25 May 2011

Bob Murphy, the Best Ideologue Money Can Buy

Conspiracy, Humor 84 Comments

Details here. But I warn you, I’m no Keynesian scholar. (HT2 Bob Roddis)

84 Responses to “Bob Murphy, the Best Ideologue Money Can Buy”

  1. Michael J. Green says:

    “Murphy Is An Austrian School Economist Who Challenged Paul Krugman To A Debate.”

    You hack!

  2. Evilsceptic says:

    I hope they don’t spend most of time trying to paint you as a racist like they did with DiLorenzo.

  3. Daniel Hewitt says:

    It could have been worse….at least they refrained from posting your old YouTube videos!

  4. Joseph Fetz says:

    So, Bob. Are you driving the Ferrari or the Bentley to the hearing? Personally, I recommend the Bentley, it’s a little classier.

  5. Maurizio Colucci says:

    You should be thankful they did not post the videos of you singing karaoke…

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      What are you talking about, Bob’s version of ‘Margaritaville’ JAMS!!!

      ;)

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Maurizio, what are you talking about? My New York New York on facebook is one of my proudest achievements.

  6. Major_Freedom says:

    Murphy Is A Citizen of the United States of America. According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy: “Robert P. Murphy teaches economics at Hillsdale College and is an American economist.”

    American Economists Work at Various Think Tanks that Receive Money From Bad People. According to Media Matters Action Network’s Conservative Transparency data, American Economists received $1 bajillion from Bad People between 2002 and 2007.[Media Matters Action Network, accessed 5/23/11]

  7. RG says:

    It was surprising to see the articles linked. That’s a huge positive.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I realize this may be way overanalyzing, but I thought the intern at Soros Headquarters or whoever did this research, saw the Krugman videos and thought they were funny. So the person couldn’t do a complete hatchet job on me. I mean, why did he include so much from my DiLorenzo piece? He could’ve just ended with me saying Lincoln was a tyrant.

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        You know, I was thinking the same exact thing. When I was reading it I immediately noticed that while he did bold the portion where you said Lincoln was a tyrant, they left the rest where you explain what he did. I thought that it was quite curious.

  8. Roger Ritthaler says:

    TANSTABP
    Perhaps “there ain’t no such thing as bad publicity”.

  9. Randy Bobandy says:

    im surprised they didnt research far enough to find out youre an anarchist. either that or they dont think it would look too bad afterall?

    • yahya says:

      yeah, surprising that wasn’t included. shall we email them and ask for a correction? LOL

  10. Bob Roddis says:

    The great blogger “Lord Keynes” has gone after Bill Anderson and takes another swipe at Bob Murphy:

    “Anderson’s rather feeble question demonstrates that in fact he has no proper understanding of Keynesian economics. No big surprises there: it’s a common failing of Austrian ideologues, and Robert P. Murphy is in the same boat too.”

    http://tinyurl.com/3u2s4g3

    Make sure you read MMT guru Bill Mitchell’s explanation about Zimbabwe inflation (LK provides the link), which starts with:

    “Now at the risk of repeating myself a million times, this is the macroeconomic sequence that defines responsible fiscal policy practice. This is basic macroeconomics and the debt-deficit-hyperinflation hyperventilating neo-liberal terrorists seem unable to grasp it:

    1. The sovereign government, which is not revenue-constrained because it issues the currency, has a responsibility for seeing that the workforce is fully employed. etc………….ad nauseum.”

    • Rick Hull says:

      Heh, I love the response:

      > ABCT is a myth. There is no such thing as a “natural interest” rate.

    • Daniel Kuehn says:

      Do you lift Bill up to Bob’s standards in the same way that LK puts Bob down on Bill’s level?

      I was a little surprised/troubled by the comparison when I saw that. I’ve seen no evidence to suggest that Bill Anderson is anything but an ideologue and a bully. He’s not like DeLong – a guy that does economics but has a sharp tongue and can loose his patience. Everything I see from Bill is him trashing someone. Bob isn’t like that at all and has always seemed genuinely interested in exploring and figuring out problems in economics.

