Economic Ignorance

by Russ Roberts on August 21, 2011

in Education, Politics, Work

Nothing captures the state of economic education in America like the debate over Rick Perry’s job creation abilities. He brags about how many jobs he has created. Critics point out that many of them are government jobs (that he allegedly disdains) or minimum wage jobs. People point out (I will assume that the facts are correct) that Texas has the highest proportion of minimum wage jobs (though maybe tied with Mississippi).

Those who like Rick Perry argue that he is a job-creating wizard.

Those who dislike Rick Perry argue that he is a bad-job-creating wizard (or a hypocrite).

He, of course, is no kind of wizard at all. The governor has something to do with whether people want to live in the state and what kind of people. But he creates very few jobs directly. Certainly he and his policies is only one of many factors determining how many jobs are created in Texas. And certainly, he has little control over how many minimum wage jobs are created or the proportion of jobs that earn the minimum wage. That is determined by the skill levels of the people who live in Texas or who move there in response to economic opportunity. It is possible that particular policies of Governor Perry have encouraged opportunity or discouraged it. I’d like to know what those are. Merely touting the numbers of jobs created or the kinds of jobs doesn’t tell me a thing.

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ChrisW August 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Economic arrogance

GoldBacon August 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Texas has never had an income tax (until Rick Perry signed the business margins tax into effect in 2006).

Texas is a right-to-work state and always has been.

Texas is rich in natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas.

Texas has a large pool of cheap, willing labor.

Rick Perry is responsible for none of these things (except the new business tax). He just happened to be governor during a commodity boom. The bigger question is why did a “fiscal conservative” grow the size of government at a pace nearly twice the increase in revenues?

Sam Grove August 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Texas is rich in natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas.

Hong Kong has no natural resources, yet is one of the wealthiest areas. Africa has plenty of natural resources, yet is plagued with poverty.

oversexed August 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

If natural resources aren’t necessary for wealth let’s not burn any fossil fuels then. You don’t like that idea, do you? Try to follow the logic of ideas, and stop parroting Milton Friedman.

Ken August 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

You really are a dumbass.

“You don’t like that idea, do you?”

Of course not because using raw materials a way to create wealth. I am in favor of increasing wealth, even when using raw materials. Your mistake is think that that is the only way to create wealth.

Your term natural resources is incredibly misleading.


Tom of the Missouri August 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm

California is the 2nd largest oil producing state and its economy is in the pits. It is also huge in other commodidites, agricultural ones. It is still tanking.

Craig August 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm

“The bigger question is why did a “fiscal conservative” grow the size of government at a pace nearly twice the increase in revenues?”

He didn’t. The state-controlled portion of the budget has been well controlled for growth of employment and inflation. The federally mandated part of the budget — not so much.

Michael August 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

The bitly shotened link will take you to the Aug.17,2011 speech of Dallas Federal Reserve President Mr. Fisher
an extract:”First is the record of job creation in Texas. For obvious reasons, this has become a subject of intense interest to the national media; my staff and I are being hounded by the national press corps for data and commentary. Today I will try to separate fact from fiction, with a heavy focus on the data.”
Those that don’t trust links can go to Dallas Feral Reserve website speech is top selection,center of page can’t miss.
Mr. Fisher does not attribute the “job creation” to anyone person, though the conditions set by policy would have a greater effect than you give credit for. There is also a nice comparison of districts.
Thank you.

Greg Webb August 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Russ, Rick Perry does what all politicians do by taking credit for jobs that he did not create. Texas is a great State, with many competitive advantages, including some that result from the silly tax and spend policies of other States that cause many companies to relocate to Texas.

Josh S August 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm

What any politician can “do” is not prevent entrepreneurs from creating jobs.

Eitan August 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm
Dan J August 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Take credit for when things go well and blame others when they don’t…… And keep blaming, even 3 yrs l8r when policies havehad negative impact.

SweetLiberty August 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

If indeed businesses find Texas attractive, creating more jobs there than other states, Rick Perry gets a lot of the credit – by standing aside and letting free enterprise work. He doesn’t have to “do anything” or enact any policy other than not muck with a system that is clearly working better than the alternatives. When you consider all the governors past and present who might like to sink their claws into Texas and “do something” to “help” the economy, a laissez-faire governor who stands back and does nothing but watch free enterprise do its thing gets all the credit in the world over someone who attempts to manipulate (read: pollute) the natural process.

Rick Perry may be just another wolf in sheep’s clothing – I don’t know enough about him yet. Still, if he resided as governor for over a decade and jobs truly went up significantly, isn’t that what libertarianism is all about: letting free people work things out for themselves with minimal government interference?

