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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14132/bastiat-hayek-oh-my/

Bastiat, Hayek, Mises, Oh My

October 2, 2010 by

The NYT is very alarmed that some Tea Party people are reading old books!

{ 60 comments }

Jack October 2, 2010 at 7:44 am

Hit Piece Sentence: “Bastiat warned that if government taxed wine and tobacco, “beggars and vagabonds will demand the right to vote””

First lie: “Where any public safety net is unconstitutional.” (no it could be on a state or local level)

Economically ignorant spin: “And where the way back to prosperity is for markets to be left free from regulation.” (the free-market contention is that regulatory services can be provided in the market instead of by coercive monopoly, and this arrangement maximizes the amount of “regulation” by forcing firms to be accountable to customers instead of monopolistic bureaucrats)

And that’s just the first couple paragraphs!

Matthew Swaringen October 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I don’t disagree that it’s spin, but if you look at people like michael here they don’t ever bother mentioning free market regulation and if you question them about it they will just say it will never work because it’ll be too corrupt. So I’m sure that was left out because their ideology just can’t accept it.

J. Murray October 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

Fairly standard reporting. Puff the first three paragraphs with misleading spin then write the rest of it (fairly) correctly to claim you’re not biased.

Phinn October 2, 2010 at 8:39 am

FTA: … and Friedrich Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” (1944), which argued that a government that intervened in the economy would inevitably intervene in every aspect of its citizens’ lives.

Actually, genius, using violence to control economic activity and transactions IS a form of intervening in people’s lives.

When you control a person’s economic life, you control the person. Pretty simple, really.

All told, the canon argues for a vision of the country where government’s role is to protect private property — against taxes as much as against thieves.

This is the only accurate sentence in the article I’ve come across yet.

justino October 2, 2010 at 9:03 am

Now, I only wish Tea Party activists would read those books.

Larry October 3, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Actually, I am currently in college getting my degree in Economics, and my wife helps to run our cities 5,000 member Tea Party. So trust me, many organizers are reading these books and others and are rediscovering the genius of our founding fathers, their contemporaries, and free market thinkers.

Franklin October 2, 2010 at 8:45 am

A couple of years back, I was with a colleague and friend who spent all his life either as a citizen of France and then, years later, a citizen of Germany.
Extraordinarily bright fellow, well educated and hard working, outstanding in his professional craft, one of the most intellectual souls I’d ever met.
When the conversation surrounded politics, and he encountered my political beliefs, he replied, “Then how will everyone who is ill receive medical care? How will the hospitals be funded?”
Since we had a meeting momentarily, I was unable to provide the answer: “Let me explain; do you have about a thousand hours?”

For the establishment journalists, the anarcho-capitalist paradigm is beyond grasp. They can no more imagine how “society’s” constituent human beings could co-exist, thrive and live without massive suffering than can a blind man imagine the difference between red and green.

Daniel Coleman October 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

In the article is this line: “Neither Hayek nor Bastiat were writing with the United States in mind.”

Never mind that Bastiat, at least, cites the United States as the example of greater liberty he has in mind.

Great to see the NYT cover the books, and even the ideas. They write with horror and shock but many people will read it and be intrigued.

Daniel Kuehn October 2, 2010 at 9:00 am

What do you mean “they write with horror and shock”. Could you explain that? Could you quote a passage where they are horrified by this?

The only evaluation they seemed to provide (aside from the “out there” and “out dated” – both of which I think are pretty fair… and I say this as someone who wouldn’t really mind repealing the 17th amendment) is that it was “intellectual ballast” for the movement, which sounded like a compliment.

Where is the horror? Cites? Quotes? Please!

Daniel Coleman October 2, 2010 at 10:52 am

Daniel,

See their creative use of adjectives to distance the thinkers and ideas, most of whom / which are contemporary with those of Keyenes. They aren’t calling liberty-minded ideas “dusty,” “long-dormant,” etc., because they think the ideas are old; they are calling them that because they think they are obsolete. And here are a bunch of radicals who want to bring them back.

Yes, I’m reading between the lines a little. But I think I’m well within reason in this inference, given NYT’s history with liberty.

Daniel Kuehn October 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

What do you think of Lew Rockwell’s recent article? He’s considerably more hostile than the New York Times article even came close to.

