21 Nov 2016

Murphy Twin Spin

Mises, Shameless Self-Promotion 35 Comments

Sorry for the sparse blogging, I’ve been traveling like a presidential candidate lately. Here are two things to tide you over:

==> A link to all of the talks at Hillsdale College’s recent seminar series on Mises & Hayek. I get into some issues in my talk (which focuses on the book Human Action) that I don’t think I’ve talked about publicly, so even veterans might like this one.

==> The latest Contra Krugman. You will be shocked to learn that now, all of a sudden, Krugman is not so keen on running up big budget deficits on infrastructure projects.

35 Responses to “Murphy Twin Spin”

  1. Andrew_FL says:

    I’m not sure what’s shocking about it, I mean

    A. Conventional New & Old Keynesianism would not recommend big deficits at 4.9% unemployment
    B. There’s going to be a “Republican” President, and Krugman is a partisan hack.

    These two factors both point to the same position, so presumably he doesn’t even feel internally conflicted or the need for cognitive dissonance.

  2. skylien says:

    “You will be shocked to learn that now, all of a sudden, Krugman is not so keen on running up big budget deficits on infrastructure projects.”

    That one is just too good to be true… Fake aliens? Only under Obama or Hillary that would help.

    Bob if you get the chance to do so you should tell Krugman, that he shouldn’t worry too much, since, you know, in the long run we are all DEAD!


  3. LK says:

    Yes, Krugman is certainly a shill for the Democratic party.

    Nevertheless, Trump’s economic polices will be:

    (1) hostility to the free trade deals of the past 26 years
    (2) protectionism and tariffs
    (3) some kind of industrial policy
    (4) a wall with Mexico and restriction immigration policy that will lead to labour market protectionism
    (5) massive infrastructure and military spending + tax cuts that will lead to
    (6) massive, massive deficits and Keynesian stimulus
    It’s Bob Murphy’s worst nightmare. Bob must be tossing and turning, unable to sleep, and terrified of the awesome Big Government Trumponomics about to be unleashed.

    I can’t wait for Bob Murphy’s hysterical denunciations of this and his frustrated outrage as America’s economy booms, and we enter a new period of prosperity, thanks to Trumpian Keynesian economics.

    • R.L. Styne says:

      So since LK is pro-Trump, do we get to call him a sexistracistbigothomophobe?

    • skylien says:

      LK, I agree! Trump will highly likely be a very bad president economically. Would Hillary be better, I doubt it, but maybe slightly! Really the only two positive points for Trump are:
      – He kicked the establishment in their smug ass
      – He at least seems to be less of a warhawk, at least directly. Indirectly however I think more and higher tarriffs are a first good step to worsen international relationships and hence therefor increase the possibility of wars… so maybe only the first point stands..

      • Andrew_FL says:

        Oh skylien I like you man but I’m gonna be laughing my head off about this “Trump is anti foreign intervention!” thing in a few years

        I am a cruel, evil man

        • skylien says:

          “Seems”, Andrew, “seems” is key in my wording. However that doesn’t mean you cannot laugh about this already now. It is more like calculated optimism (not sure if that translates the meaning of “Zweckoptimismus” correctly).


        • LK says:

          ” “Trump is anti foreign intervention!” thing in a few years”

          The issue is NOT whether he turns out to be bad on foreign policy in the future. The issue is: a reasonable man can ONLY go on what he seemed to be saying in the election this year, and what he says strongly does suggest he will be an improvement over Neoconservative and liberal interventionist foreign policy catastrophes.

          • Andrew_FL says:

            LOL We must’ve been hearing different dudes.

            • Craw says:

              I cannot predict Trump on foreign affairs. I worry Trump will react mostly on whether he perceives an insult. So Andrew_FL may be right. I don’t (yet) see Trump as either a steady hand or a loose cannon. Which is pretty worrying.

    • skylien says:

      Hard question for you LK. Would you have prefered Ron Paul over Trump? I guess not, or would you?

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        I’d prefer Paul over Trump, tough both are awful.

        I suspect LK prefers Trump based on insider info but I could be wrong.

        • Daniel Kuehn says:

          *though both are awful

        • skylien says:

          Interesting. Thanks for the answer!

      • LK says:

        I don’t mind most of Ron Paul’s non-interventionist views/policies on foreign policy, but his economic policies would have been disastrous.

        Trump’s “America First” at least has the promise of less intervention and more restraint overseas, plus his economic policies actually are pretty damn good.

        So, on the whole, yes, I prefer Trump.

        • skylien says:

          Also thanks for the answer. Actually this nearly sounds like you’d even prefer Trump to Hillary, do you?

