Casual Confoes 010 – Free Markets w/ Robert Murphy
Welcome back to the Casual Confoes podcast, a series dedicated towards economics and finance. In this episode we had Robert P. Murphy as a guest. He is a PhD economist and a Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute. He is the author of many books and articles. Additionally, he is also the host of The Bob Murphy Show.
Check out his podcast: The Bob Murphy Show
- 0:00 Introductions
- 2:30 What is Austrian Economics?
- 6:20 How did Robert get introduced to Austrian Economics?
- 9:05 Difference between conservatism and libertarianism
- 13:00 Safety vs. Freedom
- 16:20 How does the free-market “fantasy” differ from the socialist “fantasy”?
- 21:40 Private companies becoming so global that they turn into the State
- 36:05 Libertarianism and pandemics
- 38:59 Mises’ critique of why socialism doesn’t even work in theory
- 46:48 Why aren’t economics professors less libertarian than the general population?
- 49:01 Why are Investors more in favor of the Austrian school?
- 52:14 Academic views on cryptocurrencies
- 56:42 Assessing Suriname’s problems and how to fix them
Video Version of the Episode
Intro/Outro beat with compliments of Sjakeem Seedo.
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Full Episode Transcript
Gregory: [00:00:00] So obviously we ask a lot of questions regarding that topic and for our Surinamese listeners. There’s a really interesting question. We asked at the end of the conversation. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole podcast, please do yourself a favor and at least get to the last question. The timestamp will be in the description.
All right, guys. Welcome back to the Casual Confoes podcast. Today’s episode features Robert Murphy. He is one of my intellectual heroes, not going to lie. I’ve been listening to this guy for two to three years, and I may or may not have jumped like a little kid when he said he would accept our request to be on a podcast.
He is a PhD economist. He’s a senior fellow. At the Meeses Institute, he’s written a number of books. He’s written a lot of articles. He has his own show called the Bob Murphy show. Please follow him and subscribe all the links for his social media and his books will be in the description. Bob is specialized in free market economics.
All right guys, enjoy.
Diego: [00:01:04] Welcome back guys to Casual Confoes. We have a very special guest tonight this morning. Wherever you are in the world. Dr. Robert Murphy from the Mises Institute in the United States. Welcome Bob. Thanks for joining us. First of all, yeah, first of all , you’re an author of a few books.
You have your own podcast. Ghost at the popular podcast at the contract group, man. And your own Bob Murphy show, before we dive into the economic side of this discussion , I was always curious, why does Robert gets short and big Bob?
Robert Murphy: [00:01:44] Yeah. I mean, if you’re asking me like, what, why historically is that the thing?
I don’t know. I mean, what’s even weirder is Jack is short for John or John, you know? So that’s why they call JFK Jack. Sometimes I can understand , you know, you mean, well, so there is Rob. That is a thing too, but yeah, I don’t, I don’t know why they switched it to Bob, but growing up, all the people I knew that were Rob, I didn’t like.
And so I don’t like have people calling me Rob, cause it reminds me of those kids that didn’t like.
Diego: [00:02:11] Awesome. So, yeah, thanks so much. Always curious. And we didn’t even know about the Jack and John thing and more, you know, to pick it up for Greg.
Gregory: [00:02:21] All right. Well, could you please explain to the audience what exactly you’re predominantly an Austrian economics economists. Could you please explain what Austrian economics is because in Suriname, and we have a very , typical framework of classical and Keynesian economics with a little bit of Marx sprinkled in there, but nobody really knows what libertarian economics isn’t let alone Austrian economics.
Robert Murphy: [00:02:47] Okay. Sure. So , The Odyssey Austrian school. And it was named that because the original members were from a country Austria. And so the, their chief rivals it happened in 1871. Carl Mangere was the founder of the Austrian school. He wrote a book that we translate as principles of economics. And so if your listeners know anything about the history of economic thought, this is what.
Inaugurated the so-called marginal revolution. So it was the switch from, like you were saying, Greg of classical economics, like Adam Smith and David Hume and people like that. And David Ricardo too. W w is it called modern subjective value theory? And so the, and so Carl manga was one of the three that are co co credited with ushering that in.
So the, the German economists of the day derided these thinkers as like, Oh, that’s Austrian economics. Cause you know, Germany was more the cultural center of things. So, but in the name stuck, so the in school, they, as you mentioned, they tend to be associated with people who have libertarian political views.
But it is the Austrian school is a, you know, objective scientific school of thought. It’s just that the way the Austrians understand how markets work and then understand how government intervention, screws things up, then most people armed with that knowledge of the world. That scientific knowledge then.
Have very libertarian or, you know, small government limited government political views because the Austrian analysis shows them that it’s, you know, it’s harmful. So they, they tend to agree on policy issues. A lot of free market economists in many areas. And one area where the Austrians I think are pretty unique is they all, they, their theory of what causes the business cycle.
So this was developed by Ludwig von Mises. And so that’s, I work for the missus Institute, as you guys said in the introduction. So he developed this theory of the business cycle. I think that’s w in today’s world, why everybody needs, who cares about these things needs to know about the Austrian school is because their theory of the business cycle.
So to say it real fast, they say that , the, the reason market economies seem to be plagued by this boom bust cycle. Is because of government intervention. And specifically when government intervenes in the banking sector, it gives the banks the ability to inflate the credit supply, which inflates the money supply in the end because the new money comes in through the credit market.
It pushes interest rates down to artificially low levels. And then that gives a false signal to entrepreneurs and they start projects that there’s not enough real savings to complete. So it gives us a short-term appearance of prosperity, like, Oh wow. Everything’s expanding. And that’s what we think of as the boom, but it’s, it’s built on quick sandwiches because of fake signals, price signals.
From the banking system. And so eventually that comes to an end and that that’s the crash and that’s the switch over to the, to the bust period. So if the Austrians are right, then every time there’s a recession now in central banks cut interest rates, they’re not helping. All they’re doing is sowing the seeds for the next crisis.
So that’s why I think that’s what, that’s just one example from what you asked me and what the Austrians offer. But even like other free market economists, they don’t have a theory like that.
Gregory: [00:06:03] Yeah. Yeah. Great. That’s what I experienced as well. It’s pretty unique view on libertarian economics. Could you please explain, I’ve listened to a lot of your podcasts, but they don’t really delve much into.
What your childhood was like, because for us growing up , most people that are into Austrian economics at the moment got exposed to it through Peter Schiff and Stefan Molyneux that’s for me the point. But for you, like without social media, this is a pretty fringe ideology. How do you get exposed to it?
