04 Jan 2013

“Token Libertarian Girl” on Fiscal Cliff

Economics, Politics 155 Comments

Julie Borowski put this video up in mid-December, but I just saw it. I was perusing her videos after Steve Horwitz (and Sarah Skwire) sent her to the time-out corner for her most recent video (not the below one).

Julie’s big-picture objective is to make libertarian ideas more appealing in the popular culture. I think the above video is a great example of what she’s trying to do.

155 Responses to ““Token Libertarian Girl” on Fiscal Cliff”

  1. Christopher says:

    If that’s the best we have to offer to make libertarian ideas more appealing we are doomed…

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I’m genuinely curious why you say that.

      • Christopher says:

        Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate her enthusiasm. And I am not in a position to critize others. But I don’t find this appealing at all, maybe because I don’t find sarcasm as compelling, maybe because seeing it reminds me of what we don’t have:

        E.g. the Zeitgeist movies have turned thousands of open minded politically interested young people into free market hating socialists.

        Compared to that, we are quite in arrears.

      • Ken B says:

        The medium is the message. Her medium is frenetic self-satisfied sarcasm. Not even good as humor. Maybe true believers like this, but I would never send this to a friend in the expectation it would persuade.

        • Christopher says:

          Your post made me realize what it is that bothers me. It’s her way overdone sarcasm. Reminds me of my classmates in junior high school. No offense.

        • Tel says:

          Works for a lot of “Progressives” so I’m not adverse to taking every advantage I can get.

        • skylien says:

          Right Ken, thanks for wording it properly.

          As Christopher said, she is way overdoing it for my taste.

          Heavy sarcasm literally never is appealing to people who are not already convinced of your stand point, on the contrary…

          It just depends what she wants to do, does she only want to reach out to like minded people, then it is fine. However if she wants to reach out to other people then she should over-think her concept a little bit.

      • Gene Callahan says:

        Because she looks like she failed to take her meds that morning? (Seriously, turn off the sound and just watch her face, pretending you had no idea what she is talking about. “Crank” comes out loud and clear.)

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Tell me about it! And I went to watch the Nutcracker in December. You would not beLIEVE all the makeup and exaggerated motions those people did on the stage. I was like, “Hey! I am going to go read the story next time. I don’t need all this drama.”

          • Ken B says:

            Hey that works! She IS better with the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies playing!

          • Gene Callahan says:

            Well, I also never liked Carol Brunet (sp?) and only like Robin Williams or Jim Carey when they are held in check by a good director, because I am very averse to OVER-acting.

    • guest says:

      What are you talking about? She’s a babe.

      • guest says:

        And she knows her stuff.

        Check this out:

        Debunking Myths of the Great Depression
        http://julieborowski.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/debunking-myths-of-the-great-depression/

          • Dan says:

            The Keynesian interpretation of the Great Depression is both ignorant and wrong. See the links above.

          • Bob Roddis says:

            1. As LK teaches, looking at prior market events and data is meaningless:

            “Keynes’s description of uncertainty matches technically what mathematical statisticians call a nonergodic stochastic system. In a nonergodic system, one can never expect whatever data set exists today to provide a reliable guide to future outcomes.” ***** “Keynes … rejected this view that past information from economic time-series realizations provides reliable, useful data which permit stochastic predictions of the economic future. In a world where observations are drawn from a non-ergodic stochastic environment, past data cannot provide any reliable information about future probability distributions.”

            http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/search?q=ergodic

            Which means there can be no “trend line” and no “gap”. And that citing historical anecdotes is meaningless.

            2. LK still does not understand the central Austrian concept economic calculation so he is never in a position to critique Austrian analysis of anything much less the Great Depression.

            3. LK will not (cannot??) even concede that it is possible to define conditions that can be described as private property, freedom of contract the NAP and non-interventionism. As such, he is no position to claim that those conditions have failed and thus require interventionism. In fact, his purposeful obfuscations make differentiating the concept of intervention from non-intervention impossible.

            • Lord Keynes says:

              (1) First, you are confusing the absence of objective probability scores about future events in certain market phenomena with inductive inferences about general trends and patterns in economic life and history.

              That trends and regularities exist is undoubtedly true. That you cannot give an objective probability score for such-and-such a specific outcome in the future in relation to some market phenomenon is a different thing.

              Secondly, Austrian economics holds a not dissimilar view :

              Mises distinguished between the role of ‘quantitative predictions’ within the natural sciences and ‘qualitative predictions’ in sociology and economics. He argued that it is impossible to predict specific outcomes in social science with any degree of accuracy and that, instead, social science should concern itself only with the prediction of patterns”

              Mark J Smith, Social Science in Question: Towards a Postdisciplinary Framework, p. 155.

              And if anything it seems even more extreme:

              The important point in relation to economic theory is that Misesian Man knows the body of economic laws that Misesians have built up; these laws, while absolute, are qualitative and ceteris paribus in their nature and cannot themselves forecast the future

              Murray N. Rothbard, Economic Controversies, p. 174.

              If even economic laws are “qualitative and ceteris paribus in their nature and cannot themselves forecast the future”, then what the hell was Robert Murphy doing trying to predict the future inflation rate in his recent bets ?

              • guest says:

                If even economic laws are “qualitative and ceteris paribus in their nature and cannot themselves forecast the future” …

                Economic laws can’t forecast exact timing because we can’t know when people will discover that they’ve been making malinvestments.

                But because it logically follows that artificial credit expansion, if acted upon by borrowers as if it weren’t artificial, will have to result in a correction, then we can know THAT a correction will have to happen in those areas which were artificially stimulated:

                New York Fed: Leave the Building!
                http://mises.org/daily/6028/New-York-Fed-Leave-the-Building

                One economist asked me how I knew the housing market was going to crash. I responded that because of Austrian theory, I understood that money created by the Fed enters the economy at specific points and that it was obvious the housing market was one of the those points. I told him that I also knew that this would eventually result in price inflation (as the money spread through the economy) and that at that point the Fed would slow printing and the housing market would collapse, which is just what occurred.

                You said:

                … then what the hell was Robert Murphy doing trying to predict the future inflation rate in his recent bets ?

                Because he thought people would recognize the malinvestments before 2013.

                The Fed recognizes that there’s at least the danger of high inflation:

                Fed Exit Plan May Be Redrawn as Assets Near $3 Trillion
                http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-07/fed-exit-plan-may-be-redrawn-as-assets-near-3-trillion.html

                “There is certainly an issue about unwinding the balance sheet” in a way that “is effective and continues to support the recovery without creating inflation,” St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard said in an interview in October.

                And Krugman recognizes, like the Austrians – at least for when rates are at the zero lower bound – that it’s a certainty that endless buying of Treasuries with new money will result in inflation:

                Debt in a Time of Zero
                http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/debt-in-a-time-of-zero/

                It’s true that printing money isn’t at all inflationary under current conditions — that is, with the economy depressed and interest rates up against the zero lower bound. But eventually these conditions will end. At that point, to prevent a sharp rise in inflation the Fed will want to pull back much of the monetary base it created in response to the crisis, which means selling off the Federal debt it bought.

                So, as the Austrians keep saying, inflation is a certainty – it logically follows from the spending of new money.

                When people realize that the bonds they’re holding are going to continue to lose value, they will sell off and spend that new money.

                Turmoil may cause some people to settle for saving at least some of their money in what they perceive as the safest investment, even if they know it’s depreciating; so it may take some people awhile to abandon Treasuries. But it will happen at some point.

            • Lord Keynes says:

              (2) As for economic calculation, we have demonstrated time and again what you mean by that, and that your position is partly derived from a quote from Hayek and uses quite clear neoclassical ideas, e.g.:

              http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/2012/10/lord-keynes-mises-on-rational-economic.html?showComment=1351450402365#c5569951971824379637

              (3) is incoherent. I understand perfectly well Rothbard’s ethical argument for his economic system.

              His justification and fundamental foundational arguments are plain wrong:

              http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2011/08/rothbards-argument-for-natural-rights.html

  2. xgsmmy says:

    While the attack on her is over the top and in my opinion misses the mark: the interesting question is why are young pro-life, social conservatives becoming libertarians.

    Julie apparently grew up a “neo-con”. Is it a wonder she didn’t adopt the politics of Chris Hedges rather than Ron Paul?

    And while a libertarian with some comic timing is notable, she’s misinforming her viewers on the fiscal cliff, just like she’s misinforming readers on the great depression in the link “guest” provides.

    • JFF says:

      Thank Walter Block; Borowski was one of his ace students at Loyola – New Orleans.

      And once again, Tom Woods brings it right back down to street level, “the central issue of libertarianism is non-aggression.” From this, all things follow.

      • xgsmmy says:

        The only consistent libertarianism is anarachism. And from anarachism all things follow including violence and states.

        How could you enforce non-aggression without a state? Introducing a state introduces taxation to pay for your night watchman. (You might say “voluntary taxation”, but I can’t seem to understand the difference between voluntary taxation and private security.)

        It’s fine if you want to say libertarianism is a personal philosophy you hope people will follow, but there’s no way enforce it, just like there’s no way to enforce people follow the teachings of Jesus on how to treat the poor.

