01 Nov 2014

Liberty Lovers Have Two Years

Big Brother, Shameless Self-Promotion 117 Comments

I realized that a lot of my recent YouTube postings have been karaoke videos. I decided to throw some red meat to the true fans.

117 Responses to “Liberty Lovers Have Two Years”

  1. Adash says:

    Thanks man.

  2. Daniel Kuehn says:

    Could you get more specific about who in government wants to control people in this way?

    Cuz if they don’t of course this connectivity and the innovation, creativity and independence it spawns is a good thing, not a bad thing, from their perspective.

    Which is just to say I agree with your point (we’re both “liberty lovers” after all)… you just kept saying “you guys” and “these guys” and I think it weakens the analysis. Most likely it’s a mix and some people won’t like these developments but many, many will. But that’s a very different scenario than your suggestion here that the whole of public life is trying to control us, or your juxtaposition of “liberty lovers” and “you guys” in government.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      1. I absolutely refuse to concede that Keynesians are “liberty lovers”. They are “authoritarian enablers”.

      David Stockman: “But ironically, the “failure of capitalism” explanation of the Great Depression is exactly what enabled the Warfare State to thrive and dominate the rest of the 20th century because it gave birth to what have become its twin handmaidens—-Keynesian economics and monetary central planning. Together, these two doctrines eroded and eventually destroyed the great policy barrier—-that is, the old-time religion of balanced budgets— that had kept America a relatively peaceful Republic until 1914.

      One of the best examples of this was is a nice paper by Daniel Kuehn on WWI and its aftermath.

      During WorldWar I federal expenditures ballooned and although the new income tax was able to partially finance the war effort, most of the financing was done through federal borrowing and by the highly accommodating monetary policy of the Federal Reserve. The role of the Federal Reserve at this time was expressed unambiguously by the New York Federal Reserve Bank Governor Benjamin Strong, who told a Congressional committee in 1921 that ‘I feel that I, or the bank at least, was their [the Treasury’s] agent and servant in those matters’ and further added that the wartime inflation caused by the low interest rates maintained by the bank were ‘inevitable, unescapable, and necessary’ for prosecuting the war (Strong, 1930)


      2. In making a presentation to “the masses” as opposed to “the remnant”, we must focus upon a very limited educational project which is getting “the masses” to understand that inflation is a purposeful government policy and that its immediate impact is ALWAYS a snatching and shifting of purchasing power, usually FROM THEM. Then we point them to the Keynesians as their primary tormentors.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        “Authoritarian enables” is better than when you told me I want the state to beat homeless people to death, I guess.

        Remind me again why Ken B gets banned and Bob Roddis indulged?

        • LK says:

          ha! The mysteries of the blogosphere, Daniel…

        • Major.Freedom says:

          Remind us how pointing out that you wanting the state to beat secessionists to death (remember your advocacy to have the federal army invade secessionist state schoolyards?), and how calling a duck a duck (Keynesianism as authority enabling) is trolling that deserves banning?

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            Well the real shocker was the prior one. Roddis is sufficiently unhinged that this one isn’t particularly surprising.

            • Major.Freedom says:

              Wait, you were the one who shocked others when you said it would be OK for the feds to murder secessionists.

              Who is unhinged again?

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                You really need to show me exactly what I said if you’re going to keep making accusations like that.

                What the hell is wrong with you people? You know it’s not normal to just run around calling people advocates of murder right? This is really anti-social/maladjusted kind of behavior.

              • Major.Freedom says:

                What is not normal is advocating for murder of secessionists…and then not remembering it


              • skylien says:

                Daniel, it would really be great if you could clarify your position on that. I was merely asking the same question from a different angle recently, but your answer was quite confusing, especially if earlier comments from you like the one MF linked are considered.


              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                skylien – you were never accusing me of advocating murder, so no you definitely WEREN’T asking the same question (which is good!). What is confusing about my answer? I definitely don’t think unilateral secession is inherently bad.

                What MF is linking to is about the U.S. specifically in which case I think it would be unconstitutional and could justify war. We have a legal procedure for changing up the component parts of the union and if you violate that I think the federal government and the several states have grounds to take action. That all depends on what constitutional violation we’re dealing with – if it means whole states, it obviously could involve war.

                You asked me about Serbia before. If there’s a human rights reason to break ties or if someone else is violating constitutional arrangements initially this is a very different case, right? As a I said – there’s nothing inherently wrong with secession. Sometimes it’s justified. We seceded from Britain in the first place for these reasons.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Maybe this will clarify things – if the federal government turns authoritarian and violates constitutional rights on a systematic basis and Richmond votes to secede, I will definitely be with them. If a bunch of Tea Partiers decide they don’t like the federal government because it spends too much money and they don’t like to pay taxes and they secede I would not support them and I’d hope my federal government sends in special forces and keeps things as tidy as possible.

              • Ben B says:

                What if the federal government is systematically violating the constitutional rights of a bunch of tea partiers? However, the tea partiers are more concerned with not paying taxes; would you still support their desire to secede?

                What if the tea partiers don’t want to pay taxes because they know that a territorial monopolist of protection services will eventually use those taxes to systematically violate their constitutional rights?

                And why does it have to be systematic? Only in government, do you have to be systematically given terrible service before you can fire someone, and on top of that he might be able to legally shoot you if you fire him without allowing him an ample amount of abuses against you.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Ben B –
                Systematic only because there are always going to be individual bad actors in any situation and you’re also going to have some disagreement and confusion over what constitutes a violation. There are legal ways for dealing with this.

                A long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object is a good standard to have for many reasons. It’s a Jeffersonian thing.

              • Major.Freedom says:

                Daniel what the hell is wrong with you?

                Murdering secessionists is OK if their own reason for seceding is not to your personal liking?

              • LK says:

                Wow, your vicious misrepresentation of Daniel’s position is impressive. Even more impressive that Bob Murphy allows you to make such vile slanders.

                No, Daniel is saying that people who rebel against a non-authoritarian, legitimate government should be stopped from breaking the law. That does not mean that they should be killed. Obviously, **non-lethal force** should be the first way police deal with them.

                It is only if they themselves use lethal violence or potential lethal violence that police or law enforcement agencies would be rightly and morally justified in responding in kind to defend themselves.

              • skylien says:


                I think that is just arbitrary.

                Who defines if something was against the constitution? The very same people that are sending the troops to stop secession? Sounds a bit biased! And a guarantee for civil war.

                And how do you know that Kosovo was treated systematically against their own constitution? Obviously Serbians think otherwise. If you look at the history you will see that this was a long struggle of Kosovo for being as independent as possible from Serbia and Serbia trying to “keep the Union together”. And those tensions led to civil war! And of course all cruel stuff that goes along with it!