Robert Murphy: [00:06:32] As you said before the days of electricity, how did you get involved, Dr. Murphy? So right. They I’m sure the internet technically existed when I was growing up, but it wasn’t a thing, you know, like it was just something that the whatever defense department was playing with, I guess. So my, my dad listened in the car when he would drive me around, like in my seventh grade or so.
He listened to this guy called rush Limbaugh. So rush Limbaugh is still active and people could still listen to him, but I just I’ve lately I’ve been stressing as every time I mentioned this part of the story rush Limbaugh back in 1991, which is probably the, the air the year so that I got into him was really funny and entertaining.
And it was only over time that he got more. Like associated with the Republican party or whatever. But back then he was kind of, he was more like, like a, a Twitter troll is nowadays, you know, someone who does his things, people and whatever. Like that’s kind of what he did back then. Just making fun of what he called liberals.
So anyway, that’s how I got interested in like political economic analysis. Then that led me to just start reading stuff. There was this thing called the conservative Chronicle. That was a weekly collection of all the opinion pieces that had been written by what were called conservatives. But then I realized as I was reading that I wasn’t concerned I was libertarian.
And my two favorite authors in that digest, that, that, that would be, you know, it was physical. It was printed on actual paper and mail to our house. Cause, you know, that’s how you got stuffed back then. It was Thomas soul and Walter Williams, you know, who are two big economists in the United States, libertarian realm.
And so that’s what I realized, like, no, it’s I really like economics. And then I found the Henry Hazlitt and he led me to me. He says, and Roth Bard. And so by my senior year of high school, I read human action cover to cover. And I knew that I, and I applied to go to a school to get. You know, to major in economics.
And specifically I went to Hillsdale college because that’s where they had the, the library of Mises. So that’s why I went there. Cause it was, I, I knew not only that I wanted to be a college professor teaching economics, but that I wanted to be into Austrian economics.
Gregory: [00:08:38] So you mentioned , libertarian liberal and conservative economic economics, but , libertarian is actually very different from both of those sides and. Usually when you consider free market economics, they put you in the conservative realm and then you must support Donald Trump and you’re a Maga freak or whatever, but in reality, you guys don’t even support either of them. Could you please explain what, what the difference is between free market economics and actual , conservative economics?
Robert Murphy: [00:09:09] Sure. So, so again, we should probably be saying more like, Political philosophy or conservatism versus libertarianism in the US context, because by saying economics like probably conservatives. Yeah. Libertarians, if you ask them about their economic, like what, what type of economic side, like, which economists do you think are good?
It would probably be a list of largely overlaps. It’s just the conservatives then would say, well, there’s more to life than just economics. And so that’s, you know, like in other words, the conservative. Could still favor the drug war, even though they endorse most of what the libertarian analysis of, Oh, these are the effects of drug prohibition.
I said, that’s okay. Look, the price is worth it, you know, because we have to keep, keep them up moral society or whatever. So anyway , but yeah, the, the differences between the way, if you want us to conservatives and libertarians, look at things in the, in the U S so yes, conservatives tend to be more.
Republicans, whereas libertarians like for this election right now, even though this is obviously, you know, it’s a cliche to say, this is the most important election of our lifetime, but right now in the U S this, this really is hands down the most important election of my lifetime. And there are prominent libertarians who have all three positions.
Some are, you know, very much pro Trump saying Trump has to win, or America’s over. Some are pro Biden that say. Bye needs to win. Otherwise, Trump’s going to continue taking us down the path to be a banana Republic. And then there are other libertarians that say this system is corrupt and broken. Can you believe we have to choose between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
This is why voting is stupid and you know, you should be an anarchist, right? So there’s all kinds of, of things in there. Whereas the conservatives tend to, you know, right now favor Trump. So another thing too is like, regardless of ones, Views on the morality of drug use or prostitution or things like that.
Most libertarians don’t think the government should be punishing that stuff. Whereas, you know, a lot of conservatives do like so, so I’m on narrow economic policy issues. Conserves, the libertarians tend to be pretty similar. And then on social issues, liberals and libertarians tend to be similar because the libertarian, you know, doesn’t favor the state, neither of those realms.
So that’s why sometimes people summarize it and say, Oh, what a libertarian is, is conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues. But actually I’d say it’s libertarians are consistently skeptical of state power and want to have freedom for the individual. And the other two camps are contradictory depending on what the issue is like on one way.
The government, if you’re a conservative, the government , is competent and moral enough to like instill patriotism and young children and, you know, and to make sure that they don’t get corrupted by prostitution and pornography. But on the other hand, when it comes to like the welfare state or setting the minimum wage, Oh, it’s a bunch of idiots, you know, like Nancy Pelosi running the show.
Yeah. Easy. I mean like, so it depends on what the issue is and all of a sudden governments either a noble benefactor or not, and the same thing with American liberals. On the one hand, you know, the government should be in charge of raising our kids. It should , you know, help the poor people in our cities.
And on the other hand, the police and the court system are all inherently built on white supremacy and need to be torn down violently. So it was a war, it was the same, same people.
Gregory: [00:12:27] at the core of it is it’s freedom. For the Austrian side of the economics and , Michael malice has a quote he often says is that most people, they just want to feel safe rather than free. Why would you say that freedom is a higher goal than safety.
Robert Murphy: [00:12:44] Okay. Well, all right, so there’s two things. So one is just answering the question on its own terms. Yeah. If I really did have to choose. Now, again with this, you can always come up with crazy, see scenarios , you know, where it’s really loaded in one way, and it’s a short term thing.
And so, you know, maybe you could say, Oh see, isn’t that safety over freedom or whatever. But as a general rule, as a general principle yes. That you would, life would not be worth living if you’re not free. Okay. And so that’s already, or at least if you just submit to not being free and don’t do anything about it, right?
Like if you acquiesced in it or whatever, like that’s. You know, that’s, I wouldn’t want to live like that. Like, you wouldn’t wanna live as a slave. Right. And so if that’s what you mean then to say, okay, would you ever sacrifice freedom for safety? No. All right. But in practice that that’s a false dichotomy, right?
Like what, for example, a big one that comes to mind is after nine 11, the, the us government, the federal government. Federalized airport security. And like I realized my young son growing up to that was never going to know what it was like to take, you know, to ride on a plane before the federal government was in charge of the security.
And he would just think, Oh yeah, obviously the federal government has to be in charge of making sure someone doesn’t sneak a bomb on the plane. I was like, no, that was for most of my life. That wasn’t the case, you know, but anyway, So there it’s, you know, people, a lot of people are like, Oh yeah, I know it’s an invasion of our privacy and whatever.
