Description

Robert Murphy is a professor of economics at the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University, co-host of Contra-Krugman with Tom Woods, and author of many great books on economics including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism.

This is a wide-ranging conversation that goes from what sparked Bob’s intellectual in free-market economics, to starting the Contra-Krugman Podcast, to a deep dive into Economics and specifically Austrian Business Cycle Theory.

In This Episode:
– What sparked Bob’s interests in free market economics?
– Writing The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism.
– The back story behind the Contra-Krugman podcast.
– Overviewing the different schools of economics.
– Austrian Business Cycle Theory
– Would a perfectly free economy be stable?
– Why do waves of bankruptcies all line up together?
– The difference between what the Austrian School says and the Efficient Market Hypothesis
– Is it harder for the Fed to manipulate the economy now?
– From an Austrian perspective, what is concerning with the economy today?
– Staying positive when you know that there will be large negative consequences to monetary policy.

Full show notes with links at isaacmorehouse.com/podcast

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All episodes of the Isaac Morehouse Podcast are available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.

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Meet the hosts

I'm an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. I'm the founder and CEO of Praxis, an intensive ten-month program combining real world business experience with the best of online education for those who want more than college.

discussions

  • I know that project ideas are a dime a dozen. They are useful only if someone takes them and executes a plan to make them a reality. The idea I’d like to share with you would require more skill, energy, and time than I alone could devote to it. So I’d like to get your feedback and measure the interest. Here it is. Since bitcoins can be paid in fractions (e.g., .0001 BTC) and since payment transactions carry little or no transaction fee, it is feasible to create a micropayment website for digital. As you also know, for most of history, artists were supported by patrons, not by property rights in copies of their works. Well, with bitcoin micropayments, nearly everyone can afford to be a patron of the arts, and they can reward the artist according to the value they perceive they got from the work (there are some songs I just cannot do without), and according to their own financial ability.I am convinced that if copyright was less restrictive, artists would benefit in ways that perhaps they cannot now envision. The idea is simple. Creators upload digital content to the site. They assign certain hashtags to it and post in one of several categories. Videos, music, photos, datasets for 3d printing, writing, art, advocacy and causes. Any content posted to the site is downloadable if a bitcoin tip of any amount is paid for it. The content can be played/viewed on site for free, but to download and copy, you need to tip the creator at least, say, .00001 BTC. Imagine a musician who posts a song in either audio or video or both. The more tips she earns, the higher she gets ranked. The higher he gets ranked, the more tips she receives. It’s a relatively frictionless way for a creator to get content to the end user and get paid for it in a way that could work in a filesharing world. So the concept is similar to twitter, instagram, tumblr, with hashtags that enable searching, but it also employs other performance ranking methods like the bitcoin tip data. Content creators are paid through a voluntary payment system. It’s sort of like crowdfunding in that regard. All content uploaded is royalty free and can be used for any purpose by anyone who gives a tip of any amount and downloads the content. Maybe you use a creative commons license to make sure nobody else claims it as their intellectual property. I really don’t think artists need the governments’ guns pointing at folks who copy their works. I think people would reward them anyway. Say someone uploads a dataset for a 3d printer to the site. Folks can tip him/her in increments that would be too small to pay via paypal, credit cards, etc. The transaction fees are too high. You could tip .0001BTC for a download and pay no transaction fee. Revenue for the site would come from advertising and/or by charging artists a small commission on their monthly or annual gross bitcoin tips. Creators could even assign a portion of their gross bitcoin receipts to be used in advertising on site to get featured ranking, ala Google or Facebook. Say you’re in Copenhagen, across the street from a building you’re curious about. Your phone alerts you that the 3d dataset for the building is available on gratuity2. You’re feeling generous so you tip .001BTC for the dataset. Back home, a 3d printer spits out a scaled down copy for your desk. Imagine that a kid in Latin America puts together a little music video with his phone. He uploads it to gratuity2.com and it goes viral. A million kids throughout the world tip him .00001 BTC. A small thumb drive he bought at the local market holds a free bitcoin wallet in it. The next time he plugs it into any internet device, bang, he has 1000 BTC in his wallet. Say an artist posts an original song and it goes viral. Fans around the world tip her because they love the song. The higher her ranking, the more BTC tips she receives. Now say some advertiser grabs the song and uses it in their commercial for something (let’s say shoes). The terms of the license require only that the creator get credit (Maybe her QR code for her bitcoin wallet is on screen in the corner for a few seconds). More people hear the song in the ads and decide to download it and tip her (confession – I bought a Lady Gaga song because I heard it in a car commercial and liked it). There is the potential for a frictionless, direct relationship between artist and fans. And no strong arm copyright police. No centralized power in the hands of a few media companies. Maybe it turns out that copyright law is not needed because it is clear that this system both rewards creators and is an incentive to innovate. I.P. need not be a political issue. If a system like this took off, copyright law could become irrelevant. It’s a pro voluntary payment system. That’s the idea in a nutshell. Maybe it would fit somehow within liberty.me. It’s actually pretty close to what liberty.me is already doing. I invite your feedback and any interest in collaborating to make something like this a reality.

