Cato Institute Crypto For Everyone

Subreddit Stats: GoldandBlack top posts from 2016-08-01 to 2019-06-12 11:22 PDT

Period: 1044.74 days
Submissions Comments
Total 1000 55684
Rate (per day) 0.96 53.28
Unique Redditors 295 6531
Combined Score 220956 394481

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 29422 points, 125 submissions: MasterTeacher123
    1. Pentagon Spent $4.6 Million on Lobster Tail and Crab in One Month (594 points, 95 comments)
    2. The Battle Isn't Right vs. Left. It’s Statism vs. Individualism (511 points, 66 comments)
    3. Kamala Harris Hopes You'll Forget Her Record as a Drug Warrior and Draconian Prosecutor (484 points, 50 comments)
    4. After the Supreme Court Said Unions Can’t Force Non-Members to Pay Dues, Almost All of Them Stopped (445 points, 123 comments)
    5. Why the Hammer and Sickle Should Be Treated Like the Swastika (423 points, 56 comments)
    6. No One Is Coming to Rescue You—Especially Not a Presidential Candidate (416 points, 28 comments)
    7. AOC's Green New Deal Is a U.S. Version of Mao’s Disastrous Great Leap Forward (412 points, 82 comments)
    8. The Green New Deal Is a Trojan Horse for Socialism (410 points, 81 comments)
    9. Minimum Wage Hikes Are Killing Jobs in California's Poorest Communities, Study Says (408 points, 125 comments)
    10. Victims of Communism Day 2019 (402 points, 96 comments)
  2. 26598 points, 114 submissions: Anen-o-me
    1. Laws for thee but not for me! Cop destroys civilian property and flips off citizen, citizen flips him back and gets mobbed by cops (936 points, 308 comments)
    2. Capitalism's Evil Quest... (827 points, 77 comments)
    3. Free Assange (714 points, 77 comments)
    4. Another brutally honest comment on the US army post (630 points, 79 comments)
    5. Amazon will donate 2% of purchases to the charity of your choice at no cost to you. I chose the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, they received $3,500 in donations this quarter! Please use Smile.Amazon.com and choose a charity! (615 points, 150 comments)
    6. Assange has reportedly been arrested by British Police after a sudden and illegal termination of his asylum. Sad proof of the dark times for all supporters of freedom in the internet age :( (571 points, 198 comments)
    7. The perfect woman doesn't exis... (504 points, 52 comments)
    8. What most Americans have been indoctrinated to think. (493 points, 23 comments)
    9. TIL that farmers in USA are hacking their John Deere tractors with Ukrainian firmware, which seems to be the only way to actually own the machines and their software, rather than rent them for lifetime from John Deere. (478 points, 114 comments)
    10. Anarchapulco: Ron Paul takes the stage... (468 points, 37 comments)
  3. 17675 points, 81 submissions: Anenome5
    1. The Most Perfect Libertarian Meme I Ever Did See... "Unchecked People" (843 points, 45 comments)
    2. Spread this far and wide! (654 points, 146 comments)
    3. Colorado sheriff is willing to go to jail rather than enforce a proposed gun-seizing law... (644 points, 52 comments)
    4. Ocasio-Cortez falls for the Sweden Socialism meme: "I’m Going to Turn America into Another Sweden, Not Venezuela" --- the Swedish are constantly bemused by this, they're more capitalistic than the US is (613 points, 143 comments)
    5. Jury awards Sen. Rand Paul $580,000 in civil suit against neighbor who attacked him (577 points, 78 comments)
    6. Supreme Court poised to limit police power to seize property --- fucking finally (456 points, 44 comments)
    7. Ancap Flag Painting (439 points, 30 comments)
    8. Former Reddit CEO Pao: "Regulation will give them an excuse to take on people and their bad behavior." --- Regulation against hate speech would give companies cover to censor political opponents in a way that they wouldn't have to take personal responsibility for. The Gov forced them, they can say. (411 points, 80 comments)
    9. Chinese driver gets ticket for scratching his face because AI software thought he was using a cellphone :| (374 points, 27 comments)
    10. With Government Shut Down, Citizens Forced To Interfere In Their Own Lives (361 points, 16 comments)
  4. 12663 points, 67 submissions: JobDestroyer
    1. After Winning a $15 Minimum Wage, Fast Food Workers Now Battle Unfair Firings (590 points, 296 comments)
    2. TIL a Japanese sushi chain CEO majorly contributed to a drop in piracy off the Somalian coast by providing the pirates with training as tuna fishermen (546 points, 27 comments)
    3. Sign from protest against proposed "Red Flag" law in New Hampshire. (442 points, 71 comments)
    4. In 3 Years, Cops Have Killed 450% More Citizens Than 4 Decades of Mass Shootings COMBINED (348 points, 107 comments)
    5. Some Uganda libertarians just started a liberty library! (336 points, 30 comments)
    6. 3D-printed guns are back, and this time they are unstoppable (330 points, 73 comments)
    7. Venezuela Raises Minimum Wage 3,000% and Lots of Workers Get Fired (322 points, 38 comments)
    8. The effects of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. (287 points, 21 comments)
    9. End the war in Afghanistan :: Rand Paul's AFGHAN Service Act would put an end to Afghanistan. (276 points, 40 comments)
    10. My husband, Rand Paul, and our family have suffered intimidation and threats (273 points, 74 comments)
  5. 4507 points, 26 submissions: properal
    1. Record Number of Americans Call Government Our Biggest Problem (486 points, 35 comments)
    2. Venezuela Isn’t Just a Failed State. It’s a Failure of Socialism. (350 points, 84 comments)
    3. 19 in 20 Americans Don't Know World Poverty is Falling | Chelsea Follett (339 points, 64 comments)
    4. /Economics/ discovers Property Rights as a solution to Climate change. (256 points, 63 comments)
    5. Why the Left Isn't Convinced by Your Economics Arguments | Ryan McMaken (197 points, 251 comments)
    6. FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance (185 points, 4 comments)
    7. Truth in Itemization (180 points, 21 comments)
    8. If Imports Were Truly Bad for an Economy, Military Blockades Would Not Exist (173 points, 60 comments)
    9. Ron Paul Receives Faithless Electoral Vote (168 points, 23 comments)
    10. First they came for... (164 points, 29 comments)
  6. 4310 points, 16 submissions: MrZer
    1. Guy gets jumped for disrespecting Stalin statue (570 points, 109 comments)
    2. Cop slaps phone out of teens hand and flips off teen. (519 points, 87 comments)
    3. Milton Friedman on Tariffs (363 points, 69 comments)
    4. Trump quietly signs largest wilderness preservation bill (354 points, 88 comments)
    5. Muslim youth group cleans up national parks amid government shutdown (Private individuals taking care of things, I thought only the State could handle this task) (307 points, 24 comments)
    6. I was optimistic about the French Protests... Until I read their demands (304 points, 175 comments)
    7. "imagine checks without taxes" Almost 100k likes on Twitter (292 points, 56 comments)
    8. PepsiCo sues 4 Indian farmers for $150,000 each for ‘infringing its rights’ by growing the potato variety used in its Lays chips (285 points, 72 comments)
    9. Yellow vests: Protesters in Paris set fire to dozens of cars in anger at millionaire Notre Dame donations - Demonstrators voice frustration at equivalent of £770m raised for cathedral while workers' demands remain unmet (277 points, 77 comments)
    10. Next Venezuela: Bolivia rolls out Universal Healthcare (240 points, 46 comments)
  7. 3703 points, 21 submissions: LibertyAboveALL
    1. Illinois may tax private retirement funds to pay public worker pensions (396 points, 103 comments)
    2. Voters in Switzerland approve stronger gun control laws by nearly two-thirds despite resistance (304 points, 155 comments)
    3. Mom Arrested For Leaving 8- and 9-Year-Olds Home Alone for Less Than an Hour (264 points, 69 comments)
    4. Bartender charged for serving man who allegedly went on to kill 8 people (259 points, 148 comments)
    5. The Insane Battle To Sabotage a New Apartment Building Explains San Francisco's Housing Crisis (193 points, 78 comments)
    6. U.S. Student Loan Debt Sets Record, Doubling Since Recession (175 points, 72 comments)
    7. Chinese teens are rejecting Communist Party propaganda and the government is freaking out (167 points, 29 comments)
    8. Julian Assange offers job to fired Google employee who wrote "anti-diversity" memo - "Censorship is for losers." (161 points, 50 comments)
    9. Ben Shapiro's view on Assange arrest is getting him roasted by many of his fans in the YT comment section. Hilarious! (159 points, 124 comments)
    10. Africans are being sold as slaves in Libya. Thanks, Hillary Clinton. (156 points, 22 comments)
  8. 2862 points, 10 submissions: vfhuuuuu
    1. "The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take people's money away quietly and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly" - Thomas Sowell (613 points, 51 comments)
    2. Only about 21% of American millionaires have received any inheritance at all, with only 3% receiving over $1,000,000, study shows. (558 points, 99 comments)
    3. I basically just sat through 6 hours of statist propaganda (304 points, 113 comments)
    4. TIL that you're not required to wear a seat belt in New Hampshire if you're over 18 (304 points, 81 comments)
    5. Latinos are twice as likely to vote Libertarian than the general population (303 points, 130 comments)
    6. A Christmas Carol: A play about a greedy man becoming generous through social interaction, not state-sanctioned violence. (238 points, 30 comments)
    7. Last month, Washington DC raised taxes on Uber and Lyft to pay for it's shitty Metro system. To give you an idea of what this money will be used for; the city plans on spending $320 Million dollars to build ONE station. (162 points, 50 comments)
    8. In Bermuda, where Black and White people make roughly equal amounts of money, the IQ gap between races does not exist. (151 points, 193 comments)
    9. Just a quick reminder that the Republican party is just as anti-liberty as the Democrats, and "Libertarians" that support it should be ignored and downvoted. (117 points, 106 comments)
    10. Being a Gay Communist is as ironic as being a Jewish Neo-Nazi. (112 points, 65 comments)
  9. 2768 points, 7 submissions: LosFajitas
    1. When a capitalist tries to sell his product or service for the highest price they can get, they are seen as greedy. When a worker tries to sell their labor for the highest price they can get, they are seen as noble and deserving. (488 points, 138 comments)
    2. Liberals: We need to end the two party system! *Howard Schultz announces possible presidential run as an independent * Liberals: WOAAAHH THERE BUDDY SLOW DOWN! (444 points, 54 comments)
    3. I'm looking forward to the Democratic Primary because it's going to be one giant competition on who can give people the most free things. (408 points, 132 comments)
    4. It's no longer about revenue, taxes are now punitive measures. (400 points, 134 comments)
    5. "Judges Plead Guilty in Scheme to Jail Youths for Profit" oh but that can never happen in gov courts (358 points, 67 comments)
    6. Andrew Yang is one of the most arrogant people I have ever seen speak (355 points, 243 comments)
    7. Anyone else hate when people refer to a presidential candidate as "the person who will save this country" (315 points, 34 comments)
  10. 2264 points, 12 submissions: ayanamirs
    1. People Are Hiring Private Police Squads in Detroit (HBO) (375 points, 64 comments)
    2. Paul Krugman (Nobel 2008) (321 points, 52 comments)
    3. If you want #bitcoin to rise, teach Austrian Economics to people. (212 points, 167 comments)
    4. "A lot of people disagree with me, but I think people should be happy to pay taxes" < Obama to brazilians (210 points, 62 comments)
    5. Dutch national newspaper urges people to sell all their Bitcoins as it undermines the government, could destabilise the economy and reduces the power of central banks. Sounds like a reason to buy to me (192 points, 32 comments)
    6. US socialists can't deal against brazilians (167 points, 39 comments)
    7. Could someone please explain this? (161 points, 23 comments)
    8. Guns Law in Brazil is very restricted. 63880 deaths by year. (154 points, 27 comments)
    9. Look this answer (123 points, 134 comments)
    10. Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism - Venezuela Now Has To Import Oil From The US (120 points, 18 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. JobDestroyer (7914 points, 897 comments)
  2. natermer (4011 points, 342 comments)
  3. Anen-o-me (3256 points, 535 comments)
  4. MasterTeacher123 (3201 points, 176 comments)
  5. Lemmiwinks99 (3185 points, 439 comments)
  6. E7ernal (2549 points, 472 comments)
  7. Anenome5 (2463 points, 430 comments)
  8. nosmokingbandit (2320 points, 174 comments)
  9. Perleflamme (2226 points, 634 comments)
  10. phaethon0 (2216 points, 144 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Does that sound like a work of a journalist? by deleted (1064 points, 115 comments)
  2. Laws for thee but not for me! Cop destroys civilian property and flips off citizen, citizen flips him back and gets mobbed by cops by Anen-o-me (936 points, 308 comments)
  3. The Most Perfect Libertarian Meme I Ever Did See... "Unchecked People" by Anenome5 (843 points, 45 comments)
  4. Capitalism's Evil Quest... by Anen-o-me (827 points, 77 comments)
  5. Amazing way to not pay Taxes by ArbitraryOrder (794 points, 71 comments)
  6. Free Assange by Anen-o-me (714 points, 77 comments)
  7. Man who lives in massive palace surrounded by priceless art and catered to by staff of thousands asks if people really need so many material objects by TheJucheisLoose (690 points, 75 comments)
  8. His name was Gary Webb. by TrainingWeekend (675 points, 66 comments)
  9. Presented without comment by newimprovement (658 points, 152 comments)
  10. Spread this far and wide! by Anenome5 (654 points, 146 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 284 points: BakeshopNewb's comment in Officers Had No Duty to Protect Students in Parkland Massacre, Judge Rules
  2. 272 points: locolarue's comment in I was optimistic about the French Protests... Until I read their demands
  3. 268 points: Glothr's comment in Spread this far and wide!
  4. 247 points: hairguythrowaway4171's comment in Lawmakers in Hawaii Propose Repealing Second Amendment
  5. 245 points: kurwacudownie's comment in Cop slaps phone out of teens hand and flips off teen.
  6. 240 points: properal's comment in Were doomed: "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 70% tax on the super-rich is more popular than Trump's tax cuts, new poll shows" --- democracy sucks.
  7. 239 points: MizchiefKilz's comment in Americans Continue to Flee to Low-Tax States
  8. 235 points: TheKleen's comment in Don’t Lower the Voting Age, Raise It
  9. 231 points: Boltrag's comment in After Winning a $15 Minimum Wage, Fast Food Workers Now Battle Unfair Firings
  10. 229 points: MarshmellowPotatoPie's comment in Does that sound like a work of a journalist?
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[Table] IAmA: I am Steve Horwitz, economist, professor at St Lawrence University, and bleeding heart libertarian . AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-02-28
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Do you think the relative unpopularity of economic liberty (laissez faire) as a policy is due to people's lack of knowledge or some predilection in favor of tangible, sold 'plans' over the unpredictability of freedom? Or neither or some mix of both? All great questions. I think your instinct is right here: people prefer the (false) security of a "plan" than the more open-ended promise of market discovery. Part of the way to deal with that is to point out how often those plans fail and their propensity to generate unintended consequences that make matters WORSE and then generate a demand for more intervention, etc..
As a followup, how do you convince people to put their faith in free markets and free people without promising some specific plan or specific outcome? Saying "the free market will fix it" doesn't seem satisfying to most people. If you can't trust a lot of people to solve smaller problems in decentralized ways with a functioning feedback process, how can you trust a small number to solve big problems with a crappy feedback process?
Do you support open borders? If so, do you think a large enough influx of immigrants from a different culture could produce such negative externalities in the process of assimilation that on net, they destroy more wealth than they create? My friend Bryan Caplan did an AMA a little while back and I have the same views as he does on open borders, which is keep 'em wide open. I don't fear the scenario you lay out here because there's no history to support it. Immigrants who come here do so because they want to make their lives better and help their families in the process. As they assimilate, they will not just complete "become us," we will become more like them. Thinik about all the ways in which what was once immigrant food and culture have become part of who we are as Americans (that pizza you're eating..). Assimilation is a two-way street and has many more positive than negative externalities. Plus, it's a simple matter of human rights and bleeding heart libertarianism that we should give those with the least all around the world the opportunity to make a better life for themselves by recognizing their right to move to where the opportunities are and create work and property contracts with those who live there. I simply cannot see how any libertarian can support anything less than open borders on both practical and moral grounds.
What is a bleeding heart libertarian? I'd also like to tackle this one early. BHLs come in various flavors. What we all seem to share is that we think the primary moral concern of libertarians, if not any political philosophy, should be how well our preferred system will do for the least well off among us. For some of my BHL colleagues is is that concern that is the moral justification for any system, i.e., libertarianism is only moral justified in so far as it improves the lives of the least well off. For others, like me, it's more about rhetoric and style. I believe that libertarianism DOES serve their interests very well, but I think it's more that we should focus our arguments and our rhetoric on that point, rather than thinking it serves as the ultimate moral justification.
BHLs generally believe that libertarianism can meet the ENDS of our leftist friends concerned with social justice but through the MEANS of freedom.
So "a rising tide lifts all boats" will now be stated as...hmmm... "Free people make better choice for themselves and have better outcomes"? It lifts ALL boats, but it also lifts the LEAST WELL OFF boats the most.
Not much freedom if you are poor. How about "you're far more likely to be poor if you have no freedom." The Berlin Wall was not there to keep people in WEST Germany.
WARNING: I am a Marxist, please do not be alarmed. With that out of the way, I was wondering if you could answer this question from a Libertarian standpoint: With industry as vast and as awe-inspiring as it is today I was wondering why you think it is still a good idea to continue the practice of private ownership over the goods that industry produces? It seems to me that, in light of current global economic "problems" (to say the least), we could simply cut the bullshit. Put people into industries, have them (the workers) collectively run the workplace. With people who aren't concerned with competition but cooperation it seems that they would most likely focus on lifting themselves (them being the community of whichever particular area, town,city,village,whatever) out of poverty, and if we continue this practice across countries, the entire globe even, it seems that we could lift massive amounts of poverty and ignorance off of millions of people. Why bother bickering about this-or-that style of Capitalism, why not just throw the damn thing overboard, like we did feudalism, and finally start using industry for more than profit hoarding and worthless vanity items? THanks for the question. I think you radically undersestimate the problems of determining how to use resources in ways that improve economic well-being. First, markets ARE about cooperation. Did you make your shirt? I'm guessing not. That shirt was make through the cooperation of millions of people from across the globe, coordinating their activity through the prices, profits, and losses of the market. Markets are the most powerful form of social cooperation (and globally so) that humans have ever discovered. You need to get beyond the competition/cooperation binary.
Second, in order to know how best to use resource to improve people's lives, we need to know their value. That requires a standard of comparison that relates back to people's wants and needs. And that is what prices do. Monetary exchange and the price system are form of extra-linguistic communication that enable us to assess value. To have meaningful prices, we need them to arise from actual exchanges by real people in real markets. And that requires private ownership, especially of capital. How would all of these firms know 1) what to make 2) how to make it? It is market prices, profits, and loss that facilitate the social learning process that enables us to answer these questions.
Profit is a social signal and what justifies using markets is that they are the only way we have of answering all of these questions about what to produce and how to produce it. If we get rid of markets, we are not giving the tin man a heart, we are Oedipus poking out our eyes.
What do you think of the latest developments affecting the bitcoin ecosystem? To be honest, I don't follow bitcoin that closely. I have long believed that we need to get rid of central banks, so I'm in favor of anything that creates an alternative to central banking, thus I"m rooting for bitcoin. But I'm also skeptical about it because I'm not convinced it will be anything more than a niche way of engaging in very sophisticated multi-lateral barter, but with limits. That said, I want it to stick around if for no other reason than to show folks that you don't need government to get sound money. Because... you don't.
How would we regulate the economy without central banks? The history of economies without central banks and with truly competitive monetary systems is that they are much more stable and much less prone to bank failures and monetary mischief than ones with central banks. Canada did not have a central bank til the 1930s and never had the problems the US did. Link to www.coordinationproblem.org
Prof. Horwitz, given your work on family, what changes do you think should be considered to welfare policies? In my ideal libertarian world, the need for such assistance would be far less and it would be provided by the various institutions of civil society. If you haven't read Dave Beito's From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State, there's the place to start. If the state is going to be involved, I would like to see two kinds of related changes. We need to get away from welfare systems that create perverse incentives that discourage the formation of healthy families. The tax/welfare system is so full of special interest nonsense that it creates huge incentives for poor folks not to get married, when doing so can be one (but not the only) way to help them climb the income ladder. The second change is to move toward some sort of basic guaranteed income program. It's not my first best, but it's far better than the status quo. If nothing else, it has far less overhead cost to taxpayers and gets rid of many of the perverse incentives of the current welfare system, especially with respect to marriage adn families. It's also FAR less intrusive on people's privacy.
Wouldn't guaranteed income give people even more of an incentive not to work? It's not clear that it's worse than the status quo and at far less cost. But yes, that's a potential problem and the literature on BGI tries to deal with it. You should google the recent discussion of this topic on bleeding heart libertarians.
Wouldn't a UBI be a forced redistribution of wealth that flies in the face of the non-aggression principal? Again, it's a second best.
Plus, I don't ground my libertarianism in the non-aggression principle. If you could show me that a world with a large government was better than a world with a small or non-existent one, I'd be fine with the large government. I care about consequences first and foremost.
Are there any areas of research where you'd like to see more libertarians focusing their efforts? Are there any areas that draw too much focus from libertarians? Thank you for doing an AMA! In general, there's too many damn economists! I think there are a ton of interesting questions that we should be tackling with more gusto. I'd like to see us do more on family and children, which is why I am working on a book on that topic, but I'd like to see it from a variety of perspectives, such as psychology. I don't think libertarians have done enough history. There are so many interesting historical episodes that could benefit from a reading through the eyes of Mises or Hayek or other libertarian thinkers, including outside economics. I'd love an army of young libertarian scholars taking on those topics, especially the ones related to race and gender, to show how the standard readings of those events, which tend to support bigger government, actually tend to show that government causes way more problems than it cures.
What is your opinion on the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The CRA did two things. One, it banned government sponsored discrimination such as that associated with Jim Crow (and let's not forget that Jim Crow was the state and that many private firms opposed it). Two, it banned private discrimination on the basis of race - the counter at Woolworth's.
The first was a HUGE gain for liberty and I obviously support it strongly. One element of libertarianism/classical liberalism is that IF there's a state, it must treat all citizens the same. Equality before the law is a libertarian principle.
The second was a loss for liberty - the loss of freedom of association and that's a bad thing. On net, the gains of the CRA, in my view, strongly outweighed the losses, and in the imperfect world of politics, it was the best anyone was going to get in 1964. Had I been in Congress as a libertarian, I would have voted for it.
One additional note though: with the advent of fast communications technology and the net, the belief that markets and civil society could not sufficiently punish private discriminators seems farfetched. Can you imagine what people would do on Yelp (or here!) if a restaurant put up a "no blacks served" sign? Or a "no gays" one? It's harder for bigots to hide these days, esp. when the tolerance level for those behaviors is so low.
So yes, the CRA wasn't perfect from a libertarian perspective, but it was a big improvement.
What is one thing you believe that most libertarians do not? Or: What is one thing you disagree with most libertarians about? I love this question. I think the answer to both is the same: I am much more sympathetic to feminism, even of the non-libertarian sort, than are most libertarians. The result is a lot of arguments. I think that libertarians have done to feminism exactly what libertarians accuse others of doing to us: taking the most extreme and silly people as representative of what's typical. My experience of 25 years in academia with lots of left feminists is that the libertarian caricature of them is simply unrecognizable. Yes, that caricature exists, but those are the Alex Jones's of feminism - they are not the typical one, even among academics.
What's the state of libertarianism in other parts of the world? Not only in Europe, but perhaps in Asia, Africa and Latin America? How's it'views in Austria? :-) What do you think happens in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Cayman Islands, is libertarian philosophy used to justify part of the status quo there? Are you in contact with any intellectual from there? Where is libertarianism, as an offical party, is stronger and where has it won elections, finally if so, how did it go? TKS! I have never been more optimistic about the growth and influence of libertarian ideas globally than I am now. In particulary, the growth of STudents for Liberty across the world as well as the ways in which technology has made ideas and resources available, along with the development of dozens of think tanks, are good evidence that these ideas are developing a presence and being heard globally.
What's the best financial advice you have for young people? Let's start with an easy one: Pay your bills on time. Seriously. If you establish a reputation for being someone who lives up to their promises and understands the importance of financial trust, other things will follow from there. This is so important for things like your credit rating and the like. If you're in college or just out, this should be your priority. After that? Just remember that you will have a future and the future you will be happy that the present you did not put him/her in too much debt and that you saved something for a rainy day or two. But the easy best advice: pay your bills on time all the time.
So your saying paying 60,000 a year for SLU isn't a great investment. It isn't for everyone! Depends on your net cost, your ability to handle debt, what you want to do with your life etc. For some people it is a great investment, not for others. I'm not someone who thinks everyone should go to college.
If state intervention is generally counterproductive, why do the Nordic/Western European countries rank higher than the United States does in quality of life, education, environment, etc.? Because many of those countries actually have freer economies than the US, which now ranks 17th free across the globe, as the commenter below notes.
If you could debate any intellectual and/or public figure who would it be? Rachel Maddow. I want to wipe that smug smile right off her face. :)
I would love to see that! Mostly because you're the one who's coming off smug right now. Nicely played.
On election day, there are a lot of libertarians making a point of the fact they don't vote. Do you vote? How do libertarians expect to change government if you don't vote? I do not vote. I don't think it's immoral/wrong to vote. I just think that's largely ineffective.
Social change comes from changing the climate of ideas, like doing an AMA, or teaching economics, or doing a program on House of Cards, or writing a letter to the editor, or dozens of other acts of engaged, concerned citizenship we might choose to engage in. Voting, to me, is just not an effective path to social change.
Is there a better term than "invisible hand" which is often mocked, to describe the invisible hand? Great question. It shouldn't get the bad press it does, as Smith was a genius who people outside economics should be reading and taking way more seriously than they do. I tend to use "spontaneous order" which is usually associated with Hayek, though he got it from the philosopher-chemist Michael Polanyi. The idea is that the order of the market is the product of human action, but not human design. You can talk of "emergent order" as well, as "emergence" in that sense is hot in complexity theory and the sciences.
But I think the best way to do this, especially with lefitsts, is to make the analogies to evolution by natural selection. If people believe that the natural world is orderly but without a designer, then they should be open to the argument that the social world is too. If you think "Intelligent Design" is a joke in biology, then you should think "Intelligent Economic Planning" is the equivalent joke in economics. HEre's an old and short blog post of mine on this issue: Link to www.coordinationproblem.org
After NYTimes published an article attacking Rand Paul you made comments about how libertarians ought to "call out" people with racist/sexist et al attitudes within the movement; you also personally stated your refusal to cooperate with such persons, even in efforts against the state. The answer to your last question is yes. I have plenty of libertarian friends who believe things I think are wrong, but we still work together productively. That's one of the healthiest signs in our movement - we HAVE disagreements and can work together in spite of them.
I was wondering, do you really believe there should be such red lines in the sand, even if you and the other person agree on a majority of public policy issues? If so, what is your own personal red line? Do you think it's possible for libertarians to cooperate on the issues they agree on whilst criticizing each other on the things they disagree on? If a person or institution continually supports positions that I think are deeply wrong, and especially when I think that position also undermines the good work being done by other libertarians, we should call them out on it. Social pressure and shunning is not coercion. It's freedom of disassociation. And we should use it.
Steve, what do you say to "established" - read Keynesian economists who argue that libertarians are not "evidence" focused or logically consistent? One thing I do is point them to the link below and open a discussion about what we mean by "evidence": Link to www.cato-unbound.org It's also important to remember the economics world does not divide into two groups: "libertarians" and "Keynesians." There are all kinds of flavors here and we need to recognize those differences.
What is the best way to try to convince/change the minds of those who are generally inclined toward state intervention to solve problems? Show them the practical consequences of intervention and of markets. This is why we need really good empirical work, especially good history. For example, the more we write and talk about the Great Recession and have a great command of the facts to explain why it was a failure of policy not markets, the more likely we are to push people in our direction. History is very powerful in setting people's narratives and we need counter-narratives. I also think that we need to be very mindful of our rhetoric. We CANNOT say things that allow others to tag us as racists/sexists etc, or that we don't care about the poor. And we need to be unafraid to call out leftists (for example) who make that accusation over policy differences. Objecting to minimum wage laws is NOT racist and people who say it is need to be called out both for their historical ignorance (it's the MW laws that are racist!) and for their refusal to discuss in good faith.
How do you feel about the state helping those who can't help themselves? For example, should the state step in for cases of child/elder abuse? These are IMO some of the hardest issues for libertarians. Let me stay with child abuse. I think first we have to distinguish abuse and neglect. I think with neglect, there are ways that non-state institutions can work with families to improve outcomes. And, importantly, we have to ask "compared to what?" Perhaps the child is in less than optimal circumstances, but will that be improved upon if the state moves them somewhere else?
In general, I think that there are Hayekian reasons to think that parents have the best knowledge and incentives to do what's right for their kids, so the bar for state intervention should always be quite high - and the state should bear the burden of proof.
If we are talking abuse, then different story. If the state has the responsibility for protecting the rights of adults against violence from others, then it has that same right with respect to children and violence form their parents. I am a strong defender of parental rights, but those do not extend to clear cases of abuse (as opposed to mild forms of corporal punishment). But even here, the state should be working with extended family, friends, and organizations like synagogues or churches or the like to find solutions that minimize the impact on kids.
As to how an anarchist society would handle these situations, my honest answer is that I do not know.
Where is the brightline between neglect and abuse? Punishment to some people is much harsher than others. A girl recently died of hypothermia near where I live because staying outside in a barn was used as punishment. THere's not a brightline. We shouldn't expect one either. That's why these issues are so hard.
Do you get along with the Keynsians or do you sit on oppostie sides of the room at the faculty Christmas party? Every single one of my closest friends on the SLU faculty is a leftist.
Consortin' with the enemy, eh? ;) I'm a consorter from way back.
Keynesians are "leftists" like Republicans are "capitalists". In fact even calling Keynesians, who are by definition capitalist, "leftists" is sort of silly. That said, I know this AMA is dead and I don't expect a response but as a left libertarian I just wanted to say that chafed me a little. I meant leftist. Not Keynesian. My friends on the faculty are leftists not Keynesians.
Related to your research on families, what do you think about the advice (usually coming from the right) that one of the most beneficial things the poor can do to improve their lot in life is to get married? There's some truth to that, but it's more complicated than it's been presented as. Married people DO have much better outcomes along almost any measure you care to look at (including their sex lives). But that doesn't mean you should just "get married" regardless of who the other person is and what your particular circumstances are. And as I noted earlier, public policy distorts the incentives to marry in ways that encourages it where it shouldn't and discourages it where people could benefit from marriage. So yeah, marriage is good for people (gays and lesbians too), but that's not "get married no matter what."
Do you worry that a free market is too concerned with the present and not suited to deal with long term problems, like climate change? Hypothetically, if we could see that the free market was bringing about a catastrophe, should we intervene with our best idea of what suitable regulation would be? Do you think a system in which the participants are almost exclusively concerned with what will happen in the next 2, 4, or 6 years is MORE capable of thinking in the long term than the owners of capital who can pass its value to others over an indefinite time frame? I think that markets are far better able to think about the long run than is the political system, assuming that the right institutional structure is in place in the market.
How would we even know the market was bringing about a catastrophe? What's the sort of scenario you have in mind? (It probably shouldn't be climate change because that has to account for gov't)
Do you deny the positive effects of the 2009 American Recovery Act (ARA) on the U.S. economy? China has used both a market-based and state-based approach in concert to create a strong economy. Does this indicate to you that the state should have some economic control? Yes I deny them. Where was the "market-based" approach? And where is the strong economy? Millions have left the labor force. Unemployment remains notably higher than was predicted if we passed the ARRA. Private investment is still very low. The recovery in employment is the slowest since the Great Depression.
So, does this theory reject the phenomenon that markets will overheat, or ever need to be stimulated? Markets are not physical systems, they are human ones. Using metaphors from physical systems gets us off on the wrong track.
Are you relating the free-market to House of Cards? How is the online class going to be structured and what will it be about? Also, can you pinpoint an event in history where a free-market system has prevailed? It's about how HoC shows the failures of the political system through the lens of Public Cholce Theory. You will get to see some video lectures by me as well as other videos on line, plus participate in online discussions on Facebook and real-time chats.
Do you watch Parks and Rec? If so, how do you feel about Ron Swanson's portrayal of Libertarianism? I don't. I should. So I can't answer this one. Sorry.
Do you think our lack of growth comes from a deficiency of inflation like the Federal Reserve suggests? Do you think we are experiencing deflation/stagflation that is being papered over by monetary easing/competitive devaluation or do you believe the FED is 'exporting' inflation to EM currencies through carry trades given the inflation rates of the EM markets? We are not suffering from too little inflation. We are suffering from too much regulation, too much uncertainty, too much anti-business rhetoric, and a central bank that won't adhere to the rule of law. (And it's the Fed not the FED - sorry, pet peeve :) ).
Tonight is TV night with my GF. House of Cards or True Detective? Which show should I start tonight? I haven't watched TD, but man do I love House of Cards.
Hey Steve. Should they legalize pot, or what? They should legalize pot... and "what", as well. :)
How do you respond to the accusation that you don't care about poor people when you oppose raising the minimum wage? (This happened to me, recently.) I send them here: Link to www.fee.org
Why free markets are both the most efficient and most resilient systems? Because they are best at discovering and making use of dispersed, contextual, and often inarticulate human knowledge. They are social learning processes with very powerful feedback processes that help us know when we've made mistakes and provide incentives to correct them.
Markets aren't better because people make fewer mistakes in the market than in government (think about all the restaurants that fail). They are better because those failures take place in an institutional structure that provides knowledge and signals for everyone else to correct them in ways that political institutions do not.
What are your thoughts on the arguments that market anarchists like Michael Huemer and Roderick Long put forward? Specifically in regards to markets in law and defense. I consider myself to be a market anarchist (at least most days). While I'm not sure I can provide an answer to how markets and civil society might solve every problem, I have yet to be convinced by an explanation for how the state could. The burden of proof is on the state and it hasn't met it yet, but that doesn't mean we "know" markets/voluntary social cooperation have the answers to the tough questions like those.
I am much more persuaded by arguments for polycentric legal systems than for privatized defense. But here too - does anyone really believe that gov't does a good job defending us, especially when we consider the rent-seeking involved and the ways in which the tools the state adopts to "defend" us quickly oppress us - think the NSA/war on terror.
I"ll take my chances with the unknown over the known evil.
What are you having for dinner? Mediocre Mexican is the plan. That's as good as Mexican gets up here in the hinterlands.
What's your response to more Rothbardian readings of Human Action that take more radical claims about the supremacy of a priorism? I would LOVE to come to Hillsdale. I've talked with folks there about doing so, but we can't seem to find a time that works.
Also, would you mind coming to Hillsdale College sometimes soon to give a lecture if I say pretty please and promise a brownie? I think those Rothbardian readings are mistaken. Here's some thoughts on Mises and methodology that might explain why: Link to www.cato-unbound.org
Do you feel the Austrian School was strengthened or discredited internationally as a result of the Great Recession? Only reason I've asked is that I've heard both and you seem to be a more credible source on the issue then some other media sources I could name. Strengthened. Austrians have had more positive attention, and deservedly so, because I do think that Austrian theory provides a very powerful lens with which to understand the boom, bust, and crisis. Link to www.fee.org
Any good books about economy for a high schooler? You can always start with "Economics in One Lesson". Also a new book by Howard Baetjer "Free Our Markets."
Prof. Horwitz, what books (either by Hayek or about him) do you consider the best for a student to start learning about F.A.? Individualism and Economic Order Constitution of Liberty
Favorite rush song/album? "Natural Science" and "Moving Pictures" Link to myslu.stlawu.edu
How many Bitcoins did you lose in this "Magic the Gathering Online Exchange" silliness? Zero. I own none. I have never owned any.
I've never listened to Rush. What song should I start with? Wow. THat depends. What's your taste in music and how much of a libertarian are you? :)
Are you a feminist? I'd like to think so, but others might disagree.
What are your thoughts on monetary inflation? What do you believe would be a better system than the federal reserve determining how much new money to print? I am an advocate of "free banking." Link to www.youtube.com
What's your favorite part of northern ny? Ps. I don't miss the cold. The people.
What do you suggest against the prisoner's dillemma? Find me a real world case where the parties could not communicate and/or solve the problem through the reputational effects of repeated play.
Last updated: 2014-03-04 19:49 UTC
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Bitcoin prices are soaring under Trump - YouTube

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