Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Arthur Laffer Blurbs Al Gore's New Book

This will be an unexpected curve to many. Arthur Laffer has endorsed Al Gore's new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. How idiotic is the book? Gore is apparently clueless about marginal revenue product and how wages tend to climb in a highly capitalized society, not fall. In other words, robots would make us, like all other increases in capital, more productive, resulting in supply and demand pushing wages higher. But apparently, Gore doesn't get this. Further, Gore bitching about outsourcing suggests he doesn't understand the law of comparative advantage, either.

From a review of the book, at Amazon:
The part I liked best focused on how globalization and especially technology are transforming the economy and labor markets. Gore divides this into outsourcing and "robosourcing" (what he calls replacement of jobs by smart machines and robots). Unlike others who feel today's technology is just a continuation of what has come before, Gore sees it as a totally new force with dramatic (and often negative) consequences for workers.
Gore's confusion is something that any student who has taken Econ 101 could spot, and yet Laffer endorses Gore's madness. From the blurb to the book:

"I'm a pro-growth supply-side economist, so my admiration for Al Gore may seem like an oxymoron. It's not. This book is amazingly rich in wisdom, practicality, and insight. Al Gore has a portfolio that warrants credibility and is an accomplished polymath who transcends ideology while turning our attention to big issues, big ideas, and big solutions. The Future frames the discussion whether you're conservative, agnostic, or liberal. It's a fascinating deep read." —Arthur B. Laffer, Ph.D.

One really has to wonder how knowledgeable of an economist Laffer really is, versus being just a good self-promoter. Remember, in 2009, he displayed significant confusion about the difference between the monetary base and the actual money supply. Laffer was also a major supporter of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan. This was bogus tax reform that would leave taxes "static revenue neutral." Which Laffer explained,
means that if people didn't change what they do under his plan, total tax revenues would be the same as they are under our current tax code.
Laffer went gaga over the possibility that the shift in tax structure might even result in the already bloated government see revenues increase:
  I believe his plan would indeed be static revenue neutral, and with the boost it would give to economic growth it would bring in even more revenue than expected.
Laffer should be considered nothing but a self-promoting apologist for government growth and increased interventionist policies.

(Via John Podhoretz)


  1. One would like to think that a book written over 50 years ago with chapters dedicated to this very idea of robots in the workforce would have put this lunacy to bed years ago.

    Of course, one can never be amazed at the reality that when your livelihood relies on not understanding something, you will never know better.

    I'm sure everyone reading this blog is aware the book I'm referring to is Hazlitt's Economics in 1 Lesson.

  2. Laffer is truly a douchebag. He also lost that bet with Schiff over the housing market, which frankly put his name in more households than anything else he's done short of the Laffer Curve.

    Speaking of the Laffer curve, the concept of it is so axiomatic that it's silly to give this notion any credit as some useful concept to anyone other than those not economically savvy in my estimation.

    But if the world wants to pretend that the Laffer curve is some special leap in economic understanding, who am I to disagree?

  3. If Art Laffer is good at anything, it's at getting egg all over his face. He should've just paid Peter Schiff that penny, and shut his mouth from here until forever.

  4. "I'm a pro-growth supply-side economist, so my admiration for Al Gore may seem like an oxymoron."

    Well, you do appear to be a moron, yes.

  5. Didn't we already know about Laffer long ago based upon his debate with Peter Schiff?

  6. Sorry but each time I've had to deal with a company that outsources, I get nothing but headaches, incompetence, and inefficiency.