18 Feb 2022

Catch-up On Bob Murphy Show

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Sorry for the delay, here are the latest episodes with the videos posted (where applicable):

Episode 221: Biden Paid Leave Will Hurt Women, and Morpheus Gives Bad Moral Advice

Episode 222: Kris Borer’s Fun Book on AnCap Ethics

Episode 223: Climate Scientist David Legates Gives a Contrarian View

Episode 224: Patrick Newman on Cronyism in Early US History

Episode 225: Buck Johnson Interviews Bob Murphy on the Case for an Independent Texas

Episode 226: Bob Murphy vs. Joe Weisenthal on Currency Debasement

Episode 227: Behind Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum, and the Great Reset, Part 1

Episode 228: Klaus Schwab Part 2

Episode 229: Bob Murphy Admits Steve Patterson Was Right About the Problems with Infinity

Episode 230: Bob Murphy vs. Dave Smith on the Johns Hopkins lockdown study

7 Responses to “Catch-up On Bob Murphy Show”

  1. Rene says:

    Any comment on the recent Andrew Dessler and Steven E. Koonin appearances on Joe Rogan? Maybe a
    podcast that breaks their arguments down. Thanks.

  2. Robert says:

    Bob, On Episode 229, you promise to provide a link somewhere to some recent paper of yours summarizing your take on capital theory. Where is it?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      sorry I don’t have it webbed yet, I will try to get it up sooner rather than later.

  3. random person says:

    The following is 90% irrelevant to your episodes, but the 10% that is relevant would be that self-employed slum-dwellers probably don’t get maternity leave except by saving up in advance for it (if they can), or maybe with some sort of community cost sharing (depending on the culture of their slum), but people who live in slums in places like India seem to do better than homeless people in the United States (especially the ones not fortunate enough to at least live in tent cities, which have slum-like features). Although I don’t think you mentioned anything about maternity leave causing homelessness, just unemployment, but maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention.

    I will try to look at your episodes and write more sometime later this month when I have more time, but for now, I just want to say I am incredibly creeped out about this news that the governor of California wants to subject homeless people to forced “mental health treatment” (read: torture, except the governor is too delusional to realize he is effectively advocating for a mass torture regime).

    “California proposal would force unhoused people into treatment: Civil rights groups have raised alarms at Governor Gavin Newsom’s plans, calling the measures ‘draconian’”

    And along the same vein of thought, I found a great documentary about slums. Apparently, if a slum (in the sense of a homegrown neighborhood, that is, urban housing built by the people and not by developers) is left alone for 20-40 years without being demolished, gradual improvements will turn it into a regular neighborhood. Also, slums are hotbeds of self-employment, and many people who live in slums are self-employed or employed in small family enterprises out of their own housing. And demolishing slums to replace them with developer-built housing is apparently disastrous, even if you give the people displaced from the slums free apartment units, because the high rise housing built by the developers is not built with the needs of the people in mind, and lacks appropriate space for gardening, raising livestock, and having other home businesses, even when people displaced from demolished slums are given free apartments in high rises, a lot of them will move out and go build new slums instead. Also, some slums have rather creative systems of justice, e.g. one slum in Nigeria allegedly has very low crime (according to one of the residents) because they exile criminals from their slum. (Note that I didn’t get all of that from the documentary, I also did some other reading/viewing on the subject, but it’s still a good documentary.)

    “Slums: Cities Of Tomorrow”
    youtube [dot] com/watch?v=uq6DR-RNuw8

    Based on what I have read/watched, I think allowing slums to happen is a better solution than the Housing First solution advocated by many activists in the USA (since the Housing First would probably not include adequate space for gardens, livestock, and home businesses, plus a lot of taxpayers simply wouldn’t want to pay for it, which I do empathize with, and I’ve never seen funds for Housing First raised without taxpayer money). That said, I still think Housing First is a better idea than the California governor’s idea of torturing the homeless en masse (even if he is too delusional to realize he is advocating for mass torture, and thinks of it as “mandatory mental health treatment”). Mostly because almost anything is better than a mass torture regime.

    • random person says:

      Although I don’t think you mentioned anything about maternity leave causing homelessness, just unemployment, but maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention.

      I wrote hastily… I meant mandated maternity leave (i.e. employers not having a choice about offering it), not the maternity leave in and of itself.

