Fed Nominee Blocked By GOP Senator As Unqualified Just Received The Nobel Prize

The Nobel Committee may think a lot about MIT economist Peter Diamond, but he is currently blocked as a nominee for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Sen. Richard Shelby has objected that Diamond is not qualified for the Board because his specialty is not in monetary policy.

The 2010 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was awarded on Monday to Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A Pissarides for their work on labor markets and other markets where buyers and sellers have difficulty finding each other.

What is curious about the hold on Diamond’s nomination is that three of the five board members are not specialists in monetary economics and one of the Bush appointees did not even have an advanced economics degree.

Source: Washington Monthly

113 thoughts on “Fed Nominee Blocked By GOP Senator As Unqualified Just Received The Nobel Prize

  1. “What is curious about the hold on Diamond’s nomination is that three of the five board members are not specialists in monetary economics and one of the Bush appointees did not even have an advanced economics degree.”

    Amazing and disgusting at the same time.

  2. Shelby is a stain on our country and his holds are only to try to get pork or to stop the Dems legislative agenda. This Nobel prize winner is more than qualified for the position. Until the Senate rules are changed, the Senate will continue to be a wasteland.

  3. Some tuna has good taste and some tastes good. The neoCons do not want people in there who can figure out who did what, otherwise the neoCons look bad.

    They are obviously encouraged by the unpopularity of economic policy, forgetting that they caused the bulk of it with the stupid endless wars that are making the war industry filthy rich and the rest of us filthy poor.

    PS: Some of the Senate rules suck.

    http://blogdredd.blogspot.com/2010/08/graphs-of-wrath.html

  4. Shelby did his best to destroy the American Auto industry and the country’s manufacturing base simply to serve foreign interests. It should be no surprise to anyone that Shelby’s objections are directed towards a man who has been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for his work on labor markets.

    There is only one way to get Shelby’s vote and we all know what that is.

  5. “The Social Security deficit can be eliminated only through different combinations of politically painful choices: tax increases and benefit reductions.”

    From a Brookings Institute paper co-authored by Dr. Diamond.

    I would say he is qualified by virtue of his education but he seems to think that all answers lie with government. We have had enough government to last us all 5 lifetimes and we have gone backward and not forward. Time to start looking for alternatives to government control. Now there is a novel idea.

    Good on Senator Shelby for blocking his nomination, we just experienced what government can do through Federal Reserve regulation of interests rates-create and collapse a housing bubble in about 7 years.

  6. Of course there is also the fact that Mr. Diamond doesn’t have a teabag hanging out of his breast pocket or isn’t a female bimbo and thus not a recognizable republican …

  7. “It should be no surprise to anyone that Shelby’s objections are directed towards a man who has been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for his work on labor markets.”

    Well Blouise it’s definitely no surprise that his objections are also with a man who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

  8. “Good on Senator Shelby for blocking his nomination, we just experienced what government can do through Federal Reserve regulation of interests rates-create and collapse a housing bubble in about 7 years.” (Byron’s quote)

    Wrong … what we experienced was 10 (starting in ’99 with Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act) years of conservative phony free market voodoo that resulted in near destruction of the world’s economy … every agency played its role but the conservative mind set and the reliance on “the market will adjust itself” thinking led the way.

    As I told you on another thread … I would support your views on the free market and regulatory agencies if we actually had a free market.

  9. “Well Blouise it’s definitely no surprise that his objections are also with a man who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” (Bdaman)

    More than likely the only thing Shelby and I could agree on.

  10. Surprised…Not at all….Do you really think that they want to do anything about the problems that the average citizen faces? Not at all…However, and but for elections we’d never hear about this would we now…..

    I know some people with third grade educations that are capable of making better decisions that folks with degrees from the elite universities…

  11. Blouise:

    I can beat you about the head and shoulders with videos of democrats frustrating republican attempts to reign in Freddie and Fannie. The democrats have controlled both houses since 2006 almost 4 years now and they have had all of government for 2 years. Both parties are full of it, if there were viable third party candidates they would have my vote this time around. But sadly in my district the choice is between Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee.

    The bubble started busting is the latter half of 2005. We have been in a downturn since then.

