Sunday, November 4, 2012

Silas Barta thinks that if he yells "Bastiat" loud enough people will just assume he understands him

Here. Incredible.

Next he'll tell us it's the volunteers and those who give away things for free in disaster zones that are the worst of all!

Those volunteers need to charge top dollar for their time or else it might not get to the people with the highest WTP! Could you imagine selflessly helping someone that didn't have the highest willingness to give you stuff???


  1. Er, you *could* have waited a few more minutes to see my thorough reply to your indignation, but whatever. The point was not that I understand Bastiat, but that you (in this instance) failed to think about the unseen. And since you've made this into a new post, I guess I'll copy my response from there over here:
    How is sacrificing potential producer surplus hurting anyone. Nobody has a right to buy prices at higher than other folk are willing to buy it.

    ??? You realize, don't you, that the *whole point* of this is discussion is distinguish between "you have the right to do that" and "that's nice of you". So why are you bringing up that people "don't have the right" to buy at prices higher than other others are willing to pay? (even though they do, and that's exactly how markets normally allocate, but whatever)

    My point is non-gouging may be "nice" to some, but only by being "not nice" to others. You ... don't think that speaks to the point you're trying to make in your post?

    Or you don't see how incurring an avoidable large opportunity cost in producer (AND consumer) surplus resembles a "hurt"?

    Seen and unseen! Seen and unseen! If I yell "Bastiat" loud enough they're sure to be tricked into thinking I understand him!

    And if you push the Bastiat-is-passe hipsterism enough, I'm sure people will be convinced you've assimilated his insights. But when you go about talking how "nice" action A is for person B, without comparing to how not-nice it is for person C, your (failure of) analysis proves more than all the squealing in the world about how you do too! "get" Bastiat.


    Next you're going to be telling me volunteers are not nice for just giving away their hours to people. The nerve!

    That would be true, but you would have to add stronger assumptions there that aren't necessary here or are satisfied (e.g. pricing of externalities that the volunteers are probably trying to fight, local efficiency at finding comparative advantage, etc).

    (And drop the n-word, please.) [note: He called me "nutty". Get it?)

  2. Reply to this comment with +1 if you think it's funny that the comment in which I supposedly "yelled 'Bastiat'" doesn't contain the word "Bastiat".

  3. I think it is odd Daniel felt like he had to write a blog post about a comment someone made on another one of his blog posts. I guess just directly replying to Silas' post wasn't enough.

    It seems like the point of this post was to single Silas out for ridicule. Is that mature behavior?

    I wonder.

    1. Or, that Silas brought up a point that Daniel thought it deserved its own post to be engaged in?

    2. We've had a lot of posts recently on WTP in disaster zones. I've pointed to a lot of specific comments from my own thread that I thought were worth talking about. I've gotten an email from Andrew Bossie (in a sense, another thread of conversation) that I specifically suggested by posted because I thought people would be interested in it.

      Are you really remarking that in this case I'm doing that one more time - or are you remarking that in this case I'm being critical of someone's position?

      Because neither of those things are all that remarkable on this blog. And I don't think either are particularly immature either.

      Getting pouty when people get critical might be, though.

    3. This is how blogs work.

      I could show you lots of posts from Jonathan, Ryan, or Bob that are built around comments that I've said that they consider ridiculous. No hard feelings.

    4. Oh, I agree. The singling-out in a separate post is fine. The childish comments in that post ("Incredible.", I don't get Bastiat, etc) aren't. You also probably jumped the gun on it.

    5. "Are you really remarking that in this case I'm doing that one more time - or are you remarking that in this case I'm being critical of someone's position?"

      Not really sure what you're saying here (6:30am might not be your peak writing time). But I think my point was clear.

      If your response is that you do it all the time and other bloggers do too, then all I can say is follow your bliss.

  4. Getting pouty when people get critical might be, though.

    Oh, definitely. It sure sucks when people get pouty over a mention of the unseen, doesn't it, Daniel_Kuehn?


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