16 Mar 2013

You Can’t Judge a Man By His Fans, Of Course…

Krugman 60 Comments

…but this is still funny. Gus Spanier sent me this note:

I posted a comment on this video referring to your debate challenge to Mr. Krugman. I [received] this reply from a Krugman supporter.

“Austria is not America. Murphy thinks that Austria is a super power that prints it’s own money. Why on earth would Krugman debate Murphy when Murphy doesn’t even know what he’s talking about? America is not Austria. If America was Austria it wouldn’t need a centralized bank. Austria benefits from 3 banks for Chrissakes. Murphy is a tool.”

How can you argue with that brilliance?

60 Responses to “You Can’t Judge a Man By His Fans, Of Course…”

  1. David R. Henderson says:

    I wonder if this guy, like our dear President, also doesn’t know how to speak Austrian.

  2. Daniel Kuehn says:

    The only thing that would make this better is if further down in the comment section there were equally stupid Austrian commenters arguing over whether those three banks should operate with 100% reserves or not.

    I would personally pay $100,000 to charity to see those commenters debate that dumb Krugman fan.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Why would more stupid people posting more stupid comments be a “better” outcome?

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Wait, nevermind, I forgot about the thing about appearances…

  3. Gus Spanier says:

    I received another reply from the same Krugman fan:

    “Bob Murphy thinks that during boom periods that the Fed lowers interest rates. Hardly major league thinking there. In fact, the Fed raises interest rates. Why would a nobel laureate waste his time with Murphy? Murphy’s worst nightmare would come true if Krugman accepted the challenge.”

    • Bob Murphy says:

      My worst nightmare is hopping up on stage to sing Bobby Darin and realizing I forgot to put on my pants. I’m not sure how a Krugman debate would bring that out.

      • Ken B says:

        Wow! You singing Bobby Darin is my worst nightmare too!


        Perhaps it could happen this way. Just before the debate splish-splash you were takin’ a bath …

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Some joke about baldness

          Some joke about weight.

          Some joke about signing.

          Har har har.

          • Ken B says:

            Now MF, a man who posts book length parodies of economic arguments ought not complain about jokes.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              Almost forgot…

              Some joke about the length of MF’s posts.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          My “Splish Splash” is freakin awesome Ken B., but it’s not my best Bobby Darin number.

      • Jason B says:

        “I forgot to put on my pants” is a euphemistic phrase for “when I think of Bobby Darin my pants are the first thing to go”, right? It’s good to know I’m not the only one this happens to, although we differ that Stevie Ray Vaughn is my catalyst.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Can Stevie Ray Vaughn do impressions while singing?

          • Jason B says:

            “Can Stevie Ray Vaughan do impressions while singing?”

            Well, it’s not exactly an impression, at least not in the sense that good impressions usually are just that, impressions, which are never as good as the original. He did play some songs written from previous artists, such as Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” and “Voodoo Child”, but he plays Hendrix’s own song better than Jimi ever could. I don’t know what you’d actually call that particular phenomenon, where someone does something amazing, and then someone does the same thing better, but Stevie Ray Vaughan did.

            • Bob Murphy says:

              Jason I’m actually not trying to make this a contest. BD is my favorite, but I’m not claiming he’s the best musician of all time.

            • The Existential Christian says:

              I can tolerate all sorts of internet wackjobbery, but SRV playing Jimi better than Jimi did?!

              That’s just going too far!


              • Gregory says:

                I’m one of those who just casually peruse comment sections and never comments – but I concur, to conclude SRV played Hendrix better than Hendrix is like saying somebody painting the same picture as Caravaggio but made slight changes in the painting – you could even call them ‘improvements’ – “painted Caravaggio better than Caravaggio.” In other words Hendrix still wrote the song, had the vision, and played it like nobody before him, which is the hardest part!

          • Joseph Fetz says:

            Bob, I think you meant, “could SRV do impressions while singing?”.

            To that I would say “yes”. After all, most of the music in the genre of blues is merely a series of covers, only the solo differs from the original.

      • Yancey Ward says:

        I thought the worst nightmare was for the video of that event showing up on Youtube?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Seymour, now I have, and I wish I hadn’t.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      And LK’s takedown has made the big time too: The number one MMT site on the web!


      I am satisfied that the Keynesians just don’t and won’t “get” the concept of the knowledge problem/economic calculation. Ever. It interferes with their narcissistic urge to run society. No matter the topic, they run to control society like a dog runs to a piece of fat dropped on the floor. They would be easy pickins at any public debate.

