09 Nov 2016


All Posts, Potpourri, Shameless Self-Promotion 20 Comments

==> My reflections on Trump’s victory.

==> David R. Henderson and David Friedman discuss semi-private military defense in Estonia.

==> Mark Skousen sends me this analysis of the government’s Gross Output (GO) figures, which Skousen argues measure the “Hayekian triangle.” (In contrast, GDP effectively only measures the final stage, consumption, if we are in a stationary economy.)

==> You guys know I am your humble servant, but BOOM check out my analysis of the housing sector from back in June 2008. (That’s 3 months before Lehman, for those keeping score.) I had forgotten I wrote that, but someone asked me for my publications on the topic. I thank the market-savvy von Pepe; I think I surely must have consulted with him before writing that article.

==> David R. Henderson (in the comments of another post) passed along David Bernstein’s excellent refutation of the claim that Trump’s final ad was anti-Semitic. A good excerpt:

First, and in contrast to almost every article I’ve read about the ad, suggesting that Jews were somehow featured, the Jews in the ad only appear for a total of about four seconds in a two-minute ad. Second, only Yellen and Soros are identified by name. I doubt 1 in 20 voters even knows who Yellen is, much less her ethnic background. Moreover, neither has a recognizably Jewish name — if you were going for the anti-Semitic vote, why not use Clinton supporters far more well-known and identifiably Jewish, such as Steven Spielberg, Joe Lieberman, or even Sarah Silverman? I didn’t know Yellen is Jewish. Third, Lloyd Blankfein is pictured, but not identified by name. How many voters would recognize Blankfein? I didn’t. And how many of those know he’s Jewish? Again, I didn’t.

One Facebook friend suggested that the ad wasn’t meant to appeal to the run-of-the-mill anti-Semite who doesn’t know Yellen from a hole in the head, but to the hardcore white-supremacist types who keep track of important Jews and would even recognize Blankfein. But why waste your campaign’s money with appeals to a group that likely numbers in the tens of thousands when there are literally millions of undecided voters still at large?

20 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Adrian Gabriel says:

    In reference to Friedman and Henderson’s posts, which I think are excellent ones, American history demonstrates that the revolutionaries did just this. They carried arms for hunting and self-defense, and learned to protect themselves in general.

    Perhaps this over-assumes the movement of the militia in the colonies, but it would definitely work in the US with the existence of entities like Blackwater and Lockheed Martin.

    The Constitution suggests this, with the National Guard, but we all know how this turned out. Hence, Spooner was right.

    I believe your brilliant lectures every year at Mises University will advance the realistic movement of private protection much quicker than will presidents advocating a return to Constitutionalism.

    The only thing reminding people about Constitutionalism can do, is what Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty does, that’s revert our thoughts to a time when things could have worked out had swindling lawyers and landowners not wanted to coerce us with a monopoly on law.

    Overall, Ron Paul was there to teach us, and he lead many the right way.

  2. Tel says:

    Myron Ebell running the EPA will be kind of interesting. I’m thinking of it as a not-so-low Carbon future.

    I guess the lesson learned is that if a conservative so much a tweaks a lefty edifice then immediately the self appointed SJW signalling brigade turns it up to 11, with howls and screams. Thus, when any attempt at negotiation will always escalate, might as well just start by knocking that edifice down, razing the rubble, and scorching the earth. They will still howl and scream exactly as loud as they do anyway. *shrug*

    I’m pretty sure I already mentioned that the main purpose of Trump in government is to go in and break some stuff. Anarchists should be happy enough, it isn’t like the bureaucracy that Trump is about to destroy was terribly valuable to them in the first place.

    Personally, I would prefer a gradual and more elegant downsizing of government (possibly even “rightsizing”) but ho hum, you get what you get in this world. By 2020: great value used government, some dents and scratches, minor repair work required… excellent project for the enthusiast.

  3. Tel says:

    Repeal of Obamacare Would Be Great, but with What Replacement? The Affordable Care Act has been a disaster, as many free-market economists have been predicting. Even Bill Clinton knew enough to campaign against President Obama’s signature achievement. Yet I must confess that I do not trust a President Trump, even with both the House and Senate, to truly return health care and health insurance to the market.

    I’m partway through your “Primal Prescription” book which is very interesting although not 100% match for Australia but great description of each of the basic mechanisms at work there. If you have time, a proper analysis of Trumps policies (as stated) would be useful. I mean, presuming he does approximately what he says.


    Just my summary for people too lazy to click:

    * Get rid of Obamacare

    * Open up health insurance across state lines (more competition)

    * Symmetric tax deductions for employer health plans and privately paid personal health plans

    * Tax free “Health Savings Accounts” allow self-insurance and family resource pooling

    * Prices must be visible to consumers

    * Review Medicaid somehow to improve coverage (increase? targeted? not clear) grant money to states (avoid duplication?)

    * Prune complex and expensive pharmaceutical regulations

    By the way, I can’t find in “Primal Prescription” where it explains why insurance cannot operate across state borders, I would presume some historical reason that no longer makes sense? Maybe it never made sense. Anyway, Trump might not do what he promises (few do) but at least his plan sounds to me like some steps in the right direction. There’s nothing in there that jumps out as worse than Obamacare.

  4. Harold says:

    ” they were all voting for him despite his obvious flaws as a person.”

    Bigotry is not binary – you are not either 100% bigot or total not bigot. All those people voted for Trump in spite of his bigotry and misogynism because they are prepared to tolerate that. By doing so they are endorsing to some extent those views.

    That Trump won is an indication that bigotry and misogyny are more tolerated now. That does not make everyone that voted for him a bigot, but is worrying nonetheless.