Daniel Kuehn October 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

Could you explain where they are alarmed? They didn’t seem alarmed at all.

The only subjective valuation of this that they seemed to provide was calling Bastiat and Hayek “intellectual ballast” for the movement – which sounded to me like a compliment!

I think you’re the one being alarmist, here. Actually I think it was kind of nice that they spent so much text space explaining some of these sources. I couldn’t find a smear line in the whole article.

Franklin October 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

The tone is narrow-minded and scholastically shallow.
If Zernike ever read Bastiat or Hayek, directly and thoroughly and not as some leftwing prof’s side-swipe or NYT desk neighbor’s rote google search , I’d be quite surprised.
This piece, consistent with most of her pieces, is as clumsy as it is transparent.
Is it any wonder that newspaper writing is generally at grade school level?

Bruce Koerber October 2, 2010 at 9:37 am

If you read propaganda – say the kind meant to quell the storm – would you see only the word combinations or would you see how the word combinations are used to serve its purpose?

Slim934 October 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

To be honest I cannot find a single line (with the exception of the beggars and drunks quote by Bastiat) which went out of its way to say “I AM ALARMED!”.

But the tone of the article does seem to me to express this. It felt to me as though the author was going out of his way to list the various positions of the classical liberals hold that do not comport with his (or those of his readers) and is trying to get them to act on it or atleast wake them up that this is happening.

That is why I see it as an article of alarm.

Daniel Kuehn October 4, 2010 at 8:25 am

Could it be that the author was identifying views different from the mainstream views in order to… report on the facts about the Tea Party?

Why do you jump from “this is different” to “this is bad” so easily?

Christopher October 2, 2010 at 10:33 am

The general wording of this article–the particular ideas that are mentioned, and the way that they’re presented–seems to be intended to discredit the texts that are discussed, as well as the Tea Party in general (for using them). For example:

Early in the article, it mentions that Bastiat’s “The Law” “proclaimed that taxing people to pay for schools or roads was government-sanctioned theft.” Bastiat was opposing a whole array of mercantilist programs and corporatist subsidies, but NYT chose to only mention schools and roads here (which most readers no doubt consider to be the most basic and necessary of government services). If they had mentioned farm subsidies and tariffs, after all, then how would the readers realize how disgusted they’re supposed to be?

“If their arguments can be out there… or out of date… the works have provided intellectual ballast for a segment of the electorate angry or frustrated about the economy and the growing reach of government.” It’s true that some of the ideas mentioned ARE out there and out of date, but don’t you think it’s the least bit strategic that they decided to pair this observation with the fact that the Tea Part uses them as “intellectual ballast”?

The article says that the rule of law was “Hayek’s term for the unwritten code that prohibits the government from interfering with the pursuit of ‘personal ends and desires.’” Actually, the rule of law is a basic principle of political ideology that’s frequently traced to significant events in world history, such as the signing of the Magna Carta in the 13th century. Why in the heck are they portraying this as a fringe term, and implying that its usage can only represent a direct reference to Hayek?

“They have convinced their readers that economists, the Founding Fathers, and indeed, God, are on their side when they accuse President Obama and the Democrats of being ‘socialists.’” Needless to say, the New York Times is not unique in implying that it’s absurd to consider Obama a socialist (hence the quotations). But there are some among us who consider consistent advocates of the enlargement of government power and property-ownership to be, in principle, socialistic; and who recognize that, were he living in a European country, Obama would probably identify as a “Democratic Socialist” or “Social Democrat.”

Joshua Park October 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

The NYT summed up “The Law” by stating that it “proclaimed that taxing people to pay for schools or roads was government-sanctioned theft.” This is not the main proclamation of the book. The main point is that true law—just law—is natural, and begins with Life, Liberty, and Property. He outlines these natural rights and everything falls from there.

It is a serious omission. The bias is easily seen here, as Bastiat’s main point directly contradicts the bedrock mainstream view of the day: that government gives its citizens rights, and can therefore take them away. This is how they define just law: the more the government gives, the more good it is. These are the antithesis of Bastiat’s view, and it is much more simple for the NYT to tear down the author’s entire viewpoint by dumbing it down to “schools and roads” and later, suffrage for vagabonds.