Especially the scanners that like, they can see a naked and whatever, but Hey, that’s just a price we have to pay. And no, that’s not true by the government taking over that function. Air travel is less safe now. Right relative to, if it were privately owned and the, you know, the, the owners of the, of the, you know, if there was , a plot know, plane crashed, if the companies involved were the ones who had to pay the associated costs or damages.
Then that would be the right system. And then they would, they would pick the appropriate level of, of screening and security that matched, you know, the, the, the risk and so forth. But right there, the way it is right now, they have what’s called security theater. They’re the government’s own watchdog groups do tests like, so they’ll send undercover people to go get on an airplane and they’ll in their suitcase, they’ll have guns or knives or whatever, and put it through to see.
Well, it’s called the TSA. Will the TSA intercept it and stop it in the failure rate? I’m not making it as something I think is over 99%. It’s some ludicrously high number, meaning, you know, like if they send a hundred of those things through. 99, make it onto the plane and only one gets stocked, you know?
And so it’s, so the reason there hasn’t been another nine 11 attack is not because the government keeps stopping it. It’s just because the terrorists aren’t picking that or, you know, depending on what your views are, you know, Alex Jones will tell you a different story about what happened, but yeah.
Gregory: [00:15:39] When I try to explain free market economics, to people around me that don’t really have a rational framework for evaluating. They keep saying that there’s this utopia that you. Assume that’s going to happen when you leave people free. And in my mind, it’s like, it’s the same socialist utopia that the socialists try to say. So when you say what if the free market was around, you’d have efficient. Production, distribution, everything like that. But in their ears, it sounds like the same arguments that the socialists makes that if everyone was just kind and benevolent, we’d get the perfect society. How does the free market quote unquote utopia differ from the socialist utopia?
Robert Murphy: [00:16:27] Okay. That’s a, that’s a fair question. So I would say. You’re right at an abstract level, there does seem to be a lot of superficial similarity between like radical libertarians and socialists.
And we even, even in terms of like sociologically, like how we interact with each other, like it’s a, it’s a well known joke. That if you’re with a group of libertarians, they’re going to start arguing about who’s the real libertarian and they’re going to start excluding. So it’s no wonder that the movement doesn’t get anywhere because at any given time, there’s only 15 of us who can agree.
Okay. We’re all cool. But everybody else, you know, so , and you know, you don’t want, and Marxist and socially, you know, they’re, they got their Leninist and their, this and their, that Trotskyites and, you know, they have their own little distal, just like we do, you know, like, Oh man, I can’t stand those people from George Mason, you know, that kind of stuff.
So there is that, but I would say. A huge difference between the free market libertarians who can write up things about, you know, imagine a world without a coercive state and how could police and courts be provided privately, you know? And I’m one of the people who write stuff like that. So I understand that does look.
Like, Oh, we’re just the mirror image of Marxists talking about when we get rid of the oppressors and we’ll just, you know, go free and , you know, without the petty bourgeoisie and so forth, the workers can just flourish in the morning. They’ll dabble in geometry and then they’ll go do some poetry and then maybe crank out some television sets with unbelievable productivity, you know, that kind of stuff.
So one huge difference I think is that you can. We can look around and see like the difference between, so it’s true. We can’t look at the difference between pure, absolute Marxism that everybody would agree yet. Every marshals would say that’s exactly the system I favored versus 100% Roth Bardeen. As in, let’s say like in the name of Murray Rothbard, the kind of society you’re right.
That’s never existed either. So we don’t have the, we can’t look at a hundred percent of one versa, but we can look at. 70% Roth Bardeen ism compared to 99% Marxism. And it’s not even close right everywhere. That Marxism is seriously tried. There’s mass starvation and concentration camps. Well, for sure, mass starvation, I think the concentration camps, I didn’t think about that, but there’s, there’s nowhere where pure Marxism has been tried, like at a, you know, above like a neighborhood level where it’s, it’s rapid, like even in the Bolshevik revolution aid, they take over.
There was, I think they called it a war communism. They actually did try to abolish money in the beginning and that there’s so many people were dropping dead. That even Lennon was like, Whoa, that doesn’t work. We need to have money. Okay. You know, we’ll have money for now, at least. So , you know, there’s something easy, like the economic freedom index, you know, this is a fairly objective metric.
That, you know, in other words, it doesn’t argue in a circle. It’s not that they say a country is free if its GDP is growing. No there’s objective quantifiable measures that they constitute economic freedom. And so the Fraser Institute is one of the places that publishes these things. They can quantify around the world government regimes and how much economic freedom do they give to their people.
And then just doing standard, you know, regression analysis, like clearly economic freedom goes hand in hand with it. Not just economic growth and low unemployment and stuff like that, but like literacy and nutrition rates in the, you know, falling , infant deaths and stuff like that. So you, I think it’s clear our system works, whereas the most horrible regimes of the 20th century, we’re all socialist like again, and this is cliche at this point, but Nazi stood for national socialists.
So even Hitler was not the polar opposite of. Of socialism. You could say he’s a polar opposite of classless, communism, that’s international, perhaps, but not because of the essence of the state versus private business. So this is, I guess that’s what I would say. And, you know, and then even more extreme, like certain areas that , You know, era like the United States in the 18 hundreds or whatever, you know, like that’s, you know, you can see that if they have private, basically private property, that’s, you know, a widespread respect for private properties is what I would say is the criteria on for that group of people are going to blow past another group of people who do not respect their own neighbors, private property.
Diego: [00:20:49] Yeah. You, you wrote quite a bit of this in your Chaos Theory book , if you remove the state completely and privatized everything , and that the mechanics would basically work itself out , in a sense of what the state had, the fear of loss, insurance, criminals , It’s quite a different , society.
But my question is , you had an interesting quote, the insurance companies , eventually become the state. So in that sense, you may start off that way, but doesn’t, it eventually grow into a in the case it’s not called a state yet, but this private Institute growing so powerful that they become kind of authoritarian as a state. So. Would you say it’s inevitable or is there any flaws in that? I guess string of thought,
Robert Murphy: [00:21:39] correct.
Okay. Yep. Okay, great. So if I’m not mistaken, so it’s been a while since I’ve used for the listeners who don’t know, you’re alluding to a pamphlet called chaos theory, two essays on market anarchy that I wrote when I was in grad school.
So it was like in the early it’s thing, I think that came out like 2001, something like that. Yeah. And, and so the one I say was on private law and one was on private defense. So just saying, yeah, we privately to push, you know, the libertarian ideal to the extreme, get rid of the course of state altogether and just have voluntary organizations could be private businesses or maybe nonprofits, but private associations that provide everything to right now, the state does, how could that work?