        (By the way, I don’t think you understand my concerns with libertarianism and why I asked that question. I’m not a libertarian, in case that is the confusion.)

        • K.P. says:

          “How could you enforce non-aggression without a state?”

          Someone hits you, you hit them back… harder. Hopefully people get the picture.

          Did you answer your own question
          “Introducing a state introduces taxation to pay for your night watchman.”

          Well, Ayn Rand who wasnt exactly a libertarian wanted the funding from national lotteries.

          “You might say “voluntary taxation”, but I can’t seem to understand the difference between voluntary taxation and private security.”

          Just say “private security” then.

          • xgsmmy says:

            Someone hits you, you hit them back… harder. Hopefully people get the picture.

            You’ll have to explain to me how this is different than what I said about anarchy and hope.

            Well, Ayn Rand who wasnt exactly a libertarian wanted the funding from national lotteries.

            What’s the difference between a national lottery and a privately run lottery. Are private lotteries outlawed by the threat of violence?

            • K.P. says:

              “You’ll have to explain to me how this is different than what I said about anarchy and hope.”

              I can’t exactly, as what you said was kind of vague. Many libertarians will say libertarianism does indeed mean anarchism, but that anarchy may be preferrable to a state and need not lead to it’s formation.

              “What’s the difference between a national lottery and a privately run lottery.”

              A national lottery is the funding for the state. The state would still retain it’s status as final arbitrator of disputes and directing police and military forces.

              “Are private lotteries outlawed by the threat of violence?”

              In Rand world, no. America, yes.

              • xgsmmy says:

                A national lottery is the funding for the state. The state would still retain it’s status as final arbitrator of disputes and directing police and military forces.

                I think your missing the point.

                If the lottery is voluntary how is that in any way different from a private lottery.

                Who decides how to “arbitrate” disputes and “direct” the military?

                Can someone set up their own military and courts? How do you arbitrate between competing courts?

                Non-aggression implies an unlimited right of secession.

              • K.P. says:

                “If the lottery is voluntary how is that in any way different from a private lottery”

                It isn’t. That’s the point.

                “Non-aggression implies an unlimited right of secession.”

                It depends on how “aggression” is defined. However most anarchist-libertarians (modern ones, at least) would say “not quite.” Secession until you hit the property line.

                I’m happy to answer your remaining questions but you’ll have to put them in context for me to save time. Are you asking them in the Randian world or the anarchist?

              • xgsmmy says:

                I can’t exactly, as what you said was kind of vague. Many libertarians will say libertarianism does indeed mean anarchism, but that anarchy may be preferrable to a state and need not lead to it’s formation.

                I don’t think what I said was vague at all.

                To disagree with me you’d have to explain how you can be a libertarian and not an anarchist.

                I do think the idea of “enforcing” non-aggression through counter-cyclical violence is interesting.

                Is this something other libertarians believe? For every eye do you take two eyes?

              • K.P. says:

                “To disagree with me you’d have to explain how you can be a libertarian and not an anarchist.”

                Right – ignoring any disputes over what anarchism consists of – I agree with you.

                “Is this something other libertarians believe? For every eye do you take two eyes?”

                Indeed.
                http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdf

              • xgsmmy says:

                Are you asking them in the Randian world or the anarchist?

                I don’t know what Rand’s exact views are, but if she follows the non-aggression principle how can she be for a monopoly on military and “justice”?

                Saying you want to fund an army through a lottery raises the question of who sets up the lottery, who directs the army, and who does the army serve. How do you decide the army protects people in Alabama but not Mexico? By how many lottery tickets they buy?

              • K.P. says:

                “I don’t know what Rand’s exact views are, but if she follows the non-aggression principle how can she be for a monopoly on military and “justice”?”

                You’re raising the same questions to her that Roy Childs and other libertarians did.

                If she did indeed follow it fully then she couldn’t be for said monopoly at all.

              • xgsmmy says:

                Looking over that Walter Block link he doesn’t actually propose doing “counter-cyclical” violence, but proportional.

                Although it’s somewhat incoherent. If someone “steals” your eye, then they’re supposed to return your eye and you get to steal theirs, but if your eye can be returned (or you can transfer one of their eyes to them) then their is no reason to take two eyes. (If you can return the eye then it doesn’t necessarily make sense to take the “theif’s” eye at all. Or maybe you can just put it on ice for a while and return it to him later).

                If the eye can’t be transferred or returned at all, I don’t know how you calculate what an eye is worth.

                It seems like the economy of punishment would need some way to determine justice independent of intuition for such a system to make sense.

              • K.P. says:

                “If someone “steals” your eye, then they’re supposed to return your eye and you get to steal theirs, but if your eye can be returned (or you can transfer one of their eyes to them) then their is no reason to take two eyes.”

                Sure there is, as a form of punishment. That’s the “harder” I spoke of.

                “If the eye can’t be transferred or returned at all, I don’t know how you calculate what an eye is worth.”

                You’d have to consult an insurance agent there.

                “It seems like the economy of punishment would need some way to determine justice independent of intuition for such a system to make sense.”

                I think the entire concept of “justice” only makes sense in terms of intuition.

              • xgsmmy says:

                Sure there is, as a form of punishment. That’s the “harder” I spoke of.

                Taking one eye is punishment. Taking two eyes is gratuitous.

                You’d have to consult an insurance agent there.

                You’re probably joking but I don’t think this makes sense in this context. Should only the insured be awarded justice in anarcho-topia?

                Note: I having trouble understanding how the court and police are carrying out this justice. Surely it’s possible for a voluntary government to run out of funds so that it might fall on one-eyed victims to pursue justice for themselves.

                I think the entire concept of “justice” only makes sense in terms of intuition.

                Right but the idea here is to take something of equivalent value.

                Intuitively we might compare losing an eye to someone else losing an eye or but beyond that it gets more complicated.

                (There’s also the possibility the accused is wrongfully convicted. We might then pause before blinding someone or having them play Russian roulette.)

              • xgsmmy says:

                Sorry, messed up the italics on that last bit.

              • K.P. says:

                “Taking one eye is punishment. Taking two eyes is gratuitous.”

                The first eye is restitution, the second is clearly punishment, gratuitous as it may be.

                However, if people believe that to be too much then it wouldn’t come to that.

                “You’re probably joking but I don’t think this makes sense in this context. Should only the insured be awarded justice in anarcho-topia?”

                The point was simply that the value of limbs and organs are already being calculated.

                “Surely it’s possible for a voluntary government to run out of funds so that it might fall on one-eyed victims to pursue justice for themselves.”

                It sure is, but that’s also possible today, with the consequences possibly being much more severe. As in anarcho-topia one can change her justice provider.

                “Right but the idea here is to take something of equivalent value.”

                I thought the idea here was how to deter crime. If all it takes is equivalence then two-for-one is too much.

                “(There’s also the possibility the accused is wrongfully convicted. We might then pause before blinding someone or having them play Russian roulette.)”

                As we should, under any scenario.

              • xgsmmy says:

                The first eye is restitution, the second is clearly punishment, gratuitous as it may be.

                Huh? If you take my eye and I take your eye and put it in my head (assuming that’s possible) that’s restitution and punishment.

                If you take my eye and I take your eye and we both just have one eye. That’s just punishment. Taking a second literal eye is not restitution unless my satisfaction at your blindness can be said to be equal to the loss of my eye.

                I don’t know how you’d calculate that, but I doubt many people would agree those two things are equal.

                What do I care that you’re blind unless anarcho-topia has no jails and I feel safer that the eye-thief is blind?

                Maybe eye-gouging should be punishable by death? Punching too. If someone punches someone and their not put to death then the victim of their punch may have to live in fear that they may show up and punch them again for as long as they both still live.

                As in anarcho-topia one can change her justice provider.

                Yeah, but consider this. In anarcho-topia there’s no reason to even go to a “justice provider” at all. Everyone can simply be their own police, judge, jury, and eye-gouging executioner.

                The point was simply that the value of limbs and organs are already being calculated.

                I thought you’d say you were joking.

                It’s only a calculation to the extent that the thing can be calculated monetarily.

                If i lose a limb that can’t be replaced, how do you calculate how much the limb is worth? I don’t think you can.

                Even if you’re willing to say the value of losing a limb is the insurance someone has taken out against that possibility, then you’re still faced with a situation where the criminal might not be able to pay.

                And note it wouldn’t be the insurance payout that’s restitution, but the criminal would owe a matching amount which they may be unable to pay.

                I thought the idea here was how to deter crime. If all it takes is equivalence then two-for-one is too much.

                I was going by the paper you linked to. He’s saying a proportional response to crime has the indirect effect of punishing crime and therefore deterring it.

                As we should, under any scenario.

                I’m confused then, because the paper you linked to talks about forcing criminals to play Russian roulette.

                So I shouldn’t become my own judge and gouge someone’s eye for gouging me? (And in the event it’s later proved I was wrong the person I mistakenly gouged shouldn’t in turn gouge my other eye.)

                But say I do gouge the right person, what’s the punishment for gouging in response to gouging, which you say I shouldn’t do?

              • K.P. says:

                “Huh? If you take my eye and I take your eye and put it in my head (assuming that’s possible) that’s restitution and punishment.”