Greg Webb August 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Sweet Liberty, of the known candidates, I think Rick Perry is the least bad choice, although I worry that Governor Perry may not act the same as he did in Texas if he were to become President Perry.

Younger Cato August 22, 2011 at 3:02 am

Really? Not Ron Paul? Not the guy who would do away with almost all government interventions?

I heard Perry asked for, and got much Obama stimulus money. Maybe that’s where the “jobs” came from. If so these aren’t productive jobs. Their either temporary make-shift-ditch-digging unsustainable jobs, or unproductive, wasteful, cancerous government jobs. Neither helps the real economy.

As I said, I heard he took the stimulus money. Either way the info should be out there for anyone to verify. If he did then he and his supporters lose much credibility.

Charles R. August 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Younger Cato,

Just a bit of an observation. I noticed you’re asserting a rumor that you heard…but are relying on others to find the data for you. Seems a bit lazy? Do us a favor and quote/paste the link next time. Thanks.

FYI, after a quick google search, I couldn’t find any articles definitively saying one way or the other…mind you, I’m not trying to prove your point for you though.



Greg Webb August 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I love Ron Paul. But, I do not think he can win the Republican nomination. I think Perry can.

kyle8 August 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

In Perry’s situation you can make a good case that he has moved continually toward fiscal conservatism and away from the sort of Bush style paternalism that he originally embodied. He is also the most outspoken and combative of the sitting governors about federalism and defending state prerogatives against the federal government.

As a Texas resident I have been very pleased at this marked movement toward smaller and less centralized government over time.

Younger Cato August 22, 2011 at 3:18 am

He, like Romney, is a typical panderer. His opinions change like the seasons and he doesn’t stand for anything stable. How can adults buy into typical politicians who cater only to what is fashionable. Why is it so difficult to favor someone who’s been consistent throughout his entire life with respect to economic freedom and real fiscal discipline? Every other candidate is just parroting Ron Paul’s long held stances and turning them into talking points. It’s curious how so many who favor Perry, Bachmann et al feel the need to participate in the conversation by promoting their candidates’ positions as if they were original or consistently long held; or as Ron Paul supporters deservedly promote their candidates fidelity to his views.

kyle8 August 22, 2011 at 8:01 am

I do not agree with what you wrote at all. I have met the man and I have read some of his written opinions. He is the closest thing you will find to a true fiscal conservative right now except for Paul.

If he changed his views over time so what? I know I was once a stupid liberal.

Tom of the Missouri August 23, 2011 at 12:07 am

I could not agree more with kyle8 and others of a similar mind. A few other points.

- Of course Perry is a politician. What is wrong with a politician taking credit for his success, even if that success, like Calvin Cooliges’ is about getting out of the way instead of being an activist.
- Texas has a part time legislature. When you are not there you can’t do any harm. That creates a stable business environment. Isn’t that a fantastic idea instead of a full time activist govt. always doing something like for instance FDR’s or Obama’s.
- Perry apparently pushed hard and succeeded in passing effective tort reform including some loser pay rules. Wow! How cool? Can you imagine that happening in CA, NY or IL?
- I grew up in Illinois and have lived and worked in Texas, specifically in the off shore oil fields way back in the 70′s. Believe me even then the culture was way way better for business than in Illinois. To be effective and not be thrown overrboard I had to first convince everyone I was not a hippie, a Marxist and not a member of a Union. I loved it. I am quite certain the relative difference between these states has not changed much since. It is hard to deny the migration patterns.
- My cousin recently moved back to Houston, his hometown, from San Francisco. For the same monthly price of his one bedroom apt in San Francisco with street parking he now has an enormous McMansion with a pool and large garage in a neighborhood without bums sleeping in gutters. If I had made that change I know I would be a happier and healthier worker. Do you think the relative much freerer market in housing in Houston vs. San Fran has anything to do with that? His wife, a former San Fran leftist, is now a happy Houston conservative. If the advantages are obvious to her almost anyone could see it – even in the smoldering heat and humidity.
- I could go on all day…..

I am for Perry for I think he knows how to articulate this advantage in creating (or at least not obstructing) a climate for jobs and is not afraid to do so.

tdp August 23, 2011 at 10:28 am

Not to mention both Kevin Williamson and Political Math refute the assertion that the jobs in Texas that got added were stimulus-government-make-work jobs.

