* Speaking of DeLong, he must not be all that bad–he made a MadMax reference in this post.
* Continuing to speak of DeLong, what do you kids think? Is it worth criticizing his defense of Greenspan vis-a-vis Wicksell? I’m not asking, “Would you prefer I write an article rather than watch the Daily Show?” I’m asking, the next time I write a Mises Daily, is it worth devoting a column to this issue?
I won’t be posting much until the weekend. I am outside of San Antonio to give a talk on the Great Depression and other bits of Americana. In the meantime, just remember that the government is not your friend.
Brad DeLong is once again beside himself. Sometimes the lies of the free market economists are so incredible that even he is surprised:
Does National Review have no editors? Does Thomas Sowell have no friends?
Wherefore this personal attack on a disadvantaged minority? Sowell’s mistake was the following line from a National Review article:“A quadrupling of the national debt in just one year… [is] not [a thing] from which any country is guaranteed to recover…”
DeLong then uses his (and Krugman’s) favorite blogoffect–”Ummm…”–to first stun his opponent, then he moves in for the Reality-Based kill:
Just to make sure we get it, DeLong says of the above table:
The national debt is estimated to be likely to increase by 17% in nominal terms over fiscal 2010. It is not estimated to quadruple. Is there nobody at National Review who will tell Sowell that +17% is not equal to +300%?
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Thomas Sowell already knows that 17% is not equal to 300%. (I have omitted DeLong’s signs for brevity.) In fact, looking at the very same table, I can come with a much more plausible explanation for Sowell’s mistake.
I am not defending what Sowell wrote in that column; the idea that the U.S. is going to be conquered by Islamists is silly. (Conquered by Marxists, now you’re talking…) But c’mon Prof. DeLong, he obviously meant “deficit” and not “debt.” A friendly suggestion: Spend less time wondering “why oh why is everyone else so stupid and evil?” and try to understand what your opponents are actually saying. It’s just possible you are wrong on one or two issues of importance.
On Friday, June 26, 2009 I had a brief appearance on Stuart Varney’s show. (Here is the clip from June 26, 2008 when I was also on his show.) In case you’re wondering, I wasn’t being thoughtful in between questions; there is a slight delay.
Von Pepe sends along the following screen shot. Notice anything ironic about the two circled stories?
In an earlier post, I quoted Scott Sumner who (jokingly) said that ABCT had captured the hearts and minds of the intelligentsia. Today I impulsively followed a Google Ad (from my inbox, not from this blog, which would violate all sorts of contractual provisions) to this in-your-face site, which declares:
At the end of the day, we are not dependent on the wealthy. We are not dependent on the lawmakers, the banks, or the government to turn the tide. We are dependent on ourselves. We are the only ones who are going to save us from this “recession.”
So already you can see the Austrian influence. Notice that they contrast “lawmakers” with “the government,” showing that they are aware of Hayek’s distinction between law and legislation.
Perhaps you are not convinced? Okay, check out this money quote: “Compared to the Great Depression of the 1920′s, sometimes, it seems that little has changed.”
Beautiful! They realize with the Austrians that it was the unsustainable credit expansion of the 1920s that was the true disaster. Other observers try to figure out what went wrong, starting with the 1929 crash, and then focusing on the 1930s. Not these guys. Bravo!
This is mostly a note to myself, but some of you who are in the Florida / Georgia area and who also patronize fast food restaurants may benefit as well:
On a recent road trip, I picked the wrong Hardee’s. The floors were dirty, the shake machine was out of commission, the soda was flat, and they screwed up my order. (I had ordered my burger first, then I ordered my son’s and asked them to hold the onions and pickles. They held the toppings on my burger as well.)
But to top it all off, after we got our food I wanted some ketchup. I went up to the condiments area, and the dispenser was empty. So I asked at the counter, and the lady said, “Sure thing, one moment.”
She went in the back, and I thought she forgot about me, because how long could it take to grab a few ketchup packets? But a minute or two later, she came back with a little plastic bowl filled with ketchup. “We’re still waiting to get our packets in,” she explained.
Inasmuch as there are 10 Hardee’s per square mile in this region of the country, in the future I will tough it out and drive past the Valdosta #6 Hardee’s location.
Earlier I linked to an IER critique of the CBO’s scoring of Waxman-Markey. Bob Roddis sends me this Yglesias discussion of the super bargain TARP plan. You thought taxpayers were out $700 billion? Nah, don’t worry; the CBO is predicting only $159 billion in total losses on the plan, of which a mere $69 billion* is due to financial sector losses.
* It’s a nice comment on the times that I actually typed the phrase “mere $69 billion.”