                Having to return what one took isn’t punishment … as difficult as it may be. If you steal my bicycle, get caught and return it, have you been punished?

                “Everyone can simply be their own police, judge, jury, and eye-gouging executioner.”

                Sure. If you feel that you’d be able to do a good job of all that, go for it. If you do a good enough job I might even try and hire you.

                “It’s only a calculation to the extent that the thing can be calculated monetarily.”

                Is there another way to calculate things?

                “Even if you’re willing to say the value of losing a limb is the insurance someone has taken out against that possibility, then you’re still faced with a situation where the criminal might not be able to pay.”

                Right, like currently.

                “But say I do gouge the right person, what’s the punishment for gouging in response to gouging, which you say I shouldn’t do?”

                No, no. I said you should pause before doing so – simply because you could be mistaken – not that you shouldn’t.

                But I see no reason why you should be punished at all, if correct.

              • xgsmmy says:

                Having to return what one took isn’t punishment … as difficult as it may be. If you steal my bicycle, get caught and return it, have you been punished?

                You’re misunderstanding. You can’t return what you took (in this hypothetical) you can only give me your eye. Your eye and my old eye aren’t the same eye. Now you no longer have both eyes.

                You may feel this isn’t enough punishment to deter crime but that’s another issue.

                Is there another way to calculate things?

                You tell me. You claimed the value of limbs was already being calculated so I asked some question about that. I don’t see how you can calculate the value of living life without an arm. (Assuming it can’t be replaced.)

                Sure. If you feel that you’d be able to do a good job of all that, go for it. If you do a good enough job I might even try and hire you.

                I was thinking everyone becoming their own “justice provider” might cause problems. Since there’s seemingly no way to adjudicate between competing judges, since everyone is a judge, then effectively might makes right.

                Anyway it would seem libertarians aren’t even able to justify holding someone until trial or even during a trial they can only justify holding someone after they’ve found someone guilty. (And even that might be problematic if you subscribe to a system of punishment like Walter Block’s.)

                No, no. I said you should pause before doing so – simply because you could be mistaken – not that you shouldn’t.

                That’s interesting, then. It seems Walter Block would require proportional punishment for wrongful convictions so a jury who wrongly convicts someone to death might be liable for death themselves and the jury who convicts the jury in turn if later it’s revealed the first jury was right after all and so forth.

              • xgsmmy says:

                Sorry, regarding the eyes, it’s that the eye you took from me is not recoverable so that you giving me your eye is not returning my eye to me but giving me your eye.

                You don’t want to go through life with one eye, so I’d consider that punishment.

                If you sold my bike for drugs or dropped it in the ocean so that I can’t get it back but had your own bike and were forced to give it to me then you don’t have a bike. Presumably you wanted the bike, otherwise why didn’t you sell it before you stole mine? So I’d say this is punishment. But again maybe you don’t think it’s enough.

                But imagine you didn’t have a bike or any money, but were forced to work off the debt. Working off the debt is punishment and restitution. You don’t want to work for free (presumably) and I get compensation for the bike.

              • K.P. says:

                “You can’t return what you took (in this hypothetical) you can only give me your eye. Your eye and my old eye aren’t the same eye. Now you no longer have both eyes.”

                Right, as in many crimes, it’s impossible to make the victim “whole” again. That’s not unique to any legal system.

                “You tell me. You claimed the value of limbs was already being calculated so I asked some question about that. I don’t see how you can calculate the value of living life without an arm. (Assuming it can’t be replaced.)”

                Again, consult a life insurance agent. They do calculate such things, how I cannot say.

                I was thinking everyone becoming their own “justice provider” might cause problems.

                Yes, it probably would, that’s another good reason for everyone not to do so.

                “Since there’s seemingly no way to adjudicate between competing judges, since everyone is a judge, then effectively might makes right.”

                Why not? Do rival companies not cooperate with one another at all?

                And, effectively, “might makes right” is always the case.

                “That’s interesting, then. It seems Walter Block would require proportional punishment for wrongful convictions so a jury who wrongly convicts someone to death might be liable for death themselves and the jury who convicts the jury in turn if later it’s revealed the first jury was right after all and so forth.”

                Yes, so be cautious and really look at the evidence. now. That 75% conviction rate may head down if there were heavier consequences.

              • K.P. says:

                Whoops, mistake at the end there.

                Should read:

                Yes, so be cautious and really look at the evidence now. That 75% conviction rate may head down if there were heavier consequences.

              • xgsmmy says:

                Again, consult a life insurance agent. They do calculate such things, how I cannot say.

                Okay, this my last post since this is going nowhere, but if you “can’t say” then I’m not sure how you can be so certain you know what you say you know.

                But I’m not disputing whether you can insure your own arm, but whether that insurance policy represents the value of not having an arm.

                I don’t see how it can. Maybe in the future and arms are replaceable you’d be right.

              • K.P. says:

                “it’s that the eye you took from me is not recoverable so that you giving me your eye is not returning my eye to me but giving me your eye.”

                Indeed. So what? That eye, which once was yours, becomes mine.

                You break my window, then replace it. That new window isn’t the same as the window you broke either.

                “But imagine you didn’t have a bike or any money, but were forced to work off the debt. Working off the debt is punishment and restitution. You don’t want to work for free (presumably) and I get compensation for the bike.”

                Instead of losing the bike in the ocean say I actually hid it but said I lost it in the ocean and I plan on recouping it once I’m paid up. Now, I’m essentially just buying the bike off of you.

              • K.P. says:

                “But I’m not disputing whether you can insure your own arm, but whether that insurance policy represents the value of not having an arm.

                I don’t see how it can. Maybe in the future and arms are replaceable you’d be right.”

                When Keith Richards insured his fingers what more was he doing than valuing not having them?

                Of course it’s still all in terms of money, so if you mean “value” in some other sense then we really don’t have any disagreement. I don’t see how it can either.

              • xgsmmy says:

                Okay, this is really the last one.

                Keith Richards insured his middle finger for 1.6 million, but that doesn’t mean if you paid him that amount he’d cut off his finger.

                Indeed. So what? That eye, which once was yours, becomes mine.

                So what? The criminal now has to live with one eye. If you’re a criminal would you rather lose an eye or not lose an eye? It’s very simple.

                You’d have to believe a criminal is indifferent between one eye and two to be making sense.

                You’ve seemed to have misread the paper you linked to as the “second tooth” is not necessarily a literal tooth, but compensation for secondary damages. Neither of which is taken for punishment only.

                That Walter Block guy clearly says punishment is only an indirect effect of proportional compensation for a crime.

                Now, I’m essentially just buying the bike off of you.

                Right, so what is the damage here? I get a new bike, you get my old bike.

                If my old bike better in some way? Then it’s not proportional and we’re facing the calculation problem from before.

                If there are secondary damages like wasting my time or making me scared, court fees, perhaps you’d owe something for that too but only to the extent that it’s proportional.

                Now again maybe you don’t think this is enough to deter crime, but note court costs alone would mean criminal wouldn’t be just “buying my bike”.

                (I’d say in our current system the thief would be forced to spend some time in jail/pay a bail bondsmen but apparently libertarians are logically committed to not being able to hold accused criminals pending trial or even during a trial.)

              • xgsmmy says:

                Yikes, just so it’s clear the criminal started out with two eyes before he gouged out my eye, he didn’t take my eye as a replacement eye or something.

                If he started out with one eye you seem to believe blinding him wouldn’t be punishment only restitution.

              • K.P. says:

                “but that doesn’t mean if you paid him that amount he’d cut off his finger.”

                Indeed. Didn’t say otherwise.

                “The criminal now has to live with one eye. If you’re a criminal would you rather lose an eye or not lose an eye? It’s very simple.”

                Yes, if I was a criminal, I’d rather keep my eye. In fact, I’d rather keep everything I’ve stolen as well. But I don’t think the purpose is to protect criminals though.

                “You’d have to believe a criminal is indifferent between one eye and two to be making sense.”

                No. The criminals preference toward having eyes seems to make the threat at losing both that much more effective.

                “You’ve seemed to have misread the paper you linked to as the “second tooth” is not necessarily a literal tooth, but compensation for secondary damages.”

                My friend, if we want to see who here seems to have taken the paper too literally just read your prior posts.

                “What do I care that you’re blind unless anarcho-topia has no jails and I feel safer that the eye-thief is blind?”

                The first “tooth” (or “eye” is the return of the stolen goods. The second is the punishment. As he says:

                “Thus enters the second tooth: what I
                did (tried to do) to you should instead be done to me. I took your TV set;
                therefore, as punishment, you should be able to get mine (or some monetary
                equivalent).”

                Compensation for secondary damages, such as fear, isn’t the second “tooth” at all. It’s in addition to, hence his Russian Roulette idea.

                “Right, so what is the damage here? I get a new bike, you get my old bike.”

                Exactly the problem. You’re missing the second “tooth.”

                “Now again maybe you don’t think this is enough to deter crime, but note court costs alone would mean criminal wouldn’t be just “buying my bike”.

                Well, that actually depends on whether the court fees exceed the costs of picking up and transporting a regularly purchased bicycle. But I was only speaking roughly.

                “I’d say in our current system the thief would be forced to spend some time in jail/pay a bail bondsmen but apparently libertarians are logically committed to not being able to hold accused criminals pending trial or even during a trial.”