    • Dan says:

      I agree. Seeing so many people vote for Trump despite his rhetoric, and for Clinton despite her support for a country that literally chops off the heads of women and gays is disturbing.

      • Harold says:

        I have not seen Trump particularly keen to hurt America’s position to help minorities abroad. Thus your parallel is invalid.

        • Dan says:

          What do you mean? I was agreeing with you that it is worrying people voted for Trump despite the things he said and believes in. Although, lots of the complaints were laced with heavy doses of hyperbole.

          I just was taking what you said and also applying that same standard to Clinton supporters. Definitely worrying that people would vote for her knowing all the support she gave to SA.

          I wasn’t comparing or contrasting the candidates. I was using your framework to determine if bigotry and misogyny were more tolerated from liberals, as well as democrats.

          • Richie says:

            He supported Clinton so naturally he doesn’t see the parallel.

          • Harold says:

            But you are not applying the same standard at all. You are describing foreign policy positions. I am describing direct opinion from the horses mouth.

            Possibly it is regrettable that support for unpleasant regimes is tolerated by the electorate, but as I said it is a matter of degree. That has always been tolerated and there are arguments that USA should not be too involved in internal policies in other countries. What would not have been tolerated in the recent past is the levels of bigotry and misogyny shown by Trump. That is the difference and that is why it is worrying.

            Regarding bigotry and misogyny it is worrying that people were prepared to vote for Trump and it is not worrying that they were prepared to vote for Clinton.

            • Dan says:

              “But you are not applying the same standard at all. You are describing foreign policy positions. I am describing direct opinion from the horses mouth.”

              You can label it however you want. Personally, I’d never support a person that took millions of dollars from a regime that cuts the head off of women and homosexuals for simply existing. And then to top it off she supplied them with weapons that they are using to murder innocent men, women, and children in Yemen. I’d never support someone like Trump, but I’d also never support someone like Clinton. I’d feel sick to my stomach knowing that I was helping to put a person in power that would continue her cozy relationship with people that make the KKK look like upstanding gentlemen. Apparently, financial and military aid to murderous bigots isn’t that big a deal to most liberals (some, like Jill Stein and her supporters are exceptions). That is extremely worrying to me. I thought with how much they’ve focuses on issues of race and bigotry that they may have changed. Sadly, I was wrong.

              “Possibly it is regrettable that support for unpleasant regimes is tolerated by the electorate, but as I said it is a matter of degree.”

              Possibly!? Regrettable!? Unpleasant!?
              My God! That “unpleasant” regime is chopping off the heads of women and gays. Based off that statement, I can’t take you seriously. I don’t believe you care about women and minorities unless it is for political gain. Unfreaking real

              • Richie says:

                “Possibly!? Regrettable!? Unpleasant!?
                My God! That “unpleasant” regime is chopping off the heads of women and gays. Based off that statement, I can’t take you seriously. I don’t believe you care about women and minorities unless it is for political gain. Unfreaking real”

                That’s because ideology trumps (pardon the pun) morals to hacks like Harold.

              • Harold says:

                My point still stands. Trump is the one who has shown bigotry and misogyny. Clinton and most other politicians have shown something else. They are not the same.

                I commend you on your stand against “unpleasant” foreign regimes. Yes, I did understate that one, they are worse than unpleasant. However, the best way to deal with them is not quite as clear. USA could refuse to deal with any foreign government it does not like, but that might not actually help anyone. The situation is complicated and I am not 100% sure that non-engagement and condemnation is the best route, although it might be.

                I do think that dealing with despots just saves up trouble for the future, but not dealing with them can cause lots of trouble now.

                The difference is between personality and policy. If Clinton said she thought it was great that the Saudi’s chopped the heads of gays would agree with you. But as she (as far as I know) disapproves of the behavior I don’t think it is in the same category as my comments on Trump. It may be bad, but is a separate issue.

              • Dan says:

                You’re extremely hypocritical. She personally has been taking money from them for nearly 20 years through the Clinton Foundation. That has nothing to do with the US foreign policy. That is no different than if Trump had been taking money from the KKK for years and then doing them favors when in a position of power. It’s revolting behavior. You don’t care because you’re no different than the Trump voters you excoriate. You turn a blind eye to evil if it is ever about your team.

              • Harold says:

                Dan, you may be right, maybe Clinton has been taking money directly from the SA regime for personal enrichment. I do not know this to be the case. If it is I condemn it.

                I do know what Trump said because I have seen it myself. I condemn that.

        • Dan says:

          *as well as republicans

  5. senyoreconomist says:

    Do you have an opinion regarding Walter Block’s criticisms of the Hayeian triangle (triangles?)?

  6. Rick Harrison says:

    As you know, I am Richard Harrison, Social Analyser and Correction Unit. I have been searching on the world wide web, also known as the internet, a service that is widely known across the globe which is also referred to as “Earth”. I tell you, I am not an alien. After intense observation, I have concluded that this site does not meet my expectation, as does almost every website I come across. The pandemic of ignorance is approaching, and we cannot have this upon our future generations. Who will protect us from the evil forces? Your Minecraft-obsessed grandchild?

    Also, there is no correlation between Donald J. Trump’s recent election in the United States of America and Yemen, so please halt your assuming of subjects that you do not comprehend.

    Note that I mean no offence, even though it may seem that way.

    Yours ever truly,
    Social Analyser and Correction Unit,
    Richard Harrison

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I approved this comment because it is so awesome.

    • Keshav Srinivasan says:

      “I tell you, I am not an alien.” Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

    • Harold says:

      Technically the WWW and the internet are not the same thing….

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