Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Good versus Bad

To non-regulars, round these parts Dr Paul is GOOD, Krugman is BAD.

Notice how Krugman dredges up Friedman to use as a weapon against the sound Austrian free market position. Check out Rothbard's demolition job on the dean of the Chicago School.

Hat tip: the Circle Bastiat


cisbio said...

Howdy dude, long time no see and all that.

I don't suppose a few words from me right now will dissuade you from the inequities of the Austrian strain of market fundamentalism -which is just like the other brand of market fundamentalism, but without God.

I will say that Ron has a gift of appearing professorial and patrician, without losing that common touch, which is why he's wheeled out every election cycle to keep the rads in line.

I'm no particular fan of the other Paul, either, but at least he doesn't keep insisting on punishing the poor to atone for the sins of the rich- like the other, other Paul-Paul Ryan, that is..and everyone else in the GOP- including, ( in his roundabout way) Ron here.

Trooper Thompson said...

As usual it's a pleasure to hear from you Cisbio, even though your economic understanding still languishes in the doldrums.

I'm not sure how on earth you come to the conclusion that Ron wants to punish the poor to atone for the sins of the rich. he opposed all the bailouts, believing them to be wholly counter-productive. Considering the largest beneficiary of the bailouts was Warren Buffet, and banksters like GS, it seems much more the case that the bailouts which he opposed punish the poor and reward the rich. He also, alone among the main party candidates, wants to end the war on drugs and pardon all the non-violent drug offenders. Again, this does not seem like punishing the poor. Furthermore, only he wants to end the Empire and bring the troops home. This also does not punish the poor.

I'm sure 'market fundamentalism' is a cool phrase, but what is your problem with allowing markets to operate? Do you really think that the complex web of human interactions which comprise the market can be directed by a small group of technicians, messing around with the value of the money unit and interest rates?

What Paul recognises is that the economy is in a mess and there is no pain-free way out, certainly not by printing billions of dollars and giving them to the Wall Street oligarchs.

Trooper Thompson said...

You also are not taking account of the history of American politics. The Jeffersonian - Jacksonian tradition which Paul represents has always been hostile to central banking and fiat money, and has always believed in gold and silver, and has always believed that the kind of monetary/banking system we have now is to the great detriment of the poor and to the great benefit of an aristocracy of crooked bankers.

cisbio said...

"what is your problem with allowing markets to operate?"

I would say that "allowing markets to operate' is a cool phrase, but what it actually means is 'allowing companies to socialise costs'. I would expand on that but I'm going to work in a minute so..

As for Paul's opposition to the bailouts, the Fed and the war on drugs and all -that's what I call his 'common touch'. He can say all that coz he knows he'll never be president.

I'm digesting your comments and will continue tomorrow more fully. gotta go nice to see that comments don't require capture anymore

Trooper Thompson said...

"what it actually means is 'allowing companies to socialise costs'."

Absolutely not. A bail-out is the very epitome of 'allowing companies to socialise costs'.

As for Ron's view on the wars and drugs, your comments are disingenuous to say the least. You can check him out all the way back to his earliest public statements and you will find he has been consistent. Furthermore, you can check with other intellectuals of his colour and ilk and you will find that his positions are rooted in a clearly defined political philosophy, and further still you will note that it is exactly his position on the wars and on drugs which more than anything have cost him mainstream support in the Republican Party. This is the guy who got booed at one of the TV debates for mentioning the 'just war' principle.

You're just trying to find excuses to justify not liking him. Accusing him of opportunism won't wash. On many things I'm sure you will be forced to agree he is the only candidate speaking sense. Even if you don't agree about economic liberty, you should accept that economic liberals, such as Ron Paul, and people such as Cobden and Bright here truly believe(d) that liberty would bring prosperity to the many. It was economic liberalism which broke down oligarchic monopolies and a thousand different constraints on ordinary people, and it was the power of the state, through the exploitation of war powers which they kept after the war ended, which put back all those oligarchies, first of which is the banking oligarchy, which is the number one enemy of Ron Paul and free trade liberals.

Enjoy work. Yeah, that capture thing pissed me off too.

Trooper Thompson said...



What other politician speaks to these subjects?

cisbio said...