      • Lord Keynes says:

        Is this what you mean by the concept of “economic (mis)calculation” in a modern economy ?:

        (1) the alleged miscalculation problems caused in the Austrian business cycle theory (ABCT).

        (2) distortions of prices away from their “equilibrium” values (as postulated by (4) below) by government spending, deficit spending, central bank fiat money creation, price controls, subsidies, etc.

        (3) distortions of prices away from their “equilibrium” values (as postulated by (4) below) by government interventions allegedly leading to Cantillon effects

        (4) in general, obstructions to “equilibrium” wages and prices as in this quotation of Hayek:

        “The primary cause of the appearance of extensive unemployment, however, is a deviation of the actual structure of prices and wages from its equilibrium structure. Remember, please: that is the crucial concept. The point I want to make is that this equilibrium structure of prices is something which we cannot know beforehand because the only way to discover it is to give the market free play; by definition, therefore, the divergence of actual prices from the equilibrium structure is something that can never be statistically measured.” (Hayek 1975: 6–7).

        Your latest idiocy is to now say that the “equilibrium” wages and prices are not Walrasian ones, but just ones free from coercion.

  4. Bob Roddis says:

    Have any of you had the pleasure of engaging the warm and fuzzy Robert Vienneau?


    • Lord Keynes says:

      Except you did not “engage” with Vienneau, who was talking about the similarity of Croce’s methodology for economics to that of Mises.

      You just made an irrelevant comment about the labor theory of value, and then pulled a quote out of Enrico Barone, erroneously attributing it to Benedetto Croce like the idiot you are.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        Vienneau had just written this love note to Marxian exploitation on Monday:


        Thanks to the later Tom Hickey post, I saw that Vienneau had also written this:

        Arguably, socialism, when implemented with a centrally planned economy, is guaranteed to not produce a fairly high standard of living. Market prices are needed. This argument was originated by Enrico Barone.

        I first saw the Vienneau/Croce reference around midnight Thursday after driving to Tennessee all day. My point was that since Bohm-Bawerk had destroyed Marx’s labor theory of value, it wouldn’t surprise me that many people might have realized the necessity for the pricing process to provide essential economic information by the time of Mises. Croce noting that one cannot measure what is inside people’s heads is coextensive with Barone noting that the “ministry” cannot know what to make. I also pointed out that if “market prices” are needed, the same principle applies to Keynesianism which is going to wreak havoc with those prices. That is the bitter truth with which you Keynesians cannot deal. The same economic calculation problem applies to socialism and Keynesianism.

        Tom Hickey then wrote some his usual pseudo-philosophical gobbledygook to which I responded at a truck stop with WiFi in SW North Carolina around 2:00 p.m. Friday while eating a sloppy chicken sandwich after spending about 2 minutes online. I much later quoted the earlier Barone quote and failed to note that he was a different guy than Croce around 7:45 p.m. on Friday at truck stop near Vienna, GA after being online for about 3 more minutes with my laptop on the hood of my car just before I cleaned the bugs off my windshield.

        In lieu of addressing the economic calculation issue, I was pronounced “too stupid to get anything right” by Vienneau for mistaking Barone for Croce. I then conceded to Vienneau that my error meant that he had successfully refuted the entirety of Austrian Economics.

        BTW, I am pleased that the MMTers are so fond of quoting Marx.

        • Lord Keynes says:

          In other words, you made an irrelevant comment about the labor theory of value, and then pulled a quote out of Enrico Barone, erroneously attributing it to Benedetto Croce.

          “In lieu of addressing the economic calculation issue, “

          It’s already been addressed plenty of times:





          • Bob Roddis says:

            Put a sock in it, LK. Everybody knows that you cannot understand economic calculation, especially as it applies to Keynesian funny money, asset bubbles and malinvestments in general.


            From the looks of things, Vienneau doesn’t understand it either, which is what I was assessing.

            • Lord Keynes says:

              (1) Your comment above:

              “That’s exactly what I’m saying.”


              Your statement 2:
              (2) “Everybody knows that you cannot understand economic calculation,…”

              That’s called violating the law of non-contradiction.

              By (1) you admit I have understood what you mean by “economic calculation”, but then (2) denies that.

              All in all, proof of your inability to even reach minimal standards of argument and logic.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Copying and pasting passages of texts is not the same thing as understanding those passages such that you successfully integrate that understanding into critiques and analyses of Austrian theory.

                You have made the error of assuming that writing passages is sufficient for understanding those passages.

                Virtually every time you critique Austrian theory and compare and contrast Keynesian with Austrian theory, you show proof positive that you don’t understand the concepts. Either than or you’re lying through your teeth.

