Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 19, 2011

in Country Problems

… is from page 397 of The Thomas Sowell Reader:

One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.

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{ 160 comments }

loveactuary October 19, 2011 at 7:50 am

In general this is probably true. Notable recent exceptions include the ubiquitous canonization of Steve Jobs, head of a massive producer, upon his death, and the media treatment (far from canonizing) of a complaining tea party.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

Yep, real producers are not demonized and almost no one refuses to work when jobs are available. And if complaining were measured in lobbyist dollars and campaign contributions the rich would take that cake.

Sowell is an arrogant jerk IMO. I guess he expects people with no jobs, houses or health insurance or who see our government up for auuction to just sit down and shut up.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 8:32 am

You’d be the expert on arrogant jerks.

dsylexic October 19, 2011 at 9:15 am

no he expects them to get out of the couch and stop begging for more unemployment “benefits”.
and compete with the mexican tomato pluckers.take some pride,bust some gut.

morganovich October 19, 2011 at 9:23 am

muirgeo-

that’s a ridiculous statement. there are always jobs at some price. people refuse to work because they decide that they would rather live off the state.

take away/limit that option, and you’d see lots of folks find jobs in a big hurry.

you really have all the common sense of a dandelion muirgeo.

you want jobs, but no employers. employers hire when they succeed. future investment comes from past success.

if you had ever done anything, you’d know that.

the reason you take such exception to sowell is that he has you pegged so well. of course the unproductive complainers hate being shown to be such.

ironically, you wind up making his point for him.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 11:33 am

Morganovich the people should become paupers and work for starvation wages and NOT complain about our government and its rules being up for auction? Seriously… we should just continue to subsidize banks and wealthy corporations and let them buy government rents? your complacency and acceptance of these things is bizarre.

You are clueless and an apologist for the bankers… and the good productive people of this country and world will NOT submit to serfdom because YOU think they should.

The fact is me and people like me are far bigger proponents of capitalism and market competition then you guys since you are so clearly willing to ignore the massive rents and government capture that make the wealthy their fortunes.

There is not one shred of consistency between your words and the things you support in the real world.

Those super wealthy have no intent competing in your so called free markets… being so inefficient for them compared to the current situation. But they LOVE your supporting their rent and paying it to… tithing like any good little church goer… the priest who will rape your kids…. and you’ll thank them for praying for you and listen to there sermons.

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Starvation wages??? Hahaha……. Is called prioritization. Those people on so-called ‘starvation’ wages refuse to make the trade off with their iPhone services or blackberry’s. They also, simply must have 300 stations of cable TV, eat out more than home cooking (which costs more), manage to purchase luxury items in technology (Xbox, Wii, flat panel tv’s, cell phones, etc.,..).

Andrew_M_Garland October 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm

To Muirgeo,

The government bailed out the banks. Why aren’t you primarily angry at the government? The banks wanted special loans, but no one could force the government to make those loans. The government is responsible to the people, and the people were betrayed.

Why would more regulation, enforced by the politicians who betrayed us, have any effect, when they betrayed us in the fist place?

Sam Grove October 19, 2011 at 9:35 am

Why do you think we have to allow workers from Mexico to harvest produce?
Those jobs are available to anyone, but Americans refuse to do them…and don’t start talking about the wages, consumers don’t want to pay for them.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

because we import produce from Mexico and South America

since American producers must compete with Mexican imports, they cannot afford to pay more than Mexican wages

AKA: race to the bottom

AKA: if you work for slave wages you are a slave

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 10:47 am

AKA: You are an idiot who doesn’t understand what “slavery” or “race to the bottom” is.

lamp3 October 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

why must american producers compete with mexican imports?

because american consumers prefer mexican imports’ lower prices.

this is not a race to the bottom. it is market signalling to american producers that they’d better grow something they have a comparative advantage in producing.

aka: if you’re not as good as someone else for producing it, stop and produce something else.

morganovich October 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

nikolai-

so what is your answer? ban the imports?

that increases us food prices, leaving less to buy everything else.

let’s take a very simple example.

you have $100. you spend $40 on food, $40 on rent, and $20 on other consumables.

if the price of food goes up 20% (very conservative) due to import bans or tariffs, then your food costs $48. so what do you do? you have to spend less elsewhere. you are getting fewer goods for your money.

this harms you and everyone else.

this harm ALWAYS outweighs and benefits to US producers.

this simple graph shows why this is so 100% of the time.

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/03/econ-101-protectionism-for-dummies.html

increasing prices for goods can never cause prosperity.

Rugby1 October 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm

@ Nikolai Luzhin

How exactly do you define “slave wages.” Are you referring to the people in China, India, or Mexico that are working in factories for wages that are not close to ours?

Are you completely discounting many of the people working in those difficult conditions (A point I completely concede) are doing so voluntarily? Why would they do this you ask? Oh because it pays more and slowly offers better opportunities than living on a subsistence farm in rural China? Are you the moral arbitrator of the Universe that you feel comfortable dictating to these people what their choices should be. I personally would never want that kind of power but maybe you do?

As an aside are you familiar with the economic development of the US, and our move from agrarian society, to manufacturing society, to a service society? If not I suggest you take a look. Working conditions in early US manufacturing facilities sucked but has productivity got higher, wages went up, and as a standard of living increased people were able to secure “better employment” live in single family residences etc. Just because China is where we were 60-70 years ago, does not make them bad, it just means they need more time to develop.

Final point. Did you ever stop to think why the US, a country only 225 years old was able to become the economic powerhouse of the globe? Don’t you think maybe our long history of relatively free markets had something to do with that? If people like you had been in charge I would be working on a farm eeking out a living, instead of working in an office utilizing specialized information to create a nice standard of living for myself, my girlfriend and my dog!

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Why does Nik disparage those people of Central and South America?

morganovich October 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

muir-

that is such a tangled mess on nonsense it’s difficult to even tell what you are saying.

i have never supported subsidizing any industry.

i do not support subsidizing the lazy and indolent either.

my views on that are very consistent. you on the other hand, want free goodies for the unproductive at the expense of those who are.

you are nothing like a proponent of capitalism. you repeatedly demand that companies provide jobs like that is their purpose. you think they exist to pay you, not provide goods and services people are willing to pay for than thereby profit.

take your silly straw man and go home.

my industry receives no subsidies. i have started 5 companies and never gotten a subsidy.

i have no idea where you get this idea that somehow, the rich are all rent seekers.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm

i have no idea where you get this idea that somehow, the rich are all rent seekers.

