21 Jul 2014

Tom Woods’ Opening Talk at Mises University

Night of Clarity, Tom Woods 4 Comments

Tom got us all fired up last night:

Hmm you’re probably wishing that you could catch Tom live. And you’re free on August 15. Plus you’ve been meaning to visit Nashville because you hear it’s as fun as Vegas but classier. Oh I know! You can come to our Night of Clarity!

21 Jul 2014

A Freudian Explanation of Paul Krugman

Krugman 9 Comments

Phil Magness posted this in the comments of my Facebook link to Krugman’s banana post. I of course knew about this memo, but I’m not sure if I ever saw the section header.

Krugman Inflation Timebomb

You may recall that this was the period in Krugman’s life when he flirted with Austrian economics.

21 Jul 2014

Potpourri

Potpourri 207 Comments

==> My latest Mises CA post catches Krugman being misleading, at best, regarding the latest CBO long-term budget outlook.

==> Tom Woods has a great, ecumenical interview with Ralph Nader.

==> If there is something creepier than Scott Sumner endorsing Cass Sunstein trying to get people to second-guess their intuition against killing innocent fat guys, I’d like to hear it.

==> Steve Horwitz responds to Yglesias on gold standard.

==> Rand Paul can’t handle the truth! He scrubs my book from his website.

==> Krugman gives a fruity response to my exchange with Noah Smith, which contains this great admission: “[T]he main point is that nobody else cares about the monetary base, or at any rate they care about it only to the extent that it was presumed to say something about future rises in the CPI.”

I would have been reluctant to attribute such a naked stance to him before, but hey, he volunteered that.

Last point on this: In fairness, I have heard Peter Schiff at least once make the rhetorical move that Noah and Krugman are complaining about here. Specifically, one time I did catch Schiff on a CNBC show or something like that where the anchor said, “You’ve been wrong or premature in your inflation warnings, haven’t you Peter?” and he tried to say, “We have had inflation, inflation is what Bernanke’s been doing…” But I hope any fair reader will agree that that is NOT something I have been doing, and Noah is wrong to act as if this definitional point was invented by Austrians after the fact to cover up failed CPI predictions.

20 Jul 2014

Hello! McFly!

Religious 12 Comments

I realize I am hardly unique in this observation, but it astonishes me when I think back to how naive and clueless I was, growing up. The things I feared, the people I tried to impress, the reckless decisions I made, the people I foolishly trusted, the times I shied away from doing what I knew was right…

When I go down this path, I often wonder whether “Future Bob” could have changed things. If only Present Bob could go back in time and have a talk with High School Bob or College Bob, wow the things I could tell him. Think about it: With the possible exception of my son, there is nobody to whom I would have given more careful, loving, and excellent advice, than my (say) 20-year-old self, from my current vantage point.

Yet here’s the kicker: What if right now, I got a knock on my door, and there was Future Bob? Even if he spent 30 minutes convincing me beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was legitimate, and even if I could agree with him that he had my best interest at heart, and that he had an unbelievable advantage over me in knowing the effects of various courses of action I am currently considering…would I still unconditionally obey him?

No, I don’t think I would. And by the same token, I think High School Bob would say, “Thanks for the advice, but I think I’m still doing it this way. And, uh, holy cow what happened to your hair and weight?”

If any of this made you chuckle, I have one last observation: Even Bible-believing Christians often willfully disobey what they know God wants them to do. As Goldmember would ask, “Ishn’t zhat veird?”

19 Jul 2014

Continuing My Chats With Noah Smith

Austrian School, Noah Smith, Shameless Self-Promotion 88 Comments

Since some of you asked, I deliver. An excerpt:

Now in all seriousness, Noah is actually a really sharp guy. The problem is that he’s JUST SO SURE the Austrian contribution to recent debates is so absurd, that he doesn’t even try to understand where we’re coming from. He’s like the patronizing police psychologistSilberman interviewing Kyle Reese in the first Terminator movie: “This is great stuff. I could make a career out of this guy! You see how clever his part is? How it doesn’t require a shred of proof? Most paranoid delusions are intricate, but this is brilliant!” Needless to say, with an attitude like that, Noah is just as oblivious to the dangers facing us, even though he (just like Dr. Silberman) no doubt thinks he’s being very scientific in his handling of my unorthodox claims.

19 Jul 2014

Potpourri

Potpourri, Shameless Self-Promotion 2 Comments

==> The rise of Queen Tatiana… (Come hear her perform in Nashville before she declares herself Empress.)

==> People like to show videos of bullies/thieves “getting theirs” from somebody with a gun, but I prefer this “Les Mis”-esque story of mercy infinitely more.

==> This lady can defeat Ninjas. If you get bored skip a few minutes into the video.

==> Popular Science reviews Porcfest. No mention of me, which is odd for an empirical publication.

==> If this story is accurate, the US “justice system” is even more screwed up than you probably realize.

==> My take on Australia’s carbon tax repeal.

19 Jul 2014

Just to Be Sure Billy Joel Hates Libertarians

Bitcoin, karaoke 4 Comments

A new video featuring “Bitcoin Girl”:

And my own efforts from last year, on a much lower budget:

17 Jul 2014

Krugman’s Kontortions on France

Krugman, Shameless Self-Promotion 41 Comments

I really wasn’t looking to ding him; I was just doing background to give context to Veronique de Rugy’s interview with Tom Woods. But as I summarized on Twitter: “Krugman: French economy in ’13 shows tax hikes not bad. French economy in ’14 shows austerity awful.” Details here.