29 May 2012


Krugman, Potpourri, Shameless Self-Promotion 23 Comments

Some of these have been sitting on my browser for so long, they started paying rent…

FORGOT IN INITIAL POST: This YouTube video of Superman vs. the Hulk is hilarious. I’m not talking about the video itself, which you don’t even need to watch. I’m talking about the comments. I scrolled through five pages of them. Yes, I was very bored, but they are also very funny. I love seeing people argue with passion, citing evidence and accusing others of specific fallacies…in reference to Superman vs. the Hulk. I imagine it’s how God views our economics debates.

* I have a new, recurring column (every other week) at The American Conservative. My inaugural one concerned the claim that the US has to wage wars to support its addiction to oil.

* David R. Henderson has a nice Memorial Day post.

* Another post from David, on how to act when you’re a captive. I thought the commenters made a lot of good points. The internet at its finest! (It’s a low bar.)

* I saw this blog post from “Lord Keynes” calling Hayek a bigot in the title, and I rolled my eyes. But…turns out Hayek was a bigot (unless the quote is fake).

* This American Presidency Project is really neat, and has a lot of useful data for those of you interested in the seat of our Imperial Government. For example, it’s where I got all the federal spending and receipts data. (They go back farther than other sources I can easily find.)

* Alex Tabarrok has an interesting post speculating that the SEC might be responsible for the social waste due to high frequency trading.

* Joe Salerno gives me props, then takes Steve Horwitz to the woodshed.

* Tom Woods throws down with the U.S. military.

* I think I need to start a sinking fund.

* Here’s a Telegraph hit piece on Krugman, and here’s a NY Post one. For the latter, I emailed this to the author:

Hi Mr. Smith,

I really enjoyed your Krugman piece until the very end. I am almost positive that Krugman is impugning the “Very Serious People” or maybe just Republicans, in that quote about policies hurting the workers and the poor. But your piece makes it sound like that is supposed to be a strike against Krugman.

Bob Murphy

P.S. I would look it up myself but…there isn’t a link to his quote. 🙂

23 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Robert Fellner says:

    Hey Bob,

    I just read your piece on war for oil, great stuff. I’m reading a fantastic book No War For Oil by Ivan Eland of the Independent Institute that totally and completely demolishes all the myths used to justify the war for oil mentality that falsely claims a US military presence is needed in oil-rich areas.

    Check it out if you get a chance, it’s quite good!


    • Robert Fellner says:

      Wow, that’s quite the run-on sentence….

      • Major_Freedom says:

        More run on sentences! They’re better than sound bites.

        I recommend that all economics departments make Ulysses by James Joyce required reading.

    • JimS says:

      If the purpose of conflict is to ensure oil supply, why engage Afghanistan, a non oil producer (not to mention many other conflicts within the past 50 years), and why would it take ten years of conflict in both Afghanistian and Iraq? Wouldn’t a quick smack down send a stronger message? It seems to work for the Israellis. I fail to see how a drawn out action ensures supplies in anyway, in fact, it seems to do the opposite. If it really is about oil, why would the OPEC nations continue to sell to us to fuel our war machine to reign destruction upon them? Why don’t they crush us, if we really are as dependent as some say, by cutting us off? They certainly could crush us politically in the short run with this move.

      Sorry, but there are too many holes in this theory


  2. Christopher says:

    “Of course, structuralistas say they are not making excuses. They say that their real point is that we should focus not on quick fixes but on the long run — although it’s usually far from clear what, exactly, the long-run policy is supposed to be, other than the fact that it involves inflicting pain on workers and the poor. ”


  3. Lord Keynes says:

    “But…turns out Hayek was a bigot (unless the quote is fake).”

    The quote is directly from the book Nobel Prize-Winning Economist: Friedrich A. von Hayek, Regents of the University of California, 1983. p. 490.

    The book is accessible in various formats here:


    • joeftansey says:

      There are also plenty of… iffy… Rothbard quotes.

      I think the Austrians need to take a stance on cultural marxism. I’m tired of hearing about how the market will reduce discrimination. This is a leftist value. It amounts to thought policing and should be attacked rather than temporarily accepted whenever we talk about rent control.

    • JFF says:

      And yet Keynes fervent support of eugenics somehow gets a pass… classy, real classy. Double standard much?

      • Richard Moss says:


        I don’t think you read LK’s post.

        While he didn’t mention Keynes’s support of eugenics (which I think many people of his generation supported), he didn’t give him a ‘free pass’ either…

        • John p says:

          It’s telling though,isn’t it,that opponents of the Austrian School constantly go on about Hayek as though Hayek:theAustrian School (I know he won the Nobel prize)It surely only highlights their ignorance

          • Richard Moss says:

            John p,

            Well, I don’t know where you are getting that LK wrote: “Hayek:Austrian School”, or why it would matter in this case.

            I have yet to come across an LK post I agree with – either here or on his blog. I disagree plenty with his analysis of ‘Austrian’ arguments, whether made by Mises or Hayek or any other Austrian (and I think he does acknowledge there are differences “Austrian’ economists in general). Furthermore, I am not sure I agree with everything LK wrote in this particular post on Hayek.

            Still, reading it I don’t see where he sought to disparage Hayek’s economic theories at the expense of Keynes’s, or by extension Austrian theories in general, because of what Hayek apparently said in an interview. In fact he wrote Hayek’s comments couldn’t be used to do so.

            Please, no more mischaracterizations of what LK wrote. That I am moved to defend his post is starting to give me the willies.

            • Richard Moss says:

              BTW that part about the willies was meant mostly tongue in cheek. Maybe I should have used one of those smiley faces to make that clear, but I hate them.

            • John p says:

              I agree,Lord Keynes post was very fair.Perhaps it was unfair of me to mention this here.I find that most mainstream mentions (that I find anyway) of Austrian economics seem to always include Hayek, as though everything he thought and wrote is representative of the Austrian school. They often seem to misrepresent what the Austrian view is,particularly on the business cycle.They always make me want to shout ‘No that isn’t right!’

              • John p says:

                Btw,I am not saying that I think Hayek is wrong, just that the level of ignorance in mainstream discussions of Austrian economics really annoys me.It’s like people can’t even get basic positions right.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        Who gives Keynes a free pass on that???

        • Ken B says:

          Not a free pass, but as a hero of the Left he gets a partial pass. EVERONE who knows the name Galton knows about his support of eugneics. FEW who know the name Keynes know of his more fervent advocacy of it.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Not a free pass, DK, but you gave him half-off here. I bet you let him fill up his drink again too, with no extra charge.

          • Ken B says:

            What they hey Bob? You agree with me again??

  4. joeftansey says:

    What do you think is the main reason you will likely lose your bet with Henderson?

  5. Beefcake the Mighty says:


    As usual, let’s ask the obvious question: was Hayek right, or was he wrong?

  6. Bharat says:

    “I’m not talking about the video itself, which you don’t even need to watch.”

    Don’t worry, we watched it.

  7. Sean says:

    For any fellow sci-fi geeks, here is Star Trek vs. Star Wars with equally hilarious tech driven arguments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNxhrPaaCA4

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