10 Jan 2011


Big Brother, Conspiracy, Economics, Federal Reserve, Financial Economics, Potpourri, Shameless Self-Promotion 15 Comments

* You know how it wasn’t the Fed that caused the housing bubble, but those Chinese savers? Well Paul Krugman tells us it’s the same story with rising food prices–not the Fed’s fault, but those Chinese eaters.

* Lew Rockwell has a really nice historical and psychological analysis of right-wing warhawks. (I.e. he offers plausible theories as to why they ended up with their current views, despite the non-interventionist Old Right tradition.)

* David R. Henderson points out the irony of DeLong’s latest “Stupidest Man Alive” nominations.

* Mark your calendars! On February 11 Glenn “Kane” Jacobs and some of us from the Mises Institute will be in Knoxville for an introductory seminar. There will be no matches because all the steel cages were rented for that day.

* Bob Wenzel has another piece of evidence that your pension funds are not safe from the feds.

* I don’t have time to go through this myself, but check out the excerpts Wenzel pulled from Bernie Sanders’ proposal to reform the Fed.

* Viresh Amin sends along his pick for the next George Carlin. (Apparently PhD economists are not eligible for this award.) Warning: some naughty words.

* Seriously, this is a touching story. A homeless guy claimed to have a Golden Voice, and he ended up getting a job with the Cleveland Cavaliers. (HT2 somebody at LRC, but I can’t remember who…)

* You know how they can’t keep drugs out of prison? Apparently they can’t keep out smartphones, either. You know what, kids? If and when they round up all the bloggers who want a smaller government, at least I’ll be able to write one heck of a journal article. I’m shooting for the QJE.

* Here’s today’s Mises Daily, in which I take on Scott Sumner. However, I think this is more like the famous EPR objection to (a certain interpretation of) quantum physics. I think Sumner will read this and say, “Yes, I admit my explanation for your scenarios sounds strange, but that just shows the power of my model. That is in fact what would happen, and it’s why I would be coasting smoothly through such a weird situation, whereas you Austrians would be fumbling all over the place.” HINT: The photo at the top is the best part of the article.

15 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Blackadder says:


    I read your article on Sumner and the quarters, then not ten minutes later I came across this:

    Bauman has a novel suggestion on how to eliminate the penny: promote it. Make each penny worth five cents. Allow people to trade in 20 pennies for a dollar. He estimates it would cost about $6 billion- but that’s the kind of stimulus the US economy could use right now. Get rid of a useless coin and stimulate the economy all in one go!

  2. David L. Kendall says:

    You are right about the photo of Scott Sumner. Cool.

    The real frustration with Scott’s ideas is they are about half right. That’s always a challenge, since people seem to have quite selective attention whenever they look around or think.

  3. Maurizio says:

    Bob, what’s wrong with this analysis? Suppose the increase in prices is actually due to increased demand from the Chinese. But demand is supply. If they are demanding more, it means they have produced more stuff; and that they are giving it to US sellers in exchange for other stuff. So there is more stuff in the USA. So prices should go down, not up.

    • Jonathan M. F. Catalán says:

      Let’s assume two countries with a stable supply of goods. There is a tendency for prices to equalize, with differences arising only over permanent costs (such as transportation costs). The reason for this is if the price of Chinese goods fall in terms of dollars, then more dollars will be bid towards Chinese goods. This, in turn, causes the price of American goods to fall and the price of Chinese goods to rise.

      In a dynamic market though, where demand and supply are constantly changing, this process of equilibration is constantly going on. Let’s assume that the Chinese double the production of all goods, and therefore in terms of American dollars the prices of these goods are cut in half (well, what matters in regards to dollars is their rate of exchange with yuan, but the situation remains the same since prices in terms of yuan would have also halved). More American dollars will be bid towards Chinese goods, causing American prices to fall in terms of dollars, and the price of Chinese goods to rise in terms of dollars.

      Also, we have to remember that money is a medium of exchange. The Chinese can only demand American goods to the extent that they can buy American dollars, and the same is true vice versa.

  4. Josh says:

    Wait, Knoxville? That’s where I live!! Does one still need to be in high school to attend?

    • Jim D. says:

      Josh, my thoughts exactly. I’m south, towards Sevierville. As far as getting in, I’ve got several kids that age, but I’ll go stealth, try and stay in the middle of the pack. I’ll have to look around and see if I can get some dye to cover the gray streaks in the beard. Years ago, they used to call it Grecian formula, or something. Hard to keep up with trends among the younger folks…I just saw a nephew that has what looks like a retro Beatles haircut. Maybe by February 11 I could pull it off…brush up on the lingo too…groovy man, it’s that far out Murphy guy.

      • bobmurphy says:

        Hey guys,

        The guy in charge is Dave Drum, his email is: ddrumpac@gmail.com

        He said to email him and he’ll put you on a list. He has to make sure all the kids get a spot, but once he’s sure of that, he’ll let you know and you can attend. He thinks it should be fine, but he can’t promise until he sees the capacity and how many kids sign up.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Josh, I honestly don’t know. Obviously people will be bringing their kids, so some adults will be in there. Let me inquire.

  5. Bob Roddis says:

    Clearly, it was DeLong’s overheated name-calling which led to these horrible shootings.

    • Daniel Hewitt says:

      Brad DeLong whipped up his followers into such a frenzy about Todd Henderson that Henderson quit blogging because of threatening emails. Now he has the nerve to complain about “inciting hate”, “toxic discourse”, etc?


      • Desolation Jones says:

        Henderson is a wuss. If Krugman is able to continue to blogging with all the threating hate mail from the Austrian kiddies he receives daily, so could Henderson.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        I have to agree with Desolation Jones… I have a hard time believing (1.) that it’s really that bad aside from clogging his email, and (2.) that it’s all from DeLong – LOT’S of people picked up on Henderson’s post.

        Desolation Jones compares to Krugman, and the comparison is an interesting one.

        What does Krugman get hate mail for? Allegations that he:

        – Supports socialism
        – Thinks war is good for the economy
        – Thinks 9-11 was a good thing

        What does Henderson get mail for?

        – An obnoxious declaration that $250,000 isn’t “rich”

        Cry me a river.

      • Daniel Hewitt says:

        Oh no, Brad gets the credit for liquidating this kulak, by the standard that he himself has established. DeLong made many posts on this topic, he and Henderson replied directly to each other a few times, Henderson quit shortly afterwards citing threatening emails.

  6. Teqzilla says:

    Whether Henderson quitting blogging as the result of threatening emails was wimpy or not is irrelevant(pretty wimpy imo). The point is that Delong is the most vitriolic and hateful of the ‘big’ eco bloggers by some distance, and, as such, has some chutzpah speaking out against the poor tone of the political debate.