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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6827/murphy-interviewed-on-the-political-cesspool/

Murphy Interviewed on The Political Cesspool

July 9, 2007 by

On July 4 I was interviewed on The Political Cesspool, and we basically talked about free trade. I got the standard jibes (“Do you want your job to be outsourced Mr. Professor?” and “Free trade would work in an ideal world but not this one”). I start around 34:30 and go to the end of the hour, but you can listen to them trash me after I leave the show.

{ 14 comments }

Christopher Hettinger July 10, 2007 at 1:55 am

You did well, but I think it went right through their heads. I have respect for old Southern gentlemen, but this guy was an example of “white trash” intellectually.

Christopher Hettinger July 10, 2007 at 2:37 am

In addition, I just listened to the whole thing and wow… What complete A-holes.

“America was at the height of it’s power in the 1950′s!”

Yeah, because the rest of the world lost it’s industry in the war and bought American goods instead. *Sigh* The same case with the Great War of 1914. America never lost that power either, it just has not expanded.

The real show of how these fellows think is summed up when they said they couldn’t tolerate someone else making tanks and bombs. Wow.

I do not recall China saying lately that it wanted to bring ruin the United States, and has often declared that it is working through peace. Even if the Potomac Empire (USA) were to get in a war with the People’s Republic of China, it would be mutally harmful; as consumers on the American continent lose manufactured goods while the Chinese face mass starvation from lack of food which I am almost certain only the centre of the North-American continent can provide in ample amounts. (That is, until the Siberian Tundra thaws out due to “Global Warming”)

Berents July 10, 2007 at 8:16 am

.

What was your objective for participating in this broadcast “interview” ?

Did you achieve it ?

How do you think “The Political Cesspool” audience reacted to your overall remarks there ?

______

Seems very clear from the published mission-statement for this “Political Cesspool” what ‘their’ objective is…. and that you would not receive fair nor respectful treatment for dissenting views.

If you’re gonna take these guys on, you should at least understand how they operate — and be prepared for it.

Know your opponent if you choose to joust.

LukeM July 10, 2007 at 8:54 am

Thanks for posting the link to that interview Prof. Murphy. I think you did well in attempting to answer their questions and explain various economic concepts. Sadly, though, some people just don’t seem to ‘get it’ – you explicitly said several times that you are a proponent of free trade, BUT that today we currently don’t have free trade, e.g. you’re opposed to NAFTA and government subsidizing industry, etc.

I don’t think, however, that you’re going to convince people like that that it is in their interest to eliminate trade barriers – they sound like xenophobes and they would prefer to not do business with some “Chinaman” or Mexican worker, even if it saves them money and works out better for both parties.

It really is curious, though, that they can appreciate the argument for free trade between the states but not then extend that principle to the entire world. I guess that either illustrates their lack of economic knowledge and their inconsistency or, rather, their prejudices and discrimination for non-Americans.

Eric P July 10, 2007 at 9:52 am

Professor Murphy did very well.It’s important to try to get the free trade message out to even its most serious critics. While the hosts not doubt will never be convinced, it’s possible that people in the audience at least understood him better.

If we avoided every opportunity that we have to air our views and debate only because the crowd is sure to be skeptical, our ideology would never get beyond the walls of the Mises Institute.

Good job, Dr. Murphy, for having the stomach to stand up for truth in a tough environment.

Kevin July 10, 2007 at 11:50 am

If we avoided every opportunity that we have to air our views and debate only because the crowd is sure to be skeptical, our ideology would never get beyond the walls of the Mises Institute.

If your ideology mentions liberty as little as Murphy did in that half hour, it should stay within the walls of the Mises Institute. Appealing solely to utility is a losing path always. Listening, I thought a few times that Murphy might be reaching for a chalkboard to make some graphs. Those hillbillies could have been taken down quickly by asking them what superior rights they possess enabling them to propose, in “the land of the free”, having Murphy submit to their demands, through however many media they may disguise the transaction. Do they support liberty, or are they for central control of trade and, ultimately, production, a la the Marxist lot. Willing to throw “globalist” as a convenient epithet for argument distortion and evasion, surely hillbilly #2 deserved a ready pummeling from Murphy for advocating an unprincipled economy-engineering angle ideologically no different from communism. The superior tactic for downing any “conservative” is besting him at his espoused primary values, not taking 15 minutes to answer a question that should have been an immediate, unequivocal, “Yes, of course economics professors are equally subject to freedom of contract; the principles of liberty hold true across occupations and everywhere else.”