                I’m not sure where you got that from exactly, in Block’s paper he even mentions the cost of capture.

                “If he started out with one eye you seem to believe blinding him wouldn’t be punishment only restitution.”

                Correct.

              • xgsmmy says:

                Okay, KP, I went back and looked at the paper again and you’re right about the first tooth being restitution and the second tooth being punishment.

                In my defense, in my original post about it, I said his system was somewhat incoherent and I think I mixed up my criticism of it and his views.

                In my view taking the second eye or TV is gratuitous since restitution alone implies punishment.

                However I don’t think punishment or what he calls “justice” can be justified on libertarian grounds.

                And while restitution can be, it suffers from a calculation problem, so I’m not quite sure where libertarians can really stand.

              • xgsmmy says:

                I’m not sure where you got that from exactly, in Block’s paper he even mentions the cost of capture.

                It’s not in the paper, I was saying I don’t think libertarians are able to justify holding someone accused of a crime but only someone already determined to be guilty.

                But now that I’m thinking anyone considered responsible for the accused’s arrest and prosecution would then be liable for kidnapping or something and whatever other damages are said to have occurred.

                Presumably double jeopardy does not exist, though. I’m not sure if anyone could be considered liable for acquitting someone who is later found guilty of the same crime.

                But it seems defense attorneys who are determined to have known their client to be guilty would be liable for acquittals.

                Anyway, thanks for showing patience when I was wrong.

                I do think I’m right though that losing a literal eye for an eye is punishment even in Walter Block’s world.

                It seems what Block would say is that restitution has not been paid.

                But the hypothetical where your eye can replace my eye (where presumably mine has been destoryed), seems to me a problem for the theory.

                You giving me your eye is both punishment and restitution, but the “intuitive” “justice” system demand I destroy an eye. So I blind you.

                The problem I guess is that supposedly the criminal has no incentive not to destroy my eye, since he loses an eye in both cases and so might as well.

                And the “justice” system potentially suffers from the same calculation problems as restitution. If you you destroy a irreplaceable family photo of mine presumably the punishment might be a lifetime of slavery in lieu of a magic machine to recover it.

              • K.P. says:

                “In my view taking the second eye or TV is gratuitous since restitution alone implies punishment.
                However I don’t think punishment or what he calls “justice” can be justified on libertarian grounds.”

                That’s perfectly fair and other libertarians (e.g. Long, Kinsella, Murphy, I assume) disagree too, some don’t believe in punishment at all. The Block article provided wasn’t meant to be the only libertarian position. Just one that this not-quite-libertarian enjoys.

                “And while restitution can be, it suffers from a calculation problem, so I’m not quite sure where libertarians can really stand.”

                Libertarians, Block included, point this out all the time. It’s really something that can’t be “solved.” But that seems to buttress the market approach – heterogeneous and diverse – that libertarians support.

                “”But now that I’m thinking anyone considered responsible for the accused’s arrest and prosecution would then be liable for kidnapping or something and whatever other damages are said to have occurred.”

                And you’d be correct. Similar to the jurors, the more confidence one had in the suspects guilt the more likely he’d be willing to capture/kidnap.

                “And the “justice” system potentially suffers from the same calculation problems as restitution. If you you destroy a irreplaceable family photo of mine presumably the punishment might be a lifetime of slavery in lieu of a magic machine to recover it.”

                And you’re correct again. This has been a problem forever and probably will be – in lieu of magic – it’s not a special problem to libertarians though.

                I’m glad we could come to some sort of understanding here.

          • xgsmmy says:

            Just wanted to throw in the possibility of pacifism and Gandhian non-violence as an alternative form of persuasion. (Self-immolation could be another.)

            Bob’s a pacifist so presumably he doesn’t believe in hitting back. (I don’t know, though, and am too lazy to try to see if he’s written about it.)

            • Ken B says:

              This is a good point. Ghandi intended his approach to be persuasion. It would only work on a certain kind of adversary. Ghandi was quite aware of that and clear on that. He crafted his approach to shaming the British and persuading them. Had he faced the Nazis (or Jefferson Davis) he might have proceeded otherwise.

            • K.P. says:

              Alternative forms of persuasion sound perfectly fine

              I know Bob wrote an article for Lew Rockwell explaining how Pacifist police forces could still restrain aggressors in some manner.

              Perhaps not as harsh as “hitting back” but I believe it carries the same idea.

        • Zach says:

          Pardon me for being late to the party, but I do think Hoppe can provide more insight than Block on issues of private defense,insurance, and policing. No more discussion over how many teeth to take, etc : ). He gave a lecture about this too, it was incredble. I downloaded it for free from the mises site and listend to it at work one day, i highly recommend it. it’s on itunes. here is the pdf that addresses these issues, i hope u see this and give it a look. http://library.mises.org/books/Hans-Hermann%20Hoppe/The%20Private%20Production%20of%20Defense.pdf

      • Ken B says:

        No, the central issue is the mistaken belief you can deduce everything from some simple principle like “non-aggression”.

        • K.P. says:

          Sure but who said you could deduce everything from a simple principle like non-aggression?

          • Ken B says:

            It’s a revealed preference.

            • K.P. says:

              Ah, thanks. I’ve never been much of a follower of Samuelson.

          • xgsmmy says:

            K.P., if you look above JFF just said “all things follow” from non-aggression.

            • K.P. says:

              That’s a good catch there, I read it as “all things libertarian follow…” but I should have looked a bit closer.

              I’ll say many libertarians don’t believe that literally all things follow from non-aggression. Perhaps some do though.

      • konst says:

        Bill Anderson’s student not Walter Block’s.

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        JFF, it was my understanding that Julie studied under Dr. William Anderson at Frostburg State. She has verified this to me in the past, but I guess she could have gone to Loyola at one point, too. I never asked her about that.

      • Marc says:

        Julie was one of William Anderson, an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute who teaches economics at Frostburg State University.

  3. joeftansey says:

    Energetic girl + stapling factoids together + air quotes

    The straw men are sickening. Yes I know some democrats are probably that obtuse, but she does no good by picking on their weakest links. Most statists screw up their own arguments anyway, so you may as well iron-man them instead of picking on their unforced errors.

  4. Carrie says:

    Hello all,

    I’m coming out of lurking for a while to add some thoughts here. Hopefully this will remain short enough to read while still covering everything I’d like to say!

    In agreement with some of the comments above, videos like this completely turn me off from libertarian ideas—and I’ve been a dedicated Objectivist and freethinker for 15+ years. I am not impressed by spastic sarcasm, yelling, ranting, and attacking one’s opponents without offering a positive alternative. There is another popular young female libertarian whose videos are of a similar style. Rather than presenting a thorough, well-reasoned set of thoughts, she starts videos off with, “Sooo… okay… mmmm… THE CONSTITUTION SUCKS!” The defense of this position is offered only through a series of smirks and exaggerated gestures. Attitudes like this make me embarrassed to associate myself with anarchy if those are its best representatives. Such emotionalist presentations will hardly win any converts.

    Another issue I’d like to address is related to why more women are not libertarians. I actually don’t think the “problem” of few women is unique to the liberty movement. Most scholars in any field—from politics to science to classical music—are men. There are many reasons for this, but I’d like to touch on one that is inadvertently highlighted in some of the comments above (and in comments made about other female libertarian YouTubers). Notice that what is praised are not their profound statements, but that they are “hot” or “a babe.” Female intelligence, ingenuity, and innovation are not highly valued in our culture. I am not blaming men in particular for this phenomenon; it is perpetuated by women and girls who think that wearing low-cut, sleeveless tops—or talking about one’s haircut—is appropriate to a supposedly intellectual video.

    As a young arguably attractive science professor I am also subjected to praise of an unwanted sort that to me is meaningless—and feel invisible for the aspects of myself that I value most. I know I’m an excellent teacher, and this is consistently reflected on formal student evaluations. But on RateMyProfessors, quite a few of the comments focus on me being “cute” or “hot.” When I read those things I feel ashamed, unnoticed, and unseen—because what I want to be valued for is my teaching excellence, not my appearance. It takes a great deal of strength to not feel that my intelligence is unnoticed, overshadowed, or undervalued in relation to aspects of myself that I believe should be irrelevant to an academic setting.

    Many people (men and women) do not have this inner strength. When a young person wants to be recognized for his or her accomplishments (political knowledge, musical ability, etc.) but is instead just called “cute,” he or she interprets this as being brushed off. The person will feel tremendously disvalued and misunderstood, and may retreat into him/herself and silence his/her deepest values. He/she gives up the fight to be seen and appreciated, given that what the culture esteems is different from the features by which the person actually should be assessed. Since boys are praised more for accomplishments and women are praised more for appearance—even from supposed libertarian men allies who may think they have good intentions by complimenting our appearance—it is predominantly women who will feel invisible and undervalued, and who will silence themselves. I suspect there are a lot of “closet” libertarian women who value their integrity so much that they can’t bear to share themselves with a world that will ignore the best within them.

    • Ken B says:

      “I am not impressed by spastic sarcasm, yelling, ranting,…”

      Yet you say you’re a regular reader of this blog??