I don't dislike Paul so much. Actually, he was by far the preferable GOP nominee. I don't doubt he has remained true to his principles, mainly because he knows he won't get elected. But he remains a Republican politician and hence, in my book, untrustworthy. I'd more respect for him if he went independent.

"It was economic liberalism which broke down oligarchic monopolies and a thousand different constraints on ordinary people and it was the power of the state... which put back all those oligarchies"

Are you sure about? off the top of my head, the oligarch Rockafeller's Standard Oil monopoly was broken up by anti-trust laws, ie the power of the state. And the rights of ordinary people -dare I say 'workers'- were won by pitched battles in the street, not capitalists at 'liberty'.

I agree that the power of the banks is a problem, but to a great degree, we have put ourselves in thrall of the banks by insisting that economic growth -facilitated by credit -is the primary function of humanity and what's more, that there is ,literally, an infinite capacity for growth. There isn't.

Trooper Thompson said...

I was really referring to earlier times, the oligarchs I meant were the big tory land-owners who benefited from the corn laws and such things. I don't know too much about Rockefeller, but he didn't have a monopoly in the old sense of the word, which was a government (or king) granted exclusive privilege, and I doubt very much that the anti-trust laws bothered him greatly - more a case of 'please don't throw me in the briar patch'. You will be aware that the Rockefeller wealth has not dissipated since those laws were passed.

"And the rights of ordinary people -dare I say 'workers'- were won by pitched battles in the street, not capitalists at 'liberty'"

I've no idea what this refers to. Violent insurrection, although favoured by armchair radicals, has rarely improved matters. Either it leads to a bloody crackdown by the regime, or, in the case of the regime falling, to the ascendency of a new gang of equally villainous miscreants. In contrast, the improvements to the ordinary person's life under capitalism, peace and free trade are easier to illustrate.

"we have put ourselves in thrall of the banks..."

We haven't. The state has. The power of the banks rests in the symbiotic relationship between the state and the banks, propping each other up, as was ever the case, only now its so much easier to counterfeit and debase, as they have destroyed the monetary system which was independent of governments and banks - i.e. gold.

I would say it is human nature to always want to improve one's situation. The problem we have with credit, is that rather than being made available through savings, it is magicked out of the air, and this, on top of causing the business cycle seems to have a number of other negative effects - such as on morality, as understood by a good Victorian, such as Samuel Smiles. The obsession with growth seems to me related, and fed by the dubious quackery of Keynesian macro-economics. If you consider Libya for example, they should expect some fantastic growth in the building sector over the next few years, but a quick look away from the graphs will reveal a different picture.

If my meaning is not clear I am happy to expand over a pint, if we can synchronise calendars.

cisbio said...

A pint sounds an excellent idea. I'm off this week, so the world is literally my oyster (Ok, not literally

Anyway: "I've no idea what this refers to". That's a shame, but not surprising. if you'll forgive me for saying so, libertarians often have a big case of historical amnesia (present company excepted) and conveniently forget what conditions were like when the conditions were exactly as they hope conditions will be again. (if that make sense)

Suffice to say that the history of labour relations in the US up to the NEw Deal is a catalogue of brutal suppression, far exceeding in brutality anything seen in Europe at the time, aided and abetted by The State, particularly by the Judiciary. Perhaps of particular interest to yourself will be the catalogue of dissent/strikes/riots/suppression in Northern cities during The War of Northern Aggression. I have the appropriate reading material, if you wish to borrow...

"Violent insurrection...has rarely improved matters." I'm minded to the recall the words of Lloyd George when the Upper House rejected his 1909 budget: "The Lords may decree a revolution, but the people will direct it.."

I have much more to say, but only over the froth of a convivial ale..speak soon.

Trooper Thompson said...

"libertarians often have a big case of historical amnesia"

In this case, not so much as amnesia, as a failure to read minds.

"a catalogue of brutal suppression"

I don't doubt that such a catalogue exists, but alongside police violence, there's union violence and mob violence, none of which is particularly helpful to society. Violence for a libertarian is only justifiable in self-defence, and our philosophy is based on peace. This is in stark contrast to collectivistic ideologies, whether nationalistic or socialistic, which are intrinsically based on warfare, either between classes or between 'races' etc.

As for Lloyd George, I'm afraid there's a fine for mentioning his name on my blog, to cover the inconvenience it will bring me of having to trawl through my books for the reasons I dislike the man. I shall levy this fine at our next meeting.