Sunday, October 11, 2015

The KN@PP Stir Podcast, 10/11/15

This week's episode (like all episodes this year) is brought to you by Darryl W. Perry:

In this episode:

  • Thanks For Asking! (hypothetical Mouse That Roared stuff);
  • Quick rundown on the stuff I do and why you should support it.
Yes, it's a short episode this week, folks. I explain why, first thing. Short text version: I'm tuckered out from car troubles and bicycle rides. Should be back to the full 15-minute version next week, though!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Thanks For Asking! -- 10/08/15

This week's AMA thread and the podcast to follow are brought to you by Darryl W. Perry (who is not responsible for my frequent tardiness in posting the threads):

As per usual:

  • Ask me anything (anything!) in the comments below this post; and
  • I'll answer in the comment thread, on this weekend's episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast, or both.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Horwitz Rides My HobbyHorse

The Center for a Stateless Society's October "Mutual Exchange" symposium covers the question "Do Free Markets Always Produce a Corporate Economy?" I suspect you'll enjoy Cory Massimino's introduction, Kevin Carson's lead essay, and rejoinders from Derek Wall and Steven Horwitz.

In this post, I don't want to cover the whole question, but I do want to point out something from Horwitz that applies to more than just that question:

There is no doubt that the interventions of governments at various levels have subsidized aspects of the current structure of the US economy, as Carson points out. The state's role in building interstate highways and the railways certainly enabled producers to externalize the costs of transportation onto others. Carson concludes from this that such large-scale transportation systems would not exist in a free society (or would not have existed had we been a free society) and that economies would be more regional and local. Perhaps. It is always worth reminding left-libertarians that you can’t prove a counter-factual.

When and where I disagree with Carson (which isn't nearly as often as you might think), it tends to be on that very subject ("what would have happened if A, instead of B, had happened a long time ago?") or on the related subject of predicting, other than in an extremely broad sense, future outcomes from this point ("if we free the market today, what will society look like 50 years from now?) Carson tends to be a little braver than I am on both matters. I consider it hubris to speculate as much as he does, even though we agree on broad outlines.

This caution of mine versus the speculations of others doesn't just apply to matters economic.

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