                I am not sure but don’t you see that people in the US are obviously not the same opinion on whether the current government systematically violates their constitutional rights now or not? A country that subjugates a certain group of people will always send troops to stop secession and will always claim it is against their constitution that they want to secede (and their state courts obviously will always back them in this)! In the end what it comes down to on this question is that you just think that it is your opinion that finally counts. Period.

                If you are the in mood, they can secede. If you feel they should not, they have to stay no matter if this means war.

              • skylien says:

                To make a 100% clear what I mean. The essence of what you are saying is:

                You disagree to disagree!

                The logical consequence of which is either successful submission of one side or war.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                skylien –
                Yep, I offered an answer but no promise that everyone would always be in agreement. If you’re looking for me to guarantee that I can’t. That’s part of why this world is so violent – people ALWAYS disagree on this stuff and that’s nothing unique to the position I’m offering. That’s why it’s important to have peaceful, democratic institution for dispute settlement and arbitration.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                That “yep” was to your first comment, not your second. It’s a big “nope” to your second comment. Disagreement is natural and good and not a cause for war.

              • skylien says:


                To make clear what I mean with my second comment, I want to spell out two kinds of disagreements:

                There is disagreement which cannot be resolved except by violence or the threat of violence. E.g. If I think I should be allowed to steal your money, and you are obviously against it then there is no way to settle this disagreement except violence or the threat thereof. It is impossible to agree to disagree here and just walk away. The guilty party would of course be me. I would not have you steal my money either but I somehow think it was ok for me to take yours…

                Then there is disagreement which must not (but of course can be) resolved through force. The question which car to buy for example, I want the red one and you the blue one. If we stick to our opinion we can still just agree to disagree and leave it at that and each one has to buy his own car. No harm done. It is only these kinds of disagreements that we can settle peacefully. But if one side is determined to have his way then yes even this can be settled through force.

                What kind of disagreement is it how a government should be run, how high taxes should be etc? Why would it be necessary for you to attack Texas if they want to go their own way? It is a non-sequitur to request e.g. that the rest of the US is actually treating them badly so that they can leave. This disagreement is clearly like number 2. So it should be peaceful. But to me it seems that for arbitrary reasons you would still resolve it unnecessarily through force, which is why I said you are for disagreeing to disagree, although I need to add, it is possible in this case to agree to disagree.

                If people cannot find common ground how a country should be organized (which is necessary on a basic level) then obviously both sides should just walk away and do it their own way. If you truly want to have less violence in the world then you should let Texas go (if they wanted to) (Also I want to add that to keep it simple, they should not be doing it for slavery or other obviously despicable things). But why making war over the height of taxes? Both sides are entitled to an opinion. No side should force the other side. That is where I say. Let each side do as they please, where possible. Period.

              • skylien says:

                Sorry this:
                “Then there is disagreement which must not (but of course can be) resolved through force”

                should of course be:
                “Then there is disagreement which has not to be (but of course can be) resolved through force. “

              • skylien says:

                And so the discussion ends with Daniel in mid air, again. But I am used to it now, that trying to get a discussion further is really hard with him. But at least I understand his standpoint now, which is to be against the right of selfdetermination but for everyones right of Daniel-determines-it-for-you. Although I guess he doesn’t even realize that.

              • Major.Freedom says:


                “Wow, your vicious misrepresentation of Daniel’s position is impressive. Even more impressive that Bob Murphy allows you to make such vile slanders.”

                I didn’t slander anybody. I quoted Daniel.

                You can spin and distort it any way you want, but it’s in black and white.

                Saying they “should be stopped” means killing them if they continue on with seceding and defending themselves from any aggression from any federal agent who fallaciously believes enforcing state laws are morally justified. This is especially true for laws enacted by aggressive force by people long since dead, and whose unjustified contract died with them.

                Nice try silencing the truth.

            • Razer says:

              Says the guy who called for secessionists to have their heads blown off by high explosives.

              • skylien says:

                The sad thing is that Daniel doesn’t see that it is completely unnecessary violence he calls for. I’ll wait that day until Daniel or someone else explain why it is worth fighting a war over a irreconcilable difference of opinion (like the height of taxes or whatever) among different parties which could be settled easily peacefully by just going separate ways.

              • skylien says:


                However in Daniel’s defense. He isn’t calling for shooting secessionists for the fun of it. He, and I believe him in this, wants to do that to actually reduce violence in the world but then the Onus is on him to show how shooting secessionists actually achieves that.

                Additionally he would need to answer why people cannot have the right for self-determination (I learned in school that after WW1 especially the US pushed for the right of self-determination to from new countries, I only learned later how arbitrary and selectively this was actually done). It is a non-sequitur to give them this right only if they are mistreated…

        • Bob Roddis says:

          Stockman applifies my favorite themes and speaks at The Night of Clarity. Let’s ban him too.

          • Bob Roddis says:

            That should be “amplifies”.

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            Stockman never said I wanted the government to murder homeless people. You are crackpot, plain and simple.

            • Bob Murphy says:

              OK guys let’s break it up and go back to your respective corners. (Boxing analogy, not little kid timeout analogy.)

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Yep. Good clean fight wasn’t it. Roddis and MF call people authoritarianism and murder supporters. Daniel says they shouldn’t say that. It’s pretty even, right? Back to your corners!

              • Bob Murphy says:

                Daniel, I was responding to you calling him a crackpot. Odd that your self-serving rendition of events left that part out.

              • Bala says:

                No, Daniel. Roddis was just saying that Keynesians (not particular individuals) are “authoritarian enablers”. What he is saying is that any other description of a Keynesian is a contradiction and that this is the only description consistent with Keynesian beliefs, unless of course one accepts the concept of blackwhite as non-contradictory.

                There is no ad hominem in that statement of Roddis’. Saying that someone’s ideas enable someone else’s authoritarian behaviour is not ad hominem unlike calling someone a crackpot. It is a logical inference drawn through deductive reasoning starting from premises.

      • LK says:

        “that is, the old-time religion of balanced budgets— that had kept America a relatively peaceful Republic until 1914.”

