1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10636/anatomy-of-an-economic-ignoramus/

Anatomy of an Economic Ignoramus

September 10, 2009 by

We all encounter more than our share of foolish blog posts. Most of the time you simply have to let them be. You could spend the rest of your life correcting drones and automatons who will never have an original or unconventional thought no matter how much you prod them. Their seventh-grade teacher, who was also the track coach, taught them what they know, and they’re sticking to it.

Once in a while, though, for your own sake and for the sake of readers who suspect the post is all wrong but aren’t quite sure why, you let loose with a full-blown response. And that’s what I’m doing here in reaction to a blog entry called “Peter Schiff: Medicare Recipients Are Lazy People Who Refuse to Pay for Their Own Health Care.”

This is longer than my usual pieces, but I hope I am not trying the reader’s patience too much. In block quotes are the words of a blog author who identifies himself, interestingly enough, simply as “Che.”FULL ARTICLE

{ 66 comments }

Brent Railey September 12, 2009 at 7:08 am

I blame him for being so incorrigibly incurious. The brighter kids figure out they’re being fed propaganda of the crudest and most obvious kind, which is designed to make them obedient little servants of their overlords, who claim to protect them from the evil exploiters they read about in their textbooks. These kids seek out the truth, and discover that the real exploiters are the overlords themselves, parasites on the productive economy, who live on the fruits of other people’s labor while blaming the resulting social ills on the various bogeymen the kids have been taught to hate.

Just beautiful. Brought a tear to my eye.

Sonic Ninja Kitty September 12, 2009 at 9:59 am

I. Love. This. Article. We all know our own Che s, and if only I could use these same devastating arguments with such focus and alacrity to debunk my two…. I’ll be studying it well. At least I’ve gleaned something from Mises in the last few months: the terms “rulers” and “overlords”, lol!

Sonic Ninja Kitty September 12, 2009 at 10:03 am

I. Love. This. Article. We all know our own Che s, and if only I could use these same devastating arguments with such focus and alacrity to debunk my two…. I’ll be studying it well. At least I’ve gleaned something from Mises in the last few months: the terms “rulers” and “overlords”, lol!

Bob Roddis September 12, 2009 at 11:17 am

I would suggest that the major error made by all statists is their unshakeable belief that not only is “the market” an entity, but that the government is also an entity, not simply a bunch of plain ol’ human beings operating according to a unique (and fiendish) set of rules. They view government as either a neutral or benevolent MECHANICAL force for good, like a giant magical Mary Poppins (“Oh dear, if only those evil right wingers would allow Mary Poppins to clean up health care!” On dear, if only those evil left wingers would allow Mary Poppins to clean up Iraq!”). Mary Poppins is not unleashed only because of the evil and stupidity of one’s opponents.

These people also seem to view the government (and big corporations) as having a giant, bottomless magic egg full of goodies and money. These goodies aren’t passed out only because the magic egg is controlled by Big Meanies (“Free health care for all!” “Heck, free EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY”).

They will not understand that the government is merely other human beings always acting as a SWAT TEAM with no money or assets of its own.

Further, I suspect that most supporters of the Fed have truly come to view it as both Mary Poppins and Magic Egg which, unfortunately, is the basis for their apparently unshakeable misguided view of reality. Conservative Fed supporters may generally appear to understand Austrian concerns with government action. Despite this, the Fed somehow becomes the unquestionable agent of magic and the supernatural in their minds, replacing “the government”.

People who think like this appear to me to be hopeless. But this is who are opponent is.

Nick September 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm

In his response…

I am well aware of the propensity of politicians to make careers out of holding public office, something that our founders never intended, but to say that the money private industry and lobbyists poor into the political system share none of the blame for the permanence of these politicians is simply false.

He simply does not understand. First off, Woods didn’t say this and second, it’s an argument FOR a free market. Government by definition is granted a monopoly on force. If any organization has that power, the businesses that stand the least chance of competing in a free market will attempt to use that power to hurt/prevent competition or, just as bad, to force citizens to become their customers.