Furthermore, they take The 5,000 Year Leap and subtly tear down its author by linking him to the Mormons. (For better or worse, LDS folk are viewed with disdain or suspicion by the majority.) I’m not defending or attacking the book—I’ve never read it. But it is interesting that they neglect to give Hayek or Bastiat the same biographical framework. It’s an odd choice, considering that each of the author’s backgrounds are pertinent information to their works.

fundamentalist October 2, 2010 at 9:36 am

The Times is counting on the prevailing sentiment that anything old is worthless; only the new should be considered. For most Americans, the fact of being old makes it worthless. The only thing worthwhile is the latest research. Still, bless the Times for the free advertising. Experience has shown that articles like this usually have the opposite effect of the intended one. People will want to read those dusty old books if nothing but out of curiosity.

Justin October 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

I think most of you are being far too critical and severe in your comments. This is a teaching moment so if you would like please send a polite and informative email to Ms. Zernike and provide an educational response in place of the “bah! humbug” retorts.

The frequency of these kinds of articles in mainstream publications is great cause for celebration.

Franklin October 2, 2010 at 10:17 am

“…send a polite and informative email to Ms. Zernike and provide an educational response….”
Justin, “futility” would be too subtle a term to describe that experience. I’d lean again on my earlier reference to explaining red and green to the blind.

Nevertheless, I do agree with you that as these articles become more frequent, an implication of severe leftist worry, there is indeed reason to smile.

Justin October 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Google/Look into the brilliant saga of one ex-New Hampshire police officer by the name of Bradley Jardis and his amazing path toward complete liberty. The blind can most definitely see once again if led by the hand and presented with the logic inherent in the philosophy.

Steve October 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I first read this article and thought, “just the regular scum bag writer trying to muck the water.” Then I realized that the material they used to draw attention to Bastiat and Hayek wasn’t too bad (although they were trying to be underhanded about it). It actually sounded like a snobbish warning against liberty. I hope plenty of tea party folk read this article, and in their indignation for slighting their philosophical and economic leaders, read Hayek and Bastiat. :)

Felipe October 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

And socialists consider sacred a book wrote over 150 years ago… how very modern of them.

John October 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

If only they would read some Rothbard and Hoppe.

Fallon October 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Hoppe scares many libertarians, never mind NY bourgeois progressives and government employee mobs. He is an easy target for propagandists since “democracy” is indeed the unquestioned ideal.

Daniel October 3, 2010 at 2:39 am

Democracy is an end in itself. Consequences be damned.

Valject October 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

I like the part where it says that Bastiat was an Austrian economist.

Chris F. October 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

“For most Americans, the fact of being old makes it worthless.”

No, that isn’t why educated, liberal Americans find the preoccupation with deceased Austrians disturbing. Rather, it’s the cult-like devotion to ideas that lack a strong empirical foundation. Perhaps Beck could encourage Tea Partiers to learn more about, say, biology and physics? At least they provide a solid foundation for making decisions in this world.

Richard October 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Austrians argue that the basis of the science of economics is the action axiom. The action axiom states that action is purposeful behavior toward the achievement of some end. Economic laws are derived from this premise, as well as other empirical observations (such as there are scarce resources, a variety of resources and labor, and the leisure is a consumption good).

Can you please refute the action axiom, or at least explain why it does not serve as a strong foundation for economic science?

Chris F. October 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm

In science, I can build floor-after-floor upon the foundation with confidence, as I can (usually) perform rigorous hypothesis testing at will. This simply isn’t possible in economics, yet it’s paraded around in front of the public as all being very rigorous and logical. That is, as long as you subscribe to a particular “school” of economic thought (those guys across town are all heretics). Try walking into a chemistry department and inquiring as to the number of “Bohr-chemists” versus “Pauling-chemists” on faculty.

My point is that these economic “laws” always require numerous caveats and will apply on in specific instances. But look at how this stuff gets interpreted in the circus that is Washington: the “excess burden of taxation” following the square of marginal XYZ is taken as gospel truth, while legitimate science regarding inconvenient externalities is treated with suspicion. It’s an intellectual swamp, and Hayek ain’t the guy to help us drain it…

Richard October 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm

In your first post seemed you seemed to take issue with the Austrian position that economics is a deductive science, rather than an empirical one.

In this post you seem to be saying that economics isn’t a science at all. Is that your position, or do I have that wrong?