        A relatively peaceful Republic?? Perhaps all these wars and interventions slipped your mind:

        American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)
        Northwest Indian War (1785–1793)
        Whiskey Rebellion (1791–1794)
        Quasi-War (1798–1800)
        First Barbary War (1801–1805)
        Tecumseh’s War (1811)
        War of 1812
        Creek War (1813–1814)
        Second Barbary War (1815)
        First Seminole War (1817–1818)
        Arikara War (1823)
        Winnebago War (1827)
        First Sumatran expedition (1832)
        Black Hawk War (1832)
        Second Seminole War (1835–1842)
        Second Sumatran expedition (1838)
        Patriot War (1838)
        Mexican–American War (1846–1848)
        Cayuse War (1847–1855)
        Apache Wars (1851–1900)
        Puget Sound War (1855–1856)
        Rogue River Wars (1855–1856)
        Third Seminole War (1855–1858)
        Yakima War (1855–1858)
        Second Opium War (1856–1860)
        Utah War (1857–1858)
        Navajo Wars (1858–1866)
        First and Second Cortina War (1859–1861)
        Paiute War (1860)
        Reform War (1860)
        American Civil War (1861–1865)
        Dakota War of 1862 (1862)
        Colorado War (1863–1865)
        Snake War (1864–1868)
        Red Cloud’s War (1866–1868)
        Comanche Campaign (1867–1875)
        Modoc War (1872–1873)
        Red River War (1874–1875)
        Las Cuevas War (1875)
        Great Sioux War of 1876 (1876–1877)
        Nez Perce War (1877)
        Bannock War (1878)
        Cheyenne War (1878–1879)
        Sheepeater Indian War (1879)
        White River War (1879–1880)
        Pine Ridge Campaign (1890–1891)
        Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii (1893)
        Second Samoan Civil War (1898–1899)
        Spanish–American War (1898)
        Philippine–American War (1899–1902)
        Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901)

        Looks like “balanced budgets” really put a tight lid on wars!! hahaha

        • John says:

          I don’t want to pile on here, and obviously I’m not sophisticated about economics. But I do know if we are going to blame Keynesians for the welfare state, we have to give them credit for the things the welfare state has accomplished. And that really is an awful lot. Dignity for the elderly instead of dying on the street, which they were during the Depression and before. Medical care for the elderly. The amelioration of desperate poverty. Help when a person loses a job, often through no fault of their own. I understand the argument that really all these things are bad in the long run, but I myself find the complete lack of interest in the at least partial virtues of some of these results a little baffling.

          • Cosmo Kramer says:

            Not one libertarian would agree with how you framed the subject.

            First, you completely ignore what would happen ceteris paribus. You rely entirely on a correlation or post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

            Yes many died during the depression. Nothing like slaughtering millions of hogs when people are starving, no? And artificial price floors really help those with little to no income, no?

            Come on.

            At any time all government can do is redistribute wealth and labor. It doesn’t summon new goods and services into existence. By spending money into existence, the government adds demand against that (in that point of time) fixed supply. This robs existing money holders of a lower price. It reduces the opportunities of those in favor of redistributing it elsewhere.

            Not so black and white.


            • John says:

              I don’t really understand this counter-argument. If what you are saying is the Depression wouldn’t have happened in a Libertarian world, or people wouldn’t be desperately poor in a Libertarian world, that strikes me as a variant of, “in the long run, government efforts to save people don’t help them.” I get that. I think there is essentially no evidence to support it, but I don’t know it’s false either. But it seems to me that to the desperately poor, or to the child laborer, or to the grandmother on the street, these arguments would seem a lot like the questions put to the blind man in the Bible, to which the response would be (to carry the analogy), “whether Keynsianism is bad or good, I know not. I only know that I was hungry and now can eat.”

              In short, to call Keynsians some sort of authoritarians who don’t care about the individual I do think ignores what the welfare state, even if in the end a terrible idea, has accomplished and in any event is probably unfair to the motives of those who constructed it.

              • Ben B says:

                Why don’t you look up what a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is, first?

              • John says:

                Because of my work I was familiar with that concept already. If there is some way in which food given to the hungry is not the cause of their eating, I don’t know what it would be. Likewise if there is some way that rules against child labor don’t prevent it (although perhaps it might stop for other reasons absent the rules, but hardly suggests the rules don’t stop it first) I again don”t know what that would be, I don’t think invoking that particular logical fallacy is responsive to my point.

              • integral says:

                John, the way you framed your comments suggests that you’re still not quite clear on what the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is.

                Lets say that in 1990, there was 0 child labor in denmark. Then, denmark instituted an anti-child labor law.
                Did the anti-child labor law cause there to be no child labor in denmark in 1991?

                As for food being given to the hungry, that’s more or less the opposite of what the government farming-interventions did. (Those actually destroyed food before it was put into the hands of the hungry.)

                That’s why that fallacy is completely responsive to your point.

              • Scott D says:


                Medicare helping the poor.

                “Finkelstein estimates that the introduction of Medicare was associated with a 23 percent increase in total hospital expenditures (for all ages) between 1965 and 1970, with even larger effects if her analysis is extended through 1975. Extrapolating from these estimates, Finkelstein speculates that the overall spread of health insurance between 1950 and 1990 may be able to explain at least 40 percent of that period’s dramatic rise in real per capita health spending.”

                Welfare helping the poor.

                “Since 1950, the number of (official) poor as a percentage of population was approximately 30%. From then until 1968, the figure dropped steadily, to about 13%. But then, right in the heart of the Great Society years, when more money than ever was being spent to decrease poverty even faster, the trend line flattened. After ten more years marked by ever-increasing outlays, the percentage of poor in our population had dropped only to 11%. Two years later, in 1980, it was back up to 13% again. The more we spent, the less progress we made.”

              • John says:

                Okay, now I get the point. It sounds like you’re saying child labor did not really exist in any significant degree before anti child labor laws so they are not the cause of child labor stopping, and government essentially affirmatively caused the problems with food and shelter during the Depression so it couldn’t be the cause of helping people withstand those problems.

                This strikes me as a question of disagreement about the central facts, not a logical fallacy. If the facts were as you suggest, then my comments wouldn’t really suffer from a logical fallacy exactly. They would just be misguided because based on incorrect facts.

                I don’t think the facts are as you suggest. Nor do the vast majority of the world’s historians, legal historians, and economists. However, I am not an expert on the history of this period, and cannot say for certain. I will note that it seems to me from my limited experience that many Libetarian claims tend to rely on revisionist historical positions that are considered extremely heterodox and that without taking these positions it becomes more difficult to defend Libetarian positions.

              • Dan says:

                “I will note that it seems to me from my limited experience that many Libetarian claims tend to rely on revisionist historical positions that are considered extremely heterodox and that without taking these positions it becomes more difficult to defend Libetarian positions.”

