Saturday, June 2, 2012

How Libertarian is Gary Johnson?


The Robert Wenzel Show is back. My first interview at the return of the show is with Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson. During the interview, I ask him about his libertarian influences and his understanding of Austrian economics. The answers will likely surprise.




Here's a different audio version for those of you who would like to download the show as a podcast.


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211 comments:

  1. Wow, Gary Johnson is more a lightweight than I feared, at least intellectually. Your summary and advice to him were spot on. To be an effective libertarian candidate he needs to bolster his libertarian instincts by reading a lot, or he will seriously embarrass himself and the cause. Instead of going to the top of Everest, he should stop off at a monastery for six months with a backpack full of Hazlitt, Rothbard (lots of Rothbard), Higgs, Bastiat, etc. And please, stay away from the beltarians at Cato and Reason.

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    1. He's in it for the power, intellect be damned. The question remains, has he figured out how to successfully achieve it? A bit of Romney, a bit of Clinton, and a bit of Ron Paul just to increase appeal.

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    2. Wait! Who is running for president here, Johnson or Wenzel? I personally find sandbagging someone so you can show off how smart you are distasteful. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself "How could New Mexico have done so well under the Gary Johnson
      administration"? The answer is common sense. In short, Gary Johnson had a tremendously successful eight year run as Governor and it would seem he balanced the budget and created more jobs than any other state without using praxeology or applying Keynesian theory. He just did it right. I think I'll take that!

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    3. You didn't sandbag anyone. Very fair questions. He just doesn't know what he is talking about

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    4. Wenzel asked very basic questions about libertarian philosophy and austrian buisness cycle. Any libertarian even in the Friedman camp should at least understand Austrian Buisness bycle theory. Anyone that claims to be a free market candidate should be knowledgable about how the fed controlls the price of money and how this affects the economy.

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    5. Anonymous one, he was a very effective governor of new mexico for eight years. lowered taxes,mlowered entitlements, reduced government. as a result the economy was better. he is principled on governance but ignorant on the nuts and bolts. leaps and bounds beyond Main stream. he wants smaller government for the people.

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  2. Just listened to your show. You cleared things up for me, thanks.

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  3. FRICK!!!! Gary Johnson is not a very strong libertarian, I know there were doubts before... BUT... in the end, if it's Romney/Obama/Johnson he's still the easy choice there.

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    1. Wrong. If Johnson was to debate a smooth operating shill like Romney, or Obama now he would be slaughtered. Though their economic knowledge is equally poor both of them can deliver their tripe far move convincingly. Johnson running now would set back the libertarian movement a decade or more.

      If he takes Wenzel's advice, educates himself and then runs in another 4 years then perhaps he'll be worth considering. Until then if you vote for the lesser of 3 evils then you're still voting for evil.

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    2. Jesus christ man, he's polling so, so much higher than any other libertarian candidate ever has, he's actually relevant for god's sake! Your really going to sit there on your high horse and tell the man to educate himself? How good a governor were you, pray tell? I cannot believe the thickheadedness of you people, this is the best opportunity the libertarian party has ever had, and he's not good enough for you?

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    3. The man has NO ideological base. It is a hole, there is nothing there, besides Friedman.

      What is Wenzel supposed to do? This was a chance for Johnson to let people know who he is and his beliefs. It is not Wenzel's fault that he fell flat on his face. He has not even picked up book by Rothbard, MR LIBERTARIAN! It sounded as if he was completely unaware of his body of work. He doesn't have to walk the Rothbardian line but at least be aware of it.

      Now when he proceeded to give him a basic lecture in ABCT, that might have been a bit much but I don't believe Wenzel wanted to make him look dumb. It sounded to me almost as a plea for him to educate himself on these important issues with many libertarians.

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    4. Michael Root, Jesus Christ, you sound like a republican or Democrat. "Jesus Christ, he's the best we got, pretend he is not a lying muddlehead, who doesn't know his ass from his head. Jesus christ, you guys actually want a canidate who is not a retard, that is not realistic, we need this retard, he is the best retard, and please stop calling him a retard, because he is OUR retard"

      ROFL, dude grow up, and stand up, stop pretending that libertarians are being immature because they are holding the libertarian canidate to the party platform and disappointed he doesn't know what he is talking about.

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    5. anonymous one, he did pretty damn well in the first republican debate. afterwards they barred him from the others.

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  4. Sorry, I stopped listening after Johnson said Milton Friedman was one of his libertarian influences.
    Did he redeem himself?

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    1. Not really, he went on to cite the STATO Institute & Reason as his primary influences,

      Then he went on to demonstrate complete ignorance of the ABCT, to argue that the ABCT was false (by raising the tulip bubble).

      He seems to be a simple utilitarian, assessing every policy decision by weighing up good and bad whilst throwing in a few bits of libertarian jargon but has no fundamental respect, or even knowledge of self ownership or other libertarian principles.

      He seems a nice person, but he is not a critical thinker and certainly not well read, he has not read any Mises, Rothbard or Hazlitt. That is a big problem because whilst he is fine reciting STATO/Reason mantra & jargon I imagine that come time to serve as president he'd quickly be forced to run to the advisors and speech writers his White House handlers arrange for him, e.g. ex Goldman bankers & Kissinger types will be dictating his decisions.

      Bob did a really good interview, you could tell Johnson was feeling very awkward as Wenzel completely destroyed his libertarian credentials, Wenzel closed by praising Johnson's good intentions and urged him to spend time reading from the Mises institute and really learning his stuff, noting that the guys Johnson will come up against have had decades defending their Keynesian tripe and that superficial knowledge will not help him in real debate. Hopefully Johnson takes this to heart and I think he will, Bob has a real knack for evangelizing without being condescending.

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    2. Whoever wrote this has NOOOO clue what they are talking about. Its not the STATO institute its CATO. Anyone really interested in fiscal reform would know this.

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    3. I think you missed his joke.

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    4. Yes, that little joke flew about a mile over Selena's head.

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    5. I don't have much respect for the current incarnation of CATO but I have even less respect for Wenzel after this interview. You bring on a Libertarian candidate who for the first time has a real shot and then nit-pick him over and over about Austrian theory ad nauseum. Wenzel should have done a little more reading himself about the full scope of Gary Johnson's platform and delivered the listeners some substance instead of trying to pin him on how many dead economists books he has read.

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    6. So I guess libertarians should get a free pass. Due to their espoused libertarian values, we should accept everything at face value. It's alright to vet the republican and democratic candidates, but not a libertarian one.

      The funny thing is, if he asked the same questions of Ron Paul, nobody here would be complaining. Why? Because Ron Paul would know what he is talking about and wouldn't humiliate himself.

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    7. I don't understand all this talk about Gary Johnson having a "real shot." He will not win. Neither would Ron Paul running as a Libertarian party candidate.

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  5. Gah. That was embarrassing. My apologies to any of my readers for my having assumed that Gary Johnson would be a reasonable standard-bearer in the absence of Ron Paul in the field. While I got the impression that his positions may align more closely to libertarian philosophy than, say, Bob Barr, I'm also convinced it's a pragmatic rather than a principled stance. The house looks good, but there's no foundation under there. He'd get eaten alive as President.

    Back to writing about the underground, the eventual collapse of the house of cards, and agorist approaches to weathering the storm for me. I'm done with electoral politics once more.

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    1. "Pragmatic rather than principled" says it pretty well.

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    2. This site seems to have too goodly a number of what Robert Wenzel referred to as hard core Libertarians. First among them would be the die hard Ron Paul enthusiasts who perhaps haven't looked at the polls lately where Gary Johnson is polling over 9% nationally. Knowing Johnson with the Mt. Everst and all that, I'll bet he meets the 15% goal. Next, we have the sour grapes Bill Still'ers who don't yet want to believe he lost. It makes me sick, I'm signing off!

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    3. Paula...please don't try to compare Gary Johnson with Ron Paul....especially after this interview. You're only making it worse.

      After signing off, it would do you some good to head over to Mises.org.

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  6. Johnson is a Beltarian. His homage to Cato and Reason was sickening.

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  7. So it looks like I'll still be writing in Ron Paul. He's like the Palin of libertarian politics.

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  8. Actually, I thought Gary Johnson displayed more knowledge of economics than most presidential candidates do. He' pretty clueless about monetary policy, but how many candidates even know what the term means? Milton's Friedman's popular books, like "Free to Choose" are very solid free market stuff, and I think Friedman admitted that he got much of his arguments from F.A. Hayek.

    Do you have to favor Austrian economics to be a libertarian? That was one of the disputes between Rothbard and the Koch brothers that led Rothbard to leave Cato. The Koch brothers wanted to be more inclusive. But, then again, Hayek let Friedman in to his Mt. Pelerin Society. (Perhaps we should ask Gary Johnson to climb Mt. Pelerin).

    But even Austrians have disputes among themselves. I don't think there's a dogmatic answer to that question. If Gary Johnson wants to crack down on money creation, balance the budget, and maintain a strong dollar, that would be a big improvement over our current policies.

    And btw, government intervened in many ways prior to the Federal Reserve including: printing money, coining additional silver, and regulating federally charted banks. State banks also sometimes accepted state-chartered bank notes in payment of taxes which made them almost as good as legal tender. I've learned that from casual reading. Someone who studied the issue would no doubt find much more.

    The Fed is A culprit but not the only culprit.

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    1. "Actually, I thought Gary Johnson displayed more knowledge of economics than most presidential candidates do."

      Heh, that isn't saying much at all. A dog understands economics better than almost all of the maggots (i.e., politicians) in The Imperial City.

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    2. Gary Johnson knows a lot more about economics than most presidents. That's the problem....

