Beauty is subjective. I find my better half to be the most beautiful and constantly praiseworthy specimen of humanity to ever walk the Earth, but I really only have my own lifespan and experience, and she – no Austrian, it must be remembered – is quick to point this out. I insist that I don’t care, that her unending capacity to amaze me with her beauty, her sense of humour, her intelligence, her capacity to floor me in occasionally quite noisy intellectual debates, and her attitude to work and presentation are, taken together, simply overwhelming. But why? I am not the arbiter of all truth. By what right does a skinny freak from Somerset hold a candle to a Bay Area young professional? You already know what I’m going to say. Yes, beauty is subjective.

There, I said it. Everybody is entirely willing to humour this praxeologist when he suggests that taste in art is subjective. Suffice it to say that value is in the eye of the beholder also. Is the reaction the same, though? Never. My family and friends are people smart enough to know that if value is subjective then all kinds of sacred cows like minimum and living wages, the right to work, education or healthcare, are suddenly rendered absurd and exposed as just another bunch of goods and services like everything else, and subject to the same forces as everything else. And that’s a very interesting point, because where there is scarcity in material things, there is little point in trying to make normative (‘ought to be’) statements about this is that wage level or unemployment statistic or whether or not the neighbourhood has a park.

Parks are nice and I like them subjectively, but their value is subjective, not objective. Only morality can ever claim objectivity, or the universal truths of human behaviour such as the action axiom. There is no moral imperative to provide parks and recreation spaces, to monopolise and fossilise the education of children, the care of the dying, elderly and sick, or to provide a guaranteed minimum income or free jobs. Remember your Friedman; “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

So I must concede, and so must everyone, that value is subjective. It is this very subjectivity which gives rise to economic exchange in the first place. But I’ll make allowances for interpersonal hyperbole since it’s so achingly difficult to escape speaking as though from objective authority when I’m trying to express how my good lady makes me feel about life, about possibility, and about the chances for love in the world at large. You know who you are. I love you.