Friday, 31 October 2008

Best of NOT PC this week, to 31 October

Another good week here at NOT PC, but sadly another week in which scandal outdid substance on the campaign trail, even as out in the real world the chickens of political economy were vividly coming home to roost. Here are the posts from this blog that rated best over the last seven days:

  1. REISMAN: It's Not Laissez Faire, Stupid!
    By far the most popular post was not mine, but my link to George Reisman's outstanding article on the economic crisis:
    The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis.
    People said, "that's the definitive article on the US economic woes for me, thus far." "Superb." "The greatest economist since Mises strikes again." "WOW! Reisman hits it out of the park!" and "The sad thing is that those who need it most won't read it..." All of these things are true, so don't let that stop you putting it in front of those who need to read it most.
  2. Stossel's Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics
    This is making me look lazy. Another post, another set of links, this time to a superb John Stossell television special. Start here: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics, Part one.
  3. The best garden shed in Hamilton
    Some say that architecture is just for cathedrals and public buildings. Bollocks. Good architecture is for every building, no matter how apparently humble.
  4. Greens: Vote for [.........]?
    Why not make up your own Green billboards? I did. They're a lot more honest than the ones asking your vote to impoverish someone else's kids.
  5. "So, are you going to vote for yourself this year?"
    Helensville Libertarianz candidate Peter Osborne asks punters the question at the Titirangi markets.
    So, are you? Or are you going to vote to make someone else's kids poorer instead?
  6. F*** fireworks fun
    Nanny's war against fun on fireworks night continues apace.
    For years now we've been banned from buying anything that goes BANG!
    And this year we're being all but banned from being able to buy them at all.
  7. John Maynard Keynes: The destroyer of monies
    Deborah Hill Cone confesses in this morning's Herald to "swotting up on John Maynard Keynes."
    For Galt's sake woman, why!? You'd be better off using his writing to light this year's bonfire.
  8. WSABHD?
    What Should Alan Bollard Have Done? Sure as hell not what he did do. When it's time to stop spending and replenish the pool of real savings, what effect do you think dropping interest rates will have? Answers on a postcard, please.

Lots of good reading there -- and let let me leave you with a question: Whom should we string up on our bonfire tomorrow night? Any bright ideas for our guy? Suggestions so far include Helen Clark, John McCain, John Key, John Maynard Keynes (in the future, all arseholes will be called John), Barack Obama (got to be careful about the proximity of burning crosses though), Winston Peters and Alan Greenspan. And depending on how the Wallabies do, there might even be a late call for Dingo Deans. Post your ideas in the comments.

Cheers, and enjoy your weekend,
Peter Cresswell


  1. Keynes.
    Well hopefully whe will not describe his as an American economist. See Mathew Dearnaley in the Herald.

  2. PC,

    1) Tanta's excellent calculated risk blog has a link to the US architecture insititute's measure of how much architects have billed in the last quarter. As an indicator of the US mortgage crisis which I thought it would interest you.


    2) I think Hayek's views are deeply flawed. That's because I've read his works and decided that, like with Marx, Hayek's empirical predictions flunked the test of history. His main claim in "The Road to Serfdom" is that moderate socialism of the type the British Labour party put in place in the early 50s and that we had in NZ for decades leads inevitably to the type of lack of democracy seen in nazi germany and soviet russia. That just did't happen.

    You think Keynes is crap. So: have you actually read Keynes? If so, what works? I admit that I suspect you of being a blind follower of the libertarian herd in this regard rather than having thought things through yourself.



  3. Icehawk,

    Yes Hayek was overly pesmistic about our ability to get off the "Road".

    Keynesian models have empirically failed. Their models are unable to explain yet alone deal with stagflation.

    Maybe you should step out of the left-wing herd and read some Mises and Reisman.

  4. Icehawk,

    Do not waste another second. Proceed directly to Reismans blog, link provided above.

  5. Icehawk: You think we need a guy of Hayek? You think anyone would recognise the little chap?

    Anyway, as Sean points out, Hayek was overly pessimistic -- and you're perhaps overly deterministic in your interpretation of what he said.

    Have I read Keynes? Yes I have, more's the pity. Have you?

    You ask, "what works" in a depression? Well, having govts that don't meddle, don't steal, and who don't spending more than they receive -- and who don't consume more than forty percent of the country's entire income every year.

    That would be a start, wouldn't it.

    Sound money, without phoney credit created out of thin air. That would help.

    And following that, economists who understand that capital has a structure that you can't meddle with at will, and who know that creating credit out of thin air is the most destructive form of meddling you can do to this structure.

  6. Icehawk: And thanks for the AIA architects' billing index. Very clear.

    Sadly, it reflects anecdotal and individual evidence all to well.

  7. Owen, thanks for the heads up. I couldn't resist taking another numb nut to task. ;^)

  8. Theres quite a good comment on Kiwiblog in the "Kerre’s conversion is complete" article which mentions that in 1942, Germany was creating counterfeit British currency in order to DESTROY the British economy. It points out that the US is printing money to save an economy!


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