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    3. Good Points, But friedman is chicago school. As Robert points out, it may not matter to the drones out there, but the "hard core" libertarians know the difference.

      Keep learning everyone

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    4. "Do you have to favor Austrian economics to be a libertarian?"
      It seems like it, huh? :)
      Free To Choose was more of an influence on me regarding freedoms/libertarianism than any Mises book....
      Perhaps the reason Ron Paul did not get the votes was because of his rabid belief in an heterodox economic school thought?
      Most economists do not believe that a return to the gold standard is a good thing...

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    5. Most economists are keynsians.... you know, the boom bust advocates... the responsibile parties for justifying government spending? you know the big crash is coming? most economists don't believe it. you know the recession of 2008? most economists didn't see it.... Ahh, nevermind.

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  9. Bob, that was needed. Thank you.

    Anonymous, far, far from it.

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  10. No, he didn't redeem himself, the interview goes down hill from there.

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  11. Great interview.

    First, Wenzel said this on EPJ "You will have a completely different view of him after listening to this interview, guaranteed."

    Then, he quoted a technician's e-mail saying "I'm still reeling from last night's call......I cannot believe the answers (non-answers) to some of the simplest questions you were asking. "

    Since I was a skeptic beforehand, I was wondering how my views would change. What changed for me was that I went from unsure to sure. He has absolutely no clue about Austrian economics.

    As Wenzel said during the interview, he has some "good gut instincts as far as freedom is concerned," but he's certainly no Ron Paul. He has to read and learn quite a lot more; otherwise he'll be an embarrassment when it comes to discussing libertarian economic policy.

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    1. Yes, Gary Johnson does have good instincts and not just about freedom. We live in a dangerous world. I find Gary Johnson's foreign policies greatly superior to Ron Pauls. Not sometimes, but everytime you must take a "doer" over a "thinker". I would remind Wenzel that Ludwig von Mises ran away from Hitler with his tail between his legs.

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    2. Christopher,

      1. How are Johnson's views on foreign policy different from Ron Paul's? I got the sense that foreign policy might be the one area where Johnson and Paul do overlap.

      2. I can see that you have not taken to heart Hayek's warning in the "Road to Serfdom" about "doers" over "thinkers"

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    3. lol....I suppose Christopher would have stayed and "fought" Hitler.

      I doubt he would have made it past the first year of WWII, whereas it was Mises fleeing that allowed him to impact the world far beyond any possibility if he had stayed...especially so if he had been killed during that time.

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    4. "I would remind Wenzel that Ludwig von Mises ran away from Hitler with his tail between his legs."

      As opposed to staying and dying, Christopher? Yeah, sure, that would have been great! We could all do without Mises' economic theory!

      Dr. Wenzel, I think the only difference between their foreign policies is that Johnson, at the very least, used to support humanitarian wars. But when he answered your question in the interview, it seemed he had changed his mind about that. Can't know for sure.

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    5. While I do not necessarily agree with Christopher's thoughts on doers and thinkers, I think all of you (Wenzel included) are missing the point he is trying to make on '...Ludwig von Mises ran away from Hitler with his tail between his legs.'

      Did von Mises have an incredible and positive impact upon the world choosing the path he choose? Yes. Nobody is claiming otherwise. However, according to the NAP that all of you supposedly espouse, someone had a right to respond to Hitler's aggression regardless of the 'why' Hitler came to power in the first place. That being the case, who was victimized, who bore the grievance of Hitler's actions? Was it US/UK (Allies) citizens, or the German Jews like von Mises? Of course WWII escalated, but originally it was the millions of Jewish Germans and subsequently the residents of the countries Hitler invaded who had a claim against Hitler/the Nazi's. I highly doubt that von Mises or any other 'principled' Austrian would let such a grave assault on his person and his property go unanswered. This is not meant as an attack on von Mises; rather, it is to show that nobody is perfect and even the most perfect theory in application can yield less than optimum results if followed without room for interpretation.

      If you want to nit-pick about theory and claim to be 'principled' at least be consistent.

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    6. scootsmcgoo, I'm sorry but this is completely illogical. I was reviewing this thread for a comment I had read previously, and happened to come upon your comment, so I cannot help but reply even though you likely won't see this response.

      "However, according to the NAP that all of you supposedly espouse, someone had a right to respond to Hitler's aggression regardless of the 'why' Hitler came to power in the first place."

      Yes, Mises had a right to fight back against Hitler. This obviously is true.

      "I highly doubt that von Mises or any other 'principled' Austrian would let such a grave assault on his person and his property go unanswered."

      This is where you lose me. Just because you agree with the non-aggression principle DOES NOT mean a principled person will use defensive violence in the face of aggressive violence. Pacifists can be libertarians. Bob Murphy is a well-known example. If the military points a tank at your house, does the libertarian principle of non-aggression imply that you MUST go and fight the tank in order to validate the NAP? Absolutely not.

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    7. The Non-Agression Principle IN NO WAY REQUIRES that Aggression against one's person or property be answered with Violence. Moreover, the Non-Agression Principle implies the right to DEFEND against such aggression as one sees fit, so long as HE HIMSELF refrains from aggressing against innocent parties in the process. Mises chose to respond to the aggressions of Hitler's government by LEAVING with his LIFE intact! That he chose FLIGHT (rather than "FIGHT") as his defense IN NO WAY implies that his APPLICATION of the Non-Aggression Principle was somehow flawed.

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    8. Again, you are missing the point. It is not simply that Von Mises was a believer and advocate of the NAP. It was not simply that he was libertarian or a free-market champion. It was that he was all of the above and he was so in an incredibly consistent manner, USUALLY.

      There are at least three unsubstantiated assumptions that both of you make: 1) that my critique was an attempt to invalidate the NAP 2) that Mises responding to an attack on his persons and property necessitated the use of violence (whether against innocents or not) 3) that I am suggesting he do anything other than demand restitution of what he was deprived to the degree that is just and fair.

      Its unfortunate that very few of the people that comment on this site can take a comment in contrast to the view that is clearly held by the 'group' as anything other than an outrageous attack on the entire way of being of a libertarian. Serious group-think. Just try to get out of the box a bit and think that, yes, Mises was a wonderful and marvelous economist who advanced the cause of liberty. Some would call what he did by running away principled. Others would call it cowardice. Who knows until you are in that situation. I certainly don't because I've never been there, but it seems a large inconcruency in an otherwise extremely consistent life.

      Can't wait to see what comes back this time.

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  12. Robert, A TOUGH interview, more of a lecture really. I can't imagine anyone seriously wanting to be on your show after listening to this. Maybe a professor? I cringed for the first ten minutes, actually feeling sorry for the man. You did ask a lot of good questions and got some important information in the second half. However, your economic brilliance unfortunately leads to arrogance, I believe, and makes you better suited as a lecturer. Just my humble opinion. I wish you good luck with the show anyway and I look forward to your next victim.

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    1. I think Bob was right to be tough, just imagine if an unprincipled libertarian like Gary Johnson were to actually get elected, could you honestly see him standing up to all the government interest groups if he can't even stand up to another libertarian?

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    2. Yeah, how DARE he try to teach anybody anything. Please.

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    3. Yeah it was a tough interview, but what would you prefer.

      Do you feel it would be preferable if Wenzel did like elitist fluffer/interviewer Charlie Rose and glossed over all of the candidates shortcomings in a desperate attempt to fit in with the elite?

      Of course not, you may be right that this will make it harder for Wenzel to secure future interviews but is that such a big deal? Ludwig von Mises lived by the phrase "tu be cede mails, sed contra audentior ito" which in English is "do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it."

      Wenzel is advancing the Misean case in a courageous manner, you are merely a chickenshit who cares more for popularity than you do freedom.

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    4. HAH! I'm the chickenshit, but you're anonymous?!?!?! I don't need to prove ANYTHING, but my point is exactly what you referred to, that this WILL make it tough for him to secure future interviews with high profile figures. I'm not one for softball interviews either, but there is a way to get this done and accomplish the goal without turning off and tuning out anyone who doesn't "think like us". There is an art to it - funny, I always thought Charlie Rose was one of the best at it. But maybe I'm wrong, Mr. Wenzel is a lot smarter and knows what he's doing. Maybe the idea is to be aggressive, to educate, and maybe even to embarrass a little to get these people on right track.

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    5. Are you seriously defending Charlie Rose's softball interviews? lol

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    6. You thought Charlie Rose was one of the best at convincing people?

      I think you misjudged him, Charlie is a long-time Bildeberger and well known for his softball questioning of the elite. He is an archetypal elitist shilll, even Bob Wenzel has noted this before on this very blog.

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    7. Peter Schiff will be my guest on next week's show.

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    8. Once again I am disgusted at how dogmatic some extreme libertarians can be. That wasn't an interview, it was a lecture, as Joeyfrat said. Who ever said that one has to be an expert on ABCT to be a libertarian? I would have hung up the phone on Wenzel with his condescending tone. Jesus Christ, that was horrible, Bob. Ask him questions about his policies or views, but let him speak and quit lecturing people. The fact is that he never claimed to be a Ron Paul and he has publicly stated that he doesn't agree with Ron Paul on every issue, and you acted like you were trying to expose him as something that he's never claimed to be. The fact is that he has an excellent record as a Governor. Way to go on that ambush, Bob.

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    9. Anon, it wasn't just his complete ignorance of economics (Austrian School or otherwise) that was the problem, after all, economics is a highly specialized discipline. However, Johnson couldn't even name one single libertarian thinker that has influenced him. The names that he did mention are far from libertarian.