Chucklehead August 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Is it fair to say that at least he has not destroyed the business climate like so many others have?

vikingvista August 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm

He couldn’t if he wanted to.

vidyohs August 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Rick Perry is an opportunist; since he is a politician saying that is redundant.

If there were a political advantage in Texas tomorrow to conversion to communism I believe he switch parties in a heart beat. It is whatever profits Rick Perry that Rick Perry thinks about, if Texas benefits….well good, if not….well tough there is always the next governor.

As one of the reasons for my opinion, I am thinking of the beast that won’t die, called the Trans-Texas Corridor.

vikingvista August 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Indeed. We’ve already seen his appetite for big government projects.

Younger Cato August 22, 2011 at 3:20 am

He used to be Al Gore’s campaign chairman.

kyle8 August 22, 2011 at 8:01 am

Yeah, so what? I once voted for Jimmy Carter.

tdp August 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Read Kevin Williamson. He dismantles the argument that all the jobs in Texas were minimum wage or government jobs. In fact, either Williamson or Political Math had a chart comparing cost of living in various parts of the country to Houston. One of them also had a chart on population growth/migration to Texas vs. migration from places like NY and Ma.

Greg Webb August 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm

It is an excellent article.

Josh S August 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Not to mention that making minimum wage compares favorably to making $0.00/hr, which is what many of those people would make in California or Michigan.

Justin P August 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

They make a lot more than that once you count in Unemployment insur, food stamps, etc….

Will August 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Don, I do share your basic annoyance here, which is the systematic over-estimation of prominent politicians’ agency. It’s not just an ignorance of economics, though: people exaggerate executives’ influence on all sorts of events. How often do people talk about Jimmy Carter as if he was personally responsible for the 70s inflation, and Ronald Reagan as if his speeches somehow ended the Cold War (rather than the huge weaknesses of the Soviet economy)? Or how catastrophic weather events are said to reflect poorly on the sitting president.

I would say, though, that most liberal criticism of Perry that I’ve read makes precisely the point you’re making here: that Texas jobs are due to extraneous factors independent of Perry. I have seen very little to the effect that he is a “bad-job-creating wizard”.

Navtechie August 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

All Perry has to do is switch his semantics from:

“I created jobs”


“I got government out of the way so that free enterprise could create jobs’

game over.

tomwinfl August 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Obviously, government doesn’t create jobs, but government can be a greater or lesser hindrance to job creation. I’m far from an expert on Perry, but I like the sound of this quote from his stump speech: “I promise you this: I’ll work every day to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can.” If that was his guiding principle as governor, I’m not surprised at the job growth.

JWH August 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Gov. Perry’s Texas has been helped by Trade. Texas is one of the largest manufacturing exporting states and it has benefited greatly from NAFTA. I hope when he is crowing about his “wonderfulness” to voters he credits Free Trade with some of Texas success and does not pander to some in his base who would like to set free trade back a few years. Of course there are many of those in both parties. It would be nice if we had a politician point to the benefits of free trade once in awhile.

vikingvista August 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Texas is more the result of Texans than just Perry. People who like what is happening in Texas should move here and see what Texans are about, not elect a Texas governor to the White House. A Texan President will not turn this country into Texas. It never has, and never will.

jorod August 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Perry is a professional politician. If this qualifies for office, so be it.

People seem to be upset that most of the jobs are minimum wage jobs. But most of the job seekers are minimum wage, unskilled people, mostly immigrants.

tdp August 23, 2011 at 10:34 am

Only 5-6% of all workers in Texas earn minimum wage. Only 10% of hourly workers (56% of all workers) earn minimum wage. Additionally, most of the unemployed that make up the 8.2% number for Texas moved there from other places looking for jobs. Places like New York and Massachusetts have lower unemployment because people are leaving faster than jobs.

Dan J August 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I will take him over Obama.

Richard Stands August 22, 2011 at 12:27 am

I would take an automated robotic veto pen over President Obama.

vikingvista August 22, 2011 at 8:40 am

I would take that over ANY candidate.

Slappy McFee August 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

None of the above should be an option on every ballet.

Greg Webb August 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Excellent choice, Richard. I would vote for an automated robotic veto pen over all the candidates too.

Younger Cato August 22, 2011 at 3:24 am

Why not take Ron Paul? He’s been consistent with respect to economic freedom throughout his very long career. But don’t take my word for it.

Gwynafar August 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm

To tomwinfl and Dan J,

I agree with both of you…once govt gets out of the way, job growth can explode! I hope to see more of this…and less govt…

Whatta August 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm

A couple of examples of what Perry has done to increase employment and draw jobs to Texas….

