Marx’s Economic Illiteracy

Bizarrely, Marxism is somewhat popular among the Millennial and Gen Z crowd. Personally I find it remarkable because Marxism is so easy to debunk, yet it still remains popular. A testament to human irrationality.

What’s so wrong with it? Let’s find out.

Marx believed one of his major contributions to our economic understanding was to point out that business owners take a profit (captain obvious). By taking a profit, he claimed, business owners are exploiting workers since the workers are not being paid the full value of their labor.

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Freedom Means People Doing Stuff that Sucks

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled that the anti-discrimination laws passed by Congress also bans discrimination against LGBTQ people. This is one of these posts where I know I’m risking serious disapprobation, but here goes.

First, I will admit it doesn’t make much sense to have a law that applies only to race or gender, but not sexual orientation, or religion or any other attribute. So the court’s ruling is at least consistent.

But more generally what we’re talking about here is the government overriding freedom of association. And not just in the LGBTQ case but in all cases.

In the case of freedom of speech you’ve heard the expression, often attributed (somewhat incorrectly) to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

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Nozick’s Tale of the Slave

It’s time for some libertarian wonkery! My friend Jeremy posted a link to renowned Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick’s Tale of the Slave on Facebook and I guess most of his Facebook friends are not libertarians as it stirred up a bunch of controversy.

If you haven’t read it I’d recommend doing so. It’s only about a two minute read. But nonetheless I will summarize it here.

Nozick starts by describing a typical case of slavery and then in subsequent steps modifies the terms of the slavery to be slightly less bad than the previous step. After a handful of modifications he ends up at representative democracy and asks “At which step did this become no longer a tale of a slave?”.

The intuitive response you’re supposed to have is that it never really stopped being a tale of a slave. The only difference is a matter of degree. This is reminiscent of an arguement made by the great 19th century abolitionist Lysander Spooner who wrote:

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Thoughts on Scott Sumner, Inflation, and Wage/Price Stickiness

Way back in 2012 Scott Sumner wrote a blog post where he denied there are such things as distribution effects of money printing. To me this is an extraordinary claim. In this blog post I give my reasons why I think this view is completely wrong, but more importantly I’ll discuss this in the context of Sumner’s long standing policy proposal of 4% annual increases in NGDP and provide some thoughts most people might not have considered.

First, distribution effects. Scott is advocating the standard textbook view that with inflation “prices go up, but income/wages go up by the same amount so nobody is worse off”. This strikes me as a demonstration of what you can go wrong when only looking at aggregate data like “wages” and “prices” without looking under the hood at relative wage and price changes.

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Why Property Rights?

Economist Bryan Caplan debated another socialist recently on capitalism vs. socialism. He posted his opening statement here. In that blog post he linked to his previous debates on socialism and I noticed he debated Elizabeth Bruenig two years ago. That name is familiar to me (or actually not that familiar because she got married and changed her last name) because years ago I engaged her in a debate in the comments section of her blog (if I recall correctly). Unfortunately, she blocked me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. She was coming at socialism from a Christian perspective and it lead me to write this blog post: Was Jesus A Socialist?

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Why Raising Taxes on the Rich *is* Crazy

I raged so hard when I read this post from MarketWatch entitled: Why raising taxes on the rich isn’t so crazy. The core of the argument boils down to this ― Redistribution would improve economic growth

Because middle- and low-income families spend a greater portion of their incomes than the very rich do, so more money would recycle through the economy.

People on the left wing love to cling to the belief that consumer spending drives economic growth. But it’s just plain wrong. In this post we’re going to review some basic economics as well as some mainstream macro. Note that I don’t fully endorse the mainstream view on macroeconomics, but it’s not that far off and certainly doesn’t suggest wealth redistribution will cause growth.

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F*ck Them Bitch Ass Roads

Eric July recently had an epic rant on Twitter about the rooooooaaadddddsss. Unsurprisingly his tweet was brigaded by the socialist left with comments that ranged from ad hominem (“libertarians calling anything childish as if the entire ideology isnt”) to racist (“wtf, a black libertarian?”). Many pointed out that his rant didn’t prove that government isn’t needed for roads. Obviously, that wasn’t the point of his rant. But I have no problem obliging them. So here it goes.

But first, I want to document all of the government failures related to its management of the roads just to set a baseline for what these people are arguing in favor.

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Should Trump Be Impeached?

Impeachment is all the rage these days. From my perspective it seems like most libertarians have come down in favor. For example, Michael Huemer has argued that Trump should definitely be impeached. Judge Napolitano has also been strongly in favor. Let me state that, as a libertarian, I love the dysfunction and partisanship in Washington as it only helps our cause. It would be amazing if every President from here on out was impeached. But if I were a “good government” type that just wanted to do the right thing and see the Constitution upheld, I would honestly say this impeachment seems ridiculous to me. In this post I’ll walk through the case and explain why.

So what is the bill of particulars here? All parties agree to the following:

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Why I’m Not Concerned About Climate Change At All

The never ending climate crusade is incredibly tiresome. This week we’ve got heavily indoctrinated adolescent children engaging in a climate boycott ― an issue they almost certainly do not understand and are only doing so because their school teachers have grossly exaggerated the threat.

Of all the political issues I’m concerned with, climate change is at the bottom of the list. Not because I’m a “science denier”, as you’ll see I accept the climate is warming for the most part, but because the severity of the issue is grossly exaggerated for political reasons and because technological progress will make the issue moot in short order.

In this post I want to comprehensively demonstrate just how much the severity of climate change is exaggerated and show that literally “do nothing” should be considered a viable option.

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