Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Comments on Comments

In the past, I have recorded responses to comments left under various posts. This morning, I have decided to comment via this post.

Marc JoffeJanuary 18, 2016 at 5:09 PM  Paul Krugman Thinks Low Oil Prices Are BadI don't see the problem with Sumner's comment. In many parts of the Bay Area, we have relatively high minimum wages and relatively low reported rates of unemployment. In a high cost place like San Francisco, it may be the case that potential workers won't be willing to offer their services on the legal labor market for less than $12 per hour (choosing instead to rely on government benefits and/or to work under the table). If that's the case, raising the minimum wage from $11 to $12 doesn't make much difference.
Well, wouldn't the free market solution be eliminating the government benefits, rather than adding more interventions?

Further, your scenario doesn't change the downward slope of the demand curve.

RatFinkJanuary 15, 2016 at 11:13 AM BREAKING Dow Industrials Down 400 PointsBut wait...didn't you say the economy is booming, Robert? Strange
So any day there is a down day in the stock market, you are going to deny we are in a Fed manipulated boom?

UnknownJanuary 15, 2016 at 8:54 PM Dow Industrials Down 400 PointsHaha exactly my beef with RW. He's so convinced he's right and Schiff is wrong, despite looking at lagging indicators and saying is booming! All the leading indicators are already in recession!

You mean this leading indicator says we are "already in a recession"?

RatFinkJanuary 18, 2016 at 10:28 AM Venezuela's Central Bank Admits Inflation is Now in Triple DigitsThe boom is on in Venezuela...since the CPI is in triple digits over there, right Robert?
RatFink, you have a serious reading comprehension problem if you think that I have ever said that price inflation causes a booming economy.

zee788January 7, 2016 at 6:16 AM 
Bob, I'm wondering what is the basis of the human-animal divide when it comes to rights, in this case libertarian conception of rights. Are you approaching this from a religious point of view where a god has created the moral nature of the universe and distinguished man from the animal world or is there some justification from a non religious point of view that is non arbitrary along the evolutionary tree?
From the observable fact that outside of coming up unarmed against a polar bear or an alligator in a swamp, we hold pretty much absolute rule over animals.

Joshua BennettDecember 22, 2015 at 3:03 AM Clinton Vows No New Middle-Class Taxes If Elected PresidentRobert, a question for you concerning Hillary. I ask because I think I have understood each position from you, so if it is both, then ok.
Is your "support" for Hillary strictly based on the fact that she is so hated already, by conservatives especially, that any agenda she tries to push on us will get nowhere, so basically we will have a get nothing done president because congress will push back against her every move?
Or, is your support for her based on the thought that since people already hate her, and supporters who will be disillusioned by her, that this will further the destruction of the State?
Or is it both?
Or she may push such a radical agenda that even the sleeping masses will wake up?
I think all the options are terrible. There isn't a good one in the bunch---and not much difference between them, Thus, the best we can hope for is that the one that is least effective will end up in office. If elected, Hillary will experience major Republican opposition and doesn't have the personality to rally the masses to her side the way, for example, Trump could.

I don't support her btw, I oppose almost all her positions. I don't support any of them. I just see her as getting the least accomplished in terms of new interventions.

My view has nothing to do with the idea that things will get so bad that the masses will revolt in favor of freedom. At present, the masses have no foundational respect for true freedom. She would likely be followed by someone worse. There won't be any significant long lasting changes until the masses appreciate freedom on at least a gut level.

Jule HerbertDecember 18, 2015 at 4:57 PMGerry, Gerry, Why Did You Go Over to the Dark Side?

I did a brief google search and have found scant evidence that O’Driscoll has gone to the “dark side” or has “wandered” from free market, Austrian positions. And there is no evidence of such in his WSJ op-ed, if one takes into account of the publisher and its current editorial position. Really now, a reference to Friedman (with whom the readers would be familiar) and the term “monetary rule” do not constitute serious evidence of apostasy.
In the last view years he has continued to challenge the wisdom of central banking, supported a commodity monetary standard, and has nowhere that I have found taken back his denigration of the "New Recardians" constituting the Chicago School.
and more recently: I could say more but at least recall Gerry's takedown of Lachman and Chicagoites in the first link and the statement of Hayek in the foreword of Economics as a Coordination Problem:
Hayek wrote: "Professor O'Driscoll has almost persuaded me that I ought to have continued with the work I had been doing in the 1930s and 1940s rather than let myself be drawn away to other problems which I felt to be more important. I cannot now really regret it, however, when I see that not only he but also a few others are pushing beyond the point where my own impetus had flagged; in fact their efforts are doing more to make me think again about those problems than I would otherwise have done."
I see nothing in the written record to contradict that assessment.
We (Dr. Block and I) are not discussing his body of work, but his current work, which was displayed in WSJ. That's what "Why did you go over to the dark side" implies. He wasn't always there. So quoting Hayek from decades ago does nothing to advance your point.

His WSJ op-ed is a discussion completely within the context of the Federal Reserve manipulating the money supply. The heart of Austrian monetary theory is that no central bank money manipulations are required. That point is not made in the discussion by  O'Driscoll in the op-ed. He is, in other words, accepting the premise that  the Fed has a role to play in directing the economy. Most shocking is that he brings up the idea of a "target rate" of inflation without pointing out it is an absurd concept.

You are in the bizarre position of claiming a man is aware the emperor has no clothes, although he never mentions that but does spend a lot of time discussing pant length, neck size and sleeve length.

Come to think of it, you may be correct. O'Driscoll may not have gone over to the dark side but is showing us how a committee of Salvatore Dali, Eugene Ionesco, Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump's physician would evaluate current Fed policy.



  1. RW: "So any day there is a down day in the stock market, you are going to deny we are in a Fed manipulated boom?"

    He may have been commenting on the one post about a big down day. However, markets have not seen only one or a few random down days. The trend is obviously down and three weeks into the year, stock markets are down almost 10%. That's for real...

    1. The stock market tends to lead the economy by 6 to 9 months so a 3 week downtrend is not an indication of recession. The economy appears to continue in its boom phase but accurate prognostication is impossible.

  2. I still can't bring myself to "support" Hillary. I just finished reading the book "Queen of Chaos- The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton" after hearing the author on a Tom Woods podcast. After reading that book I've learned Hillary is even more of a warmonger and more dangerous than I thought. I'd say she is almost at John McCain level of crazy psychopath warmonger.

    Although Trump is dangerous and unpredictable and can apparently greatly sway the masses, I still think the US will have less wars and a lower chance of WWIII with Trump. Trump talks about going and talking to Putin and working out issues! Trump doesn't seem to understand economics (neither does Hillary), but if the world is destroyed by nuclear war because Hillary got into a hot war with Russia it won't really matter!