      I'm sorry, but I think that it is quite a problem when the guy running for the libertarian ticket isn't even a libertarian and doesn't know the first thing about libertarianism. The Libertarian Party has done this bullshit two presidential cycles in a row. I mean shit, they actually tried passing off Bob Barr as a libertarian last time. Bob Fucking Barr!!!

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    10. Anonymous 2:46...

      Wenzel never said that Gary was not a Libertarian...He merely wanted to know where Gary fits on the spectrum.

      We found out as he couldn't name one "libertarian" author or book.

      Is that an odd question to ask a Libertarian Presidential candidate? Give us one book?

      Lots of Libertarians get the wool pulled over their eyes from "acceptable opposition"...and that's what Gary Johnson is..."acceptable opposition".

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    11. Johnson was a very successful businessman, and arguably an even more successful politician, and obviously a smart man. He said that he has been influenced by Reason, CATO, and Friedman. I understand that a lot of the readers on this site don't think that those institutions or people are libertarian, but they are. Johnson and Ron Paul hold mostly very similar views; where they differ are minute differences.

      The point is that Robert ambushed him, and it shows just how obsessive that some of these people are. Robert could have given him a tough interview and asked hard questions without speaking to the man like he was a damn child. He was probably too pissed off to even be able to articulate what he knows, probably a little incredulous as to the questions he was being asked.

      Also, as someone else said, libertarianism is really quite simple. One doesn't need to read a million books to understand it, let alone one book, and one certainly doesn't need to be an Austrian economist to understand it either.

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    12. "Peter Schiff will be my guest on next week's show."

      Hahaha, I can imagine this already.

      Wenzel: "Peter, what are your favorite libertarian authors regarding the sales tax?"

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  13. Pretty incredible, he can't even name a single book on libertarian thought or even a single real libertarian author.

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    1. For the sake of discourse, can't some of you "anonymous" guys get a name? Back to the topic . . .
      Gary Johnson's executive experience was as a Republican. He was always a strong believer in liberty. He only switched affiliation to the Libertarian Party six months ago but nevertheless took the party by storm. I think it's because people admire strength and honesty.

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    2. Wenzel, and I'm sure many of us, don't doubt Gary Johnson's instincts towards liberty.

      The comment above, and the entire interview showed that other than an instinct, there's not much more there.

      If Johnson ever got the chance to End the Fed...the Federal Reserve would sick their intellectual Keynesian pitbulls on him immediately. Johnson would have no chance! He doesn't understand the Fed at all....or the business cycle.

      Not so with Ron Paul.

      Johnson seems like a nice guy...he got caught lying about reading Rothbard, so your claim of honesty is questionable. But liberty would never come on his watch.

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    3. "I think it's because people admire strength and honesty."

      Yeah, judging by this interview Gov. Johnson doesn't seem to have either of those qualities

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    4. "I think it's because people admire strength and honesty." -- Christopher Carlson.

      Yeah, he's got great strength.

      He's so strong that he's got people coming out of the woodworks whining about Johnson getting a tough interview rather than a puff piece.

      If i didn't know any better i'd start thinking Johnson is a poor little boy that is being bullied by the Big Bad Libertarians, and needs to be cuddled and protected by people who are just happy he's mastered his ABC's.

      Jesus Christ...
      What are you softballers afraid of?
      It must surely be something.
      If Gary Johnson was so skilled and equipped at being a libertarian candidate, you wouldn't be crying in your milk about the interview so much.
      And if his numbers are so good, there is even less reason for you to moan.

      Tony

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  14. He would do very well to follow Mr. Wenzel's advice. He seems like a very decent person, but if he actually won, he would also do well to surround himself with economists and libertarians of the Austrian School. How great would it be if Ron Paul could pick any post in a Gary Johnson administration? Of course I want Dr. Paul as president, but it would be cool if some great folks surrounded Johnson: say Andrew Napolitano as Attorney General; James Grant as Fed Chairman (he'd be instructed to remove legal tender monopoly laws and legalize currency competition); maybe Edwin Vieira as Treasury Secretary; Lew Rockwell as Chief of Staff if he would assent; I imagine Tom Woods would love getting Secretary of Education so he could oversee its abolishment. Ha. I hate the Department of Education as much as the Fed.

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  15. This is an idiotic lame interview. Your knowledge of libertarianism isn't measure by who you read. Libertarianism actually is quite simple and a smart person can figure out that the proper role of government is nothing but the protection of life, liberty, and property, without having to read 1000-page books from long dead economists.

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    1. ...right, because all libertarians think that there is a role for government. It's not like Murray Rothbard, Lysander Spooner, Hans Herman Hoppe, Doug Casey, Walter Block and Lew Rockwell are anarcho-capitalists. None of those guys have brilliant thoughts that no one else could have come up with.

      All those guys think exactly the same as "libertarians" like Bob Barr. Just splitting hairs.

      (end sarcasm)

      Johnson is pretty much clueless as to what all those men have to say. I understand the 20 year old who just got interested in this stuff having not read Rothbard, Mises, Hazlitt and Hayek yet. But most of the Ron Paul youth read these authors within the first year or two of getting interested in economics/libertarianism.

      Gary Johnson said he got into this stuff in 1971. When on earth did he plan to get around to reading seminal works like Human Action and Man Economy and State? He hasn't even read economics in one lesson! That's inexcusable.

      I was horrified of his answers regarding banking. Yeah it would have been great if he could have summarized "The Theory of Money and Credit." But he hasnt even spent a whopping 2 hours reading Rothbard's "What Has Government Done To Our Money" and "The Case For A 100 Percent Gold Dollar." Those are excellent books. They are easy to read.



      Johnson is as much of a libertarian as the weekend warrior hack that shoots 120 is a golfer.

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    2. Yeah, to be honest, I had a better understanding of Austrian business cycle theory from Ron Paul talking about it during the Republican debates than what Gary Johnson seems to know currently.

      I mean, you don't even have to be an Austrian to understand what the theory basically says. It was sad to see that he had no idea what it was about.

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    3. Yep, and I should have said Gary Johnson is to libertarianism as Charles Barkley is to golf.

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    4. Hmm? I would have thought that the non-aggression principle or private property would be what libertarianism is all about, that libertarianism is not at all concerned with what the "proper role of government" should be or is (the principles of libertarianism apply to all parties equally). Then again, who am I but a guy that reads a lot of books? What do I know about libertarianism?

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    5. I am 17 and got interested in Austrian Economics in the last year and have already read Hayek, Rothbard, Peter Schiff, Hazlitt, Tom Woods, DiLorenzo and Ron Paul of course! =)

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    6. There's a big difference between minarchist (Mises) and anarcho-capitalist (Rothbard). The "libertarian" label has been applied to both. Ron Paul may be a closet anarcho-capitalist. We may never know.

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    7. Deft: I saw a brief Ron Paul interview from an anarcho-capitalist, and Ron stated essentially that "self-government" is in fact the ultimate goal. I can try and find it if you'd like...

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    8. Al, Paul saying that he supports "self-government" doesn't really tell us whether he is a minarchist or an anarchist. Ancaps aren't opposed to governance, they are opposed to the state (i.e. monopoly governance). The term self-government has been used to describe the constitutional republican system, but it could equally be applied to the market governance system envisioned by ancaps, as both are forms of self-governance, only one is a monopoly-based system whereas the other is a market-based system.

      My own opinion is that Ron Paul is very similar to Tom Woods (and myself). I think that he is philosophically an anarchist, but that he is also practical and supports a move toward constitutional governance as a step in that direction. I just don't see how you can have known Murray and not be convinced by him.

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  16. He sure scares me, Bob. Reason and Cato? Milton Friedman? Doesn't understand the ABCT. Our choices are between evil, stupid, or none of the above [I'm going with none of the above].

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    1. When you have about 3 people to chose from for Libertarian principles, maybe you shouldn't be so picky. What's wrong with Cato and Reason? George Selgin is affiliated with Cato. Is he not pure enough for you? John Stossel has probably done more than any living person besides Ron Paul to promote free markets to the average person. He writes for Reason Magazine. Milton Friedman probably has done more than anyone in the 20th century to promote freedom.

      I'm a big fan of America's Great Depression and the Rothbard columns I have read on Lew Rockwell's site, but just because St. Rothbard was nasty to Milton Friedman and was spited by Cato doesn't mean they are bad.

      Rothbard was not right about everything and Gary Johnson certainly has positives.

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    2. John Stossel wouldn't have flunked the interview. As another comment pointed out, Gary Johnson seems to be a utilitarian, not a libertarian.

      Rothbard was also a shareholder in CATO before the 'libertarians' there stole his shares.

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    3. Serious question: What's wrong with Reason, and why's everyone hating on it?

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    4. Please lecture me, Mr. Anonymous. Cato, Reason, and Friedman are at the edge of libertarianism and are some of the more popular names [due to their age and willingness to conform when needed] that any conservative/liberal will spout off when trying to appear informed of the movement. The reason that Gary Johnson worries me is that he has NO understanding of the libertarian movement or economics. Yes, Reason and Cato have done some good [mostly awhile ago, but still], but when you can't name a single work that influenced you out of these think tanks [which are not better than the Mises Institute] you come across as ignorant. When I was listening, I immediately thought that Johnson was just naming names in the hopes to "sound libertarian" [he was grasping for straws when he pulled Ayn Rand's name out of his ass].

      Gary Johnson, like most in the Cato/Reason clique, is a libertarian for the cost benefit analysis [just listen to his response about marijuana at the last Republican debate he qualified for]. Libertarianism doesn't necessarily mean that one is socially liberal/fiscally conservative which is what Johnson said. To be a libertarian, you must accept the NAP. That is it. I'm pretty sure that Reason supported the first Gulf war and they went after Ron Paul, so they are definitely not flawless either.

