I am frankly shocked by this video. The guy from Young Americans for Liberty asks Tom Woods if he will run for office, and Tom does the classic, “How bad do you guys want me?” And then he follows up with a completely fabricated tale. Everyone knows that I am a teetotaler.
P.S. If you are new to my blog, please realize that this post is what passes for deadpan humor on Free Advice.
Wow. I knew that the Emancipation Proclamation was a farce, but I don’t think I’d ever seen the whole text. Aristos (in response to a comment I left on his blog) reproduces it for us and spells out a few of its more maddening parts.
For those who need a little nudge to motivate them to write essays on liberty, we have the Mont Pelerin Hayek Essay Contest (HT2 von Pepe) and the Independent Institute’s Sir John M. Templeton essay contest.
I heard some guy on NPR’s “Fresh Air”–he used to be chief economist for the IMF and now teaches at MIT–talking about the alleged lessons of Japan’s lost decade. You guessed it, the problem was that they didn’t reform their banking sector. I am no expert on Japanese history, but I’m guessing they pumped in more tax dollars to the banks in that decade than ever before (or since). And yet the term “zombie banks” was coined in this period.
Naturally, the obvious conclusion is that the government didn’t do enough to reform the banking sector.
This post is mostly for my own bookkeeping… Tonight I will be penning a Mises Daily in response to this piece by Luskin (HT2 Tom Woods) which is mostly OK, except for his fear of falling prices. On the other hand, this Bloomberg piece (HT2 Dietwald Claus) is virtually pure nonsense.
* Mark Weber passes along a Vanity Fair interview with Louis CK. Now in the middle you might think, “Wait a second, he sounds anti-consumer, not anti-Fed! I’ve been duped!” But c’mon, the guy’s a comedian. Just like you can love Carlin and Bill Hicks for their foreign policy riffs, so too can you appreciate the 85% positive message in Louis CK’s views. And anyway, hang in with him to the end; he’s great. While I’m on the topic, check out this clip of possible Dane Cook ripoffs from Louis CK. (Be careful, there are naughty words. I don’t believe in IP, mind you; this at worst makes Cook a jerk, not a thief.) Last thing: I drive an Infiniti too, so Louis CK is cool.
* Here is a documentary in progress about the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Earlier today I relayed some free advice regarding my empirical research at the bank. I thought my readers would enjoy visual documentation:
I think we can all agree, this was no small hole. Immediately after the incident, Mel Brooks from Spaceballs* popped into my head.
* If anyone can find me the right YouTube clip, I would appreciate it.
Oh my, once every 38 years, the stars align such that three hard-hitting articles debut on the same day. Today is such a day.
(1) In this EconLib piece I dissect the paradox of thrift, using Steve Fazzari’s EconTalk podcast as a springboard. If you have the time (and haven’t already listened to it), I strongly suggest you first listen to the podcast before reading my critique.
(2) In this Mises Daily Article I make the elementary–yet crucial–point that money and interest are different things. In particular, if we are in a situation where the market needs more money and higher interest rates, then central banks will necessarily aggravate one of the problems. On a purely free market, there would be no automatic association of “more money growth” with “lower interest rates” the way there is today. (NOTE: Some readers may suspect that I’m either taking jabs at, or cowardly siding with, Robert Wenzel in this article. But in fact I have been wanting to write this piece for months. If anything, it just made his critique of another piece that much funnier to me, since he was criticizing me for ignoring the difference between money and interest rates.)
(3) Finally, in this Freeman article I tackle the issue of whether deregulated derivatives are responsible for the crisis. In particular, I discuss the role of credit default swaps. Here is a good excerpt:
In situations such as the present crisis, there is a temptation for libertarian economists to look for specific government interventions that “caused” the problems. This is understandable, and indeed we have listed some of these factors. Yet we should also remember that failure is a normal part of the market process. Investors and entrepreneurs are not omniscient. Bankruptcies do not signal the inefficiency of the market any more than the overthrow of Newtonian physics proved the weakness of the scientific method—let alone that government should take charge of all scientific research.
But even if the critics were right and the present crisis was largely caused by faulty forecasts made in the private sector, it would not prove a crushing defeat for free markets. After all, there are plenty of examples of horrible business decisions made by private individuals. The Edsel and “New Coke” flops, Decca Records’ 1962 rejection of the Beatles because “guitar music is on the way out,” and the rejection by a dozen publishers of the initial Harry Potter manuscript are all examples of stupendous entrepreneurial error. Given the advantage of hindsight, it is easy enough for us to laugh at the businesspeople who made such boneheaded calls, and critics of the marketplace could easily enough infer that the free market can’t be trusted with the task of innovation.