          • LK says:

            Since Hillary was threatening to start WWIII, and Trump was talking of peace with Russia, yes, Trump was better. No brainer.

            • Tel says:

              Egats! I find myself agreeing with LK.

              • Andrew_FL says:

                To paraphrase Mark Twain, now might be a good time to pause and reflect.

            • skylien says:

              Wow, never would have thought that we saw the same main dangers with Hillary.

  4. LK says:

    Isn’t what is happening with the wall with Mexico your worst nightmare, Bob?:


    Why aren’t you talking about this?

    • Major.Freedom says:

      Really strange to ask Bob why he isn’t speaking about what you just linked to him speaking about.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        In fairness to LK, Major Freedom, he could say that I was only warning about a wall back when I thought Hillary Clinton would win. To really show that LK’s attack is nonsensical, I would have needed to bring up this exact same issue over a wall in a post, say, reflecting on Trump winning the presidency. Oh wait.

  5. Tel says:

    Krugman should lighten up a bit. Only a Very Serious Person would be laying awake all night wringing hands over a Global Warming that probably is never even going to happen.

    • Harold says:

      “Global Warming that probably is never even going to happen.”
      Tel, it is already happening. Perhaps you mean to damage will probably not happen?

      • Craw says:

        Good point. But that’s the issue. Is it bad, and how bad, and who should pay? It’s not clear it’s all bad or that the current generations should pay.

      • Tel says:

        Well the null hypothesis would be that all observed climate variation is natural. Given that ice cores show presumably natural peak temperatures (or “optima”) during the Minoan Warm Period and again during the Roman Warm Period and again during the Medieval warm period. Given that we know there was a natural low temperature around the Maunder minimum. The null hypothesis of natural variability is perfectly sufficient to explain all observed warming.

        Then I should also point out that within the level of accuracy of our long term surface measurements (which is only to about half a degree) there hasn’t been a whole lot of warming. The bulk of the warming visible in charts of “global temperature” has been introduced by the homogenization and adjustment process. These are not really observations in the conventional scientific sense, this is a synthesis of many observations plus a lot of belief. The best analysis of this adjustment process was done by Tony Heller, who explains all his methods here (with graphs and historic references).


        Because natural variation is relatively large compared with any “human produced” warming, the climate scientists adjusted that too. So the global temperature graphs show history changing depending on which decade the graph was produced in. You see the Medieval warm period gradually getting erased. You also see the brief cool period during the 1970’s (the one that triggered the global cooling scare) is no longer visible in modern charts. The brief hot period in the USA of the 1930’s and 1940’s (the one that caused the dust bowl) also has become hard to find.

        The alternative way of looking at this would be to compare climate science predictions with what happened. Even if you accept their adjusted global temperature at face value, when you go back to the original predictions made around 1990 you find twice as much warming was predicted as they can report on.

        From this point of view, no the stuff they said would happen is not happening.

        Look at predictions of sea ice: the climate scientists predicted that BOTH Arctic and Antarctic sea ice should melt and reduce. They were half right, the sea ice trended down in the Acrtic but increased in the Antarctic. This is no better than a random guess though.

        They predicted terrible storms all over the place. Although there’s been storms (just like always) the overall rate of storm activity is fairly steady. This is known also to have high natural variation since as long as anyone has measured. Check out Ryan Maue accumulated cyclone energy where you can see some ups and downs but no trend either increasing or decreasing. By the way, during the entire Obama Presidency there have been NO major hurricanes category 3 or above reaching the US landmass. This is something of a record, although because of normal variability it probably isn’t significant.

        So no, that isn’t happening either.

        Then there’s the sea level predictions. We have seen a very long run of slowly rising sea levels, going back well before humans were burning fossil fuels. What the climate scientists predicted was this sea level rise would accelerate and by today we would see much higher rates of sea level rise. Also never happened.

        I could go out to the really crazy predictions about millions of climate refugees, or mass starvation, tipping points leading to runaway thermageddon. Just try John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich who have predicted every possible ecological catastrophe and been wrong every time. Al Gore predicted that the North Pole would be ice free by 2013. The Northwest Passage was supposed to be open to commercial shipping by now (no no the occasional icebreaker doesn’t count). Michael Oppenheimer predicted food riots in the USA.

        So no, none of that is happening either, but by now we probably have moved well away from anything that might be considered science.

        • Harold says:

          This is not the place to go into this. If the fact that global temperatures seem to be breaking records every year is not sufficient for you I will refer you to peer reviewed publication that refutes your null hypothesis case. It says:

          “Even in the most unfavourable cases, we may reject the natural variability hypothesis at confidence levels > 99%.”