                I will note that you seem to develop your opinions on libertarianism (I’m not sure why you always capitalize that word) without taking the time to study it. It’s fine if you don’t want to read the literature, as studying political philosophy can be boring to some, but you clearly have had enough time to read it considering how much time you’ve spent commenting on this blog. So, it also seems to me that you aren’t really interested in learning about libertarianism, at least if it requires actual study, but you do like repeatedly reminding us that we are in the minority as if that is some sort of revelation to any of us.

              • Ben B says:

                The facts are that the government doesn’t create wealth, and that which truly removed children from the division of labor and into educational endeavors was the accumulation of wealth and the increase in real wages.

                It’s easier to send your kids to school instead of the coal mines when you don’t have to worry about them starving to death. And it’s easier for the government to send your kids to school when they have the ability to distribute a relatively large portion of society’s wealth.

                Thus, it makes no sense to say that the government abolished child labor (without also eliminating all of the benefits, such as not starving to death) simply by decreeing a law against it. And it certainly isn’t helpful when the government of a poor nation helps keep families in poverty by eliminating potential income.

                Perhaps it’s possible to imagine a libertarian world where individuals with higher real wages continue to send their children into the division of labor, and so what if they do? Why is this necessarily bad in itself? Can children not learn anything from participating in the DOL? Why can’t children do both? Why can’t you peacefully convince families of the greater benefits involved when children dedicate most of their time to education? Sounds like an entrepreneurial opportunity!

                It’s also highly likely that a libertarian society (most likely marked by low time preferences) would already understand the benefits of sacrificing unskilled labor now for skilled labor in the future.

              • Ben B says:

                So yes, you are commiting a logical fallacy: The government created a law against child labor, and then there was no child labor; therefore, the abolishment of child labor must have been a result of the new government law.

                We can both agree on these facts, while simultaneously coming to different conclusions. Actually, I wouldn’t make any conclusion based on these two facts alone, because then I would be making a fallacious argument, and also one that doesn’t mesh with economic theory.

              • John says:

                I think any economic theory would predict that as long as there is poverty there will be child labor, 15 hour work days etc, absent some authority stoping it. I will not respond to the question, “why is to so bad to have children in the labor force” because I think asking that question at all suggests so greta a moral, not economic divide that there’s no point in discussing it further.

                I assume there will be poverty in a libertarian state. Therefore businesses will use that poverty to lower their costs by employing child labor, indentured service etc. That govnment regulation prevents these these things, not market forces — well, I guess on that one we have to agree to disagree — but all I can say is in a libertarian Austrian market, there will be poverty because there is always poverty, and where there is the kind of poverty that must exist in Ancapistan, people will do anything they have to do. Unless an authority steps in to prevent certain abuses those abuses will occur. I’m not sure there’s a lot of real question about that.

                By the way, although it is not really relevant to the discussion, I have been doing my reading. There’s a diffence between being unfamiliar with ideas and arguments and not being persuaded by them yet.

              • Scott D says:

                “I will not respond to the question, “why is to so bad to have children in the labor force” because I think asking that question at all suggests so greta a moral, not economic divide that there’s no point in discussing it further.”

                John, I think you’re having a knee-jerk reaction, picturing suffering children working in coal mines. I could easily imagine having a twelve-year-old shadowing me right now in my job as application developer. He or she would be learning how to design, build and manipulate databases, how to write and debug code and how to design analytics and create reports. Only an idiot or a dedicated statist would frame this kind of arrangement as a form of child abuse or exploitation.

                In fact, I WISH that an opportunity like that had existed for me when I was twelve. I could have skipped over being eternally bored in high school (earning straight A’s for minimal effort). I could have gotten started in my career a lot sooner.

              • skylien says:

                John, do you like children rather on the street starving to death?

                I always wonder what people think that children who actually would rather chose to go working into a coal-mine than something else would do instead, playing X-Box? I mean I guess you are actually old enough to work in a mine. Why do you think you did not chose to fly to some 3rd world country and work in mine without basically any safety-standards? It is not forbidden for you to do so.

                What is funny is, that I grew up on a farm. And you know what? I had to work as a child. And I did not got paid, nor did anyone ask. My “evil” parents just said, do this… And nobody put them in jail either.

              • skylien says:

                Taking opportunities away does not make life better for anyone, that is a simple fact.

              • John says:

                Well, I guess in the end I just think these are profoundly unrealistic views of the realities of child labor. I would not expect any developed society today to sanction it and I don’t think any do. But I recognize there is a disagreement here. I assume the same would be true of many employer practices outlawed in the 20th century, which I would probably consider properly illegal but which in a libertarian world would be permitted. Perhaps a world like that would be “better” in some way, but it’s hard for me to see how it wouldn’t be crueler. Maybe too cruel for me.

              • Ben B says:

                Yeah, they are “unrealistic” because they are outlawed by the state.

                And we wouldn’t want the children escaping the indoctrination factories and into the cruel world of the division of labor. I can’t believe we even let adults work!

                But John, if you don’t like it, then you can always leave and become a misanthrope, and go live in the woods. And they say libertarians hate society!

              • skylien says:


                It really can’t get possibly any more unsubstantial than what you are ‘arguing’.

              • Harold says:

                When it comes to children the market is a failure. The child pays the price for the parents’ choices. How can this be a free market?

                The child must do what it is told by someone. The only question is whether this is the parents or someone else.

                Economic theory can explain why child labor laws can improve the situation. Forcing the parents to send the children to school may flip the economy from a large family / low education / low earning model to a small family / high education / high earning one.

              • Ben B says:


                Please clarify what you mean. If “the child pays the price for the parents’ choices”, and thus, “this can’t be a free market”, then how can almost all capitalist production be considered a free market? Does the worker not “pay the price” for the decisions of the capitalist-entrepreneur? Free markets do not preclude hierarchies.

                Yes, the child must be told what to do by someone, and even though you seem like a smart guy, I don’t want you telling my child what to do, and especially not via coercion.

                Again, labor laws do not put food on the plate. Labor laws will simply turn large family / low education / low income models into small family / lower education / lower income ones.

                Before labor laws, did wealthy families send their kids to school or to the coal mines? It’s not labor laws that change the “model” of the family; it’s increases in real wages and other income.

              • Scott D says:


                Since you brought up compulsory education, I thought I would share something that would something surprising and inspiring:


              • Scott D says:

                Hmm, either I need better education or more practice on the backspace key…

              • Harold says:

                ” If “the child pays the price for the parents’ choices”, and thus, “this can’t be a free market”, then how can almost all capitalist production be considered a free market? Does the worker not “pay the price” for the decisions of the capitalist-entrepreneur? Free markets do not preclude hierarchies.”

