23 Nov 2019

Stephan Kinsella Debates Bob Murphy on Argumentation Ethics

Bob Murphy Show, Gene Callahan, Hans Hoppe 13 Comments

For real, this was awesome. I spent years thinking Stephan didn’t understand what Gene Callahan and I did in our critique of Hoppe’s famous argument for libertarian property rights, and (I’m guessing) Stephan spent years thinking we were morons.

Well, we talked at least a half hour before we even found a spot where we started disagreeing. I think we both walked away with a deeper appreciation of the issues involved.

So take a listen, even if you think (a) “Hoppe’s argument is self-evidently dumb” or (b) “Hoppe’s argument is so awesome only haters don’t get it.” You will probably learn something.

Here’s the link to the audio podcast episode, with a bunch of links in the Show Notes page for further reading.

And here’s the video:

23 Nov 2019

Murphy + von Pepe > 2 Nobel Laureates

Economics 5 Comments

In my latest piece for Mises.org, I push back on two of the recent Nobel laureates when they claimed in the NYT that financial incentives don’t matter as much as economists think. Since they had invoked salary caps in sports as an example, I acquired the assistance of the intrepid von Pepe to give me specifics.

In any event, perhaps the most surprising detail is that I’m pretty sure the NYT charts on Alaska prove the exact opposite of the narrative they’re pushing.

20 Nov 2019

Bob Murphy’s Lessons for Libertarians

Bob Murphy Show 2 Comments

The latest episode of the Bob Murphy Show.

16 Nov 2019

Bob Murphy Show Twin Spin

Bob Murphy Show 8 Comments

In ep 76 I interview Justin Clark on the “Baltic Strategy” for Texas nationhood, and in ep 77 I interview Rob Bradley on his contributions to energy economics, getting his PhD under Rothbard, and why Enron was the first postmodern corporation. Here’s the video too for Rob:

10 Nov 2019

You Didn’t Build That (God Did)

Religious 14 Comments

There’s nothing wrong with the logic of libertarian property rights (homesteading etc.). The problem only comes in if you assume empirically at the outset that the Earth was unowned when the first human stumbled upon it.

Because if the opening Genesis account were true, for example, then God is obviously the owner of everything. Again, for me to point this out doesn’t refute The Ethics of Liberty in terms of its framework, it just shows that most practicing Rothbardians have been incorrectly applying some of its theorems.

This is also related (somewhat) to some of the difficult events in the Old Testament when “God was mean” as opposed to Jesus when “God was nice.” (Of course I am not endorsing these sentiments, but I’m sure the reader gets what I mean and how people think like that, when the first encounter Scripture.)

When God (working through Moses) rescued the children of Israel out of slavery, He led them through the desert for 40 years. His presence in Israel was manifest in the form of a column of smoke during the day and a pillar of fire at night.

Then when He would deliver them into the Promised Land, they not only won military victories that the recently-liberated slaves had no business winning, but the Israelites also took possession of entire cities. It would be like showing up at a really nicely furnished Airbnb except you are there permanently (so long as you follow the landLORD’s rules).

This was a stark reminder to the Israelites that everything they had was ultimately from God; they couldn’t point to some of their possessions as due to their own merit.

I realize a Randian reading this would pull back in horror, but no, recognition of such facts actually gives you immense peace and wisdom. It’s not that happy people are grateful, it’s that grateful people are happy.

09 Nov 2019

BMS ep 75: Bretigne Shaffer on California’s Mandatory Vaccinations

Bob Murphy Show No Comments

Oh boy, I’m getting into risque territory with this one. Here is the podcast link (with notes) and here is the video:

07 Nov 2019


Potpourri 8 Comments

==> Peter Klein interviewed in South Africa.

==> I respond to Noah Smith on Friedman’s “plucking model.”

==> At first I thought this was a parody, but AOC actually urged workers to be sure they got paid for an extra hour for Daylight Saving. However, in context, I actually don’t think she said anything dumb.

==> My interview on the Theocracy podcast, talking about my conversion from atheism and reconciling the Bible with standard libertarianism.

==> I don’t like all these “cancel old stuff that is now evil” examples, but I actually agreed with this critique of Friends.

05 Nov 2019


Potpourri 9 Comments

==> My interview with Titus Gebel on his proposal for free private cities.

==> Carlos and I discuss the 2017 tax reform’s impact on charitable giving.

==> This YouTube video using “optimal stopping theory” to guide you in dating wasn’t what I was expecting. In the search models we studied in grad school, you would decide on your reservation wage and keep going on interviews until you got an offer at least that high. In contrast, the video describes a strategy where you don’t pick a reservation level of desirability in your partner, but instead decide on how much time you will sample, and then you switch to saying, “Now, from this point forward, I will marry the person who is the best I’ve yet dated.”