    By the way I agree with you, we have not had a free market since the beginning of the Federal Reserve. They were also most of the reason for the Great Depression. As was this Federal Reserve a good part of the cause of the housing bubble by artificially keeping interests rates low and making money cheap.

    The republicans are almost as bad as the democrats when it comes to economics. And I am sure you believe the converse. So we can say they both suck.

  12. Bdaman,

    This time I remembered to bookmark the URL.

    I really like the way the site is laid out. It’s easy to read and, for want of a better word, cheerful.

  13. “…The democrats have controlled both houses since 2006 almost 4 years now …”

    This has got to be the most self-evidently idiotic meme in the entire history of self-evident idiotic memes. I refuse to listen to it anymore without responding.

    It is patently obvious that the Democrats don’t have control over Congress, the Republicans do; that because of Blue Dog conservative Democrats (in name only) they never had the votes to “control Congress” and it is conservatives who control Congress now and for most of the past thirty years.

    Even if they HAD a true working majority they wouldn’t know what to do with it.

  14. It’s not my site I just do the forecast and yes anytime you deal with the ocean and a beautiful sunrise it’s always cheerful.

    Makes me think of Oklahoma

  15. Blouise,
    Do you remember Bethany Hamilton, the girl who lost her arm to a Tiger Shark. Find the link on the right side bar to her site and look at the amazing shots of her big wave surfing with one arm.

  16. From Bryon:
    “We have had enough government to last us all 5 lifetimes and we have gone backward and not forward. Time to start looking for alternatives to government control”.

    On the contrary, we don’t have anywhere near the amount of government controls on corporations we should have. Perhaps you were on another planet over the past 30 yearsand especially during the 2000-2008 period while the delusion of conservatism overtook our politics and economics were in full flower and which ultimately brought the entire world economy to near collapse and the US squarely to the mess we’re living through right now. The failure and emptiness of lassaiz-faire economics is no longer theoretical or debatable. Corporations have proven they cannot be trusted. Some, like the entire health insurance industry should be eleminated and replaced by government.

  17. For real?

    Sen. Susan Collins sees growing disrespect in politics
    In a speech in Washington, the Maine senator says new lows in partisanship stymie effective government.
    By KEN MAGUIRE Special to The Portland Press Herald

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who is among a dwindling number of centrists in Congress, said Tuesday night that the lack of civility between Republicans and Democrats is a reflection of the wider society.

    http://www.pressherald.com/news/collins-sees-growing-disrespect-in-politics_2010-10-06.html

  18. Whats funny is we have congress people that are elected to stop big government from taking over….but they have created a government that takes over to stop the take over….so it is just how little or much government you want….I think I have felt more secure during the Democratic Presidential Years to except this one…than I have ever felt under any GOP less government rant….because you have to have someone watching and then special interest take the job away from you….

  19. Gingerbaker: saying “even when they have the majority the Democrats can’t do what they say they will” is not the way to encourage people to support them.

  20. Byron,

    Your quote to prove that the man’s solution to everything is “More government” is an article he wrote about fixing a government program that in part advocates reducing government programs?

  21. “What is curious about the hold on Diamond’s nomination is that three of the five board members are not specialists in monetary economics and one of the Bush appointees did not even have an advanced economics degree.”

    **********************

    Now, JT I would like you to read this statement again and tell me — with a straight face — that you really are “curious” about this set of circumstances!

  22. One of the most illogical and least intelligent people that I have ever had the unfortunate pleasure to have as a professor at UT obtained his PHD in Economics at Wharton…….He last 6 months and was reassigned before being canned.

  23. Prof,

    I have to second mespo. You’ve got a good poker face I can tell from seeing you in action at the Porteous hearing, but I think the “curiosity” might even make you smirk a little. :)

  24. Rafflaw:

    has the code of federal regulations gotten smaller over the last 30 years? Is the Federal Reserve controlling interest rates? We do not have free markets and have not had them for over a 100 years now. We probably never had a totaly free market but came close in the latter half of the 19th century.

    For the last 100 years the scope of government control over the economy has increased, it has not lessened.

