26 Oct 2010

Did Henry Ford See Demand Collapse For His Product?

Shameless Self-Promotion 33 Comments

This Maoist (I assume this is legit, and not tongue-in-cheek?) takes a shot at the Mises Academy’s exploitation of economies of scale (HT2 Jeff Tucker):

Speaking of the Mises Academy, check out our Winter course selection–before we go out of business!

33 Responses to “Did Henry Ford See Demand Collapse For His Product?”

  1. English Bob says:

    What a very strange and very silly man.

  2. RG says:

    Please tell me the Mises Acadamey will not fold.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Actually it already did. People kept getting it confused with the Mises Academy.

      • RG says:

        I’ve gotten a bit sloppy recently. No excuse, but I’ve become a bit desensitized because of smart typing and spell correcting software running in the background.

        I don’t have access to the video right now, so I’m going to assume that the person in the video made some snide comment about the Academy closing and “going out of business” was sarcasm.

  3. Randy Bobandy says:

    I’m gonna guess we would have the same video if prices went up too.

  4. Jason says:

    Just saw all the new classes lined up. Next step should be a package deal.

  5. Arthur Krolman says:

    I don’t think he’s silly at all. I just watched “The Soviet Story” dvd, yikes. The symbols that he is using are violent and frightening. Let’s not fall into the Krugman et al routine of ridiculing critics as a first line of defense calling them “paid trolls” etc. I’d love to dissect this Maoist’s points and respond as intelligently as I can.

    This man apparently thinks that the relative popular appeal of communism vs. the appeal of free market capitalism is increasing. As evidence, he supplies the tuition price change of the Mises Academy. Leaving aside his clear error of assumption that economies of scale of a hugely successful Mises.org operation are not behind this price decrease, it seems we should really challenge his core assumption: declining popular appeal of an idea is proof that the idea is wrong.

    Would he defend this core assumption as being correct? Many, many do. He might. But then, indeed, he would look silly to the debate watching audience — even to a stadium of high-school drop-outs, I hope. They would all see that, at several times throughout history, popularly held ideas did turn out to be completely wrong, the earth being flat being a big one. And now we learn that marginal utility value ideas percolating in 16th century Spain were forgotten by the likes of Adam Smith whose very popular Wealth of Nations taught Karl Marx, for one, that the Labor Theory of Value was correct. And Marx ran with it. Oops. That was actually a very big “popular appeal” oops, it seems to me. Just ask about 100,000,000 or so victims of Stalin and Mao. Although our Maoist challenger here might think that was just a good trial run.

    So, if people gleefully mock the fact that American Idol has more viewers than the upcoming Murphy-Krugman debate, we should tirelessly and unemotionally point out the crucial error of their core assumption. (If indeed American Idol does tip the scale like that, they might say, “See? That’s proof that entertainment is more important to American lives than economics!”, perhaps). Meanwhile, the Mises Institute keeps chugging away. Popular or not, the truth will out. It just might take a few millenia. Humans are slow learners it seems.

    • English Bob says:

      Come on. The dude’s wearing a Fidel Castro costume (is it Halloween already?) and is apparently daft enough to think that dropping prices = imminent failure.

      • bobmurphy says:

        Yeah I couldn’t tell what this was. If the guy is really a fan of the Institute, then bravo. It was so over the top I wasn’t sure. I expressed my hesitation parenthetically, in the post.

        • Arthur Krolman says:

          He’s deadly serious. He’s got more complaints about the Mises Institute at http://maoistrebelnews.wordpress.com/. I’m going to reach out to him (I feel like a Jesuit missionary! — weren’t the Jesuits founded as an intellectual alternative to convincing heretics of their misguided thoughts by the Inquisition’s thumbscrews?). I’ll report back on how it goes. My rules: no name calling or ridiculing or threats of violence. Hey, didn’t Walter Block start out as a rabid leftist confronting Ayn Rand? Maybe not a future Block, but at least this guy is reading Mises.org and keeping up with Academy tuition rates. Let’s give him a chance. Maybe he’ll sign on — and I can collect my commission!! Looking forward to hearing you speak in Boston on Friday. Cheers.

          • bobmurphy says:

            Yeah I look forward to it as well!

          • English Bob says:

            I would argue that he would do more harm than good in the unlikely event that he converted to austro-libertarianism.

            Look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vImvriw9ZGk

            He looks about ready to go postal. Do we really want to give people the impression that only a certifiable loony would believe that artificially low interest rates cause malivestments to be made?

  6. Robert Fellner says:


    I don’t know why you would link this video. It is most likely a troll job. Even if he is serious, why would you want to garner him more views and attention? There is zero chance this person could be convinced of his errors. His objective (again assuming he is not trolling, which I think is highly likely) is not education, but attention. I think rewarding him is a mistake. These are not serious criticisms which need addressing to avoid newcomers from being confused, this is someone on the internet crying out for attention. Deny them that, and they lose all power and go away.