    Jump to Discussion Post 3 replies
  • The “Tax Honesty” movement has demonstrated a few things to a lot of people.  To cover a lot with a few words, I’ll put it this way:  The IRS breaks its own rules in order to rob us through deceit. Some people (Irwin Schiff, for example) have suffered because they attempted to protect themselves from the rule-breakers.  There is now a theory popular among liberty-minded people that the government is too corrupt and powerful for anyone to succeed in an effort like Irwin Schiff’s.  There is also some good evidence showing this theory to be wrong.  It’s available at Peter Hendrickson’s website, losthorizons.com. I think that a lot of bureaucrats feel and believe that they are helping society.  This leaves them open to consider fixing situations in which their bureaucracy is breaking its own rules.  And let’s face it, there are some rules that can actually help liberty.  Perhaps the loads of evidence that Hendrickson has on his site can be explained by the presence of such “good-hearted” individuals in the bowels of the IRS. In any case, if you can, please entertain the possibility that the US Income Tax is not being administered honestly.  Consider that maybe, just maybe, in the gargantuan tangle of words called “Title 26,” the legal meaning of the law as it applies to most people is not coercive at all.  Maybe, if it were properly applied, the government would be a nuisance like neighbors who let their dogs poop on your lawn, instead of a nuisance like cancer in your lungs.  It could be true.  I think it is true, and I think that failing to follow all the twists and turns that Hendrickson uncovered to see for yourself that it is true kind of justifies you still being enslaved to a government that steals from you in order to cause havoc all over the planet in a massive deception that justifies its existence. If we want to honor the goodness in all people, including those who have been tricked into serving evil, we can do so by understanding the rules they think they should be following, and using them to protect ourselves from enslavement.

    Jump to Discussion Post 37 replies
  • Does this list have anything else that could be added to it? The goal is to have a checklist that could be used to check any article on the topic. I would guess most people on this site are aware that arbitrarily raising the cost of labor isn’t the best way to help workers.

    Jump to Discussion Post 2 replies
  • Hi All, If you haven’t yet heard of the Life Liberty Advocate program, you might like to check this out: https://lifelibertyadvocates.com/ They have a program where you can earn part-time and full-time income promoting the principles of liberty. I’ve listened to many of their materials and it is some of the best liberty education materials I’ve heard. Anyway, if you are looking for a way to be able to afford to devote more of your time to the cause of liberty, this may be a great opportunity for you. Cheers! Pat

    Jump to Discussion Post 25 replies
  • Hello, I’ve become quite keen on Jeffrey Rogers Hummel views on inflation. https://fee.org/articles/governments-diminishing-benefits-from-inflation/ That governments don’t get as much cash money as they used to from Seigniorage(money printing)…becuase of some details of the modern banking system. Hummels view is that the US Gov is more likely to actually default on it’s bonds than print it’s way out of it’s financial problems as so many of us libertairans often predict. Any way…. how are people actually calculating the revenue states are getting from seigniorage? There is constant mention to specific statistics in his works on what revenue governments make from printing money…but how are economists attempting to calculate this so exactly? “Almost none of the developed countries could boast seigniorage amounting to more than 1 percent of GDP, despite the fact that the study incorporated the inflationary years of the 1970s. Joseph H. Haslag’s smaller sample of 67 countries over a longer period, 1965 to 1994, finds that seigniorage averaged about 2 percent of total output for the entire sample, ranging from as low as 0.25 percent to as high as 9.98 percent (for Ghana).” However, I’m not smart enough to figure out how this is being calculated? When I Google — I see Seignoarge defined as the cost to money vs what the money is worth. (if it costs 1cent to print a dollar bill than Seigorage is 99cents). Pennies have negative seigniorage — cost the Gov more to mint than 1 cent.) But for the point Hummel is making it seems like a more sophisticated calculation? How did people figure out that for example in WW2 seignorage was 6%? Perhaps this is rather obvious? Thanks! –Luke

    Jump to Discussion Post 2 replies