  25. Byron,

    Your basic assumption is that a totally free market is the goal that should be reached. Why? (I’m being completely sincere in asking, I’m genuinely interested in your rational).

  26. Byron,
    Thanks for the attention, but I think you meant to respond to someone else. Maybe you meant to respond to rcampbell? Now that you have drawn me back in, I think your concern about government being too big is incorrect. I would agree with rcampbell that the reason why the economy tanked is because the Bush regime allowed the convicts to control the prison.

  27. Byron,

    At the risk of sounding too simplistic to many of my more learned posters … much of that growth in government you decry was due to an expanding population and the expanding economy that accompanied it.

  28. Elaine,

    I was talking about that with Byron on one of threads today … The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB)or Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999

  29. Gyges:

    Quite simply because they work. But on a deeper level because I believe in individual rights and that a person has a right to the labor of his body which he and no other owns. I also don’t believe in the use of force to coerce people to behave in a certain manner if they are not engaged in the use of force against others.

    Government, through regulation, is a coercive force which has the power to alter the trajectory of individual lives should they do something opposed to government. A free market allows people to make decisions based on their best interest and it allows companies to rationally contend with market forces and not have to contend with irrational regulations that are irrational because they can in no way anticipate all the permutations.

    Almost everyone on this blog either wants to force people to behave a certain way economically or they think that human beings can control an organism (the market) that is many more times as complex as an actual living organism.

  30. Professor Turley,

    This article has been one of my conversational standbys the past two days. Everyone gets a real kick out of it.

  31. Byron,

    Slarti as a mathematician who specializes in modeling complex systems and specifically organic systems has pointed out on numerous occasions that your assertion about modeling markets is false. The market is not nearly as complex as you seem to think.

  32. Gyges:

    You may work toward a goal, say digging a hole. But if the light turns on when you flip the switch, then the light bulb works as does the switch and the electricity.

    So the “goal” is human betterment and achievement in a free society with government as a referee to prevent and punish force as a means of coercion.

  33. Buddha:

    Slarti has never said he could model a market, he said he could kinda sorta model a market with a good many holes in his model.

    Does the cost of orange juice affect the price of steel? Now combine that with about 100 other variables and then add another 100 variables for each of the initial hundred variables and that is only for a price fluctuation in orange juice.

  34. Byron,

    The goal of flipping the light switch is to light up the room. The light bulb works for doing that.

    So, the goal of having a free market is to have a better society while having free market? That’s what your statement reduces down to.

    Having a free market works better at having a free market than not having a free market does. I can’t really argue that point.

  35. Byron,

    He can only partially model because unlike biological systems, economics are regularly impacted by forces of nature and unforeseeable supervening factors of human creation like wars (both martial and trade). But demand, like supply (when not under the natural constraint of finite resources which may have effect beyond human influence), can and often is deliberately manipulated by humans for profit motives. Just look at how OPEC jerks around oil prices or how movies are promoted. At least that was my understanding.

    Slarti? Care to chime in?

  36. Buddha,

    As I see it Byron just extends the system of “The Market” to be so large that it can’t be modeled.

    It’s similar to me saying that we can’t model the behavior of the human genome because my poor eyesight could effect my height if I rely on it to gather my food I would be underfed, and therefore wouldn’t end up at the height I would if I had better nutrition.

  37. Gyges/Buddha:

    you can model it all you want, I just don’t think it would be accurate enough to take decisions about allocation of resources. Which would be the goal of an economic model of the type we are talking about. The Soviets couldn’t do it for the same reason. In addition, say you have a computer powerful enough to actually be able to “model”, how do you account for the unknowns? Human behaviour is not exactly consistent, nor is the weather and neither are the insects that pollinate our crops.

    In my mind the market is a huge organic computer that efficiently allocates resources based on the billions of individual inputs it receives on a daily basis.

    Anyway just some thoughts.

  38. Byron,

    lol

    Don’t tell economists or those Wall St. quants they can’t do predictive modeling or regression analysis! Many of them will run hide under their desk in fear of losing their jobs.

    As to 100% accuracy? Models don’t have to be 100% accurate to be of value. Models by their nature are approximations of reality. Surely you know this being in a construction related field that a building almost never gets erected as it is modeled (designed) on paper.

