17 Feb 2016


Potpourri 18 Comments

==> I can’t believe this was necessary, but Phil Magness actually had to write a piece explaining why libertarians shouldn’t support a self-described socialist running for president on the Democratic ticket.

==> Richard Ebeling wishes Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk happy birthday.

==> David R. Henderson takes on David Brooks’ (and implicitly, Tyler Cowen’s) view that Obama was a swell guy as far as presidents go. Now, there is a very interesting verb choice in this discussion. Am I the only who noticed it, or did David and all the other EconLog commenters simply ignore it out of decorum?

18 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Tel says:

    Obama was a swell guy as far as presidents go …

    What were the options? “Moar War” McCain, or Hillary Clinton. That’s the thing about ordinal preferences, bad can sometimes be good when you have few places to turn.

    • E. Harding says:

      Yup. Obama is a horrible president, worse than even George Bush II, but I can’t see how either McCain or Romney would have been better.

  2. guest says:

    I imagine the reason it had to be argued that libertarians shouldn’t support socialist presidential candidates (the Constitution effectively forbids it, anyway) is because, for some reason, libertarians thought it would be a good idea to expend the vast majority of their effort on courting the Left, rather than the Right who already believe in free markets for the most part.

    Can you believe a significant number of people, from my experience, still believe that Occupy Wall Street was a libertarian, rather than a Marxist, movement?

    The Left is welcomed with open arms by libertarians, for some reason.

    (Didn’t read Phil’s piece.)

    • Guest says:

      You should read that article. It is different than you may imagine and more important than Bob eludes to.

  3. David R. Henderson says:

    What’s the interesting verb choice?

    • Guest says:

      Lewinsky, lol?

      Thank you for challenging me to read that link.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      David, yes, his discussion of the Lewinsky scandal. Folks, let’s not be any more specific than that, this site is PG-13.

      • Bill says:

        Lewinsky is a noun or adjective as used in the Brooks piece, not a verb.

        David hint: hirundinidae.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Bill, so you think I’m surprised that when he wanted to talk about the scandals plaguing Clinton, he chose the word “Lewinsky”? No, it was the verb, you know, the one you directly posted as a comment but that I deleted in the interests of decorum.

          • Bill says:

            I was so surprised by Brooks that I missed the significance of the offending word the first time through. Thank you, Bob, for the heads up.

            Uh, is “decorum” appropriate? ?

        • Guest says:


          1.use (a word that is not conventionally used as a verb, typically a noun) as a verb:
          “any English noun can be verbed, but some are more resistant than others” ·

          “I hate the verbing of that particular noun”

        • Guest says:

          “Lewinsky is a noun or adjective as used in the Brooks piece, not a verb.

          David hint: hirundinidae.”

          Pot meet kettle.

          Well anyways Bob should censor you again as this was all funnier when left unspoken.

        • Guest says:

          Oh and 1 more thing. The blue dress tells me it was much more of Aerodramus fuciphagus than a hirundinidae.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s funny but I think you are forcing something that isn’t there. Now if he said it was a splotch on his administration…

  4. Levi Russell says:

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that Cowen likes Obama.

  5. guest says:

    OT: I just found out why Robert Wenzel doesn’t think we’re in a recession:

    More Discussion on the Nature of Recessions

    “I state there is no recession now because there isn’t one. I am not making a forecast as to the future. When the Fed slows money supply growth for a sufficiently long period, we sure as hell will have another recession. My one objection has been to Austrian-lites who claim that the 25 basis point hike in rates would necessarily cause a recession and that the Fed is “trapped” and won’t be able to raise rates. The Fed can raise rates and keep the distorted capital-consumption ratio going as long as the manipulated rates are below what non-manipulated rates would be, If there would be a tendency for non-manipulated rates to climb (and there are many reasons this could happen) it gives the Fed more room to raise rates without causing an immediate recession.”

    It’s true that as long as rates are below the “natural rate” (a misleading term, since there are many natural rates) that a distorted capital-consumptin ratio will keep going.

    But the degree to which manipulated rates cause capital consumption cannot be maintained (ceteris paribus) unless the rates are also maintained (and even lowered further over time as the market is constantly trying to correct for malinvestments).

    So, 25 basis points may not seem like much, but that’s 25 basis points that aren’t supporting the artificial boom, and the market will necessarily correct for the malinvestments that were based on those 25 basis points.

    When the government imposed TARP on us, the housing market hadn’t fully corrected. Were we not in a recession because rates were still too low?

    • Guest says:

      I love it when otherwise intelligent people try to make sense of the nonsensical. Here is what RW is really saying.

      “The American dollar has no intrinsic value. It is a classic example of fiat money with no limit to the quantity that can be produced. Its primary value lies in the willingness of people to accept it and, to that end, legal tender laws require them to do so.

      It is true that our money is created out of nothing, but it is more accurate to say that it is based upon debt. In one sense, therefore, our money is created out of less than nothing. The entire money supply would vanish into the bank vaults and computer chips if all debts were repaid.

      Under the present System, therefore, our leaders cannot allow a serious reduction in either the national or consumer debt. Charging interest on pretended loans is usury, and that has become institutionalized under the Federal Reserve System.

      The Mandrake Mechanism by which the Fed converts debt into money may seem complicated at first, but it is simple if one remembers that the process is not intended to be logical but to confuse and deceive. The end product of the Mechanism is artificial expansion of the money supply, which is the root cause of the hidden tax called inflation.

      This expansion then leads to contraction and, together, they produce the destructive boom-bust cycle that has plagued mankind throughout history wherever fiat money has existed.” ~ G. Edward Griffin

      • guest says:

        “The entire money supply would vanish into the bank vaults and computer chips if all debts were repaid.”

        That’s true for paper, but usury (interest) is legitimate – it’s the price of present money in terms of future money, and is derived from individuals’ time preferences:

        This article is also helpful:

        Why the Greenbackers Are Wrong (AERC 2013)

        “… presumably even bankers need to buy things at one point or another, so the money would be recirculated into the economy in any case.”

        Also, you can occasionally barter rather than borrow so much. So, profits can still be made without using money.

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