Chris F. October 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm

My point is that economics isn’t sufficiently developed to garner the kind of respect that many in the media and Washington afford it. Let’s say you’re an epidemiologist studying a carcinogen. Using statistics, you can prove a relationship. Using molecular biology, you might be able to determine causation. But if you try to act on what you’ve learned, you have to navigate a phalanx of people in Washington indoctrinated in the idea that regulations represent a slippery slope towards serfdom.

With a human population headed towards 9+ billion people, externalities will become increasingly problematic for future generations. And standing in the way of doing anything about them will be an indoctrinated mob using (among other things) Hayek’s musings as justification for ignoring them. I realize that your philosophy is more sophisticated that this, but group-think ignores nuances. Yes, I do think we need more empirical science and less philosophizing (is that really a word?) in the public sphere.

Fallon October 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm

One of the lessons of Mises is that economics cannot function the way, say, epidemiology works. Sure, there is a determinism, cause and effect that governs the universe as it stands right now– as far as anyone knows. But how to deal with the human being, the creature that more than any other– makes decisions? Too many so-called economists today- by subordinating this aspect to e.g. inductive presuppositions, suffer from what some call physics envy. They try to apply Popperian falsification, mathematics and empiricism to creatures that not by degree, but by kind, do not conform. It is a categorical difference hidden by jargon and symbolistic sophistication. Lab science and physics cannot be compared to economics, only contrasted.

Richard October 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Ok, I think I understand better. Economics is an empirical science, but not sufficiently developed to tell us anything about how economics in the ‘real world’ works. In its current state of development, however, it tells us that more regulation is dangerous and people in Washington pay far too much attention to that.

On top of that you have people indoctrinated by Austrians who employ a non-empirical based (and therefore flawed) ideology as a means of resisting further regulations which will obviously be needed in the future given increasing ‘externalities.’

Do I have that right?

fundamentalist October 2, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Chris, you don’t seem to appreciate the fact that natural sciences and economics deal with vastly different subjects. Is biology as “hard” a science as physics? Of course not. Biology is far more complex. In physics and chemistry, the subjects don’t have minds of their own and don’t learn from the past. Apples don’t decide from moment to moment whether to fall up or down. Physics and chemistry are very simple fields of study in comparison to even biology. But then add the human element where people tend to act rationally in relatively predictable ways but can change their minds. Now you have a subject that is far more complex than any other science. The answer to the complexity is not to use the techniques of the simpler sciences, but to use techniques appropriate to the subject.

The mass confusion and failure you see in mainstream econ is the result their attempt to use the simplistic tools of physics in analyzing a very complex subject. Economics needs much more sophisticated tools than does physics. Read the first part of Mises’ Human Action for a better description of the problem and the solution.

Steve October 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I find it disturbing that you have a “cult-like” devotion to ideas and philosophy that are less empirically proven, that foment wars, promote slavery, and base social policy on armed intervention and coercion.

p.s. Beck is not an Austrian economist, he is a constitutionalist/republican (a political viewpoint), and thus agrees with some points of Austrian economics, but disagrees with many others. You would do yourself a favor by EDUCATING yourself about Austrian economics as you seem to be ignorant of economic science.

fundamentalist October 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Yes, that is “why educated, liberal Americans find the preoccupation with deceased Austrians disturbing.” Mankiw is proud of the fact that he hasn’t read anything written over 20 years ago. He assumes that anything important from the past is included in modern writings. While that may be the case with natural sciences, it’s not the case with economics which studies human behavior.

“Perhaps Beck could encourage Tea Partiers to learn more about, say, biology and physics? ”

What do you think mainstream econ has been attempting for the past century? And that attempt is the cause of their abysmal failure. They can’t predict anything, so they blaim their failure on irrational market participants.

There are two types of empirical evidence. One follows the pattern of physics by conducting controlled experiments and building up theory from the results. Mainstream econ has tried this for the past 50 years and failed because the number of variables in economics are far greater than in physics, the interactions far more complex and the coefficients constantly changing. Physics is child’s play compared to economics. By attempting to model physics, mainstream econ has done nothing but create a confusing Babel of contradicting and useless theories. The problem with historical data is that it is so vast and contradictory that any crackpot can find evidence for his theory in it, and they have.

