Boettke on Hayek and Hayek in Australia

The new book on Hayek by Peter Boettke is a good read if you like that kind of thing. Gerard Henderson once reminded me that not everyone goes on holiday with a Hayek book and the latest issue of the Journal of Economic Methodology.

Peter Boettke has a mission to explore and explain the implications and applications of Hayekian critical rationalism, Austrian economics and classical liberalism, with special attention to the institutional and moral framework.

By any standard Friedrich A Hayek (1898-1992) is one of the major intellectual figures of modern times, certainly of the 20th century. He is also an icon of classical liberalism or an Old Whig as he suggested to define his position in ‘Why I am not a conservative’. A wag at the University of Sydney marked up the library copy with the annotation “You could have fooled me”, which drew the rejoinder, neatly written “how hard would that be?”

Hayek no stranger to Australia because he toured in 1976 and some of his talks indicated the way his thoughts were moving as he grappled with the challenge to resist the “abuse of reason” by the coercive utopians who have wrecked lives and ruined nations in pursuit of their dreams.

Boettke’s hope in this new book is to stimulate future scholars to apply Hayek’s ideas “to the contemporary intellectual debate in moral economy and social economy.” He asks the question

“Why did [the economists in the 1930s-1960s] overlook the institutional framework that the classical and neoclassical theorists had taken as given?”

The answer is in the question. Vital factors in political economy were overlooked because they could take for granted a robust moral framework that was preached in every pulpit in the western world.

Being taken for granted they were not properly explored and the implications of this neglect did not become apparent until the once-robust structure was being demolished by the new philosophy of science, the triumph of Keynes and mathematical economics a la Samuelson.

There is a parallel with health and wellbeing. With luck and a strong constitution you can get away with a lot of bad habits for a long time but there is likely to be a day of reckoning.

The bottom line of Boettke’s book is the need to vitalise a program of political economy that is sensitive to cultural factors and the moral framework of society along the lines charted by Deirdre McCloskey and the late Michael Novak. And of course Hayek. This work is under way at the IPA, Mannkal and the Centre for Independent Studies.

Posted in Classical Economics, Cultural Issues, Rafe | 5 Comments

Reckless disregard

This business with the Supreme Court is like with global warming: there are just enough idiots around even in the parties of the right that everything must be done gently gently. And were not talking about voter-idiots. We mean elected-idiots, like actual Senators in the US or cabinet ministers in Australia, who have to be cajoled along so that they do not side with our enemies. A kind of round up from around the web on where we are with trying to get Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court. The left are wreckers with no idea the amount of damage they may cause but do this with reckless disregard about any of the consequences that are certain to follow, with the rule of law in jeopardy along with much else.

Fight roils already ugly political climate...
Trump raises doubts about Kavanaugh's accuser...
Christine asks for ANOTHER day to make decision about testifying...
'If he becomes nominee, I'm moving to another country'...
Republicans decline to subpoena classmate, rejects other demands...
Lawyer Caught On Camera: 'Going To Resist'...
Wearing Socialist Power T-Shirt?
Memory's frailty may be playing role...
U.S. Marshals Probe Threats Against Kavanaugh Family...
Dems: We Already Know He's Guilty...


BELIEVE ALL WOMEN: Keith Ellison says his accuser fabricated domestic violence abuse  story, can’t be sure others won’t ‘cook up’ allegations. Related: Keith Ellison pounded about abuse at debate. Watch him blame accusers, say women can make things up! He’s co-chair of the Democratic Party. They’re allegedly investigating him, but they’re slow-walking it past the election. 


Women rally in support of Kavanaugh:
´We know the man, we know his heart´
Fox News, by Lauren Lee    Original Article
Dozens of female colleagues, classmates and friends of Brett Kavanaugh rallied in support of the embattled Supreme Court nominee on Friday, saying they don’t believe the sexual assault allegation against him. The women, who last week wrote a letter of support for Kavanaugh, spoke at a Washington press conference in front of a banner that blared “#IStandWithBrett.” “Brett stood out as the most responsible guy who treated us with kindness and respect,” said Megan McCaleb, a former classmate and longtime friend of Kavanaugh.


