Steve G.

George Phillies: “We Can Politely Disagree”

In Environment, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 4, 2008 at 5:02 pm

George Phillies for President 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

We Can Politely Disagree:
Sensible Answers to Tough Questions, Part 1

Having urged civil disagreement between candidates, I now enumerate a few points where Mary Ruwart and I take different stands on issues. The following are issues that have significant national interest: The National debt. National defense.  Climate Change. Pollution.  Our answers differ a great deal.  Which do you prefer?  That choice is up to you.

Dr. Ruwart describes herself as being from the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party.  I view myself as being from the centrist wing of the Libertarian Party:  I’m not Republican Lite, and I’m not an anarchist.

#1 What is the Libertarian response to handling the National Debt?

*Ruwart* (pp. 91-92, Short Answers to the Tough Questions by Mary J. Ruwart): The national debt represents loans to government secured by its willingness to tax (steal from) its citizens.  Thus, some Libertarians view buying government bonds as encouraging a thief and
have no qualms about repudiating the debt.  Others believe that government property (including over 40% of the U.S. landmass) should be liquidated to repay the debt, wholly or in part.

*Phillies*:  Three choices for solving the national debt are paying it, selling assets, and repudiating it.  I  say that we should eliminate the National debt by paying it.

Can we? It’s exactly like paying off a house mortgage.  If you want to pay off a mortgage over 30 years, your monthly payment on the principal starts near a tenth of a percent of initial debt.  We have nine trillion
dollars of national debt.  A budget surplus around $100 billion a year and constant future payments makes our funded national debt go away by 2040.  What about alternative solutions?

Sell Federal lands?  That won’t work. Why?  America has around a billion acres of Federal land.  Parts of that land, such as the Grand Canyon, simply will not be sold. To pay off the national debt by selling the rest, we’d need to clear around $10,000 an acre.  In contrast, in eastern Kansas and Western Missouri, real estate ads show farmland for one or two thousand dollars per acre.  Selling all our Federal lands might raise, being optimistic about central Alaska, perhaps a trillion dollars, ignoring what happens to real estate prices if 40% of our land area hits the market. A trillion dollars is barely a tenth of the funded National debt.

Repudiate the national Debt?  Ask yourself: What happens next? Huge numbers of Americans bought T-Bills for their retirement. Their retirement savings are wiped out. Foreign governments hold dollar reserves in Treasury bonds. The value of the dollar vanishes.  Banks hold financial reserves in Treasury bonds.  Those banks are insolvent; their doors close. The economy collapses.  Furthermore, no one — neither foreign governments nor our own citizens would be willing to lend the U.S. money again since by this point we would have established that we renege on our obligations.

My good friend Mike Badnarik always  asks: ‘Is it Constitutional?’ No, repudiation is not constitutional. The 14th Amendment says so.   And the opposition parties chant ‘Repudiation is Theft’.

#2:  Libertarian National Defense

*Ruwart*: Free trade is the best national defense we could ever have. No country bombs their trading partners.  (page 77)

*Phillies*: A real defense requires real defenses. Trade is no defense.   Countries that trade with each other go to war regularly.  A few examples:

Consider the Latin American countries attacked and occupied, sometimes repeatedly, by their major trade partner, the United States. World War I was fought between countries that had traded substantially with each other. In 1937, Japan invaded major trade partner China.  In 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, and 1945, when Russia invaded Manjukuo, each country attacked a major trading partner.  In 1943, Italy declared war on Germany, which had been not only its largest trade partner but its primary military ally.

National defense requires a real national defense policy, such as the national defense policy that I have previously proposed at http://choosegeorge.org/peace .

To support the George Phillies campaign, please visit http://ChooseGeorge.org/donation today.

To arrange an interview or obtain a short quote from the candidate, contact:

Carolyn Marbry, Press Director pressdirector@phillies2008.org
(510) 276-3216
George Phillies for President 2008 http://ChooseGeorge.org

  1. Phillies shows his mercantilist, protectionist, war-mongering statist / anti-capitalist colors once again. The man absolutely repulses me, and I think I’d have to rank him lower than Barr at this point.

  2. Hi, G.E. I’m no Barr fan either – far from it, in fact – but I’m confused regarding why you think George Phillies is a warmonger. It seems to me that he thinks we should maintain a defense against external threats, as well as keep up with technology. I can’t disagree with that, because technology is necessary not only for defense against threats from other countries, but also to defend us against unforeseen non-human threats.

