Sent: Friday, September 22, 2017 7:57 PM
To: walter block
Dear B: I don’t like taxation, but I discuss it all the time. See below for my publications defending the right of libertarians to take a public salary. Short summary: it is ok to take money from government; it is not ok to donate any money to them, over and above what is coerced from you by them. It is also ok to use their museums, parks, fiat currency, schools. They are a criminal gang. In the view of Rothbard (1973, p. 49): “if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.”
Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp
He was an elite Australian athlete until he identified as a she, and the AFLW rejected his participation as a she. He (Hannah) claims that his power and strength has “got nothing to do with” the fact that he is, biologically, a male. And a huge male at that. And Hannah, at 6’3″ and 230 pounds, wants to mow down females because he wears a dress and takes estrogen pills.
I can’t help but wonder how the average person can give this kind of lunacy a platform, let alone a nod and a pass?7:40 am on December 9, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
This was bound to happen.7:14 am on December 9, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
“Court historians” are the intellectual bodyguards of the State. They shape and defend the “official line” or interpretation on the State’s wars, its presidential regimes, or other key historical events and public policies. As a result they enjoy high esteem and recognition in the mainstream media and academia. As defenders of the status quo they frequently attack and label their critics as “conspiracy theorists,” “revisionists,” “isolationists,” “appeasers,” “anti-intellectuals,”or other boogie men, rather than engage in civil discourse or discussion.
As the late economist/historian Murray N. Rothbard noted:
All States are governed by a ruling class that is a minority of the population, and which subsists as a parasitic and exploitative burden upon the rest of society. Since its rule is exploitative and parasitic, the State must purchase the alliance of a group of “Court Intellectuals,” whose task is to bamboozle the public into accepting and celebrating the rule of its particular State. The Court Intellectuals have their work cut out for them. In exchange for their continuing work of apologetics and bamboozlement, the Court Intellectuals win their place as junior partners in the power, prestige, and loot extracted by the State apparatus from the deluded public. The noble task of Revisionism is to de-bamboozle: to penetrate the fog of lies and deception of the State and its Court Intellectuals, and to present to the public the true history of the motivation, the nature, and the consequences of State activity. By working past the fog of State deception to penetrate to the truth, to the reality behind the false appearances, the Revisionist works to delegitimize, to desanctify, the State in the eyes of the previously deceived public.”
The 30 items listed here addressing the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor are by noted critics of the official “establishment consensus” point of view as well as by hagiographic “court historians.” Please purchase these items using the LRC Amazon portal.4:30 am on December 8, 2018 Email Charles Burris
1:46 am on December 8, 2018
Email Charles Burris
A work of analytical genius which concisely penetrates to the core of Orwell’s mind control and manipulation message in Nineteen Eighty-Four. It grabs and powerfully reaches a whole new audience of persons who desperately need to be aware of its importance in shaping their lives.
Dear T: Thanks for your long, lovely letter. I wish things were better in your chosen profession.
All I can say is that yes, the Marxists are right in that ex post, people can sometimes be “exploited” in the sense that they regret making a purchase, a loan, a rental, whatever. It sometimes happens, but not often, under laissez faire capitalism. I buy a shirt for $20, and, later, I wish I had my money back. However, the “magic of the market” is that ex ante, in the sense of anticipations, at the time I purchase this article of clothing, I valued it more than the money I had to pay for it. No other system can make any such claim. Rothbard is magnificent. So is Mises. Best regards, Walter3:52 pm on December 7, 2018 Email Walter E. Block
Their corpses were all used as political propaganda props by deep state operatives in well-choreographed show-funerals.
How touching that Bush 41’s casket sat atop the same platform as Lincoln’s in D.C., preserved all these years by the deep state, and that the casket made its way to the cemetery by slow-moving train, just like Lincoln’s.6:16 am on December 7, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
. . . is that very few of them know anything about the Constitution and its history. Instead, they are taught case law in law school, most of which is a collection of decisions by “progressive” or leftist judges perverting the Constitution in the cause of unlimited government. That is Alexander Hamilton’s legacy to constitutionalism, and it is why he is beloved by both leftists and neocons alike.1:35 pm on December 6, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Breitbart today carries an immigration story with a photograph. A young woman carries a sign calling for no borders and no nations; it also has an obscenity. Her shirt has the letters CWS with its symbol. What is this organization? CWS stands for Church World Service. It’s a 72-year old humanitarian organization that specializes in refugees.