  39. Byron,

    Again we get to the question “what is the goal?” You just keep asserting that the free market is better. You don’t even define what it’s better at.

    Is it better at creating wealth? Probably. Is the creation of wealth the sole reason that countries and laws exist? Should it be?

    Also, outside of your often resurrected straw man (that reminds me: Buddha, you should check out Jay Lake’s “City Imperishable” Novels), nobody thinks we should enter into a Soviet style economy. I know you don’t see shades when in comes to the economy, but the rest of us aren’t color blind when it comes to degrees of government intervention.

  40. Gyges:

    I am an older guy so I really don’t care either way, hell in a more regulated, socialist economy I would probably make out pretty well and you and Buddha would be supporting me. I like the irony of that. :) But morally it Inst right.

    I was not using the Soviet economy as a straw man. But as the worst possible outcome with a centralized planning economic model.

    What do you think?

    What does wealth creation mean? What is wealth? Does wealth end poverty? What is a yardstick for individual wealth, is it a net worth of 100 million or 25k?

  41. Byron,

    I mean what are measuring “better” by.

    If I say “this steak is better” I could mean it has a better flavor, or it could be more tender, or it could not be covered in maggots.

    Better isn’t all that descriptive.

  42. Gyges:

    so what standard do you want to measure? Wealth creation as you mentioned or allocation of resources or creating stability, or social harmony or justice or individual liberty or morality?

    What do you want to measure?

  43. Byron,

    Nope, I’m asking you what you mean by “Better”. It’s a perfectly reasonable question.

    You could give any or all of the factors you listed, or something you didn’t and I’d be happy (although then somebody might ask you to prove it), I’m really just trying to get a handle on the basis of your thinking.

    To show I’m playing fair:

    I advocate a mixed economy because I feel the market is a means to an end. As you say, freedom includes the freedom to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and the free market places the least limitations on how you use those fruits. However, your freedom doesn’t extend to actions that limit my freedom. So anti-monopoly laws. Nor does it allow you to commit fraud or take actions that can reasonably be assumed to harm others…
    So financial regulation, so licensing of certain professions, so food safety standards, etc. There are some goods and services that it is in the public interest for EVERYBODY to pay for and have thereby have the same access to and the only way to make sure that that happens is government programs, public roads, schools, libraries, hospitals, police forces, etc.

    So, you get a mixed economy (which sounds amazingly like what we and every other democratic first world country on earth has).

  44. Gyges:

    We certainly do have a mixed economy.

    I think a free market can do all of the things you mentioned above and more efficiently. I can ask the same of why you think the things you mentioned are done “better” by government. What do you mean by better? Are more people helped? Just because 100 people do something doesn’t make it right.

    “However, your freedom doesn’t extend to actions that limit my freedom.”

    I see we are in agreement, so why should I pay taxes? By taking my money you have limited my freedom.

  45. The readers of this blog are informed and understand what is going on, but most of the public is being swayed to believe that the Obama administration can’ get anything done and the blame goes straight to the President. As obnoxious as many of the obstructionist are, they are winning the popularity contest. We will see if that carries over at the polls.

  46. Gyges:

    here is a good article on my points:

    http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748703673604575550322091167574-lMyQjAxMTAwMDEwMzExNDMyWj.html

    “Samsung of South Korea supplied a cellphone that has its own projector. Jeffrey Gabbay, the founder of Cupron Inc. in Richmond, Va., supplied socks made with copper fiber that consumed foot bacteria, and minimized odor and infection.

    Chile’s health minister, Jaime Manalich, said, “I never realized that kind of thing actually existed.”

    The profit = innovation dynamic was everywhere at the mine rescue site.
    That’s right. In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry. But the reality behind the miracles is the same: Someone innovates something useful, makes money from it, and re-innovates, or someone else trumps their innovation. Most of the time, no one notices. All it does is create jobs, wealth and well-being. But without this system running in the background, without the year-over-year progress embedded in these capitalist innovations, those trapped miners would be dead.”

  47. Byron,

    You seemed to have missed the “Everybody” part of why the government should supply something. Private companies only go where they can make a profit. While there are companies that no doubt build better roads, have better schools, etc. they have no reason to do so where they won’t make money doing it.

