Ep. 175 The Free Market: Unpopular Without Racism

8 February 2019     |     Tom Woods     |     14

Krugman says nobody really supports free-market (what he calls “conservative”) economics. Racists tolerate it because it’s the only way they can get their racism fix; the Republicans, who give them the racism they seek, cling to “conservative” economics, so racists grudgingly accept it. But most Americans are far left on economics, which is why Howard Schultz, who’s trying to combine some kind of fiscal restraint with social liberalism, is encountering so much hostility. It’s a nutty column, but it yielded a great, punchy episode.

Krugman Column

The Empty Quarters of U.S. Politics” (February 4, 2019)

Contra Column

“How Many Libertarians Are There? The Answer Depends on the Method You Use,” by Emily Ekins

Episode Mentioned, Tom Woods Show

Ep 237 Why Are We So Rich? (Deirdre McCloskey)

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  • Scott Coleman

    The Quality of the shows recorded during the Keith Richards Hours R Off the Charts!!@

  • davegrille

    There are no real cuts in government being planned by Trump .

    • Matthew Najmon

      You really don’t need those last four words.

  • NoMoreFed

    I liked the point that Bob made about how most everyone with an opinion on the picture of the Virginia governor is acting as a libertarian. I think many libertarians often miss this point. In terms of libertarianism, it doesn’t matter if you are racist, or kind, or mean, or believe in gay marriage, or believe in a certain religion. The thing that matters in terms of libertarianism is whether you advocate the initiation of force.

    One other point – We shouldn’t forget the long history of class warfare. It is nothing new. I’m not even sure if the intensity in it is new. I remember Dick Gephardt from the 1990s and early 2000s and all of his annoying speeches about getting the rich.

  • Cynthiacurran

    The M generation is similar to the greatest generation. The greatest generation also like a lot of government since they went through the Great Depression. They the greatest generation supported the most expanded of the welfare state like Social Security and later on voted for Lyndon Johnson ‘s Great Society.

  • Tuppenceworth

    The discussion about the survey numbers reminded me of this!
    https://youtu.be/G0ZZJXw4MTA

  • Tuppenceworth

    The discussion on the survey numbers reminded me of this!
    https://youtu.be/G0ZZJXw4MTA

  • Tuppenceworth

    The discussion on the survey numbers reminded me of this!
    https://youtu.be/G0ZZJXw4MTA

  • khodge

    About 41 minutes in Bob off hand tosses out the name Stefan Consales. an you link to something of his?

    • BobMurphy9

      I was referring the work of Stephan Kinsella who opposes the concept of intellectual property. Here’s his classic work.

      • khodge

        Thanks Bob. As always, great work!

      • ericraider33

        I like Kinsella, but think his views are completely backwards. I think IP is property like any other property. In his world, if you had a great idea, instead of publishing it, you’re incentives would be to hide them.

        Take an idea that requires lots of capital, say $100 million to develop, without a patent, you’re idea would simply be stolen by companies that have access those resources. Yes, even with patent(s), its likely to be stolen, but at least there is some chance of monetizing it.

        • http://www.stephankinsella.com Stephan Kinsella

          Well the official purpose of the patent system is in fact not to incentivize innovation but to encourage people to make public disclosures of inventions they would otherwise have kept secret, in exchange for a temporary monopoly privilege. This is the so-called “patent bargain”. See my post http://c4sif.org/2010/12/the-purpose-of-patent-law/

          However, the assumption is flawed, since in a free market (absent patents) most innovators would have to “disclose” their innovation by selling the product embodying it. Most would in fact proclaim their innovation in their PR and marketing material. For the rare innovation that it’s possible to sell a product and keep the “secret sauce” secret by a trade secret–they still tend to do so. So the patent bargain amounts to giving away to inventors a monopoly privilege in exchange for them publicizing information they would have had to make public anyway. See Lemley’s discussion of the “disclosure myth” here. http://c4sif.org/2011/07/mark-lemley-the-very-basis-of-our-patent-system-is-a-myth/

          But even if this dude “eric” whatever is right that there is “more” incentive to disclose innovation in a patent system and “more” incentive to keep information confidential in a free market… so what? This is simply not an argument. It’s just an observation that the patent system distorts the natural balance that would exist. In a free society, peole would disclose some innovations and keep others secret. In a monopoly-privilege granting society, maybe they would disclose more and keep fewer secret. The ratio would change. So what? This just show that government intervention has an effect. If it didn’t have an effect we libertarians would not oppose it!

          The only normative comment numnuts makes is his comment that “without a patent, you’re idea would simply be stolen by companies that have access those resources. Yes, even with patent(s), its likely to be stolen, but at least there is some chance of monetizing it.”

          I.e., he uses the word “stolen” to argue against patents. I.e, he presupposes property rights in ideas (that’s the presupposition of using the word “steal”) to implicitly argue that there are property rights in ideas. At best, this is question-begging, but in reality, this is just dishonest and shoddy argumentation. It’s tendentious and not serious. Try again, “eric”.

  • ericraider33

    Totally agree with Tom: libertarians are anti-state, and people are on their own to work out social issues. “Should the Federal Government allow / restrict X?” is always anti-libertarian. I’m for the complete separation of economics, religion, and social issues vs. the state.