07 Dec 2014

The Anti-Rand

Religious 18 Comments

On Facebook someone had a post that started with the premise, “If someone were to write the opposite of an Ayn Rand novel…”

So I started to make a joke, since I realized that Nya Dnar (backwards) sounded like some kind of African name. I was going to say that under that pen name, I wrote a novel about a humble man who came out of nowhere and took the world upon his shoulders.

But then I realized that story has already been written.

(Don’t get me wrong, I still made the joke, I’m just explaining the process.)

18 Responses to “The Anti-Rand”

  1. Keshav Srinivasan says:

    Bob, off topic, but have you seen Steve Landsburg’s post on the Eric Garner case?


    It’s a classic Landsburg post. He says that choking drug dealers doesn’t harm drug dealers:

    “So if you’re a street vendor, the police can’t hurt you. On the other hand, when the police go around putting people in deadly chokeholds, they’re clearly hurting someone. So the question is: Who?

    Answer: Not the vendors, but their customers. Fewer vendors means higher prices. That hurts consumers, and the sum total of that harm adds up to the harm that we see in the viral videos.”

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I’ll check it out Keshav.

      • trent steele says:

        Dr. Murphy,

        Slightly less off topic (though maybe more appropriate for your previous post – but it only occurred to me to write this after reading Mr. Srinivasan’s comment), Dr. Sumner just wrote about “Why debates over inflation are pointless.” It’s worth a read, but if I may be so bold as to direct you to my comments and his reply, I think you’ll find it a bit funny. And I know you like the funny.

        If I’m wrong, feel free (you already do, of course, so maybe “feel free-ER”) to delete this comment as irrelevant and OT.


        • Enopoletus Harding says:

          Trent, the Lord Keynes discovered that “inflation” was used to refer to price inflation from the earliest times:
          So both uses of the term “inflation” were in currency in the 19th century, with “inflation of the currency” apparently being the more common one by a nose.

          • trent steele says:

            That was a small part of the issue. Go back and re-read the post and the comments. There are also new ones that may clarify it for you.

            To sum up: Sumner is saying, “what the heck use is the concept of ‘price level’ and ‘standard-of-living’ when ‘subjective value’ and ‘productivity increases being used to increase quality and not just drive down prices’ exist! How can the State properly do its job of manipulating the value of its debts?? How can Policy Engineers properly pat themselves on the back for their abetting of this when they can’t be sure how much obfuscation they’ve accomplished?

            I suggest that when he uses the word “inflation” to describe these things he is A) wrong; and B) misses the obvious point (because his, and others’, thinking is so muddled by misuse of the term). He wants a useful measure of inflation? We have one. He wants the economy and State to accurately measure changes in production, and to adjust the money supply to accommodate them? Sound money.

            My point in commenting there was to point out that he’s so darn confused because words have meaning.

            I’ve looked at your link, and EVERY TIME he cites a case of inflation meaning a rise in prices, the quote always says “inflation of prices.” You’ve proven my point, thank you very much. If it meant what you are claiming it would just say “inflation” and MEAN “inflation of prices.” It’s as though I said “bag of peanuts” and you then tried to say that therefore the word “bag” means “sack containing peanuts.”

            Seriously, that’s the best that someone who calls themselves a “Lord” can come up with? And you regurgitated it at me?

  2. Josiah says:

    If the anti-Rand is Jesus Christ, shouldn’t that tell you something?

    • Andrew_FL says:

      About Rand or about Jesus?

      • Josiah says:

        About being a fan of both.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Who’s a fan of both, Josiah?

          • Josiah says:

            A distressingly large number of people.

        • Andrew_FL says:

          Josiah, most human beings are capable of being fans of someone without agreeing with everything they say.

          And few people you describe as “fans” of Jesus are in fact “fans” at all. They are *worshipers*.

          There’s a very important difference, for part of which I refer you to my first sentence.

          But if it causes you distress that other people like two things that you don’t think go together, your life must be quite unpleasant indeed. Seek psychiatric assistance for that, please.

  3. Grane Peer says:

    The drain foot is not a sexy title

  4. Scott D says:

    They the Dead could be a zombie apocalypse film.

  5. knoxharrington says:

    Both are fictional so that sounds about right.

  6. Raja says:

    Has anyone done research to check whether inflation causes an increase in corruption? Is there a casual-realist link there? The studies available online at least either state yes in India stats show inflation caused corruption, but the same stats for Pakistan shows it didn’t cause corruption or was unclear. I am a bit confused about this disparity.

    Do Austrians have any studies on corruption and causes? I’m looking for some guidance here.


  7. Ivan says:

    I got unnecessarily excited when I saw the title; I thought “Rand” was referring to Rand Paul…

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