    You participate in the society, so you have to pay the usage fee, taxes. So quit acting like the government is stealing your money. You can complain that they’re taking too much, or using it on things you don’t like, that’s fine. The revolution was in part about having a say in how taxes are spent after all (no taxation without representation and all that jazz). Saying “The government is stealing my freedom because they make me pay for stuff,” is just intellectually dishonest whining, and quite frankly beneath you.

  48. Gyges:

    I am sorry but it is not intellectually dishonest. There are plenty of people who believe a completely free market in all areas is both beneficial to society and moral in regard to the individual citizen. Granted government should take care of what it is constitutionally responsible for, common defense, etc.

    That you and others don’t think so does not make me intellectually dishonest.

    I don’t want to live in, nor do I want my children to live in a third world country. We have been headed that way for many decades, it is time to turn the leviathan around and move in another direction. The path we are on is a dead end in my opinion.

  49. Byron,

    No what makes it intellectually dishonest is the fact that the statement “The government is stealing my freedom by making me pay taxes” is a phrase designed to stop all thought about the topic of our conversation. It makes the question mark at the end of your sentence a lie. You were scoring a point, not asking my opinion.

    Don’t believe me? Did you respond to my counter argument, that you should pay taxes because it’s a cost of living in a society? Or did you fixate on me calling you on your bumper sticker slogan?

    Sorry if I’m a bit testy, but I was enjoying the thoughtful conversation with you until that bit. Also, I was going to make Chilisky for dinner (my venison\antelope chili) and found out I needed to re-season my cast dutch oven first.

  50. Gyges:

    I think I was making a counter point to your point, I see taxes as a reduction in freedom. You made the point that my ideas limited your freedom, I disagree. I probably could have left off the “I see you agree with me” part though.

    Why is the health department any better at protecting the public health than something like Angies list? Why do you argue from the premise that government is good and kind?

    As an engineer I can attest to the fact that state regulatory boards have the barest minimum of standards, why not have a free market clearing house that vets engineers? Or have 10 of them or 100 so a consumer can actually see who is good and who isn’t based on consumer testimony, education, and a particular test given? Any engineer worth his salt would want to take the best test that gives the highest rating and with it the highest compensation (presumably).

    I reject your premise that government is superior to the private sector in protecting the public, especially in light of the Internet and a more enlightened citizenry. Self interest all around, in my opinion, prevents what you fear. I see government intrusion over the last 100 plus years as the problem.

  51. It´s an interesting paradox. I don´t know a strategy of FED, but Peter Diamond presents one of the most successful economic experts from a particular point of view the labor market and the behavioral economics. He is the very brilliant scientist into own the branch. During his position as president of the American Economic Association in 2003 he brought out a lot of helpful advices and complex projects. Basically Peter Diamond´s fully researched into the study of unemployment. He wrote some useful scientific publications for these economical problems in todays times. The argument of FED is unsatisfiable for me. I don´t understand it.

  52. Byron,

    So, how exactly do you get from the “government as a referee to prevent and punish force as a means of coercion.” to “I reject your premise that government is superior to the private sector in protecting the public?” If not the protection of the public, WHAT is the role of the government?

  53. Byron,

    “Self interest all around, in my opinion, prevents what you fear. I see government intrusion over the last 100 plus years as the problem.”

    Except unregulated self interest is what brought about 1929 and brought about the regulations that have been steadily eroded since Reagan.

    And I’m really looking forward to your answer to Gyges last question being that protecting the people is a primary function of government. If people didn’t need to be protected from one another, there would be no need for and no governments anywhere, now or throughout history. Really well run and formed governments look out for their people. Bad ones act like protection rackets, but that may not be due to bad form but rather bad actors within the government proper.

  54. Buddha

    In case you missed it earlier, I can’t recommend Jay Lake’s “City Imperishable” novels enough.

    I’m pretty sure that Byron was just choosing his words poorly. He probably makes a difference between protecting from force and protection from other things.

    If I’m right I’m interested in his views on manslaughter and criminal negligence laws.