      Jeff Riggenbach made a lovely series of podcasts called the Libertarian Tradition. Gary Johnson should listen to these, pick up Economics in One Lesson, and start brushing up before somebody worse than Wenzel hands him his ass again.

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    5. "he was grasping for straws when he pulled Ayn Rand's name out of his ass"

      I thought the same thing. At least he was half-cognizant enough to realize after he said it that Rand wasn't a libertarian. Then again, either is Gary Johnson apparently.

      Thanks for this interview, Bob. You pretty much showed that Johnson is nothing more than an ignorant politician. What his principles are, I could not tell you, at least not from the bullshit that spewed forth from his mouth in this interview. But, I can be pretty sure that they (his principles) don't have a god-damned thing to do with libertarianism. Which brings up the question: If Gary Johnson clearly is not a libertarian, then what the fuck is he? My guess would be "POS politician". What say you?

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  17. Holy cow. That as so painful I could barely stand it. It was so obvious that Johnson was lying his way through the entire interview. The fact that the Libertarian Party allowed this man of NO integrity to be their nominee for POTUS is pathetic, sad and tragic. They had a number of viable, honest, libertarians to choose from and they went with the guy who had NOTHING with regards to principles and merely a name with recognition. I really expected better from the LP.

    That is not even to mention they had a fantastic candidate in Bill Still who could have made some serious changes to monetary policy.

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    1. Bill Still?? You would like a greenbacker? Maybe Ellen Brown for Sec. of Treasury? I thought we liked sound money here in Mises land?

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  18. If this interview comes as a shock then boo on libertarians who were supporting him without actually knowing what he stands for. His views on FED and cocaine were not a secret and were known to anyone who had bothered to look into it from the very start. And yes anyone who knew about his views on FED could have known he knew nothing about Austrian business cycle theory. I think the shock expressed is more of a reflection on how ignorant learned men or those who think they are learned can be. I love Bob but this interview was not very intelligent. Instead of asking about books he could have asked about policies. In 28 minutes the only policies he could ask about was FED, taxes and drugs. I could tell more about problems with his military/defense policy then one could get out of this interview. The measure of libertarianism is not how many books one has read but how freedom/liberty oriented one is. Some people are instinctively freedom oriented. Imagine the incentive this gives future libertarian presidential candidates, the only thing they need to do now is to read cliff notes on human action to fool the audience. No the way to get to what one thinks is to ask questions to understand the underlying logic they use to get to their underlying beliefs. We so called liberty oriented people stand in the danger of boxing ourselves into paradigms of thought which only give us a sense of superiority and does nothing else for our fellow man. I put this interview questioning on the same scale as Fox/CNN debate questioning. I know nothing more from this interview that I did not already know which is a shame as Johnson hasnt been vetted much on policy.

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    1. "If this interview comes as a shock then boo on libertarians who were supporting him without actually knowing what he stands for. .... known to anyone who had bothered to look into it from the very start "

      Right. Having been paying attention to Johnson from the beginning of the election cycle, it was easy to pick up that he's soft on taxes (that oxymoron "fair" consumption tax business; I was hoping Wenzel would have grilled him on that), foreign policy (supporting "humanitarian" war - another oxymoron), and the Fed for starters long before this interview. So I can't say that I was surprised by Johnson's weak answers to Wenzel's VERY softball questions ("Who are some of your favorite libertarian authors?" That's supposedly "tough" questioning people?).

      What I was surprised about was the way Johnson lied about reading Rothbard and then admitting that he hasn't read Rothbard when Wenzel asked him for his favorite Rothbard book. So not only is he willing to lie to people who might very well want to vote for him but he's not even a *good* liar. I mean, if you're going to lie about having read Rothbard at least have a title on hand to lie about having read! Johnson showed his politician clothes with that one.

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  19. Please interview Paul Krugman next!

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    1. for God's sake please interview Paul Krugman. RW, you're a smart guy and I bet you've got connections. If you can just get the opportunity to speak with him, you can conceal a microphone in your coat and have a good ol' conversation with him

      you know you want to

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    2. God help us, if Krugman deigns to speak to RW. He won't do it unless he can control the interview.

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  20. I remember when I used defend Reason because they did have good articles regarding Libertarian issues. But when a few days ago they give that Neocon chickenhawk, chickenshit Jonah Goldberg an interview. I was appalled to see someone who openly admits his hatred for libertarians and is nothing but a statist scumbag to be given time for a supposedly libertarian organization.

    The LP picked the wrong horse they should've picked Lee Wrights. This is just like 2008 with Bob Barr

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  21. that was hands down the best interview i've ever listened to. this is exactly the kind of dialogue i've always been looking for in an interview: a conversation with real questions where you don't necessarily leave a topic until you've reached a clear conclusion on each other's views. then finish off recommending him some books

    thank you, RW.

    please do more interviews. i want others to emulate this

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  22. ...shakes head, walks away...

    Good thing I planned on writing in Ron Paul anyway.

    Other than his war views, yikes.

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  23. All I can tell you is this: **I TOLD YOU SO**

    I've been on this since December of 2010, when Johnson show up on my Blogtalk show for an hour. The Libertarians (of which I am one) went for the "shiny penny" and is now going to get STEAMROLLERED.

    That interview was worse than painful.

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  24. Gary Johnson offered, in defense of the FED, that recessions occurred before there was a FED. Bob Wenzel (who is just starting to read Murray Rothbard's History of Money & Banking in the US) failed to quickly refute this defense as follows: the problem is not central banks, it is what they do which is counterfeiting, aka fractional reserve banking. Fractional reserve banking was legalized and practiced with relish and glee long before the FED was set up.

    The purpose of the FED was to consolidate all the banks so that they counterfeited together at the same rate and no one bank would go bust from overzealous fraud; they could all commit moderate fraud together. Currently they are all suffering the consequences of counterfeiting together. It took 40 years of pure unbacked fiat money to wreck the economy, but they did it.

    John Howard says:
    There are 4 schools of economics:

    Marxism: steal everything

    Keynesianism: steal by counterfeiting whenever needed

    Chicago school (Milton Friedman): steal by counterfeiting at a steady, predictable rate

    Austrians: don't steal

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    1. I noticed this also. I was begging for Wenzel to explain how the real problem is fractional reserve banking as opposed to warehouse receipt banking. Rothbard's 'The Mystery of Banking' also does a good job of explaining this.

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    2. A central bank can expand the money supply without fractional reserve banking. The Fed does it via fractional reserve, but that is not the essence of money printing.

      Any fiat money can be printed til kingdom come.

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    3. Bob, now it's our turn. There's a great book on this, called Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles by De Soto. Check it out. It is long, but you'll know your shit when you finish it...

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  25. Johnson started off weak and and it only went downhill from there.

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  26. Would you mind inviting the GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on your show next week Sir, so we get at least some broad brush,brush clarity on how conservative his Republicanism is? I bet that will be fun.

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  27. Great interview. I'm glad you pressed him on these points.

    Gary Johnson is a lightweight. This interview shows he has nothing that informs his libertarian worldview. He'd be rudderless as president and would probably just make the economy worse.

    Best to either write in Ron Paul's name or just not vote.

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  28. Was it me or did it sound like he called objectivists "objectionists"? I really don't think he has read Rand either. If he had read some of her work I think we would see some form of principled base supporting his position.
    But yea this interview was a train wreck. He clearly has no solid principled base that he is working from. Like you said, "some gut instincts" only, and because of that he goes far off the trail with some of these questions because he has nothing guiding him.
    I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't heard of hazlitt, maybe he had already heard of mises and rothbard. But he reads mises like michelle bachman reads mises at the beach.

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    1. LOL I thought the same thing, I'm pretty sure he said objectionists.

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    2. lol....yep..it was "objectionists". At least he didn't say it in ebonics after being axed a question.

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  29. As soon as he started talking about his views of how the business cycle works and what causes it, my ears started bleeding so I had to stop listening. I heard enough. Someone send him a copy of Peter Schiff's "How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes" ASAP so he can start to understand as quickly and easily as possible what this is all about.

    On a bigger point, I think this is evidence of the biggest problem Ron Paul has had/has as a presidential candidate. Those of us who understand what he is saying are people that have investigated what has happened in the economy outside of mainstream sources. I am willing to bet many if not most Ron Paul supporters have read his books and seen the television interviews and congressional speeches he gave well in advance of the crash. They are also likely familiar with Peter Schiff, EPJ (Wenzel), Hayek, Rockwell, Mises, Woods, etc. The people who are not willing to research these things do not really understand what Ron Paul is talking about. They may either agree with him superficially (like Gary Johnson seems to) without understanding fully what he is talking about, or it is so over their heads that they just pass him off as a mad man that rambles incoherent thoughts and wants to legalize drugs.

    I love Ron Paul and and continue to back him but what we need is a Ron Paul who is a better speaker. Who can help the lazy, unintelligent, or (probably the biggest problem) misdirected understand his(our) views better. That is the biggest problem libertarians face is getting people to understand what we are talking about. Ron Paul has done this very well, but if he were a better orator, I think this would be a Paul/Obama election easily. Perhaps the problem is we are a lazy 30 second sound bite country and anything past that just bounces off of our collective skull.

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  30. Summary of this interview: "hey everybody, Gary Johnson hasn't read the same same books I have and doesn't understand the Austrian Business Cycle Theory. What a dope, ammirite?"

    You don't have to be to be an Austrian economics guru or familiar with the works of anarcho capitalism to be a libertarian. I became libertarian in 2000 and in my first election old enough to vote I voted Harry Browne and they Badnarik in 2004. I didn't know jack about austrian econ, I just wanted the government to get the hell out of my way, drastically reduce or completely eliminate taxes, and offer school choice - public school is absolutely horrendous. It wasn't until Ron Paul in 2008 that I even heard the term "Austrian economics" before or knew anything about the Fed. But I was a libertarian before and became a stronger one since 2008 and learned a great deal more than before about econ.