    For example, the spy satellite which died and recently started a path back toward earth was stopped with a dead-on hit from a missile fired from a Navy vessel on the ocean, thus ending any threat to human life, American or otherwise, due to our own failure when sending up a defective satellite. We had a responsibility to do what we did, because that satellite was a clear and present danger had it actually impacted in a populated area anywhere on earth. We had a responsibility to protect people the world over from a danger we created.

    I also think we need to be prepared for the possibility that – given the number of enemies the US has made with its longtime interventionist policies – we may actually face direct attack if we let our guard down. Hopefully there will be a time when we all live peacefully, with no need for high technology or an active defense system, but that is in a utopian future not likely to be realized during our lifetimes.

    I therefore think his military policy is sensible, and nowhere does he stray from the libertarian ideal of non-interventionism.

  3. Phillies’s intervention includes antagonism toward China, including trade protectionism and the initiation of force through trade warring. He is always for rattling the cage of the Chinese, whom he seems to have some sort of racial vendetta against. Phillies is a Lincolnian centralist who wishes to run the internal affairs of the states like a dictator — the only weapon for doing so, of course, is a large standing army. Such a force is also needed for his beloved Fed and IRS.

    War is all about territory. Phillies is ultra-territorial. He wants a centrally planned immigration policy and centrally planned trade. These territorial issues are what lead to wars and internal conflicts.

    I am a Jeffersonian. Jefferson feared standing armies and central banks. Phillies embraces both.

  4. Hi again, GE! I’m still very confused, I’m afraid. I just searched the entire Phillies site for “China”, and the only hits I got were a statement about how we should not have immigration quotas, and a statement against the Chinese genocidal occupation of Tibet, stating only that we have no right to do anything about it except individually not support China financially with vacations and purchase of Chinese goods.

    As you may have seen on my personal blog, I was invited to participate as part of a US criminal justice delegation to China (I’m a criminologist, in case you didn’t know), and in the end decided against it, on the basis that it would be a waste of time since China is not going to open up its criminal justice system to a delegation from anywhere, no matter what they say to the contrary. You can read about that if you are at all interested. http://elfninosmom.wordpress.com/2007/12/07/criminal-justice-in-china/

    Where did you get the information about Phillies having a racial vendetta against China? I certainly don’t have a racial vendetta against them; in fact, I am a lifelong fan of the work of Pearl S Buck, so their ancient civilization has long been a source of interest for me. At the time my potential travel to China came up I was completely unaware of Phillies’ statement on China, but had pretty much the same concerns he has (at least as far as I can see from his website).

    I also searched for “IRS” on his website, and got only two hits: one saying the IRS has no business in your bedroom, and another saying the IRS should not give preferential treatment with regard to health insurance. Where did you get the information about Phillies being pro-IRS?

    I’m honestly not trying to be difficult, but I’m just not seeing what you are saying, which is not to say that you are wrong, but rather to say that I’d like to see it too.

    I have to admit, I am and have always been confused about why some libertarians want to be rid of the Federal Reserve. Can you explain this belief to me (or give me a link to where it is explained)?

    I searched Phillies’ website for “Federal Reserve”, and didn’t see anything at all, except a “send to a friend” link to an audio interview with Eric Dondero.

    I’d very much like to understand where you are coming from on this topic, so any help would be appreciated! 🙂

  5. The Austrian School of Economics, with which a sizable number of libertarians tend to agree, view the Federal Reserve (as all central banks) with disdain.

    Murray Rothbard’s short book, “The Case Against the Fed” is an excellent start:

    http://www.mises.org/store/product.aspx?ProductId=69
    http://mises.org/misesreview_detail.aspx?control=77

    And here’s a bit longer article by Rothbard discussing the origins of the Federal Reserve:
    http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae2_3_1.pdf

  6. Phillies tried to send his Sino-Phobic statements down the memory hole, even denying he made them, in writing, at his Web site, and blaming it as an “invention” of yours truly. Luckily, the courageous Tom Knapp came to the rescue:

    http://knappster.blogspot.com/search?q=%22phillies%22+%22china%22

    I find his call for a boycott of China to be elitist, arrogant, and morally repugnant. If we are to boycott the Chinese for the crime of their regime, then how can we morally justify buying anything Made in the USA? Surely the crimes of our own regime greatly outnumber those of China. But Phillies is a rank nationalist.

    You searched his site and found two hits on the IRS, neither calling for its abolition or calling into question its unconstitutional and illegal operation. Hence, he is pro-IRS.