Halliburton (every tax-payer is a customer) could not exist in a free market. Big Pharma (who is spending millions supporting ObamaCare) would not be able to get away with what it does if it hadn’t captured the regulatory powers of the FDA long ago. Wall Street has become so adept at using governments powers that you can no longer tell where Wall Street ends and government begins. All the cases of business exploiting people share a common thread. It wouldn’t have been possible without the power of the state… the power that Che supports and wants to strengthen.

For all the people asking about healthcare, I suggest reading this short article….

http://www.strike-the-root.com/92/allport/allport1.html

Nick September 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm

“If one rejects laissez faire on account of man’s fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.”

- Ludwig von Mises

Nick September 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm

For some reason Che deleted his response to this article. You can still see the reply in Google’s cache but I’m not sure for how long.

I mention it because I quoted the deleted text in my comment above.

Francis de Sales September 13, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Tom, I am not sure what you hope to gain from this article. Pat Robertson once said that while working in the Nixon Administration, they were taught never to attack insignificant people. You can’t win. You look like a bully picking on the crippled kid on the playground.

I am not saying that your arguments were incorrect. I am merely saying that you should consider how such things effect your public image.

Mark Amagi September 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Hi Thomas. I really enjoyed your book, Meltdown. It was the clearest explanation that I’ve seen of the collapse. See my review of your book, “What Caused the Financial Collapse? Book Review: Meltdown by Thomas Woods, Jr.” http://www.gmsplace.com/?p=2547

Martin Dumas September 17, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Dear all,

I am not satisfied with the answers that have been given in response to my question, however easy or challenging you may think it is. So, to be clearer, it boils down to the following:

Within a free market model, the cost of medical care – even assuming it would decrease following massive privatisation – will always be such that some people will not be in a position to get the care they need. To those people, would you then have to say: ‘Sorry for you, but you will need to borrow money from your siblings or friends or die’ ?
Thank you!

mpolzkill September 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Mr. Dumas,

No.

fundamentalist September 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

Martin: “some people will not be in a position to get the care they need.”

The costs of medical care in a free market would be so low that only the very poorest could not afford it. But at the same time, others would be considerably richer, which would make them more inclined to give to charity. Have a little faith in your fellow man. Most are quick to help out those who can’t. For example, one of my brothers-in-law is a Shriner and he has worked many weekends for decades to raise money for the Shriners’ childrens hospital which take care of kids for nothing. They even provide transportation and lodging for the parents while the kid is in the hospital.

Martin Dumas October 2, 2009 at 8:52 am

Dear ‘fundamentalist’,

I understand, then, that the whole idea lying behind the massive privatisation of health care services is based on this assumption: ‘The costs of medical care in a free market would be so low that only the very poorest could not afford it’ and that ‘others would be considerably richer, which would make them more inclined to give to charity’.

It is interesting. I just wonder why no one on this planet seems to enjoy the benefits of that ideal system.

Martin Dumas October 2, 2009 at 8:55 am

Dear ‘mpolzkill’,

You just convinced me. Many thanks

mpolzkill October 2, 2009 at 9:39 am

Mr. Dumas,

You’re very welcome. Any other questions you may have such as: “Under a free-market, will I still be able to where pants if I wish?”, you be sure to ask me.

“massive privatisation…I just wonder why no one on this planet seems to enjoy the benefits of that ideal system.”

Hopeless.

Michael Vogt October 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Anyone else notice that in the picture “Che” uses, he’s wearing an Apple iPod made by one of those evil capitalist corporations he keeps talking about? The picture is actually called “iChe.”

Apparently Che’s hatred of evil corporations doesn’t extend to Apple, which is apparently set apart from all other corporations in his mind. Since we already know what sort of rock solid reasoning we can expect from him based on his other arguments, we can probably assume Apple isn’t like other corporations because “Apple’s cool.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: