.

This is all because there is just no alternate to the porter/coolie system which charges all kinds of prices. The services are hopelessly monopolised with no other alternate but to pay crazy fares. One can only negotiate so much. There is also a kind of cartel which means if you reject someone’s services, other will not pick it up. So you have little choice.

It is even more ironical that you pay more to hire those trolleys which are available for free at airports (though in west they charge you for trolleys as well). I remember how one asked for hefty price just to cross one platform on Mumbai Central Station saying after all we are moving your luggage on the trolley.

Compare this to the taxi system. There was a time when taxis would cost as much well as it was all unionised. But thanks to introduction of competition and multiple players, inter-city taxi prices have come down. One is now travelling from and to various places at a fraction of a price compared to a few years. If one is lucky and there is less traffic, the fare could be less than half of what one paid when there was no competition. With many discount etc offers, the trip could be free as well.

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