  55. Gyges:

    If in my engineering scenario a consumer contacts say the company Your Local Engineer.com and chooses Joe Bleau. P. E. to do a design for their new addition and it falls down and injures Harry Homeowner, Harry has the ability to sue for damages in a court of law. Depending on how his contract is written with both YLE.com and J. Bleau, P.E. he is probably going to collect from one or both.

    The only function that government needs to concern itself with is the legal system. Harry is free to use any engineering vetting service he chooses, J. Bleau is free to choose any vetting service he wishes or maybe he chooses not to sign up with vetting service. The state doesn’t need to be involved in the licensing of engineers or of any professional occupation for that matter.

    Don’t you think rational people are able to understand their limitations? I don’t design 20 story buildings because I never have worked for a firm that does but my license says I can if I want to. I even had a conversation with a state employee and asked him what an engineering license allowed me to do, his answer whatever you think you can do. Pretty much the right answer but what is the states function? I am practicing under a self imposed restriction, they [state] don’t restrict my ability to design a 20 story structure and they would have no liability for issuing a P.E. certification in the event I did and it failed. The court system would take care of me.

    Personally I believe you would have a better quality of engineer in a system like that, the ones that truly sucked wouldn’t last long. And anyway that is sort of happening now with the Internet, you can get on line and find out about an engineer or doctor or lawyer and see testimonials. It’s really only a small step to my proposal.

  56. Buddha:


    Except unregulated self interest is what brought about 1929 and brought about the regulations that have been steadily eroded since Reagan.”

    Not hardly, there was regulation or have you forgotten the fed was almost 20 years old by that time. At this point in economics, a good many economists believe it was government intervention that caused the great depression.

  57. Gyges:

    “If not the protection of the public, WHAT is the role of the government?”

    A referee for the public to have a rational standard to apply against the use of force or fraud by others. A legal system in other words and a military. I think government should be very limited in it’s scope and powers. The founders had a pretty good idea why not adhere to those documents, strictly. Obviously there are some contradictions among founding documents so don’t jump all over me for that. the 3/5ths rule comes readily to mind as do a couple of others like women not being allowed to vote.

  58. Byron,

    Government intervention caused the 1929 crash? Oh really?

    While I’ll agree there is not a consensus on the precise cause(s), there is one mechanic of the market that is not in question. As summed up by Philip Snowden, England’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, the American stock market had become a “speculative orgy” and that helped weaken margin accounts making it necessary to sell and further depressing prices.

    Now what could have contained the rampant speculation and the insufficient margin accounts?

    Rules to prevent such practices is what.

  59. Gyges:

    I am truly amazed now. Have you ever heard of the arrogance of excellence? I know many professionals and they don’t doubt themselves where they know their subject. But they do understand their limitations.

    Have you ever thought that the Dunning-Kruger effect is brought about by moral self doubt caused by an educational system that teaches the idea that our mind and our senses cant be trusted? And that people without education haven’t learned that? A properly educated professional doesn’t doubt what he knows and has the confidence to learn new things and take on larger tasks.

    Dunning-Kruger need to go get another hypothesis.

  60. Buddha:

    we didnt need to, it would have self corrected based on the downturn in 1920 and also the huge downturn shortly after the end of the civil war.

  61. And Rothbard reached the wrong conclusion too despite having the history correct. It was the protections that Roosevelt put in place that allowed the unprecedented explosion of wealth in this country in the late 40’s and the 50’s, not unregulated markets.

    Think of a market like a pendulum. Without mechanical stops (regulations) and gravity (actual resources and their constraints) the pendulum is capable of chaotic actions depending upon how much force is applies by the human actors in the market. Cyclical is all well and good and a given as a part of normal market functions, but instability – bubbles and such – are not all well and good because they cause chaos. The market then had more basis in reality than today because it was more closely tied to the realities of physical supplies and the trading of tangible products. Today the problem is even worse because the current bubble was caused by arbitrage instruments – derivatives with only a tangential relationship to reality and little better than playing at a casino shell game.

  62. Byron,

    Hey look, you came up with something that would works because… well because your ideology says it would. Why should I believe your ideology is right, well you’ve got this example that would work.