    Don't dump on Gary b/c he's not gone far enough down the rabbit hole as you'd like.

    I've read Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson. It was OK but I wouldn't recommend it (to be honest I thought several parts of it are obsolete and it refutes arguments that no one makes anyone or would know enough to make. Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics is much better). For Rothbard, I've only read For a New Liberty, The Case for 100% Gold Dollar (I think that's what it's called), and The Case Against the Fed. Mises? Haven't read any of his books, just excerpts and perhaps some articles that I can't recall. Guess that makes me too much of a weaksauce libertarian.

    Why don't you try a survey Bob for readers of this site and offer these multiple choice answers:

    a) Zero
    b) one or two
    c) three to five
    d) more than five

    1) How many Rothbard books have you actually completed?
    2) How many Hazlitt books have you actually completed?
    3) How many Mises books have you actually completed?

    Even though the audience of this particular website if very biased, I would be VERY surprised if 40 to 50 percent have not read any books by Mises. And I'll bet for Hazlitt, the majority will have just read Econ in One Lesson.

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    1. You are pretty much spot on. With people like Wenzel, there is no plan to make actual changes. They would much rather the Libertarian Party nominate some totally obscure wingnut that has zero name recognition and zero mass appeal in the name of purity. Look at the way Wenzel talks about Milton Friedman. Milton Friedman was for ending the Fed and was one step above anarchist, but because he thought increasing the money supply based on a formula, Milton Friedman isn't acceptable as a major Libertarian influence.

      Wenzel, it is unacceptable to be talking down to Governor Johnson. You were giving him an economics lesson on the air? What is wrong with you? If you really wanted to help, you would talk to him in private about some of his economics shortfalls. But like I said, you have zero interest in making change.

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    2. The problem is that Gary Johnson described himself as a libertarian, but was not able to cogently present a libertarian philosophy, even 'Gary Johnson's version' of libertarianism. Because of this self-description of being libertarian, Wenzel had no choice but to try to nail Johnson down to some type of libertarianism that influenced him.

      Johnson seems to be a utilitarian. Most of his issues, like drug legalization, seem to come from that perspective.

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    3. Why would we want to elect an intellectual lightweight who doesn't know anything about basic economics? Why would this be a good person to 'enact change' ?

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    4. Okay, hold on guys. I’m with you that a litmus test of having read certain authors is not what we’re about. However, had I been Gov. J, and Bob had grilled me, I would have said something like this:

      Bob, being the busy guy I am I have not read Rothbard or Hazlitt but I have read enough of those who have to understand that government meddling is the problem. I understand that when markets are left alone and based on sound, unmanipulated money, they are, essentially self-healing. It is only when something artificial influences the free market that we have long-term problems. So, if elected, my job will consist of abolishing much of government, ending foreign entanglements, and strengthening the defense of our physical borders. Once the artificial meddling is gone and markets are able to operate naturally, where success and failure each have their own reward, we will have a fighting chance. There is only one problem. If someone like me were to actually get elected, the powers that be would conveniently ensure that the brakes on my car would fail or when I was taking a jog, I would have a heart attack. It would look like an accident but gone I would be.

      Bob would have then asked me why I was running with such a defeatist attitude. My response would have been simple: Because the pure need to be heard. We used to be a country of purity. Sure we differed in opinion but using consensus rather than compromise we came to agreements about the way things should operate. Our purity was not necessarily in our doctrine but in our intention to create an operationally sound environment where work meant personal increase and government meant protection from meddling in our work. Today we are all about compromise and lessers of evils. What a shame. The difference between consensus and compromise is lost on our modern world where pride rules the day and our intentions have become clouded. The true meaning of consensus is displayed by a group with true intentions but differing opinions each honing those opinions until all are in agreement. Members of such a group must be willing to swallow their pride and meld together their differences while keeping their pure intentions until all are united and none are left out. Our dear Constitution was created in that way.

      I would run and be heard because the world needs to hear the message. The pure message. Not one compromised by opinion polls. People need to hear a true message about how we have been manipulated by those who own media and have perfected psychological warfare and used it to convince the uneducated that all manner of stupidity is actually truth. We need the light of day shone on every lurking treasonous viper who seeks to rule the world. If I can do that for a moment then my candidacy will have been worth the sacrifice. Your job, Bob, and every one of your listeners and readers is to spread the word far and wide so that my sacrifice will not be wasted. Ron Paul has been a great influence in that way. I seek to be equal to the task of spreading the same message. I care not which of us is elected. I seek only to change the world but I cannot do it alone.

      That’s what I would have said.

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  31. I agree. Ron Paul is great, but he isn't as smooth and clear as some as the other candidates. Gary Johnson and Rand Paul seem to be better speakers. Unfortunately we now know that they have no grounding in Austrian theory. Maybe in 4 years Schiff or Woods will run, but as of now it seems that we are SOL.

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  32. Johnson wrongly stated that Presidential pardons apply only to people who have completed their prison sentences. That isn't right: a pardon can immediately end the sentence of someone who has been imprisoned.

    He mentioned several times that he knew everyone at the Cato Institute and Reason Foundation, but he couldn't name a single author who writes for either of these groups

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    1. Makes him look like a Cato/Reason puppet, does it not?

      Johnson's lack of knowledge certainly makes him easily controlled.

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  33. My earliest reading 6 years ago as I looked into Libertarianism and ABCT was the Tulip bubble...I can't remember it if was French's write up or someone else's...but Bob probably could have made a better point with Johnson-who is economically ignorant relatively speaking- by explaining the tulip bubble was as a result of the influx of gold from the new world...simulating "money printing" by any garden variety central bank.

    It's an early example of the destruction/malinvestment caused by inflation.

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    1. I suspect Wenzel was wise in not going into the tulip bubble event in greater detail. There has to be more to that story than gold flowing into a country. Gold doesn't flow into a country in massive amounts, generally, unless there is some force (i.e. regulation) pushing it in that direction.

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    2. "There has to be more to that story than gold flowing into a country."

      Really? In the context of "money" being gold @ the time I disagree. The major underpinning of ABCT is monetary expansion, the calls to "End the Fed" are based on the same. It's what happens AFTER the expansion that is complicated, not the expansion itself.

      It's the one easy/simple axiom by which we have to argue that few can ever logically even try to refute.

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  34. Further proof that real change won't come through politics....the hidden blessing behind our upcoming collapse may be the possibility of more freedom without politics.

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  35. btw, Gary Johnson doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning anyway...so it's a "non-issue".

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  36. I love it. That's what you get when you agree to be interviewed by a New York money manager.

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  37. So, you won at "Stump the Chump." Happy now? Feel smug enough to keep yourself warm at night?

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  38. Bob -You're an asshole. Lecturing this guy like he's a child and you're some brilliant oracle is going to do nothing but turn people off to the liberty movement.Like some brat who is the arbiter of "hard core libertarianism" with the power to drum out the heretics,and make sure people only read the right books, you know, the ones you read. You remind me of the kids in high school who only like music that isn't played on the radio, and knew every band "before they got big",and Gary isn't cool enough to sit at your table.But oh, don't worry, you scored your points,and we all know how smart you are,maybe now you can take over for Katie Couric and bring your "gotcha" act to a bigger stage. It's because of clowns like you doing things like this that Libertarians never get more than 1% of the vote nationally,and most people have no idea who we are and what we are about. Keep up the good work.

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    1. I fully agree. Bob treated Gary as if he doesn't have a clue about all things Libertarian. Gary is a 2-term New Mexico Governor where he balanced the budget, reduced taxes annually of $123 Million and left the office with a budget surplus. I think he is more qualified then Obama or Romney.

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    2. Debt and spending went up
      link

      link

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    3. Well said, Dan!

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Selena,

      I call bullshit.

      Anon@10:20 AM,

      Wonder why the Johnson supporters here have not addressed your links?

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    6. He was only able to teat him like an idiot because that is how he sounded. Someone should have vetted him better before nominating him.

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    7. Not sure where those graphs come from but it certainly would be interesting to see someone do an inflation analysis on those numbers and see if spending/debt went up or down in REAL terms. Lets not forget who was running the printing presses during that same time period...

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  39. This guy is supposed to be a libertarian? Bullshit! This guy is nothing but a politician. Just listen to him.

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    1. No kidding. People defending him here keep talking about his record as a politician as if libertarians are looking for a politician who can "manage" the country. I'm looking for libertarians who can defend libertarian ideas. I want a libertarian who can inspire people to study libertarianism and Austrian economics. Why would I support a guy who can't even explain my most basic beliefs in an intelligent or influential way? The guy couldn't even name a libertarian book or author he reads. How can you lead a movement that you know nothing about?

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  40. Most of you have asperger's don't you? The progressives and the neocons had a strategy and it worked since 1900 and 1950. We just can't come to the party straight Rothbardian and be expected to be accepted by the masses. You need to have strategy to take over. A strategy of all or nothing is down right stupid and since we think we are so moral and intellectually superior we should apply to a strategy of getting our foot in the door and go from there and imply our smarts.....if you think society will change overnight you are an idiot, change happens one death at time, one mind over time and we are not going to get what we want in in one election. Wenzel disappointed me. He takes three steps forward and takes 2.75 back. Robert use your smarts to make progress for our cause and not destroy it. We would all be Libertarians if it weren't for Libertarians.