Booker on Kavanaugh: Delay and Destroy

The Circus is the Showtime series that touts a look inside Washington politics via hosts John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon. The current episode (season 3, episode 7) aired on September 16. The episode can be accessed online here if you jump through a few hoops. At around 23:00 it briefly takes up the Democrats’ efforts to delay and obstruct the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The episode does not linger over the proceedings; the Democrats seem to be playing a losing hand of no particular appeal for the crowd to whom the show caters.

McKinnon catches up with Senator Spartacus in the hallway outside the hearing room, before the emergence of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. We see this exchange:

McKinnon: You don’t think [Kavanaugh’s confirmation] is a done deal?

Booker: I’m going to hold on till the last minute because this is not done until the last vote is cast. And I’ll tell you right now: a lot more can come out. You never know.

And there you have it.


OK. But we shall see. At this stage, the only way the Republicans can screw this up is if Kavanaugh is not confirmed. But the fact is, even this is not beyond them.

Posted in American politics, Politics of the Left | 27 Comments

Open Forum: September 22, 2018

Posted in Uncategorized | 686 Comments

The Safeguard Mechanism Rule planted by Turnbull and Hunt to inflate power prices

My colleague at the Five Dock Climate Realists has reminded me about a little-appreciated development that was put in train in 2016 with bipartisan support to replace the Carbon Tax. One of Minister Hunt’s first task in the new Cabinet was to abort the investigation into the agencies that collect and distribute weather data, specifically the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO.

The next was to enshrine in legislation a Safeguard Mechanism, effectively part of an Emissions Trading Scheme supporting the push for unreliable energy to save the planet under the Paris Accord. That was reported in The Australian but did not attract much attention.

The legislation that included the Coalition’s ETS was passed by the Senate — with the support of both the ALP and the Greens — on its last day of sitting in 2015, in December.

As it happens, that was the day before the Paris climate conference, called COP 21, got underway, at which an agreement to keep the global temperature increase to 2 degrees was signed by 189 countries, including Australia.

The emissions caps imposed on 150 companies are described by the government as a “safeguard mechanism” to support the Emissions Reduction Fund.

More investigation is required to be clear about the implications of this move but one suggestion is that it will put up the price of power without any reason that is visible to the punters.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe, Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Two years later you can see even more clearly how true this is

From 2016. And now from today.


Trump, who is in Las Vegas for various events, wrote: “Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay. Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C.”

Posted in American politics | 33 Comments

Blockchain 101

Posted in Cryptoeconomics | 6 Comments

A modern Stalingrad over the credibility of the left

Or to be more American, this is a return to Gettysburg. Or for us in the British Empire, we are again at Waterloo. But however you slice it, this is where the left and the media have placed their credibility as fair judges and honest brokers. If Kavanaugh comes through unscathed, this will be a decisive defining moment that will be remembered and carry weight into the far far future.

From Anonymity of Academia to Center of Supreme Court Confirmation...
Feinstein Blames Media For Outing...
Committee Eyes Independent Lawyer For Questioning...
COKIE ROBERTS: She Made Her Choice. Now Talk...
Ford taps Obama, Clinton alum...
Celebs rally behind: 'We believe you'...
Classmate Recants: 'That It Happened Or Not, I Have No Idea'...
Claims of pushing, shoving ex-wife complicate Senator's opposition...
Cory Booker Admitted Teen Groping...
PAPER: 'Liberal totalitarianism'...
Dem mocks female senator about threats received: 'Boo hoo'...
FBI stuck in yet another political controversy...
Fury could weigh on Roberts court...
'Compelling Evidence' Will Exonerate Soon? 

AND PLEASE LET ME CONTINUE FROM WHERE I LEFT OFF: The worry is that the Republicans and the right in general are not ready to fight this one to the death, but there are signs that they are. The disgust which anyone with normal sensibilities feels about the left and their tactics will leave an aftershock that may last as long as the McCarthyist label. We’ll see, but it should. The left are deranged. From Instanpundit plus a few more from the comments.

And a bit more from the comments.

Not to mention Paula Jones. Then there’s this:


And I hope you have been following the events surrounding the nomination of Keith Ellison in Minnesota. None of this is in the news but is everywhere on the right-side web.

Posted in American politics, Hypocrisy of progressives, Media | 42 Comments

Common sense has died along with truth and trust

Today in The Australian

Perhaps the royal commission is the new form of the Last Judgment. As the wicked are exposed and the innocent — should there be any — exonerated, the commissioner, observing the proceedings from an elevated podium, impassably records their fate.


Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Former Australian Prime Ministers Abroad

One has to admire the courage, the fortitude and the rhetorical ability of Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull in travelling abroad, with their generous parlimentary pensions and drop guano from a foreign land.

The latest contribution is from Julia Gillard in the Financial Times in what is concurrently a grossly misleading yet honest account:

Julia Gillard on resilience after misogyny

Apparently, in the mind of Julia Gillard, the thing non-Australians recognise best about Australia is koalas, kangaroos and her “mysogyiny speech”:

For many people Julia Gillard meets outside her home country, Australia seems to mean one thing in particular. “It becomes clear during the conversation that, apart from kangaroos and koalas, my speech is the only thing they associate with Australia,”

What with the 3 million YouTube views from a global population of what, 6 billion?

The speech has been viewed more than 3m times on YouTube and resonated with women — and men — not just in Australia but around the world.

But for all the crap about the honesty and spontenaity of the speech comes these 2 nuggets:

This was partly because of Ms Gillard’s delivery. Facing her adversary, she barely glances at her notes, and speaks forcefully. She delivers a series of rhetorical blows against Tony Abbott, then leader of the opposition and later prime minister, in which she details a range of sexist behaviour and comments by him. At first, many in the chamber try to laugh off the criticism but then look increasingly uncomfortable.


“Going into question time, sometimes you know it feels right,” she says during a recent visit to the Financial Times offices in London. “Walking in, I felt loose, I felt comfortable.”

Barely looked at her notes ad feeling loose and comfortable.  Basically, a practiced and staged stunt.  Hows that mysogyny.  But some more honesty:

The speech had an effect, at home and abroad. Domestically, it did not save Ms Gillard’s political career. She stepped down as prime minister and leader of the Australian Labor party in June 2013, and left politics soon after.

Internationally, aided by the connections she made as prime minister, it has opened doors and sparked new ideas.

So not only was it a pre-planned stunt, it was for the purpose of getting overseas jobs.   You know like the $292 million (yes million) of tax payer funds Gillard gave to the Clinton Global Partnership for Education, an organisation where she somehow, miraculously wound up being chair.  A role for which most likely these Australian tax dollars contribute to her salary and expenses.

One might say what a disgrace.  But this is a former Labor Prime Minister and the 3 most recent Labor Prime Ministers, Rudd, Gillard and Turnbull, will most likely continue to criticise from a comfortable distance.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 38 Comments

Savva’s choice – Guilty or Not Innocent

This following paragraph is from Niki Savva’s latest contribution in the Australian – Liberal’s women are the new ‘forgotten people’:

Liberal women are now caught in a vice. If they complain about bullying, Bullies and Co vilify them for being weak, or wreckers, or liars. If they don’t complain — and let’s be clear, there is a not-so-subtle campaign to bully or shame them into silence — the thugs will continue. Nothing will change.

Has it possibly entered Savva’s mental orbit that there is no systemic bullying of Liberal women?  Has she got any evidence to support her claims or is Savva just making it up again?

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Posted in Uncategorized | 30 Comments