20 Dec 2014

Tom Woods Confesses to His Listeners

Krugman, Shameless Self-Promotion, Tom Woods 1 Comment

There are a lot of things you will learn in this episode of the Tom Woods Show:

(1) He is a good dad.

(2) He is a workaholic.

(3) “Contra Krugman” will launch in April. Let’s hope Krugman is still a Keynesian!

20 Dec 2014

U.S. Monetary History Bask

Market Monetarism 15 Comments

Hey kids, sorry to ask this, but Scott Sumner is getting uppity and I really need the monthly M2 figures for the U.S. in the period of 1919 – 1922. I don’t need the figures for every single month in that span, but it would be great to know the peaks and troughs.

Does anybody have Friedman and Schwartz handy and want to type in 8 or so important data points? (If you can find it online that would be even better of course, but I’m just seeing annual averages.)

18 Dec 2014

Murphy Plugs *Understanding Bitcoin* and Tom Woods’ *Real Dissent*

Bitcoin, Shameless Self-Promotion, Tom Woods 1 Comment

Here’s the link to the Bitcoin website, and here’s the link to Tom’s new book that helps me buy Christmas presents.

18 Dec 2014

Potpourri

Potpourri 6 Comments

==> I am late in announcing this blogger Scott Alexander, but he is fantastic. (A bunch of econ bloggers were praising him about a month ago.) He is very sharp but beyond that he illustrates his points with numerous links to show he’s not attacking a strawman (or woman). For example, here he talks about the dangers of relying on one study that “debunks” another; make sure you check out his discussion of the minimum wage debate. But the classic was his long post on social justice. (I think David Friedman was the first guy to link to Alexander, at least in my travels in the geeconosphere.)

==> This Roger Farmer post on Real Business Cycle theory is very interesting. I don’t necessarily endorse it, but I linked when this guy took a similar swipe at Krugman, so I might as well showcase his assault on Ed Prescott too. (HT2 Noah Smith)

==> Assuming the feminist website got the story right (I didn’t follow the links), this is pretty astounding. A woman was jailed for not taking adequate care of her fetus, and then in jail the authorities didn’t allow her to take adequate care of her fetus. Furthermore, she is now going to be listed on the child abuse registry, and so won’t be able to continue her job as a nurse which is how she planned on taking care of her child. Sometimes you almost get the sense that the State’s violence doesn’t solve social problems, ya know?

==> I wonder whether the lads being arrested were actually only 12 as the witness claims (and the website repeats uncritically), but in any event there’s no denying that these young people are clearly not a threat, the officers have them under control, and yet a cop runs in and starts punching one of them. In most lines of work, you get in big trouble if you run up and punch a kid.

==> Chip Knappenberger and Pat Michaels quantify the mismatch between the climate models and Nature.

18 Dec 2014

The SWAT Team Is Your Friend

Police 5 Comments

If this guy just would have died, then the police wouldn’t have had to charge him with felony assault. These poor cops can’t please some people no matter what.

FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

18 Dec 2014

Gas Prices Still High By Historical Standards

Oil, Shameless Self-Promotion 8 Comments

I was actually surprised by how much. Here’s the article, but check out this chart:

Historical Gas Prices

17 Dec 2014

Stock Market Still Utterly Dependent on Easy Money

Business cycle 4 Comments

The Fed’s announcement today sent stocks soaring. From a CNBC story:

U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, with the Dow marking its best session of the year, as investors celebrated a rally in the energy sector and the Federal Reserve’s pledge to be patient in raising interest rates.

Stocks rose after the Federal Reserve retained the phrase “considerable time” in its policy statement, and also introduced another word, “patient,” as the central bank readies to raise interest rates next year.

Specifically, both the S&P500 and Nasdaq indices were up more than 2 percent. In her remarks Fed chief Janet Yellen said that the Fed would likely keep rates pat for a “couple” more of its meetings, meaning that the first rate hike wouldn’t occur until April (if then).

Here is some historical context for the virtually 0% federal funds rate the U.S. has had since 2009:

Fed funds history

If you think that interest rates serve a function in the market economy, helping to allocate scarce savings among possible investment projects, then you should be very concerned that the Fed’s policies for the last several years have been distorting the entire capital structure of the economy. To learn more, check out this collection of essays on so-called Austrian business cycle theory. For a quick fable that introduces the idea, here’s my “sushi article.”

17 Dec 2014

Potpourri

Potpourri, private law, Rothbard, Shameless Self-Promotion 13 Comments

==> I’ve been really enjoying Tom Woods’ show lately. Not to downplay the other guests, but make sure you catch Michael Malice on the cops and Scott Horton on the Senate torture report.

==> Speaking of the torture report, apparently Americans aren’t too worried about it. And Dick Cheney explicitly says that he would rather torture 25% innocent people rather than allow 30% guilty people return to the battlefield. Blackstone, he’s not.

==> Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute had me on to talk about recent police cases and the connection to Rothbard.