He campaigned hard for the passage of Proposition 12 back in 2003. That is still drawing MD’s and medical-related employees into the state. A recent article titled “Thanks For the Doctor’s New York” says that TX has gained 26,000 physicians, mostly from other states since passage of the proposition limiting medical malpractice settlements.

Another example is that Perry pushes incentives to companies to relocate to TX. Tax breaks for a decade, for example. Many corporations he personally met with and enticed.

And lest anyone accuse me of being a Perry lover….think again. I loathe the man. His backhanded slap to the people of TX over issues such as the mandatory Gardisil jabs for girls, the fast-tracking of about a dozen coal-fired power plants with no public input, and the Trans Texas Corridor fiasco place him very low in my opinion.

Dan J August 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm

My preferred choice, considering what’s available, and few would ever measure up to what I would like, is Herman Cain. I like Ron Paul on domestic issues, but am wary of international policies.
What would have been Ron Paul’s policy on Hitler? I believe in evil, and that a person like Hitler would unlikely to have succumbed to an emergent order of circumstances to destroy his ambitions.
Perry and Romney seem like Big Govt Republicans who thoroughly see the need for use of govt to direct lives thru incentives and disincentives.

Sam Grove August 22, 2011 at 1:03 am

NAZI expansion was doomed when Germany invaded Russia.

Dan J August 23, 2011 at 12:17 am

So europe would have fallen to communist Russia’s control? The UK was done. With no US, Europe remains under Nazi or Russian control. The only real opposition in north Africa was allied forces and mostly US.
Trying to imagine what would have happened is difficult. Germany did suffer a defeat in Russian winter. But, without the US pressures, only Germany and Russia were left to divvy up the mediterranean and rest of Europe.

Don August 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

What Whatta said. Perry’s an SOB, I’ve disliked him since he was Ag Commissioner (a fairly power position in Texas Politics), back before he saw the writing on the wall and jumped from the sinking blue ship to the rising red ship.

That said, most of the comments I’ve heared him say are something like, “Texas’ low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulatory climate, fair legal system, and skilled workforce have made the Lone Star State a beacon for job creation and economic growth.” He’s also said things like he just gets out of the way an lets business function. That’s hardly bragging (or if it’s bragging, it’s the right kind).

In regard to the “minimum wage” thing, I point you to this:

All that said, I think Perry will likely be only a little better than W was as President. That’s still a lot better than the current administration, but I’m not convinced that he would do what most people here would believe needs to be done. He is an absolute opportunist and his entire goal upon getting elected would be getting re-elected.

I fear we’re heading back to that familiar place where we get to pick our leader from 2 clowns. We get to choose the one that will do the least harm while he rapes and pillages our country.

Good thing I’m not bitter about it yet ;^).

vikingvista August 21, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Sure, some of his rhetoric compares well to other candidates. But assuming he’s a typical Republican, you can bet that he doesn’t believe it.

Don August 22, 2011 at 9:25 am

Dude, I’m sitting not half a mile form the Alamo as I write this. It’s more than rhetoric, he HAS actually done those things.

vikingvista August 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Dude, I live in Texas too.

Greg Webb August 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm

I’m moving back to Austin…:)

John Dewey August 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

Don: “I think Perry will likely be only a little better than W was as President. “

I disagree. The two may seem to be ideologically similar. But Perry was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Rick Perry is a self made man. As he pointed out when someone asked how he and W were different:

“I went to Texas A&M. He went to Yale.”

Those who have worked with Texas A&M graduates probably understand that important difference.

George W. Bush no doubt always believed he was entitled. Rick Perry knows he earned his way.

Don August 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

I’ve worked with Aggies for years, I know what they’re like better than most, and I love them.

That said, I’ve also been in Texas all my life, I remember Perry from his days as Ag Commissioner (when he was a VERY liberal democrat) through the Rail Road Commission (when he was a “moderate” Republican) to the Lieutenant Governor (more conservative) to Governor (I did groan out loud when W won the White House BECAUSE I know that Perry the Chameleon would be taking over the Governor’s Mansion). His turn to ultra conservatism began about 2 years ago (when he realized that his best hope of winning against Kay Baily was to be the anti-Obama) and he’s going to ride that all the way to the White House if he can.

Not that we don’t NEED an anti-Obama, but his past history shows, if he or his pollsters believe that becoming a moderate (or even a liberal) will get him re-elected, he’ll swing where ever the wind blows.

Being an Aggie has nothing to do with it. He’s been in Austin long enough to be an honorary Tea-sipper.

