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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/18351/the-great-debate-now-posted/

The Great Debate, now posted

September 6, 2011 by

Attend more classes, webinars, and debates at the MIses Academy.

{ 16 comments }

terrymac September 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Thanks so much!

Is it possible to get rid of those beep sounds?

Will a transcript be available in the future? I’d offer, but my hearing is poor.

Mathew_RL September 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm

(Partially reposted from Bob Murphy’s Free Advice)

I really do not feel great about how the making public of this debate was handled. Obviously the Mises Institute was within its rights to do what it wanted with the recorded event, and obviously it nowhere reneged upon any contractual obligation it had with ‘purchasers’ of the event. Nevertheless, I’m currently out of work and really had to scrape together to afford this debate. I would not have done so had I known it would just be made free and available afterwards. Even if the Mises Institute had simply said, ‘Be aware that, while nothing is definite, if we deem the event to have been a success there is a high probability of our making it available to the public’, I would have forewent the expenditure.

I enjoyed the debate but really do feel a bit taken advantage of (and I freely admit that this stems largely from my present personal economic circumstances). The cost of the Mises Institute’s having handled things this way is that I will not be paying for additional debates in the future, despite this one having been such a pleasure. Good job in any event, though, Mises Institute.

Matthew Swaringen September 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm

You had the opportunity to assist in contributing to the Mises Institute, which couldn’t even do anything if not for contributions like that.

I also paid for the debate, I also did it thinking they might not post it, but in my mind from the very beginning I had no problem with it if they did.

I also fully admit that I might not have paid the money if they had said beforehand that it was going to be posted free. But this isn’t deceptive, this isn’t taking advantage of me, it’s giving me a reason to contribute, which I probably should be doing more anyway.

I just don’t get why you’d look at it the other way honestly when it’s not as though you had to hear it or couldn’t find plenty of material on Austrianism vs Keynesianism on this site or from the other side (like Daniel Kuehn or Lord Keynes blog)

By all means, if you had to scrape together maybe you truly have things you should be prioritizing your spending on, but I think you are looking at it incorrectly.

Mathew_RL September 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I never used the word ‘deceptive’, so please don’t insinuate that I think the Mises Institute was actively dishonest. Indeed, my guess is that it wasn’t until the event was over — and they were able to take in what a success it was — that it was decided to make this recording free and available. I simply wish the answer to the question ‘Will this be made free and available after the event?’ had been answered beforehand — even if that answer was ‘Possibly, but we’re not sure yet.’ I’m glad that, if my money had to go somewhere, it went towards the Mises Institute. There is no institution more worthy of support, and I have been a supporter, as a well as a beneficiary, of the Institute in the past. But that doesn’t mean I should hold my tongue if I believe things weren’t handled as well as I think they could have been.

Stefano September 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm

No offense, guys, but they make entire books available as free downloads; you didn’t think Murphy’s dismantling of Keynesianism would be posted online?

Colin Phillips September 7, 2011 at 3:16 am

This is why things like The Point.com are so important. If the Mises Academy had worked out their expected costs for hosting the debate etc, they could have crowdsourced the funds necessary for the event according to each potential audience member’s ability to pay.

If not enough money could be raised that way, it’s easy enough to add an enticement deal, so that, say, people who contribute $5 or more get access to the live broadcast, and people who contribute $20 or more can submit questions to the debaters.

Not that I actually have any problems with the way it was run. I paid $20 for the live event, fully expecting a latecomer recording of it to be made available for free online. If I could not have afforded that, I would not have paid.

Tyrone Dell September 7, 2011 at 12:55 am

Why pay for tickets to the game if they’re just gonna show it on TV later?

Tian September 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Perhaps we could think of the payment as that for the earlier enjoyment and the opportunity to ask questions to the debaters, even if not a contribution to Mises Institute.

But yeah, I agree that it would have been better if it had been made clear before the debate that the webcast would be available online free of charge.