  11. Silas Barta says:

    Dang, why didn’t they ask me for help? (Surely I turned up in their research through your global warming articles, yes?) I could have pointed them to the articles that suggest you don’t think Bangladeshis are scarce! (Long story, folks…)

    • bobmurphy says:

      Don’t worry Silas. In a few years I will be an important enough name that you will have to decide whether to spill the anti-state gossip to the tabloid reporter offering you cash.

  12. Wonks Anonymous says:

    Hope to see your response to Lord Keynes.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      I’m not sure “Lord Keynes” is worth the powder. His M.O. is to deflect concerns about analyzing actions as “voluntary action vs. force/fraud” with “that’s your Rothbardian dream world” and denies that there is such a thing as “the natural rate of interest”. Someone who refuses to understand the difference between voluntary action and force/fruad (all Keynesians and MMTers) aren’t worth the powder.

      • MamMoTh says:

        Force/fraud is how the gas you voluntarily squander to give meaning to your life is obtained.

        • Bob Roddis says:

          There you go.

          Trying to have an intelligent conversation with these people is pointless other than as an exercise in preparation for a public debate against similar nonsense.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        No – I can sympathize with LK that at some point you just have to move past “tax is theft” people. It gets tiring to continue making the argument, and it’s obviosuly a foundational difference anyway. The payoff of engaging those sorts of people diminishes rapidly.

        • sandre says:

          Daniel,

          Yes, it is tiring because you disagree, and however you try to justify it, it remains a thorn in the flesh for those tilt statist. You find your justifications against it to be very weak, that’s why you don’t want to hear it.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        Which is not to say that insults are the solution or the ideal method of dismissal, of course.

        • Bob Roddis says:

          I suppose “theft” might be subjective to some people (“as long as it’s the government that steals or murders, it’s not theft or murder”). Voluntary vs force/fraud is, however, objective and is the essential difference no Keynesian seems to want to make.

          You cannot determine the cause of problems until you examine with precision the types of actions people took before having those problems. Keynesians refuse to be pinned down on basic definitions because their entire “system” would immediately collapse.

          This type of perpetual evasion has been going on for me now for 38 years, 4 months.

          • Blackadder says:

            I suppose “theft” might be subjective to some people (“as long as it’s the government that steals or murders, it’s not theft or murder”). Voluntary vs force/fraud is, however, objective

            It’s not clear to me how the definition of force or fraud is supposed to be more objective than the definition of theft. If you don’t have a right to something then it wouldn’t be theft for me to take it, but it also wouldn’t involve my using force or fraud either.

      • Gene Callahan says:

        “Someone who refuses to understand the difference between voluntary action and force/fraud…”

        I know! What an idiot. He doesn’t understand that when a starving poor person refrains from taking a piece of bread from a rich man’s feast due to all of the armed guards around, he’s doing that ‘voluntarily,” but when a Swiss citizen happily pays his taxes in exchange for the wonderful governance of his country, that is “force.”

        • Bob Roddis says:

          Exactly. But which says nothing at all about whether other people should help the starving poor person. And it ignores that there are hundreds of conceivable alternative non-force sanctions one might employ against people who allow poor people to starve. Like refusing to sell them food or water if push came to shove.

          Such marvelous obfuscation.

        • sandre says:

          gene…Swiss citizen happily pays his taxes in exchange for the wonderful governance of his country,

          Who argues this? If paying taxes makes you happy, I would imagine, no one this blog will want to be your killjoy.

          • MamMoTh says:

            And if paying taxes make you so miserable no one will prevent you from expatriating yourself to Somalia and get killed, or better killing yourself and save you the plane ticket.

            • sandre says:

              Not interested in responding to certified crazies. yes that’s you.

