17 Jun 2011

The Truth About Robert Reich

Economics, Shameless Self-Promotion 37 Comments

Mises’ groupies will be able to tell where I’m broadcasting this from. Anyway, we decided I should respond to this video from Robert Reich.

37 Responses to “The Truth About Robert Reich”

  1. RS says:

    lol! great video. love the magic sharpie!!!

    Robert Reich is THE most evil Ellsworth Toohey type of character alive in the world today, bar none.

    • WPM says:

      Nice AR refernce

  2. A Country Farmer says:

    One question on tax revenue as % of GDP — wouldn’t Mr. Reich say that , yes, that’s true, but that’s just because taxes on the rich went down and taxes on everyone else went up? Is this the case?

  3. Joseph Fetz says:

    Hmmm. That lamp and plant look quite familiar. Methinks that Mr. Woods has the same decorations in his office… Hey, wait a minute. You aren’t in Auburn, are you? Darn that Mises Institute, they’re nothing more than propagandist for the far Right, feudalists, and are the lap-bunnies of the Koch brothers; they thumb their nose at us regular folk.

    That’s it! I am done reading this blog…. While you and Tom are living high on the hog with your Camry’s, karaoke, $30 lamps, $5 plants and whatnot, we are all struggling to buy our lattes, dvr’s and iPhones. Why don’t you wear a smoking jacket and puff on a pipe you fascist bastards?

    Sorry, I had to do it.

  4. Robert says:

    Great video!

  5. Amin says:

    Nice video!

  6. Matt Flipago says:

    Wow R.R. video is horrible.
    I never knew Marxism was so powerful these day.

  7. Gene Callahan says:

    Why you got a bunch of scraggly-assed lookin lettuce over your right shoulder?

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      Some people call that a “plant”.

      Personally, I was more distracted by that lamp, it doesn’t have the good sense to look scraggly like the plant next to it, rather it has an almost smug and holier-than-though air about it, it must be an evil lantern.

      I’ll take a stretch and say that the lettuce-head and airy lantern are a pair, and that the lantern is the only one that will keep that piece of lettuce in line. Sure, it isn’t a soft pimp; that lantern, but it does know how to treat his hoes.

      Five across the eyes will keep that lettuce in line. I guarantee…

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        Lamp- “Bitch, I want my money (slap,slap)
        Lettuce Plant- “I’m sorry lantern, I’ve been working and working hard, but all I have is this bucket”
        Lamp- “you lying, I know you lying, bitch”
        Lettuce Plant- “No Lantern, I would never lie to you. It’s the economy, I used to pull in $20 a trick, now that is only worth $10”
        Lamp- “You lie, bitch. You be making all kinds of salad, I seen it”
        Lettuce Plant- “No, I swear, Lantern. I got to to make less salad for the same price these days.”
        Lamp- “You lie, bitch. Now, I’m gonna slice you up, so you don’t make any cash at all”
        Lettuce Plant- “What’s the difference, you been slicing me up for years, I’m used to it. You bin takin’ my money, controlling my life, and livin’ high on the hog. All the while your bitches is strugglin'”.
        Plant- “I don’t give no mind, as long as I get mine”
        Lettuce Plant- “Well, sucka. What are ya gonna get when there’s nothin’ left”?
        Plant- “Sheeit! I just go to the photocopy, baby”

        • Bob Roddis says:

          And then there’s the ever popular “Österreichische Schule”, aka “Austrian School.”

          • Joseph Fetz says:

            Well, or course. Who doesn’t know about the Österreichische Schule?

        • y says:

          what the…??

          • Bob Roddis says:

            See my meanderings below.

          • Joseph Fetz says:

            Just stupid ridiculousness. I had just gotten back from a boat party on Lake Erie and was quite wasted and feeling goofy. It happens.

      • Gene Callahan says:

        ‘Some people call that a “plant”. ‘

        Yeah, some people who ain’t never seen a healthy plant might say that.

        • Joseph Fetz says:

          I’ve been to Fiji, Thailand, HK, PI, Aussie, Japan, etc. Beautiful plantlife!!!

          But, I must ask: have you had enough of yourself yet, Gene? Because, that seems to be the only thing that you’re concerned with- you wear it like a portrait.

        • Joseph Fetz says:

          If you were a new “scent” sensation making its rounds in the the market, its name would most certainly be “Arschlock”…. For men.

        • Joseph Fetz says:

          Take that last comment however you will, but you do have a tendency to talk down to people. While you have been slightly more civil on this blog, I have read some of your comments on other blogs and they aren’t very nice. So, I figured that if you have a tendency to be a jerk to people, I will just be a complete jerk to you.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        In keeping with the cringe-inducing unfunny joke theme, “Österreich” [eastern reich or eastern realm] is German for “Austria” and “Österreicher” is German for “Austrian”. Vienna in German is “Wien”, pronounced “veen”. Someone from Vienna is a “Wiener” pronounced “veener”.

        The German word “Wein” [vine] means wine. Weiner is pronounced “viner”. Anthony Weiner mispronounced his own freakin’ name and he should have resigned long ago if only for that.

        Things might have been different if I hadn’t been taking two years of college German when I discovered Nationalökonomie: Theorie Des Handelns und Wirtschaftens and thought “Cool. Neat long German words to translate and pronounce correctly. Chicks love that“.

