17 Apr 2014


Economics, Gene Callahan, Humor, Movie Reviews, Nick Rowe, Police, Potpourri, Shameless Self-Promotion, Tom Woods 22 Comments

==> Dan Sanchez has a great review of the new Captain America movie. However, MAJOR SPOILERS. If you are borderline, I would strongly nudge you to go watch it; it was a lot better than I had hoped. Then after you watch it, read Dan’s review.

==> I was on the Power Trading Radio show recently. In the beginning we discuss my upcoming Mises Academy class, titled, “How Government Wrecks the Economy.” (Class starts next week!)

==> Jimmy Carter thinks the NSA is spying on him, but I’d have to guess his emails would be pretty boring.

==> The PhotoShop botch on this Jay Carney puff piece is hilarious. Make sure you see what happened with his kid’s pinky. (BTW, I don’t think the issue is that the Carney’s don’t actually own books. Rather, I think it’s that they wanted to have some “safe” books to cover up everything. I run into the same issue when I’m doing videos from my office with the bookshelf behind me. I have to glance over the titles to make sure there’s not something awkward there, to be discovered when I finally receive the recognition and scrutiny that I deserve in my head. Fortunately, the most radical things on my bookshelf were written by Robert P. Murphy.)

==> Matt Taibbi has some good anecdotes about the two-tiered justice system. But remember kids, we need the State to ensure that the rich don’t just buy verdicts.

==> I have stunned crowds before by explaining that leading macro models that (supposedly) guide the Fed don’t have banks in them, and now Nick Rowe points out that they don’t have land either. I never even thought of that. (Nick says this has relevance to negative real interest rates.)

==> Larken Rose has some really snappy answers for Tom Woods on a stateless society.

==> Gene Callahan offers up a defense of modest State immigration control that I will soon obliterate. But go ahead and read it now.

22 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Gamble says:

    Have any of you tried to deal directly with a bureaucrat recently? They simply refuse to talk you if you so mush as show any questioning of their “authority”.

    Check out this story from a Colorado free marketeer.

    {Then, just last month, a Department of Revenue official by the name of Kathy called to inform me I had filed my 2013 use tax the “wrong” way (even though I filed it exactly the same way as in previous years) and that I needed to go online and call the general Department of Revenue information line to sort out the matter.

    I said, “You understand that something like 95 percent of Coloradans (that estimate probably was high) don’t even pay the use tax, even though the statutes state they’re supposed to? Are you calling all 95 percent of Coloradans who don’t even pay it, or are you just hassling the people who voluntarily pay it?”

    Kathy replied, “I think our conversation is over,” and she hung up. (I have not taken further action on the matter.)}

    Entire story here. Confessions of a tax chump.

  2. Gamble says:

    Yellen is screaming from the pit, ” We need more inflation”

    David Freidman should publicly apologize for Milton’s 2% goal. Since they do not calculate in an honest fashion, 2% was reached long ago. Instead Uncle Milty gave them permission/cover to send the counterfeit press into overdrive…

    Think about it, the more they print, the more they tax, the more they control. Funny little game. Rubbish.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Pardon my language, but why the F%&K should a son have to apologize for things his father did? Gamble, that is just ridicuously off base.

  3. Major_Freedom says:

    Re: Carney house…

    Notice the communist propaganda posters on the back wall?

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

      I read some article yesterday (thought it was Washington Post but can’t find it now) that basically hand-waved the whole thing saying “Carney served as a diplomat to Russia during the 1990s so it’s only natural that he would have Russian memorabilia in his home. Everyone is making a big deal out of this for no reason!”

  4. Major_Freedom says:

    Re: Callahan…

    Nothing wrong with “closing of borders”, provided the person or people doing the closing are legitimate owners of the land.

    Unfortunately, that isn’t what Callahan has in mind. What he has in mind is non-ownet Jones pointing his guns at Smith and his guests, in order to control who Smith allows on his own land, so that Jones can create whatever his ideal population would be, while Smith’s ideal is to be squashed and overruled.

    Also, Callahan’s assessment for why the Roman empire collapsed is inaccurate.

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

    Funny, I was watching your “borders keep us IN” video yesterday, and my eyes kept being drawn to a book in the upper right corner that appears to be part of the “for Dummies” series. I was going to ask you which “for Dummies” it was but figured that would be a little too weird.

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

    “The native inhabitants of North America also suffered from an immigration problem”

    Really, Gene? A government sponsored and coordinated effort to exterminate the Indians in order to grab up territory and subsidize the railroads was just “an immigration problem?”

