Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Time for McArdle and Goldberg to Put Up or Shut Up

Megan McArdle is in an uproar. Yes, she quotes what appears to be an anonymous commenter on a disappeared web page:
I'm not saying she's some kind of goverment agent but if they did create an agent to discredit Ron Paul and others, he/she would say alot of things McArdle says.
Puhleez! Anyone who has any kind of following on the internet gets all kinds of comments written about them.

If you are going to go into histrionics about a comment, you need a new line of business. And I do mean histrionics. She writes:
My well known dislike of Ron Paul's economic policy ideas, expressed rather vehemently to Dave Weigel as a critique of his ranting about monetary policy, has triggered a lot of complaint along these lines, directed to my twitter feed (@asymmetricinfo) and my inbox.
A lot of complaints? Take a look at her twitter feed. Even the most generous counter, say a Kochanack, would only be able to find two or three comments that could have possibly been made as a result of her original comment to Weigel. If she thinks this is a deluge, I'd like to introduce her to this guy Noah that I have heard of.

But, you may ask me, "Why go into this?  Nobody pays attention to this nutty stuff other than maybe her Kochanack-affiliated husband, who has to read it for fear of a quiz at home."

At which point, I must direct you to The Atlantic's national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg, who presumably has now raised the question of whether McArdle is a government agent to the national level. He writes in his own post on the subject:
Apparently, the Internets think that Megan is a government agent assigned the important task of marginalizing Ron Paul. One of her interlocutors wrote, "I'm not saying she's some kind of goverment agent but if they did create an agent to discredit Ron Paul and others, he/she would say alot of things McArdle says."
National correspondent Goldberg continues:
It's kind of an open secret around The Atlantic offices that Megan actually works for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Most of the time, when she's not blogging, she's tasking satellites that have been programmed to track Ron Paul's thoughts as they arrive from outer space.
So there you have it, from McArdle histrionics  to  The Atlantic's national correspondent taking a slap at Ron Paul, one of the most decent human beings in America. Oh yes, just some fun, inside the beltway humor, that the rest of America can't get.

Bottom line, this bizarre behavior toward the most knowledgeable student of monetary policy in Congress, at a time when the country faces a huge inflationary threat in the coming year, suggests an arrogant, failure of understanding about economics that makes Lady Gaga look like a neurosurgeon in comparison.

It's one thing if these people could argue toe to toe with Congressman Paul about the regression theorem, the proper methodology for a science such as economics or the damage that Fed money printing does to the structure of capital in an economy, but they can't. So they put on a carnival act of words in fear that if they actually challenged Congressman Paul on his well grounded and deep economic understanding, their confusion about basic economics would be laid bare for all to see.

So here's the challenge to McArdle and Goldberg: If you think you know so much more about economics than Congressman Paul, please explain to me why his belief in the regression theorem is wrong?

Please explain to me, why his view on the methodology of economics is wrong?

Please explain to me why his view, that Fed money printing causes distortions of the capital structure, is wrong?

Don't tell me you can't find Congressman Paul's thoughts on this. As he has said many times, he derives his understanding of economics from the writings of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. It's all there.

From your vast knowledge on the subject, I await your explanation of why Mises, Rothbard and Paul are wrong. Since you claim to know more about all this than Congressman Paul and why he is wrong, I should expect an answer when? Tomorrow?


  1. I trust you aren't holding your breath waiting on these character assassins to make any kind of coherent argument.

  2. Don't forget that aside from his known affiliation with Austrian economists, his thoughts have been blatantly outlined in the many published books and writings, as well as his speeches in the house and his interviews on television and the internet. Any of these dimwit critics would have plenty of solid material to attempt to pick apart if they were up for the task.

  3. Let's start the:

    "@asymmetricinfo Put up or shut up!" campaign on Twitter right now! Think she'll know what we're talking about.

  4. Please don't hold your breath waiting for a response to your challenge. These establishment types are just not curious people. They don't need to understand anything that Ron Paul says, just that his policies, if implemented, would tend to undermine the unlimited power of the government.

    They also don't need to read Von Mises or Rothbard, because Ron Paul has himself written entire books outlining both his philosophy of government as well as his understanding of economics. You'd think that those that take exception to Paul's policies would at least know what those policies are, but again, they don't need to know.

  5. Very good. I would rather punch them in the nose.

  6. I blame Jerry Seinfeld.

    Ms. McArdle seems to think she's staring in a sit-com. Content is not so important, just so long as she can get a zinger in now and then.

  7. "These establishment types are just not curious people. They don't need to understand anything that Ron Paul says, just that his policies, if implemented, would tend to undermine the unlimited power of the government."

    This is correct. I don't know McArdle, but Goldberg is a not-super-intelligent individual useful to the machine only because he possesses a sort of stupid bulldog mentality -- he can't parse a counterargument very well, but he can repeat a set of talking points over and over in a louder-than-necessary voice.

    From an intellectual point of view, though, Goldberg is no threat.

  8. dunno if lew rockwell made the phrase, but "Eek, a mouse!" saves a lot of words when describing kochtolarian "libertarians" mouthing off about logical economics while saying nothing.

  9. Very accurante analysis and take-down. BTW Robert, from your writing style it seems that you should also have a BA in English (as McArdle has) and one wonders how she received hers!

    I'm calling Megan the "Sarah Palin of the blogosphere". She has demonstated her "libertarian credentials" by endorsing and voting for Obama in 2008!

    On her twitter account one notices another tidbit that she apparently does not know how a rice cooker works as she is looking for a manual in English! Her poor Kochtopus husband :-)

  10. McArdle is just following the socialist game plan: ridicule always works better than honest debate. Hey! It worked in junior high!

    Socialists cannot win at honest debate. That is another of Mises's gems. Marx had to trash economics as a science because he couldn't defeat the economic arguments against his ideas.

  11. Just saw this self proclaimed libertarian and economic genius McArdle on John Stossel's show. Please someone tell me how this nitwit was designated any voice of expertise in any subject or philosophy whatsoever.

  12. Apparently McArdle has never heard that even bad publicity is good publicity. She's certainly more well known this week than she was last.

  13. It appears to me that ALL opponents of the Austrian School are incurious nitwits. Has anyone EVER found one that had the slightest familiarity with just the basic Austrian concepts like acting man, subjective value, economic calculation or distortion of the capital structure?

    Next month will mark the 38th aniversary of my discovery of Rothbard and in that time, I've never found an informed anti-Austrian.