                If one person decides for another how can it be a free market? If I were to decide how you spent your money it would not be a free market. I may decide that you should spend all your wealth on my products. Similarly a parent may decide the child should spend his time working for the family. We cannot assume that the interests of the child and the parent completely align. So there is a failure in the market. I think any definition of a market will not be based on one person making choices for another.

                Scott D. I didn’t actually mention compulsory education. Nonetheless, thanks for the link. Finland is a counter example where outcomes from an entirely public system are excellent.

              • Scott D says:


                You said, “Forcing the parents to send the children to school…”

                Is that not compulsory education?

              • Harold says:

                Scott D – you are correct, I did bring up compulsory education.

          • Ben B says:

            Hey John, sorry in not trying to be rude; it’s just been one of those long 15 hour work days. Shhhh….don’t tell the department of labor. No, but it was great; my employer asked me if I wanted to get some extra hours, and I agreed because I needed the extra cash and I also just like to work. I even told him that he didn’t have to pay me overtime; he laughed, and said “good, I couldn’t afford it anyways.” We both then shared a chuckle. But he did say he would buy me lunch and throw in an extra hundred dollar bonus on top of my regular pay because he really appreciated my help. Then we bro-hugged it out, grabbed each other’s hand, and started a skip that turned into one of those moves where we both jump in the air, fist pump, and yell, “Go anarchy!”. It was amazing.

        • Major.Freedom says:


          Number of people killed (numbers from same wiki page you got the list of US involved wars; blanks imply the page did not include an obvious to calculate death toll; and I used the highest estimates where estimates are included)

          Northwest Indian War (1785–1793) 2221
          Whiskey Rebellion (1791–1794) 16
          Quasi-War (1798–1800) 28
          First Barbary War (1801–1805) 835
          Tecumseh’s War (1811) 128
          War of 1812 18321
          Creek War (1813–1814) 2181
          Second Barbary War (1815) 57
          First Seminole War (1817–1818)
          Arikara War (1823)
          Winnebago War (1827) 18
          First Sumatran expedition (1832) 452
          Black Hawk War (1832) 677
          Second Seminole War (1835–1842) 1600
          Second Sumatran expedition (1838)
          Patriot War (1838) 122
          Mexican–American War (1846–1848) 29,283
          Cayuse War (1847–1855)
          Apache Wars (1851–1900)
          Puget Sound War (1855–1856)
          Rogue River Wars (1855–1856) 56
          Third Seminole War (1855–1858)
          Yakima War (1855–1858)
          Second Opium War (1856–1860)
          Utah War (1857–1858) 38
          Navajo Wars (1858–1866)
          First and Second Cortina War (1859–1861) 247
          Paiute War (1860) 80
          Reform War (1860) 318
          American Civil War (1861–1865) 625,000
          Dakota War of 1862 (1862) 1065
          Colorado War (1863–1865)
          Snake War (1864–1868) 1762
          Red Cloud’s War (1866–1868) 300
          Comanche Campaign (1867–1875)
          Modoc War (1872–1873) 213
          Red River War (1874–1875)
          Las Cuevas War (1875) 80
          Great Sioux War of 1876 (1876–1877) 780
          Nez Perce War (1877) 275
          Bannock War (1878) 30
          Cheyenne War (1878–1879)
          Sheepeater Indian War (1879)
          White River War (1879–1880) 61
          Pine Ridge Campaign (1890–1891) 325
          Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii (1893) 0
          Second Samoan Civil War (1898–1899)
          Spanish–American War (1898) 17,100
          Philippine–American War (1899–1902)
          Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901) Chinese war, US barely involved.

          Not including the Civil War and War of 1812, because both were both financed by inflation, which Keynesianism encourages, the wars listed are dwarfed in comparison to the killings post 1913 when corrected for population size.

          It is not unreasonable to say the period was RELATIVELY more peaceful, if we use deaths from conflicts as a proxy for violence in contradistinction to peace.

          But this isn’t even the most important point to consider. IF the state enforced constant fiat inflation back during the 18th and 19th centuries, then it is reasonable to argue that the death toll would have been even higher, as inflation allows states to redirect more resources towards their war making than otherwise would have been possible, such as under the constraints of gold.

          • LK says:

            The absolute numbers are lower because military technology was cruder and less advanced than the 20th century, and wars were not fought with the intensity they were by the 20th century..

            In fact, the proper way to measure relative violence is per capita death rates and frequency of wars. By these measures, the 19th century is worse than the 20th century, as shown definitively by Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011).

            • Major.Freedom says:

              Thanka for the link…

              I have to mention though…you said “Wars were not fought with the intensity they were by the 20th century.”

              That gels with Stockman’s point that with access to a printing press, the state can redirect more resources to itself thus making wars “more intense” than they otherwise would have been, controlling for technology, which admittedly would have a significant affect.

              Smaller, short lived skirmishes with fewer deaths before 1913, larger, longer live battles with more deaths after 1913.

              I am skeptical of your citation of Pinker and what you intend to argue with it. If we exclude the inflation financed Civil War and War of 1812, I suspect the per capita deaths were greater during the 20th as opposed to the 19th.

              As “shown definitively” by Niall Ferguson, in his 2006 book ‘The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West’, the 20th century was the bloodiest century in modern history. Remember, we have to include WW1 and WW2, the genocides by the USSR, Nazi Germany, and Communist China, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the genocide in Armenia by the Turks, in China by the Japanese, etc.

              Pinker’a study is over the very long term, a millennia.

              I do believe Stockman’s point stands.

              • LK says:

                You are still completely incapable of refuting the fact that per capita death rates are the proper way to measure how violent one conflict was compared with another.

                That in terms of absolute numbers “the 20th century was the bloodiest century in modern history” does not refute the reality that per capita death rates are a better measure.

              • Bob Roddis says:

                As always, you change the subject and deflect the essential point. Funny money allows and facilitates government wars so that it can finance those wars in the present without concurrently extracting taxes from the peons. The ONE THING we can ALWAYS say about funny money is that each emission is ALWAYS a transfer of purchasing power and wealth to the first recipient. DK’s paper demonstrates that US entry into WWI was facilitated by funny money.

                Further, the Keynesians are spectacularly unable to differentiate and distinguish the impact of post war budget slashing (and all-around change of direction) with alleged (and non-existent) market failure as the cause of the 1920 crisis.

              • Major.Freedom says:


                “You are still completely incapable of refuting the fact that per capita death rates are the proper way to measure how violent one conflict was compared with another.”

                One cannot refute a preference that is not objective, because it isn’t a claim refutable by objective criteria.