    You found nothing on the Federal Reserve at his site either. That, in itself, is not troubling to you? Your background is in criminology, mine in finance — and both fit the Fed. I was indoctrinated with pro-Fed “education,” but I came to my senses when I read the works of Ron Paul, and later, Murray Rothbard. I suggest you do the same — The Case Against the Fed, by Rothbard, is succinct enough to complete in one sitting. But to answer your question as to why libertarians want to abolish the Fed:

    1) It is entirely unconstitutional and illegal

    2) It distorts the free market through central planning called “monetary policy”

    3) Most important: It is the engine of big government. It monetizes government debt and removes all fiscal limits from governmental ambition.

    4) A close second: It redistributes wealth from the poor and working people to the rich and politically connected. When the money supply expands, it is not as if everyone automatically gets his “share” of the new money — the rich and politically connected get it first, prices rise, and wealth is redistributed as the poor see their wages or benefits rise more slowly than prices.

    Two very short books you should read: GOLD, PEACE AND PROSPERITY by Ron Paul, and THE CASE AGAINST THE FED by Murray Rothbard. They’re even available free from Mises.org.

    http://mises.org/books/goldpeace.pdf

    http://mises.org/books/fed.pdf

    And pass these on to Phillies while you’re at it.

    He might also benefit from reading the Politically Incorrect Guides to Capitalism, American History, and the Constitution.

  7. Policy wise, I actually agree with G.E. on the idea that the Fed should be abolished. Most of us do. However, sometimes things get lost in translation.

    Milton Friedman believed the Fed should be abolished and is open about the fact that the American people would have been better off had the Fed never been established. However, he is often considered pro-Fed. Why is this?

    Because he was a theoretical economist. His arguments on money weren’t making the point that the Fed was a good thing, he studied the Fed because it does exist and he was in essence saying, “I don’t think the Fed should exists and it would be better off if it were gone, but since it’s here I will theorize on how it’s actions can slow inflation.”

    For example, think of an offensive coordinator of a college football team. Let’s say the head coach has decided that they will run an option style offense, but the offensive coordinator believes that the correct offensive formation to employ is a spread run and shoot offense. That offensive coordinator may hate the option, but it has been implemented, so he will still design plays to run out of the option offense even though he wishes he could run a spread. Friedman’s work on money was kind of like the offensive coordinator designing plays for an offense he doesn’t like.

  8. If what you say is accurate, then that makes Friedman little more than an unprincipled apologist. I have a generally positive impression of him, but compared to Murray Rothbard, he seemed to be too willing to accept the status quo rather take bold, defiant stands for what he knows to be right. His advocacy of school vouchers also seems to me to have been a cop-out. While it would appear to many to be an effort to return educational control to the parents, in reality it would just be a wholesale forfeiture of the independence of private schools to the state.

  9. If what you say is accurate, then that makes Friedman little more than an unprincipled apologist.

    Here is Friedman’s
    own words
    :

    “The difference between me and people like Murray Rothbard is that, though I want to know what my ideal is, I think I also have to be willing to discuss changes that are less than ideal so long as they point me in that direction. So while I’d like to abolish the Fed, I’ve written many pages on how the Fed, if it does exist, should be run.”

    Friedman’s explanation to me is entirely reasonable.

  10. If you can’t cure the disease, at least treat the symptoms.

    That’s hardly an unprincipled position.

  11. Robert – I read Friedman’s CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY when I was on the road to libertarianism back in late 2004. I then tried to read it again last summer and found it to be repulsively statist. Friedman got a lot better later in life. He focused on opposition to the drug war and he was against the war in Iraq (his wife was a neocon, though). But on net, he was definitely a negative to the cause of liberty, in my opinion. Afterall, he helped develop the income-tax withholding system for FDR. He also worked for Pinochet in Chile, which is a black eye for “libertarianism.” He was interested in an efficient state, not a free one. This is the fundamental rift between Catoite/Reasonistas and Rockwellians, as I see it.

    Jeff – You’re missing the gaping hole in Friedman’s analysis: He is the one who invented the helicopter metaphor — that the Fed lowering interest rates was the equivalent of dropping money all over from the sky. What inexplicably did not grasp is that not everyone received their “fair share” (if that could even possibly be defined) of the new money, and instead, artificial monetary policy by the Fed or by Friedman’s desired super computer inevitably put money in politically connected and wealthy hands, at the expense of the poor and working people. If you accept this premises, then it can be hard to see the wisdom of honest money — I know, I was there. University financial education does not give you the Rothbardian insight — and it’s a fairly obvious one — that interest-rate manipulation is reverse wealth redistribution.

