Friday, August 17, 2012

Bizarre Attack on Ludwig von Mises

I have been inundated this morning with emails with a link to a Max Keiser show interview with "Sandeep Jaitly of FeketeResearch.com about the real Austrian economics of Carl Menger versus the fake Austrian economics of Ludwig von Mises"

The interview is totally off the wall with Max in way over his head explaining why the Austrian economic views of Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan are wrong, implying that they are wrong because they are linked to Mises.

First, although Rand supported capitalism on a moral basis, she never wrote about capitalism from an economic perspective and it is not clear how deep her understanding of Austrian economics was.

As for linking Ryan with Austrian economics, it is totally absurd, there is no indication from his political career that he understands Austrian economics.

As for Sandeep, this is one confused  dude. He charges that Mises broke away from the thinking of Carl Menger. He states that Menger held that "value is not outside your consciousnesses."  By this he means that values are subjective and not objective.

Here is Mises on the subject:
Value is not intrinsic, it is not in things. It is within us; it is the way in which man reacts to the conditions of his environment.
In other words, like Menger, Mises' views value as subjective.

Sandeep then goes on to another bizarre charge, that Mises did not believe that interest rates were set in the market (when there is no government intervention).  He explains the Mises view of time preference, as to why there are interest rates, but this has nothing to do with the Mises view on how interest rates are set. In the same way we may say there is demand for Coca Cola because we are thirsty, one can say time preference is behind interest rates, but this does not rule out the fact that the price for Coca Cola or the interest rate are set on the free market.

Here's Mises discussing market interest rates:
 On a market, which is not disturbed by the interference of such an "inflationist" banking policy, interest rates develop at which the means are available to carry out all the plans and enterprises that are initiated. Such unhampered market interest rates are known as "natural" or "static" interest rates.
There is much more nuttiness from Sandeep such as his definition of money as "an extinguisher of debt," as opposed to the correct view that it is a medium of exchange, but you should get the picture, Sandeep has an amazing ability to mix up reality and come up with total absurdity. Salvador Dali would be proud.


30 comments:

  1. Paging David "The Assassin" Gordon...

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    1. When I first watched David Gordon in a lecture at Mises.org I completely and utterly underestimated his deadly use of knowledge due to his demeanor. His targets usually wish they hadn't...

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    2. Yep, they wake up to find themselves eviscerated! But in such a gentle manner they never woke up.
      A nice man, but a merciless critic.

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    3. Chris, I once said something to the effect that Gordon is too nice of a guy to really anger anybody. He responded with, "read some of my book reviews".

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  2. Keiser is a vicious little douchebag. Just google "Max Keiser Lew Rockwell" and see what comes up. Keiser has a vendetta against Lew, Butler Shaffer and libertarians in general. His attacks are all straw men and ad hominems, of course.

    http://maxkeiser.com/2011/01/11/butler-shaffer-and-lew-rockwell-masterbate-in-public-while-watching-videos-of-american-politicians-getting-shot/

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    1. Wow!
      That's ANOTHER thing that Butler, Lew, and I have in common!
      Who da thunk?

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    2. Like many lefties, Max is an excellent critic of government and corrupt crony capitalists. But he has many of the lefty uses for government and he and his honey, Stacey Herbert, have bought the whole global warming myth and argue for it with all the ad hominem vitriol that is standard operating procedure for the GW crowd. Sneering hatred seems to be the prime intellectual weapon of lefties in general.

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    3. Thank God the comments were almost all for Shaffer. Keiser is a twat.

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  3. This is from the interview between Keiser and Jaitly just over a year ago.

    http://tradewithdave.com/?p=7401

    Dave Harrison

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  4. Not surprised that they still hate Mises.

    Very surprised that they even know who Carl Menger is.

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  5. Sounds like this Sandeep character would make a good candidate for your next interview, Robert.

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  6. I deleted Kaisar off my blog roll when he started siding with the idiot Ellen Brown and the Web of Debt greenbackerism nonsense. The attacks on Gary North were so childish that he made me long for the neocons. At least their musing are somewhat civilized, even if they are menacing about how to kill the most people.

    Kaisar, from what I can tell, is a Jacobin and the closest to the raw modern form as they get. Interesting character and a great interviewer. In the end, he's going to pick the dialectic that fits his needs.

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  7. I concur with Chris.

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  8. Not that it means she understood AE, but Rand quotes Human Action several times in "capitalism the unknown ideal".