        • Nicholas Glenn says:

          I don’t think the Swiss gov’t uses force to collect taxes. I think I’ve read somewhere that they don’t go after tax evaders. As compared to here, where if they suspect you of tax evasion, it’s guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

        • Avram says:

          Gene has the right of it. A system of private property uses the threat of violence to stop people from doing things they shouldn’t, and violence itself to show them who is boss when they have done the thing they shouldn’t have done.

          But does this make people maintaining the private property system “aggressors”? I do not think so.

          Consider the example of some man called Murray Rothbard who has devoted his life to the finding and hoarding of gold. One day he finds a large nugget. Now he tries to bring that nugget from the mine to his cave where he stores the rest of his gold so he can stare at it very contently during the coming winter. Upon his way home a ruffian comes up to him and attempts to take the gold from him. The ruffian says “I have mouths to feed! I can buy food with this gold you just stare at it!”. Murray replies “I see that you are an honest man and have mouths to feed, but this gold is all that I live for, kindly sir find some assistance elsewhere or mine some gold for yourself”, the ruffian seeing that he is not going to get the gold in this way jumps up and snatches the gold from Murray ast the frailer man desparately clutches onto it trying to keep it from the stronger. In an alternate universe Murray hired some body guards along his way home with the nugget, scaring off such desparados.

          Gene Callahan would have us believe that the body guards are just as much aggression to the ruffian as the ruffian snatching the nugget from old Murray’s hands is to Murray.

          Obviously this is not the case. In fact most people would immediately say that the aggressor is obviously the ruffian, and that it is the ruffian that is stealing from Rothbard not the other way around.

          So while it is true that the threat of violence is used to maintain private property, and even violence itself for offenders, I do not think it follows that private property is aggressive.

          • Gene Callahan says:

            “Gene Callahan would have us believe that the body guards are just as much aggression to the ruffian as the ruffian snatching the nugget from old Murray’s hands is to Murray.”

            Well, no I wouldn’t.

            • Avram says:

              I think if I am very vigilant I might be able to catch you saying as much but for now if you say this is not what you think, then it is not what you think!

          • scineram says:

            If someone hid half his income from the IRS what would most people say who is the thief?

            • crossofcrimson says:

              That seems to me to be a pretty weak ethical measure.

              • yahya says:

                but the principle is the same

        • Avram says:

          I should also say that for 99% of people taxation is not theft, but there is the other 1% for whom it is, and I do not think that using the threat of violence to effectively withold those taxes from the poor people who need the funds a million times more than you do constitutes “agression” as much as them coming to take the funds away from you does, as I hoped to show with my story above in why I think like this.

        • Robert says:

          Gene,

          Your comment is once again so drenched in sarcasm it makes it almost as difficult to critique as it is to understand your point. The economic exchange of a person happily paying taxes is irrelevant towards whether or not taxation is a voluntary exchange. Since taxes are demanded by one party to another, whom can be legally imprisoned if he refuses, this seems like a no-brainer example of the use of force as opposed to a voluntary transaction entered into willingly by both parties. It is wholly irrelevant whether or not one person happens to like paying taxes as to whether or not taxation itself is voluntary.

          Sometimes I think you are so desperate to attack libertarians you find yourself saying the most foolish things. Like for instance:

          Using the example of someone not stealing to supposedly show how voluntary exchanges aren’t voluntary? Really? Wow. Drenching your subjects in emotion-invoking adjectives should be a huge alarm bell indicating your argument is fundamentally flawed.

          Robert aka GrimHogun

          • Gene Callahan says:

            “The economic exchange of a person happily paying taxes is irrelevant towards whether or not taxation is a voluntary exchange.”

            So the fact that the person is paying them voluntarily is irrelevant to whether they are voluntary?

            What other than sarcasm is the correct response to such drivel?

            • Robert says:

              Wow. Ok I’ll dumb it down a bit.