Demosthenes August 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

“I remember Perry from his days as Ag Commissioner (when he was a VERY liberal democrat)…”

Perry switched parties in 1989.

He was elected Ag Commissioner in 1990.

Either your memory is faulty, or you’re just being out-and-out dishonest. Which is it?

Tom of the Missouri August 23, 2011 at 12:30 am

That is what I love about Perry – his brief to the point eloquence ala Reagan or Thatcher. Yale vs Texas A&M. Of course there are exceptions, but it says so much. I too have known and worked with both Yalies and Aggies. Guess which one I would trust to leave me alone and which one I could rely on to get my back if ever needed and I don’t mean welfare? The Aggies win by a mile.The Aggie would have no temptation to develop never ending “ruling class” rules and regulations for me to live under. The Yalie on the other hand would not be able to help himself with his high opinion of his superior intelligence. Go Perry!

Jack August 21, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Texas is a pro-buiness state and has been since Bush 43 was Governor. Remember that Bush started Texas’ strong growth in GDP and population with tort reform and other pro-business policies. Perry has, for the most part, followed these same policies. He deserves some credit for this. Let me put it this way; if Perry was President in 2008, we would be in much better shape. I think we would be more like Canada. In Canada, unemployment was 7.2% in January 2009; it rose to almost 9% in late 2009; and then it started to drop to where it is now back to 7.2%. If Obama had followed the same policies as the Conservative Party in Canada, we would likely be closer to 7% than 10%.

vikingvista August 21, 2011 at 11:42 pm

You really think that Perry would’ve had the guts to stand up to the nations biggest bankers, FR Chairman, and probably Treasury Secretary and say, “You’re wrong about economics. I’m going to do the opposite of what you recommend.” He’s not that sure of himself.

Jack W August 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

That is a great question. Our political system is so tilted toward action over inaction, you need to demonstrate strong results immediately to get anything for inaction. So, I don’t know whether Perry could stand up to Washington’s elite institutions. But he might have a better chance given his Texas streak of independence. The Tea Party may provide some political capital for those who do not adopt the conventional policies of Washington’s elite. But it would be difficult…

Ken Royall August 22, 2011 at 2:47 am

One assumes Perry’s energy policies will be toward expanding domestic drilling and mining. That alone makes him worthwhile and those policies would most definitely create wealth and thousands of good paying jobs.

“Merely touting the numbers of jobs created or the kinds of jobs doesn’t tell me a thing.”

Actually it does tell you something. If the numbers of jobs goes up, that is a good thing. The fact he didn’t undermine that activity is worth something. We could have millions of additional jobs in the US right now if not for Obama and his policies. A president who can dismantle these impediments is worthy of our consideration.

I know Libertarians have this thing about trashing both major parties because in their mind they are equally bad. If the Obama president proves anything, it is that there ARE in fact some pretty major differences. Even an idiot like McCain would not have done anything like ObamaCare or the trillion dollar stimulus. The differences between Perry and Obama couldn’t be more stark.

kyle8 August 22, 2011 at 8:08 am

I agree, I don’t like the republican party, especially with idiots like Bush and warmongers like McCain in it. On the other hand there are at least some libertarians and some fiscal conservatives in the party.

The Democrats offer nothing anymore but pure Marxism and rampant union thuggery.

Younger Cato August 22, 2011 at 3:31 am

I’m baffled to be the only one brining up Ron Paul explicitly given this site tends to have more of a libertarian slant than a neo-con one, but what really surprises me is how many on here are seriously considering accepting a Perry administration given how status-quo he is and how inevitable it will be that he does no better than Bush during his tenure. Sure Perry’s no Obama, but no one is Ron Paul. Anyone else can’t be taken seriously if we’re just talking about the issues. If we’re talking about electability, please spare me your tired memes.

kyle8 August 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

Well dude, I like Ron Paul and all, but get real. he has exactly zero chance of ever being president. And that would be true even if a meteor struck all the other candidates.

His son, on the other hand, might get there one day.

John Dewey August 22, 2011 at 8:15 am

Three things to know about Gov. Rick Perry:

Controlling the Size of Government

According to Bill Peacock, director of the Center for Economic Freedom at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation:

“controlling the size and cost of government is the No. 1 reason Texas’ economy has remained strong”

How does Perry control the size of government? One example:

Through political persuasion and veto threats,Rick Perry thwarted an attempt by the legislature to tap into “rainy day” fund to offset budget cuts for education and Medicaid.

