Hayek in Vienna

Friday, November 04, 2005

Homo Oeconomicus?

Don Boudreaux in a funny note on an American driver of old cars remarks in essence that people always think they know the (economic) consequences of their actions but can't really judge them. Basic economic understanding is not widespread either in the U.S. of A. (what is a foreign car, most are made in the U.S. now just not in unionized Detroit but down south) or in Austria where they think saving at 0,5 % for your old age is smart!? See my previous post. The guy we learned about who knows the full situation and acts upon it just doesn't exist. But somehow lots of individuals acting as they see fit create interesting outcomes. Seems Hayek said something like that? Well tomorrow back to some of his letters and since its getting cold and dark and I heard Bing Crosby for the first time this year maybe I'll let you know what Friedrich wished for for Christmas.

Rest in the mountains

The first thing they said about blogging was that you need to post regularly to get readers. So in the first month I've broken that rule. Here's why: I've been doing what Hayek did on a regular basis, taking time off to think and collect myself in the mountains. I've been away from the net (or at least broadband and I don't surf with dial-up anymore, just check the mail..). After a terrible summer with too much rain its been the warmest October in memory and the Austrian mountains are just beautiful and relaxing at this time of year. Just getting away was great and the delights of harvest time in a rural area with fresh produce, wine, chestnuts and pumpkins really rounded it out. If it hadn't been for the papers it would have been even better. First, fall vacation should be regulated rather than decided on by individual schools, then the great "world savings day" € 113 billion on passbook savings accounts at rates of 1/2 percent with inflation at 2 % and a tax of 25% on interest, it's time this country got a really working capital market! The government is in discussions with the rail workers union, seems they again want to raise the retirement age from 53 (!) and maybe change the work rules so that the estimated 12000 employees that everyone agrees are not currently needed in the basic rail business can at least be transferred to another job in the company (since everyone employed before 1996 is a civil servant they can't be fired). O.K. next time I take a few days off no papers! But I really have to agree with Hayek, there are few ways to relax and think like a bit of work and walking in the mountains.