              The institution of taxation is one in which one party uses force to demand payment from another. The fact that there are people whom you allege (the fact that the entirety of your argument is based on a totally unsubstantiated claim you then proceed to operate on as self-evident fact is something we can ignore for now) would pay this sum even without the threat of force behind it, does not alter the fact that the institution of taxation is not an example of voluntary transaction.

              Once again the only way to make your argument not seem absurd on its face is to feign ignorance, quote only 1 sentence of a reply, mix with obfuscation, and repeat.

              This does not make it any less absurd, no matter how desperately you try to appear witty and condescending.

              • Lord Keynes says:

                “The institution of taxation is one in which one party uses force to demand payment from another.”

                So does the law if you break and are fined. Is that any reason to abolish the law?

                The law that you cannot park in an ambulance zone in front of a hospital restricts your “freedom” to park where you want, and, if you park your car there it will be forcibly removed, yet most people freely choose not to park their cars in these zones, and think this behaviour is moral and right.

                And on voluntray tax payment:

                ““The IRS Oversight Board conducted an independent poll in 2005 that found 96 percent of the respondents agreed ‘it is every American’s civic duty to pay their fair share of taxes.’

                The Pew Research Center in a similar study in 2006 found 79 percent of the respondents said that cheating Uncle Sam was ‘morally objectionable.’”

                Maxwell, S. 2000. The Price is Wrong: Understanding What Makes a Price Seem Fair and the True Cost of Unfair Pricing, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, N.J., p. 146.

              • Avram says:

                @ Lord Keynes

                The ambulance thing works on a private property basis. The argument most libertarians present is that taxation as law is not compatible with private property.

              • yahya says:

                @Lord Keynes –

                The 96% statistic is useless. What are the fair share of taxes?

                It is obvious from the second statistic that you site that 4% of people believe taxes are immoral, and that 17% believe that the government is charging too much and that it is not immoral to not pay atleast some of your taxes.

                In other words, a total of 21% of people are paying taxes involuntarily. that seems like a lot to me

            • Robert says:

              Although to be fair I did give you a gem of a sentence to take out of context and use for your standard routine in my initial comment.

              So I suppose I have only myself to blame for allowing you to respond in a way that permits you to both avoid addressing the fundamental errors pointed out in your thought, while simultaneously creating the perception that your detractors spew nothing but drivel. Drat!

            • Robert says:

              Btw, now since you can’t block my posts this is exactly what I alluded to before about you misrepresenting what I am saying.

              I find it hard to believe you really don’t understand the difference between taxation as an institution and the subjective valuations of one person whom is paying his taxes.

              Thus when you quote only my one sentence and feign this ignorance, it makes it appear as if I am making some asinine point such as if someone pays for something voluntarily, that’s not a voluntary exchange. When by reading my full comment, it is quite clear I am talking about taxation as an institution not being an example of voluntary exchange simply because you assert that one person whom pays taxes “does so happily.”

              Which I know you are fully aware of. And this I draw the conclusion that you are purposely misrepresenting my views in your reply. Which I understand, as to tackle the issue head on would make it much more difficult for you.

              • Avram says:

                I don’t think taxation as an institution is always theft. I can imagine a world where everyone is asked to pay their due every year and they all do so gladly.

                But going after people that don’t pay their taxes and threatening them and stuff, I think that definitely constitutes a strong form of aggression.

  13. Matthew Murphy says:

    Scary! Someone deviating from the Joe Biden/Mitch McConnel continuum!

    • yahya says:

      Last time I checked with Woods, it was the Hillary Clinton/Mitt Romney continuum.

  14. Bob Roddis says:

    Except as an attempt to change the subject, I fail to see why Swiss happiness with their taxes is relevant to the issue of whether a particular activity is voluntary or the subject of force or fraud. Once that analysis has been made, we can move on to deciding whether the force and fraud is a good thing or not, a separate question.