And then I think what you’re referring to is I had a section on like, Common objections. And so the quotation marks were not me saying what I viewed, but it was just like an objection someone might have. And then, so the objection you’re talking about is someone saying, Hey, in your world, Murphy, where it seems like insurance companies do a lot of the work right now that the state does.
So like, just so people know the backstory, the backdrop. So I was saying like, just like right now for. A doctor to be able to go practice medicine, like to, you know, to be a brain surgeon or a heart surgeon at a hospital, the doctor has to have a medical malpractice insurance. Otherwise they’ll say, no, you can’t operate.
Or for, I worked with people in the financial sector. You know, like life insurance agents to be licensed and to be practicing and to sell life insurance, the clients have to carry insurance for what’s called errors and omissions. So in case something happens, you know, they didn’t get the thing down, you know, and there’s a pending suit.
They have an outside insurance thing. So I’m saying just generalize that, that in general, I imagine in society, in a free society where there’s not a course of government to have police and courts and stuff, You know, what would people do naturally within the, you know, clearly operating within their rights, just to try to minimize crime and fraud.
And so I would say, I thought there’d be a bigger role for that. So insurance companies basically would be vouching for people. So you, you go to apply for a job at a, you know, an office. They’re not going to hire you unless you have some third party agency saying, yeah. If this guy comes in and just takes a gun out and starts shooting people, then you know, we’ll compensate you and you know, we’ll deal with them ourselves.
And there’s other mechanisms too. But in terms of why would someone just hire someone off the street to come in and work for them? So there’s outside from Bouchie for them or just to rent a car. You’d have to have an outside agency vouching and saying, yeah, if this person doesn’t return the rented car, we’re good for it.
And that’s the model I had. So now that the objection is, okay, you got rid of the state Murphy, but wouldn’t these insurance companies basically regulate your life, tell you what to do, or else you get punished. That’s just the state by another name. Isn’t it. So I don’t remember what I wrote there.
Hopefully what I was saying. I was going to contradict that. So just off the top of my head, so a couple of things are one. Yeah. When it comes to principals and does someone have the right to do something? It really does matter whether like it’s their property or not. Okay. So I can’t go into your house and tell you, take your shoes off, but if you want to come into my house, it’s perfectly fine for me to say you can, yeah, you can come out in here, but leave your shoes at the door.
Cause in, you know, in my house we don’t wear shoes. You see how there’s a quality and it’s, you know, it’s not because there’s something about. Wearing shoes that change from one scenario to another it’s no, the owner gets to set the rules and it’s, you know, it’s something that innocuous like wearing shoes.
The reason that doesn’t seem like a big deal to us is because if you don’t like it, It’s not that big a deal for you just to not come into my house. Whereas if it’s like a store that says, you know, Oh, if you’re Muslim and you can’t buy food here, that does seem like, Whoa, wait a minute. You know, that’s that, that strikes a little more people as a problem.
And even there though, again, you’d say, well, it is a libertarian. If someone owns the store, they can set rules like that. If it’s, if it’s their property, they can have a rule like that. And maybe the community then punishes them and says, well, we’re not shopping there if you’re a bigot, but. You know, notice how it works.
You can’t burn the store down because you’re mad at them. But what you can do is just withhold your own money cause you own your money. Right. So that’s kind of thing, just being consistent. So, so that’s so having settled, that’s what I’m saying. Partly the reason we don’t like the state is libertarians.
It’s it’s like a twofold thing. Yes. They do horrible things, but also they violate people’s property rights. So when the state takes my money through taxation, I don’t like that for two reasons. Number one is what they do with the money is awful. They buy bombs and, you know, even when they set up welfare programs or whatever, they have bad incentives that hurt them.
The recipients are at least in some sense, but beyond that, they’re telling me, give me, give them some of my money or guys might come and throw me in a cage. Like I object to that. I don’t care what you do with the money. You’re not supposed to do that. I object. So, whereas. Well, if it’s the insurance companies, like we said, they have the right to do that, right.
Insurance companies, just out there saying, we will vouch for you. If you send us the premium payments and you follow these rules. And so, you know, if I don’t like their rules, then I can, I’m free to, you know what I mean? They’re not really threatening me or whatever they’re offering to help me. They’re pretty provide a service for a fee.
And if I don’t want to do it then. Okay. And so that’s, to me that there’s that agree of acceptance. Whereas with the state is basically this, the last thing I’ll say, and I don’t want to make this answer. It take too long. The only way to make the state voluntary. Like that is if you say something like, well, if you don’t like the way the U S government works, then you’re free to go to another country, you know, go to Canada, go to Mexico.
But that implies that the U S government owns the entire United States. You know, kind of like if you don’t want to, if you want to come in my house, take your shoes off. So that makes sense if it really is my house. And so if the U S government can take my money and whatever, and if I don’t like the rule, if I don’t like the way it works, I can leave.
That means, you know, the, the federal government owns the whole country. And I think most people don’t actually believe that. So that’s why it doesn’t really work.
Diego: [00:27:37] If we were to scale that up a bit, let’s say , it talked about moving to another country. If you don’t agree with the. Policies laws in that current country. Generally nowadays with the localization companies are getting bigger and bigger. They have , more global influence. Some are headquartered in , Island States , like Malta and then have their whole operation in Canada, the USA, the Western world. Would you say there’s. Is there a lack of sovereign sovereignty. And is that another way, I guess, to take over , how should I word this? Having your private institutionalized influence in a certain area in the world, regardless of the local laws and regulations. Influencing the global economy as a whole in that way.
Robert Murphy: [00:28:26] Okay. I’ll, I’ll try to keep the answers short and I’ll, I’ll say something, but I, I might be misunderstanding your question. So if my answer doesn’t seem like it’s or responding to what you said is obviously ask again. It’s certainly true that there are big companies right now that are more powerful in some sense. That even many governments around the world. Right? So like , w what, Mr. Zuckerberg and , who’s, who’s the guy that runs Amazon, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.
You know, those guys are, I think, more powerful than probably the median, you know, political official who runs that person’s government, you know, prime minister or president or whatever. If th but H how so if they, if they were to obey property rights, then I wouldn’t have any problem with them being even trillionaires.
Right. So, and so the extent that so far, they’ve largely gotten to where they are by providing goods or services that customers want. I’m okay with it. The thing though, that that’s naive, just to say that move on is because those big companies often work in conjunction with. The local governments. So like in the United States, there’s obviously there’s tons of invasion of privacy and, you know, surveillance and spying on people and giving their information over to other companies.
And, but also to government officials, like, you know, just to monitor Americans , internationally, like I know there’s, there’s stories of. Like energy companies going in, you know, developing some local resource and, you know, dumping the pollution. And when, you know, like the people who live right there get hit hard and like, you know, the local government likes it because they get money from the energy company.
So things like that is where there’s a conjunction where the government sort of allows the private company to violate property rights and the government holds back the normal. Retaliatory mechanisms that would kick in because of a, of a crime. And so that’s as an ethical capitalist, you know, that book chaos there.
I said, this is yet another reason governments are bad is because they take over the business of law enforcement and say, yeah, don’t worry. We’re in charge of this. We’ll make sure those polluters pay. We’ll make sure that, you know, if, if somebody mistreats, you will punish them. Even these, these fat cats at the company, but they’re corrupt.
They actually take money from the companies to not punish them when they hurt regular people. And so that’s another reason that you shouldn’t have governments be in charge of the police and the courts that’s stupid. So I guess that’s how I would answer that. A big accompany that really does obey property rights gets to be huge only by serving customers better.
Another thing to keep in mind is some of these companies like Facebook and Apple, or sorry, Amazon, wherever they didn’t exist that long ago. Like they’re a relatively new company. So it’s not that they stole something from someone. It just, they gave us something brand new. So we didn’t even know we were lacking.
So it’s know it is kind of odd, like lament over their power when you know, everything they deliver to, they bring to the table is something they kind of invented.
Gregory: [00:31:35] Yeah. Just like I would say that the nine 11 attacks had a pretty negative effect on libertarianism as a whole. I would say that the pandemic has done it as well, only on a global scale, but how, how can you be a libertarian during a pandemic?
Like how can we even start to convince others that centralized intervention is a bad thing when they would argue that you at least need the government to provide safety and to distribute. Medicine during times of a crisis, how would you , attack that argument?
Robert Murphy: [00:32:12] Okay. Well, I guess one thing is, I would say, look at the United States right now and what happened in the United States during the pandemic, because the government officials either the same officials over time or officials at different levels, like the federal government versus state governments might disagreed.
The overall response was not coordinated, was contradictory at points and it was not a unified national strategy. And so, you know, whether you like Trump or hate Trump, clearly what happened in the U S was a disaster from, you know, standard the way you would one would want to respond to a pandemic. And so, well, it would be so cause the U S we had a free market and didn’t have government mechanisms to regulate when it comes to pandemics.
It’s they were done poorly. And so I’d say notice when you basically say we want the government in charge of pandemic response, because that’s such an important job. If you have the wrong people, Manning the government, when that pandemic hits, it’s going to be disaster. And so, and I’m not just speaking in abs in the abstract, specifically in the U S there are several companies, Oh, sorry.
There were a few healthcare facilities that wanted to start re rapidly testing. There, you know, people would present with conditions that looks consistent with COVID-19 and they wanted to test them to see, do they have the Corona virus and the FDA that you know, which is the U S regulatory body in charge of , healthcare wouldn’t let them, you know, it was, it was the, it was a combination of the FDA and the CDC.
I don’t remember who had the jurisdiction, but the FDA and the CDC were at the time working on their own. Test for COVID 19 or whatever, SARS, cov two. And they didn’t want people going out and using tests that they didn’t first develop and sign off on it. And so I’m seeing the early response where you’re supposed to, you know, do re test contact tracing and all that stuff to try to contain it before it spreads in the general population.
The us totally missed that because we couldn’t even test really on a large scale until it was already just, you know, wildfire. And, and I’m saying that wasn’t because. The government didn’t take initiative. It was the opposite private individual, private sector. People wanted to start, you know, neuron labs and whatever, and the government forbid them.
So, so there’s that element. And then just more generally , I think as even the who and other places admit now, sorry, one last thing just in case people don’t know the U S situation. So early on. Anthony Fowchee. And the other senior health advisers told Americans do not wear masks. They said, you know, healthcare workers can use them.
And they weren’t merely saying, keep them for the healthcare workers. They were actively saying, don’t wear them until actually you don’t need it. And you know, you’re going to play with it and stuff and touch it. And it, and so if the narrative is, you know, if the claim is we need the government to enforce, you know, mask mandates and things like that.
Well in the U S again, it was the exact opposite. My wife has a lung condition. And so we were wearing N 95 masks when the government was telling us not to, like, we actually had to go into the hospital in the, in the, the doctors there were looking at us and they’re saying, Oh, are you guys healthcare workers?
Those are some nice and 95 masks. Like they were actually shaming us. Like, how dare you be wearing those? Well, they didn’t say it that, that harshly, but, so that’s my point. Is that just putting the government in charge of something, don’t assume what you think is the right policy is actually going to be implemented.
Whereas if it’s voluntary, then , The, the there’s more of a meritocracy that there, if there’s more distributed decision centers, it’s, you know, cause now if one person at the top makes the decision is wrong, they might be reluctant to admit they were wrong. But if it’s just dispersed power over all, you know, like if every business owner gets to decide.
As new information comes out, the businesses can all rapidly adapt to the new information instead of having like, Oh, the governor said this, and now it’s going to take three months to get the governor to change your mind. Yeah. So , last thing I’ll say on that is at least in the United States, there was a lot of resentment against the mandates.
And so, you know, if the, if the population doesn’t want to do whatever the experts think is the right thing to do, like wearing masks are socially distancing were just passing a law. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I mean, just look at drug prohibition, just cause you say, you know what, it’d be better.
If nobody used heroin, you can’t just snap your fingers. And then no one in this society uses heroin. You can throw heroin dealers in jail, but that sets up this dynamic. So likewise, even if we agreed, yes, there’s a certain population. These people are naive. They don’t know science. If they would all just stay in doors and wash their hands and wear masks and that fewer people would die.
Okay. So somehow you got to get them to see the light. And pointing guns at people in general is not a good way to teach them. And yet, you know, that’s basically what the, what the intervention is, is saying when it comes to pandemic response. Oh, we can’t explain why we have to force people to do this at gunpoint because they’re too stupid.
Gregory: [00:37:15] Yeah. All right. So , away from current events, there’s one economic theory associated with the Austrian school. That, that was a really big aha moment for me. And that was Mises critique of why communism doesn’t even work in theory. Of how prices are coordinated. Good. Could you please explain what that really is? Because that was such a big moment for me. And I think our listeners would appreciate that as well.
Robert Murphy: [00:37:42] Okay. Sure. So , so it’s what Mises specifically showed was that economic calculation? Under a socialist regime is impossible. Right? So he, sometimes he will say, Mises argued, socialism was impossible. I think that is a little bit ambiguous.
