30 Nov 2012


Potpourri 10 Comments

==> Saw this floating around on Facebook. There was a similar horror story here in Nashville about a family with a special needs child who really hated going to this particular new school, and eventually an employee broke down and told the family that their kid was being isolated for hours at a time, because the staff just didn’t know how to deal with him/her (can’t remember if boy or girl). This is a hidden downside of having the government “take care of everything”: When a certain school is required to accept kids with learning disabilities etc., and they don’t have the resources/training to deal with the kid, they can’t simply tell the parent, “Sorry, your child needs to go elsewhere.” Instead they may end up doing stuff like this.

==> I’m being serious, what is going on in this HuffPostLive clip on secession? Start listening around 8:50 or so, and they showcase one of my Tweets. I think they think I’m making fun of Texans. (Of course, in reality I was making fun of Daniel Kuehn for saying secession would cost the rest of us money.) Do you agree that that’s why they’re chuckling?

==> This guy is tearing into The Theory of Money and Credit. He’s lucky I’m busy.

==> Read Steve Landsburg’s commentary for all the links in the latest Brad DeLong smackdown. (I see Brad and Gene and Daniel and all my Internet friends.) Everybody needs to listen to David Gordon explain Kant’s synthetic a priori. (Can anybody find the relevant Mises University lecture?) If you could eat a non sequitur, this discussion from DeLong’s fans would make you fat. (However, in the comments I point out that I think Steve overstepped.)

==> The alarming von Pepe sends this chart.

==> Max Raskin, our man in Iran.

==> This guy feels my pain when reading FB commentary. In particular, #3–when people explain my own jokes back to me. Thanks, everyone.

10 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Joseph Fetz says:

    Actually, I quite like when people explain your jokes back to you, because then I get to know what the joke was.

  2. Matt Tanous says:

    “This guy is tearing into The Theory of Money and Credit. He’s lucky I’m busy.”

    He’s also lucky I have no WordPress account to log in with. The fact that Mises book on money supposedly has no influence outside the Austrian school has absolutely zero bearing on whether it is true or not. And I mean, really – they have fools arguing that you can only evaluate whether the regression theorem is right if you read also the theories that Mises criticized! What ludicrousness!

  3. Bob Roddis says:

    Isn’t it strange [not] that the critique of TTMC fails to mention the unimportant and trivial concept of subjective (unknown) values becoming objective by way of prices? These aren’t the concepts you’re looking for. Move along.*

    It never ends.

    *(I just mentioned that to prove that I actually have seen at least one science fiction movie since the original Planet of the Apes).

  4. Keshav Srinivasan says:

    Bob, do you agree with Steve (and others like Godel) that mathematical truth is synthetic a priori, meaning that we acquire it through some a priori intuition? Or do you agree with the analytic philosophers like Frege and Russel that mathematical truth is analytic a priori, meaning that e.g. 1+1=2 is true by the very meaning of “1”, “plus”, “equals”, and “2”. And whatever views you happen to have about mathematical truth, how do you reconcile them with your religious views? Did God create the integers, for instance? Could he have made them different?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      With my understanding of the terms, Keshav, I think mathematical truth is synthetic a priori. I also agree with Hoppe that Mises’ action axiom is synthetic a priori and solves the mind-body problem.

  5. John S says:

    Bob, to be fair, Kurt said TOMC is “good,” just not “great.” Damning with faint praise, perhaps–but he also gives Mises plenty of props on Human Action and Socialism. He’s certainly no enemy.

    Btw, may I ask what your specific objections are to Selgin/White/Dowd style Free Banking? Espousing no govt interference in money and banking certainly seems very much in line with anarcho-cap, no?

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      I don’t know for sure that Bob is against fiduciary media, but if he is I would imagine that his distaste might follow this reasoning …


      I’m actually one who agrees with the article above, yet have no problem with fiduciary media so long as all account-holders are aware of the risk. Though, I think that in a free market either full-reserve or, at the very least, majority-reserve would be prevailing. Of course, time preference would play a large role in determining which.

      Many mainstream economists like to poke fun and say, “of course everybody knows the money isn’t in the bank, who doesn’t know that?”, but in my conversations with the Joe Shmoe on the block, they don’t even understand utility, let alone the inner workings of banking institutions. Trust me, the average person does not study economics, let alone monetary theory or finance. They do know the banks are corrupt for the most part, but they also know that they have less than $250k in the bank and that’s covered by FDIC.

  6. John S says:

    Joseph, thank you for the link. I will read it and try my best to work through the logic.

    I do, however, like this Selgin comment re: historical evidence from the Scottish system. I also particularly like the last sentence. Why is there (among the anti-FRB crowd) such a focus only on reserves, and hardly any mention of bank capital?


    Btw, I find it odd that so many FRB-supporters love to accuse George of “acting like a child” for defending his views. Disagree with him all you want, but imo, the man has been supremely patient in addressing anti-FRB attacks (for decades, likely). A human being can only answer the same questions again so many times w/o getting a bit peeved.

  7. Silas Barta says:

    Seems that no one who links to the Iran/Bitcoin story mentions Bitcoin in the title the link text …

    But seriously, that’s amazing news that it’s catching on with people in countries where they more easily see what the government does to their money, and who have a hard time making international financial transactions. Argentinians are adopting it for similar reasons.

    Incidentally, viewing it as “money” may be the thing that’s making it hard to understand. You should instead view Bitcoin as a system for proving mutual agreement on a common text (to which people have varying write-access). The fact that the text can be a ledger — as it is with Bitcoin — is just one possible use of the general idea.

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