Monday, August 11, 2014

Tyler Cowen on Paul Krugman's Claim that "Libertarians are Living in a Fantasy World"

I quoted in my earlier post, Krugman Still Doesn't Get It, from Tyler Cowen's nice Paul Krugman gotcha, when he pointed out that the DMV , that Krugman hailed, was responsible for attempting, in Virginia, to shut down Uber.

But don't take that as an overall criticism by Cowen of Krugman's "libertarian analysis." Aside from the DMV gotcha, Cowen writes favorably about Krugman's absurd piece. Cowen says:
In fact I agree with many of Krugman’s observations in what I thought was overall a useful post.
Even with regard to the DMV, after he points out that the Virginia DMV attempted to obstruct Uber, he writes:
[S]till it is hard to argue that in absolute terms these agencies are overseeing a successful regime of road safety.
There were an estimated 35,200 highway deaths in 2013, plus there were about 3.8 million crash injuries requiring medical attention. Just how does Cowen consider this a " successful regime of road safety"?

Walter Block in his important book, The Privatization of Roads and Highways: Human and Economic Factors, makes a very strong case that in a private sector road system, highway deaths would be much lower.

I am genuinely baffled at many of the comments Cowen makes.



  1. Um, Cowen is agreeing with you. He's saying the DMV and other bureaucracies aren't overseeing a successful regime of road safety. Look at his post again.

  2. Since the "regime of road safety" is a monopoly, there is no way to measure success, as there is no way to compare the success of the monopoly regime with any other regime, the latter not existing, not being allowed to exist. In a free market, you would be able to compare this regime to that, and know for certain where success lay.

  3. DMV's suck, but there are much bigger fish that krugman can't smell a-frying.

    The FDA hasn't approved any new chemicals for sunscreen in 15 years. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in America. Waiting in line sucks. Dying of skin cancer in a socialist hospital will suck more.