It’s beyond this blog’s scope to analyze and evaluate CWS in toto. What is immediately noticeable about it, however, is its intense political activism. CWS lobbies Congress. Congress has instituted programs that aid refugees. That is why CWS lobbies Congress. Charity and aid should rightfully be entirely private activity, but it’s political and governmental in our system.
One such Congressional program is the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. The CWS is lobbying against changes in that program that were proposed in 2015 by Congressman Carlos Curbelo (just defeated in his re-election bid) and supported by Marco Rubio.
A Florida newspaper, the Sun Sentinel, produced a 3-part investigative report of “abuses” in the program that started the reform ball rolling. Curbelo’s bill aimed to stop those abuses. Two years ago, the bill was in a subcommittee and it’s still there. It’s probably dead with Curbelo’s loss.
Some abuses: “Cuban immigrants are cashing in on U.S. welfare and returning to the island, making a mockery of the decades-old premise that they are refugees fleeing persecution at home. Some stay for months at a time — and the U.S. government keeps paying.” “More Cubans are coming to Florida in their golden years to retire, able to tap U.S. government assistance even though they never lived or worked here.” “Florida politicians have fiercely fought to protect the special status given to Cuban immigrants, transforming U.S. government assistance from handouts of powdered milk and cheese to a multibillion dollar entitlement.”
CWS opposed the bill. It didn’t address the abuses. It only spoke of the program’s benefits to refugees.
CWS philosophized: “We know from sacred texts across faith traditions that we all have a moral responsibility to welcome the most vulnerable: the widow, the orphan, the refugee, during trying times.” “Let us reflect the best of our nation by extending hospitality and leading by example so that other nations do the same.”
The expression of morality, in their philosophy, is to be the job of government. Government will take from us, and government will distribute to “the most vulnerable”.
Libertarians have a counter philosophy that is Jeffersonian in nature. The “we” that CWS refers to is not our government. It is each of us. Each of us decides how to implement our moral responsibility and what that responsibility is or is not. We decide on whom to aid, when to aid them, where to aid them, in what ways to aid them, and how much to aid them. We have rights. We own ourselves. If government, as it does, forces us to pay for the charity that it decides to bestow, it infringes our rights and it replaces our own decisions. Government then defeats the main purpose for which it is established, which, according to the Declaration of Independence, is to secure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Securing rights means no more nor less than protecting us against invasions of our rights, these including our decision-making powers.
In the name of exercising moral responsibility, no “one” of government can justly roll over the “many” of us as individuals. If the government does this, it makes us subservient to it. There are few decisions and human actions that do not entail moral considerations and responsibility, maybe all of them do. Either none of this is government’s business, except to secure rights; or else all of it is, which is hardly a condition to which we should aspire.11:01 am on December 6, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
My favorite take on the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” hoopla is from libertarian comedian Tim Slagle: “Radio Stations across America are refusing to play “Baby It’s Cold Outside” because it promotes Climate Denial.”8:47 am on December 6, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
If warming causes worse hurricanes, then we should observe fewer and weaker hurricanes during the Little Ice Age. The following paper finds the opposite.
Michael J. Burna and Suzanne E. Palmer examine “Atlantic hurricane activity during the last millennium”. Although their paper is highly technical, its methods and findings are clear.
“”Here, we present the Extended Hurricane Activity (EHA) index, the first empirical reconstruction of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity for the last millennium, derived from a high-resolution lake sediment geochemical record from Jamaica.”
Looking at a 1,000 year period is a good approach. We can’t really understand global climate changes without observing repeated up-down-up-down variations in the factors that drive climate changes. Advocates of man-made global warming typically cite the past 120-140 years of data, but this is way too short a period from which to figure out climate changes. This represents a single exceedingly short episode in Earth’s climate history.