            • Bob Roddis says:

              I’m on the fence, LK. I go back and forth as to whether you are too dumb, too dishonest or both to understand economic calculation. However, the fact remains that your “critique” of Austrian analysis meticulously avoids the core concept of Austrian analysis which is economic calculation. Further, this aversion is expressed by all Keynesians.

              The non-ambiguous reason why you avoid the core Austrian concept is because you cannot refute it. You are making a desperate and dishonorable attempt to obfuscate the truth so that the public does not come to understand how simple and self-evidently true Austrian analysis really is.

              • Lord Keynes says:

                (1) In your stupidity to avoid admitting that your stock Hayek quotation is just describing a market-clearing wage and price vector, you currently define the “equilibrium” structure of wages and prices expressed there as simply ones free from coercion.

                You’re in no position to charge anyone with not understanding Austrian concepts, since you are guilty of colossal misunderstanding and ignorance of the Austrian
                concept you are attempting to defend.

                (2) Your brand of Rothbardian economics requires belief in a real world market tendency to an equilibrium state (even if it is never reached), by flexible wages and prices moving towards their equilibrium values.

                Certainly Mises and Rothbard believed this, and believed that this was a fundamental coordinating market mechanism (just as neoclassicals adhere to a market tendency towards Walrasian GE).

                Yet when challenged to say whether you also believe this, you cowardly evade the question, for you know that if you said “yes” your stupid idea in (1) above would be destroyed.

                (3) If you do not believe in a tendency to a market-clearing wage and price vector, then most of your Austrian “economic calculation” ideas collapse like a house of cards.

                (4) Since the stock
                Hayek quotation is in fact describing a market-clearing wage and price vector, this idea is not even uniquely Austrian, but shared by mainstream neoclassical economics. And yet this idea is supposed at the heart of your economic calculation blathering.

                All of the arguments presented by Post Keynesianism that show that markets do not converge towards a GE state also have force against your economic calculation ideas.

                E..g, the widespread existence of price administration by private businesses already destroys any real world tendency to such a state.

                Thus the private sector itself thwarts such imagined “economic calculation” (even if there was really some universal set of market clearing prices and wages, which is itself nothing more than a theological superstition) , yet markets still function, real output grows, investments are made, and employment is created.

                The role attributed to prices in your Austrian theory is simply wrong and misguided and the real world demonstrates that economic calculation is perfectly possible even in a world of fixprice markets .


              • Major_Freedom says:

                (1) The existence of “administered prices” does not in any way shape or form shake or call into question the tendency of prices towards clearance.

                The doctrine of administered prices arose because of a widespread ignorance within the economics establishment that the prices of many goods, especially manufactured goods, are in part a function of costs of production. Rather than prices having to tend to where MR=MC, firms that “administer” prices are setting their prices in terms of costs of production, plus a competitive profit.

                Administered prices is founded upon market forces of supply and demand for the factors of production.

                In a free market, firms cannot “administer” prices too far above costs of production, lest they attract new entrants into the field. They cannot “administer” prices too far below costs plus profit, lest they lose market share to firms that don’t.

                The notion that “administered prices” refutes the fact that prices tend towards clearing equilibrium, is yet another ridiculously ignorant statement you have made that derives from further ignorance in yet further areas of economics. You keep presuming more and more garbage every time you try to refute economic principles, without even realizing it.

                (2) Your continuing ignorance over the concept of economic calculation is again displayed here by repeating someone copying and pasting a “stock quote” from Hayek, along with confusions over whether or not market clearing prices are “Walreasian” or “GE”. Equilibrium prices and Walrasian prices are mental tools of understanding how prices in the real world behave. They are not some objective future set of proper prices that empirical prices must tend towards or else markets don’t work and they need violence from government thugs.

                Market clearing prices are only able to arise in a market. The market is the source of knowing which prices are too high and which are too low.

                Markets do in fact tend to clear because humans tend to desire gains and to avoid losses. This, combined with RESPECT for individuals having the economic freedom to pursue gains and avoid losses, that is, respect for their property rights of the goods that they trade and value, are ALONE sufficient for the argument that prices tend towards clearing equilibria to be true.

                The Post Keynesian gobbledygook that attempts to claim markets do not tend towards clearing prices, is not only self-refuting nonsense – since claiming that markets tend towards a disequilibrium IS ITSELF A CLAIM TO AN EQUILIBRIUM STASIS – but it is also fallacious since it contradicts the apodictic certainty that human action is individual end-seeking behavior.