There is a theory that people see the world as THEY are, not as it is. Me, I wonder if Muirbot is a child rapist rent seeker. He certainly is an unpleasant sort, intent of inflincting his insanity on others.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

“i have no idea where you get this idea that somehow, the rich are all rent seekers.”

Not all of them… but the big lobbyist usually work for big companies and get many fold returns on their lobbying dollars. That’s wrong. It should IMO be illegal. Huge health insurance companies have far more say on public policy with regards to how I practice medicine while the everyday doctor or nurse have little say at all. That’s wrong!

The system we have is neither democratic or economically competitive.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

“Not all of them… but the big lobbyist usually work for big companies and get many fold returns on their lobbying dollars. That’s wrong. ”

Statists (muirbot & co.)
Gee, lets give the government more power to auction and peddle.

Economically informed:
Remove the power, remove the incentive to lobby. See: Econ 101 re: Marginal Benefit, Marginal Cost.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

If the insurance companies are paying, they get to decide what they’ll pay for. Have your patients pay for your witch doctoring out of pocket and you can make whatever decision you want. BTW, how much leeway do you get with your medicare patients? None. Less than with private insurance.

Don’t bother lying. Half my family are doctors.

In a democratic process, it cannot be illegal for anyone to lobby their representatives. If it ever becomes illegal, we no longer have a democratic process and we no longer have equality under the law. If you try to make it illegal, the powerful interests you so hate will make sure that it is you who is denied the right to lobby your representatives. You’ve got nothing politicians want, so the pols will go with their reliable donors.

I realize you will not understand a word of this.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm

“I realize you will not understand a word of this.”

Oh… I understand it perfectly….it’s just that it made no sense and is divorced from the real world realities.

Independent doctors simply can not compete with markets monopolized by powerful wealthy health insurance companies.

And in a democratic process lobbying would not be illegal but using money and bribery would be to do so would. You basically made the claim that if you take away power from the powerful you won’t because they are powerful and won’t let you…. Thanks for that “methinks”…oh 1776… Yeah those patriots would just love you….like a Tory.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Well, Muirdiot, I’m delighted to see you didn’t try to lie about how much freedom you have in your treatment of medicaid patients. Although, since you get even less say about the care of medicaid patients than you get about the patients prodded in your direction by the HMO, I have to wonder why you rail against only the private insurer and not medicaid. Is it because you’re an idiot or does government always get a pass or do you not understand what’s going on around you? I say all three. What do you have to say for yourself?

Independent doctors simply can not compete with markets…blah blah blah

Of course they can. They just have to be worth the price. Only one of my doctors takes insurance and they’re all doing marvelously well. Plastic surgeons as a group don’t take insurance at all because insurance doesn’t cover elective procedures – and they’re all rich. So rich that they can afford to travel around the world correcting cleft palates and other deformities free of charge. It’s magnificent when people’s demand for weird plastic boobs and pulled faces contributes to fixing real physical deformities in people who haven’t many options.

You can’t make a living off any patient that isn’t forced by his HMO to go to you because you’re not a good enough doctor (if you are a doctor at all. We all have serious doubts). That is all.

And in a democratic process lobbying would not be illegal but using money and bribery would be to do so would.

Haven’t you heard? Bribery is already illegal. How’s that working out then?

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm

The lobbying unions participate in and the millions of dollars that is spent to get special treatment is quite substantial.

ettubloge October 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

“Sowell is an arrogant jerk IMO”. You ignore Bryan’s prior posts. Or are you inadvertently making his point?

ettubloge October 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I meant Russ’ point.

David October 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Muirgeo,

“Sowell is an arrogant jerk IMO”. You really do not know much about Thomas Sowell if you make that statement. Even if you don’t agree with his world view, I would think that his life story would indicate anything but arrogance.

Mesa Econoguy October 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Shouldn’t you be protesting banks and sleeping in a park, George?

Off you go…pig

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I did… we joined the Occupy Boston march and were shouting SHAME! at the Bank of America people… it was cool. I just wish I had a fake torch and pitch fork.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I just wish we had more asylums. You should be under care.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Yes, Phil. I would pay for that.

Greg Webb October 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm

LOL! Idiots on Boston Common.

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm

They are so misguided, that they direct their anger at the businesses rather than the elected officials.
When the rats keep invading your garage or basement, do you continue setting traps or do you simply remove the food that is accessible to them and seal up the doors and entry ways. Govt ability to give out favors in form of legislation and tax advantages is the food and entry way.
The traps will catch some but the rats will never stop coming. Take away govt ability to give advantages.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Yeah and Ron Paul was right there with me…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cGwDJ0C0X8

Greg Webb October 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

George, so how is it significant that a politician is posturing to get some votes? Are you now supporting Ron Paul for President?

muirgeo October 20, 2011 at 12:55 am

I’d take Ron Paul over any of the other idiotic republicans… what a bunch of total loser. The Republican debates are like watching a damn reality show of misfit sociopaths stoned on LSD. The party has drunk too much bad tea and is off the rails. Ron Paul and Buddy Roemer are the only decent people and big money will be sure they don’t get in.

Greg Webb October 20, 2011 at 1:55 am

George, I agree with you that Ron Paul will make a better President than Barry Obama, who has surpassed Jimmy Carter as the worst President in U S history.

Dan J October 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Ron Paul would handcuff govt and take away all of your precious govt rules and regulations……. EPA would be neutered and the fake global warming crap would not be heard from again in White House… Yes let’s have Ron Paul. Fan and Fred would be sent off to sink or swim and no more free money given to people who can’t ante up for buying a house… Yes, I would gladly take Ron Paul over Obama ‘the horrible’.

Seth October 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Rent seeking is a major concern of libertarians. Many of us would be pleased to limit government to, for starters, its role as defined by the Constitution.

What’s your solution? It’s not “more” of the “right” regulations that will be written by the “right” people, is it? Or, is it?

Greg G October 19, 2011 at 7:56 am

Cafe Hayek: where the wealthy come to whine

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 8:14 am

Are you wealthy?

Greg G October 19, 2011 at 8:20 am

Enough to feel happy and fortunate but not enough to impress many around here.

Krishnan October 19, 2011 at 8:26 am

We are impressed. Now leave. Why are you wasting your valuable time around these parts that you find terrible?

Greg G October 19, 2011 at 8:29 am

I don’t find it terrible and I don’t find it a waste of time. I find it often interesting and often entertaining.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 8:38 am

Most posters here are impressed with the ability to add coherent, substantive points and don’t give a rat’s a** about your personal finances. It’s the left that is obsessed with wealth.

So whether it be Warren Buffett, Jeffrey Imelt, Bill Gates, George Soros, Arianna Huffington, Spielberg or any of the rest of the hyperwealthy darlings of the left-they are just another voice of inanity to us.