The conclusion of this paper reads
“Our results corroborate evidence for the increasing trend of hurricane activity during the Industrial Era; however, we show that contemporary activity has not exceeded the range of natural climate variability exhibited during the last millennium.”
No abnormal hurricane activity is present in our industrial era as compared with that in the past 1,000 years. But there is more.
If warming causes more and worse hurricanes, then we should find that hurricane activity and strength diminishes during the Little Ice Age (LIA). The evidence in this paper finds the opposite:
“The highest average levels of activity (EHA ~ 86 × 102 kt2; 1580–1650 CE) occurred during the late 16th and early 17th Centuries, a trend corroborated by a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model simulation of annual basin-wide tropical cyclone counts, which indicates heightened activity during the LIA (Fig. 4d). Further support for enhanced activity during the LIA comes from a record of hurricane deposits in a coastal karst basin in the Bahamas, which suggests heightened activity occurred between 1350 and 1650. This important result suggests that average hurricane activity during the industrial period has not exceeded its longer-term natural variability during the last millennium.” (Emphasis added.)
In my opinion, the focus on the last 120-140 years of temperature is improper scientific method, not affording enough natural variability to understand climate changes. The long record study cited above does not show anything unusual going on concerning hurricanes.
In my opinion, the idea that we human beings are creating bigger hurricanes is wildly implausible. The sun-earth system of physical forces and the earth’s own system of forces have to overwhelm anything we might be doing. This thinking is based on the size and strength of those earthly forces that we have always been exposed to on the planet going back 1000s of years: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, shifts in solar activity, huge ice ages, asteroids hitting us, wobbling in our orbit, changes in the earth’s tilt, changes in the positions of the continents and seas, and changes in Earth’s molten core.8:46 am on December 6, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
With the ridiculous victimological circus going on and on about the evils of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” NPR has noted that some stations banning the song have faced a thunder of complaints from the folks who are fed up with the political correctness. I really like this article in Variety that points out the song is not about an aggressive male, but rather, the song is written to describe a gal grappling with the double standards faced by women at the time the song was written.
Taken maybe a smidgeon more seriously than its creator intended, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is the story of a woman doing battle — not with a guy who won’t take no for an answer, but with the expectations of a society that won’t take yes for an answer. The most critical word in the whole piece is “ought,” as in, “I ought to say no, no, no sir.” She isn’t trying to fend off advances — she is mouthing excuses so she can “at least… say that I tried.” He won’t face judgment sneaking home, whereas she can tick off at least three family members who’ll notice when she sneaks in after hours. It’s not just the kinfolk but a nation of suspicious minds there at the door, waiting to sniff the cigarettes, booze and boys on her breath. At least two out of three of which she is explicitly the one asking for, by the way: “maybe just a cigarette more,” she requests, along with “maybe just half a drink more.” She is not being plied with alcohol — she is plying herself, with intoxicating stalling tactics she hopes will make the “spell” of romance and sexual chemistry finally out-loom the specter of the family scowling behind the porch light.
So, feminists should be celebrating this song, right? But the collective-female emoting contingent has no time for listening and carefully understanding what is really happening with the song, because the facts won’t advance their agenda. Piling on with #MeToo propaganda is much more effective with their one-sound-bite-at-a-time, social media audience.8:29 am on December 6, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
The entire world got to see what uncouth jerks the Clintons and Obamas are as they refused to acknowledge the existence of President Trump and his wife sitting next to them on the same church pew at the funeral service. Deplorable but entertaining.8:01 am on December 6, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
I read somewhere this great definition of a veteran: A veteran is someone who signed up to kill people outside the United States for money. Truer words were never spoken.9:03 pm on December 5, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
By all rights, in a free country, minimum wages shouldn’t even be something that a government at any level, city, state or federal, can impose and force to be legal. A minimum wage is an obvious use of force to restrict freedom of contract between consenting adults.