Because then you can say, Oh, the USSR lasted for 70 some years. Like, eh, so w what Mises was saying was from day one, if there’s a genuine socialist regime, you don’t have rational allocation of resources. Like the, the, the central planners are groping in the dark, you said. And so the argument is. Well, you know, what do we mean by genuine socialism?
He saying that means that the government owns at least the major means of production. You know? So all the farmland, all the factories, all the iron, or, you know, crude oil deposits, things like that, the government owns them. And then who’s in charge of telling workers where to go and what their jobs are, the government’s in charge of all that.
And, you know, some ISA saying, given that, you know, that’s what I mean by socialism. There’s a thou. And he said, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume a way, any problem with incentives. So if the government tells somebody you’re going to go work , you know, in digging ditches for the rest of your life, he says, yes, sir, I love to help my comrades.
And he goes and happily digs ditches, right? So that’s not that there’s sabotage or you got to worry about morale, let’s assume that. And he said, let’s assume that the central planners, the people who are deciding on the economic blueprint. They have at their disposal, all of the best up-to-date scientific and chemical engineering plans, you know?
So, so there’s no issue of them knowing the various. Techniques used in various types of industries. Like they say, they have a nieces Zang, even. So there’s no way that central planners can say, this is what we’re going to do with our resources. You know, the workers are all going to XYZ. This is the output.
And then here’s, who’s going to get it, you know, we’ll give this amount of milk to the, you know, mothers of small children. We’ll give this to the, you know, so we can make sure nobody’s stars and everyone’s got enough. There’s no way to look at. That economic plan of taking our inputs and making outputs and then distributing it and knowing whether you’re making a good use of society’s resources.
There’s no way even ex-post, they can look at that and say, you know, maybe we could turn the dials a little bit and slightly alter what we do. And would that be better for our people or not? Yeah. There’s no way they can know that. And , and, and so it has to the, ultimately it has to do with just the.
Because you’re looking at , heterogeneous inputs and heterogeneous outputs, and there’s no way to reduce it to a common denominator. And so, you know, you know that the input, you know, you can see the things going into the factory and the stuff coming out. And even let’s say you’re making cars so you can know that, Oh yeah, cars are good.
Like our people want more cars right now. There’s some, there’s some households that don’t have a car yet. They could use it. So, but the, but that’s not the issue. The issue is not. Do you want the cars are not the issue, is the resources going in the, you know, the front of the factory to make the cars, could we have used those resources to make something else that’s that the people could use more than those extra cars?
Right. So that’s the economic issue. It’s so he’s put his finger on what, you know, what’s the true economic cost. Of a certain decision and the planners have no way of knowing that because it’s just too complicated a problem there there’s no, you know, there’s no way to reduce it to numbers or whatever, because it’s all, you know, engineering facts and stuff.
So, so that’s the problem playing a central, you know, a socialist regime. And then you say, okay, but, well, how does a market economy solve that? You know, it’s not that the president or the Congress does that. And he said, right, because in a market now, since it’s not socialism, that means the means of production are privately owned.
And if they use money, that means we have money prices for everything. And so now we look at the factory resources are going in one end and cars are coming out. The other, it’s a very simple calculation to say, is that a good use of resources you ask the accountant? Is this operation profitable? And what does that mean?
It means are we getting more revenue for our cars than we have to pay, to buy all the inputs that go in the front of the factory? And if the answer’s yes, that means we turned a profit. We, we, you know, we earn more dollars selling than we had to spend buying the inputs. That’s what it means to turn a profit.
And so if you’re doing that in a loose sense, it’s like you’re taking resources, that society values at a certain amount and you’re transformed into something that society values at a higher amount. So that’s the sense in which you can say. This is a social useful transformation. And this factory is contributing to, you know, economic output let’s say on net.
All right. So I’m skipping some steps and, you know, being a little bit vague in certain areas, but that’s, that’s the gist of it to just show that. You know that, so the socialists thought that money was just this Barbara’s Relic and that, you know, what the, what accountants did was silly and just like a, you know, some offshoot of capitalism that was necessary in that system, but they thought there’d be no.
And a lot of CA of accountants in a socialist Commonwealth, you know, just, Oh, produce for the people, not for profit, but what Mises has showed is no, the profit and loss, you know, bookkeeping actually is what gives order. To the anarchy of capitalism.
Gregory: [00:42:56] Yeah. So for the, for the pricing mechanism, the work you need supply and demand to interact, to send that information to producers and distributors on how to coordinate in the future. And if it’s all centrally planned, you don’t even have those prices in the first place to send that information. Right.
Robert Murphy: [00:43:14] Right. Exactly. And what’s interesting just in terms of the history of economic thought the way. So Mises. wrote that up. I think it was in 1920. Yeah. Yeah. It was what, that was his article.
And then does the book come out later? I’m getting my dates mixed up a little bit, but yeah, I think the article was 1920 and , and the socialists responded to it and the, you know, the most famous, what they were called, the response to the we’ll call them market socialists. Like Oscar land got an avid learner.
And the way they responded to me since his critique was to say, Oh no, the central planning board could announce a vector of exchange ratios and then tell the, the plant managers, trade resources, according to these ratios as if you were a manager and a capitalist system trying to maximize profits. Right.
And so they were, you know, getting. The man, like they were simulating as if they were a market economy. It was just, but with their own prices and, and, you know, being able to change the, the initial distribution of, of resources. So, you know, hi, Eric. Mentioned when, you know, when he responded to their response saying, notice how far they’ve moved.
The goalposts that went from, imagine a utopia where we don’t have to worry about money and pricing and you know, these Barbara’s, you know, things. And now they’re basically reintroducing the back door and there were problems too. Like they’re like, you can’t dismiss it. You can’t play market. And I mean, I don’t know if you want to get into it, but there’s reasons that the market socialist solutions still doesn’t work, but notice to try to plug the holes in their position.
They basically reintroduced markets and just said, Oh, but it’s, it’s still, you know, the government still has a role in regulating them, but they went, they, they kept walking back towards , Capital yeah.
Gregory: [00:44:53] All right. So something that I’ve had trouble understanding is that , I found a January, 2013 study from the econ journal and it said that about , the economic , professors around 5% are libertarian. While the, I saw a 2017 Cato Institute study that said the general population is about 10 to 20% libertarian. Why would you say that 5% of economics professors compared to the 10 to 20% of the general population? Why would you say there’s such a great divide between those two groups? Because I would think that the. Economics professors when they actually each understand economics, they will identify more with libertarianism, but it’s the opposite.