Anti-traders rely on the false premise that the removal of state interference in trade prevents them from restricting trade themselves, freely and with superior granularity. The host spews populist dogma about how he wants to pay more money to ensure his trade dollars go to an American, and Murphy doesn’t quickly interject that free trade would best ensure that he’s able to do just that, followed immediately by the observation that what he may be angling for instead is the requirement that everyone else be constrained by force into following his wishes on trade.

Always back to liberty. There is no other strategy for the win.

Eric P July 10, 2007 at 1:07 pm

I’m not sure how saying “I would be upset, but I would never consider forcing people through the government to continue to buy my services” is not an appeal to liberty, or just another way of saying “Yes, of course economics professors are equally subject to freedom of contract; the principles of liberty hold true across occupations and everywhere else.” He took 15 minutes to answer because he was trying to answer the other 500 objections they were throwing at him as well.

I agree that the core of your argument must always be based in rights and a love of liberty, but you will have to convince people that, privatizing health care for instance, will not lead to the deaths of thousands in the streets. So when dealing with protectionists, I think you do need to convince them first that the United States isn’t going to be reduced to an impoverished agrarian society with the adoption of free trade before they are going to be interested in hearing you talk about how protectionism is socialism and socialism in all its forms is evil (which it is).

It’s a hard thing to be on a radio program and to be at the mercy of the hosts who can cut you off in a second, ridicule you, and then give you no time to respond. Oh course these bozos weren’t convinced. One of them obviously wasn’t even listening.

Murphy came across as very knowledgeable, and he did make the liberty argument. Maybe not enough and maybe not in an elegant one-liner. But he was getting the true free trade (i.e. anti-NAFTA) position out there for the audience to hear.

If anyone thinks they can do better, by all means try.

tad July 10, 2007 at 2:41 pm

I respect Professor Murphy’s trying to reason with the host, but, alas, the attempt was going to be to no avail right from the start.

Why?

Consider the nature of the man with whom Professor Murphy was trying to reason.

At http://www.thepoliticalcesspool.org/, you can find a picture, situated prominently to the right of the page, of the radio show’s host, James Edwards.

You can also find a picture of Mr. Edwards at the Council of Conservative Citizens’ website, http://cofcc.org/cpg1410/displayimage.php?album=2&pos=11

Now, I’m hardly a “multicultist” and count myself among those waiting first in line to rip the SPLC’s Morris Dees a new one, but even I would suggest that perhaps we shouldn’t be altogether shocked that a man more interested in racial collectivism than in true liberty–which, incidentally, is the solution to all the problems that Mr. Edwards, rightly, abhors (affirmative action, illegal immigration, busing, etc.)–isn’t a huge fan of Professor Murphy’s message.

I will, though, admit that Mr. Edwards seems to have above average taste in women, so the hillbilly has that going for him.

Number Six July 11, 2007 at 12:11 pm

“Is it OK to outsource professors?”

If Hillsdale College could outsource Dr. Murphy’s job and find someone who could do the job for, say, $1/hour AND provide the same quality of teaching, don’t they think the college would do it? In fact, if they could outsource all their teaching positions without sacrificing quality of education, this would be a tremendous boon, since the college would be able to drastically cut costs.

The fact is that workers with marginal skills will be…marginalized. Workers with hard-to-replace skills will be rewarded accordingly.

Number Six July 11, 2007 at 12:43 pm

I just finished listening to the segment in which they trash Dr. Murphy. Amongst other things, they said:

1. The fact that Dr. Murphy espouses the views that he does indicates that he wasted his education;

2. Dr. Murphy is obviously the by-product of our deeply flawed education system;

3. Dr. Murphy can’t think.

In the end, they resorted to unnecessary ad hominem attacks on the man. Oh, and for the record, guys, it’s Hegelianism, not Heglianism.

Methinks July 11, 2007 at 2:36 pm

I think Dr. Murphy just confused them. The real audience are the listeners, not the hosts. He should have been talking directly to the audience instead of having a point by point discussion controlled by those two fools.