What kind of freedom exists when a third party, a government with guns and jails and fines, can legally interfere with bargains and exchanges in which both parties agree or else do not conclude their exchange? An agreement by both sides, settled freely without the imposition of force by either party, is what is meant by freedom in the context of an exchange.
How can any government pretend to be operating in a free country when it imposes minimum wages? It cannot. It has to be admitted by everyone who looks at this matter that minimum wages imposed by government destroy freedom. They are incompatible with freedom.
New York City has a minimum wage all its own as do some other American cities, states and the federal government. They all exemplify the conflict between government and freedom.
Today, the news is that New York City has “…passed the nation’s first minimum pay rate for drivers who work for ride-hailing apps…” The target company is Uber. My immediate reaction was “They shouldn’t even have this power over wages.” The VOX article on this new law goes on at great length, but nowhere does it question the institution by which such a power is contained in a government.
Our country is in a very bad way intellectually. A youngster who takes civics and history courses is bound to run squarely into a host of contradictions, such as that between legislated minimum wages and freedom. If the Constitution allows such a thing as a minimum wage, how can it possibly stand as a bulwark of freedom? If it does not allow such a thing, then how can a wrong Supreme Court decision stand and allow it? Either way one looks at it, one cannot wrap one’s head around these contradictions in any logical way.
If the Constitution is flawed so basically, why can’t we fix it? If it’s flawed so badly that it cannot be fixed, why do we still have it? If the Supreme Court makes such invasions of freedom legal, why do their decisions command respect? Why do we bother obeying them? Why doesn’t our government live up to its freedom rhetoric? Anyone with an ounce of sense who is faced with these contradictions and has the least bit of curiosity is going to raise dozens of questions that are directed at our politics and our government.
Demagogues mislead. A president can make a speech saying that full time workers paid the minimum wage are below the poverty level and that therefore the minimum wage should be raised.
Debates about the level of the minimum wage accept it uncritically as an institution, but the critical debate we’re not having is why government has the power to establish any minimum wage whatsoever.5:33 pm on December 5, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Oodles of Americans think that politicians are or can be saviors of the country and resolve its problems. A large number of politicians likewise act as if they can become presidential saviors. Most of them are people with no experience governing or running a city, county or state. Most you’ve never heard of until they become a presidential aspirant. None have a ghost of a chance of saving the country because they are standard Republicans and Democrats, standard conservatives and progressives, standard indistinguishable leftists and rightists. The only politician with credentials that go back decades who actually understands our problems and what directions we must take to alleviate them is Ron Paul. The more that Americans seek statist saviors, the less they turn to Dr. Paul.
The statism of the typical power-seeker is a given. Explore the website OnTheIssues to your heart’s content for all the rumored and publicized saviors, but you will always find that they are statists all. They may happen to adopt an appropriate libertarian stance here and there, but they will almost surely hew to a predominantly statist line, no matter whether left or right.
The race for the Democratic nomination is on already. Potential saviors now include the following along with their Predictit “prices”: Kamala Harris (17 cents), Bernie Sanders (15 cents), Joe Biden (13 cents), Amy Klobuchar (11 cents), Elizabeth Warren (10 cents), Cory Booker (9 cents), Kirsten Gillenbrand (5 cents), Andrew Cuomo (3 cents), Oprah Winfrey (3 cents), Tim Kaine (1 cent), Jerry Brown (1 cent), Chris Murphy (1 cent), John Delaney (1 cent), Mark Zuckerberg (1 cent), and Dwayne Johnson (1 cent).
Ms. Harris’s career has been as a lawyer and Attorney General. Although her record on the issues is limited, what there is does not allow us to conclude that she deviates from being a typical statist. Progressives think she’s not leftist enough, but from a libertarian perspective, she’s abundantly leftist:
“If they [Harris, Booker, Patrick] want to win over the left — and Harris, who has expressed at least mild support for tuition-free public college (for families with income less than $140,000), a $15 minimum wage, expanded Social Security, and Medicare for all, would probably be the most credible person to attempt this — they need to first explain their recent history.”
