I can't find a clip yet, but last night on The Office, Dwight Schrute committed the fallacy that Andolfatto called Ron Paul out on (this was several months ago so I forget what happened next... I'm sure Andolfatto got a warm reception from those nice Paulites, though).
In the episode Nellie, a somewhat deranged character from the Tallahassee office, comes to the Scranton office and starts acting like the manager (in the hopes that she'll get the job eventually). One of the things she does to get buy-in from the employees is to do a "performance review" for each of them, after which she gives all of them a raise. It's Dwight's turn and to dissuade him Jim says that "the money isn't real - it's not worth anything". Dwight responds "None of our money has been worth anything since we went off the gold standard".
Ah yes! Cue Bob Roddis to trot over here and complain about currency debasement! End the Fed! End the Fed!
Except that's not quite right. Yes, the purchasing power of the dollar has gone down, but wages have gone up! What would you think of a presidential candidate who got up and said "Isn't it great - the amount of money on your paycheck has gone up persistently year after year! And look at profits! We're always setting 'record profits'! To say nothing of home prices - sure we had some trouble a coupl years back, but if you look at the whole century, house prices keep getting higher and higher!"
You would say "well, OK, but all prices have increased over that period, so the fact that my paycheck keeps going up doesn't necessarily mean anything".
So why do so many people speak so highly of a presidential candidate that talks like this about one side of the price level - the value of the dollar??? Why is this guy praised as having a solid grasp of economics? Wouldn't you be deeply suspicious of a candidate that praises ever increasing paycheck figures? So why aren't you deeply suspicious of Ron Paul?
Comparative advantage: a partial truth
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