The real offending passage for Greg is this one:
"Hayek, a founder of that school of thought, is primarily known for two major works. The first, The Road to Serfdom (1944), grudgingly accepts the possibility that some “free” countries might find it necessary to set up a bare-minimum catastrophic social insurance program limited to the very neediest, so long as the benefits do not incentivize productive members of society to abandon free-market retirement savings or medical insurance.
Hayek’s comparatively liberal attitude toward social insurance hardened considerably by the time he published his 1960 opus, The Constitution of Liberty. Despite privately spending the intervening years paying into Social Security, Hayek devoted an entire chapter—titled “Social Security”—to denouncing the modern welfare state as a gateway to tyranny and moral decay. Ironically, one of Hayek’s main objections to government programs like Social Security was the “fundamental absurdity” of using tax dollars to promote their benefits. In other words, Hayek publicly objected to the kind of brochure that Charles Koch sent him. In their private correspondence, however, we could find no objection to this “fundamental absurdity.”
By the mid-1970s, Hayek had fully distanced himself from the modest benefits he’d originally conceded to in The Road to Serfdom. In his preface to the 1976 edition, he explained his “error”: “I had not wholly freed myself from all the current interventionist superstitions, and in consequence still made various concessions which I now think unwarranted.”"
Nobody reading Greg's blog who didn't realize this should feel that bad. He never told you he had a problem with this particular passage and he refused to quote or link to any particular passage. You should not feel bad that you can't read his mind.
But this does clarify the issue at hand. Greg has no reason to believe that the Koch letter to Hayek is in any way a fabrication. So when he calls Zernike "incompetent", "intentionally deceptive", and the two authors "reeking sewer rats from the bowels of Russia", I want to make it clear that he does not think that they are "reeking sewer rats from the bowels of Russia" because they brought to light this interesting information about Koch, Hayek, and the human resources policies of the IHS. Rather, Greg Ransom thinks that these journalists are "reeking sewer rats from the bowels of Russia" because they misrepresent Hayek's views in the Constitution of Liberty.
Greg Ransom thinks Hayek was pro-Social Security, in other words. And he's mad at these people for suggesting otherwise.
I haven't read The Constitution of Liberty, but I'm checking it out today to take a look. Needless to say, I'm not taking Greg's word for any of this. If anyone else is familiar with it, or wants to read on it too I encourage them to and to report back here. Is Greg right that these two journalists are "reeking sewer rats from the bowels of Russia" for this? And even if they do misrepresent Hayek's views, that seems to a large extent secondary. This seems like an important statement about Koch and the IHS too.
Anyway - it would have been much clearer from the outset if Greg had just written a post that said "I want to congratulate Levine and Zernike on the work they did to uncover this evidence of Hayek's genuine support for a social safety net" The whole "reeking sewer rats from the bowels of Russia" thing was a little vague, but now we are clear.
Let me know what you all think of Constitution of Liberty, if you get a chance to look at it.