    My point was that MMTers and Keynesians almost always seek to obscure and obfuscate the first issue. Rothbardians say that the economic problems that the statists seek to cure are caused in the first place by violations of voluntary arrangements via force and/or fraud, as is their alleged cure as proposed by the statists. This is usually expressed as “the free market does not lead to recessions and did not cause the Great Depression”.

    The very first book that I read by Rothbard in 1973,” POWER AND MARKET”, clearly addresses and explains the concept of “intervention”:

    “A generic term is needed to designate an individual or group that commits invasive violence in society. We may call intervener, or invader, one who intervenes violently in free social or market relations. The term applies to any individual or group that initiates violent intervention in the free actions of persons and property owners.

    http://mises.org/rothbard/mes/chap14.asp

    In response to this analysis, “Lord Keynes” will invariably respond merely with his assertion that the Rothbardian system is an academic dream world and he refuses to apply the Rothbardian analysis to the causes of recessions and the Great Depression. Where LK is explicit in his refusal to think through these issues, the rest of the Keynesian horde usually employs more clever means of avoiding the obvious questions.

    It is preposterous for MMTers and Keynesians to claim in these comments and elsewhere that the Austrians are wrong while they continuously refuse to familiarize themselves with basic Rothbardian and Austrian School concepts much less apply them to various factual situations. Such incomprehension is comparable to the idiocy expressed by the “Media Matters” hysterical “warning” regarding Bob Murphy. Pathetic.

    The statists have been routed by the Austrians and are retreating in a panic.

  15. Lord Keynes says:

    “In response to this analysis, “Lord Keynes” will invariably respond merely with his assertion that the Rothbardian system is an academic dream world and he refuses to apply the Rothbardian analysis to the causes of recessions and the Great Depression. “

    In fact, I have said many times that there is no convincing evidence – either empircal or even theoretical – that this Rothbardian system would free from the problems that affect other free market systems. Any economy where money has a store of value function, with financial asset markets, under fundamental uncertainty and subjective expectations, will be a world where Say’s law does not work or hold.

    The Rothbardian rejection of fractional reserve banking (FRB) is a logically inconsistent and in fact anti-free market idea, as I have argued many times: this is a major reason why Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism is an incoherent system: it requires restriction of free contract and private business when it claims to be the only system consistent with complete economic liberty. FRB arose on the free market is entirely consistent with it, as Selgin and others demonstrate.

    As for your moral argument above – that tax is theft argument – I have addressed it here:

    http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2011/05/coercion-and-taxation-is-theft-argument.html

    • Bob Roddis says:

      No natural rights? Well then, I guess it’s ok to gas Jews and stone women who drive in Saudi Arabia if there’s a big enough plurality in support of it. Certainly a majority in the confederacy supported slavery. Since there are no natural rights, what’s the big deal? Two bears and a lamb vote on what’s for dinner.

      Taxation is theft? Yes, but. The subject was Keynesianism. It is a general theme among Austrians that outright taxation is less harmful than Keynesianism demand management. Under taxation, the taxpayer must currently forego buying his new boat and his trip to the Caribbean and fork over cash to purchase those drone missiles to be used against a Pakistani bridal shower. With Keynesianism, he gets to buy the boat and take the trip AND the government gets to shoot up the bridal shower. In the short run the purpose of the Federal Reserve was to allow the facilitation of the US entry into WWI without the immediate payment of taxes. Isn’t that the whole idea behind MMT? To unrestrain the government? The government gets to commandeer EVERYTHING while the public still thinks it’s living in a free country.

      You don’t even understand economic calculation or the problems of knowledge in the Austrian context, so you don‘t even know the subject matter. Further, you base your conclusions in favor of economic intervention upon the most cursory overview of various alleged historical events and refuse to meticulously apply the “voluntary vs. force/fraud“ analysis to any of them. This “taxation is theft” argument at this point is nothing but your typical distraction.

