Today\’s Ritchie

This is simply gorgeous from Mr. Murphy.

Your comments on markets shows just how naive the whole basis of your thinking is

Get over first year undergraduate economics

There are no supply and demand curves

Firstly – they don;t slope consistently, if they exist

Second – advertising, monopoly power and externalities destroys them for most commodities

Third, you assume the existence of homo economicus – which is sweet but utterly ridiculous of you – maximisers aren’t out there – so the market you think exists is simply a fiction

I could go on, and on

I don’t need to – all you prove by your comments is that all you and your like say is based on a profound fallacy – and therefore irrelevant.

In one fell swoop, centuries of economics is overturned by our hero!

Markets don\’t exist nor do supply and or demand curves!

Is there nothing this man doesn\’t know?

I think in fact that he\’s heard some scraps of this or that and then leapt to these truly insane conclusions. For example, of course supply and demand curves don\’t slope consistently. No one has ever tried to say that they do: consider the demand curve for water. At the level of a litre or so a day we\’ll pay damn near anything for it. At the level of millions of litres pouring through the front door it inverts as we\’ll pay people to pump it out of the front room for us.

It would be a very strange economics indeed which didn\’t recognise this sort of thing: and of course economics does indeed recognise it. That the curves change shape at different points, even that they have inflection points, doesn\’t mean that they don\’t exist or that they can\’t be useful at times.

He might also be thinking of the fact that the curves are not continuous (rather than consistent) and that they are discrete. This does complicate matters it is true, but doesn\’t obviate them.

You can fill in the rest for yourselves really: advertising for example doesn\’t destroy demand curves, although it might change them (indeed, the point of it is to shift them….meaning that the existence of advertising rather proves the existence of demand curves which is something of a blow to Murphy\’s thesis).

The very description of monopoly power rests on the way in which the monopolist faces a different supply curve than firms in a competitive market which again is something of a blow to the idea that the existence of monopoly power disproves the existence of supply curves.

Etc, etc and so forth.

13 comments on “Today\’s Ritchie

  1. “There are no supply and demand curves

    Firstly – they don;t slope consistently, if they exist”

    Of course they don’t, arsewipe. That’s why they are called ‘curves’.

  2. advertising for example doesn’t destroy demand curves, although it might change them (indeed, the point of it is to shift them….meaning that the existence of advertising rather proves the existence of demand curves which is something of a blow to Murphy’s thesis)

    Isn’t Murphy always yammering on about how advertising and marketing induce “everyone” to go out and buy X in a robotic fashion, regardless of the need/want?

    Does the Murphyism regarding adverts/marketing not also blow his “no curves” routine?

    Being a firm homo economicus myself, I know that Murphyism to be untrue ….. first-hand.

  3. Richard Murphy is one of those dangerous people who understand a little, but are unaware that what they do understand is vastly outweighed by what they don’t.

  4. any public funding received by Murphyand the orgasisations he belongs to such as TJN must be claimed back and the spokesmen subjected to what I would term a “wankers’ tax”

  5. Calm down, its only a commercial.
    Please remember that Mr. Murphy makes his living serving the purposes of the TUC. everyone has a right to earn a living, and nobody has a duty to further the interests of mankind (well OK those who believe in Christianity might differ on that, as well as believers in other religions in which I am poorly versed).
    He’s simply making a crust- give him a break.

  6. But, Pat, this twat believes, at jihadi levels, that he IS furthering the interests of mankind. ‘Everyone has a right to earn a living?’ Not from being a twat, still less from trying to maximise the amount of twattishness in public policy.

  7. I’ve not read his article, but he is kindof right, isn’t he? If they exist they are very hard to gauge – show me a proper demand curve for any good, even a basic commodity, even at any one point in time.

  8. Matthew,

    Here’s an example someone once used on me. You take a box of Mars Bars into a room full of people, and say you’re selling them on the condition that each buyer eats them themselves.

    You say, how many do people want to buy at £1 each? Three people want one each. (You don’t actually sell them.) You then say, what about at 90p each. A few more people join in. What about 80p? Etc.

    You plot this on a graph. Hurrah! Demand curve.

    Now the Austrians tell us only a transaction is good enough evidence of someone’s preferences. But assuming these people are not lying or insane, surely what they tell us about how many Mars Bars they would buy at various prices is somewhat trustworthy, somewhat accurate evidence of their preferences?

  9. Murphy’s response is bonkers. He bites the bullet: he accepts it would destroy overnight lending, but doesn’t seem to care.

  10. Hugo,

    It isn’t he doesn’t care. It is what he wants. Banking is categorically BAD, therefore the less of it there is the better, to punish the wicked people that do it.

  11. The best and most shut-up-inducing response to the “advertising controls the consumers” trope is…

    New Coke.

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