Friday, May 11, 2012

Bob Murphy should apologize right now!

This is very immature, Bob!

(And I'm a little offended you didn't sign me up).


  1. Haha! Krugman and I have something in common. After I got a computer, I made it a point to educate my parents on the existence of viruses and other malware which downloaded porn on your machine. Came in real handy at a later date.

  2. My original blog was hacked. I don't see any harm in inflating my ego by assuming it was some Keynesian (Daniel Kuehn trying to remove the competition?).

    (Btw, I'm not saying Krugman is inflating his ego or wrong... I'm just making an only slightly related joke.)

    1. I find it a daunting task to fix up my blog, which people tell me has a boring layout. Evil as I am, I doubt I could mastermind taking yours down :)

    2. Oh - and I'm guessing Krugman is wrong (not about the twitter thing obviously - but he's probably just getting junk emails because some idiot is messing with him... not necessarily a "right winger" or just because people get junk emails).

  3. I just send Beefcake the Mighty over there to tell Krugman what he thinks of him.

    1. He is a man of few words. An ascii middle finger is his preferred method of communicating his feelings.

  4. Writes Krugman:

    "Apparently there are a number of people on the political right who have given up actually trying to refute what I say, and have turned to stupid pranks instead."

    Given up to refute what Krugman says? That's pretty outrageous coming from a man who refuses to participate in a debate with Bob Murphy, despite the fact that his participation would bring tens of thousands of dollars to a food bank. Not to mention how he got clobbered by Ron Paul on national TV.

    This man really has no conscience or any sense of reality. Talk about living in a bubble...

  5. Writes Krugman:

    "Apparently there are a number of people on the political right who have given up actually trying to refute what I say, and have turned to stupid pranks instead."

    A pretty outrageous thing to claim for a guy who refuses to debate Bob Murphy, even though doing so would bring tens of thousands of dollars to food bank. Not to mention that he got clobbered by Ron Paul on national TV. If anyone ever lived in a bubble of arrogance and ignorance, it's Krugman.

    1. Come on, the idea that he got 'clobbered' is pretty ridiculous. You might be able to say he 'lost' but in reality the two just talked past each other and nothing was achieved (incidentally, Krugman doesn't rate verbal debates for this very reason).

    2. This is giving Paul far too much credit Unlearningecon.

    3. What I'm saying is that I can *see* how an Austrian would think Paul won - he could do this merely by stating that tax and inflation are theft and mentioning the USSR (to his credit I don't think he did the latter).

      However, it takes some impressive confirmation bias to think that Krugman was 'clobbered'.

      It should also be said that if you think that the main purpose of debates is to 'own' the other guy and make him look stupid, then you obviously need to reconsider your views.

  6. These debates are just an exercise in public sophistry. Socrates was ahead of his time on this.

  7. Unlearningcon and DK

    They weren't talking past each other, Krugman actively avoided answering RP's points or didn't understand them, which is even worse considering his position as the pre-eminent Keynesian economist in the world.

    Take the issue of the Roman Empire, for instance. Krugman said he wasn't supporting the policies of the Roman emperors, but that is exactly what he does. He just doesn't understand it. His advocacy for massive money printing to pay for public expenditure is exactly what the Romans did, as did the Spanish. Of course, they didn't have a printing press so they diluted the coins instead, but the principle and consequence are exactly the same. Krugman failed and fails to understand this, putting him on the same intellectual and educational level as the average TV talking head.

    Another point Krugman tried to make was that he is for markets. It's difficult to know whether he was joking or not, since he says so many outrageous things he actually means. But assuming he wasn't joking, that betrays another lack of understanding on his part. He certainly is not pro markets. Anyone who

    1. is an advocate for a strong, interventionist central bank,
    2. advocates massive government interventions (spending, regulation etc)
    3. thinks the economy must be managed by experts

    is by default completely anti-market. As said, he may have been joking, which would mean that he thinks he himself, Bernanke and some other group of select philosopher-kings possess knowledge and abilities no human beings can possess, or he doesn't understand the concept of markets at even the most basic level.

    You here know Krugman better than I do. Which one is it? Is he so insanely arrogant he believes himself to have godly powers, or he is he just unforgivably ignorant about what being pro market actually is?

    I don't think owning the other person is the point of debate (as usual, Keynesians focus on irrelevant and made up things). But it was worth noting that Krugman complained about "the political right" not bothering to refute his arguments anymore, when he just had been smashed by someone from "the political right". I thought that point was pretty obvious. And he was smashed, by a medical doctor, in a debate hosted in a forum completely in line with Krugman.

    Just imagine what would happen to him in a neutral setting against an actual economist like Bob Murphy. You could also ponder what it matters what "the political right" does or doesn't do. He should worry about what other economists say and do. But maybe Krugman has accepted that he isn't in fact an economist, he is a pundit and mouthpiece for the Fed and the state. As said, it is so difficult to know with this man.

    1. 'I don't think owning the other person is the point of debate (as usual, Keynesians focus on irrelevant and made up things)'

      Oh please with the sweeping generalisations. Your attitude (Krugman was 'smashed') suggests that this is the way you think. It may not be, but perhaps you should change your language if you don't want to be misinterpreted.

      The rest of your comment is just a standard bizarre rant about governments 'knowing better' than 'the market'. Of course, you don't question whether the government has to 'know better' to enforce laws that you approve of like private property and contracts, or ones that you ignore, like limited liability laws, laws that protect shareholders and immigration restrictions.

      Historically markets have arisen due to states paying their public servants in a certain currency then demanding it back as taxes. From the beginning, the state is involved - what it accepts as tax and where this falls, what exactly constitutes fraud (e.g. looting, predatory lending, very minor cases), which property rights are defined (zoning, environmental property rights such as those in fisheries, intellectual property) and the nature of at least the type of infrastructure that private firms wouldn't provide (e.g. roads in cities where it is impractical and costly to charge).

      There's no 'neutral' policy where 'markets' can function 'naturally'. The law is complicated and every decision affects the workings of an economy in some way. The question is whether it affects it for better or for worse.

    2. Unlearningcon

      One would think that a Keynesian would appreciate an observation, which was all the "smashed"-comment was. Krugman had no grounds for making his complaint, surely you must agree with that?

      So now it is bizarre to suggest that governments tend to fail at central planning? Tell me, what does the empirical evidence suggest about government central planning? Let us put aside the theory for a moment. Looking back the past 100 years, how well has the government ben able to centrally plan anything? How well did they do in the USSR? In Eastern Europe? In China? In Cuba? In North Korea? Tell me, please, what does the cherished empirical evidence tell you about government central planning?

      I don't question the need for government to know better? You must not have read my comment, because that was exactly what I did and what Austrians have done for many many decades. Since the government can't know better as that is utterly impossible, it will always and invariably make the wrong decisions. Why is that bad, you might wonder? Well to name one thing, it is bad because government policy affects the whole country and everyone living in it, and a great deal of people living outside. If a single entrepreneur gets things wrong, he hurts only himself. If the management of a company gets it wrong, a number of people will suffer in the short-term (employees, investors, bond holders etc). If and when the government gets it wrong, you may well end up with mass death, enormous misery and wholesale destruction of resources. As you have done on several occasions. So yes, the government has to know better, but it can't, because no human being or group of human beings can.

      Historically, markets have arisen due to people exchanging goods and services with each other. The taxing and imposition of certain currencies came thousands of years after the rise of the market. Nor has the state created any new laws with regards to private property, it has merely codified already existing notions of theft, fraud and other property right related issues. The only laws the state has created have been geared towards the violation of private property, like zoning laws, environmental regulations, eminent domain and so forth.

      As for roads and railroads, to suggest that private firms have not been able to produce those is contradicted by history. The socialization of infrastructure is just one of many violations of private property with disastrous consequences.

      Nor is there a need for "neutral policy". Markets arise as a function of human action. Regard for private property has generally come out of the understanding that a certain level of respect for property rights benefits all. The state as an institution is anathema to private property rights.

    3. 'Historically, markets have arisen due to people exchanging goods and services with each other. The taxing and imposition of certain currencies came thousands of years after the rise of the market.'

      No, this is a fantasy. Markets as we know them originated as a by-product of massive bureaucracies and armies. In the absence of that there are generally more communistic style debt relationships on a small scale - it's only once the state is introduced that these become more calculating and exact.

      As for the rest of your comment, you didn't engage what I said at all, outside of perhaps the infrastructure comment. Please show me an example of private firms providing everyday roads (not highways etc., I'm aware they can provide those).

    4. Unlearningecon

      Are you actually claiming that no trade or exchange took place before there were massive bureaucracies and armies? Because if you do, I really don't know what to say anymore. For one thing, what exactly do you mean with "markets as we know them"? Markets as you yourself define them? And what massive bureaucracies and armies existed 4,000 or 6,000 or 10,000 years ago? Or even 100 years ago compared to the bureaucracies and armies of today?

      I didn't engage in what you said at al!? For heaven's sake, I took everything you said head and on gave a very thorough refutation of every single one of your claims.

      Firstly, I pointed out that empirical evidence suggests very strongly that the government is unable to centrally plan anything with any degree of success.

      Secondly, I explained why it is imperative that government knows better as a response to you utterly false claim that I hadn't questioned the need for government to know better.

      Thirdly, I refuted your rather startling claim that markets are a creation of government.

      Fourthly, I refuted your rather incomprehensible musings about law and policy.

      What exactly is the difference between highways and "everyday roads". Private roads are very common, especially in rural areas. In Finland, for instance, the country side is littered with road cooperatives who build and maintain private roads that serve several private households. Why you think this couldn't work in a city is beyond me. In London, there is part of town that is completely privately owned, with roads that serve high rise office buildings as well as apartment buildings. Tell me, since there is plenty of evidence to the contrary, why don't you think this could work?

      It is time for you to answer my previous points. Will you show me the same courtesy I have showed you?

      1. What does the empirical evidence suggest about governments' ability to centrally plan the whole or any aspect of the economy?

      2. Have you anything to say about why it is imperative that the government "knows better" if it is going to centrally plan something, or do you accept my explanation as it is?

      3. Do you understand why it is impossible for the government to "know better", as impossible as for any given person or group of people?


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