      Regarding FRB, I’ve repeatedly explained that if all of the parties to a PRIVATE FRB business ( most importantly, depositors and payees) understand the risks and understand that it is a different animal than notes back by 100% reserve specie, it’s nobody else’s business. As I’ve repeatedly said, there is a market for 30 year mortgage notes, but on one is led to believe that they are the same thing as notes back by 100% reserve specie. If people are naïve and are led to believe that FRB notes are the same as notes back 100% by specie, there are going to be problems, “regulation” or not. There are always going to be problems when “loanable funds” exceed real savings. I don’t see how stating the obvious, that FRB is inherently more risky than 100% specie notes (that‘s why the former most likely pays interest and the depositor probably must pay the depository a fee for the latter), disproves Rothbard or the Austrian School.

      The question remains: Is a free market without force or fraud inherently unstable and does it need a dose of Keynesian force and fraud supported by SWAT teams to “stabilize” it?

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        Bob Roddis,
        I personally agree with much of what you said with regard to FRB. The way I had always read Rothbard’s thoughts with regard to fraud is that if any action is consensual, and they are fully aware of the implications, then it is not fraud. But, there is the problem that Block often talks about with regard to two owners of the same good. This is the part where I think that FRB creates a great problem with regard to property rights, because two people cannot own a single good equally. But, once again, if the original owner is aware that his property is being loaned, then that eliminates the disparity of ownership. But, then again, we would no longer be talking about FRB anymore, we would be talking about loan banking.

        I think that one of the contributing factors that allowed it to become so prevalent was the governments refusal to uphold contracts with regard to specie payment, along with the general population’s ignorance of the system itself (the risks involved). It is a shame when I talk to the regular “Joe” on the street with regard to the business cycle, that they will inevitably use the example of boom/bust occurring in the absence of a central bank, when it was the FRB that was the culprit (central banking merely consolidated it into a system).

        • Lord Keynes says:

          Rothbard is ignorant of the legal nature of FRB.

          In FRB, you have lost your absolute property rights to the money when you lent it to the bank, and instead have entered into a contract with the bank to allow them to use it, even though they are obliged to return to you on demand money to the same amount in whole or in part from their other reserves and deposits.

          As Selgin says:

          “banknotes and deposit credits … are … IOUs, so there is nothing inherently fraudulent about there being more of them in existence at any moment than the total stock of what they promise to deliver. (If all IOUs had to represent existing property in order to be non fraudulent, most loan transactions would be fraudulent.) A person who deposits gold in a bank in exchange for a redeemable banknote does not retain ownership of the gold, but instead gives it up, albeit for an indefinite period of time … The bank, in issuing IOUs against itself, is not analogous to a counterfeiter, as Hoppe and his co-authors claim, for the simple reason that the bank acknowledges its own debts, whereas a counterfeiter issues IOUs with someone else’s name on them.”

          Selgin, G. 2000. “Should We Let Banks Create Money?” Independent Review 5.1 (Summer): 93–100.

          • Joseph Fetz says:

            Yes, I understand that, but this is not made aware to those who deposit their funds. That is the issue. They are under the impression that the funds that they have deposited are theirs, that they can be withdrawn at any time. and the Deposit Account Agreement does not make it clear that you are giving the bank loanable funds.

            Further, the bank is not merely making IOUs to itself, it is making an IOU to the depositor without his knowledge. Also, this IOU is being accounted as actual money rather than a claim to future money, as well as providing further deposits, thus increasing the total supply of money. So, Selgin’s argument is unsound. He is spinning a tale that when looked at logically falls flat on its face. He may be a professional economist, but he is making an argument that even the layman can see as fallacious.

        • Bob Roddis says:

          I think Block is right. But I’m not going to debate the minutiae of FRB. It will either work or it won’t. I would be a third party to those transactions and I can’t initiate force against them. I suppose all of the other third parties and I could refuse to deal with them, insure them, lend them money when they get in trouble and/or invite them to fashionable high society balls (like the Night of Clarity).