      :)

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Very thoughtful post, Carrie. I always thought you looked kind of cartoonish, myself.

    • Christopher says:

      This is a great post, Carrie.

    • Tel says:

      Since boys are praised more for accomplishments and women are praised more for appearance—even from supposed libertarian men allies who may think they have good intentions by complimenting our appearance—it is predominantly women who will feel invisible and undervalued, and who will silence themselves.

      Bah!

      http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2011/11/i-like-this-guys-enthusiasm.html

      The very first comment was someone having a go at the guy’s ears. If you want to search YouTube for “Paul Krugman schooled by Austrian School Economist Pedro Schwartz” which is one of the most interesting and pertinent discussions that came out last year, the most popular comment is (and I quote): “krugman is a rat faced bastard.”

      You don’t have to feel picked on.

      Getting back to the Token Libertarian Girl, I personally don’t find her “in your face” style to be attractive, nor easy to listen to, but the way she changed her appearance to act out the Republican and Democrat agendas — it was effective, it had a bit of punch to it. I got that bit.

      One of the few advantages Libertarians have is a diversity of approaches without the need to get approved by the marketing team before we do anything. This girl has freshness and enthusiasm, she obviously pays attention to the topics, and if she gets people to engage for whatever reason I’m OK with that. Anyhow, she’s a big girl, she can evaluate for herself how to react to comments she gets, not my job to tell her the appropriate way to feel about the world.

      • Carrie says:

        No, Tel, what you describe does not address my point. I am not claiming to feel “picked on.”

        When someone doesn’t have a good counter-argument against a man or a woman, he/she attacks the opponent’s appearance. “Hilary Clinton is ugly.” “Paul Krugman is ugly.” I agree these attacks are directed at both men and women.

        That is not quite related to praising people for their virtues. From my experiences and observations, women’s appearance is praised at the expense of their achievement virtues. They could be valedictorian, run a half-marathon, win music composition contests, etc. and instead of hearing “Wow, you are so great at such-and-such achievement and you should be proud of your hard work,” all of these things are ignored and instead the woman is told, “You are so pretty.” (All of these things have happened to me. Yes, when you personally put in effort and accomplish something great, you are just told that you are pretty.) It leaves a person confused and bewildered when their essentials are ignored and their non-essentials are praised. I’m willing to acknowledge that men’s achievements may be undermined in other insidious ways, but I haven’t observed it in this way.

        Also I never indicated that it was anyone’s “job to tell her the appropriate way to feel about the world,” but it seems like that comment was directed at me. It is indeed the responsibility of each individual to establish a metaphysics; but it can still be disappointing to a person with a good/proper worldview when that worldview is not shared by others.

        • Tel says:

          Hmmm, so only positive comments count. That does make it more difficult I admit.

          I do remember reading people commenting on how good looking and attractive Barack Obama was when he first made it to president, but I tried scanning through the YouTube comments on Obama’s fiscal cliff speech and they are overwhelmingly negative and just people swearing at one another. Probably earlier discussion groups on Obama from 2008 would have positive appearance related comments.

          I got desperate and did some random google searching and came up with this…

          http://www.salon.com/2012/10/02/donald_rumsfeld_the_medias_original_weird_political_sex_symbol/

          It is kind of whack, but strangely enough, older men in politics do get some sexual gravity amongst their fans. Now I think about it, Bill Clinton got a lot of positive appearance-related attention.

          Does this detract from their genuine message? Probably yes, but I doubt anyone cares.

        • Tel says:

          The magazine has released its annual list of the 100 men who made history hotter, and the honors go to exactly who you thought they would (if you keep up with celebrity news): Henry Kissinger. For the second year in a row, our gorgeous hottie beat out some other equally hot men for the number one spot! And we can’t say we disagree!

          http://en.mediamass.net/people/henry-kissinger/sexiest-alive.html

          Now I’ve seen everything…

          In The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley he points out that women are attracted to powerful men, who in turn are attracted to young, pretty women. Both sides seek to maximize their reproductive success.

          If you want to roll up your sleeves and win a battle, you have more chance fighting against government spending than you do of defeating human biology and millions of years of fine grained optimization.

          • Carrie says:

            If you want to roll up your sleeves and win a battle, you have more chance fighting against government spending than you do of defeating human biology and millions of years of fine grained optimization.

            I am not a determinist or a fatalist. Humans can choose to exercise their rational faculty and admire virtues above and beyond displaying one’s peacock feathers.

            • Tel says:

              You are naturally entitled to make this choice any which way you like.

              So are the people who think the Token Libertarian Girl is cute.

            • Carrie says:

              Besides, I’m sure you could find “evolutionary psychologists” who claim that government is an evolutionary necessity due to animalistic tribalism or some nonsense.

            • Tel says:

              Matt Ridley’s theory does successfully explain the observable phenomenon… and to be fair, that book was written a while back, so he also successfully predicted behaviour.

              … government is an evolutionary necessity due to animalistic tribalism …

              Well the theory stands until a counter-example can be produced.

              Never mind, they will always have jobs on offer for morality inspectors going through YouTube, vernier callipers in hand, measuring the cut of blouses. It’s important work too. Young men’s minds are weak and need protecting.

          • Christopher says:

            Tel,

            the problem is, what you found there is still different from the problem Carrie described.

            I doubt you’ll find two women talking stuff like:
            A: “I never liked listening to Kissinger’s speeches. I think he is a poor speaker.”
            B: “Yeah, maybe, but who cares – his backside is awesome! Gimme five!”

            Even when people talk about the appearance of men, they usually do separate it from their achievements. But when I said I didn’t like the video, it didn’t take long until I got two replies saying she was cute.

            • Ken B says:

              I think Tel is suggesting that men are judged by other biologically influenced markers, just as women are, but the markers are less appearance and more about alpha/beta. This is why ‘wimp’ is to male politicians what ‘dowdy’ is to female ones. Example
              http://cdn.thedailybeast.com/content/newsweek/2012/07/29/michael-tomasky-a-candidate-with-a-serious-wimp-problem/_jcr_content/body/inlineimage.img.503.jpg/1343574842228.cached.jpg

            • Tel says:

              I think you will find that “guest” above also spoke of appearance separately to achievement (with separate positive comments on both scores).

              It would seem that’s not good enough though.

              • Carrie says:

                Christopher, thanks for the good insights!

                Tel, “guest’s” first response and first evaluation was that she’s “a babe.” This is the factor of primary importance in assessing the merits of her videos. Then, only as an afterthought in a second comment, he says she also “knows her stuff.” But the implication is that even if she didn’t know her stuff, she’d still be worth watching.

                Perhaps it needs to be stated that I do recognize beauty as a potential value; it is nice to take pride in oneself and look presentable. But it is not a proper basis of a moral appraisal, or approval/disapproval of a person’s merits.

                I’m not convinced of the evolutionary psychology studies that attempt to relate human dating with animal mate selection. Yes, there are trends in partner preference, but a lot of that is cultural (for example, in some cultures dominant females are considered attractive), and reason and morality can override whatever biological remnants remain and in fact alter what one finds attractive. But again, the issue was not what is considered attractive. It may be the case that, in general, men prefer young pretty women and women prefer “alpha males,” and people can choose to use these preferences when making dating decisions. But my original point remains, which is that valuing someone for reasons other than those which their holder deems important—focusing on traits that the possessor sees as minor or non-essential virtues—makes the person feel invisible and misunderstood. People may then silence themselves and retreat, and stop sharing themselves with a world that isn’t interested in the talents for which they are passionate. In a male his emotions or something else may be ignored by others and thus suppressed within. In a woman her mind is generally ignored, with the result being a silencing of her intellect, and thus lack of interest in deeper issues such as liberty.

              • Tel says:

                I seriously doubt that the “guest” in question climbed a mountain, consulted the great oracle, meditated on the matter for years and then delivered his/her magnum opus, “She’s a babe.”

                Probably it was an off the cuff, spur of the moment remark, not a factor of primary importance, and not worthy of heartfelt consideration by intelligent and busy people.

                At the heart of it, this is Murphy’s private space, so he gets to enforce the standards here, if some comments don’t meet his threshold for appropriate gender sensitivity then I’m cool with him making the call. At the same time, Julie’s YouTube videos are her own private creation and she is welcome to wear or not wear anything she likes, up to what YouTube is willing to tolerate. No one is being forced to watch.

                If I’m going to visit a nudist colony I’ll take off my strides, but if I’m serving tea at the church fete I’ll keep them on… because appropriate behaviour is a matter to be settled amongst the local consenting group, so long as no one is forced to participate. That’s the basis of liberty in my book.

                Sorry if I’ve come across as a bit snarky and snicketty but I’m sensitive to the use of politically correct language and culture policing as a tool to shut people down. That’s what tends to happen in “progressive” academic circles and IMHO those people are deeply and naval gazingly unproductive, because what they end up doing is shutting down all real communication. They spend half their time panicking about not offending anyone, and the other half searching for gotchas with a fine tooth comb so they can prove how hurt they are.

                I’ve probably said enough, I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from, even if you might not agree, and I very much doubt I’m the first person to have brought up this idea. I’ll try to just ignore it from now on and leave if for Bob to judge, or God, or someone else at any rate.