                Deaths per capita is not the absolute proper measure. If the world had 1000 people, and 500 people were killed in war, then I would argue that it is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous in fact, to claim that that world is “just as violent” as a world with 10 billion people where 5 billion were killed in war.

                What moron would compare absolutely smaller wars and claim they are equally violent as wars with billions killed? It doesn’t matter if world population increases. A doubling of population that is accompanied by a doubling of violence is not business as usual, but a major problem, because humans learn over time and a better proper standard would take into account learning and becoming more rational. So in my view, a better measure would not be a constant death per capita comparison, but one that adjusts for education and progression.

                At any rate, even if we go by the per capita deaths measure, per capita deaths at the hands of the US government were higher during the 20th century than during the 19th century. The US government killed more people per capita during the 20th century than during the 19th century.

                Pinker argued that over the whole world, per capita deaths have declined over the long run. I don’t care to address that as of yet because it is a different argument.

                We were talking about the US government, which is the context referred to by Stockman. You claimed the US was more violent during the 19th century. That claim is not proved correct by Pinker’s thesis.

                In addition, a slightly different comparison, as this article shows, per capita deaths due to wars were higher during the 20th century as compared to the 18th century, but only slightly.

                So to sum up, per capita deaths is not a proper measure of violence, and even if we used that improper measure, Stockman’s thesis still holds up.

              • LK says:

                “Pinker argued that over the whole world, per capita deaths have declined over the long run. I don’t care to address that as of yet because it is a different argument.”

                No, it’s a highly relevant datum which applies also to the 19th century. More evidence that you are refuted and flailing.

              • Major.Freedom says:


                “No, it’s a highly relevant datum which applies also to the 19th century.”

                No, that’s the fallacy of composition in reverse.

                You are falsely claiming that a worldwide aggregate trend over the long run, is mirrored by short run trends for specific countries.

                You’re flailing, not me. You’re completely changing the subject. You want to shoehorn in Pinker’s book when it does not apply to the specific argument being presented.

                Sufficient datum? Don’t make me laugh.

        • Bob Roddis says:

          Those folks need a big ol’ dose of the NAP.

          • LK says:

            Of course it’s too much to expect that you might admit that the idea that “balanced budgets” “kept America a relatively peaceful Republic until 1914” is rubbish, given the overwhelming evidence against it.

            But that is the kind of behaviour we’d expect from the type of person Daniel correctly describes you as here.

            • Bob Roddis says:


              Some day,


              DK and LK will finally locate that elusive market failure that justifies all of their violent interventions. Until then…..

              • LK says:

                Market failures are ubiquitous.

                The fact that people strongly resent and oppose nominal wage cuts and the failure of most wages to adjust to alleged market clearing levels to clear labour markets is a major failure of real world markets — at least under the economic theory both Austrians and neoclassicals peddle.

                Of course, you don’t understand this because you don’t understand basic economic theory.

              • Major.Freedom says:

                Government failures are unbiquitous, if we use the standard of “pure and perfect government.”

              • Tel says:

                If you look at the BLS data , there’s plenty of examples where nominal wages have fallen in the recent decade.

                Whether people resented it has not been recorded, but I’d say they resent rising prices at the supermarket, rising rents and rising electricity and fuel prices are things people seem to complain about.

                The average guy gets it about inflation, they really do.

              • Tel says:


                There’s some rental data, looks like about 3% P/A rise over the past 5 years. Certainly growing faster than median wages. I think people do notice when they see less money in their wallet because more is going out each week.

              • BobRoddis says:

                “Out of Work” by Vedder and Gallaway, page 62:

                Factory employment from the beginning of 1920 to the trough in the third quarter of 1921 fell slightly more than 30 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, a sharp drop by any standard. Similarly, industrial production fell by a like proportion. An even steeper decline occurred with respect to wholesale prices. Between the second quarter of 1920, when they peaked, to the third quarter of 1921, a period of slightly over one year, wholesale prices fell nearly 44 percent, one of the steepest decreases recorded in American history.

                The substantial fall in prices greatly exceeded the drop in money wages, so real wages rose markedly until the third quarter of 1921. It would be an overstatement, however, to characterize money wages as rigid. After all, they did fall over 19 percent from the summer of 1920 to the end of 1921.

              • LK says:

                “If you look at the BLS data , there’s plenty of examples where nominal wages have fallen in the recent decade.

                There are minor examples, sure. However, vast numbers of cases where nominal wages remain fixed, and where wages are clearly not adjusting downwards to clear labour markets when involuntary unemployment exist too: vast evidence that markets “fail” to clear as required in neoclassical and Austrian theory. But then — like roddis — you probably don’t even understand this theory, tel.

              • LK says:

                “After all, they did fall over 19 percent from the summer of 1920 to the end of 1921.”

                The only example you can cite of a significant drop in nominal wages is from.. 94 years ago! hahaha

              • Major.Freedom says:


                “The only example you can cite of a significant drop in nominal wages is from.. 94 years ago! hahaha”

                The last time inflation from the central bank was sufficiently modest to allow market forces to reduce wage rates was 94 years ago. LOL! HAHAHAHA

              • LK says:

                No, M_F the main cause of nominal wage rigidity is people’s opposition to wage cuts, and you don’t need a central bank for that. In fact, the wage movements 1916-1921 were highly anomalous EVEN for that time.

                We now know from the empirical data that downwards nominal wage rigidity was significant even by the 1890s, when the US had no central bank:

                Sundstrom, William A. 1990. “Was There a Golden Age of Flexible Wages? Evidence from Ohio Manufacturing, 1892–1910,” The Journal of Economic History 50.2: 309–320.

                Hanes, Christopher. 1993. “The Development of Nominal Wage Rigidity in the Late 19th Century,” The American Economic Review 83.4: 732–756.

              • Bob Roddis says:

                94 years ago was the last time such an “experiment” was conducted proving that the market can cure a government and funny money created crisis.

                That is why 1920, a government created crisis with the market conducting a relatively fast repricing, is always ignored, suppressed and/or distorted by the statists. IT REFUTES THE KEYNESIAN HOAX.

              • LK says:

                It’s not ignored:


                It was an anomalous recession; it was not especially short. There are no sweeping generalisations to be drawn from it.

              • Tel says:

                Just wait until Japan goes down in history as the anomalous stimulus. Yet another case that refutes Keynesian dogma.

                I know it’s a bad joke on Melbourne cup day, but Abenomics is flogging a dead horse. 🙂

              • Major.Freedom says:


                No LK the main cause of nominal wage rigidity is inflation, minimum wage laws, welfare, and all other state interventions designed to prevent wage rates from falling.

                If the same interventions took place in commodity prices, they too would be as rigid.

                If wage earners had to choose between starving to death, or a lower wage rate, they’d overwhelmingly choose a lower wage rate.

                If firms had to choose between profits, or no profits or lower profits or losses, they’d overwhelmingly choose profits.

                Empirical data is data that is influenced by state intervention, so you can’t claim interventions have zero effect.

            • Major.Freedom says:

              But it isn’t rubbish. You actually have not substantiated your claim. In fact, the wars you cited above are not enough to make the 19th century as bloody on a relative basis as the 20th.

              • LK says:

                That is because you are too lazy to bother looking at Pinker’s book, or any of the good reviews of it online

              • Major.Freedom says:

                Pinker’s thesis does not refute the argument here that concerns the US only.

              • LK says:

                no, Pinker’s thesis applies to the US.

              • Major.Freedom says:

                No it does not.

  3. Tel says:

    It sort of follows from the tone of your talk:

    More recently, when bankers were at the verge of swallowing poison of their own making, they convinced members of Congress and the White House that this was a societal problem, thus it would be just and fair to rescue the banks from economic collapse because it would help the common man. Amazingly the populace accepted such drivel and Washington assisted them with massive bailouts. Such wealth transfers from the middle class to the rich are unparalleled in history.

    It is instructive that the banking industry was able to convince many that the difficulties were actually systemic problems. The beauty of this positioning is that it absolved the banks from most of the blame for the catastrophe. Further, it is important to notice that the bankers were able to push most of the flotsam and jetsam onto Lehman Brothers alone, similar to their interpretation of the events of 2001-2002. By focusing exclusively on Lehman Brothers, the spokesmen for the banks could assert that the industry’s contribution to the 2008 downfall was limited to a few bad apples at this one institution.


  4. David R. Henderson says:

    Bob, When you talk about the inevitable crash, that makes me think that we have another bet. I don’t think there will be a big crash in the next 2 years. Do you want to formulate a bet?

    • Ben J says:


      Like David R. Henderson I’d also be willing to engage in a bet. I understand that I am anonymous, and he is not, so you don’t have an incentive to do so in my case – and that is totally fair enough. So at the very least consider this a kind of encouragement for you to engage in another bet with David – I think it would help to clarify your views for your readers (of which I am one).

    • Keshav Srinivasan says:

      Bob, I’d be interested as well in knowing whether you would take this bet. I too find it unlikely that there will be a major crash in the near future, so it would be impressive if you made this bet and were vindicated.

    • Major.Freedom says:

      I have an offer of a bet, if Bob doesn’t take yours up:

      The bet from me is this: I bet that the economy has been and is booming unsustainably in the real physical coordination sense, caused by the government, and will crash at some time in the future, when either the central bank refuses to continue accelerating the inflation to save the currency, which leads to a “tight money caused the crash” type crash at some point in the future, or if the central bank continues to fight against reality by belligerently accelerating the inflation, which leads to currency collapse at some point in the future.

      I’ll bet you…my life’s savings. In fact, I’ll bet anyone my life’s savings. If I lose, my wealth is yours.

      If I win, I want no wealth, and no money. Just a polite thank you would be fine.

      If you won’t take this bet because I can never be proved wrong, then all I will say is that guessing what I will eat tomorrow for lunch and when I will eat lunch will never prove your theory correct.

      So maybe let’s just flip a coin, heads I win, tails you lose.

      • Ben J says:


        There is an important distinction between events that support a theory and events that prove theories false. It shows an interesting epistemological gap between our competing theories that you won’t bet on one type of event and complain that we won’t bet on the other. At least Bob has been willing to put his money where his mouth is.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      David R. Henderson, it would be difficult for me to think of a more foolish plan than betting with you like that again. If I won, nothing would happen (besides you paying me); no outsider would talk much about a side bet between friends regarding their personal judgments on the fortunes of the US economy.

      If I lost, Krugman and DeLong would link to it and proclaim that once again Austrian business cycle theory had lost to Keynesianism.

      So the only time I would publicly wager another economist, is if it’s against a true ideological opponent, so that I don’t fall in a “heads I lose, tails they ignore the bet” situation.

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        Bob, why don’t you bet against Karl Smith, Daniel Kuehn, or Noah Smith? I’d imagine that at least one of them would agree to such a bet with you. Scott Sumner might even agree.

  5. Bob Roddis says:

    DON BOUDREAUX: Quotation of the day … is from page 197 of Michael Huemer’s impressive 2013 book, The Problem of Political Authority (emphases original):

    A related form of utopianism consists of suspending general assumptions about human nature when considering agents of the state. Defenders of government are often keen to point out the harms that might result from the widespread greed and selfishness of mankind in the absence of a government able to restrain our worst excesses. Yet they seldom pause to consider what might result from the very same greed and selfishness in the presence of government, on the assumption that governments are equally prone to those very failings. It is not that statists have some account of why government employees are more virtuous than average people. Nor do they have some plan for MAKING that be the case. Rather, it seems simply to have never occurred to most statists to apply realistic assumptions about human nature to the government itself. The state is treated as if it stood above the empirical human world, transcending not only the moral constraints but also the psychological forces that apply to individual human beings.

    In short, the typical statist case for government intervention depends upon the occurrence of miracles. It’s very unscientific and not at all reality-based. It’s utopian in the worst way.

    Be Sociable, Share!


    • Major.Freedom says:

      People are bad so we need a government made up of people are bad so we need a government made up of people are bad

    • LK says:

      It is not “widespread greed and selfishness ” that is the main cause of economic problems: but deleterious macroeconomic effects from individual micro decisions. As for “widespread greed and selfishness ” in fact governments are often kept to a higher standard than private businesses, since private firms’ activities are often shrouded in secrecy, whereas governments’ tend to be much more open.

      • Major.Freedom says:

        “but deleterious macroeconomic effects from individual micro decisions.”

        All political decisions, all decisions by statesmen, are individual micro decisions.

        Yes, you’re right, the main cause of economic problems are the micro decisions by the state that have deleterious macro effects.

        Governments are not kept to a higher standard than private firms. Private firms are not permitted to initiate force against other people’s persons and property. States are.

        Governments are far more secret than private firms. It is not even close.

        Reality is completely opposite to your ideology.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        “but deleterious macroeconomic effects from individual micro decisions.”

        There are no such effects, It is all a massive hoax. Speaking of people who believe in unicorns……

        • LK says:

          If there were no deleterious macroeconomic phenomena we would see no recessions, no debt deflations, etc. etc.

