24 Oct 2012


Economics, Market Monetarism, Potpourri, Scott Sumner, Shameless Self-Promotion, Tom Woods 19 Comments

==> Redmond and I talk about all kinds of stuff for a good hour. This is actually “new” stuff if you are bored out of your mind at work and want to have this going in the background…

==> The Center for American Progress recycles my backside.

==> My brother sends this compilation of impressions. The guy’s got 3 or 4 really good ones, including a surprisingly good Owen Wilson, but–as my brother pointed out–way too much Gary Busey. (It’s actually fun to have this going in the background; you can really hear his good ones come through.)

==> Another installment in the Messengers for Liberty series.

==> Danny Sanchez is not a good American.

==> The skittish von Pepe sends this paper by Gerald O’Driscoll on central banking.

==> Lew Rockwell and Joe Salerno preach the truth about violence (near the end).

==> Gene Callahan sends me to a clinic. (We told them to bill our grandkids.)

==> Tom Woods is aghast at today’s “conservatives.”

==> Mario Rizzo administers extreme unction on the market monetarists.

==> Fascinating monetary analysis on the 1930s from JP Koning.

==> Did I never post this? Tom Woods and I went after low-hanging fruit at HuffPo on Fed “myths.”

==> Gene Epstein tries to find me a scapegoat.

19 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Matt Tanous says:

    “Gene Callahan sends me to a clinic. (We told them to bill our grandkids.)”

    As Hoppe argued, a conservative must be a libertarian, and vice versa. So the libertarians that are also conservatives (like Ron Paul) are in the right, according to him. But the idea that libertarian principles don’t focus on the state as “evil” is strange – isn’t that precisely the argument? Are they claiming that Stefan Molyneux is a run-of-the-mill conservative?

    • Dan says:

      Why does Hoppe say that you must be a conservative to be a libertarian?

      • Matt Tanous says:

        Support for certain, more conservative social and cultural norms (private property, self reliance, etc.) is a necessary aspect of libertarianism. (The full argument is contained in his book on democracy.) He also points out that today’s “conservativism” is really a form of socialism, as well though: http://mises.org/daily/1766

        • JSR08 says:

          What a crock. Hoppe’s article is from 2005 and in it he knocks “modern” conservatives by setting up a strawman with a book published in 1978. I have not heard any of today’s big outspoken conservatives (or any conservative) pushing for people to keep more of their money as long as they spend it in certain ways.

          • Matt Tanous says:

            ” Hoppe’s article is from 2005″

            Appeal to time is not a logical argument. If you think what Irving Kristol wrote is not a significant force even now in the Republican party, then you are nuts.

            And you conveniently ignored the quotes from Buchananite supporters, which are far more recent than the Kristol quote. Are you contending that the modern conservative movement does not support any social welfare at all? That would be news to nearly every individual who self-identifies as conservative, but not libertarian, I would think. The most common argument I hear is not about how welfare and entitlements are fundamentally wrong, but how they just spend to much and need to be reformed to be “more sane”.

            And the point that I was making about his argument:

            “Welfare-statism—social security in any way, shape or form—breeds moral and cultural decline and degeneration. Thus, if one is indeed concerned about America’s moral decay and wants to restore normalcy to society and culture, one must oppose all aspects of the modern social-welfare state. A return to normalcy requires no less than the complete elimination of the present social security system: of unemployment insurance, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, etc.—and thus the near complete dissolution and deconstruction of the current state apparatus and government power. If one is ever to restore normalcy, government funds and power must dwindle to or even fall below their nineteenth century levels. Hence, true conservatives must be hard-line libertarians (antistatists).”

            • Tel says:


              Conservatism has not been included on the political grid as it is not really a political philosophy but is rather a belief that the rate of change should be slow, or that institutions that existed yesterday should be preserved.

              In Australia today, we live in a social democracy – and so conservatives generally support social democracy. A hundred years ago we lived in something closer to liberal democracy – and back then conservatives generally supported liberal democracy.

              That is why conservatives and liberal democrats have traditionally been in alliance, against socialists and social democrats. However, this alliance no longer makes much sense as conservatives no longer defend liberal democracy.

              Annoyingly, the “Liberty and Democracy party of Australia” are trying to remodel themselves under the “Liberal Democrat” moniker and sadly the word “Liberal” has been thrashed to death, no longer having any real meaning anymore.

  2. marris says:

    > The Center for American Progress recycles my backside.

    I’m not an expert in this area, but their article seems kinda shoddy.