    If the government is simply around to play umpire, that is enforce the rules. Where do those rules come from?

    I’m going to put this as kindly as possible, but as someone who’s suffered from hallucinations; as someone who has watched videos of events I recalled with crystal clarity, that were someone vastly different then I remember; as someone who’s understands the need for double blind studies; and as someone who’s been to a magic show: If you believe that your senses can be trusted, then you are wrong. Give me peer reviewed research over common sense any day of the week.

  63. Gyges:

    your senses are never wrong, your conception might be wrong but your senses arent. Your mind has taken the “illusion” and come to a wrong conclusion. It is your conscious mind that makes the mistake.

    So now may be a good time to define sensation, perception, conception, consciousness.

    I know what I think they are so I will ask what do you think they are?

  64. Buddha:

    “Cyclical is all well and good and a given as a part of normal market functions, but instability – bubbles and such – are not all well and good because they cause chaos.”

    I disagree, they cause order if they are allowed to take care of themselves. what causes chaos is the intervention on the part of government. Market chaos is the business cycle and can be prepared for. Chaos caused by regulation is harder or impossible to prepare for due to the dislocation of those same markets. I.e they are not allocating resources properly due to government intervention. Therefore there is no stability and we are seeing that right now. We will be extremely lucky if the Bush/Obama stimulus doesn’t send us into another world wide downturn. The jury is still out on that idea.

  65. “your senses are never wrong, your conception might be wrong but your senses arent.”

    Byron,

    The simple definition of a hallucination is a perception in the absence of stimulus. Although most people associate hallucinations with drugs or mental illness, there can be other organic causes for them (sleep deprivation, kinesthesia, etc.) or even physical causes (as in physics, not physiology) such as optical illusions caused by parallax or refraction.

    Your senses can indeed lie to you.

  66. Byron,

    I think we both agree that how a person experiences reality is not necessarily how reality actual is. Which is another way of saying that “sometimes people are wrong.”

    So anyway, back to the main discussion. If the government plays umpire, who makes the rules?

  67. Byron,

    What causes chaos (disequilibrium) is instability. Government intervention is to create stability because if stability wasn’t an issue, there would be no need for regulation. Instability is created by unregulated actions, e.g. anything going beyond the normal operating parameters of the system. For example, you get a whole different outcome operating an engine when you use the systematically regulated fuel flow created by your fuel injection or carb than you do if you simply dump a bucket of gas into the cylinders.

    You are arguing displaying outcome determinism based on your general loathing of government.

  68. Gyges:

    I dont think it will work I know it will work based on that 50 year period after the civil war. Light bulbs, automobiles, airplanes, a cyclone of innovation and wealth creation.

    Even Marks calls capitalism a great force. He had to because it was so apparent to anyone who looked at it. I think he even might have understood that socialism/communism couldn’t survive without capitalism-when the workers own the means of production they are, well capitalists.

  69. Byron,

    Yeah, innovation doesn’t equal effective self regulation. Try again.

    I hope we had a disconnect because as a response to “You just say that self regulation will work.” “There’s been innovation the past 50 years” is nonsensical.

  70. Buddha:

    have you ever thought that maybe the bucket of gas is government? It sure as hell was in the recent economic collapse.

    No, I don’t loath government at all. It is required for people to live in a civilized society. What I do not like about government is it’s constant appetite for our money and our liberty. For whatever reason it cannot help itself, it has grown well beyond the limitations desired by our founders.

  71. Byron,

    What part of “in absence of stimulus” and “can be other organic causes for them (sleep deprivation, kinesthesia, etc.) or even physical causes (as in physics, not physiology) such as optical illusions caused by parallax or refraction” didn’t you understand?

    Or do you think David Copperfield really made the Statue of Liberty vanish?

  72. BIL:
    Off topic but funny you mentioned the Empire State Building,I was saving this for Labor Day but a thread never appeared for that holiday,And I also see the mention of the word innovation being used also.

    Hows this for facts and think how long this would take in todays labor market:

    “How long did it take to build?
    The building was actually completed ahead of schedule, taking only one year and 45 days to build.”

    http://history1900s.about.com/od/1930s/a/empirefacts.htm

  73. eniobob,

    Thanks for the tidbits and for the good laugh. I keep imagining the end of “King Kong” if the the big monkey had climbed the Statue of Liberty instead of the Empire State Building and I must say it makes me giggle.