    You often arrogantly presume to know that you know what “Joe Sixpack” wants to hear. Well I think he wants the truth about how his wealth is expropriated on a daily basis by the monetary system. This was a core tenant of Ron Paul’s message and he is easily the most successful libertarian in history. He spread the word and the tide is growing. George Phillies does not understand the Fed (he said so once) and does not want to ride the Ron Paul wave. In addition to his overtly statist, centralist, and radically liberal interpretations of the Constitution and constitutional law, this makes him unqualified to run for LPHQ janitor, as far as I’m concerned.

  12. You’re missing the gaping hole in Friedman’s analysis: He is the one who invented the helicopter metaphor — that the Fed lowering interest rates was the equivalent of dropping money all over from the sky.

    I’m not sure why it’s so hard for you to grasp the difference between saying what could happen and what should. Friedman was theorizing on ways the Fed could alter the business cycle and inflation, he wasn’t legitimizing it’s existence. You don’t have to like the option offense to think of plays that may be successful out of that formation. He was doing what academic economists do. An academic economist doesn’t say “I’m going to cease all theories on the Fed stictly because I oppose it’s existence”. Rothbard did, and that’s why he is thought of as less than nothing in the academic economic community, while other economists, such as Mises and Hayek are now taught in economics classes.

    University financial education does not give you the Rothbardian insight — and it’s a fairly obvious one — that interest-rate manipulation is reverse wealth redistribution.

    Policy wise, I agree. I’m not a Chicagoist, so I’m not sure why you make that assumption. Standard “University” education (of which I have possibly too much) can be very, very wrong. Look at the way that Keynes was taught in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He was thought of as an economic God, and that no one could improve upon his theories. His stature is significantly less now that most of this theories have been discredited (and the ones that haven’t soon will be).

    You often arrogantly presume to know that you know what “Joe Sixpack” wants to hear.

    I’m not “presuming to know”. I’m telling you that’s what they want to hear because thats what I come from, and thats what I know. My characterizations of mainstream voters are not negative.

    George Phillies does not understand the Fed (he said so once) and does not want to ride the Ron Paul wave. In addition to his overtly statist, centralist, and radically liberal interpretations of the Constitution and constitutional law, this makes him unqualified to run for LPHQ janitor, as far as I’m concerned.

    What does this have to do with me? I’m not sure why things have to be told to you more than once for it to resonate with you. I disagree with George on many issues. I disagree with nearly everyone on major issues. It’s part of having an independent mind.

    You seem to exhibit the stereotypes of those libertarians that want to destory everyone around them. You’re making wild and stupid statements against someone that probably agrees with you on a lot of issues. It must be a sad, pathetic life to walk around destroying the people that should be your allies.

  13. I wasn’t aware that I was trying to “destroy you.” That reminds me of the Chris Rock routine about women. They always have someone at work they can’t get along with. “She’s trying to destroy me!” “Bitch, you fold bags at Penney’s.” Well, bitch, we’re blogging at LFV and TPW. I’m not trying to f’ing destroy you, man! Get a grip!

    My understanding (and I could be wrong) of Friedman’s helicopter analogy is not that it’s what could or should happen, but what DOES happen, and he was WRONG. His analysis of the Great Depression was entirely bogus too. Maybe because he played a great role in perpetuating it, through his aid to the fascist FDR dictatorship.

    Rothbard is thought of as “less than nothing” among academic economists because academic economists are statist whores, and he called them out on it. It isn’t a very lucrative career to be an anti-state economist. All the cushy jobs are with governments or corporations lobbying for government favors. Duh.

    I don’t make any assumptions as to your “Chicagoist” vs. Austrian leanings. You’ve said you agree with me (you just seem to lack any political or moral courage, judging from your statements). My point in referencing university financial education was to point out that millions of students (such as myself) are indoctrinated with a Friedmanite/Keynesian view of the Fed, which seems wholly acceptable if not confronted with the Rothbardian uneven distribution argument.

    “I’m not ‘presuming to know’. I’m TELLING YOU that’s what they (‘Joe Six-Pack’ voters) want to hear”

    Wow. You’re not merely presuming, you know. Okay, Robert Milnes. Your characterization of voters is that they don’t care about monetary policy, which can only mean they are idiots, because it is far and away the biggest issue there is. I don’t know how that’s “not negative.”

