21 Oct 2013


Potpourri 14 Comments

==> This report on how (some) schools deal with autistic kids and others with special learning needs is truly revolting. In the beginning I actually thought it was a hoax.

==> Tom Watson at Salon doesn’t want to oppose the NSA with those yucky libertarians.

==> This story reminds me of that Jack Handy bit: “I’ve always been afraid of clowns. I guess it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.”

==> Joe Salerno relays J. Huston McCulloch’s argument that the US government has defaulted before on its debt.

==> I like Tyler Cowen best when he’s writing with plausible deniability.

==> Somebody asked me if Brad DeLong is making my point about Cochrane, by putting it into a private sector context. See Nick Rowe in the comments, whose views are closer to mine on this, but yeah I definitely see what DeLong is saying, and I think it’s basically right insofar as it goes.

==> Mario Rizzo has gotten even more pessimistic since I left NYU. I must have been a cheering influence.

14 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Matt M. (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

    The problem with the news report on the autistic kids is that it assumes the solution is “more laws.”

  2. Bob Roddis says:

    I’m not a big fan of alliances with commies. Obviously, if I were to enter into an alliance with commies, I’d have to first tell them exactly what I think of them.

    Rothbard got in trouble for his attempts at alliances with commies in the 1970s and with the rednecks in the 1990s that still come back to bite us today.

    Plus, reading stuff like this just re-emphasizes what complete and utter cement-heads the commies really are and frankly this stuff cheers me up:

    Writing in the Guardian about the growing UK Independence party, a libertarian political group in Britain, Ed Rooksby notes that: “As paradoxical as it may seem, rightwing libertarianism has always been a deeply authoritarian political philosophy. It claims to value liberty in some general and all-encompassing sense above all other principles, but the particular types of freedom libertarianism seeks to defend and extend are always, tacitly and implicitly, forms of liberty for the few at the expense of the many. Thus libertarianism stands for the unfreedom of the majority.”

    In the end, it’s always about the man on the balcony – which, deeply flawed as our democratic institutions are, isn’t the point for our elected politicians. No wonder, says Michael Lind in his must-read Salon essay, that libertarians revere “Friedrich von Hayek, who was, along with von Mises, one of the patron saints of modern libertarianism, was as infatuated with the Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet as von Mises was with Mussolini.”

    As Lind notes, “While progressives betray their principles when they apologize for autocracy, libertarians do not.”

    • Mike T says:

      Here’s the part that I hear over and over again in various forms from progressives that illustrates either laziness or flat out intellectual bankruptcy:

      “a party that opposes communitarian participation in liberal society”

      Is it really that difficult to fathom human beings being capable of freely and voluntarily interacting/exchanging without the state coercing this activity? The horrific irony in that Salon article is that the author, in no uncertain terms, is explicitly opposing the voluntary “communitarian participation in liberal society.”

      • Bob Roddis says:

        Of course, under AnCap, there would be nothing to stop 20/40/60% of the population from engaging in a voluntary non-contiguous arrangement that replicates the idiocy of the government system we now have. Our opponents do not want to understand the NAP and they do not want to understand voluntary exchange or economic calculation. And when I repeat that, I’m focusing upon the nature and behavior of our opponents, not on economic calculation per se.

        Before I stopped commenting on the Mike Norman blog, having been told to leave, I proposed a communal arrangement for a group of hated black antigun socialist lesbians who put their money all in a communal bank account buy their own land to live upon. The responses are “hysterical” and I don’t mean in a humorous way.


        Further, the Christians fail to understand that they could have their own communities based upon whatever religious and behavioral strictures they might want.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          But if I want what others have, it is not justified for me to set up a commune in the sticks with my fellow commies. It would be unfair. I am part owner of everything that has ever been produced. You can’t possibly expect me to jump for joy at the prospect of living the life I want but with the responsibility of producing from scratch.

          I’ve been exploited my whole life Roddis, through the wage-slavery system. The only way to set things right is for existing society to have black antigun socialist lesbians taking over Citigroup and Wal-Mart, AND THEN, I promise, we’ll stop wanting other people’s stuff.

          But I know you’ll never give up your farm to me willingly Roddis. So the only commune you’ll see me set up, is the one that will be in what you thought was your backyard.

          • Bob Roddis says:

            Not to change the subject too much, but Rohan Grey, (the guy behind the never ending pro-MMT seminars at Columbia Law School that included the Mosler/Murphy debate) showed up last night on James Miller’s blog to challenge the idea that MMTers think Mosler’s hut tax was a good thing. The foundation of Mr. Grey’s thought process seems to be hostility to private property.Apparently, the purpose of MMT is to solve the problem of poverty. I guess.

            I’m sure all of the students at Columbia Law School personally know lots and lots of working class and poor people from which their vast knowledge of the subject originates.


        • Mike T says:

          Right, my main point here is not that I expect everyone to agree with libertarian principles, but to at least bring better game. It baffles me to no end how someone can logically draw the following conclusion: Person A believes the state should not administer ‘x’; therefore, Person A opposes ‘x’.

          • Bob Roddis says:

            We agree that collective action must be voluntary collective action. You only need the guns if people refuse to engage in the collective action voluntarily. Once you decide that you must use the guns to compel compliance, it’s not really collective action any longer.

            They seem to miss that one too. I’m shocked.

          • Matt Tanous says:

            “Person A believes the state should not administer ‘x’; therefore, Person A opposes ‘x’.”

            Bastiat pointed that out over 150 years ago….

            • Mike T says:

              “Bastiat pointed that out over 150 years ago….”

              >> Unfortunately there are still those clinging to this line of argument who apparently never got Bastiat’s memo. That Salon article as Exhibit A.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          “For rights to exists one must take aggressive action constantly against those who wish to deny them. ”

          Someone doesn’t understand what “aggression” means.

          Aggression (n): a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master

          Defensive violence is not aggression. SMH.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      According to commies and fascists, if you’re not a commie, you’re a fascist, and if you’re not a fascist, you’re a commie.

  3. CasualReader says:

    I may be a little thick but I don’t see how DeLong’s explanation addresses Cochrane’s argument.

    Cochrane: Money has to come from somewhere. If the government borrows a dollar from you, that is a dollar that you do not spend nor lend.

    DeLong: Beverly borrows money from Carol and now Beverly spends it (hiring Alice, etc.) Right, but that’s not what Cochrane says. He’s not saying the borrower (Government/Beverly) won’t spend it, he is saying the lender (You/Carol) is the one not spending it.

    I’m not saying DeLong’s conclusion are wrong, though I doubt it because I also fail to see how the introduction of credit in the little Alice/Carol/Beverly economy contradicts Cochrane’s assertion. Yes, you can do a lot of wonderful things on credit, yet the money you lend you won’t be able to lend it again.

    But what I say is he is is misconstruing Cochrane’s argument.

  4. Blackadder says:

    I liked DeLong’s example, but I felt like Deborah could’ve played a larger role.

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