Archive for the ‘Economics’ category

Democrats: Let’s Ban Profits

September 5, 2012

Peter Schiff, president of EuroPacific Capital and host of the ‘Peter Schiff Show’, is at the DNC convention. He decided to ask some of the attendees a few questions, one of which was whether we should ban profits. I swear, I’ve never seen people so completely ignorant of economics. Oh well, here’s the video …

Note: Peter Schiff is well aware of how stupid the question is, he was expecting stupid answers in response, and rightly so.

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Super Debt

September 4, 2012

The US debt clock hit $16 trillion today, and it is increasing rapidly. I thought that Bush was the worst when it came to increasing the debt, but Obama has passed him like he was standing still. Bush had a total of about $4.9 trillion in total debts added during his presidency. Well, Obama began his presidency with the national debt at $10.6 trillion, which means that he increased the debt by $5.4 trillion during his reign. Obama is increasing the debt at over twice the rate as Bush did (Bush was in office for twice as long), and the fours years of Obama represent a 60% increase in the total debt. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include the $100+ trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Of course, we cannot forget to thank all of our lovable congress-critters, they’re the ones that actually write and pass the spending bills in the first place. And then there are those generations of entitlement-loving spendthrifts that are too stupid to realize that they’re raping their kids economically without lube. They thought that they were getting it all for free. Nope!

All of this is to be expected no matter whose name is listed as “president” or who is in Congress. Since every dollar is based upon both principal debt and interest, the only way that the old debts can be paid is if new debts are made (there is more debt than actual money). So, it is a self-perpetuating system, where the debt increase in an exponential fashion. The other problem has to do with the methods used to solve such problems as recessions (undoubtedly, the great recession will be used as an excuse for the increased debt). While it is certainly true that stimulus can indeed stimulate economic activity, that does nothing to solve the calculation problems associated with an injection of money and/or credit. Also, it isn’t just activity we want, we want activity that is a true reflection of the market, not activity that is artificially generated by money injections.

Eventually this will all come to a head, if not for the inability to pay our debts, then certainly from the erosion of our quality of life. After all, the only solution to economic problems that ever comes out of Washington involves inflating the money supply, which not only creates havoc for allocating resources, but also increases the debt further.

The Reverend Robert P. Murphy

August 10, 2012

I was clicking around economist Dr. Robert P. Murphy’s site earlier today and clicked on one of the commenters’ screen names, which led to that commenter’s blog. Well, since the blog in question is immediately up-front in telling us that its opinions are “snarky”, I think that it is reasonable to say that its pronouncements are to be taken with a grain of salt.

What caught my attention, however, is the blogroll. It lists only four sites, each of them blogs. One of those sites was that of Bob Murphy, and it referred to him as ‘Rev Bob Murphy’.

I’ll admit that it is humorous to refer to Bob in that context, and it is quite apt on certain occasions (for instance, Murphy always posts a religious post on Sundays), but I don’t think that Dr. Murphy is out there preaching religion in his economic pursuits. In fact, I’d say that most of his Sunday posts are a seeking of truth in a particular area of thought: theology. This doesn’t mean that he cannot separate these two disciplines (economics and theology).

Murphy is a very competent economist who really understands the mainstream (esp. the synthesis), and is highly influential in the heterodox Austrian school of economics. I think that the real implication of such an erroneous title is that Murphy’s opinions are influenced by religion, therefor the Austrian School is influenced by religion and is thus not science.

I cannot say for sure, myself not knowing the writer of that blog too well, but that is what I draw as a conclusion from the available evidence. If that is the implication being set, then I would just like to say: considering the reality, there exists no science that is not influenced by religion.

Update: I have recently had correspondence with the owner of the blog. To be sure that I don’t mistake anything, I will quote him directly: ‘“Rev Bob Murphy” is a snark at Bob’s religiosity, and his atitude toward biblical evidence, not a reflection on his economics”.

Robert Higgs On The State

August 6, 2012

One of my favorite living Austrian economists talks about the state.

You Didn’t Write That

July 22, 2012

I’m not the biggest fan of Thomas Sowell (he’s a bit of a war-monger), but when it comes to certain things, especially ones that require a logical train of thought, I find that he is well-suited to the job.  This article is no exception.

Here, he shows the complete prevalence of the non sequitur train of thought in those of the collectivist mindset.

Tom Woods, You’re My Hero

July 10, 2012

Dr. Thomas E. Woods takes David Frum to task for his criticism of the Austrian School, and making the claim that conservatives are wrong to be listening to guys like Ludwig von Mises. The thing that I always love about Dr. Woods is that it isn’t good enough that he makes a video explaining to Frum (and other stooges) the error of his ways, he also provides a resource page to further make his case. Tom Woods: a gentleman and a scholar, indeed.

It’s funny, just a few days ago it was Josh Barro who was criticizing the Austrian School and making similar claims that conservatives are putting too much faith into guys like Mises and Hayek. Jonathan Finegold Catalán at ‘Economic Thought’ put the kibosh on such ignorant claims and showed clearly that Barro hasn’t read the relevant literature to even be able to speak as an authority on the matter. Of course, I weighed in on the comments when I said:

…Is (sic) Mises and Hayek having a big influence on Republicans and conservatives these days? I don’t think this is nearly as true as Barro is indicating. I wonder if he even knows the difference between a conservative and a (classical) liberal, or even a libertarian. I mean, I don’t find too many of your average righties reading this stuff, or *anything* dealing with theory really. I mean, maybe there are a few that will read ‘Road to Serfdom’ or ‘Atlas Strugged’, but that’s still a far stretch from the intellectual rigor needed to delve into economic and political theory.

In many of the conversations with my conservative friends it is almost as if I am entering a philosophical black hole (they aren’t even brushed up on their own philosophy, let alone others’). And the modern left… I don’t even want to open that can of worms. With both sides it is as if you have to write an entire treatise just to explain to them why you don’t like a certain policy, because they certainly aren’t up to speed on the theory side. Most of the time I just say, “screw it” and don’t even try to discuss the issue (which is REALLY hard for me to do).

I imagine that just about anybody who is marginally familiar with the Austrian School is saying to themselves, “what in the heck are these idiots talking about?!” And, rightly so.

Walter Williams is Racist!

July 10, 2012

Gosh, you really have to love the titles of my posts, because they’re complete horse shit.  However, that same ‘horse shit’ is what often passes for logical debate in the minds of some.

Today at LRC there is a great article by Walter Williams on discrimination, and boy is it solid.  I especially loved the example he gives on employment where he completely turns the tables on equal opportunity (I’m going to have to remember to use that in the future).  Anyhow, here’s the article if you’re interested.

Of course, I should probably thank Lew Rockwell for posting it.  Thanks, Lew.