    • random person says:

      I re-listened to the first 24 minutes of episode 221 to try to catch some of the nuances I missed the first time. (Sorry, the first time I was really busy with working and probably shouldn’t have been trying to listen to anything.) Still didn’t hear anything about homelessness, and if I understood the unemployment argument correctly, I believe you meant that would most likely be the result of a combination of the mandatory maternity leave policy plus anti-discrimination law preventing likely recipients from being paid less. Also, I don’t think you actually said unemployment per se — just that the particular company might find a way to not hire people likely to claim the paid maternity leave. And it’s probably good that you worded it that way, since not being hired by one company or even a lot of companies doesn’t automatically mean one will be totally unemployed.

      Also, in your list of reasons why someone might be paid less than minimum wage, I didn’t hear you mention self-employment. Self-employment is not subject to minimum wage laws, but if you talk to say, buskers, a lot of them are earning less than minimum wage.

      Also, “independent contractors” fall somewhere in between self-employed and employee, and do not fall under minimum wage law. Although sometimes people will be misclassified as independent contractors as a way of avoiding minimum wage.

      Another category of people legally paid less than minimum wage (and in some cases, no wage at all) is people in prison, including for non-violent crimes. And that labor is generally forced, so incentives like, “what if they quit and go somewhere that pays better?” don’t work to raise wages, because of the forcing going on.

      Anyway, my take on it is that while you have valid points, so does the other side. Pregnancy is a high risk time for women, and it’s a time when domestic violence often beings or escalates, and one of the arguments that people in favor of mandatory maternity leave make is that it will lower the risk of domestic violence during pregnancy. Which is probably true.

      So, it’s probable that while you are correct that the policy will harm at least some women, it’s also probable that the other side is correct that it will help some women (if not when you look at wage and unemployment measurements, than at least when you look at domestic violence rates). I don’t know if there’s any way to measure up the amount of harm versus the amount of help. A person could still make a value-based decision of course. E.g. you could say, “I don’t think we should be interfering by legal means in relations between employers and employees, at least so long as the employers aren’t using forced labor or fraudulent recruitment, and we should deal with domestic violence by some other means.” And someone else might argue that they are more concerned with reducing domestic violence rates than they are with worrying about optimizing women’s wages and employment rates.

      Anyway, as a person in the self-employed category, I probably don’t have a stake in the matter anyway. However, I could see how someone who was in the category of employed (but not self-employed) might feel either way.

  4. random person says:

    Okay, so I was listening to episode 224, and it brings up something that’s been confusing me for a long time. So, you guys acknowledge that partnership between business and government is something that happens, and you call this “crony capitalism” or just “cronyism”. (I noticed that your definition of cronyism varied from the ones I have heard elsewhere, in that you guys did *not* depict the cronies as helpless beggars of government favors, or if not helpless, then at least not capable of doing much more than offering bribes. Instead, you guys talk of cronies as potentially being powerful people within the government, such as supreme court justices, using their positions for their own economic gains. Which is actually an easier to understand explanation, but anyway.) So, you acknowledge that this thing, this partnership between powers within the government and the economic interests of particular people is a thing that happens.

    And then you mention that some people argue that this is not capitalism, which is confusing.

    To make a metaphor, suppose I were talking about a forest ecosystem, specifically one in New Hampshire. But for some reason I hate hemlock trees, so even though I am studying a New Hampshire forest that has some hemlocks in it, whenever someone points out a hemlock tree in the forest I am studying, I say, “No, hemlock trees are not forest! Hemlock trees are desert!”

    Can you understand how that would really be confusing to people listening to me if I were to do that? Like, if I want to study a forest ecosystem, and I agree that said forest ecosystem covers a particular parcel of land, then by extension, I am agreeing that everything on that parcel of land is included in the forest ecosystem, whether I like it or not. It would be nonsensical for me to allege that plants and animals and fungi that I like are part of the forest ecosystem, but that plants and animals and fungi I do not like are part of the desert and not the forest, when all of the trees and animals in question are on the parcel of land that I have agreed is the forest.

    Now, if I am not studying an actual forest ecosystem, but writing a novel instead, I can write about a hemlock-free forest (also free from all the other plants/animals/fungi I dislike) and call it a forest utopia. Or if I want to write a dystopia, I can write about a forest full of hemlock trees that run around murdering people. But those would be fictional forests, and people critiquing them would be critiquing my fictional forests. They would not be the same as real forests. With a real forest, we can debate where the borders of the forest are, or how dense the trees need to be for it to qualify as a forest, but once we have agreed that it is in fact a forest, we have to take it was we find it.

    Yet with capitalism, almost everyone I talk to agrees that the United States is, in fact, a capitalist country. And yet, from time to time, people will allege that specific parts of the United States economic system that they do not like are not capitalism. This is utterly confusing. Like alleging that a forest is indeed a forest, but that the hemlock trees within the forest are somehow not part of the forest.

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