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    1. The ideas that Gary Johnson is pushing for will sound extreme to non-libertarians. The problem is he can't explain those ideas to convince people of their merits. It's one thing to say you want to slowly introduce libertarian ideas but it is another to say you want to introduce them by using a guy that can't even explain the basics.

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  41. Man, a bunch of fucking elitists in here. I voted for Ron Paul in the primary and I've voting for Gary Johnson in the general, and there's nothing you can do about it. He's NOTHING like Bob Barr, so don't even pretend that's a good comparison.

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  42. There is nothing worse than arm-chair psuedo-intellectualoid libertarians, Does any voter give a shit about "austrian economics"?

    At least Gary Johnson is doing something, carry the flag and busting his ass as a candidate. All you critics do is carp.

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    1. I for one do. And so do many, many people. So would many more people if they understood it better. Most voters only know the mass media economic "wisdom" including many in the Tea Party and many occupy protesters. If they understood what they were mad about, I bet they would care about it much more. It is not just economics it is our livelihood and health of our country. Capitalism gets a bad name because people misrepresent what it is. And Libertarians and people who promote Austrian economics also get a bad name when our candidates do not understand the issues and misrepresent what Libertarianism and Austrian economics is about. If all I new about Austrian economics came from listening to Gary Johnson, I wouldn't support it.

      It makes us all look bad to have a candidate (who is supposed to represent us) that does not know the facts or how explain what the business cycle is, why it happens, and why Libertarians are the only ones that can stop this stuff from happening in the future.

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    2. Thats why we are in the problem we are in. People like you don't give a shit or are to stupid or lazy to figure it out.

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  43. Bob that was a really tough interview, maybe too tough. I'd love to see you do a similar interview with Rand Paul, Kurt Bills, Thomas Massie and Ted Cruz. The last 3 have been endorsed by the Pauls.

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    1. This. I want to know if Rand Paul understands Austrian economics. I haven't heard him ever say he wants to end the Fed, but perhaps I just haven't heard him speak enough. I just remember one Ron Paul rally where he spoke and he said he wanted to audit the Fed, and the crowd started chanting "End the Fed!" but he didn't announce his support for that action as well.

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    2. Rand Paul is definitely a chump and not nearly close enough to his father as he should be philosophically.

      He's just one interview away from probably being "Gary Johnson"ed by Bob Wenzel...lmao!

      DO IT BOB, DO IT! We need real Libertarian champions, not paper tigers that claim "Libertarianism" by simple words or (gasp) genetics.

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    3. Rand is solid. He knows his austrian eco

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    4. Frank, can you provide any evidence?

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  44. The interview was tough, but only a tough one could give Mr. Johnson the chance to garner the most hardcore activists of the libertarian cause.

    Better luck next time.

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  45. All these people saying Bob was too harsh are being silly. Are y'all the same who criticize the MSM for never ending softball questions due to hero worship of those in the political sphere?

    I'm certainly one of those. Sheesh, if Gary Johnson can't take a simple interview, how the F would he handle the scrutiny of being prez?

    I am glad I have this info about Gary Johnson! ABCT is where it's at. Get it together Johnson!

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  46. I've noticed several comments mentioning that because of Bob's toughness, the Libertarians never seem to go anywhere....that Libertarians are their own worst enemies.

    Nonsense!

    This interview showed precisely why the Libertarian Party doesn't garner votes. There is no foundation! Bob exposed it!

    The Libertarian Party has no chance on Earth with such a candidate. The Keynesians will eat him alive.

    This interview also indirectly shows why Ron Paul strikes extreme fear to the Establishment mind. He *does* have a solid foundation.

    Fortunately, there is a massive Ron Paul movement...and a Gary Johnson movement doesn't exist. This bodes well for our future.

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  47. As a big Gary Johnson fan, this wasn't one of his best interviews. However the interviewer, Robert, obviously didn't like him from the get go and kept wrongly rewording Gary's words and comments. At one point Robert asked Gary what he meant by fiscally tolerant when Gary had just said socially tolerant and fiscally responsible. Is that not Libertarian? Do Libertarians not believe in small government and people being responsible for their own fiscal obligations? This was just a tough interview and Johnson is very much a Libertarian and the best Libertarian Presidential choice we have ever had.

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    1. So you're telling me that there has never been a Libertarian candidate who could explain basic libertarian principles, name one libertarian book he's read, or name even one libertarian author who has influenced him? I seem to remember this guy named Ron Paul who not only could do all those things but could also talk about the most complicated libertarian positions intelligently. I don't want a guy who is going to get 5-10% of the vote. I want a guy who will inspire people to educate themselves about libertarian philosophy and Austrian economics. A libertarian who can't even explain my most basic principles is beyond useless to me in furthering the libertarian movement.

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  48. the only criticism of the interview is the Wenzel failed to ask Gary Johnson who his economic advisers would be if elected.

    If he says someone like Joe Salerno there could have been a silver lining to the interview.

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    1. Gary Johnson wouldn't know the difference between Salerno and salami .

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    2. ^^ LOL Now that is hilarious.

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  49. Johnson isn't Libertarian, he's a Platituditarian.

    Think of the red-meat quote-bait that Reagan tossed to the libertarian hounds ("the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money" amirite?) while he actually expanded the size of the Federal Government.

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  50. The above commenters show how desperate people are to have an alternative, even if the alternative is flawed. Gary Johnson is flawed.

    Bob might have come off smug, but that obviously wasn't planned.

    The fact that someone like Johnson has become the "Libertarian" candidate given his lack of understanding of some core Libertarian principles economically is astounding and how can you blame Bob for missing an opportunity to open Johnson's eyes? Might it have hurt Johnson's feelings?(and his cheerleaders) Yes. Should Johnson take the "criticism" and make himself a better person? Of course.

    Will he? Who knows. But let's face it, he's living in a cocoon with Cato/Reason "advisors" around him and oblivious to a whole important segment/foundation of Libertarianism.

    It wouldn't take very long for his lack of a fully developed Libertarian philosophy to show itself if he ever got into power.

    Everyone making the case that we need "moderate" change toward Libertarianism is wrong. When someone like Johnson eventually gets embarrassed by his own lack of understanding(and he will!) the "moderation" you are all clamoring for will end up hurting the cause.

    Just as someone mentioned above, the relevance of the "Tea Party" is fast fading for the same reason.

    Have some standards people, it's OK to be disappointed if you were a Gary Johnson fan... but it's not OK to avoid reality or "kill the messenger"(or interviewer in this case, you should thank him not attack him)

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  51. Serious question:

    Johnson brings up the point about a speculative bubble concerning the tulips, and Wenzel basically just reiterates his hypothesis that all business cycles are caused by the FED (or similar government intrusion into the marketplace). I feel that these points MAY not be mutually exclusive. If we concede that investors can make poor decisions and create a speculative bubble through their own means (no FED/gov involvement) and blame animal spirits or the like, then this bubble would be limited by the amount of fund/suckers to buy into the bubble. But when that sucker is in the gov, the bubble is an order of magnitude in the millions and will affect the entire economy, whereas private individuals could never find enough suckers to screw anything but a small sector for a brief time. (Also good to point out that the gov sucker is more likely due to perverted incentives) So my belief is not precisely that ABCT dismisses speculative bubbles absent a FED, just that it is the FED which allows a small group of humans to be perverted by poor incentives and create a bubble so large it can wreck the entire economy. This would assume bubbles prior to the FED occurred, and the degree of government involvement would determine their magnitude. Is this plausible/accurate?

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    1. The tulip bubble was actually helped along by the fact the countries surrounding the Netherlands were manipulating their currencies by debasement so a flight to safety occurred to the Dutch themselves. So much inflow of gold and species fleeing the "bad" countries that there was a distortion in prices in Holland itself, especially the tulips. It was still caused by "central" banking, just not the Netherlands' central bank.

      Delete
    2. It's free, easy money, THAT's the heart of ABCT; it doesn't matter if its from the Fed., state banks, or local banks. Credit expansion distorts interest rates and leads to malinvestment. Period, end of story.

      The Fed. is such a high profile target because this is what it does almost primarily and when it intervenes, the effects are the most noticeable due to its particular position.

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    3. Thanks for the info Eric. It's good to know such a big bubble was caused by easy monetary policy.

      So is my point essentially correct, that absent easy monetary policy inviting malinvestment, that we might see a bubble, but it would just be many times smaller than anything that could affect the economy on mass. Basically just a few investors making bad bets? So then ABCT explains that loose monetary policy increases the frequency and/or severity of these bad bets/malinvestment?

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    4. Yes, with the caveat that the interest rate is the cost of money over time plus risk so naturally floating and adjusting interest rates would tend to limit speculative bubbles. The cost of risk would be real unlike the theoretical version we have with a Fed, FDIC, TBTF, etc.

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  52. A few thoughts:

    I thought Gary made a good point about marijuana. The Libertarian Party has been talking about this issue for well over 40 years and has been more or less consistent on it. A lot of people view them as "the party that wants to legalize pot and look at how nutty they are" to coming around on the issue. The consistency does lend itself to credibility over time.

    But if I'm going to consistently touch on a topic, I'd want it to be slightly more meaningful to people's daily lives.

    He also seems to be a non-interventionist, which is something on its face is worth a vote. I know a lot of libertarians want to eliminate the Fed, but it doesn't matter what you do on the issue of central banking if the US military bombs Iran. The draw-down of US troops from all over the world is something the President can do without authorization Day 1. As much as people would want to abolish the Fed, it's not going to happen overnight. You can certainly demand an audit and make their decision-making process public.

    Gary Johnson is obviously uncomfortable bringing up the issue of central banking and economics. That's actually ok. If you're not comfortable defending a position, don't bring it up. I'd also say when you agree to be interviewed by a guy who runs a site called "Economic Policy Journal", there's a good chance he's going to ask you something about it.