  14. Jeff Wartman asked – “What does this (comments about Phillies) have to do with me?”

    Um, this is a thread about George Phillies. Our debate began when I said Phillies was pro-Fed, and you said he wasn’t necessarily. I was returning to the issue at hand, after developing my argument. It’s not about Jeff Wartman.

  15. Rothbard is thought of as “less than nothing” among academic economists because academic economists are statist whores, and he called them out on it. It isn’t a very lucrative career to be an anti-state economist. All the cushy jobs are with governments or corporations lobbying for government favors. Duh.

    I disagree. Academic economists used to be statist whores, but the success of many anti-state and Austrian economists at places like George Mason show there is a place for that sort of instruction at many institutions. Mises and Hayek are taught. Rothbard isn’t, and that’s because he didn’t contribute anything new or useful to economics. Most of what he did say had already been said by Mises.

    Your characterization of voters is that they don’t care about monetary policy, which can only mean they are idiots, because it is far and away the biggest issue there is. I don’t know how that’s “not negative.”

    You’re characterization of how I have described voters in false. They understand monetary policy just fine. What I’m saying is that there is a way to present policy in a way to put you in a position to be listened to by people in middle America, and looking like Charles Manson isn’t the way to do it. My point is that some libertarians present views in a way that cause people to turn away in disgust and not even consider the argument they’re making.

    I don’t make any assumptions as to your “Chicagoist” vs. Austrian leanings. You’ve said you agree with me (you just seem to lack any political or moral courage, judging from your statements).

    On policy? I’ve been arguing from a purely political point of view of how our message is received. My policy positions are well documented. I suggest the archives at http://www.jeffwartnman.com.

    Many of my Austrian leanings are well documented:
    http://www.jeffwartman.com/2008/03/central-bank-continuing-to-intervene-in.html
    http://www.jeffwartman.com/2008/03/jp-morgan-bear-stearns-and-fed.html
    http://www.jeffwartman.com/2008/03/jim-rogers-on-current-economic.html
    http://www.jeffwartman.com/2008/03/rescue-from-federal-reserve-has-failed.html

    My point is all of this is to illustrate the fact that you do not have to be pro-X to theorize about how X could run because it already exists.

    Um, this is a thread about George Phillies. Our debate began when I said Phillies was pro-Fed, and you said he wasn’t necessarily

    Perhaps I haven’t been clear. I’m not putting policy in George’s mouth. I’m not claiming to have complete insight into exactly what he believes on the Fed. My point though, which I believe to be completely reasonable, is that just because someone theorizes on the Fed, that doesn’t mean they wholeheartedly support the Fed. It doesn’t really mean anything about whether they believe it’s right to exist or not.

    Let me put it another way:

    I make no judegement on what George thinks about the Fed. I’m not a policy advisor to his campaign. What I do know, however, is that theorizing on the Fed doesn’t mean legitimizing the Fed.

  16. Rothbard is thought of as “less than nothing” among academic economists because academic economists are statist whores, and he called them out on it. It isn’t a very lucrative career to be an anti-state economist. All the cushy jobs are with governments or corporations lobbying for government favors. Duh.

    It wasn’t Rothbard’s ideology, it’s the fact that he did not contribute anything new to economics. Almost everything he said, Mises had already said.

    I don’t make any assumptions as to your “Chicagoist” vs. Austrian leanings. You’ve said you agree with me (you just seem to lack any political or moral courage, judging from your statements).

    My policy positions are well documented. I suggest the archives of http://www.jeffwartman.com I am very open about the fact that I oppose the existence of the Fed.

    Wow. You’re not merely presuming, you know. Okay, Robert Milnes. Your characterization of voters is that they don’t care about monetary policy, which can only mean they are idiots, because it is far and away the biggest issue there is. I don’t know how that’s “not negative.”

    Because middle America is not dumb. However, there is a way to present your argument that will get peolpe to, at the very least, listen to you. When you look like Charles Manson, people will never honestly listen to your policy proposals, no matter what you’re saying.

    Our debate began when I said Phillies was pro-Fed, and you said he wasn’t necessarily.

    I never meant to put words in George’s mouth. I’m not saying anything about what George believes about the Fed. I’m not a policy advisor to his campaign. If you want to know what he thinks, ask him. He’s good about having open dialogue with those who he disagrees with.

    What I did say was that theorizing on the actions of the Fed does not automatically mean legitimization. I keep returning to the same analogy. A football coach can hate the option offense yet still design plays to run out of that formation.