                To claim that markets do not tend to clear, is tantamount to claiming that humans do not tend to want gains and to avoid losses. The existence of these desires are sufficient for the tendency of clearing prices to exist.

                You continually display confusion over this by attempting to claim that there is an objective timeframe that this tendency is supposed to “finalize”, as if this equilibrium can even be reached. You continually show ignorance that a tendency towards equilibrium does not mean that equilibrium is actually had.

                Not only that, but you continually point to historical data that is full of government intervention which hampers the clearing process, so you’re doubly ignorant. One because you believe the tendency towards market clearing prices can actually be observed in historical data, and two, because you believe observing unemployment in data that contains government intervention, somehow says what you believe it says about the free market process.

                What you continually claim is also fallacious for a third reason, which is another self-contradiction, which I exposed in your garbage the last time: Namely, if markets do not tend towards equilibrium because of “subjective expectations” and “fundamental uncertainty”, then no state intervention can do what you claim it does, for the state itself is composed of people who also have “subjective expectations” and “fundamental uncertainty” because they’re human too.

                To claim that because states are “powerful” and can physical coerce people into doing what they otherwise would not have done, to turn human behavior into “predictable” behavior rather than “unpredictable” behavior as they would without coercion, does not at all prove that Keynesian intervention makes market actor’s lives better off, nor does it prove that states are putting the market onto an equilibrium tendency that it cannot do itself.

                It is a rank contradiction to claim that coercion against market participants puts the market process onto a market clearing equilibrium tendency.

                It is not an “assistance” to market clearing, to replace market activity with anti-market activity. It is only putting the economy on a NEW, DIFFERENT tendency, namely, one that is NOT in line with sovereign consumer preferences, but rather, with the preference of non-market actors who harm the interests of market participants.

                It is nothing but an a priori assertion that I myself am better off being “certain” that I’ll be coerced, than being uncertain of what I learn or do in freedom. What you are doing is taking the concept of uncertainty, and poisoning it with the absurd assumption that uncertainty is inherently an evil, that it is an evil greater than “certain” initiations of violence, and then conflating that outcome with some sort of “improvement” of the market.

                (3) The role attributed to prices in your worldview is wrong. Prices in an unhampered market show objective information regarding individual preferences. The only prices that exist are market prices. Prices distorted by anti-market violent activity (e.g. Keynesianism), are a form of “administered prices” that do not communicate individual market actor preferences. They are not designed to do that, which is precisely why Keynesian thugs initiate force into otherwise peaceful market activity.

              • Bob Roddis says:

                The “stock quote” from Hayek was originally mine and LK simply continues to misrepresent what it means.

                Most of what LK quotes is on page 7. I cited it because it explains both the notion of unadulterated prices and that such prices cannot exist or be measured if they are not allowed to come into being.


              • Major_Freedom says:

                This is why dishonest and ignorant fools are better off not being given single quotes from economic texts.

                In LK’s case, he’ll context drop, tu quoque, and false authority the s#!t out of them.

  5. Bob Roddis says:

    All hail “Lord Keynes”! Thanks to “Lord Keynes”, we will never have to endure another BS statement from Keynesians and MMTers like this one from Dale Pierce ever again:

    Under the gold standard, and largely because of the gold standard, the capitalist world endured eight different deflationary slumps severe enough to be called “depressions.”


  6. Bob Roddis says:

    LK demonstrates that THE CLASSICAL GOLD STANDARD ERA WAS A MYTH precisely as described for the last 50 years by Murray Rothbard:


  7. Bob Roddis says:

    This is excellent. This is like when Daniel Kuehn’s paper on the 1920 depression was consistent with the Rothbardian analysis of WWI:


    I’m bookmarking this LK post and also keeping a copy for future reference.

    • Major_Freedom says:


      I bet you a million dollars LK is going to deceitfully try and hold yet another contradictory position to rescue this hilarious debacle, that would probably consist of something along the lines of blaming the gold standard for the 19th century depressions, while also holding that there was no gold standard.

      Something like “Uh oh, um, OK, here goes: Yes, the gold standard did not exist, but it was the “goldish part” of the not-gold standard that caused the depressions. So the gold standard is still the cause.”


      • Bob Roddis says:

        So we now have LK demonstrating that we didn’t have a gold standard that caused so many depressions in the 1800s.

        We have socialist Gabriel Kolko who showed that laissez faire did not allow the “Robber Barons” to monopolize that “free market” in the late 1800s. “Progressive” reform facilitated such monopolization.


        And we have Daniel Kuehn demonstrating that the price distortions during and after WWI and the 1920 depression were caused by the Fed and government intervention.

        When are they going to finally locate and pinpoint the alleged “market failure” that requires a Keynesian “cure”?

        • Lord Keynes says:

          ” LK demonstrating that we didn’t have a gold standard that caused so many depressions in the 1800s. “

          I’ve said so such thing.
          I’ve said that the *real world classical gold standard* was not (a) a pure metallic standard or (b) one where most money was gold, or where all credit money was backed up by gold.

          There is no doubt the *real world gold standard* could still induce depressions by (1) outflow of the gold monetary base owing to capital flight or (2) serious outflow through trade deficits.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            ” LK demonstrating that we didn’t have a gold standard that caused so many depressions in the 1800s. “
            “I’ve said so such thing.”
            “I’ve said that the *real world classical gold standard* was not (a) a pure metallic standard or (b) one where most money was gold, or where all credit money was backed up by gold.”

            In other words, you argued there was no gold standard.

            “There is no doubt the *real world gold standard* could still induce depressions by (1) outflow of the gold monetary base owing to capital flight or (2) serious outflow through trade deficits.”

            You can’t exclude the cause of depressions being government intervention, if you admit that there was no free market gold standard.

            For governments could be the cause for the reason why gold flowed out, which means it isn’t the gold outflow that is to blame, it is that which caused the outflow that is to blame.

      • Lord Keynes says:

        I do not hold the position that there was *no gold standard of any type,* idiot.

        There could both in theory and in practice be a number of TYPES of gold standard, e.g.,

        (1) one where all money is gold.
        (2) one where MOST money (over 50% of money supply) is gold and all credit money is backed up by gold.
        (3) one where most money is in fact credit money (over 50% of money supply) and where gold is only a small percentage of total money supply.

        I deny that the 19th-century gold standard was (1) or (2) and show that it was in fact (3), contrary to ideas many people have about it.

        Already in 1885 67% of broad money – that is, most of it – in 11 major capitalist nations already credit money. Gold was just 21%.

        By 1913, gold declined to just 10% of the money supply, and credit money accounted for the overwhelming 85% of money.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          There is only one gold standard.

          You are trying to reconcile a contradiction by redefining “gold standard”, so that you can rescue your claim that gold standard is the cause for depressions, AND hold the mutually exclusive claim “There was no gold standard” at the same time.

    • Lord Keynes says:

      As made clear in the post:

      (1) By “myth”, I mean it is a myth that the 19th century classical system (1880-1914) was a

      (a) pure metallic standard or
      (b) one where most money was gold, and all credit money was backed up by gold

      (2) I am not denying that there was an inelastic monetary base, or that monetary units were defined in terms of grains of gold, or that the real world system imposed a contractionary and deflationary bias on the nations that used it.

      (3) Where does Rothbard say that the classical gold standard was a myth in sense (1)? Have a precise citation or is this just another lie?

      • Lord Keynes says:

        Also, of course, if you admit that the real world gold standard that existed in the 19th century is NOT the gold standard you actually advocate (if, say, you’re advocating a full metallic standard with no credit money), then why do so many Austrian defend the real world gold standard that existed in the 19th century?

        E..g, why does Thomas Woods here tell us it was a superior system and defend it?:

        You’ve shot yourself in the foot and demonstrated more Austrian hypocrisy.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          “Also, of course, if you admit that the real world gold standard that existed in the 19th century is NOT the gold standard you actually advocate (if, say, you’re advocating a full metallic standard with no credit money), then why do so many Austrian defend the real world gold standard that existed in the 19th century?”

          Same reason why Hoppe says monarchy is better than democracy:

          It’s not because that is the standard being sought, it’s because it’s choosing the lesser of two evils. The relatively better option.

          “E..g, why does Thomas Woods here tell us it was a superior system and defend it?:

          He is defending it against attacks.

          He doesn’t defend the 19th century monetary system to other Austrians, because when he’s talking to other Austrians, there are discussions of the problems with it. The reason these discussions can occur is because the standard among Austrians is superior both fiat money and 19th century money. Criticisms can take place without anyone confusing it for an advocacy today.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Saying 19th century money was superior to fiat money, is not saying that one holds 19th century money as the standard to be sought after.

          Saying A is better than B does not preclude C being better than A.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        In other words, you are arguing there was no gold standard.

        “Inelastic money” is a deus ex machina you are hoping will allow you to blame gold for the depressions, while also claiming that there was no gold standard.

  8. Bob Roddis says:

    Another true gift from the “progressives” was this citation from what appeared to be John Quiggin about LK’s beloved period of “free banking” in late 1800s Australia:


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