Harris hasn’t decided yet whether or not to seek the nomination. She’s due to tell us us next month. Meanwhile she’s trying to engage us with rhetoric like this:
“I think Americans want in their next leader someone who will be honest, speak truth, who will have a vision for our country that is unburdened by what we’ve been, but instead can see who we can be,” Harris said. “And they want in their leader someone who will paint a picture of the future in which everyone can see themselves.”
It is a statist’s way of thinking to think that we want a leader who “can see who we can be”. What each of us wants to be is necessarily within out own province and of first and foremost interest to us. This interest is what we direct our lives to. It is not typically a want directed at a collective “we”, “nation”, “country” or “people”. We lead ourselves. Our interest might be directed at a legacy, but most of us do not get that far. It might be directed at a God. It typically includes some sort of happiness in work and family and friends. A “leader” as someone “who will paint a picture of the future” that figures in our scheme of things or our lives is not ordinarily what we either want, need or crave. Our fulfillment comes in other than our relations with the political forces that buffet us and that ask us to vote every so often.
Leaders don’t know what we want, what we value, how much we value it, what our plans are, or how we can make them come true; and they cannot possibly know. The more they try to impose their vision with their programs, the worse that they make it for great numbers of us. Taken to its end point, socialism will bring vast disorder, mayhem, conflict and deprivation. Its forms vary widely and the course it takes vary, but the outcome is wreckage, setbacks, loss of civilization and a usually long course in which recovery to past peaks of production and accomplishment is painfully slow.
If Ms. Harris ever speaks about what freedom really is and what freedom really means, then perhaps we can amend our interpretation. She has written “We were founded on ideals that say that there will be freedom of religion, freedom of association & that we will respect the dignity of all.” This is okay as far as it goes, but it’s rote, it’s cagey, and it refers to the Constitution’s First Amendment. Had she referred to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and elaborated with some enthusiasm for the personal aspirations and freedom of each of us, then this would leave a far different impression of her basic outlook and philosophy.2:45 pm on December 5, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
The eminent Walter Williams raises a question about our youth. Are they miseducated about socialism and communism or are they stupid? The answer is important because only accurate assessment of the causes of their tolerance and even liking of socialism stands a chance of leading to a remedy.
A priori, the answer is clear. They are not stupid. They are miseducated. Why is this clear? It’s implausible that an entire generation should suddenly have brain defects such that they do not recognize truths of history when presented with them in appropriate forms, meaning credible forms with credible evidence.
If there were some specific chemical cause that’s peculiar to this generation of youth, that would gainsay this conclusion, but there is none. Furthermore, if there were such an agent, why would it take the form of a preference for socialism and a distrust of capitalism?
Far more likely is that public education is the proximate culprit. We may ask whether or not the people in public education are dedicated socialists who are intentionally misleading the youth and why this may or not may be the case. That’s another level of analysis that is not pursued here. For the moment, let’s agree that our youth are being systematically under-educated and mis-educated, these two being related because under-education (watered down pap) is a form of mis-education.
A priori is not enough to be convincing. Let’s search for some evidence. I search in DuckDuckGo for “U.S. high school textbooks + treatment of mao stalin”. The first item is titled “Preferential Treatment for Communist Terror Alleged”. This article from 2009 looks reputable, citing a 2002 study of 20 civics and high school textbooks in Wisconsin:
“‘I [Dr. Paul Kengor, executive director of the Center for Vision and Values and anti-communist expert.] could not find a single text that listed figures on the total number of deaths by communist governments, even though the data was provided in categories, such as wartime deaths,’ he says, even though data is readily available, works like The Black Book of Communism.”
“Kengor was appalled at the uncritical view and, he says, tacit approval in high school texts of the communist regime that has ruled China since 1949. Not only are there no condemnations of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s human rights violations, he says, but the texts offered ‘rosy descriptions of life in the contemporary Chinese classroom and of youth groups like the Young Pioneers.'”
A second article worth looking at from 2014 is titled “Twisting Children’s Minds With School Textbooks”. One quotation from a study of Tennessee schoolbooks is enough to get the idea: “…inaccurate, revisionist, anti-American, racist … anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, pro-Islam, Marxist, globalist, pro-Socialism/Communism, pro-homosexuality, pro-abortion, and sexually explicit.”