Greg G October 19, 2011 at 8:49 am

I agree that my personal finances are not relevant. I did not raise them an issue here. Someone else did that and I answered their question.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 8:57 am

But, you raised the issue of personal wealth. What was the point?

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

it is a priori that the rich have wisdom

let him write

Greg G October 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Methinks

I raised the issue of personal wealth in general (not mine in particular) because the original Sowell quote was about attitudes toward “those who produce” and about who is justified in complaining (or not).

“Those who produce” are often referred to as job creators or income creators on this blog. Out in the larger world they are more often just known as the wealthy. I thought that since we are talking about the complaining about the wealthy, it might be interesting to compare it to the complaining of the wealthy.

I don’t have an exact amount in mind as to what wealthy is and I don’t believe Sowell does either.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Greg G,

Whether someone is “wealthy” or not is almost entirely subjective. Compared to you, I’m probably wealthy. Compared to Warren Buffet, I’m living in abject poverty. Compared to the middle class in the rest of the world (including Europe), the poor in this country are wealthy. None of that is what Sowell is talking about.

“Those who produce” are often referred to as job creators or income creators on this blog.

No, they’re not. You’re projecting again.

…it might be interesting to compare it to the complaining of the wealthy.

What amuses you about exceptionally productive people objecting to being robbed by people who don’t wish to make the effort?

vikingvista October 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

” “Those who produce” are often referred to as job creators or income creators on this blog.”

I’ve been reading this blog a long time, and my impression is that the vast majority of those who produce would not be considered wealthy by hardly anyone’s standards. That is, “producers” is used here the same way Ayn Rand used it, and has nothing to do with wealth, and everything to do with whether or not one feels entitled to the efforts of others. Since he is an economist, I’m sure Sowell was referring to the adverse economic incentives of the actions he referred to.

Some producers are wealthy. So are some parasites. The common denominator here is individual liberty, not wealth. You think you understand, but your statement about wealth reveals that you do not

Slappy McFee October 19, 2011 at 9:12 am

Actually, according to our resident duktor, the wealthy go to the White House to whine.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 9:23 am

And he’s right about that. Most of us have figured out a long time ago that it’s far cheaper to buy political cover than to try to follow increasing regulation to the incomprehensible letter. Politicians are only too happy to oblige their donors and the reg agencies don’t care. At the first sign of scandal, they’ll just collar some poor schmuck with no political connections and get the headlines they need to survive another day.

It’s a great system. The rubes think they’re protected and the too small to survives fall by the wayside.

Greg G October 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Methinks

I agree that the concept of wealth is subjective – like many other useful terms. The notion that the unemployed are just “people who don’t wish to make the effort” I think is the thing that really bugs me the most. I saw a different person write something here recently to the effect that there were unemployed only because they are unwilling to work for lower wages.

People are now begging for jobs that pay NO wages. My daughter owns her own engineering company. They have had people begging them to take them on as unpaid interns so that they might get a leg up on one day getting a job in their field paying more than zero. This is not uncommon.

I closed my own small business and retired happily 3 1/2 years ago. The woman who was the best employee I had in 35 years still does not have a full time job. She could have gone on unemployment but refused and worked at Mc Donalds instead for a while. Today she works part time at 2 menial jobs. She has a B.A. Her husband was laid off his job of 25 years in the newspaper business and took different job in the same field for 1/3 less pay. He also has a B.A. It is the routine dismissal of such people’s complaints here that I am a little touchy about I guess.

vikingvista October 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

“The notion that the unemployed are just “people who don’t wish to make the effort” I think is the thing that really bugs me the most.”

1. You didn’t get that notion here. You are placing your own words in front of those of methinks to deliberately misrepresent her. It is telling that you choose to represent your ideas by being dishonest.

2. It has always been the case that a large minority of the unemployed choose to remain unemployed until the day their benefits run out.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Greg G,

Well, some people are unemployed because they don’t wish to work for lower wages – and unemployment checks allow them tom more easily make that choice. I myself have heard too many times the unemployed request a delay in their employment date so they can finish collecting unemployment checks. I also know of too many instances where people turned down jobs that they actually thought paid quite well, but they were also convinced that they would be able to find employment once their unemployment checks stopped coming. Certainly, it’s as absurd to ignore this kind of behaviour as it is to paint every unemployed individual as a lazy, parasitic schmuck.

Obviously, many people are suffering very real hardships. Many employers are faced with the rising cost of regulation. I have reduced my business to a third of its size because of it. Before that we’d had plans for a huge expansion – even after 2008. I have several friends who couldn’t find work for two years (a few still can’t), whose businesses went under and forced them on a prolonged job hunt as they were going through personal bankruptcy.

These are very dark days for some very bright, willing people out there. Kudos to your former employee for taking the menial labour jobs. My family arrived in this country with literally nothing but the shirts on our backs in 1976 – hardly a period of economic boom in the United States. My mother, a woman with multiple degrees, went to work changing the diapers of the incontinent aged in a nursing home so that our family did not suffer the shame of receiving welfare (which the government automatically extended to us as Soviet refuges and to which my mother responded: “we did not come to America to hang ourselves on the necks of Americans” before heading off to find the only job she could get). She literally shoveled shit right through yet another degree from a U.S. university and looking after the family while my dad (a man with multiple degrees as well) worked almost 24/7 at whatever job he could get. The children of the family worked the dirtiest jobs we could find (they paid the best) to put ourselves through college. I’ve slung a lot more than hash and I’ve taken a lot of risks to get where I am – and I’ll do it again if I have to.

There is a lot of dignity in work and taking care of one’s family. It’s a lesson which sorely needs learning by the OWS crowd and assorted entitled whiners.

Sam Grove October 19, 2011 at 9:35 am

Who’s wealthy? Certainly not me.
How much do you have to make to be wealthy?

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Today she works part time at 2 menial jobs.

No job is menial, except to the arrogant. I appaud this woman for surviving the “hope and change” of Obamanomics. Nobody dismisses this-we want it to stop-and that will only happen when we stop following the pied pipers of politics.

Greg G October 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Methinks

I am not denying for a moment that there are many who would abuse the benefits system. I would appreciate a little sense of what kind of social safety net you think is appropriate though.

I don’t doubt that it is easy to find any number of over entitled idiots at OWS (or in most corporate boardrooms). But I don’t think the OWS crowd can be described with any sweeping generalizations. And yes, the left makes plenty of those dumb generalizations too.

Your family’s story is inspirational. I mean that sincerely. But you are clearly people of very extraordinary talents that go far beyond your work ethic. Not everyone can do what you did.