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    1. She referenced HA twice, once on taxes and the second time she handed off to HA for the explanation of the business cycle. Not quite an AE scholar

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  9. I agree and thats why I said it doesn't mean she understood AE. But it indicates to me that she read HA. Which is more than most people can say. I agree with Bob, her understanding of it isn't clear.

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  10. Keiser makes my ears hurt.

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  11. Damn, this guy is COMPLETELY clueless.

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  12. I sent the interview to Lew a the other day. His response, "That is so funny."

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  13. Seriously, has anyone EVER heard an attack on Von Mises that wasn't bizarre? Seriously.

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  14. Max doesn't seem to hold any philosophical principles, other than "banks are bad." And maybe "global warming/peak oil is going to kill us all."

    If you watch enough of his interviews, you really get a sense he has no theory, no philosophy, no principles. He basically agrees with everyone he interviews on every point, making Max's own positions essentially nonexistent.

    Comparing Stefan Molyneaux and Max Keiser, at least Stefan, misguided in some respects or not, seems to be consistent in his hatred of the state. Keiser's schtick is making harsh jokes about banks/bankers, and agreeing with everyone on his show. He's slightly less clever than Matt Taibbi, and slightly more unhinged than Karl Denninger.

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  15. Keiser, for the most part does not divulge a consistent philosophy. This makes him hard to discredit. He just launches criticisms from the safety of his show against a list of "enemies". He acts like he has a vendetta against the bankers... I assume that he was rejected by them in some way during his earlier broker days. He's very entertaining overall, as long as you're not the one he's attacking.

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  16. Jaintly is just an attack dog for "the new austrian school" which seeks to stand on the shoulders of the Austrian school Reputation of authority while discrediting everyone in it after Menger- which is to misunderstand what a "school of thought" is in favor of the "cult of personality."

    If you look into Jaintly, you see that he is merely an acolyte of
    Prof. Antal Fekete
    http://www.professorfekete.com/gsul.asp
    Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoXEGXCz_1k

    Yeah- these guys are "out there"

    Fortunately, a cursory search shows this is "old news":
    2005: http://archive.mises.org/3869/marginal-utility-of-gold-and-dr-fekete/
    2010: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north811.html

    Max "my girlfriend is really Ellen Brown" Keiser is just conflating too many errors and too many disparate political people and sprinkling in a little Ayn Rand name drop... the brew does not work as an Austrian Straw Man and unfortunately for Max, it discredits him, even though we all enjoy his takedowns of the banksters.

    The "New Austrian School" reminds me of amway- people were always "breaking off" lines of sponsorship and idolizing their sponsors' sponsors... not at all anything worthy.

    This "New Austrian School" has no connection to Carl Menger who is fully ensconced in the real Austrian School. Frankly, discrediting Mises, Rothbard, etc... also discredits Menger- because we know that Menger agrees with them.

    Thanks to Lew Rockwell, Walter Block, Doug French, and so many others who have shown me "the Desert of the Real."

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  17. Re; your quote from Mises on the subject:

    "Value is not intrinsic, it is not in things. It is within us; it is the way in which man reacts to the conditions of his environment."

    While I and other Austrians wholeheartedly agree with this, the notion of a decentralized bitcoin has eluded many in the economics profession. Peer-to-peer bootstrapped currencies secured by cryptography were not anticipated by Menger nor Mises. They are a reaction to our 'politically-hostile' environment. Public-key cryptography, as opposed to symmetric key cryptography, is a relatively new phenomenon that Austrian economics has not come to terms with.

    Some may not like it, but bitcoin is a Mengerian-, Misean-, Rothbardian-, Austrian-currency in its purest form.

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    1. Agree. It's also born out of a commodity, and a very valuable on at that... the data packet. What has to be built is a data packet whose information contained within is incorruptible (and in the case of Bitcoin, only in the practical sense, versus Gold in the absolute sense).

      Michael Rozeff and I have discussed this privately and he came to agree that Bitcoin does satisfy Mises' Regression Theorem.

      Ta,

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  18. Wow, Just saw the interview. This has been coming already for several weeks. Max Keiser is just confused! He doesn't understand even the basics of libertarianism but he wants to attack it. Him and Stacy Herbert seem blissfully unaware that the free market doesn't operate in the financial markets especially when you have central banks.

    As for Sandeep Jaitly, it's amazing he calls himself a libertarian. In all of his interviews on Max Keiser, he has confused even the most basic concepts of austrian economics as he has done here.

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