Rejecting Work Disincentives

Rick Perry in 2009 rejected $555 million in federal stimulus money because he believed that the increase in unemployment compensation for those out-of-work would simply delay their return to the job force.

Enacting Tort Reform

Perry has engineered three important tort reform measures:

- In 2003, Texans voted for a Perry-led constitutional amendment which capped non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits at $250,000;
- In 2005, Perry and the Republicans cracked down on asbestos lawsuits with a law which limited asbestos damages to those who were actually suffering illness;
- In 2011, Texas Republicans enacted “loser pays” legislation, which will force some who sue to pay court costs and attorney’s fees when they lose.

Richard E. Barry August 23, 2011 at 7:23 am


John Dewey August 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

Those who like Rick Perry argue that he is a job-creating wizard.

I don’t think that’s a correct statement. Many of us who like Rick Perry argue that he has improved Texas’s a business-friendly climate. We recognize that private enterprise – not governors – create jobs.

oversexed August 22, 2011 at 11:23 am

Private enterprise can also destroys jobs, or endeavor to pay workers less. Chainsaw Al is a notorious example.

Ken August 23, 2011 at 12:34 am

And yet somehow, worker compensation continues to rise. That’s strange. It’s as if you don’t know what you’re talking about.


Dan H August 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

Can I get a little love from the the CafeHayek crowd? After hearing my coworkers bitch about “price gouging by the oil companies” for a few minutes, I simply stated, “I know it seems that way, but I’m telling you, the oil companies are not gouging prices”. I literally got shouted down and was told to shut up because I didn’t know what I was talking about. I tried calmly to explain why I held this belief. They persisted in shouting me down and said that they “didn’t want to hear it”. I was pretty shaken up by their collective emotional lashing out at me. Not a good start to the work week.

John Dewey August 22, 2011 at 11:47 am

Your friends probably have no clue about the structure of the petroleum industry (Exxon owns almost no U.S. gasoline stations) or about the way prices are set (pure competition) or about the relative levels of taxation vs profit margins. Sadly, they likely don’t want to know.

oversexed August 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

If the oil companies can pay exorbitant CEO compensation, then something is very wrong. Their products are destroying the environment, too. That makes it doubly wrong. Dan’s co-workers are right to tell him to shut up.

Slappy McFee August 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

There really should be an “internet trolling” school for people like you. You’re not very good at it. For better examples, please see any one of Muirgeo’s multiple posts. He should have another one any moment. For a doctor, he never seems that busy.

oversexed August 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm

You are obviously a trust fund baby, who doesn’t have to work to put food in his mouth. You give a new meaning to the word troll. You also can’t spell and aren’t very bright. You don’t know the difference between a ballot and a ballet.

How ironic that an ignorant person like you should opine on economic ignorance. Please don’t troll my comments. You are not worthy of them.

Dan H August 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm


That means nothing to me. A CEO gets paid what the owners (the shareholders) of a company believe is the right amount. Got a problem with it? Then buy some stock in ExxonMobile and attend the next shareholders meeting and voice your dissent. You have that right.

oversexed August 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

The shareholders are passive and take it up the butt.

Dan H August 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

what the hell oversexed? Are you 12 years old? Either that or you’re in your 30s in live in your mom’s basement. I know your type. Never had a gratifying job in your life because you have absolutely no confidence in your ability to produce. Take your garbage elsewhere.

this guy makes me wish I were debating muirgeo… almost.

Ken August 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

NPR? HA!! You’re hilarious.

“If the oil companies can pay exorbitant CEO compensation, then something is very wrong.”

Simple assertion with absolutely no logical argument to support this. How about this: the oil companies provide the single largest source of energy humans consume, providing the very basis of our modern existence. I think an extremely high salary is in order for one who is responsible for providing that energy.

If you think not, put your money where you mouth is and start your own oil company. Otherwise, you’re just blathering.

“Their products are destroying the environment, too.”

The environment is not being “destroyed”. It has definitely been changed in some places, but to suggest destruction merely labels you as an ignoramus. Additionally, any harm needs to be weighed against he benefits. Try living your life without products made from oil. I’m pretty sure that within 5 minutes of doing this, you’ll change your tune.

“Dan’s co-workers are right to tell him to shut up.”

False. As I stated above, if you think this is so, start your own oil company and charge a price you think is “fair”. I’m sure once you did this, you’d find out just how fair the prices oil companies charge now.

I shouldn’t have to, but I will also add that no one is forced to pay these prices. There are many alternatives. The main one being, simply stop using products that use oil. Once you did that though, I’m pretty sure you’d reconsider.


oversexed August 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm

You must have a cushy job in order to find the time to spout your right-wing nonsense. You are, by far, the stupidest person who comments here. Al Gore was right about blind, backward people like you.