  17. And I have never said nor intended to indicate that “theorizing about the actions of the Fed” equates to support of the Fed. I am saying that (1) my understanding of Friedman’s helicopter analogy was that he was conveying his understanding of what the Fed DID do, not what it could/should do; and (2) George Phillies is unfit to be the LP nominee, in my opinion, because he does not explicitly call for the abolition of the Fed, nor make an attempt to express to the voting public that it is the Federal Reserve System that picks their pockets on a daily basis.

    What is up with your evasiveness? You spoke on for Phillies, I countered your arguments, you then said “what does Phillies have to do with this?”, and now you act as if you didn’t start talking about Phillies in the first place. WTF?

    Ron Paul had a lot more success than Charles Manson, or for that matter, any other libertarian ever. Your notion that a “Cargo Cultist” “libertarian” could do better than Ron Paul is an untested hypothesis, and I hope it forever remains so.

  18. Also, it is absolutely absurd and entirely inaccurate to assert Rothbard “didn’t add anything new to economics.” He differed from Mises in many key areas, and in fact, most American Austrians are really Rothbardians. The LVMI is more Rothbardian than Misesian.

  19. I am saying that (1) my understanding of Friedman’s helicopter analogy was that he was conveying his understanding of what the Fed DID do, not what it could/should do

    And despite your understanding, Friedman was still open about the fact that he wished the Fed was never created and that the American people would have been better off had the Fed never came into existence.

    George Phillies is unfit to be the LP nominee, in my opinion, because he does not explicitly call for the abolition of the Fed, nor make an attempt to express to the voting public that it is the Federal Reserve System that picks their pockets on a daily basis.

    I believe that your view of the Fed is correct, but I would not throw away a candidate based on one issue. (I already know you’re going to come back with a laundry list of how George supports statism — I’m talking about that specific issue)

    What is up with your evasiveness? You spoke on for Phillies, I countered your arguments, you then said “what does Phillies have to do with this?”, and now you act as if you didn’t start talking about Phillies in the first place. WTF?

    I never “spoke on for Phillies”. Here is the sequence of events.

    (1) You said George supported the Fed
    (2) I said just because George theorizes about the Fed it doesn’t logically follow that he supports its existence, and used Friedman as an example
    (3) You used my statements as a way to pin me down as a Fed supporter because of my words about Friedman
    (4) I explained I’m not making any judgements about George or what his belief system is, merely making a logical argument.

    Rinse and repeat.

    Ron Paul had a lot more success than Charles Manson, or for that matter, any other libertarian ever. Your notion that a “Cargo Cultist” “libertarian” could do better than Ron Paul is an untested hypothesis, and I hope it forever remains so.

    I’m not sure where you get the idea that I’m supporting what Knapp calls “Cargo Cultists”. I do nothing of the sort. Knapp and I agree — a well polished delivery is not a substitute for libertarian principles. However, to effectively have people listen to what you’re saying, a certain degree of professionalism is required. I would put Ron Paul in that category. I would put the vast majority of Libertarians in that category. However, some do not fit the “respectable” category: Chief Wana Dubie, Stan Jones, etc.

    Also, it is absolutely absurd and entirely inaccurate to assert Rothbard “didn’t add anything new to economics.” He differed from Mises in many key areas, and in fact, most American Austrians are really Rothbardians. The LVMI is more Rothbardian than Misesian.

    A few key facts:
    (1) The LVMI is not a mainstream academic institution
    (2) Austrian economics is not as poorly regarded today in mainstream academic institutions as it was fifty years ago.
    (3) Mises, Hayek and Menger are taught in mainstream academic institutions. Rothbard is not.

  20. By the way, thanks G.E., I didn’t get shit done at work today🙂

  21. Rothbard is taught at Hillsdale College, one of only two non-government funded education institutions in the U.S. How can you demean his work and insights based on the fact that his anti-state teachings are not taught at tax-supported universities? That’s like condemning an abolitionist scholar because his teachings were not taught in the 1850s South!

    LVMI is not “mainstream.” Who confers mainstream respectability other than the state or its functionaries?

    Again, you evade. I am not for running Star Child for president, but nor am I running someone who doesn’t make the Fed a central issue. You originally began with the proposition that “Joe Six-Pack” doesn’t care about the Fed. Now you’ve bobbed and weaved so that “Joe Six-Pack” needs to have a stuffed shirt as a candidate. I don’t disagree with the importance of presentation, and I’m even hesitant about supporting Kubby for that reason, but you’ve sidestepped the issue. “Joe Six Pack” cannot buy his six packs for the price he was once able to, and his wages have not gone up to compensate for this fact, and HE CARES WHY.