          You will note that I am not making a case for the extent of the damage, just for the reality of man made warming. By all means make the case that damages will not be too great, or that we should not do anything about it because our descendants will be richer than us, or that carbon tax is not an effective mechanism. Just don’t bother trying to deny the reality of warming caused by man. That is simply a distraction that prevents anyone taking appropriate action, including mitigation.

  6. Bob Roddis says:

    I love it when “Lord Keynes” finally comes around on a major point I have been making since 1973: Multi-ethnic social democracy leads to ethnic conflict:

    Putnam cites the “Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey,” which was conducted in the Unites States in 2000 with a sample size of about 30,000 people (Putnam 2007: 144).

    The results of this study are devastating to liberal multiculturalism: it shows that as diversity rises in a community and ethnic homogeneity is reduced, so inter-racial trust falls (Putnam 2007: 147). So it turns out:

    “Inter-racial trust is relatively high in homogeneous South Dakota and relatively low in heterogeneous San Francisco or Los Angeles. The more ethnically diverse the people we live around, the less we trust them. This pattern may be distressing normatively, but it seems to be consistent with conflict theory.” (Putnam 2007: 147).

    Even more devastating is the evidence that, as diversity rises, the more people tend to distrust their neighbours and even people like themselves, even of the same ethnic group or race (Putnam 2007: 148–149).
    While diversity does not necessarily increase inter-ethnic hatred,

    “… inhabitants of diverse communities tend to withdraw from collective life, to distrust their neighbours, regardless of the colour of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television. Note that this pattern encompasses attitudes and behavior, bridging and bonding social capital, public and private connections. Diversity, at least in the short run, seems to bring out the turtle in all of us.” (Putnam 2007: 150–151).

    The findings are also true regardless of poverty, economic inequality, or the affluence of a community (Putnam 2007: 153, 157). Even though some differences exist, they are generally true even with respect to men and women, liberal and conservative people, whites and non-white people, and even young people and older generations (Putnam 2007: 153–154).

    Increasing diversity per se always seems to have the same negative effect (Putnam 2007: 153).
    Most notably, the negative effects of diversity are very clear and significant amongst liberals as well (Putnam 2007: 154), despite the widespread myth that liberals love diversity.
    Though Putnam does not discuss the issue, it seems rather obvious that greater diversity is more likely to destroy the chances for a democratic socialist society, a vision so beloved by the left.

    If anything, democratic socialism requires a high trust and hence highly homogeneous society. Diversity is more likely to reduce people to atomised, isolated people, disconnected and distrustful of the people around them.


    • LK says:

      So, what, are you now a strong supporter of the wall? Do tell.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        Perhaps I have had a weak moment that you can locate, but I do not recall ever not having proto-Hoppean and plain ol’ Hoppean views on immigration since before Hoppe discovered libertarianism.

        Further, you are the one who claims that strictly enforced private property rights under AnCap would necessarily lead to an invasion of unwashed “foreigners”.

  7. Bob Roddis says:

    Here I am explaining the problems of multi-ethnic social democracy to “Lord Keynes” in 2011.


  8. Bob says:

    FYI, the direct URL to the episode number, e.g. contrakrugman.com/62 doesn’t work, it returns “page not found.”

  9. Tel says:

    Slightly off-topic, but the latest Peter Schiff podcast goes into some detail to explain his Gold-Money venture.

    Would be interested to hear comparisons between Shiff’s gold-backed online banking as compared against Bob’s “Infinite Banking” with the Nash style dividend paying whole life insurance.

    So Shiff’s system allows people to buy gold… of course you can get the coins delivered and hold it in your hand… that’s old hat, we all understand how that works. But the newer thing is you can buy gold, and have it stored in 100% reserve banking and that’s combined with online banking allowing a transaction to some other account inside the same system. That transaction is denominated in gold itself (doesn’t convert to fiat currency in the middle), and because it’s online you get fast transactions, even over long distance.

    Of course owning gold pays zero interest, and also there’s some fees involved, which is the downside. Also, most tax regimes don’t accept these online gold transactions so you will be forced to convert when you pay taxes. Also, ultimately you are trusting that gold repository to be genuine, and you are trusting them to be highly secure.

    But with “Infinite Banking” you are trusting the insurance company, so you end up trusting someone.

  10. skylien says:

    Really nice talks at the Hillsdale College. And guys you need to listen to the old man asking a question at the talk of Mr Wapshott about Hayek and Keynes at the end at 51:40. I actually thought Hayek had risen and was asking a question in a talk about himself to Mr Wapshott. He sounds just like Hayek.

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