    His understanding of booms and busts didn't seem that off to me. You spend too much, realize you can't keep spending like that and you cut back... recession. Did he know the root cause of that cycle? No. Shame on him for not knowing the structure of production. And shame on 90% of the economics profession for not knowing as well.

    His framework for evaluating policies still seems to be "will it increase or decrease personal liberty?", which qualifies him as a libertarian. You can ask "why is the government even making this decision to begin with?" but that's a tough argument to make for people who have politicized every detail of life at this point.

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  53. When you attack the good, for want of the perfect, you guarantee the terrible. It's this type of "holier than thou" libertarian pissing contest and eating our own that will ensure our perpetual insignificance.

    Personally, I don't read Rothbard, von Mises, et al. I prefer to form my own opinions based upon my own objective observations and critical thought, rather than parroting libertarian icons. Does that disqualify me as a libertarian?

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    1. No one here could answer that because we don't know what your thoughts are and you're not influential enough to warrant anyone spending time looking into your beliefs.

      Delete
    2. -Asking a Libertarian *Presidential Candidate* to name a simple author or book is not an "attack".
      -This wasn't a pissing match. It was a very civilized conversation.
      -This interview showed why the Libertarian Party (specifically) lacks significance.
      -No one was disqualified as a libertarian. It just displayed very clearly that, if Johnson were ever to reach a noticeable platform, he would get squashed by the Keynesians.

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    3. "Does that disqualify me as a libertarian?"

      Depends on your conclusions.

      However, something many people here seem to be deliberately overlooking is the fact that Gary Johnson is a PRESIDENTIAL candidate.

      Who cares what books YOU have read! You are not running for president of the most powerful country in the world.
      Johnson is.

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  54. Why are so many commenters attacking the interviewer with non-sequiturs and strawmen when he is clearly not the subject and just how interventionist can one be and still be considered a libertarian definitionally? I don't believe it's "elitist" to ask these types of questions.

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  55. “Education, in turn, has two vital aspects: calling people’s attention to the existence of such a system, and converting people to the libertarian system. If our movement consisted only of slogans, publicity, and other attention-getting devices, then we might be heard by many people, but it would soon be discovered that we had nothing to say—and so the hearing would be fitful and ephemeral. “ - Rothbard, Murray. For a new liberty. 373-374.

    I believe what happened in this interview was exactly what Rothbard warned in the above citation. The Libertarian Party again went for the name recognition instead of the substance when nominating the candidate. I had my reservations towards Mr. Johnson long before he announced his run for the Libertarian ticket, and he definitely wasn’t my first choice on the convention ballot (mine was Bill Still). But he’s the nominee now, and personally, I think it was better for him to self-destruct during Wenzel’s show, then in the general debates against “the others”. He went in front of the toughest audience of all, and the outcome will hopefully make him read, at least the platform of the Libertarian Party, if not some basic works of Rothbard, Mises, etc.
    Libertarianism was here before, and will be here long after Mr. Johnson. It survives because libertarians are both very well educated in libertarian theory, and willing to engage in public policies through Libertarian Party. Only the mixture of those will guarantee an outcome different than two current ruling parties. I hope Mr. Johnson and every libertarian understands this. I hope we continue debating and bringing our “radical” views to the general public. In doing so, we must ensure that each one of us IS the standard bearer of the libertarian banner. It is a tough task, but knowing many libertarians, I’m also convinced that we’re the only ones who could live up such standards.

    In Liberty!

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  56. Relatedly, if you're truly interested in why the LP has little to no relevance, why Johnson is such a Cato/Reason/beltarian stooge, and emits its particular "off" odor you might be interested in this podcast Lew Rockwell put out with David Nolan:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lewrockwell-show/2008/12/16/85-david-nolan-what-happened-to-the-libertarian-party/

    I will reiterate something another poster said above, maybe JoeFetz; the only qualifier is this:

    "Do you hate the state?"

    All other matters are ancillary.

    If you reject coercion, trespass, and aggression while valuing voluntary interpersonal dealings, contracts, and private property, then THAT is your libertarian qualifier. Holding these ideas brings you to Austrian economics is the natural and logical extension of such a philosophic position.

    That Johnson can't see that or won't see that tells me everything I need to know.

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  57. Bob Wenzel is an extremely learned expert with respect to economic theory and the philosophies that accompany such. The commenters appear to be miffed about the tactics of the interview. By all appearances, Gary Johnson is a decent and affable guy with a pretty good track record. He may not possess the knowledge of an economic professor but he wasn't afraid to veto boondoggle government spending plans and put New Mexico on a sound fiscal course. I don't want to suggest to Bob that he should lighten up. I further don't want to see the new show become self vilifying in the style of Katy Couric.

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    1. He asked a bunch of soft ball questions. What does libertarianism mean to you? Who are your libertarian influences? What libertarian books have you read? Are these supposed to be difficult questions? If a libertarian can't answer these kind of questions he has no business trying be a leader in our movement. The only reason that interview was cringe worthy was Gary Johnson's shocking lack of knowledge. That scares the hell out of me. I see Ron Paul go on tv and the interviewers are vicious but he is able to handle himself because he understands his philosophy inside and out. I would cut Gary some slack if he was just some guy that liked to think of himself as a libertarian, but when you want to be one of the leaders of the movement then you sure as shit better be able to defend the philosophy.

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  58. The Great ObserverJune 3, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    For the record, Wenzel asked GJ who his influences were. GJ then named Milton Friedman and proceeded to claim that Friedman was against the withholding tax, when he in fact designed it.

    Was Wenzel supposed to keep his mouth shut about this error?

    For the record, GJ sounded totally Keynesian in his answer as to what causes the business cycle. How does that make any sense for a Libertarian Party candidate? Was Wenzel supposed to keep his mouth shut about that?

    Wenzel asked GJ what Rothbard books he read, after GJ said he had read Rothbard. How was Wenzel supposed to know that GJ hadn't read any Rothbard books?

    GJ called Randian objectivists Randain objectionists. How was Wenzel supposed to know GJ would do that?

    The entire idea behind being a libertarian is that one gives careful thought to how society works and what the logical implications are from studying society and human action. Without such a foundation, how would one not view every government crisis as an ad hoc problem to be solved?

    What Wenzel drew out during this interview is that GJ has no foundation on which to base his views. Indeed, his views seemed to change even during the interview (see his comments on dollar policy).

    Quite frankly, his lack of understanding of the business cycle was frightening. What would stop a president with GJ's ill-informed views on the business cycle from calling for massive government stimulus programs?

    And for those who want to discuss his New Mexico record, just how many drug offenders did GJ release from jail? And until recently wasn't he bragging about how efficient he made the New Mexico prisons?

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  59. Johnson vetoed 750 bills, 200 in his first 6 months. Stands for liberty, against drug laws, lowered state taxes in NM, against foreign occupations, man, I think Johnson is great for a politician. We have become a little spoiled with Ron Paul's great example. When a person starts reading mises, it opens up another level of conversation. This is a great opportunity for us to reach out to Gov.Johnson and his followers and share our knowledge.
    There is also excellent, insightful programming on CATO podcasts, I listen and read content from Reason, Cato and Mises every week. I may not agree with every topic, but I can entertain a thought without accepting it. Rothbard voiced political support behind candidates positions that supported liberty, Goldwater, Reagan, Buchanan, Perot all had liberty policies.
    As far as the interview went, Bob was harsh, but everyone running for office deserves scrutiny, that is healthy.
    One of my superiors once told me in business that if you are not hearing any complaints, you probably are over serving them.

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    1. Johnson had a chance to repeal drug laws or pardon those victimized by them, when he was a governor. He did not do that. Why would you think he would do that as president?

      Delete
    2. Perhaps it would be easier to pardon those convicted after the laws are changed? Eventually those prisoners will be released for lack of funding to incarcerate them. Regardless, Johnson won't be president, but it would be nice to have a liberty candidate in the national debates.

      Delete
    3. "Perhaps it would be easier to pardon those convicted after the laws are changed"

      Then there wouldn't be any need for a governor's pardon. Also, it isn't difficult to pardon people as a governor, you simply go "you're pardoned" and fill out a little paperwork.

      "it would be nice to have a liberty candidate in the national debates"

      I think that this is precisely why everybody was so let down by Johnson's lack of knowledge, because if he doesn't understand the principles of his positions, how is he going to debate them?

      People keep acting as if Wenzel and the rest of us are being too hard on Johnson because he didn't read this book or that book. That is completely ridiculous. It isn't about what books he has or has not read, it is about the fact that the guy has no understanding of the basic principles and concepts of libertarianism, nor does he understand basic economics. That's the problem. If you're running as a libertarian, it helps that you know libertarian theory and a little economics. It also helps that you don't name non-libertarians as your influences and don't talk like a Keynesian when asked about the business cycle.

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  60. I recall the first Republican presidential debate in which Johnson qualified his opposition to drug prohibition with an appeal to a "cost-benefit analysis." At that moment I knew he is mostly utilitarian and unprincipled. However, despite the fact that he is almost completely devoid of Austrian economic scholarship, I have to concede that the majority of his policy positions are at least palatable to those who fully embrace the principles (non-aggression and property) whose logical extension leads one to Austrian economics and Rothbardian anarchy.

    Still I would never vote for him. Vote on principle and values, not candidates.

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    Replies
    1. Gary Johnson's excellent record from his eight years as governor show's he knows a thing or two about econmics in the real world, not simply theory. While others were theorizing how to create more jobs and stimulate the
      economy, Gary Johnson was busy doing it.

