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Old 08-18-2018, 12:29 AM
 
18,094 posts, read 15,442,147 times
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Goodness...no, the failure of the command economy has nothing to do with efficiency issues.

For a command economy to be successful, it must have no competitors. To have no competitors, the gov must create laws to prevent competition. This goes against human nature, which is why command economies tend to be rather totalitarian and brutal, as it is the only why to keep people from engaging in free market activities.

Not turning this into a debate about economic systems, but just pointing out that efficiency is not the flaw in the system.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:41 AM
 
3,609 posts, read 1,587,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Goodness...no, the failure of the command economy has nothing to do with efficiency issues.

For a command economy to be successful, it must have no competitors. To have no competitors, the gov must create laws to prevent competition. This goes against human nature, which is why command economies tend to be rather totalitarian and brutal, as it is the only why to keep people from engaging in free market activities.

Not turning this into a debate about economic systems, but just pointing out that efficiency is not the flaw in the system.
What you said is all true. I'm just wondering if computing power could have reduced inefficiency in a Soviet system that was pretty much chaos from day 1.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:43 AM
 
325 posts, read 191,952 times
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I suppose it's theoretically possible, if you're positing a computer that knows every individual's relative preferences of every good and service at every given time, but I don't think even the Russians can build an omniscient entity.

The economic calculation problem under socialism and communism is not one of inefficient production, it is the inability to properly value goods and services. As Mises explained, these valuations are subjective, individual, and constantly changing, and therefore not knowable by a central authority. Even if a computer did somehow have perfect knowledge of all these factors, I doubt it would be useful, as prices and costs and supply and demand are constantly changing. By the time a human checks the computer output for, say, how much to charge for a bushel of corn, the value will have changed. I guess you could look at the average values for a given good over a period of time, but doesn't strike me as a calculation so much as an observation of what the market is doing on its own anyway.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:40 AM
 
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Of course it will be possible. Why wouldn't it? We're not that biologically complex. However, everything is predicated on educated guesses. AI cannot account for things that we don't know we don't know.

Many things are possible.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:43 AM
 
3,273 posts, read 1,699,730 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Goodness...no, the failure of the command economy has nothing to do with efficiency issues.

For a command economy to be successful, it must have no competitors. To have no competitors, the gov must create laws to prevent competition. This goes against human nature, which is why command economies tend to be rather totalitarian and brutal, as it is the only why to keep people from engaging in free market activities.

Not turning this into a debate about economic systems, but just pointing out that efficiency is not the flaw in the system.
If anything, the government has been utilized to break up monopolies.

Check that, I actually agree. The government does create regulations that can sometimes pick "winners." But this is the problem when they are immune from insider trading.

Why are they allowed to buy call options on Amazon prior to enacting regulations that will benefit its stock price? Greed is the weakness that will lead to America's destruction if we do not keep in check.

Last edited by Jobster; 08-18-2018 at 04:59 AM..
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:47 AM
 
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It seems that you're primarily focused on supply chain optimization. That requires data. The ideal ordering system, is an economic ordering quantity system. However, an economic ordering system requires enough data to exist that you can accurately predict around the exact amount of quantity and around the exact delivery date.

Not all things can be optimized in such a way. But yes, our ability to optimize the supply chain process will continuously improve as long as we are adding data and improving processing power.

This is more a of a human behavior type of question.

Last edited by Jobster; 08-18-2018 at 04:57 AM..
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:41 AM
 
3,871 posts, read 2,134,792 times
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No. You could achieve Pareto optimality for a modeled economy but it would by nature be a poor estimate of the real economy it's modeling. Also, it would be a model of a static economy. There would be no way to account for changes in costs, tastes (I hate preferences as the term is so presumptous), technology, new resources, or political developments.

Allan Bloom said something like economic man is imaginary but Hitler and Stalin are real. That's a measure of the gap between what economic models try to measure and what really is.
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:27 AM
 
Location: HSV
326 posts, read 421,855 times
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What timeline of Soviet history are you referring to?

The economy under Brezhnev was very different from the economy under Stalin.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:00 AM
 
2,893 posts, read 1,313,943 times
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No amount of computing power can overcome the bad assumptions that the Soviets made in their planning. Things like essentially decreeing that an oil and gas enterprise would find and develop X amount of hydrocarbons in a 5 year plan, which completely ignored the fact that finding and developing natural resources from scratch isn't predictable, much less assured. That meant that the steel producers who made all of the tubulars and oilfield equipment for the planned oil and gas development made goods that weren't used and sat useless.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, I read several articles that discussed how factories there actually subtracted value from the inputs, ie $1000 of inputs were turned into $800 of product. That's not sustainable either.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
4,196 posts, read 5,231,961 times
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The command economy was possible in the early part of the 20th century. It just didn't work very well as seen by 21st century Americans.

Poor planning wasn't why it didn't work. Computers might make the planning better, but it makes no sense to improve things that weren't the problem.
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