          • Tel says:

            He said “from individual micro decisions”, but you changed the rules.

            • LK says:

              No, I did not, tel, debt deflations are unintended deleterious macroeconomic phenomena arising from individual micro decisions, such as individual acts of paying down debt, selling assets, and reducing prices.

              [Edited for rudeness.–RPM]

              • Bob Roddis says:

                Except that “debt deflation” is caused by FRB, central banking and/or Keynesian policies which distort economic calculation. It will not tend happen on the free market.

                Everybody sing……

                ‘Round and ‘round we go.

                ‘Round and ‘round we go.

                ‘Round and ‘round we go.


              • Major.Freedom says:

                Debt inflation and deflation are deleterious micro decisions.

                There is no macro separate from micro.

                Every phenomena is micro phenomena. The centers of economic activity are in individuals.

              • Tel says:

                MF, that’s not correct.

                Some decisions are made at the micro level, while other decisions come from central government. The economic principles are the same, but it matters where the decision is made.

                Abenomics in Japan was not caused by lots of micro decisions, it has been imposed by force from above.

                It may go on to influence micro decisions, but that is still central planning being imposed slightly indirectly on people who would otherwise be free to make different choices.

                The original phrase that LK is trying to wriggle out of is “deleterious macroeconomic effects from individual micro decisions.”

                LK simply cannot find an example of market failure that was caused by micro decisions. The so called “Tragedy of Thrift” is a crock. There’s no evidence of such a thing happening.

              • LK says:

                “Tragedy of Thrift”

                That you cannot even get the name right (it’s “paradox of thrift”) speaks volumes about how little you know about economics, tel.

              • Major.Freedom says:


                All government activity is “micro” activity.

                Increasing the money supply and volume of spending so that prices rise 2% per year? That is a micro action of the government printing money and buying specific securities from specific people at specific times and at specific places.

                If all that was required of an action to make it a macro action is that it have affects on aggregated statistics, then all action is macro action, because all action has some positive effect on the total, however small.

                There is in fact no such thing as macro phenomena. What people are referring to when they believe they’re thinking about macro information, is a subjective act of the mind that understands a collection of micro events as a single thought.

                Government is made up of individual people. Those individuals in the government who act in a governmental capacity are always and everywhere acting in a micro capacity. They are interacting directly with specific individuals at specific times and specific places.

                The government is not a “force from above.” They are a force from beside everyone else. Their force is not defensive but aggressive, but being an aggressor does not turn a person’s actions or their persons into “above” anyone else. Not even giving orders makes it “from above”.

                All action is individual action.

                The difference between government action and private action is not that one is from above and the other below. That is a left over habit of thought from religion. No, one is coercive and the other is voluntary.

                Obama quite possibly may have a smelly asshole, morning breathe, a problem with understanding languages of a certain century, and sucks at checkers. He isn’t “from above.” Gullible people and power seeking people just do what he says, and for those who dissent, they get armed thugs come crashing through the doors of their homes. Imagine civilians barging through the White house with guns. To statists, the former is normal and the latter is aggression.

                As for the paradox of thrift, I agree with you. It is a crock.

                The paradox of thrift claims that people are by definition, “from above”, worse off if they voluntarily act according to their own choices, and would be better off if some armed thugs made choices for them.

                Statists percieve this as ” no, the state isn’t making decisions for you when they inflate and spend, they are just replacing your drop in spending, with spending of their own.”

                They don’t get that this requires and implies some individuals, whom they call government, to have their choices replace other people’s choices by force, to get them to use their own property in ways they otherwise would not have done.

                In the case of inflation and spending from government ALLEGEDLY being solely a case of some people’s spending increasing to replace other people’s drop in spending, what this in fact entails is aggression in the area of money production and distribution. The state initiates force to monopolize money, then forces people to pay taxes in dollars, and only then, only after this aggression and replacing of people’s choices by force, does the state then inflate and spend to “replace” declines in other people’s spending.

                The paradox of thrift is the absurd notion that you and I are worse off by DEFINITION if you voluntarily decide to reduce your spending money on my products, and I voluntarily decide to reduce my spending on your products.

                The paradox of thrift fallaciously claims that our choices don’t even matter. That we can only make ourselves better off if we both spend money now instead of later on.

                The paradox of thrift was designed by state intellectuals who likely don’t even realize that the reason such a doctrine is welcomed by their masters, is that it is solely in the interests of the thugs, the money issuers and taxers. Money that isn’t spent is money that cannot be taxed as easily. And dollars that are not spent means dollars become less “marketable”, and the central counterfeiter’s interests would be made worse off.

              • Harold says:

                What does Mises have to say?
                “Human action is one of the agencies bringing about change. It is an
                element of cosmic activity and becoming. Therefore it is a legitimate object of scientific investigation. As—at least under present conditions—it cannot be traced back to its causes, it must be considered as an ultimate given and
                must be studied as such.”

                Not sure what he means by “cosmic activity and becoming”, but moving on.

                So he thinks things should be considered as “ultimate givens” if their function cannot at present be tracked back to its causes.

                The functions of the brain cannot yet (and possibly never will) be explained by reference to the functioning of cells. Yet it is possible that the function of the brain and mind IS the result of the functioning of cells. Thus the term “ultimate given” is a bit of a misnomer, and perhaps should be “practical given” -i.e. as Mises says, since we cannot fully explain it by reference to its parts, we must treat it as a given.

                Individual humans gather together an interact with each other in an analogous way. Whilst we can say with reasonable confidence that the emerging behaviours are the result of individual actions, we cannot fully explain the total behaviour in terms of the individual, andy more than we can explain the working of the mind by functioning of cells. Thus, the situation is much like the origin of individual action. We must treat the emergent behaviours as a “practical given.” Thus the existence of “macro” phenomena is not a contradiction of everything being caused by individual action.

    • Harold says:

      “Yet they seldom pause to consider what might result from the very same greed and selfishness in the presence of government, on the assumption that governments are equally prone to those very failings”

      I don’t agree. I think there is a lot of attention paid to providing checks against the power of the state. People are very aware that Govt can become totalitarian.

      • Major.Freedom says:

        Harold’s right. A lot means seldom.

        The government being its own final judge, lawmaker, and enforcer of laws, is something serious scholars have determined is a “check” on government power.

        • Scott D says:

          I mean, just look around you. No one has tried to clone Hitler yet, and the Jews seem to be doing just fine, so the system is working. If it weren’t, government would let us know how badly government is doing and government would stop government from getting out of hand.

          Yay, freedom!

          • Harold says:

            “No one has tried to clone Hitler yet”
            Not what I read in the internet!

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