Instead of concentrating on how workers are “hurt” by offshoring, Dr. Murphy would have done better by pointing out that displaced workers are displaced in the short run but not in the long run. In the long run, both the consumer and the displaced employee benefit because the consumer gets a product at a lower price and the displaced worker is available to be employed in better, cleaner, higher paying jobs. This has historically been the case. Buggy manufacturers, blacksmiths, chimney cleaners, etc. have all been put out of business by progress. Yet, our country is better off today than it was when those industries were in full swing – both worker and consumer (usually the same person). He completely missed making that point.

Dr. Murphy also missed the opportunity to explain in plain language that companies will move offshore whether you want them to or not. The government can’t force a company to stay open and can’t force people to stay within American borders. Innovative people with capital are the most difficult to control. They are welcome anywhere in the world have been known to flee restrictive countries (think: France’s brain drain). Protectionism ultimately increases unemployment and leads to the very loss of jobs that it seeks to prevent. “America first” is misleading – it virtually ensures that America will come in last. France is a good example of how protectionism backfires. Nor did the professor make the point that government has no moral basis to interfere with people’s decisions of where to work and whom to buy from. These are personal decisions. The host may be okay paying a few extra cents for an item made in America, but why should the choice be taken away from others who may not be as financially able to make that sacrifice. What right had the host to make that decision not only for himself but for all other Americans? I think the audience would have appreciated that.

The regulation discussion was okay but he again got bogged down in details. The fact is that regulations protect government power and big business at the cost of employees and consumers. Small, innovative companies are run out of town by these regulatory forces and competition is decreased – a price paid by the consumer and labour.

In the discussion about losing his own job to offshoring, the professor should have mentioned that if someone is forced to keep him on at an artificially high pay rate, that someone ELSE in the economy will lose his job as a result. He may even end up losing his job anyway (or be forced to accept a lower wage) as new enterprises simply won’t be started and demand for his labour will decrease in response to the new costs imposed on potential employers. So, you’ll have fewer American workers employed, not more.

If China wants to subsidize industry to sell us ever cheaper products, let them. It amounts to the Chinese citizens subsidizing our purchases. This leaves more money in our pocket with which to use our famous American entrepreneurial spirit to start new enterprises and create ever more wealth.

The points and explanations I put forth are simplistic but the professor was trying to discuss these issues point for point as if he were arguing with knowledgeable economists. In a popular radio show with an agenda but little knowledge of the subject, this kind of academic discussion technique is confusing and it doesn’t get his point across to the audience. I think Dr. Murphy was desperately trying to find a point of agreement between himself and the hosts. Economics is complicated and fraught with caveats. You can’t discuss the caveats with people who don’t understand the basic premise.

Better luck next time and I look forward to reading the book.

Daniel August 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

LOL. The Political Cesspool.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Political_Cesspool

The guy interviewing Dr. Murphy (the guy with the extremely noticeable southern accent) is Eddie “The Bombardier” Miller.

Here’s a sample of another episode of that show, specifically the 8:50 – 29:40 mark:

http://americacast.ezstream.com/play/index.cfm?fuseaction=asx&broadcastid=CB16B3282&From=brd&rand=9232&resize=0&intro=0&Org=acast&CFID=17062576&CFTOKEN=45817240&CFID=17062576&CFTOKEN=45817240

Highlights at 9:21-9:48, 10:35-11:20, 13:07-13:38, 16:05-16:19, 17:50-18:54, 22:15-22:36, 24:16-24:13, 25:38-26:01, 26:35-29:40.

Daniel August 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm

LOL. The Political Cesspool.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Political_Cesspool

The guy interviewing Dr. Murphy (the guy with the extremely noticeable southern accent) is Eddie “The Bombardier” Miller.

Here’s a sample of another episode of that show, specifically the 8:50 – 29:40 mark:

http://americacast.ezstream.com/play/index.cfm?fuseaction=asx&broadcastid=CB16B3282&From=brd&rand=9232&resize=0&intro=0&Org=acast&CFID=17062576&CFTOKEN=45817240&CFID=17062576&CFTOKEN=45817240

Highlights at 9:21-9:48, 10:35-11:20, 13:07-13:38, 16:05-16:19, 17:50-18:54, 22:15-22:36, 24:16-24:13, 25:38-26:01, 26:35-29:40.

Daniel August 1, 2009 at 8:33 pm

LOL. The Political Cesspool.

Another white supremacist radio show. Just look it up on Wikipedia, Google, and the whole ten yards.

The guy interviewing Dr. Murphy (the guy with the extremely noticeable southern accent) is Eddie “The Bombardier” Miller btw.

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