Ken August 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I do have a cushy job… now. It’s a job for which I’ve worked very hard (taking decades to master) and one most people just couldn’t do. I am a software developer specializing in numerical applications. But I am still subject to market forces. If all the sudden people no longer need or want my skills, I will be out of work with no pay or benefits.

But all that is beside the point of my comment. If you really believe what you are saying, why don’t you start your own oil company? And why not go point by point through my comment to tell me what I am specifically wrong about? Or are you just not smart enough to do this, so resort to name calling?


HaywoodU August 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

This routine is very familiar to me and it’s just as Tired as it’s always been.

Jim August 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm

‘Affording’ exorbitant CEO compensation is always laughable. It is the same as the ‘tax the rich’ argument; in the scheme of things, it is a drop in the bucket.

It is like washing the car, and your young son keeps reminding you not to miss the wheel wells. It won’t be clean without doing it, but it won’t really make much difference.

Dan J August 23, 2011 at 12:27 am

Windmill farms are killing bald eagles and an MIT study has them raising surface temps by at least 1 degree. In the enviro-zealot world, that 1 degree spells doom and gloom for mankind and life as we know it.
Do you live in a house built of mud? No air conditioning or heat? Do you walk to work? Don’t run… To much carbon dioxide.

Where do you work? How do they power up? Move products?receive materials? Type on computers and their environmentally disasterous materials.
Would do you good to see all products made with petroleum.
Get rid of all products in your house with plastic.
You are not very smart.
Paper or plastic? One kills forests and the other is made of petroleum.
Milk? Cows and their flatulence. The runoff from farms. Milk spilled on soil has been declared an enviro-disaster by the retards in Obama admin. Plastic that the milk is delivered in. The trucks who bring the milk.

morganovich August 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

this all seems like primitive mysticism to me.

you attribute all the things that happen to the ruler.

if the harvest is good, the gods smile on the chief.

if it’s bad, they are angry with him and you sacrifice him to appease them and find a new one.

politicaljules August 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

Rick Perry is responsible for the jobs in the perfect Hayek sense. He stayed out of the way and that is where his power lies.

The governor of Texas does not have as much power as people think because we are set up as The REPUBLIC of Texas. Which is what the US is supposed to be. We have three distinct branches of government and they must work together or nothing gets done. (which is not always a bad thing btw) If he does get elected, he will be a force for good if he operates the federal government like it was set up to operate. If he stays out of the way, and lets the free market work the best it can, and if he can get control of unions.

That is alot of ifs, but any president could learn alot about how Texans work together to create jobs. Perry deserves credit for being a leader who knows how to lead within a checks and balances government where the three branches trust each other enough to do the will of the people and stay out of the way of free enterprise.

There are some things he gets dinged on, but the results show otherwise. We have a Texas enterprise fund that is used to attract businesses to Texas and I think that is a good thing. If a business is willing to relocate to Texas with a bonus amount from that fund to help them get started then the benefit outweighs whatever kickbacks the people complain about us giving to them to entice them to get here. The jobs and stimulus to the local economy when a new corporation comes to town is the best thing for an ailing economy. Granted, that could be used in nefarious ways to pick winners and losers, but thus far it has not been that way. Texas has the jobs to prove it.

Two more points… Perry tried to reject the stimulus, but the democratic controlled house overrode him. The person that said he accepted the stimulus was wrong.

The gardasil debate has been twisted beyond belief. It never passed in Texas (although in other states it has). Perry listened to the will of the people and dropped it. Additionally, the executive order contained a provision where parents could opt out of the program easily, just like we do for every other vaccination.

I am not completely sold on him as a candidate either, but at least people should use facts when describing his record.

oversexed August 22, 2011 at 11:04 am

Minimum wage jobs are being created, yet the minimum wage is a net job destroyer. That’s interesting. Imagine all the sub-minimum wage jobs that are being lost. All the people presently housed in Texas prisons or public schools could be working at some dead end, low paying job, too, if we would just open the floodgates. I won’t forget to mention that people in prison are forced to work at sub-minimum wage jobs as part of the prison-industrial complex. It is a form of punishment or slavery if you will. The small amount of money the prisoners earn pays for their cigarettes. One could appreciate a low paying job if it trains an individual in some valuable skills, such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity, etc. However, I think that most of the jobs created are menial and suck frankly. I do blame the public school system as well for treating all the students the same, and failing to teach practical skills to the students. These are some of the things that are wrong with Texas. You can compile your own list. Some problems are typical of Texas (like lax environmental standards, and lack of a safety net), and some are more universal (like crappy schools).