          It has caused so much misery to naive people in the past. Note how LK makes it the centerpiece of his attacks on the ABCT. Yawn.

          • Joseph Fetz says:

            Bob Roddis,

            I tend to agree with both Rothbard and Block, as I am sure is clear from my above comment.

            • Joseph Fetz says:

              well, my above-the-above comment.

    • Tel says:

      Except of course that you repeatedly misrepresent the Austrian position on FRB. No one is saying that FRB should be illegal, our position is merely that FRB should be voluntary and people who know the risks are welcome to take those risks if they choose to do so. Also, there should be no central bank that enjoys privilege over and above other banks.

      Why do you feel the need to keep knocking down the same straw man?

      Can’t you put together a real argument?

  16. Lord Keynes says:

    “Regarding FRB, I’ve repeatedly explained that if all of the parties to a PRIVATE FRB business ( most importantly, depositors and payees) understand the risks and understand that it is a different animal than notes back by 100% reserve specie, it’s nobody else’s business”

    Great: so what we have now established is that what you are advocating is NOT Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism, because in that system FRB would by outlawed by a private libertarian law code.

    What you allow for is essentially a free banking system, where fiduciary media and FRB will exand the money supply over and above its commodity money base. Such a system will be subject to asset bubbles, excessive debt and debt deflation, much like Australia in the 1880s/1890s. So such a system will have all the problems of real wolrd 19th century capitalism.

    And by the way, you don’t address the other major comment::

    “Any economy where money has a store of value function, with financial asset markets, under fundamental uncertainty and subjective expectations, will be a world where Say’s law does not work or hold. “

    • Tel says:

      Please show a reference advocating that it be illegal for anyone to write IOU notes.

    • Tel says:

      You keep using Australia in the 1890′s as your example and I’ve pointed out again and again that it was driven by a gold rush. You don’t seem even vaguely able to understand, so you just blindly stick to the same example hoping that the next guy might get fooled.

      • Lord Keynes says:

        Your history is defective.

        The major gold rush of the 19th century in Australia – the
        Victorian gold rush – occurred from 1851 to the late 1860s, years before the asset bubble in the 1880s-1891.

        The money in this asset bubble was mostly coming in via the capital account.

        .

  17. bobmurphy says:

    Gene: I’m down here so that everyone can see my wonderful riposte to you… (Or is it rebuttal?)

    I understand what you think you’re doing in your theft/voluntary comment above, but I don’t think it works even on your own terms.

    Let’s say I go up to somebody with a gun, point it at his head, and say, “You’d better not jam your finger in your eye i the next 10 seconds. If you do, I’m going to shoot you in the head.” I wait ten seconds, then I leave.

    Now suppose I’m dead serious and the guy knows it.

    Would you say I threatened the guy? If so, then your example of Swiss people happily paying taxes doesn’t work, even if 100% of the population falls under your description (which of course they don’t).

  18. Lord Keynes says:

    “Let’s say I go up to somebody with a gun, point it at his head, and say, “You’d better not jam your finger in your eye i the next 10 seconds. If you do, I’m going to shoot you in the head.” I wait ten seconds, then I leave.”

    You can make that argument about any action that people do not commit when it is illegal under modern law.

    Do you seriously think that people don’t commit theft only because there is a threat of force by the state to arrest and try you, if you in fact do commit it? That in fact it is only coercion that stop everyone from breaking the law?

    No, it is because most people think theft is immoral and unacceptable, and refrain from it voluntarily, and the threat of force by the state is not what makes most people adhere to the law. It is the same with taxes: most people do because they think it right and fair.

    • bobmurphy says:

      LK I agree with everything you just said. And yet, my point still stands: the State threatens you ultimately with physical violence if you don’t pay taxes. If you want to call it “voluntary” then you need to put an asterisk next to it. It is not voluntary in the same way that buying groceries is voluntary.