  7. Jim O'Connor says:

    What must this guy think that Mises Institute GIVES AWAY all of those MP3s and PDFs? It must be that they’re going out of business ALL OF THESE YEARS.

  8. Argosy Jones says:

    You have won the debate when communists resort to explanations of market forces to discredit you.

    • zee says:


  9. Michael J. Green says:

    The Mises Institute is an academic organization focused on spreading the works of Austro-libertarian thinkers. It provides several gigabytes of content gratis, from lectures to journals to entire books. So when they lower the price of their innovative new program that provides more in-depth instruction in Austro-libertarian thinking, the immediate assumption should not be that they are trying to appeal to an even wider audience, but that they’re scrambling to salvage a failing service. I guess that makes enough sense for YouTube.

    I also like the juxtaposition of mass-murderer paraphernalia and a hipster saying “epic lulz.”

  10. Matt Flipago says:

    Funny thing is in my experience price movement of things I buy, have no correlation with anything. Sometimes it’s supply shock or Demand shock, but when businesses aren’t doing well, many tend to cut corners and increase the relative price of their good, especially restaurant. They either think the consumer won’t notice, or their customer base has a very inelastic demand. Which tends to be false, and the restaurant goes down hill.
    You may claim it’s economies of scale Bob, but how do we know it wasn’t just blatant price discrimination? That’s something that should have been obvious to an intelligent communist. And I don’t think the Mises Academy is hated that much by Communist, maybe Cato, but Mises shouldn’t be as hated.. Furthermore, is anyone really going by Maoist these days. That whole Great Leap forward, and cultural Revolution thing kinda tainted his image, and other types of Communism would see better descriptive, especially in America, where we don’t have farmers starving like in China. Could very very likely be a joke, but it’s not a joke to him.

  11. Jeremy says:

    I’ve seen this guys videos on youtube before. He’s a legit communist and proud of it. He calls himself a Maoist but what’s the difference really? I thought it was just satire at first. If you make a habit of challanging the points ihe makes in his videos he blocks you from commenting on his videos. He really is a communist and he really hates Ron Paul.

  12. Stephen Adkins says:

    Hey I was blocked today! It was almost like stepping into a little dictatorship for a few minutes.

    Solidarity for all, so long as all agree with me!

    • Jeremy says:

      He’s like a communist Eric Cartman.

      Respect My Authoritah!!!

  13. chris says:

    If the Mises Academy goes out of business, will the reasons why be covered in your Principles of Economics course? ; )

  14. Misesian says:

    Curses!!! I’ve been blocked!!

  15. Arthur Krolman says:

    I’m in. Not blocked yet! My non-bellicose rambling comment was moderated and posted by him (I think being a fellow Canuck helped!).
    If he converts English Bob, I’ll vouch for him at the Mises supper club.

    • Stephen Adkins says:


      My compliments! While I doubt he’ll change his views much, it might cool him down a little. He seems very angry…

      Also, your business looks awesome! Thank goodness entrepreneurs don’t have to go through a central “market czar” to get an idea approved, based on the expert’s valuation of “need,” for example. You can just take it to market at see if it stands the test. How greedy!

      • Arthur Krolman says:


        One of my favorite lines from the movie “Trading Places” is when one of the antagonist brothers spits out to his sibling, “Mother always said you were the greedy one.” To which his brother responds, “She meant it as a compliment.”


  16. Ryan says:

    Has he ever heard of a supply-demand curve? The lowering of price might very well mean that Mises Academy has realized that the ideas have broader appeal, and has thus decided to move out of a high-end niche and market to a wider audience. It’s shocking, but sometimes maximizing profit involves lowering prices.

    Also interesting is the tendency of those who pretend to be ideologically “for the people” to be offended by the capitalists lowering their prices and making their products more accessible to the masses. See the left’s hatred for Wal-Mart, etc.

    Of course, this is because the more capitalism succeeds in providing desirable products “for the people”, the more the whiny, envious leftists lose their carefully cultivated mindshare.

  17. Einstein says:

    Hahaha… I just thought that was a Promotional Irony Mises Video 😛

  18. Einstein says:

    Hahaha… I just thought that was a Promotional Ironic Mises Video 😛

  19. Country Thinker says:

    As a recovering attorney, I can tell you that this is not the sort of guy I would have wanted on a witness stand. Even if he were correct, his smarm does more damage for his cause (whatever that might be) than if he had told his story in a direct way.

  20. Sieben says:

    Talk slower. Please.

  21. Matt Flipago says:

    SO i get it now, If demand plummets then the price drops. So if my training in logic is any good, i can see plan as day this if p then q statement is always equivalent to if q then p!! I must say i enjoy this logic much more/

  22. R.J. Moore II says:

    I have seen this guy’s Youtube before. He, and a handful of others like him, advocate full on terrorist communism. It takes education to be this stupid.