  22. (I’m typing this from my BlackBerry, so it’s going to be shortened😉

    GE,

    Of course Joe Six Pack cares why his dollar doesn’t have the purchasing power it used to. I’m a little confused as to why you think I wouldn’t agree with that — I haven’t made claims to the contrary.

    I voted for Ron Paul in the I’ll GOP primary. I’m right there with you.

  23. I’m “confused” because you’ve strongly implied just that.

    I criticized Phillies for not being anti-Fed. You said, essentially, “Joe Six Pack” (an offensive term, imo) doesn’t care about the Fed.

    More bobbing and weaving from Mr. Wartman!🙂

    Another bob/weave move from earlier: I cited the LVMI in response to your assertion that “Rothbard didn’t add anything new to economics.” I said the LVMI and American Austrians are more Rothbardian than Misesian. You did not disagree. If Rothbard didn’t add anything new, then how can they be so?

  24. Another bob/weave move from earlier: I cited the LVMI in response to your assertion that “Rothbard didn’t add anything new to economics.” I said the LVMI and American Austrians are more Rothbardian than Misesian. You did not disagree. If Rothbard didn’t add anything new, then how can they be so?

    Because the LvMI is not a mainstream academic institution. They are an organization created to try to push Rothbard because no one else teaches him.

    When it comes to pure economics, most of Rothbard’s arguments were recycled from Mises. I’ll turn the question around: What did Rothbard contrubute to pure economics that hadn’t already been hashed out by other, better economists.

    I’m “confused” because you’ve strongly implied just that.

    Reading through this thread, not only have I not “strongly” implied that mainstream Americans don’t care about the falling dollar, I haven’t even come close to it

    I criticized Phillies for not being anti-Fed. You said, essentially, “Joe Six Pack” (an offensive term, imo) doesn’t care about the Fed.

    Not even close. I would ask you to cite where I’ve said mainstream Americans do not care about the value of the dollar, but such a quote does not exist.

  25. Come on, Jeff! Rothbard took Austrianism to its logical conclusion of anarcho-capitalism. He make economic arguments against even the watchman state. While Misesian theory is purely utilitarian, Rothbard provided an ethical argument for its case. Rothbard was also a great populizer of Austrian economics — is that worth nothing? He was able to put arguments in a way that had wider appeal. Mises was a hardcore intellectual and his writing is rather opaque, even to people deeply interested in economics and his work in particular. Rothbard’s writing leaps from the page. Going beyond economics, Rothbard excelled as a historian finally setting the record straight and obliterating centuries of government propaganda. Particularly in economic history, such as the history of banking in the United States. He is not taught and the LVMI is not “mainstream” because he spoke the truth and threatened the regime. Milton Friedman and his bogus economics in no way threaten the regime — they offer it more efficient solutions.

    As for your implications, you may not have intended to make them, but I logically inferred them. You may choose to believe that my inferences were inappropriate, and I may choose to believe that you don’t know how to argue.

    Welcome aboard to LFV. My campaign to “destroy” you will have to be suspended now. But I will still engage you in arguments without the goal of personal destruction. I hope that’s okay.

  26. I just now figured out what LvMI stands for, LOL. (Ludwig von Mises Institute, in case anybody else is also scratching their head.)

    I would agree, that’s not a mainstream academic institution. In fact, I had never even heard of it until a couple of years ago.

    What do they teach on this subject at places like Princeton, Harvard, and MIT? Do they even touch upon Rothbard’s theories in the top schools? That’s how I would gauge the importance of economic theory.

    To be completely honest, guys, I don’t think Joe Six Pack cares about economic theory. Joe Six Pack elects people with a better education to deal with things of that nature, and I’ll tell you how I know that. I asked him. LOL No, seriously, I was at the 7-11 this morning, and asked the guy who drives the truck for Budweiser whether he is concerned about the Federal Reserve and its propensity to redistribute wealth only to the wealthy and powerful. He had this really blank look on his face for a minute, then he said, “The whatsawhoser? The federal what?” I explained it again, and even showed him on my dollar where it’s called a “Federal Reserve Note”, and he was shaking his head from side to side before I even finished. He said, “Nope, that’s what politicians are for”.

    Now, I don’t know if the fact that he ended a sentence with a preposition is meaningful with regard his ability to understand the question, but either way, Joe Six Pack was quite clear in saying that he doesn’t care about the Federal Reserve.

