30 Dec 2013


Bitcoin, David R. Henderson, Economics, Krugman, Potpourri, Scott Sumner, Shameless Self-Promotion 12 Comments

==> I am going to be at the First Annual “Save Long Island” Forum in mid-January. If you buy your tickets in 2013, they are 50% off. I will be debating “Money Masters”‘ Bill Still Friday night, and there are lots of interesting speakers/performers.

==> Tucker talks teetotalling in a tux.

==> The NSA really is doing its best to ensure that no terrorist ever again attacks us for our freedom.

==> On Facebook all the h8ers picked apart various entries in this compilation, but hopefully at least some of these moments of compassion trumping violence are real.

==> John Carney has some Christmas fun at my expense (as well as other econ bloggers).

==> And you guys wonder why I associate with Gene Callahan? Because sometimes he attacks Brad DeLong, not just Rothbard.

==> A great point by David R. Henderson on how redistributionists never want to go beyond US borders.

==> Don’t get me wrong, this lady’s tweet was stupid as well as racist, but oh man–can you imagine your whole career collapsing, with the world watching, while you were blissfully unaware on a flight? As one who often engages in deadpan jokes, these cases (like the Duck Dynasty guy) always make me uneasy.

==> I have no inside info on this entrepreneurship program in Africa, but I told the guy I’d pass along the info.

==> I realize I’m biased, but I thought this was a pretty good zinger I had against Scott Sumner.

==> Glenn Jacobs (“Kane”) has reservations about Bitcoin. You have no idea how much the cool-kid libertarians want to convince him. (I know because they hang out with me, sort of like when the cool kids in high school couldn’t buy beer yet so they’d let a nerdy 21-year-old go to their parties and such.)

==> Speaking of Bitcoin skeptics, I thought this guy had a good response to one of my recent posts.

12 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Major_Freedom says:

    “A great point by David R. Henderson on how redistributionists never want to go beyond US borders.”

    The funny thing is that with welfare of the poor, “nativists” share the same beliefs as the most hardcore of individualists.

    The only difference is where they draw the line in terms of cost benefit. Nativists want giving to be limited to the costs bounded by the people living within an imaginary line on the dirt dictated by past wars. Individualists on the other hand want giving to be limited to the costs bounded by the individuals living on their own private property.

    It’s rather awkward for nativists to guilt trip the individualists and accuse them of being heartless towards the poor just because they want to set the benefits and costs in accordance with private property boundaries. It’s awkward because the nativists are heartless towards the poor around the world. They also don’t want to sacrifice their standard of living too much when helping the poor.

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

      It’s a great point, but also it isn’t. Yeah, it’s a nice trump card to play against some people who aren’t quite willing to call for massive global communism just yet.

      On the other hand, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that for the most part, the people who favor massive redistribution policies are also the most likely to favor centralization and global government.

      I’d be careful playing this card against progressives too often. Some of them will be more than willing to call your bluff.

  2. Silas Barta says:

    About the tweet-storm, it’s kinda chilling — not only were they talking about here and firing her while she was in air incommunicado, they started using the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet!

    • Tel says:

      You will find the same people have absolutely no interest in actually doing something to solve the problem of AIDS in Africa.

  3. Tel says:

    Steve Keen talking about private debt and economic models.


    I’ve found it impossible to convince Steve that public debt is worse than private debt, because the public debt is much more resilient to deleveraging (Steve seems to think that this makes public debt better instead).

    Anyhow, I agree that we should all be watching debt levels (both private and public) a lot more closely.

    • skylien says:

      I found that one a good one as well.

      Though I think watching debt levels is only useful as long as a central bank and/or government stimulate debt creation….

  4. Tel says:

    A high quality but somewhat long-winded article from Michael Pettis about monetary policy in China.


    The most interesting thing is his approach to calculating the effect of financial repression, which is a bit of an alternative way to look at things but there are parallels with Australia, Europe and the USA. For example, in Australia we have Superannuation where a percentage of wages are kidnapped by government and pushed into approved investment plans. The Super system in Australia would certainly fall under the broad category of financial repression, but I think it also does roughly fit the Chinese model that Pettis is talking about.

    Would be interested to hear any comments on this one…

  5. Raja says:

    Doesn’t the freedom of speech give her the right to speak her mind? I mean yes, it’s hurtful, but to be crushed like that by the employer on some tweet seems a bit outrageous.

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