  74. Byron,

    O.k. let’s try this again. You want the umpire to abide by the existing rule book. Which you admit may be faulty. Who gets to change the rules when they are faulty?

    This isn’t hard. You can say “Oh, well I guess the government should,” or “The people,” or “Jebus,” or “The tallest lefthanded man currently living somewhere with an address that’s a multiple of 3,” the options are endless.

    Your evasive language and insistence on Euphemisms would make Orwell drop kick a kitten.

    At some point you’re going to have to either say that a)Government should only enforce contracts and defend from violence and theft.
    or
    B) you agree with the everyone that doesn’t fantasize about Dagny Taggart, that there might be some other reasons for the government to exist.

  75. ” ‘The tallest lefthanded man currently living somewhere with an address that’s a multiple of 3,’ the options are endless.

    Your evasive language and insistence on Euphemisms would make Orwell drop kick a kitten.”

    roflol

  76. Buddha:

    an hallucination and an optical illusion are 2 different things. One is an absence of external stimulus and occurs only in the mind, the other is a problem of conception. A stick may look bent but it is not. It is an optical illusion based on the properties of water. It is not an hallucination.

    Once you understand the properties of water you understand the stick is not bent. Do railroad tracks converge in the distance? If you don’t know that the tracks are parallel and if you don’t understand perspective, then you would swear the tracks converge. It is not a problem with your senses.

  77. Byron,

    Do you understand that both involve your senses lying to you?

    A hallucination is an experience without stimuli. It seems perfectly real at the time. I can tell by your statement you have never hallucinated, have you?

    An optical illusion is your senses lying to you because the input is false by an aberration of physics and your brain interprets it in a way that is divergent from reality.

  78. Gyges:

    what is the mechanism for the changes to be made? The rules are there already for us to follow. So the answer is the people can change it or their elected representatives. I think they have changed it too much, what’s wrong with that?

    I suppose the other reason is transfer of wealth, which it is very good at.

    By the way I don’t fantasize about Dagny Taggart, Dominique Francone on the other hand . . . .

    I think I have explained myself as fully as this venue provides for. And I am a little confused as to why you would ask who makes the rules. The rules have already been made a couple of hundred years ago. The rules as originally made seem pretty good to me.

    Isnt that the place to start? As I mentioned earlier a few things need to be changed but hey they [founders] gave us a way. I just think that we have moved too far away from the original concepts and are off track.

    I dont know how much clearer I can be.

  79. Byron,

    Off hand the only subject that the “Founding Fathers” agreed on was that they didn’t like the British policies. So, while cries of antiquity are appealing, saying you agree with “this principles this country was founded on” is going to lead to some pretty heated arguments with yourself.

    By the way, I think pretty much everyone on this site agrees that we should follow the Constitution, and you have yet to explain how a mixed economy isn’t Constitutional. Before you get too excited, I’ve got a book of stamps on the desk next to me that you’ve got to overcome.

    I’m frustrated because I keep asking simple and specific questions and you keep giving vague answers. Look at my description as to why I think a mixed market is the best system for economic policy, and compare that to your responses to why you believe in a free market. I’ve been there, one of the hardest intellectual exercises is to figure out why your basic assumptions are your basic assumptions, but believe me it’s worth it.

  80. Byron,

    I had misread a couple of things in your penultimate response, I apologize.

    However, you do keep saying we’ve strayed to far from the original foundational philosophies of this country, etc. You just don’t say what exactly those foundations are, or how they’re related to the discussion of free\mixed markets.

    To answer your question, I ask who makes the rules because the way you defined the government’s role, nobody made the rules. If the government made the rules, then by necessity you’ve added another function to the ump with a gun you envision.

  81. Gyges: “Off hand the only subject that the “Founding Fathers” agreed on was that they didn’t like the British policies. So, while cries of antiquity are appealing, saying you agree with “this principles this country was founded on” is going to lead to some pretty heated arguments with yourself.”

    Seriously??

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