A third article has the title “Leaving Reality Out – How Textbooks (Don’t) Teach about Tyranny”.
If surveys of students show that they are on average extremely miseducated about government, that reflects directly on the public education they have received. Some people escape the poor education but vast numbers do not. Another question that’s not explored here is whether or not their poor training when young has permanently undermined their capacities to think, analyze and reason.
There is another cause pointed out by James Ostrowski in his article “What America Has Done To its Young People is Appalling”. That cause is “progressive big government”. Again, the cause of youthful ignorance is not their stupidity or brain incapacity. This comes about via the older generation’s acceptance and implementation of socialism (progressivism). The scourge is this false ideology, its acceptance and its being implemented by government by force.
Why has this come about despite its ill effects? It’s because we have a government, a legalized power center that we cannot or do not control, and this power center accumulates power over time and institutes it, which means it creates programs that bond and enslave us. We have this government because we have believed that it was the only or best way to solve certain problems. We have been badly mistaken.
Throughout history, governments arise to address problems, sometimes involving defense against attack, sometimes to handle social conflicts involving disputes over property and other conflicts, sometimes to hand down law. We have yet to find ways to live with either very limited government or no government at all, but these are the only two paths to escape the great infirmities of government that we impose on ourselves.
Certainly government is the wrong institution to have a powerful influence in educating children. A major result is that government uses its tax power to glorify itself. Over time, it worms its way into the historical narratives taught in schools. Some famous and influential philosophers have advocated this very result as being appropriate for society, and this just makes matters worse. Public education finds advocates, and the children’s minds are systematically filled with rubbish and robbed of proper education.2:41 pm on December 5, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
I have co authored a book on this subject:
Block, Walter E. and Peter Lothian Nelson. 2015. Water Capitalism: The Case for Privatizing Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, and Aquifers. New York City, N.Y.: Lexington Books; Rowman and Littlefield; https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498518802/Water-Capitalism-The-Case-for-Privatizing-Oceans-Rivers-Lakes-and-Aquifers. https://mises.org/library/case-privatizing-oceans-and-rivers
I think I answer these sorts of questions therein. If not to your satisfaction, please do get back to me with further questions about this issue.
Best regards, Walter2:29 pm on December 5, 2018 Email Walter E. Block
Since its founding on May 1, 1776, the Illuminati has been the subject of more controversy, disinformation and fear-mongering than almost any other topic analyzed by historians. But today, from impeccable archival research compiled over the past several decades, we now have an almost complete true picture of this clandestine organization and its nexus of influence.
Here are the seminal primary and secondary documents I recommend which present that historical portrait: Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, by James H. Billington; Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati, by Terry Melanson; The Secret School of Wisdom: The Authentic Ritual and Doctrines of the Illuminati, edited by Josef Wäges, Reinhard Markner and translated to English by Jeva Singh-Anand; Philo’s Reply To Questions Concerning His Association With the Illuminati, by Adolph Freiherr Knigge and translated to English by Jeva Singh-Anand; Illuminati Manifesto of World Revolution (1792): L’Esprit des Religions, by Nicholas Bonneville and translated to English by Marco di Luchetti Esq.; Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism: A Translation from the French of the Abbe Barruel, by Augustin Barruel; The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France, by Robert Darnton; The Literary Underground of the Old Regime, by Robert Darnton; Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France, by Robert Darnton; Critique and Crises: Enlightenment and the Pathogenesis of Modern Society, by Reinhart Koselleck; and The First Professional Revolutionist: Filippo Michele Buonarroti, 1761-1837, by Elizabeth L. Eisenstein.
Other secret societies have played a decisive and crucial role in shaping and staffing America’s oligarchical power elite.