              • Tel says:

                Thinking more deeply into this, I understand what annoys me in the abstract. You are attempting to claim an indirect injury.

                Julie and her “guest” choose to behave in some way between themselves and that’s by voluntary consent without injury to either party. You claim that something about Julie’s behaviour (e.g. her choice of attire) is modifying young men’s minds and thus indirectly making your life more difficult (e.g. your quest for recognition, people don’t take you seriously, etc, etc).

                The problem with claims of indirect injury via the amorphous cloud of changing mindfulness is that even though the injury might indeed exist (I’m not able to prove otherwise), if people are allowed to claim a tort against this, then where will it end? It becomes like the infamous Commerce Clause and everyone would require the right to regulate everyone else’s lives. The concept of “consenting adults in private” would no longer exist and we would find more and more tenuous fibers linking everything to everything else.

                The road to socialist madness, turn away while you still can!

                Having said that I might have inadvertently made an implicit claim of indirect injury against you too. That was a blunder, and on clearing my head I declare that I have no such claim… for exactly the same reason as above.

              • Carrie says:

                Sorry Tel, I’m not understanding much of your last two comments. I don’t see how I am being unduly “politically correct” nor claiming that Julie is modifying men’s minds. ? I’m also not seeking government regulation against what people do on YouTube, etc.

                I think where we primarily disagree is that you think voluntary behaviors between two people do not affect anyone else, and you seem to be amoral in that no behavior is better or worse than another as long as it is voluntary. Yet at other times you sound like a biological determinist, so I’m not sure if you think any behavior is really voluntary.

                On the other hand, I think certain philosophies and behaviors are damaging to individuals, and I resist people who promote bad ideas. I hope that positive persuasion will encourage them to reconsider their views. A person’s worldview and self-view determine what kind of life they will pursue, and, by extension, what kind of world we all will live in. I think the best possible society will be when everyone is a rational egoist—and I want to live in a community surrounded by such people. So yes, without using force to implement my views, I do try to foster self-worth, self-respect, and self-esteem in everyone I encounter. Sometimes that means praising the good things they do, and sometimes that means explaining how their behaviors are harmful to themselves or people they claim to care about. And I really do think that focusing on one aspect of a person (such as beauty) at the expense of other character traits is damaging. So without resorting to force or getting the government to implement some kind of social justice program, I was trying to show that how people treat someone else can either encourage or discourage that person’s talents.

              • Tel says:

                Here’s a quote from above with some bits cut for brevity:

                Female intelligence, ingenuity, and innovation are not highly valued in our culture. I am not blaming men in particular for this phenomenon; it is perpetuated by women and girls who think that wearing low-cut, sleeveless tops—or talking about one’s haircut—is appropriate to a supposedly intellectual video.

                [...]

                When I read those things I feel ashamed, unnoticed, and unseen—because what I want to be valued for is my teaching excellence, not my appearance.

                So this does appear to me to be not so much “explaining how their behaviors are harmful to themselves or people they claim to care about” but it is explaining that other people’s behaviour is harmful to you in particular (and maybe other persons unknown who are similar to you personality wise).

                That’s what I mean by a claim of indirect injury. You believe you are injured by other people’s voluntary activity amongst themselves because some indirect emergent social effect somehow washes over you.

                I don’t blame you for being self-interested. No shame in that.

                … you think voluntary behaviors between two people do not affect anyone else …

                The effect could very well be real, but that’s beside the point. I’m absolutely not accusing you of violence here, but other people use very similar arguments to get the most outrageous conclusions.

                There’s a guy called Robert H Frank who is intellectually pretty honest and makes a fair effort; but in my opinion he gets everything wrong and he stands for all the things I dislike intensely. He is a big government authoritarian socialist who has the knack of coming across as amazingly reasonable (until you think about what he is saying).

                http://www.robert-h-frank.com/PDFs/NYT.4.12.99.pdf

                But income level isn’t everything. What the revisionists ignore is that increased
                spending at the top causes real, unavoidable harm to families in the middle, even those
                whose incomes have risen slightly. It harms them by raising the cost of achieving goals
                that almost every family cherishes.

                Few middle-income parents, for example, would rest easy with the knowledge that their
                children were attending below-average schools. But since the quality of public schools is
                closely linked to local property taxes, which in turn are closely linked to local real estate
                prices, you cannot send your child to a public school of even average quality if you buy
                in a school district whose house prices are well below average.

                You see the technique that Frank uses here? Because one person is successful, they make other people by implication less able to be above average. Therefore he concludes that the success of one person is harmful to everyone else.

                Do you see the sort of similar claim of indirect injury going on here? Do you see how nutty this gets?

                For what it is worth, I would judge your argument has having a bit more validity than Frank’s, but the point is that in neither case is the effect really measurable, and in both cases the supposed “victim” can do something about it if they want to.

                I mean, parents could if they wanted to, save money by not buying an overpriced house near a “good” public school, and spend that extra money getting a real education for their kids somewhere privately (or even home school which would get an even better education again). Mostly, the schools in “good” areas are good because of the families that live in the area, not the other way around, but I digress.

                While I’m perfectly happy with you saying, “Hey I feel that your behaviour has some indirect effect on me and I’d just like to tell you about that,” I’m bothered by this being used as a method to attempt to control other people’s behaviour. The reason it bothers me is that it leads to people like Frank.

                Anyhow, read a bit more of his stuff and see what you think. I’ve been reading a whole book of his and it left me incoherently flabbergasted, so now that I understand why I’m overly sensitive to this issue, it isn’t such an issue for me. No, wait, it is still an issue for me, but I’m good to handle it.

                You go read his stuff, identify how he operates and probably I will be able to explain it better after that, or you might explain it to me, or something.

    • skylien says:

      On why I think there are so few female libertarians:

      Apart from the points you make and I agree with, I also think they are distracted by their emotionality. I am sure there are also men who put stones on the window sill into the sun light to “load” them up with energy, or write emotional words (like “love”) or wishes on to small paper shreds only to stick them the wrong way on the outside of a water jug so that the water can see what it says and sucks up the good message, but I am always astounded just how many women really do things like this.

      That is no offense and assessment! Yet I guess it shows that they have different priorities. They use more their heart and empathy and less the cold logic of their just as capable brain. Well it also has its advantages; like they usually are much better in socializing with other fellow people than men. However it also means they tend to be just that less interested in politics, competitive sports, setting up their own business, mechanics, electronics, programming etc.. and of course economics. These are all things that do not appeal to emotionality.

      Generally said men tend to be interested in things, and women in humans. Isn’t it strange that economics is about acting humans? Maybe we should just tell women that economics is not about things and aggregates, but acting humans…

      • successfulbuild says:

        It’s actually the other way around: a profound understanding of logic leads to empathy in humans. That is why logicians are not violent people and people who don’t understand logic tend to be more violent and into violent activities that have no real benefit to themselves or to society.

        Also, humans are actually wired to be empathetic through evolution: it’s an evolutionary tactic to be able to sense other people’s pain to help ensure the survival of the species. Libertarianism is thus un-evolutionary and anti-human.

        Libertarianism is also the ultimate appeal to the lack of logic: natural rights. Natural rights are and Mises axioms are things that cannot be proven and merely have to be assumed. Rothbard once even said “facts” are irrelevant to his crappy theories.

        Also, most scientists, physicists and so on, aren’t Libertarians. The best physicist in history was a socialist and a famous academic physicist, Sokal, is also a known leftist.

        So your explanation, as usual, is stupid and full of holes.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Just a general point about my moderation style, for new readers: I am not going to get hip-deep in the weeds here, demanding that successfulbuild justify statements like, “Rothbard once even said ‘facts’ are irrelevant to his…theories,” which presumably is an incredibly out of context reference to something on a priori methodology.

          If I start policing comments, I have to come up with a standard and enforce it consistently, and then I end up being Brad DeLong. The only thing i really zap are obvious stuff like racial slurs, people making strong accusations that are unverified about living people who are colleagues, etc.

        • Jason B says:

          “The best physicist in history was a socialist”

          This is first time I’ve heard Newton was a socialist. I’m willing to learn if you have information supporting your statement, and this is also assuming your initial assumption is correct, and that we’re discussing the same man.

        • Tel says:

          There’s a really good book called, “Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain” by Antonio Damasio. It is unfortunately in some need of a good editor and a bit long winded in parts, but the general thesis is that you get the best results when logic and emotion work in concert, and they are physically separate parts of the brain.

          Yes, that does mean certain types of brain damage can completely disable empathy and emotive reasoning and yet leave the logical operation fully intact. No, you don’t want that to happen to you, the book describes what happened in some real life cases and how these people’s lives fell apart.

          • skylien says:

            I guess autism is a form in which empathy and emotive reasoning is disabled.

            Well, a short googling showed that men are more likely be autistic than women.

            Thanks for book suggestion.

    • Dan Lind says:

      If I may ignore the essential point of your post and address a very delimited piece of it:

      When I happen across a terrific accomplishment, some great success, and then I discover it’s a very attractive “she,” well, my approval of her takes on a whole new delectable dimension. Smart and sensuous is THE unbeatable combo. If that makes me what feminists used to call a chauvinist pig, well, maybe the shoe fits.