Robert Murphy: [00:45:40] Hmm. Well, I don’t mean to be anti empirical, but yeah, that, that premise surprises me so much. I almost wonder if there’s some kind of like, it’s like it’s not apples to apples comparison.
Cause yeah, I mean, it doesn’t surprise me that economics professors are far more libertarian than other. College professors that that’s obvious, but I would’ve also guessed. So I mean, it’s true that academics are probably more socialist than average people. But I would not have thought that, you know, so if what you’re saying is true, then I guess that would be the explanation, but I still would have thought the economics training would have overwhelmed.
The general academics tend to be left this bias. So I mean, I guess that’s, if that is the case, then that would be, my answer is because there does seem to be this thing where people who are academic. I mean, because the universities are all. Extremely leftist, if not outright, Marxist, at least in certain departments.
So it wouldn’t be surprising that people who go on and get college degrees and then even advanced degrees, just their whole worldview shifts, just because of that. Whereas other people are that don’t go to advanced schooling, you know, you’re kind of out making a living and having money taken from you, the taxes like that makes you somewhat libertarian ish.
Gregory: [00:46:58] Yeah. Yeah. I get that. And also. Because I work in finance and investing. There’s actually a lot of people that agree with the Austrian school. So the same distinction between economics, professors and the general population. Why are there maybe it’s anecdotal evidence? I don’t know, but why would you say there are so many fans of the Austrian economics in finance and investment compared to academic or just regular life?
Robert Murphy: [00:47:24] Okay. So there, I definitely agree with you. So , and, and so maybe that does. Shed light on the earlier situation. So yes, from my purse, hand purse firsthand experience. If I give a presentation on Austrian business cycle theory to a group of professional people in the financial sector, they will largely like it.
And even afterwards they asked me questions, there’ll be like practical real-world questions. Whereas if I give it to a bunch of economics professors, I probably wouldn’t convince them. Many of them who weren’t just already Austrians going into the discussion. They would all come up with 1,000,001 objections.
And so, so yes. And why, so why is that? Well, since I’m an Austria and the easy thing is for me to say, or the, you know, the self-serving thing is to say, well, because we’re right and he’s pointing heads are wrong. And the man on the street, you know, the people out there in the trenches who have their own money at stake or real money at stake skin in the game, you know, they see the truth, I guess I would say, I think, you know, that is, that is true, but also , You know, I, I think it is the case that most professors are somehow benefit from state budgets, whether they directly work at a state school, but even people who work.
You know, in private colleges or universities still, like at least the United States, the federal government heavily subsidizes, you know, like, like giving student loans and stuff like that. So the whole. You know advanced educational system rests on a huge amount of steady money coming from the government.
So I’m not saying like they’re being Machiavellian and like, aha, we’re going to advance the interest of our, of our taskmaster. And then they’ll pay us a bonus. I don’t mean that. I just mean the worldview you have. You’re probably not going to be one who thinks the government screws everything up and that the central bank is a destabilizing influence.
You know, the, the kind of person who thinks that isn’t likely to be attracted to being a tenured professor or teaching economics. The other thing too, is the central banks around the world employ a lot of PhD economists. And so I think there’s that element too. So it’s, you know, it’s over time, it’s not surprising that the economics profession is sympathetic to the central bank because the central bank is in modern times, run by economists.
Yeah. You know, so it would be weird if economists thought the central bank was this evil institution that just screws things up and causes the business cycle. Cause they’d basically be throwing their peers under the bus.
Gregory: [00:49:59] exactly.
Diego: [00:50:01] So a bit further on that, maybe a bit conspiracy. Would you say that I guess academics are, as you mentioned. Bit more disconnected from , the normal workforce, the people, the private businesses , you as an Austrian yourself, you’re kind of more connected custody, align more with , the business cycles. And as you said, is that not a way to two for, I guess, central banks, governments to keep that. Influx of professor our information control to their benefit.
Just , thinking really wild here. And yeah. I guess to follow that immediately up , what would be the academic stance on the upcoming alternatives? Like , crypto currencies, like how they destabilize the current , banking system, et cetera, from an academic point of view.
Robert Murphy: [00:51:02] Okay. So for your first question, right?
So it, people differ as to. How conscious or , you know, explicit, they think the deal is, but certainly the intellectual class serves the function of justifying the state. And so that’s why there’s a symbiotic relationship. And so it’s not a surprise that the outcome is, you know, whether you think this is planned or not, but certainly the outcome is.
The major figures, you know, the, the Ivy league. I know most of the U S so that’s what I was just talking about. The U S context, like an Ivy league school, you know, MIT, Harvard, so on, you know, they, all, most of the professors from those places support the U S state and talk, you know, in terms of what it’s doing is foreign policy, even, you know, they, and it’s not because they endorse everything, but just like when they have discussions about it, Like they’d only see, you know, Hey, should we invade Iraq first?
Or should we first bomb a ran? Hm. Talk about that. Let’s have a symposium. You know what I mean? Like that’s the sort of discussions they have and just justifying. So the state greatly benefits from all these really smart intellectual powerhouses, fostering that worldview and then telling, you know, convincing the masses that this is correct.
And. And then of course, how does the state reward them for that by shoveling hundreds of billions of dollars at them. And so then that’s how, and so, you know, giving big grants and whatever, big prestigious research laboratories and so on, depending on what kind of field you’re in. So, you know, that that’s how it works.
And , none of your second question about cryptocurrency. So right in the beginning, Most of the people who were interested like in Bitcoin were coming at it from a, a techno punk, you know, libertarian sort of a position and all this is, yeah, this is the way we can disrupt things. We can move around. And even the original white paper certainly had that, that aspect of it to it, you know, avoid paying fees to the big banks.
And then it just got, I don’t know if co-opted is the right word to say it went mainstream. But certainly that’s not the way it sounds now. Like not now. I think most people are into it just in terms of assets and you got central banks around the world trying to introduce their own digital currencies and things.
So , I think that’s you’re right. That I saw like the evolution in the beginning, it was like, The mad max people. And then like the next wave came, who were trying to civilize it and say, Oh no, no, no. You know, far from being anonymous, Bitcoin is actually easily traceable. And so law enforcement don’t worry.
You can, you know, no one could ever commit crimes with Bitcoin because you could just track them down. And, you know, so that’s, that’s kinda how it went. So again, a similar pattern where I think there was this thing in the beginning, all the regulators and stuff like, Oh man, what. Do we got to worry about this and you know, and then some smart people who were buddies with the politicians came in and looked at and said, no, this is the way you play this one and dah, dah.
