Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Influence is Growing Among Republicans because I am Insane

So says J.D. Hamel, writing at the Frum Forum, the web site of former George W. Bush speechwriter, David Frum.

Yes, I am back in the psych ward. After escaping a visit that was inspired by an earlier email, Hamel, also, insists this is where I belong. He writes of one of my columns that recently appeared at LRC (My emphasis):

Conservatives, while understandably drawn to the Austrian school, lose something in the bargain. Austrians loathe modern Keynesian economists with a religious fervor, even the conservative ones. Other economic libertarians (like Friedman) draw similar scorn. Viewed through an Austrian perspective, public policy judgments are hastily rendered and motives easily impugned. Take for example, the newest round of quantitative easing. Bernanke’s gambit may not work, but Lew Rockwell published this gem about the policy. Among its nuggets of wisdom: a guy who won the Nobel for his work on monetary policy is, yes, “weak” on monetary policy; the Cato Institute borrows ideas from Robert Mugabe’s Zimbawe; and pernicious motives drive the Koch brothers. Is it any wonder that so many Republicans were utterly dismissive of the Fed’s recent activity?

Luckily, Republican leaders rarely sound so insane.
If this form of argument by Hamel sounds a bit familiar, that's because it is. It is California air head, all over again.

There are no facts, just babbling. In my column, in the first paragraph, I mention the trillion dollars in excess reserves sitting at the Fed.   I mention the methodological differences between Friedman and Hayek--and even mention Hayek's book on methodology, The Counter-Revolution of Science. I mention that Friedman did not understand the distortions in the structure of production caused by money growth.

Does Hamel mention any of these facts? Does he attempt to answer any of the charges I make? Does he bring any one of them up? No. Hamel's column is total pass the lipstick, I don't need to deal with the facts column. But, you know, even air heads can have good instincts. He's right that the rank and file Republicans are sick and tired of mainstream economists and that when they hear the cogent arguments of the Austrian economists, made in an enthusiastic manner, they are paying attention.

And he is right that it is only Republican leadership that isn't making these points. The Mitt Romney's, the John McCain's and the Karl Rove's aren't making these type arguments, partly because they don't fully understand basic economics and partly because they are part of the entrenched establishment of shady deals, and not men with strong conservative/libertarian principles.

Am I crazy? Yeah, crazy like a fox. And there are a lot more with me. Hamel and his beloved Republican leadership better be nervous.


  1. Hamel's argument seems to boil down to, "If conservatives do it, it's good, if anyone else does it, it's bad."


  2. Hi Robert -

    When the inmates start calling you insane, you must be the doctor.

    And I had no problem accessing your site.

    Lila Rajiva