    One of their main criticisms is “the oil and gas guys get subsidies, too!”. Exact quote: “for the past three decades, the coal industry has benefited from nearly $1 billion a year in subsidized public lands.” First, that seems like a very small amount, compared to the revenue generated by the industry. Second, is the subsidy? Are they saying that the industry is not paying the state enough rent for these lands? If so, then why doesn’t some competitor company bid up the rent? It seems that the state is being a poor steward of the land. Further, not that unlike private land, which has lots of marginal uses, the public lands are very restricted in terms of alternate use: parks, drilling, and parks. It takes a lot of effort to gain political clout and change public opinion to permit drilling. Alternative production structures without that clout simply don’t show up to bid. This will reduce the land value relative to non-public land.

    I would also be very suspicious of the reasoning-in-unit-terms rather than dollar terms in their comparisons: “Developing 54 gigawatts of offshore wind in Atlantic waters would generate $200 billion in economic activity and create 43,000 permanent, well-paid technical jobs, in addition to displacing the annual output of 52 coal-fired power plants.”

    Where is the investment money cost? What is the price per kW?

    This idea of creating 43K permanent (?) skilled jobs makes the reader feel warm and fuzzy inside, but most of that feeling comes from the deceptive choice of imagery. [The rest may come from climate change concern]. Would we feel warm and fuzzy about creating 43K Rube Goldberg machine maintenance jobs? Or hiring 43K people to do jumping jacks?

  3. marris says:

    > Second, is the subsidy?

    Second, what is the subsidy?

    > Further, not that unlike private land,

    Further, unlike private land,

    • Matt Tanous says:

      The first is an error. The latter is nothing more than a wordy way to say “like private land, [more stuff]”. That’s a comma, not a period, and the sentence is thus correct.

      • Matt Tanous says:

        Er, never mind. Sorry about that. Misread your correction.

  4. successfulbuild says:

    So according to “matt tanous” non-government is accepting Matt Tanous’s definition of property rights that are applied universally, and this is somehow non-statism.

    Libertarians: the worst statists around.

    • Jason B says:

      “Libertarians: the worst statists around.”

      In reference to the libertarians for Obama?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      States are not necessary for individuals to protect their property from thugs like you who behave according to a “I want yours, screw you” mentality.

      Socialists: Worst logical thinkers around.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      No, you’re right. True anarchy is obviously when my decisions and actions are constrained according to rules set by the state, and the subsuming of any production to the whims of the ruling class in control of it. Oh, sorry, “anarcho”-socialists call it “the community”, right? I’m sure that makes all the difference.

    • successfulbuild says:

      “Oh, sorry, “anarcho”-socialists call it “the community”, right? ”

      Yes, free, dynamic communities are the equivalent of the modern capitalist state system which has historically been based on stealing property and giving government favortism to the rich.

      Libertarians are statists because the gold standard is statist. Who is going to set the price of the gold?

      This has nothing to do with me “stealing.” Overthrowing tyrannical systems, such as a gold standard, is about liberation, not stealing. Likewise, overthrowing the taliban in Afghanistan and implementing a social democracy would be liberation. They do not “own” the property merely because they have used to it to sell drugs, as Libertarians would have you believe. US foreign policy is not justified because democracies have to come from within, but obviously it would be justified if the people in Afghanistan did it themselves.

      By the same token, overthrowing Hoppe’s private dictatorships would be an act of liberation.

      And hasn’t Major Freedom claimed he’s going to go around trying to steal other people’s “property” in an anarcho-capitalist society? We see why people favor anarcho-capitalism, because they think it will allow them to form gangs and mobs and shake down the productive members of society.

  5. senyoreconomist says:

    Why is von Pepe skittish? Did the paper make him skittish?

  6. Tel says:

    Off topic (unless the topic is “Potpourri” but is this worthwhile for Austrian / Libertarian contribution —


    They seem a little bit on the leftist kind of Occupy Wall Street fringe but they do encourage diverse contributions and they have an open review system (much more like a blog than traditional cloak and dagger scientific journal peer review). Judging from the topics presented, I would very much like to see Bob Murphy submit a nice little self-contained journal paper explaining the generational debt problem. Not new material, just a wider audience for the same material, in perhaps a slightly more formal presentation.

    I’d be interested to know what other people think of the articles.

  7. Daniel Davis says:

    The impressions are great.

  8. whiskey1bravo says:

    I really feel like writing a defense in response to Center for American Progress.

    More like Center for Banging-Your-Head-Into-The-Same-Old-Wall

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