My own grandfather got out of Odessa one step ahead of the pogroms in 1907. The family had money but he got out with none of it and he believed that they were killed. In 1968 I went to the Soviet Union on a High School trip. Went went over there expecting to school them on politics and economics. We got our asses handed to us. We were given plenty of very prepared, well indoctrinated English speaking children of party members to talk to.

I came back determined to learn how to defend what I take to be the American system and my own beliefs. That led me to a great admiration for Hayek (even though I disagree with him on some things) and that eventually led me here.

I want to ask you something. And I don’t mean it the way people often do when they ask such things. I am glad you and your family came here and I hope you will stay. But why did you choose this country if you think our system is such an outrage? You clearly could go almost anywhere you want at this point.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Greg G,

I think discussing the specifics of a welfare system would probably clog up this blog. I have spent a lifetime believing – as Hayek did – in a safety net which prevents people from ending up on the street as they seek to get back on their feet. I also always believed it should come in the form of a check for the intended individual to spend as he sees fit. The abuses in the welfare system by the enormous bureaucracy are legend. And really, would you prefer money or a giant block of government cheese? However, after long experience with government, I’m not sure it’s capable of even dispensing checks. In theory it is, in practice….not so much.

But I don’t think the OWS crowd can be described with any sweeping generalizations.

I think the surveys give us a pretty good idea of just how knowledgeable they are. They’re screaming about bank bailouts and 49% of them think the bank bailouts were necessary. I mean, it’s a bit like the Tea Party guys with the “Get your government hands off my medicare” signs, isn’t it?

But you are clearly people of very extraordinary talents that go far beyond your work ethic. Not everyone can do what you did.

What did we do that was so special? Work for a living? I hardly think this is beyond the abilities of the vast majority of the population.

We did become wealthier than most Americans by taking risks and working hard. I went out on my own. In fact, I started more than one business. Not all were successful. Eventually, the vast majority of the family that immigrated here became wealthy by starting their own businesses. So much for the argument that you just can’t make it in America if your parents aren’t rich and connected. We didn’t even have language.

You’ve done that and so has your daughter. I have no doubt you are both unusually talented and hardworking risk takers. And I’m willing to bet you’re better off than the average American because of it. But, you and I both know that you don’t have to reach our level of success to have a rich (including materially rich) life. Very few of us don’t have the ability to take care of ourselves. Very few. Lots lack the will.

I came here because my parents came here. I was a minor. At the time, America offered the greatest opportunities because it had a less intrusive government. It’s still pretty good, but the trajectory is worrying. My husband is also an immigrant (from a different country) and we do have a back-up plan if we ever think this country becomes a lost cause. My fidelity is to the ideas of individualism and freedom that this country was based on, not this particular patch of earth.

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Block of govt cheese? I know what that tastes like. That was the highlight of the food handouts. Dried milk….. canned peanut butter…. The cheese was tasty on crackers, but not so great as grilled cheese. Interestingly enough, we gave the dried milk and peanut butter to the church. Blah…… yuck…… not so good……. after Jiffy PB and sliced cheese, its hard to go to the govt stuff. Even, school lunches tasted better.

Greg G October 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Methinks

Thanks for that response. It helps me to understand why you feel so strongly. I just wish it was possible to disagree with people around here without everyone screaming that you are violating their rights and hurling insults. As Justice Holmes once said “The Constitution was made for people of fundamentally differing views.” Of course the date that is part of your screen name is more of a reference to the Revolution than the Constitution I am guessing.

No doubt, there is a lot of ignorance at OWS. Take any large group and you will find the same thing. Leno used to do a bit where they would interview people out in the streets and ask them easy questions. Some didn’t know what continent they were on.

One thing that is so special about your family besides your work ethic is their intelligence and two amazing parents. I also had two amazing parents. Luck of the draw. Without that we both wind up in very different situations. I saw in one of your posts that there are many doctors in your family. No gets into and through med school on work ethic alone. You also have to have unusual intelligence for that. I am glad to hear that you think things are still pretty good here. I didn’t see that in your posts.

I think it is entirely possible to believe that some form of bank bailouts were necessary and still take issue with the way they were done as well as the regulation before and after. But let’s not have that fight now. This post is already too long and this is exhausting. I am a lot older than you with far less energy.

I do want to mention that I agree with you that financial regulation has been pushed too far down the food chain to smaller firms while TBTF runs wild. I am an outside director at a small and very simple S&L. We have plenty of equity and no problem loans and we get looked at incredibly closely.

If you want to see a disgusting spectacle of whining, over entitled, rent seekers there is no substitute for a banking convention. OWS is small time by comparison.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

Methinks1776

1. You are not the only person who has worked hard

2. You think you understand the American Story, but you don’t

3. You touch on a central truth (Where there is no Vision the People perish), but you mis-frame the issue, badly.

4. The purpose of the Constitution was not to limit government, it was to establish a stronger central government. Hamilton’s vision was that Federal Government would progressively grow, as trade and commerce grew. He was right.The central focus of the Civil War was to make the Federal Government supreme.

If you study “information,” as a subject itself, you would understand that government must grow in response to increases in information and complexity. Gov’t is a two cycle engine: it collects information and it acts on the information collected. While there is no “bright line,” at some point during the 20th century we passed into the Information age. A way to mark that is to mark gov’t failures arising out of the failure to collect information (Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Lesser Depression, are examples). Any good political scientist will tell you that our many of our problems today come from the Constitution now being designed to deal with the amount of information that must be absorbed and mastered, today. For example, we no longer have the luxury of the Senate approving appointments. Events don’t wait. Look at the European Debt crisis and consider the problems that would be caused if we didn’t have a Treasury Secretary right now and Obama had to go to the Senate to confirm a nominee.

5. Last, you need to learn to discern between effective leadership and bad policies. What has happened in this Country is that voting on issues has, since 1973, replaced voting for the candidate, when the Founding Fathers had the exactly opposite plan in mind. They did everything they could to reduce the power of “fractions” and “parties” for they knew what the result would be. Look at the Republican party—since 1975 it has purged itself of anyone sane or rational. If you asked the Founding Fathers the failed institution that would would first mention would be the Republican fraction. They wouldn’t like the Democratic fraction, but for entirely different reasons.

Dan J October 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Read the Constitution….. About limited govt…. Read federalist papers…… All about limited govt….. LIMITED GOVT!!!!!!!

Methinks1776 October 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Luzha,

1.) duh.

2.) I don’t touch on any central truths in that post and you’re obviously responding one of the voices in your head. This is why every one of your posts is a giant luzha.

Sam Grove October 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I know a Frenchman who came to the U.S. many years back. He started a business baking bread and delivering it to restaurants from the back of his station wagon. He eventually built his business to the point where he had a small fleet of vans to deliver the bread.

His comment: “Only in America can you do this.”

Methinks1776 October 20, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Yep, Sam. Unfortunately, it’s increasingly becoming “only in Singapore can you do this”.

They’re closing down lemonade stands in this country. Pretty soon it’ll be time to choose between a country with no political freedom or a country with no other freedoms.

Greg Webb October 20, 2011 at 11:34 pm

The purpose of the Constitution was not to limit government, it was to establish a stronger central government.

LOL, Nikki! Your statement reveals that you have not read the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, James Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention, or American History.

Why do statists prevaricate so much? Because the evidence does not support their silly, emotion-based statements.

vikingvista October 21, 2011 at 12:24 am

LOL Greg. Your response reveals that you haven’t read the Articles of Confederation.

Greg Webb October 21, 2011 at 12:46 am

It’s nice to see that you aren’t still carrying a grudge, Vike! You would not want to be like He Who Must Not Be Named.

Actually, I have read the Articles of Confederation. They were not very good, which reveals why they were scrapped.

vikingvista October 21, 2011 at 1:08 am

“They were not very good, which reveals why they were scrapped.”

What is odd is that you think the Federal government under the CotUS was not a “stronger central government” than the Congress of the Confederation. You are quite unique in that regard, so perhaps you should reread the Articles.

BTW, grudge about what?

Greg Webb October 22, 2011 at 12:46 am

What is odd is that you think the Federal government under the CotUS was not a “stronger central government” than the Congress of the Confederation.

Vike, I am confident that I never said or implied that I think that the federal government CotUS was not a stronger central government than the Congress of the Confederation. Why do you think that I said this?

You are quite unique in that regard, so perhaps you should reread the Articles.

Thanks! I’m pleased to be thought of as unique! It’s better than being thought of as merely okay. I would re-read the Articles but they are dead-letter law, and no longer of use to the cause and promotion of liberty.

BTW, grudge about what?

Let’s see, you went out of your way to start a conversation about the Atricles of Confederation even though they were not relevant to the conversation that Dan J, Nikki, and I were having. Grudge, no, not you.

vidyohs October 19, 2011 at 10:19 am

moveon.org where the subsidized go to whine and plot theft, destruction, and death.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

@vidyohs.

Also the insane, arrogant, insular, coddled and inculcated go to moveon.org, the puffington host and other statist echo chambers in order to practice their vile religion.

All hail, the great god, the state-for in the state, there is power, good power, to heal the lame and sick, feed the poor, and promote peace and prosperity throughout the land. Now worship the state, you infidel.

Greg Webb October 20, 2011 at 11:35 pm

True that!

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I feel wealthy at under 6 figures a year. The people who demonstrate on Wall Street would complain about being a pauper at my income. They are entitled ninnies. No respect.

Darren October 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I make under 6 figures and support a family of four and I feel grateful for being born in this country. There is no reason I could not have been borh in Bangledesh or North Korea. We have food, shelter, and clothing, plus extra to go to Seaworld, etc. I did not make the mistake of buying a house during the bubble. Even I could see something was not right when mortgage payments were so much higher than rent.

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm

You know when you have matured, when you recognize your shortcomings and errors as being the biggest reason for not accomplishing more than you currently have. My own choices have been my pitfalls, yet, I still feel lucky and ‘rich’.

Greg Webb October 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm

No, Cafe Hayek is where certain leftists come to pretend at knowledge.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 8:13 am

So basically todays quote of the day is one of Thomas Sowell complaining about all the poor lazy slobs and their defenders while totally giving a pass to all the renter seekers and those that auction off our government.

Yeah, Sowell… now there is a real principled man.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 8:30 am

Still just yakkin’ to hear your head roar, huh?

Slappy McFee October 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

Why do you continue to assume that complaints about the subsidized do not include rent seekers?

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

Well, because IMO if you are concerned with market inefficiencies I would think your concern would focus on those making the huge government hauls and writing policy to reap more than on the poor who are trying to get by with very little. But here we almost ALWAYS see the poor scapegoated and very little about those on top. In Europe the banks are about to reap another $trillion plus from the government yet Mr Sowell tells us to sit down and shut up… not to complain????

Slappy McFee October 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

Actually I don’t scapegoat ‘the poor’. Rent seekers are a giant problem. Your ‘solutions’ only create a greater need TO rent seek. Why don’t you see that?

morganovich October 19, 2011 at 9:28 am

what ever happened to self reliance?

it should not be anybody’s job to make sure you get what you think you are entitled to muir, that’s YOUR job.

you take envy of the success and industry of others and try to weave it into a pseudo-philosophy about your being somehow oppressed by the successful.

if i build a house, it does not oppress or diminish you. but you seemt o feel that because i can, you deserve a house too and that it’s fine to take from me to do it.

your philosophy is basically just indolence and theft gussied up to try to look like “social justice”.

Sam Grove October 19, 2011 at 9:41 am

Actually, muirgeo relieves his guilt at being well off due to government licensing of doctors at the expense of the poor shmucks whose children he treats, the poor shmucks who have to keep working while he jets off to the Alaskan wilderness with his expensive gear.

Sam Grove October 19, 2011 at 9:38 am

And from whom and how do governments reap those trillions?

Honey Badger October 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

“if you are concerned with market inefficiencies I would think your concern would focus on those making the huge government hauls and writing policy to reap more than on the poor who are trying to get by with very little”

Comments like this make me think you are just here to troll and either don’t understand the libertarian views you attack or intentionally misrepresent them because you like to knock down strawmen. I’m pretty sure Sowell, like Roberts and Boudreaux is opposed to rent seeking, crony capitalism. Like most hyper- partisans however, you assume anyone who opposes your views or policies, support what ever you oppose. That is completely false.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 11:39 am

” I’m pretty sure Sowell, like Roberts and Boudreaux is opposed to rent seeking, crony capitalism.”

Let me know next time they write a post to that effect… or go back and count the number of posts directed at welfare for the poor versus welfare for the rich.

The rich are always assumed to deserve their lot and the poor always deserve theirs.

Slappy McFee October 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Wow — Don/Russ have an entire tag dedicated to rent seekers

http://cafehayek.com/category/crony-capitalism

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Comments like this make me think you are just here to troll.

Bingo!!!!

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

whose is complaining about what Europe is doing

the complaint people in Europe ought to be making is that not enough is being done for everyone.

for starters, Europe ought to bust up its banks. It need thousands of small banks on every corner, basically returning to merchant banking.

it needs to tackle graft, corruption, non-compliance in the south, education everyone, the list is endless. Vision Passion Intensity.

Europe needs to learn what Obama never understood. Bailouts do not restore to health, they only keep the patient from dying, leaving them in critical condition

Emil October 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

1) there’s not a lack of small banks in Europe

2) the underlying problem for corruption is that there is too much money spent through the public sector

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Obama never understood.

Obama knows everything! Don’t you lie about our dear messiah, you racist. He was the one we were waiting for, so the seas could heal.

Just because he hasn’t delivered anything but unemployment and economic malaise gives you no cause to question the most intelligent President ever-smarter I’ll bet that Jimmy Carter, and he was a nukyalar scientist.

kyle8 October 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Amazingly you have finally posted some observations that make sense. Keep it up.

Mesa Econoguy October 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

You have zero clue what market inefficiencies are, and your ilk cause most of them via your childish whining for more regulation to protect vapid ignoranuses like you from harm.

Your lifespan in any prior historical period would have been about 10 minutes.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Yeah and a paper pusher like you would have done real well back in the day when you actually had to produce something for a living.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuBKhPk7RTY&feature=related

Dan Phillips October 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm

muirgeo:

You remind me of someone playing the card game solitare, who takes forever to notice that he can put the red ten on the black jack. You’re so close to the truth! It’s right there in front of you, if you could just open your eyes a little wider and see.

I won’t try to speak for others on this board, only for myself, as a libertarian and a philosphical anarcho-capitalist.

I thoroughly despise the big corporations and lobbyists that conspire with politicians to rule our society. I despise them! But I despise the politicians too. You seem to be of the idea that the politicians are somehow forced into corruption by the ubber-wealthy. That what is needed is the removal of the lobbyists. That the politicians would be good if only they would be left to their own devices. That is incredibly naive.

You repeatedly paint libertarians as heads-in-the-clouds idealists who don’t recognize that there has never been a libertarian society in all of human history, and you belittle our desire to see one put in place.

And, yet, you call for an egalitarian society without realizing that there has never been an egalitarian society either. And the closer societies come to your dream the poorer they are for it.

One of these days the scales will fall from your eyes, and you will understand that government is evil, it has always been evil, and it will always be evil. People who look for governmental solutions to problems will always be dissappointed, because government IS the problem!

The way I see it there are three types of people: those that want to be part of the apparatus of government, those that want to conspire with the apparatus of government, and those that want nothing to do with government. A true libertarian falls into the third category. We want nothing to do with government. We don’t want control over it so we can rule others. We just want to be left alone.

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I like this reply.

The failure of govt is of the men who are in it. And all men are fallible and subject to corruption. Removing the abilities of men in govt is what is in order, short of following a Libertarian ideal. Even, in the Libertarian arrangement of an emergent order, any authority given to another would have a short life as a Man, in due time as different men shall succeed the first, given authority would eventually do in his own self-interest and soon fall to unethical or immoral behaviors.
Given that we are unlikely to see any Libertarian ideal transpire anytime soon, tis best to handcuff the Federal govt. Return governance to states and local municipalities. Whereas, people can leave and find greener pastures when local controls become unbearable. Local and state are more responsive and easily held more accountable for their actions.

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm

I mean that I like Dan Philips reply.

But, you will not succeed with George. He is filled with anger. It will take a life changing moment for his eyes to open to the inevitablitly of any form of govt to be corrupted because of the power it wields rather than blame those who seek out the advantages from the govt officials.

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Dan P wrote,

“And, yet, you call for an egalitarian society without realizing that there has never been an egalitarian society either. And the closer societies come to your dream the poorer they are for it.”

I am not an egalitarian with regards to outcomes Just with regards to fairness of opportunity… which I realize can never completely be achieved. But we can certainly do better.

And you are wrong with your claim that trying to improve equality of opportunity is disastrous as some of the wealthiest and most efficient economies do just that and yet whenever we see other countries move away from it we get results like we see before us.

The fact that you claim to want to have nothing to do with government is a conversation stopper for me. You live protected by this government a hypocrite ever day of your live with not enough real belief in what you claim to move to a place with no government…. sorry but NOT INTERESTED as your position is so beyond reason and so highly hypocritical.

Darren October 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm

But here we almost ALWAYS see the poor scapegoated and very little about those on top.

You certainly see that from some, but you are generalizing that observation to everyone else. I suppose because it requires less thinking. That is a disservice to them and yourself.

James N October 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

“The fact that you claim to want to have nothing to do with government is a conversation stopper for me. You live protected by this government a hypocrite ever day of your live with not enough real belief in what you claim to move to a place with no government”

That is a claasic straw man argument and the fact that you would offer it up as a defense tells us everything we need to know about your moral and intellectual shortcomings. What a sad, little, weak-minded individual.

vidyohs October 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

You’re so blind to the hypocrisy in your comments, the inanity, you can’t even write on single coherent comment that is consistent from first to last.

You have made of yourself a instantly recognizable caricature of a stupid socialist.

Chris Bowyer October 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

It’s a clear leap in logic to suggest that a quote which does not specifically mention something is therefore “giving it a pass.”

muirgeo October 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

Chris,

It’s not a single quote. I’ve been reading and interacting with libertarians for years.

The biggest single complaint from the Occupy Wall Street people concerns corporate rent-seeking… but you guys call them nothing but losers with no jobs rather then embracing their concerns…. So it’s clear to me watching Fox and reading the libertarian blogs WHO they side with.

Emil October 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

the fact that someone manages to correctly identify a problem does not mean that they have correctly identified the solution

Darren October 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm

the fact that someone manages to correctly identify a problem does not mean that they have correctly identified the solution

It is not necessary to identify a solution in addition to the problem. However, if one does do this, it is helpful to identify a reasonable solution.

Seth October 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

First paragraph of John Stossel’s (prominent libertarian) column, today:

“What’s there to say about Occupy Wall Street? The answer isn’t so simple. Some complain about taxpayer bailouts of businesses. Good for them. In a true free market, failing firms would go out of business. They couldn’t turn to Washington for help.”

Read the rest:
http://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2011/10/19/wall_street_protesters_half_right

Economic Freedom October 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Economist George Reisman (Pepperdine University) has an interesting article on Occupy Wall Street:

http://georgereismansblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/how-highly-productive-and-provident-one.html

“. . . The protesters . . . see the world through an intellectual lens that is inappropriate to life under capitalism and its market economy. They see a world, still present in some places, and present everywhere a few centuries ago, of self-sufficient farm families, each producing for its own consumption and having no essential connection to markets.

In such a world, if one sees a farmer’s field, or his barn, or plow, or draft animals, and asks who do these means of production serve, the answer is the farmer and his family, and no one else. In such a world, apart from the receipt of occasional charity from the owners, those who are not owners of means of production cannot benefit from means of production unless and until they themselves somehow become owners of means of production. They cannot benefit from other people’s means of production except by inheriting them or by seizing them.

In the world of the protesters, means of production have the same essential status as consumers’ goods, which as a rule are of benefit only to their owners. It is because of this that those who share the mentality of the protesters typically depict capitalists as fat men, whose plates are heaped high with food, while the masses of wage earners must live near starvation. According to this mentality, the redistribution of wealth is a matter merely of taking from the overflowing plates of the capitalists and giving to the starving workers.

Contrary to such beliefs, in the modern world in which we actually live, the wealth of the capitalists is simply not in the form of consumers’ goods to any great extent. Not only is it overwhelmingly in the form of means of production but those means of production are employed in the production of goods and services that are sold in the market. Totally unlike the conditions of self-sufficient farm families, the physical beneficiaries of the capitalists’ means of production are all the members of the general consuming public who buy the capitalists’ products.

In addition to not realizing that the wealth of the so-called one percent is the foundation of the standard of living of the so-called ninety-nine percent, what the protesters also do not realize is that the ‘greed’ of those who seek to become part of the one percent, or to enlarge their position within it, is what serves progressively to improve the standard of living of the ninety-nine percent . . . “

Sam Grove October 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

You watch FOX?
I never do.

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm

If the rent-seeking is what you are angry with then it is time to restrain those who can give out the advantages…………….. elected officials.
In High School or College, when a girlfriend or girl you liked kissed another boy, are you upset with the girl or the boy who kissed her? If your anger is directed at the boy……. and by your anger directed toward businesses and unions, who rent-seek…….. I can guess it was with the boy, then you are due to be hurt again. For, it is the girl who invited the flirting… the girl who allowed for the moment to draw close…. the girl who willingly kissed the boy. Same as spousal infedelity….. the blame lies with your spouse, not the person with whom he/she was with.
And, the only experience I have, with the above situation, is in assisting friends who have been thru it.

brotio October 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm

The biggest single complaint from the Occupy Wall Street people concerns corporate rent-seeking

Muirpocrite,

When you waddled through Boston Common with them, did you inform them that you favor corporate rent-seeking? You are the only patron of this Cafe who is on record of supporting crony deals for ADM, Chrysler, GE, GM, Solyndra, and SolarReserve.

Dan J October 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Again, the OWS cast their ‘hate’ at the wrong crowd. It’s DC that incentivizes the rent-seeking by offering up the ability to do so. In absence of organizing toward Libertarian society and dealing with what we have, the best solution is to adhere to the reasoning stated by Hayek, authors of the Constitution, and other freer market oriented people, which is to restrain govt, not empower it more.

Dan J October 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Try reading Sowell before you make yourself look like an ass with silly ignorant comments meant to disparage.

ettubloge October 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

More ignorance uttered.

Read Sowell’s Basic Economics and his sequel Applied Economics. No support of rent-seeking anywhere in those books (or his other writings).

W.E. Heasley October 19, 2011 at 8:15 am

One of Sowell’s better observations, found in his book Intellectuals and Society, is the intellectual that is absolutely wrong over, and over, and over again yet retains/continues his/her status as an intellectual. Amazing phenomena! It’s a similar phenomena to the politico who never pays the price for all the second stage and subsequent stage [cascading and interacting unintended consequences] economic consequences of public policy based solely on first stage economic consequences/result to match the politico’s short term political time horizon [next election].

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 8:47 am

Paul Johnson makes a better point about Intellectuals, in “Intellectuals”. Despite all their bloviate about caring for people-they cared as long as “people” were mere abstractions.

kyle8 October 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Can you say Paul Krugmann ?

Scott G October 19, 2011 at 9:23 am

This quote is too pessimistic, conservative and simplistic for my taste.

I prefer a more honest rhetoric that admits of the complexity of the world. One that admits that some producers like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos are admired. One that admits that anti-war complainers are sometimes demonized. One that admits that the left and the right each have some legitimate concerns.

I prefer the rhetoric from Smith, Hayek, Higgs, Roberts, Boudreaux, Ridley, Friedman, and Otteson.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

One that admits that the left and the right each have some legitimate concerns.

The left doesn’t have “concerns”, it has transient fixations, based on emotion and a presumption of human perfectibility attainable by the concentration of power in the hands of the state.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

right has legitimate concerns–and what would those be?

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Eradicating economic ignorance and freeing people from the designs of thieves that launder and mask their grand theft through arbitrary and capricious taxation.

Randy October 19, 2011 at 9:32 am

Outstanding! Pithy, perhaps, but an accurate description of the progressive myth.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises October 19, 2011 at 10:28 am

Sowell is an uninformed fool

Here is a really interesting piece by Michael Spence, at McKinsey, where he divides employment between the tradable and nontradable sides of the economy.

As to the tradable side (those whom Sowell worships but of which he is not a part) we find a total failure to do their job: no net jobs. “there was negligible employment growth on the tradable side of the economy where we compete with other people.”

As to the nontradeable side (the people Sowell things won’t work)

we looked at employment over an 18-year period coming up to 2008, just before the crisis, and we looked at value added sector by sector, and we looked at value added per person.

We divided the economy as carefully as we could into a tradable and a nontradable part. So the tradable part is goods and services that can be produced in one country and consumed in another, and the nontradable side, which is the lion’s share of the economy in most advanced economies, is a whole set of goods and services that have to be produced domestically, like government, healthcare, construction, et cetera, much of legal services because of legal differences in the systems across countries.

So when we looked at this, the net employment generation in the American economy was impressive—it was 27 million jobs. But almost all of it was in the nontradable side.

IOW Sowell lies. The people he disdains have been creating jobs. The people he worships didn’t keep up.

http://www.thenextconvergence.com/op-eds/18-op-eds/276-the-us-employment-challenge

James N October 19, 2011 at 10:52 am

“Sowell is an uninformed fool”

Yes, unlike you, a brilliant intellectual whose contributions to society are detailed here…… We’ll be waiting.

Rick Hull October 19, 2011 at 11:30 am

Nikolai,

You seem confused on a few points:

> the nontradable side, which is the lion’s share of the economy in most advanced economies, is a whole set of goods and services that have to be produced domestically, like government, healthcare, construction, et cetera, much of legal services because of legal differences in the systems across countries.

Please explain what nontradable goods are, and why they must be produced domestically. Can such nontradeable goods not be sold, to a domestic or foreign party?

As well, the paper you quoted indicates that the so-called “nontradeable” sector’s foothold on the economy is not sustainable, and that we must focus on the tradable side. In other words, we must produce. Sowell would wholeheartedly agree. Sowell is saying it’s a problem that we don’t produce enough, and part of that problem is our cultural demonization of producers.

Both Sowell and Spence agree that, if our economy is to improve, the improvement will come from the producers.

Randy October 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm

It seems to me that he defines nontradable goods as political services, i.e., things that no one would willingly pay for. I don’t disagree that these exist. I do disagree that they have value.

Rick Hull October 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Note that he says:

> the nontradable side … is a whole set of goods and services

I am not challenging that nontradable services exist. I am asking specifically for examples and explanation of nontradable goods.

Randy October 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Ah, yes. Good point.

Economic Freedom October 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Please explain what nontradable goods are, and why they must be produced domestically.

Luzhin has no answer because he doesn’t know. Like the other trolls — Muirgeo, Invisible Backhand, and House of Cards — he simply copy/pastes from websites articles that superficially look as if they might contradict what Don and Russ post on Cafe Hayek.

Michael October 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Ugh. This is awful.

Nikolai, it’s best in any reasonable discussion to avoid calling the other person uninformed–especially when the statement might come across as ironic.

Ignoring the weird distinction between the “tradable and nontradable”, it is not, and never has been any person’s job to provide someone else with employment.

What, specifically, has Sowell lied about? Please provide citations and avoid the unnecessarily inflammatory language.

kyle8 October 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Ahh you let me down again.

Erica Blair October 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Dear Nikolai, I hope you’re actually Russian (or even just slightly Slavic would probably work too). You use too many ad hominem abusives to be very old so I thought I would respond in what seems to be your language/modus operandi.

пошёл на хуй, мудак.

Not quite ‘uninformed fool’/mindless worshiper you portray, but I thought it was fairly appropriate.

Seth October 19, 2011 at 10:49 am

Reminds me of something Ken Blackwell said:

“We have become a culture where earning money doesn’t entitle you to it, but wanting it does.”

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Like~!

Payam October 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm

+++++++

Greg Webb October 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Excellent quote!

EG October 19, 2011 at 11:17 am

Its very true, and it is surprisingly difficult for a lot of Americans and Western Europeans to see. Most have grown up in this environment, where the “cool” are the filthy hippies, the football player and the cheerleader, while the kid who studied in school was the “nerd”. If thats how you grow up…thats how life ends up becoming. You end up sleeping amongst human waste (other protesters) in a park in NYC, protesting the “nerds” who you used to make fun of when you were in school.

This is less of a phenomenon in other parts of the world where people still realize what it means to work to achieve something.

Ours is a problem of wealth, not a problem of inequality or poverty. We have become so wealthy over the past generations, that this current (and previous) generations simply don’t understand what working means, what tradeoffs mean. Its a generation of perpetual childhood who just hasn’t had to work a day in their lives, because this country is so rich that we argue over whether a Masters degree in Native American Women’s Studies is a “right: or not. These pathetic looser who want to model themselves after the Egyptian protests and sit-ins don’t know what real poverty, work, and achievement are.

Darren October 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm
Erica Blair October 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I agree with most of what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t be so hard on my generation (perhaps yours as well, I don’t know how old you are). There are plenty of people at the bottom who work very hard. Mostly we don’t appreciate the people I usually call ‘fallen from glory’. They’ve grown up without financial struggles because their parents or grandparents climbed that hill for them, and they can’t understand why life is so hard! They are incapable of working for themselves or figuring their own sh** out and make it the rest of society’s problem.

But people who have always had to work hard – and there are plenty of them, because their parent’s were the fallen from glory generation – aren’t quite so ridiculous.

nailheadtom October 19, 2011 at 11:26 am

“One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.”
That editorial “we” shouldn’t be in there, since it’s the canonized that are doing the demonizing and subsidizing.

Randy October 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm

+1

indianajim October 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

Reminds me of this:

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders—what would you tell him to do?” ….” To Shrug.”

Randy October 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm

and another +1

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Are you smarter than an OWSer?

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/10/occupy_wall_street_quiz.html

The questions are as hilarious as the answers.

Rugby1 October 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

@ Methinks1176

Thanks for the link. I personally liked the question “But many wealthy filers pay only 15 percent on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains. What should it be?”

And some people thought it should be between 50-80%, but my personal favorite is the people who thought it should be 100%. Sure that would have a net positive influence on the economy!

Awesome.

But at least most of them knew Obama does not run the Federal Reserve.

Mesa Econoguy October 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm
Greg Webb October 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm

The Occupy Wall Streeters’ answers are consistent with the idiotic statements that Muiridiot frequently posts here. George, I think you have found your people. Idiots.

Rich Berger October 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I know various commenters think they can find some devastating retort to muirgeo and some of his kin, but it is useful to remember what Jonathan Swift noted – “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Michael October 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I don’t think anyone is trying to convince him of anything–he’s just the entertainment around here…

Rich Berger October 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

He’s pretty dull entertainment. On the brighter side, the rain in NYC seems to have put a damper on the Occupation Force and those witless drummers are silent for now. I hope the rain continues along with gusty winds, followed by a freak snow storm. That’s real entertainment!

Michael October 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm

For what it’s worth, I agree with you, but there are enough people here who don’t that he sticks around.

Anotherphil October 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

No long term poster is trying to convince muirbot of anything. Instead, we learn to deal with ignorance and immaturity by batting him around.

Dealing with muirbot is like dealing with a child in the backseat demanding to stop at Chuckie Cheese. The whine is incessant, and the one trait required in forbearance.

Of course, with a child you have reasonable hope of maturity.

Actually I think I just insulted children. I’m so sorry.

Methinks1776 October 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm

LOL. That’s exactly right. But, he is sometimes fun to toy with.

Darren October 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I don’t think anyone is trying to convince him of anything–he’s just the entertainment around here…

Other people read this blog and are interested in reasoned arguments against the points muirgeo sometimes makes.

David October 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Don,

You have been on a Sowell kick lately……and I like it. His books are full of wisdom.

jorod October 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

The biggest demons are the oil and gas companies. Not only do they produce but they create jobs.

kyle8 October 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Damn them for creating things we want and need! DAMN THEM!

Greg Webb October 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Excellent quote, Don! Tom Sowell accurately describes what is going on in society that causes many of our economic problems. Good choice.

Erica Blair October 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Thomas Sowell. What a badass. Can any other professor pull off awesome and still… professorial… like that? I think not.

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