==> Richard Ebeling doesn’t like trigger words.
==> Bryan Caplan catches an amazing piece on Paul Ehrlich.
==> Scott Sumner often seems incapable of understanding where his critics are coming from. In this post, for example, Sumner deals with Austan Goolsbee, who had posited a situation where real GDP growth is flat (because of a supply shock, presumably), and so the market monetarist response would have the Fed create 5% price inflation (to keep NGDP growing on target). Goolsbee then wondered: Would the markets really expect 5% price inflation to be a one-year thing, to go back to 2% the next year (when real growth recovered to 3%, if the market monetarists are right)? To answer him, Sumner pointed Goolsbee to the actual U.S. experience in 2008.
But no, that doesn’t really work. Goolsbee wasn’t asking, “Is it really possible for the market to quickly revise downward its expectations of price inflation?” He *knows* that can be done, for example if the Fed causes an awful economic crash–as everybody thinks Volcker did intentionally in the early 1980s, and as Scott Sumner and other market monetarists think Bernanke did unintentionally in 2007/08. What Goolsbee was getting at is that for the market monetarist Fed response to a temporary supply shock to work, it requires people in the market to go from experiencing 5% price inflation this year, to expecting 2% price inflation next year, all while the economy goes from high unemployment to full recovery. Does that really make sense? (Maybe it does or maybe it doesn’t, but Sumner doesn’t answer him by pointing to the worst economy since the Great Depression as proof that his system works…)
==> This Tom Woods interview with Doug Casey is a fun one.
==> Yet more evidence that Tyler Cowen and I think differently: He says that if he could go back in time and barter for an object to bring back to the present, and were interested purely in financial gain, that the “obvious” answer would be a painting by a famous painter. I would’ve thought the obvious answer would be to find the guy cleaning up after 13 men had just celebrated the Passover and said, “Hey, how much for that chalice?” If that fails (maybe because you can’t prove authenticity), then I would think you could buy stock certificates and make a lot more than what you’d get for a painting.