    • Teqzilla says:

      It’s the pot plant of liberty. You should water it.

  8. Luke says:

    Great vid Robert. Thanks.

  9. Argosy Jones says:

    For a second there I was thinking of Wilhelm Reich. There have been a few “oh sh#” moments on this blog, but that would’ve taken the cake. When you start promoting orgone energy, please make it a downloadable.

  10. Henrik Sandberg says:

    The Reich video cannot be commented, funny that.

  11. Evilsceptic says:

    Great video, but change the tiitle, it sounds like it’s going to be some kind of personal attack against Robert Reich while actualy you were just debunking his arguments.

  12. Teqzilla says:

    How viral is it, really? 500,000+ views in a few days is impressive but it’s not something in itself that suggests the video is getting any real traction outside those areas you’d expect it to. Taking a quick look at the video statistics over half of the views come via moveon’s own web presence and I suspect a large portion of the rest come from the other lefty sites.

    As of yet there is no evidence that normal people are getting their brains polluted by the video although it is slick, short, and superficially plausible enough that it could do if it really does go viral.

    What it’s begging for is overdubs with alternative explanations of Reich’s drawings. While good Bob’s video is obviously superior to evil Bob’s its way too long to get any serious number of views.

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      Hey, look. It’s a birdie

    • Dan says:

      If a tree falls in the forest…

  13. TokyoTom says:

    Bob, nice video.

    Just a quibble about your ending: there has been very little recent libertarian criticism of the moral hazard embedded in financial markets as a result of deposit insurance and cascading ‘prudential’ regulation.

    Moral hazard in the banking sector is further compounded by ‘public company’ regulations that create barriers to entry and serve to insulate management from shareholder oversight. The original intervention is the limited liability corporate form, which released shareholders from personal concern about downside risks.

    Libertarians would be MORE effective if they would draw attention to the deepest causes of our crises.


  14. Scott says:

    Not to rain on the parade (it was a very nice video, Bob, well made, and I liked it) but with respect to the ‘income mobility’ argument, wasn’t 1975 a recession year, or at least very close to one?

    Wouldn’t you expect that an unusually large number of business owners who were otherwise quite wealthy would have recorded losses for the year, and would most likely have rebounded later? Meanwhile, regular wage earners were far less likely to have experienced any income fluctuation?

    In other words, what if the starting and ending dates were both boom years, which is a much more reasonable time period to look at? I suspect that mobility would be much smaller. I simply do not see any of the people I know who are in the lowest bracket will ever realistically have any probability of attaining the highest bracket, let alone a whopping 29%, except for business owners who are in a temporary slump due to a recession. I would not consider those people to be representative of the ‘lower class.’

    Wouldn’t a net worth metric be much better for measuring what you are looking at?

    • bobmurphy says:

      Scott, I did this video during the lunch break when we were in Auburn for a conference. Tom DiLorenzo just so happened to cite that Fed study on income mobility in the lecture before. So I grabbed his sheet.

      Your criticisms are fine, I’m just explaining how this video happened.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Something huge I think you are overlooking Scott is age. Somebody who is 18 and entering the workforce in 1975 is going to be 34 in 1991 (was that the second year?). So it wouldn’t surprise me if 29 percent of the bottom quintile saw their income rise to the top quintile 16 years later.

      You could argue that that sort of thing makes the Fed data misleading in the opposite direction, but again it was a short video.

      • Scott says:

        Yes, I hadn’t been thinking of poor college students and fresh high-school grads being counted among the bottom of the wage earners. Under normal circumstances, I would think that they would constitute a pretty good share of the lowest earners. But all of them? And again — are these people really representative of the ‘lower class’? Plus, the whopping 29% suggests that they are actually over-represented in the upper bracket (random chance would suggest only 20%, and I would expect the probability of moving from the very bottom to the very top to at least be less than the average from the other four.)

        I have heard this statistic (or at least one very much like it) before, and I thought it was very odd. Why were those years chosen? 29% seems insanely high, and 1975 a suspicious year to choose. Why not give an average of all years, or something like that? Seems like the recession would badly skew the sample by flooding the lower bracket with busted business owners and boot out many of those poor college students, who would actually show some positive income. Plus the uppermost bracket would be badly skewed towards business owners in any year, so looked at in reverse, the statistic is asking about the typical course of business.

        It seems to me that this statistic could just as well be reflecting that otherwise very wealthy people can have bad years too, or effects of the business cycle (depending on when you started and stopped your observation), or just the fact that marginal quantities (like income from business profits) are generally more volatile than non-marginal quantities (like wages, salaries, welfare, etc).

        It would be interesting to see what the numbers show for different beginning years. I think I will go looking for this data…

        • bobmurphy says:

          I don’t know why the author(s) picked those years. But, if the idea was to make it look as big as possible because of the recession’s effects, I would think 1980 or 1981 would have been worse. I.e. I think that was a much worse recession than 1975.

      • Scott says:

        I found this report:


        Which says that from 1979 to 1988 (not quite the same period, but fairly close) the same mobility is 17.7%.

        So, the number would appear to at least be fairly volatile.

  15. Centinel says:

    Out of chaos comes order–in reference to the sharpie!

  16. Matthew Murphy says:

    Love it. Hoping for more video blogs from you!