      • MamMoTh says:

        It is the same as when you buy your groceries with your credit card and later you are forced to “voluntarily” pay down your debt.

        Taxes are debt. Money is debt. It is all the same.

        • Joseph Fetz says:

          Mammoth,
          That has got to be one of the most absurd comparisons I have ever heard. You voluntarily sign an explicit contract when you get a credit card. The things you mention aren’t even remotely the same.

          • MamMoTh says:

            You voluntarily sign an explicit contract when you are a resident of a country unless a SWAT team prevents you from leaving the country.

  19. Lord Keynes says:

    Under such an argument, no action made illegal by the state is avoided by anyone “voluntarily”.

    In other words, you’re basically saying that the reason you and everyone else don’t go out now and commit a crime spree is that you being “coerced” by the evil state from committing theft, arson etc etc.

    Your argument is not remotely convincing.

    Regards

    • Zack A says:

      Hey LK,

      The reason I don’t go and do things like that because that would be an act of aggression upon someone else and would constitute a property rights violation. Libertarians respect the property rights of others. Typically I would be held accountable for my act of aggression, whether by the state or another institution in the free market. It does not matter. Property rights can be enforced and protected with or without a state. I’m pretty sure Ancaps such as Rothbard has written extensively on this.

      @MaMouTh
      If you voluntarily engaged in some form of transaction in the first place, then you are obligated to pay for it by whatever means you are capable of. It’s not force if the transaction in question was consensual in the first place.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        “MMT” is French for “obfuscation”.

        “Obfuscation is the concealment of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, intentionally ambiguous, and more difficult to interpret.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obfuscation

      • MamMoTh says:

        Sorry but if you voluntarily live in a country long enough to be subject to its tax laws, then you voluntarily entered into a debt contract, just the same as when you buy your groceries with your credit card.

        Taxes are debt. Money is debt. It is all the same.

        • Joseph Fetz says:

          So, what you are saying is that I don’t actually own my property. Or, better yet, that the State owns a geographical region? Once again, another absurdity. Collective ownership is an impossibility.

          • MamMoTh says:

            No. I am just saying that you are always forced to voluntarily pay down the debt you voluntarily contracted.

            • Joseph Fetz says:

              That doesn’t make any sense. You’re trying to say that I voluntarily contracted to the governments demands by birth, but that since I don’t choose to leave, that means that I also make an explicit contract. But, then you also say “no” when I ask if the government owns the geographical region. Can you not see the disparity between these two statements of your argument?

              • MamMoTh says:

                Yes I am saying that since you voluntarily live in a country then you voluntarily sign an explicit contract, just like with your credit card.

                And it makes perfect sense. The rest, I don’t really care.

    • David K. says:

      Lord Keynes, you wrote:
      “In other words, you’re basically saying that the reason you and everyone else don’t go out now and commit a crime spree is that you being “coerced” by the evil state from committing theft, arson etc etc.”

      I think you haven’t understood Bob’s argument.

      Bob essentially said (I paraphrase), “The fact that the threat of violence is not the only reason why people pay taxes does not imply that paying taxes is voluntary in every interesting sense.”

      Your counterargument is basically, “The threat of violence is not the only reason why people pay taxes. Therefore, paying taxes is voluntary in every interesting sense.”

      In other words, you’re simply contradicting Bob without refuting his argument. Put differently, you’re assuming that Bob was using the word “voluntary” in a sense in which he pointed out he was not using it.

      An action can be voluntary in some sense and involuntary in another. Anarchists don’t need to claim that taxation is involuntary in every sense; they only need to maintain that it is involuntary in a sense that makes it objectionable.

  20. Bob Roddis says:

    How did we manage to got derailed from discussing whether voluntary free market activity was the cause of unemployment such that we need central bank money dilution and government debt to cure it?

    Funny how that always happens.

  21. Joseph Fetz says:

    Well, thanks for conceding my argument, Mammoth. I appreciate it.
    ;)