25 Aug 2012


Potpourri, Shameless Self-Promotion, Tom Woods 21 Comments

==> Conservative politicians in Germany want the government to pay stay-at-home moms for taking care of their kids. Liberal groups are mad because it reinforces antiquated views of the family and gender roles. This is an issue that could benefit from a libertarian perspective.

==> Tom Woods calls Max Keiser’s bluff.

==> A Phoenix woman was ordered to stop giving out water bottles to people in scorching heat because she didn’t have a vending permit. There is a religious element to the story, which just underscores all the more why government regulations on business are dangerous.

==> On October 3 I’m going to be at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis for a debate on capitalism.


21 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Daniel Kuehn says:

    Debate on capitalism???

    Opening argument: the twentieth century.

    Closing argument: the twentieth century

    Capitalism wins.

    Enjoy the sightseeing in Indianapolis.

    • Tel says:

      I thought the twentieth century was the final bastion where Capitalism was universally defeated.

      It lost in Europe and they went over to the EU instead, it lost in Russia and Stalin got his way unopposed, and it lost in China where Mao lived with the spoils he had won for himself. Certainly the British Empire is gone and not likely to come back — they rapidly devolved into socialist, progressive hand-wringing. Sadly, under FDR capitalism also lost in the USA ushering in an age of corporatism and the Nanny State. Australia was dominated by unions, and government sponsored manufacturing for a long time, but finally just rolled over to US style corporatism too. What else could we do?

      Gradually China and Russia moved back to allow bits and pieces of small scale entrepreneurship, always with suitable state supervision. We don’t really know where that will end up.

      I guess you could say that some small spirit of capitalism survived, as it always will do.

      • ted says:

        look around you, and be thankful for capitalism.

        now we just need capitalism without politicians altogether!

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        Hmmm… I thought the 20th century was when capitalism was bolstered in the land of its birth when it was threatened by fascism, and also expanded to other parts of the world.

        It’s true, socialism was on the rise in a lot of the world. But the reason why the 20th century is such good proof of capitalism is that it saw the utter, complete, incontrovertible failure of socialism.

        I guess I’m just an optimist. I don’t see how anyone can look at the twentieth century and still have doubts about capitalism relative to any other system we’ve dreamed up or seen emerge.

        In the distant future I could see capitalism fading away if we all got so rich and content that we didn’t care about exchange or market allocation anymore. I kinda doubt it, but I could see socialism emerge that way. But I think the book is pretty much closed on socialism replacing capitalism because it’s better at doing what capitalism does.

        • Ken B says:

          I think there are 2 great lessons from the 20th century. There is no master race, and you can’t set prices.

        • Tel says:

          Socialism just adapted and went underground in those nominally capitalist countries… same way that capitalism adapted and went underground in the nominally socialist countries.

          The citizens of Earth as a whole had a lot less freedom at the end of the 20th century than they had previously. Income tax for example is basically a product of the 20th century, the idea that everyone needs to document all their economic activity and submit that to the state for examination — universally adopted now without question.

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            re: “Socialism just adapted and went underground in those nominally capitalist countries… same way that capitalism adapted and went underground in the nominally socialist countries.”

            This seem tremendously problematic from the perspective of methodological individualism.

            • Tel says:

              Problematic in terms of the theoretical implications, or problematic in terms of a practical obstacle to overcome? I don’t quite get where you are coming from here.

              When humans don’t get what they want by direct means, they start searching for indirect approaches to achieve their desires. Hardly surprising… and seems to me very much a statement supporting the strength of the human spirit. I mean that both in terms of individual humans and whatever collectives they can construct amongst themselves.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Dumb joke.

                Ideologies can’t “act”, ergo they can’t go underground.

        • Tel says:

          The big government takeover of education happened in the 20th century as well. A combination of compulsory attendance, with government controlled curriculum (allowing them to reject any private education that didn’t suit their purposes), and a steady migration of private schools over to government funded and controlled schools. Yes all of these things had seeds in earlier centuries, but they all came together in a significant way.

          Maybe that’s more of a liberty issue that an economic freedom issue — but the two are closely connected.

        • Tel says:

          I’ll add the government takeover of charity here as well. Back in the 19th century it would have been regarded as a bizarre notion that a central government department would be well suited to the redistribution of wealth from rich to poor. In Australia, that’s a bit more than half of the entire federal government budget right there — wealth redistribution.

          Local church and religious charity has almost entirely been displaced by centralized charity. Rather than allowing local and individual discretion on matters of who is a worthy of community support, we now have massive bureaucracies, complex systems of rules, and large amounts of public and parliamentary debate as to the exact details of entitlements. You imagine taking our modern codification of who is deserving of handouts and show that to any of the great leaders of the 19th century. They would have been astounded!

    • Daniel Kuehn says:

      Granted now that I click through the link I see the debate is on something completely different from what I was implying last night.

      It’s an interesting question… I’m not sure I like how it’s phrased. Free markets certainly aren’t immoral. But I think morality requires a few more tools in its toolbox than just the market. But I wouldn’t say that that means that the free market isn’t moral.

      • Chucklehead says:

        Free Markets or voluntary exchange only needs one more tool, voluntary charity.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Shouldn’t the victor at least be able to make an appearance, for photo opportunities?

  2. Jonathon Hunt says:

    Does Max have brain damage?

  3. Scott S. says:

    Two days before you, on 10/1 Ben Bernanke will be in Indy speaking at the Economic Club of Indiana… Maybe he’ll stick around to learn about capitalism

  4. Major_Freedom says:

    Sounds like Max Keiser has been brainwashed by Chartalism/Marxism.

  5. Dan says:

    You’ll be in my old stomping grounds. The nice thing is IUPUI puts you in downtown Indy, so you’ll have some late night options.

  6. Christopher says:

    Re German child care allowance

    The point that the so called conservatives are making is that the government is already pushing families into certain models by taxing them to fund free daycare for children which is only a good deal for them if they take advantage of the system by choosing more progressive lifestyle. The allowance for stay-at-home parents (not only moms) is meant to reduce these negative financial consequences and thereby to increase affordable options from which parents can choose.

    Sure, the best solution from a libertarian perspective would be for the gov to stop its coerced funding all together. But if there is financial support for child care, it sould be granted irrespective of individual life decisions the everyone and not only to those who subscribe to a certain model of the good life. This argument isn’t all that conservative in my opinion.

  7. Ken B says:

    Potpourri Bob? I thought you’d left that behind and were a Prot now.

  8. Wonks Anonymous says:

    This guy claims to be an Austrian and that Menger was (correctly) more empirical than Mises/Rothbard:

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