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 10:11 PM
Subject: Caplan the Praxeologist
Dear Professor Block, Hello! Today I came across a blog post from Bryan Caplan which made me think of your attempts to engage him on methodology. Particularly it brought to mind the story of your dissertation and Gary Becker’s incredulity at your empirical findings. Caplan makes the same move in this post (http://www.econlib.org/archives/2018/03/priors_and_the.html) on illicit drug use. I recall that Caplan once replied to you re: Becker’s implicit praxeology along the lines that “well, there was a significant empirical literature on rent control and your findings contradicted it. Perhaps you, an unsophisticated graduate student, simply made a mistake and Becker’s years of reading on the subject gave him the good sense to tell you to try again.” But note that in the blog post above Caplan cites no literature at all. Instead he employs an axiomatic-deductive analysis to dismiss the data, and then papers it over by the use of the terms “common sense” and “good judgement” before moving on to “there must be other variables at play!” I think it’s a good one to file away in the event you debate him again. Also, and finally, thank you for your contributions to our science! I often use your arguments in the classroom, not just because I agree with them, but because they have the wonderful capacity to get the attention of students and force them to think. Sincerely, M
To “secure” oil from the Middle East is one of the objectives of the U.S. government. It is one reason why the U.S. stations forces in the Middle East and makes wars there. However, it’s far from clear that anything has been “secured”. This accounts for the quotation marks around “secure” throughout this message.
One alternative to military force in Iraq was to have left the Middle East’s countries to their own devices. Perhaps one country would have attained dominant control over oil, perhaps not. Suppose oil prices had been jacked up as a consequence of a dominant supplier. As far as oil supply to the U.S. goes, the worst case for oil prices may have been a “high” price for imported crude. How high? Suppose the price became 50 percent higher. Suppose instead of paying $30 a barrel, we had to pay $45. Suppose that instead of paying $50, we had to pay $75. The main value of the military “security” would have been a lower price by $15-$25 dollars a barrel.
Any supplier, even one that dominates several countries, cannot make money by leaving the oil in the ground. Any government needs and wants money, if only to keep the population in line. These facts limit the possible price hikes. They also cannot risk blackmailing the U.S. politically because that will cause the U.S. to attack them. In other words, an imaginary Middle Eastern oil monopolist doesn’t have as much freedom to control the market as one may think. But no such monopolist exists anyway, and no such empire dominated by one country such as Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia exists.7:16 am on December 4, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
They cleaned up their industrial land of invasive species and dead trees, and the Township of Canton, in Michigan, is shaking them down for extortion fees of nearly half-a-million.
5:56 pm on December 3, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
Township officials said it’s not a government overreach. They said it’s no different than what any developer had to do, which is make a payment to the township’s tree fund for not replacing trees.
This is what social media is churning out: everyone is a model; everyone is glamorous; everyone needs to be seen; everyone is an Influencer. Because Instagram is reality.
Not fake news! These bimbos were invited to a fake brand rollout and so admired the “high quality” of $20-$35 Payless shoes that they paid between $200-$600 (and up) for them.
And these people vote.5:44 pm on December 3, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Three single Detroit ladies going out to their car on the way to church Sunday morning were confronted in their driveway by a piece-of-shit lurking around. When they managed to escape to the house – sensing something was very wrong – the piece-of-shit got into their house behind them. The 55-year-old woman grabbed her gun and killed the SOB on the spot. A perfectly aimed chest shot. Yes, I celebrate this occasion. I celebrate the lives of three good and peaceful women saved by a gun (and one diligent woman). Imagine what might have happened to these ladies had they been without The Equalizer?
And yet, I’ve lost (real) friendships from friends who live in La-La Land and consistently exclaim no need for a gun because they choose to spin the wheel of fortune with their lives, like Bambis-in-the-Woods. And they could not, and can not, come to grips with my intelligent, educated, rational defense of the right to bear arms, any arms – unlicensed, unregistered, and unencumbered by special interests or bureaucrats elected by The Mob. I’ve stood my ground and lost friendships. And that is perfectly acceptable to me. And these folks never – ever – have a response for these occasions. They won’t dare touch these instances because they can only resort to uneducated, anti-gun ranting and emoting that cannot justify their position.5:38 pm on December 3, 2018 Email Karen De Coster