The other type of empirical evidence is simple observation of human behavior. Austrian econ is founded on this type of empirical evidence.

Fallon October 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Nicely done.

J Cortez October 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

From that article, I get the impression that the establishment is not pleased with current developments. The quotes they put are are designed to shock the social democrats that make up the majority of the NYT audience. Their discomfort pleases me.

Still, I dislike the Tea Partiers. They’re moving in a better direction than the mainstream, but they remain very nationalist and very neo-con on foreign policy. It disturbs me a bit that they also have near religious belief in the constitution and the founders, both of which are flawed. Nobody is perfect and no system is perfect, but to focus on those things and make them the foundation is a mistake, in my opinion.

That they’re checking out Bastiat, Mises, and Hayek is a good thing, however. Much of what Bastiat and MIses say in regards to taxation and war should especially get the gears in their heads turning. I am pessimistic, but with luck these people will go further in their reading.

Matthew Swaringen October 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I was a neo-con on foreign policy only 6 months or so ago. You can convince people who are close to you much more easily than those who are a million miles away from you.

It’s just that you really have to give them time to sort out the positions logically rather than through debate, because being “convinced against their will” is not a likely proposition. Give tea partiers books and sites like this and start with questioning the foundation of taxation and throw out simple concepts like war is the health of the state that are relatively undeniable. Don’t give them the Iraq war at first because they are emotionally connected to it (particularly if they have family in the military), but instead talk about WWI and the Treaty of Versailles, etc.

If they like Judge Andrew Napolitano get them started on watching Freedom Watch, it’s a great program for moving people in this direction.

If they seem like they have a different view after this you can move on to Ron Paul (who they probably don’t like right now), who really does provide good and convincing arguments for those who are ready to hear them.

Artisan October 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm

This is the NYT. Isn’t Krugman writing in there? No really, that’s as positive as it can get…

Chris F. October 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Ah, so there is a sliver of common ground here. In my view, economics masquerading as hard science has been a plague on good governance for decades. Bogus models and predictions that involve sufficiently complex mathematics are rarely questioned.

The comparison between biology and economics here is apt: biology used to be a squishy science, but now we routinely modify genes to rigorously test various hypotheses. Biology (eventually) grew into its britches, and that’s what economics needs to do if we want to use it to guide policy.

I’m encouraged to see rising interest in “behavioral” economics — actually testing longstanding assumptions regarding human behavior. But it makes you wonder … if only a subset of economists take “real” human decision making into account, what on earth are those other theories based on?

Daniel October 3, 2010 at 3:05 am

“what on earth are those other theories based on?”

Nothing. Nothing on this earth, that is.

Far be it for them to ignore man as a teleological being, they go so far as to ignore physical reality altogether.

Elements of reality such as time and scarcity are ignored for “models” where mere will and legal fiat can make anything possible. A very clear example of this is the keynesian notion that consumption “drives the economy” (aggregate demand) despite the fact that you cannot consume what you haven’t yet produced (Say’s Law). This isn’t hard, it’s a simple fact of existing in a physical reality.

If you were to take their ideas seriously, all it would take to make the world “better” is a people and rulers with sufficient “political courage” or “civic intelligence” or some other such nonsense.

Daniel October 3, 2010 at 3:14 am

A shorter answer could be “wishful thinking”.

Do notice that a lot of what other economic schools profess is merely a carte blanche for any sort of state intervention, whereas the “black sheep” Austrians are always telling all the platonists that their plans will inevitably be worst than that which will arise naturally from people free to govern themselves.

Richard October 3, 2010 at 6:47 am

Chris F.

I would recommend you download and at least the first chapter of “Man, Economy, and State” by Murray Rothbard. He lays out the basis of economics as well as anyone. See what you think. If you find any flaws in that first chapter, it would be interesting to hear what they are.

