glyph 417: Ludwig von Mises, economist ... a wise caution on the construction and use of economic indexes ... economics, politics, statistics, economic calculation ..... Mises' Human Action is an essential resource for builders of freeorder leif
From Human Action, by Ludwig von Mises, Chapter XII, Section 4, on "Economic Calculation".
In practical life nobody lets himself be fooled by index numbers. Nobody agrees with the fiction that they are to be considered as measurements. Where quantities are measured, all further doubts and disagreements concerning their dimensions cease. These questions are settled. Nobody ventures to argue with the meteorologists about their measurements of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, and other meteorological data. But on the other hand nobody acquiesces in an index number if he does not expect a personal advantage from its acknowledgment by public opinion. The establishment of index numbers does not settle disputes; it merely shifts them into a field in which the clash of antagonistic opinions and interests is irreconcilable.
The above comes from The Ludwig von Mises Institute's site: http://www.mises.org
where will be found the full text of Human Action, and interactive table of contents and index.
http://www.mises.org/resources/3250 table of contents, and Human Action for free download
http://www.mises.org/humanaction/theindex.asp fully interactive index, compiled by Bettina Bien Greaves and hyperlinked by Ryan Henrie
December 30, 2007