Matthew Mitchell September 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I’m glad this was made freely available. No reason why not. I’m sure for those who did pay, there was no misleading information that suggested that there would be no reproduction of the debate for free. However, clearer information may be advisable for the future.

Karl Smith doesn’t appear to realise that governments don’t just utilise idle resources, only individuals can do this and through markets it can be done, government’s must steal from the private sector to do anything. It must use force to achieve it’s ends.

Tyrone Dell September 7, 2011 at 1:20 am

Another problem is that Keynsians/Neo-Keynsians think that “idle labor” is somehow a horrible thing and is a curse on the economy (especially if there is unused capital) — as if people are just lounging around bumming out and snoozing on their couches. The term “idle” shouldn’t even be applied to people who are searching for jobs, or for those who are consciously unemployed in the hope that better prospects come later in time, or for those who are helping out a neighbor with the plumbing in their kitchen sink in return for them fixing their laptop, or for…

The time preferences of the people needs to be taken into account.

pravin September 7, 2011 at 8:36 am

didnt Arnold Kling compare this idling to a big computer,which was now doing a massive recalculation? in that period of recalculation and while adjustments are being made to divert resources towards sustainable activities,there is going to be ‘idling and unemployment’.

Trent September 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I believe that the ability to view it live (and anything that comes with that), along with the ability to ask questions is the reason why you would pay. I considered that it would probably be released free eventually and still might have paid (unfortunately I have a class Friday nights). When I watch it now I will have no opportunity to be involved, so live would have been better.
Perhaps if they said that the event will be released for free if a certain number of subscribers pay then the people who subscribe would know what’s up, and would get the added bonus of knowing that their subscription fees went towards helping starving students such as myself view it later.
Or they could hold on to it a little longer depending on how much they raised in subscription fees.
But now that I think about it, I knew in my heart that the Institute would release it for free; after all, it’s Mises! Of COURSE their going to release it. It’s information in the battle against evil!
Thank you LvMI!

Tyrone Dell September 7, 2011 at 12:23 am

What a great sport Karl was. We need more stuff like this. Hats off to both of you.

terrymac September 7, 2011 at 2:30 am

Mises.org has a long-established reputation for providing electronic “stuff” for free. There is no reason to feel guilty about accepting it on exactly those terms. Those of us who can, purchase because we want the hard copy, we want to view the debate live, we want to encourage Mises.org to do more, or some combination thereof.

Gangrenebacks September 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

Dr. Smith was great, but carefully selected his position such that it was akin to a cancer patient grasping at straws. He also said several times that he prefers tax cuts as a stimulus. I don’t know any Keynesians (economists) personally, but this debate was not particularly substantive. I mean by that: arguing about a terminal patient is not what most Keynesians usually do. Now either there are a lot of Smith-like Keynesians that we never hear about, or the politics of Washington purposely screw up Keynes for political purposes. I’m sure the latter is mostly true. Either that or Professor Smith did not want to defend political Keynes and chose to withdraw into a small niche that was not easily defended in and of itself.

IOW the debate did not really address Keynesians in today’s political climate. Perhaps it’s just not possible.

feudalredux September 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Yeah, the general argument is …. “we really really need the stimulus NOW cause the economy is on its deathbed, and the stimulus is detrimental in all other cases. But now we’re in really dire straits, so we need a stimulus.”

But wait a minute, didn’t you guys just use the same “we’re in dire straits” argument the last time you tried the stimulus – and FAILED? Doesn’t that mean the last stimulus was detrimental and screwed up the economy further? Nah, that’s just not possible. We would have been more dead without the stimulus, they say. But then they insist that stimulus only works when we are on the brink of death.

So Dr. Smith, do you have any objective empirical measure of “the screwed-up-ness of the economy at which point stimulus is necessary and beneficial”? And can you state objectively in emprical terms what benefits you expect and in what time-frames? Coz if you cannot do that, I don’t really care for any of your concerns about empirical evidence of bubbles.

Fair is fair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClVGVsXyY-c

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