      On the flip side, there are few greater disappointments than getting proximate to a visually “hot” woman who then spoils the moment by opening her mouth and saying something, something inane. Enthusiasm scrambles back like a receding wave at high tide.

    • guest says:

      Since boys are praised more for accomplishments and women are praised more for appearance—even from supposed libertarian men allies who may think they have good intentions by complimenting our appearance—it is predominantly women who will feel invisible and undervalued, and who will silence themselves.

      A few things, here.

      Is it possible that men are already aware of how intelligent you are?; That you already have what you want in the area of respect for your intellect? But that because you’re pretty men will ALSO want to hit on you?

      Besides, you’re not going to pick the nice guy. Or if you do, you’re going to be dissatisfied and long for a manly man, as is consistent with your gender, and start resenting each other; Then you’ll both be unhappy.

      So, for men, we either treat women as if their gender doesn’t matter to us and garner a reputation as asexual and get relegated to the friend zone before we even get to try to make a connection; Or we treat women like women and see if any of them might be interested.

      You might think: “But we’re not here to make a connection”. But, #1, you never know when you’re going to make a connection, so what’s the harm in trying?; and #2, I ask you: Where would such a place of connection be that would be consistent with your belief that men should focus less on a woman’s beauty than they do?

      Connections happen, in part, BECAUSE men and women objectify each other. It’s a necessary component.

      What you’re asking men to do is to ignore their nature, rather than merely to appreciate your intellect more.

      You obviously know that people think you’re smart because of what they are able to learn from you Why not just enjoy the attention you’re getting?

      • Carrie says:

        Fascinating! You touched on some things here that will force me to consider the possibility that my ideas above are based more on my own psychology than on philosophical principles. I’m only attracted to people after I know and respect them, so it’s baffling to realize that the reverse is the norm (physical attraction before liking someone). It’s also baffling that people would take a class and place greater importance on the teacher’s appearance than on his/her knowledge. But if that’s the case, and if men and women are seeking “connections,” then the behaviors I spoke out against make more sense.

        Still, ignoring someone’s intelligence and skills makes him/her feel invisible and disrespected. A person might come to believe her ONLY value is in being pretty, and she will neglect or hide her other interests. This causes serious damage to self-esteem and individuality.

        One final thing: why do people keep insisting women don’t like nice guys? Any time I’ve been upset with a guy it’s because he hasn’t been nice, considerate, or conscientious enough, or was acting crude like “one of the guys,” etc.—not because he wasn’t being a “manly man” (whatever that phrase means).

        • guest says:

          It’s also baffling that people would take a class and place greater importance on the teacher’s appearance than on his/her knowledge.

          Isn’t it enough that people take your class and place SUFFICIENT importance on your knowledge for passing it?

          [I botched that sentence, somehow, I know it. Heh.]

          People can do two things at once.

          But if that’s the case, and if men and women are seeking “connections,” then the behaviors I spoke out against make more sense.

          Well, it’s not that we’re seeking them out, but that we’re open to opportunities.

          Still, ignoring someone’s intelligence and skills makes him/her feel invisible and disrespected.

          If they’re passing your class, they aren’t ignoring your intelligence. You’ve proven your worth as a teacher.

          They learned something AND got to see a hottie every day. Double win.

          One final thing: why do people keep insisting women don’t like nice guys?

          Because women mistake niceness for weakness.

          Good Guys Are Starting to Ask, ‘Why Bother.’
          http://www.drlaura.com/b/Good-Guys-Are-Starting-to-Ask,-Why-Bother./863130502832411122.html

          Why Men Choose to Be Wusses
          http://www.drlaura.com/b/Why-Men-Choose-to-Be-Wusses/494.html

          Guys Way of Showing Love
          http://www.drlaura.com/b/Guys-Way-of-Showing-Love/7856.html

          I Am Forbidden To Tell My Wife How Much I Love Her
          http://www.drlaura.com/b/I-Am-Forbidden-To-Tell-My-Wife-How-Much-I-Love-Her–/2207.html

        • Robert Fellner says:

          You should read Sex at Dawn which delves into this, and related topics, much more deeply. And in a very entertaining way to boot!

          The short answer is biology and evolution. Being a nice guy is fine but there are very real biological and evolutionary forces that affect what we perceive as attractive.

          Also, a boatload of empirical data. Obviously it’s not as cut and dry as “nice guy” vs “manly man” but there are definitely benefits to having a good blend of each. Especially during the introduction/courtship stages.

          http://www.sexatdawn.com/

      • Christopher says:

        So, for men, we either treat women as if their gender doesn’t matter to us and garner a reputation as asexual and get relegated to the friend zone before we even get to try to make a connection; Or we treat women like women and see if any of them might be interested.

        You are right in a way, but I think you are missing one point. It’s also my impression that men who treat women like women (disrespectful, maybe?) are more successful making connections if you just count heads. But if you look for lasting and mutually satisfying relationships you won’t find them among those who objectify each other. Women who are looking for something serious will pick the nice guy.
        :)

  5. William Anderson says:

    Bob,

    Julie was one of my students at Frostburg, and a good one at that. I’m sorry that Steve Horwitz chose to attack her, but Steve attacks a lot of people and I am sure Julie can handle it.

  6. Logan Durand says:

    Horwitz’s BHL article offers a weak reply to Borowski’s statements regarding women, and demonstrates the failure of blank-slate libertarianism to address gender issues. Borowski is spot on, and Horwitz offers no substantive response other than the usual excusing of depraved behavior as ‘smart, complex, thoughtful’ choices made by empowered women. It’s as if all culturally conservative thought is off-limits to libertarians, who, in supporting individual autonomy, must also adopt the non-judgmental liberal morality.

  7. successfulbuild says:

    I think a better question is why a supposed “Libertarian academic” has time to peruse videos on Youtube and get into Internet fights with journalists at Gawker magazine, all while blogging at more than one website. Obviously an academic of little value with nothing better to do than try to figure out why the “culture” doesn’t favor his form of totalitarianism. This is also a guy who writes articles defending Wal-Mart and other state backed government institutions, and is a global warming denier.

    There is probably a simple explanation for all for all of this: most good looking men aren’t conspiracy theorists and have better things to do with their time than promote awkward totalitarian doctrines. Women want to be with good looking men and good looking and successful men aren’t Libertarians. Even rich Libertarians like Steve Horowitz and Bryan Caplan are not appealing because they hold jobs that are considered “uncool”: crackpot economists. I doubt a woman would want to listen to Bryan Caplan’s theory about how US entry into World War I led to the Second World War, even though he is rich.

    Also: Bryan Caplan, Peter Boettke, Walter Block, Tom Woods, David Henderson, David Friedman and Robert Murphy aren’t going to be voted “the world’s sexist man” any time soon.

    There are no “cool” libertarians. No Libertarian culture (beyond conspiracy theorists), no Libertarian bands, no Libertarian zines, no intellectual Libertarians college kids can look up to, and so on.

    This is unrelated but also notice how people who are into Ayn Rand or who are influenced by Ayn Rand are morons: Bryan Caplan (he even admits that he indoctrinated himself into Ayn Rand at a young age), Walter Block, and even Murray Rothbard all cited Rand as their major influence and they are all stupid and are not the “alpha males” that they claim to be.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I think a better question is why a supposed “Libertarian academic” has time to peruse videos on Youtube and get into Internet fights with journalists at Gawker magazine, all while blogging at more than one website. Obviously an academic of little value with nothing better to do than try to figure out why the “culture” doesn’t favor his form of totalitarianism. This is also a guy who writes articles defending Wal-Mart and other state backed government institutions, and is a global warming denier.

      Who are you talking about, me or Horwitz? The global warming makes me think me, but the Wal-Mart throws me. And the Gawker sounds vaguely familiar, but can’t quite place it.

      And you are quite wrong. Walter Block is, in fact, the world’s sexist (sic) man.

      • successfulbuild says:

        “And you are quite wrong. Walter Block is, in fact, the world’s sexist (sic) man.”

        Yes, indeed. A hatred of women will develop when you combine egoist personality with Libertarian doctrine: Libertarians have to justify why they are not in the alpha male position, and it usually ends in an awkward theory.

        And I obviously meant howowitz, who is indeed a global warming denier as is David Friedman (they think the science behind it is questionable), although I could be referring to any Libertarian/economist: Libertarians and economists spend their time either (A) writing blogs containing these theories or (B) commenting on blogs written by other morons. What a life.

        • Richie says:

          commenting on blogs written by other morons. What a life.

          So what does that make you, you genius.

        • Richie says:

          Libertarians and economists spend their time either (A) writing blogs containing these theories or (B) commenting on blogs written by other morons. What a life.

          Or maybe they should just worship their heroes on youtube instead:

          http://www.youtube.com/user/successfulbuild

          • successfulbuild says:

            yes, it must be nauseating knowing that not everybody on the internet believes in your totalitarian, Hoppean theories.

            And speaking of Youtube the Libertarians who present themselves on Youtube just confirm my theory, like ramzpaul who is a “nationalist” who has claimed Jews secretly run all of our institutions. In fact, he has a rap video making fun of progressives for distancing themselves from these theories.

            And I have not lied here. Everything I said here would be apparent to anybody who is not a Libertarian (i.e. not brainwashed). Scientific experiments have confirmed people can sense other people’s pain, and these were done by some of the leading neuroscientists in the world, and rothbard did indeed say facts are irrelevant. I got that quote from a review of one of his works from a Chicago school economist who criticized Rothbard for the same reason I did.

            You guys truly are insane.

            • Richie says:

              successfulbuild is an insane liar.

    • Ken B says:

      ” This is also a guy who writes articles defending Wal-Mart … and is a global warming denier.”

      Wait, wait. I thought you were suggesting this guy WASN’T sexy.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        I suppose that should have been “SB”.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        The one girl is biting her lip, she is so enamored with you, Roddis.

    • Richie says:

      successfulbuild is a liar.

      • Jason B says:

        Eh, he may be, but I haven’t noticed yet.

        I want to give him props. He’s, at least in my opinion, the best libertarian troll I’ve ever seen. I’m being serious. I think he’s pretty damn good at it.

        • The Existential Christian says:

          Really? ‘Cause he just comes across as unhinged to me.

          • Joseph Fetz says:

            I tend to ignore his posts, because I’ve never seen them contain a substantive critique of libertarian philosophy, instead they are primarily comprised of poo-flinging and namecalling, as well as making illegitimate associations between libertarianism and specific unrelated things that are generally seen as bad.

            He does a lot of shit-talking, but that’s about it.

            • successfulbuild says:

              Well, Matt Tanous and Robert Wenzel think critics of Libertarianism are actually paid off by the Obama administration….

              • Richie says:

                Liar.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                Now you are just making things up out of whole cloth.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      The thing that has always attracted me to Krugman, Delong and Bernanke were their macho looks. You too?

    • K.P. says:

      “Also: Bryan Caplan, Peter Boettke, Walter Block, Tom Woods, David Henderson, David Friedman and Robert Murphy aren’t going to be voted “the world’s sexist man” any time soon.”

      Check out Nozick, that man had to be on the list in his day.

    • Tel says:

      Also: Bryan Caplan, Peter Boettke, Walter Block, Tom Woods, David Henderson, David Friedman and Robert Murphy aren’t going to be voted “the world’s sexist man” any time soon.

      Probably true, but that doesn’t make me want to emulate Henry Kissinger either.

    • Christopher says:

      successfulbuild: You opened my eyes. Would you be my alpha male from now on?

    • Tel says:

      If you don’t like state backed government institutions, why do you buy into the Global Warming schtick?

      Did you know that “climate change” is defined by United Nations treaty as being caused by humans?

      “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

      Therefore the substantial warming seen 10k years ago, marking the start of the Holocene was not climate change, by definition, while the comparatively insignificant recent fluctuations may be climate change if someone can prove exactly what is caused by humans (to prove this properly would require two Earths one with and one without humans, but let’s just pretend a computer model is equivalent).

  8. Bob Roddis says:

    What’s the big deal about Ms. Julie’s video about women? Women won’t be put off by the video because women don’t follow politics so they won’t ever see the video.

  9. Bob Roddis says:

    I’ve always thought that if libertarians ever dared to point out that a drug free and thug free (or gun free) private neighborhood was possible and desirable, we could eventually move to a point where the competing aspects of various private neighborhoods (best known for their diverse cultural lifestyles) were the talk of the town on the “style page” and in women’s magazines.

  10. Bob Roddis says:

    I’m again going to declare complete and unconditional victory for the Austrian/libertarian side in the ongoing “debate”. Our opponents have nothing left but whining about CPI predictions. Further, the Krugman/Delong/Bernanke side claims that we have few supporters because we’re allegedly a bunch of homely dorks. As opposed to……..?

    It’s over. We’ve won.

    • successfulbuild says:

      No, what it is is that you guys are so crazy and totalitarian that people have simply stopped replying to you so you have to go around the internet trying to goad them into replying.

      All intelligent people have left Libertarianism. There actually are no Libertarians left EXCEPT the kooks at the Mises Institute, while other Libertarians spend their time hiding their beliefs behind a veil of propaganda (i.e. reason magazine).

      • Dean T. Sandin says:

        Yet you spend your time trolling the comments on an obscure Austrian economist’s blog? (Sorry Bob)

        Also, please find a dictionary and look up the word ‘totalitarian’. It doesn’t mean what you think it means.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        I hate to admit it, but I am fascinated by people who claim that a meticulous and rigorous adherence to the non-aggression principle is “totalitarian”. It’s absurd to “debate” someone who makes such a claim, but I find preposterous and reality-free “arguments” fascinating.

        Except for perhaps Gene Callahan, what person in the entire galaxy has ever actually understood the NAP and the knowledge problem/economic calculation but later came to reject those ideas?

        And I’m holding my breath waiting for successfulbuild to show us his Alpha man groupies.

        • Tel says:

          I’m willing to say that strict adherence to the non-aggression principle is impractical, for exactly the same reason that gun control is impractical, and drug prohibition is impractical.

          There will always be someone who flouts your principles, regardless of how meticulous you yourself choose to be. Both totalitarian and libertarian are faced with this problem, other people simply say, “screw you” when it suits them.

          That doesn’t mean that I would personally be unhappy if there were suddenly no guns, no drugs and no violence in the world, but the observable facts say otherwise, and drugs, guns and violence have become commodities to be traded like any other. The basic economic theory of buying and selling is stronger than the individual participants.

          • Matt Tanous says:

            “I’m willing to say that strict adherence to the non-aggression principle is impractical, for exactly the same reason that gun control is impractical, and drug prohibition is impractical.”

            On the contrary, the NAP allows for the use of violence in defense against those that do not follow it. I can adhere to it strictly even in a world where not everyone does.

      • Richie says:

        what it is is that you guys are so crazy and totalitarian that people have simply stopped replying to you so you have to go around the internet trying to goad them into replying.

        So what you are saying is that you are a weak and unintelligent belligerent who takes the bait from crazy and totalitarian libertarians. You need to be more of a alpha male.

    • Tel says:

      It’s over. We’ve won.

      That’s a relief, so I don’t have to worry about the loss of privacy, the loss of property rights, the surveillance, the unfathomable legal system, and the SWAT teams any more?

      Obama is secretly working on our side right? Man that guy’s good, had me fooled. When does he start fixing stuff?

      • Bob Roddis says:

        We’ve won the “debate” on the merits. Getting the masses to respect the rules of civilization is another issue.

  11. Chase Hampton says:

    If it means anything, I am a young (23) male sympathetic to the libertarian movement and I find this video unappealing for reasons other than those already discussed. In fact, those criticizing her sarcastic style as not being persuasive are missing the point. The videos are not necessarily meant to be persuasive, but rather to entertain and then, for those not familiar with ideas presented, make you think and hopefully pursue the subject further. Of course, for those who are already sympathetic to the cause the point is simply to entertain. If done well, sarcastic ranting can be entertaining. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show comes to mind here.

    Also if the point is to entertain, as I have posited, then yes, her overall sex appeal does matter. Now, one can lament this all they want, but if the goal is mass appeal, then sex appeal is usually important.

    Interestingly, I think “Token Libertarian Girl” fails at both of these in the same way. Her voice and the way she talks is…well…annoying.

    She fails further in doing the sarcastic ranting on a couple of other accounts. First, she does not seem to have a well developed character. It just seems like herself doing a sarcastic rant and occasionally changing outfits. Colbert was a well developed character and Jon Stewart has characters who are funny in and of themselves and not merely meant to be verbal punching bags. Second, we need something else to look at besides her face, as lovely as it is (that was genuine). Give me some CREATIVE graphics or something.

    • Tel says:

      The videos are not necessarily meant to be persuasive, but rather to entertain and then, for those not familiar with ideas presented, make you think and hopefully pursue the subject further.

      Very good point, the video is just to hook people over to her blog where there’s a lot more intellectual and in depth textual material.

      As they say in showbiz, “No such thing as bad publicity!”

      I also found this particular “fiscal cliff” video a bit annoying, but some of her other videos are funnier. I laughed at the overdone make up. Also she debated the Broken Window Falacy against a photograph of Paul Krugman, and that’s closer that RPM’s ever got.

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        “that’s closer that (sic) RPM’s ever got”

        Well, she didn’t taunt a pic of Krugman whilst being half-naked, so I’d disagree.

        • Tel says:

          Mercifully, I must have missed that one.

          Actually, I respect Bob entirely for his intellect so I’m refusing to watch him wearing anything low cut. I’m protesting by pretending that no such video even exists, so there.

          • Z says:

            Schrodinger’s Cat: If Tel has never seen it, does it really exist?

            • Joseph Fetz says:

              I’m sure that he’s seen it, but the image of Bob without a shirt on was so traumatic that his brain has blocked it out. I know this because this was my experience. However, Bob was nice enough to repost the video, thus allowing me to confront the trauma head-on. I’ve been a changed man ever since.
              :)

              • Ken B says:

                Easy for you to say, you have the nice rack.

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                I think Bob might have me beat, but his rack isn’t as perky.

          • guest says:

            Oh, come on.

            You know you want to “Stoke the Fear”.

  12. MP says:

    I thought her Lena Dunham “your first time” parody was pretty funny…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAkdHzpXXo0

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