Gregory: [00:54:09] Yeah. Okay, great. For our last question, Bob , I want to play an economic, a small economic game with you because you have no idea what Suriname is, where , you know, we’re located in Latin America and there’s this notion that people have in Suriname them that our problems are. Unique and at the solve them, you need unique solutions.
So I wanted to give you some clues about what characteristics. The Surinamese economy has and why we are currently in a bad situation. So the following, and I’d like you to explain what you think the main problems are based on the following clues. Alright, you’ve got a lot of natural resources.
Like lots of gold, lots of oil. We had a colonial history with, we were mostly a Dutch colony, I’d say about 90% of the time. And we’ve only been independent for 45 years. All right. And , I’d say for the last 10 years, the previous president has been a big fan of people like Castro and Maduro. What do you think the main problems are with our economy?
Robert Murphy: [00:55:25] My guess is that they, because of the colonial legacy, they had had some international companies that might’ve been in there with resource extraction, and maybe they had sweetheart deals with the previous governments. And so the people really weren’t getting much of the benefit of that. And it was perceived as well.
Wow. Our, our, our natural wealth. Is being dug out of the ground and send them abroad. And in response, like some of our political officials are getting a rich and certainly these Westerners are getting rich, but the people aren’t. And so then yeah, with the more populous regime, doing things like maybe spending on social, you know, schools and stuff like that, but then also probably nationalizing.
A lot of these operations and their productivity would plummet. So then development is down, you can’t export stuff. And then the natural response to that would be there a loss of income and how are we going to get imports? And so they start running the printing press and start doing a currency.
Controls on, you know, on foreign exchange and, you know, to say, well, we don’t want speculators attacking our currency. And then if prices start rising, they put in place price controls, and then there’s there’s shortages. So, I mean, those are that’s as a standard thing in terms of South America, what happens or Latin America
Gregory: [00:56:48] that is exactly right on your money.
Every it was as I
Robert Murphy: [00:56:53] was going, as I was going along, I was like, man, if I’m totally wrong on our face. So that was good. Okay.
Gregory: [00:56:58] No, that, that was, that was perfect. I couldn’t have said it better myself. And you said that. Like from a neutral third party you’ve had like, not even one minute of explanation of our economy and
Robert Murphy: [00:57:11] you were, I mean, right.
Your listeners can tell from my accent, I am a true American. Do you think I knew much about your country? No, we know nothing. Right. And we, we kinda know about Hitler. That’s the only thing Americans know.
Gregory: [00:57:23] Yeah.
All right. Great. I I’m, I’m actually amazed. You answered the question a lot better than I thought you would.
Okay. Now that you have. The problems really well viewed. And how would you say the way to fix those problems are just from a neutral third party? Just give your opinion, not a, a professional consultation or anything.
Robert Murphy: [00:57:46] Sure, sure. So, I mean, notice there, and I was trying to talk about the previous period too, because I know. You know, these leftist groups that seize power and kill their opponents and the people are kind of okay with it. It’s not in a vacuum. It’s not like it was a wonderful world life beforehand. And then all these leftists out of nowhere said, Hey, let’s shoot everybody and let us be in charge. And everyone is like, Oh, okay.
Like that’s not how it happens. So notice the throw, all this stuff, all the injustices, ultimately, because of the state. Is, you know, grabbing control of resources, right? So originally, if it is true that Western companies come in and, you know, exploit the resources and the local people really don’t don’t benefit from it.
That’s because the government, you know, your government assumed, Hey, we’re in charge of how these resources are gonna get developed, you know, as, instead of like the people owning them and you’ll come up with some way of distributing, you know, shots , Stock shares or something like that come, you know, what they can eat per each citizen could own.
So there’s that element. And then, yeah, like if you’re having food shortages, that’s just classic. It means literally textbook economics. Like why is it that the merchants used to have food on the shelves? And now they don’t the way you produce that is run the printing press. And then when prices start to rise, say it’s illegal.
If any merchant tries to charge more than this amount per loaf of bread, you get punished. You’re guaranteeing then there’s no bread anywhere. Like why would anybody sell at a loss? Right. So , so the way to stop that is get rid of price controls. Then the food will be on the shelves. Again, it’ll be expensive, but it will be available.
And then, so how do you get the inflation under control? You got to stop creating more money. I mean, it’s pretty simple. So it’s painful. There’s a reason the government’s in this cycle where Oh, gee prices keep rising. So fast us to now be able to still buy this, the pay the soldiers and, you know, by the, and not the food to the, so there’s not riots and things like that.
We got to keep creating more money to stay here ahead of it. But that just sets up a vicious spiral until the currency crashes. So. You know, it depends, I don’t know what your inflation rate is. I mean, it depends how bad it is, whether you go to a different currency or not, but if it’s not completely out of control, you can get it under control just by stop running the printing press.
And like I said, there’s going to be a crash. It’s going to be painful. But to keep going on, this path is not, is not going to work. And then just, you know, re-introduce basic property rights that will let, if the government, like, if there’s state owned enterprises, they should sell them off. And I want to say here too.
So-called like neo-liberalism is a bad word. And I understand why. So, because what happens as countries get into trouble and then they appeal to the IMF or the world bank and they come in and give them a set of, you know, austerity measures and shock therapy in exchange for loans. And a lot of times.
It’ll be things like raise taxes as a way to help pay down your debt. So I would never say that. So your government should, by all means, you know, give more economic freedom to your people, not raise taxes. But the, in a state owned enterprises sell them off. And then you give the proceeds as like a lump sum tax rebate to everybody or something, you know, I mean, in other words, not pocket the money.
So government officials. Get the money from the PR. But the important thing is to get those resources into private hands, even though there’s going to be some corruption along the way, don’t keep it bottled up and have the state running it because the political class doesn’t know how to run a business.
Like that’s not what they’re good at. And so you want to get those resources into the private sector.
Gregory: [01:01:23] Yeah. Okay, great. That was my last question, Bob. If you have anything extra to add or something, you, you feel like we might’ve missed, it’s just feel free to add along, but if there’s nothing else then I guess, great podcasts.
Robert Murphy: [01:01:39] Oh, thanks. I appreciate that. Yeah, I guess I would just tell people, if you want to read more about the Austrian school, check out my book Choice. Which, you know, you get on Amazon or something. And the, my podcast firstname.lastname@example.org. Yeah. We’ll,
Gregory: [01:01:52] we’ll provide all the links in the description and thanks a lot, Bob.
This has been great,
Robert Murphy: [01:01:58] sure thing. Thanks guys.
Diego: [01:02:00] No, it’s definitely, I’ve learned quite a bit through this Robert Murphy: [01:02:05] stuff and I’m glad to hear it. Thanks for talking with you guys.