    • Gene Callahan says:

      ‘A government sponsored and coordinated effort to exterminate the Indians in order to grab up territory and subsidize the railroads was just “an immigration problem?”’

      Well, Matt, if dishonestly insert the word “just” in what I wrote, you are able to make it look pretty stupid, aren’t you?

      The point is, a couple of hundred years before everything you write about, the Indians *first* faced an immigration problem.

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

        Were their great problems in those couple hundred years? The problems the Indians faced was violent conflict with a society that had a completely different conceptual understanding of territory/property rights than they did, and who also were far more technologically advanced.

        I suppose you can claim that this conflict never would have happened if “immigration” didn’t, but that really isn’t how we traditionally understand immigration, is it?

        Would you say that France had an “immigration problem” in the 1940s? Could the war between the states be summarized as an “immigration problem?”

        You aren’t technically wrong, but your reasoning seems to lead to the notion that all problems are “immigration problems”

      • Tel says:

        The point is, a couple of hundred years before everything you write about, the Indians *first* faced an immigration problem.

        I’m sure they were not the first, but yes immigration was a problem for them.


        In many ways the Native Americans suffered a type of tech shock, not directly related to the number of immigrants but to what they brought. Horses were new to them, writing was new to them, guns were new, a bunch of new diseases came along. In many cases the natives did adapt, but adaptation took time. The concept of a Federal Government offering treaties and then turning perfidy and breaking the treaty was something they never did adapt to.

  7. Andrew' says:

    Say nothing of land or banks, from the other discussion:

    “Minsky stated his theories verbally, and did not build mathematical models based on them. Consequently, his theories have not been incorporated into mainstream economic models, which do not include private debt as a factor.”

    So, it is a bit rich to field complaints from mainstream apologists how Austrianism is just a poor-man’s Minsky.

  8. Gene Callahan says:

    “Also, Callahan’s assessment for why the Roman empire collapsed is inaccurate.”

    Not my assessment, that of professional historians specializing in the area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_antiquity

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Nothing in this article argues that the collapse occurred because of open borders. I see many events that could have contributed a significqnt enough degree as to warrant a necessary condition. There are many countries around the world today with relatively open borders, and it is not obvious they are collapsing late antiquity style.

      I do find it interesting however that the wiki article begins its explanation of the onset of collapse starting with Emperor Diocletean. Dioclitean, as many of us know, engaged in massive coin devaluation to finance his rule. It is reasonable to include this activity as a significant enough factor in the cause of collapse. Not the only cause for sure, but at any rate, blaming open borders is just unrealistic. If the empire was still dominant by the 3rd century and 4th century, as it was prior, the emperors would have been able to easily handle migrating babarians.

      The barbarians only took advantage of an already crumblong empire.

  9. Gene Callahan says:

    “But remember kids, we need the State to ensure that the rich don’t just buy verdicts.”

    A truth: the rich at all times and places have had an advantage in the justice system.

    Bob’s solution? Eliminate all mechanisms that might possibly constrain that advantage!

    • Reece says:

      Bob’s actual solution: Eliminate the mechanism that forces the poor to go through a monopoly system that is bought off by the rich, clearly would favor the rich even if the judge had the best intentions, and allows the rich to push much of the cost of their ridiculous lawsuits (for example, IP disagreements) onto the poor. Replace this with a system of arbitration where the arbitrator would be decided on by both sides, actually would have an incentive to make the right decision, and would understand the specifics of the case.

    • Reece says:

      Unless if you mean that because he would be getting rid of the entire current system, he would be eliminating all *current* mechanisms. But then if we were living in an anarcho-capitalist society, I could turn the table and do the same thing. “Gene’s solution? Eliminate all mechanisms that might possibly constrain that advantage!” And we would have learned absolutely nothing from that comment, because obviously you would support new mechanisms to try to limit this.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Gene Callahan wrote:

      Bob’s solution? Eliminate all mechanisms that might possibly constrain that advantage!

      This is why everyone agrees that umpires in professional sports are far worse than in the criminal justice system.

    • Dan (DD5) says:

      Yes, because they (the poor) are going to need all the advantage they can get in that crazy private justice system of his where drugs are legal.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      The state does not constrain that advantage.

    • Tel says:

      Eliminate all mechanisms that might possibly constrain that advantage!

      Can you name a specific mechanism that exists now, and constrains the advantage of wealth in the justice system, and which Bob is proposing to eliminate?

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        What about the judge being paid by the government rather than the people in the case?

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