http://mises.org/books/mespm.pdf

Justin J. October 5, 2010 at 1:07 am

They’re based on concepts taken from mathematics, such as perfect competition, perfect knowledge, equilibrium – some of them even use concepts from hydraulics and chaos theory. It’s literally that mendacious.Another way of looking at Austrian economics is like this. Physics, chemistry, and biology have certain logical consequences for human action – for example, man’s time on earth is limited, resources are scarce therefore man must choose between different possible alternative actions, and so on. So long as the premises are axiomatic – e.g. man acts – and the conclusions are logically validly derived, we should be able to, and can, arrive at universally valid propositions of human action. From this we derive the science, yes science, of economics.This is in contrast with the mainstream schools, whose approach is “empirical”, i.e. they float an empirical hypothesis and then try to prove or disprove it by measurement. The problem is a) the price phenomena *always* contain a subjective element that cannot be quanitified and b) the fall a natural prey to the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.The Austrian school’s method, by claiming to explain much less, ends up explaining much more, just as the physicists, by claming to know much less than the theologians, ended up explaining much more. That is why Athe ustrian school, which disclaims prediction as the hallmark of economic science, alone among all the schools of economics, successfully predicted the housing bubble and the GFC when the mainstream economists saying everything is fine and cheerleading for the government’s “management” of the economy.

Kakugo October 3, 2010 at 5:05 am

Don’t give it too much importance now.
This is just the usual elitist sneering at the unwashed masses for trying to cultivate themselves and failing miserably. By failing miserably they mean reading books by “dead people with funny ideas” instead of books approved by the sneering elites, which also happen to be written by “dead people” (while reports about Jim Morrison being alive still surface occasionally I am yet to hear something similar about Keynes) with even “funnier ideas”.

Daniel October 3, 2010 at 8:43 am

I would take Keyne’s bullcrap with less disdain and derision if there were a “not really dead” myth like Tupac

Ohhh Henry October 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm

“Neither Hayek nor Bastiat were writing with the United States in mind.”

Karl Marx wasn’t writing about the USA either, nor were Jesus Christ, Socrates or Buddha, but that doesn’t prevent thousands or even millions Americans from diligently reading them, debating their ideas and often they try to follow their teachings.

I can’t believe that the NYT author actually read any of these libertarian authors. He must have relied on some kind of chimpy summary or Cliffs Notes version from wikipedia or marxist.org. Keep your strawmen at a safe distance, lest they rear up and bite you.

mushindo October 4, 2010 at 4:36 am

tea party leanings towards less economic intervention notwithstanding, i would think twice before aligning with them. It would be interesitng to run a poll among tea party members on their views on, oh, say

- drug prohibitionism – indeed all forms of prohibitionism.
immigration policy
US foreign military adventures
the secularity of the state
same-sex marriage.

I’d guess the responses in the main would show rather less than the full spirit of libertarian thinking. I get the sense that tea partyists dont like government when it interferes in what they approve of, but are only too happy for government to control what they do not approve of.

Their principled abhorrence of socialism is all very well , but from where I am sitting, the tea party would likely not hesitate to re-run mccarthyism all over again.

Richie October 4, 2010 at 6:37 am

“I’d guess the responses in the main would show rather less than the full spirit of libertarian thinking.”

Exactly mushindo. Judging by this column in American Thinker, not only do the tea party folks care nothing about liberty, but also they know nothing about libertarianism:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/10/libertarianisms_folly_when_liv.html

William P October 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I think that article is spot on. You cannot sustain any free society without a restrained and moral polity, moored by tradition (most likely religious tradition). This point seems so obvious as to border on banal, but just about everybody but conservatives ignore its truth.

William P October 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

The way that article is written really highlights the intellectual torpor at the NYT.

SirThinkALot October 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

I believe the NYT has fallen into the fallecy of ‘Appeal to modernity’.

Just because something is old doesnt automatically make it useless or untrue…

Gerry Flaychy October 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm

… like 1+1=2: this is very old !

Raimondas October 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm

what is NYT?

J. Murray October 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Some organization stuck in the pre-computer days that thinks people are still willing to pay a premium to buy news that they can get for free over the Internet. News that is delivered on bulky paper that needs disposing. News that is, on average, 32 hours late compared to the Internet delivery. News that lacks rapid comparisons with other sources to allow the reader to determine if it’s BS propoganda or valuable information to inform a solid opinion.

The NYT is also an organization that is in such dire straights they had to seek out a Mexican loan shark to stay afloat and is currently lobbying to get taxpayer money to stay in business. Basically, an organization that thinks itself important but no one reads it anymore save for people to link to blogs that are so bad they’re funny.

SirThinkALot October 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

More consisely, its the New York Times….

Raimondas October 4, 2010 at 9:42 pm

uh huh.

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