04 Apr 2011

Jeff Tucker Owns Stossel Appearance

Economics 8 Comments

Wow Jeff really does a great job in this appearance on Stossel’s show. Just look at how he takes over the whole room from the get-go. Jeff has really cornered the “I’m a real guy, and c’mon let’s be honest, the government is screwing us” persona.

8 Responses to “Jeff Tucker Owns Stossel Appearance”

  1. David S. says:

    Well, this was unsurprisingly silly. To take a couple of examples, that individuals may find a prohibition on the manufacture or purchase of a given type of light bulb or toilets with water usage over some threshold trivial, doesn’t mean the macro consequences for getting rid of the prohibitions wouldn’t be significant. Sometimes, someone has to impose some limits to avoid or limit negative externalities.

    And making Rand Paul buy a new toilet? Is a tax really so outrageous? Congress did grant this authority.

  2. Tom Woods says:

    David, part of Jeff’s point is that the macro effects of the restrictions themselves are non-trivial. The low-water toilets don’t work as well, and require more cleaning, which means more chemicals, etc.

    • David S. says:

      Maybe, but I didn’t hear those points made.

  3. Daniel Kuehn says:

    And you really need to balance the two (David and Tom’s points). The negative externalities you talk about are real, and economists who just laugh them off demonstrate that they’re poor economists. I think Tucker is right here in highlighting cases where the costs far outweigh the benefit – I’d rather see people highlight these sorts of things where the costs of intervention seem to me to outweigh any conceivable benefit than spend time denouncing intervention on climate change where the negative macro effects that David points out are substantial.

    Bourbon for breakfast, with bacon and toast, is a great way to start the day. When I first saw this by Jeff Tucker (I think it was initially a short essay) I was very happy. I think Tucker is wrong on a lot, but at least he got that right 🙂

    I don’t know if I’d do it with donuts, though, as his book cover depicts.

    • Blackadder says:

      What exactly are the negative externalities of flush toilets?

      • David S. says:

        There’s a growing water scarcity.

        • Blackadder says:

          There’s also growing grain scarcity. Should we respond by regulating the size of a loaf of bread?

          Scarcity is not a negative externality. It’s precisely the thing that the price system is designed to deal with.

  4. Jim Object says:

    @adder, brilliant observation, but I disagree. Nobody likes high prices. (Okay, leave me alone with subjectivity for a minute, you know what I mean.)

    To the point though, I don’t know how Jeff does it. At a glance he seems to have many traits that should not be “accessible”, especially the more you know about him. He’s an elitist in a lot of ways. He has really strong feelings on things like music, eating, and dressing. He wears a bowtie and speaks with a patrician tone and mannerism.

    But somehow, you feel like you’re an exception to his elitist judgement and he’s on your side.

    His particular brand of charisma is very original and I’m not sure how anyone could try to replicate it.