John Dewey August 22, 2011 at 11:24 am

oversexed: “Some problems are typical of Texas (like lax environmental standards, and lack of a safety net)”

I disagree, As I see it, presence of a safety net is a huge problem. Lack of a safety net is absence of that problem.

Of course, you are mistaken about the safety net in Texas. unfortunately. millions of Texans rely on some form of public assistance.

Ken August 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm

“could be working at some dead end, low paying job”

Low paying does not imply dead end. Nearly everyone I know made at one point in their life no more than minimum wage, yet most of those I know are very successful, now owning homes, multiple cars, and supporting families.

“I won’t forget to mention that people in prison are forced to work at sub-minimum wage jobs as part of the prison-industrial complex. ”

Don’t forget to mention that people in prison have committed crimes for which they are being punished.

“It is a form of punishment”

You figured out that prison was used for punishment all by yourself did you? Your insights are truly amazing.

“I do blame the public school system ”

As you should. Don’t forget to blame the teachers union and politicians who worked so diligently to make the public system suck.

“I think that most of the jobs created are menial and suck frankly.”

Yes all those millions of computery jobs created over the last five or six decades really are menial and suck. We should all just go back to the farm and rid ourselves of things like the tractor, the plough, the shovel, fertilizer, etc. After all, those things just resulted in menial, sucky jobs, right?


oversexed August 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

Most of the safety net is federal government derived.

John Dewey August 22, 2011 at 11:48 am


oversexed August 22, 2011 at 11:49 am

So, I’m not mistaken, you are.

Slappy McFee August 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

All of the safety net is busy-body derived

oversexed August 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

Did your mother take her vitamins when she was pregnant with you?

I doubt it.

Slappy McFee August 22, 2011 at 11:55 am

How is that an argument in your favor?

oversexed August 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I can’t engage in a conversation with a nonsensical, hypocritical busybody loafer like you. Goodbye!

Ken August 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Ha! Did you not realize, Slappy, that a completely unrelated blog article about vitamins totally underpins the need for a safety net?

And some safety net it’s turned out to be. Now that the government is bankrupt, it’s busy eating business ensuring everyone is poor and stays that way. Look at all these uppity people getting rich making useful products people actually want. If you let that sort of thing continue, these uppity people might think politicians are stupid or something for saying the solution to the debt problem is more spending. That just won’t do.


Slappy McFee August 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I just wish more people would understand that trolling truly is an art form. At its best, it makes people question their own realities. This moron, however, doesn’t reach the level of intelligence needed. He makes me long for the gud duktor.

Dan J August 23, 2011 at 12:36 am

‘may’…….. ‘may’?!?!?…….. I believe everything I hear and read.

EXTRA!!! EXTRA!!!!! “Bleeding out patients cure them of diseases”… Use leeches!!! Oops?

From leading paleontologists…. ‘ the Brontosaurus is the biggest dinosaur to have roamed the earth’…. Oops!! No Brontosaurus.

OMG!!!!! Scientists proclaim next Ice Age to occur by year 2020. human caused pollution will bring about another Ice Age.

Every year, a once reported benefit or detriment of intake from a particular substance is refuted and we are told to not consume or to consume.

oversexed August 23, 2011 at 9:05 am

Life is fragile, DanJ. Which you will discover as you age and turn into shit. You are on the road to oblivion. Have a nice trip!

Whethead August 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

But we can certainly look to California to understand both how government policies can eradicate higher-than-minimum-wage jobs as well as provide a cash crop of willing companies for harvest by Texas (et al)!

Jim August 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm

The Texas economy is indeed a miracle in Progressive America, and it job creation has been multi-industry and high paying. Russ has been reading the Left’s smear campaign, just like it tries unsuccessfully to smear their education system.

And I have never heard Perry say he created the jobs; Texas has a long tradition of minimalist government, despite the urge to over-build everything over time. Perry is not as financially conservative as some think, but he is certainly moving in the right direction.

And for the record, there’s a restaurant in Houston with no menu; you just order whatever you wish and they make it. There’s something cool about eating such a dinner in a city with virtually no zoning laws:)

Richard E. Barry August 23, 2011 at 7:28 am

Where’s that restaurant??

BTW, reading the comments reinforces Rush’s dictum that you can identify a liberal by howling it takes to stop using reason and a start calling names.

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