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    2. Christopher,

      As I recall Gary Johnson claimed as one of his accomplishments that he made the prison system more efficient, which is a real problem for libertarians,since those in jail for drug offenses shouldn't even be in prison, not to mention the entire privatization of state activities versus abolishment.

      But further, why wasn't Gary releasing the prisoners incarcerated on drug charges rather than making their incarceration more efficent?

      Delete
  61. GREAT INTERVIEW. VERY FAIR.

    A REAL DOWN YEAR FOR THE LIBERTARIANS.

    HARRY BROWN..is literally rolling over in his brave..God bless Harry

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  62. Dump Johnson. Recruit Paul!!!!!

    I always thought this guy was a clown. That just confirmed it.

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  63. What's Gary Johnson's position on the Constitution's enumerated powers and the Congress' power to declare war? The president's first duty, assuming they swear an oath to do so without fingers crossed, is to defend the Constitution.

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  64. Gary Johnson is asking permission to control the NSA, CIA, the largest prison population and the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons known to man. And that's just the stuff we know about.

    He deserves to be scrutinized regardless of how terrible his competition is.

    Thank you.

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  65. Bob, you're a great interviewer.. you're willing to ask the tough questions. Keep up the good work!

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  66. For us true believers, this wasn't a good interview and it reminds of a previous disasterous interview Johnson did with the Daily Caller on foreign policy. On some matters, Johnsonn is definitely a lightweight. But in the general election, the choice isn't between Johnson and Ron Paul, or even Johnson and Rand Paul. It is Johnson vs. Romney and Obama.

    Look at Johnson's policy platform, tell me that isn't better--by a large margain--than what Romney or Obama are offering. And Johnson's first two commercials since he got the LP nomination have focused on peace and the reigning in the Federal Reserve--two issues I don't see Romney or Obama supporting or having a good record on.

    Perhaps, in gaining the LP nomination Johnson should have faced more of a challenge. But, as politicians go, is he that bad a choice for November? No, he isn't--though I don't think I will be putting away my Ron Paul 2012 t-shirt and Rand Paul 2016 t-shirt away anytime soon.

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    1. Let's be a little more "real" about the whole situation. Not only is Ron Paul not going to be elected, neither is Gary Johnson.

      From that perspective-if you accept the notion of running is more an opportunity to educate the populace than win, it's pretty damn important that the person chosen for such a role thoroughly understand the mantle he's claiming to wear.

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    2. Ron Paul not only read all the big names in the libertarian and Austrian worlds, he knew them personally and fought in the trenches for something like 4-5 decades. I get that. Still, Johnson is the one out there running in the 2012 general election, and if you look at his actually policy platform, it is as good as anything Ron Paul was proposing. And most people frankly are not interested in a politician's dissertations on economics. They generally want to know what he or she in practical terms will do to change things.

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    3. Well then, if you are right we are doomed to repeat the same crap going on for thousands of years, over and over again if people "aren't interested".

      You can dress up all sorts of silliness without a firm philosophical foundation and even further this "magic man" who "instinctively" knows all the right decisions to make without the benefit of generations of developed thought/philosphy/study is truly a superior human. Let's make him king!

      Delete
  67. GJ: "I love Friedman and Rothbard. Who is Rothbard?"

    #Facefist.

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  68. Yeah that is the problem with politicians in my point of view. They focus too much on current issue and don't leave enough time to read works and explore policy. I think Ron Paul has it right as he only seems to campaign half the time and leaves enough time to study and keep up his theory and studies.

    But yes this interview was a chance for Johnson to reach out to Ron Paul supporters but he fell short. It was very disappointing when he could not even give a reasonable explanation of what it means to be libertarian uhmmmmmmmm “socially tolerant and fiscally reliable…..” Seriously man we need theory and principles not empty slogans.

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  69. Just listened to your podcast on the way into work this morning. My goodness, that was painful to listen to. I think the way you summed it up was pitch perfect: good instincts, terrible basis for understanding libertarian concepts.

    What I was perhaps the most disappointed about was that this is the guy the LP nominated, and his lack of chops didn't seem to be an issue during the party's vetting process! This simple fact leads me to believe that the LP just like any other party. They don't care what the candidate stands for; just win, baby. (Of course, "winning" for the LP means break 3% of the popular vote, but the point remains.)

    So if the LP is just like any other party, that makes Paul's insight that the real work should be in the GOP that much more pertinent. Why deal with a small fry, when your ideas can take over a real organization?

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  70. Most write in votes aren't even counted. A vote for Johnson is a vote for the Libertarian party and helps the LP with future ballot access.

    I don't agree with everything johnson says but he's lightyears ahead of the establishment

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  71. Wow, Mr. Wendel.
    You were really out of line here.
    Johnson was on his campaign rounds, and you totally sandbagged him.
    He may not be an intellectual libertarian, but that does not mean he deserve the kind of humiliation you caused him.
    How many 'hard core' libertarians are out there anyway?
    And are all of them a condescending snob like you?
    Jesus, I feel bad for Johnson.

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  72. Gary Johnson supporters, it's important to know whether the party's candidate is a lightweight or a heavyweight. As Presidential nominee, much is expected of them. They don't need to be perfect, but they have got to be better than this.

    It doesn't mean we can't support Johnson, but we need to know who the man is, and maybe with this information we can encourage him to, umm, do a bit of reading. Seriously, would you want a lightweight as the standard bearer for the LP? Shouldn't we expect them to know about the classic Economics on One Lesson by Hazlitt, for crying out loud? Is that too much to ask?

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    1. Matthew, with all due respect, 99.9% of the electorates don't really care. What they do care is that Johnson has been the second most successful GOP governor over the last two decades, while governing with a strong libertarian streak.

      If the libertarian intellectuals are so embarrassed with Johnson's 'suitability' to represent their cause, perhaps they should pick someone from the Mises Institute to represent them, instead of embarrassing Johnson in public.

      After all, sound theoretical knowledge of libertarianism trumps actually real world accomplishments, yes?

      Delete
    2. Johnson embarrassed himself, the questions Bob asked him were pretty pedestrian for a libertarian discussion. Maybe you should do some research into libertarians like Rothbard, Konkin, Hoppe, Block etc.

      Bob only stepped up the discussion when Johnson was drowning. It would have been irresponsible for Bob NOT to follow up. It would have been a softball interview.

      If Johnson needs softballs with libertarians to have credibility, then the political libertarian [sic] movement is in big trouble.

      Please folks, try to remember that this is the party that nominated Bob Barr over Mary Ruwart.

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  73. You people have to stop being so picky. This man is the best hope you have for president. Writing in Ron Paul will get you nowhere. Gary needs all the support he can get to get into the national debate against Obama and the GOP nominee.

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  74. "The libertarian movement has coasted far too long on the intellectually lazy path of failing to make distinctions, or failing to discriminate, of failing to make a rigorous search to distinguish truth from error in the views of those who claim to be its members or allies. It is almost as if any passing joker who mumbles a few words about "freedom" is automatically clasped to our bosom as a member of the one, big, libertarian family. As our movement grows in influence, we can no longer afford the luxury of this intellectual sloth. It is high time to identify Milton Friedman for what he really is. It is high time to call a spade a spade, and a statist a statist."

    -Murray Rothbard

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  75. Well, either way he won't win but if he gets 15% in the polls he gets to be in the debates. And based on what he's been answering during the republican debates his input can show how weak obama is on civil liberties and romney is on fiscal conservatism.

    http://harryleaks.blogspot.com

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  76. I've been voting Libertarian my entire adult life, but Gary Johnson has inspired me to finally make the decision that the biggest problem with libertarian politics right now is the Libertarian Party.

    We all must strive to push towards minimalist government, individual liberty, and private property rights. The LP consistently promotes the wrong means to that end, and Gary Johnson illustrates that wrong means perfectly.

    The thing that scares me the most about GJ is how aggressively he wants to draw down the military. While I certainly don't want to see any more manufactured wars, the fact remains that the Jihad is still in progress and they still want America destroyed. We need to defend ourselves against that. Combine that with the fact that Red China is aggressively expanding its military power, and even Russia is making a comeback, and the last thing we want is to weaken our defenses!

    Sorry LP, but you blew it. This life long libertarian is voting for Mitt Romney.

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    1. "While I certainly don't want to see any more manufactured wars"

      I guess not strong enough to not vote for Mitt Romney.....schmuck.

      Delete
  77. "Gary Johnson were to actually get elected, could you honestly see him standing up to all the government interest groups if he can't even stand up to another libertarian?"

    When I see morons writing ignorant things like this it makes me cringe. Gary Johnson stood up to special interests and got reelected in a 2 to 1 democrat state. He vetoed 750 spending bills and STILL managed to leave the state with a 1 billion dollar surplus. Not bad for a state that at the time only had 1.8 million people living in it. This whole interview was a smear and an ambush. Robert Wenzel is a turd and a Ron Paulbot with an ax to grind. I'm sorry you people are so easily swayed. Good luck writing in Ron Paul in 38 states thinking that will get him elected.

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  78. Sweet Jesus Christ...I love seeing everyone skewer the guy for not being a hardline, dogmatic libertarian. He seems pragmatic enough and in reality, you probably have to be a bit "weak" in your ideology to be a viable candidate. Those who would vote for a hardline anarcho-capitalist or Rand-worshipper are probably limited to the 100 people on this site. I hate party politics, but I've always thought of libertarians as being smarter, more logical and less inclined to politician worship. This, although it is a small sample, seems to indicate otherwise.

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    1. Eh, i hate to break it to you, but the politician worship seems to come from you, not those who support tough interviews of politicians.

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  79. Robert Wenzel is an obvious tool of the NWO.

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