    Perhaps I’d get a different answer if I asked the Joe Six Pack who drives the Michelob truck, since that’s a classier beer, but I somehow doubt it.😉

  27. As for your implications, you may not have intended to make them, but I logically inferred them. You may choose to believe that my inferences were inappropriate, and I may choose to believe that you don’t know how to argue.

    If you believe your inferences were appropriate, I would suggest you need a remedical course in reading comprehension.

  28. Now, I don’t know if the fact that he ended a sentence with a preposition is meaningful with regard his ability to understand the question, but either way, Joe Six Pack was quite clear in saying that he doesn’t care about the Federal Reserve.

    Joe Sixpack isn’t watching America: Freedom to Fascism and screaming about the Fed, no.

    He does, however, care about the puchasing power of those Federal Reserve Notes in his wallet, and while he may not make technical arguments about the Fed, mainstream voters will indeed start to care when they realize just how the Fed is responsible for that loss in purchasing power.

  29. The problem is, any argument against the Fed (as well as any responses to counterarguments coming from the pro-Fed faction) are going to have to be worded in a way that Joe Six Pack will understand immediately.

    I’m honestly not sure if it’s even possible to simplify the argument to that degree (with all due respect to Joe Six Pack, who can’t help it that as a child he was educated in public schools, where he was indeed left behind because the teachers taught the students only how to pass Bush’s stupid test).

    It would also have to be presented in an entertaining manner in order to keep Joe’s attention, since he was long ago convinced by his teachers and the school psychologist that he has ADHD because, in the first grade, he had a hard time staying in his seat. Taking all that speed over the years has fried his brain cells to the point that he can’t process any complex information at all, unless of course it is in Worlds of Warcraft.

  30. How do we do all that to get mainstream American on our side?

    That’s the million dollar question.

  31. ENM said: “That’s how I would gauge the importance of economic theory.”

    Well that’s a really bad gauge. Asking state-funded institutions filled with academics competing for positions within presidential administrations is like asking Big Pharma to evaluate the effectiveness of holistic cures. Rothbard challenged the state and its now discredited econometricists, and thus, he is not given his fair hearing at mainstream institutions, whereas thoroughly refuted theoreticians like John Kenneth Galbraith, Keynes, Samuelson, and even Marx are.

    How can you accept libertarianism when it is given short shrift from the poly-sci departments of Princeton, Harvard, and MIT? In addition to being a great economist, Murray Rothbard is without question the greatest libertarian theorist ever, and he is given even less time in poly-sci classes than in economics classes. Libertarianism in general is dismissed to an even greater degree than Austrian economics.

    As for your Bud truck driver: He would be interested if it were presented to him in the right manner. If you told him he was being ROBBED in order to ensure cushy lives for international bankers. If you could demonstrate to him how this is being done — and it is not a matter for debate, it is absolute fact that cannot be contested — it is not a “theory” in any way. Ron Paul proved that “Joe Six-Pack” people were interested and DO care about the Fed and the fact they are being robbed on a daily basis. Until a libertarian has more success then him, then I’m trusting that strategy.

    Your sample size of one is not telling.

    You don’t think the argument can be simplified enough for Joe Six Pack? I think it absolutely can.

    ME: Hey Joe Six-Pack. You notice how the price of gas, milk, and beer keeps going up?

    JSP: Yeah.

    ME: How about your wages, are they going up?

    JSP: No.

    ME: How about the wages of CEOs and other millionaires. Are they going up?

    JSP: Yes.

    ME: You know that the dollar used to be tied to gold, right?

    JSP: Yeah. [He may even still think it is].

    ME: Well, if the dollar were still tied to gold, the price of gas would not have gone up. It took about a 1/10 of an ounce of gold to buy a barrel of oil five years ago, and it costs the same, in gold today. But in dollars it has gone up by 40%. The reason is that the government is creating more money every day. They just print it up. But when they print it up, do you get any of it? Do they send you a check? (This worked better before the stimulus package).

    JSP: No.

    ME: But it goes somewhere. It goes to the bankers, to the government contractors, and to the rich who take out huge loans and pay them back later when they take out brand new loans.

    JSP: I can’t even get a loan!

    ME: Joe, you are getting fucked. Vote Libertarian.

  32. […] Six-Pack’ care about the Federal Reserve System? Over the course of the past two days, I have been in online discussions with our fearless leader, ElfNinosMom, and LFV newcomer, Jeff Wartman, about whether “Joe […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: