Thursday, December 04, 2008

Joe The Plumber Even Wiser Than I Thought

Remember Joe the Plumber? The unlicensed plumber that dared to confront "The One" during the presidential campaign with questions about his tax plans. The followers of the Chosen One in the left-liberal media and blogosphere responded by engaging in vicious personal attacks against Joe to distract people from the flaws in the tax plan that their Messiah had proposed. If you didn't read or don't remember my analysis of the story see here.

Now it turns out that Joe the plumber doesn't just understand tax policy, he understands monetary policy as well as he recommends Ludwig von Mises' book "The Theory of Money and Credit"!

This of course makes left-liberal Keynesian Brad DeLong fume with anger, calling it a "Reactionary Goldbug Austrian Plumber-Economist Attack" while offering no factual arguments against Mises' theories. His only argument consists in claiming that Mises misquoted two other authors, but as David Gordon points out in the comment thread, DeLong himself misquoted Mises on that point....


Anonymous cglace said...

There were some pretty horrible arguments against Austrian theory on that blog. Been reading your blog for a while. Can't get enough. Keep up the good work

-Chris G.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Ke said...

Stefan, how would you respond to Mish's recent comment?

"Note that an inflationary recession (stagflation) is what the vast majority were predicting and they were dead wrong. I am still waiting for "towels" from some who declared deflation a zero chance outcome. Those stagflation theorists have now crawled back under their discredited rocks, nowhere to be found."

6:54 AM  
Blogger Tomas said...

One would have thought that keynesian economists and such just didn't know better, but apparently they do know better since they appear to be familiar with Mises and austrian theory. I guess they really are evil :-)

Good news though, about the plumber.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Tadas Žukas said...

Sir - It is so funny to watch these childish fights between the followers of the different "Messiahs". Some of you see A or THE Messiah in Obama, the others - in Mises (Mises is "the" Messiah, right?). I see no difference between these two types of blind and radical followers. What I though find so interesting is the rhetorics used in those fights: it is more and more religious, or at least quasi-religious. My religion (=ideology, =Messiah, =infallible) is the only right, yours is wrong, etc. In Soviet systems, a similar quasi-religiuos character was given to the communist ideology. Do I undestand you correctly when I think that you would like if today we all would be worshiping THE only one Real Messiah (=Mises) and only his humble disciples?

10:56 AM  
Blogger earth that was said...

Robert Wenzel over at "Economic Policy Journal" gives Brad De Long a bucketing here.

Apparently no one told Brad that people in glass houses should never throw stones.

4:20 PM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

Ke, questions like that doesn't belong here, but in the Q&A section (I almost considered deleting the comment because of it, but I'll let it pass for this time. Just don't do it again). And if you had looked there you would have seen that I have believed in short-term deflation for several months. However, until the first half of thus year there were significant inflation. And there are good reasons to believe that inflation will soon again pick up.

Tadas: I don't consider Mises, or any other Austrian economist, as a messiah, just good thinkers. While not all Obama supporters see him as a Messiah, a disturbing number of them do in fact literally worship him.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Justin Rietz said...

As far as DeLong, I stopped reading his blog long ago. He has a bad habit of censoring posts that disagree with his world view.

In response to a comment he made about Republicans being war mongers, I commented (in a polite manner) that the Democrats weren't saints, having gotten the U.S. into WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Interestingly, that part of my comment was deleted several hours after I posted it.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Some of you see A or THE Messiah
>in Obama, the others - in Mises
>(Mises is "the" Messiah, right?).
>I see no difference between these
>two types of blind and radical

People bring up Mises for the same reason they bring up Einstein: he had a great ability to think critically.

And just like there are other scientists than Einstein, there are other respected Austrian economists such as Hayek and Rothbard.

Compare this with Obama's use of vapid catch phrases "Yes we can" "Hope" "Change" with an intellectual content of approximately: 0

This anti-intellectual indeed has had people walking through the streets chanting his name.

- Steve

1:19 PM  

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