Students Who Get It!

College students are rejecting statist dogma and embracing individual liberty

I went to Princeton in 1969, where they taught me that government could solve the world's problems. Put the smartest people in a room, give them enough taxpayer money, and they will fix most everything. During those years, I heard nothing about an alternative.

How things have changed!

I recently spent time with several hundred college-aged people at a Students for Liberty conference in Washington, D.C. Here were hundreds of students who actually understand that government creates many of the problems, and freedom—personal and economic liberty—makes things better.

I appeared at the conference along with David Boaz of the Cato Institute. Here are some highlights.

Karina Zannat, a student at American University in Washington, D.C., said, "A lot of my professors seem to think that even when politicians spend money in seemingly wasteful ways, we should be OK with it because every dollar spent is one dollar that goes toward income for an American citizen."

This is a common canard known as the "broken window" fallacy. The 19th-century French free-market writer Frederic Bastiat exposed it with the story of a boy who breaks a shop window, prompting some townspeople to look at the bright side: fixing the window will stimulate economic activity in the town. The fallacy, of course, is that had the window not been broken, the shopkeeper would have spent the money in more productive ways.

People often commit this fallacy—have a look at what's being written in the wake of Japan's tsunami.

(Article continues after the video.)


Meg Patrick of George Mason University asked about the Austrian business cycle theory. How delightful to meet a student interested in that! This is Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek's argument that when government inflates the money supply and holds down interest rates to create an economic boom, a bust, or recession, must follow because the prosperity is built on an artificial foundation.

Meg wanted to know if "the injection of fiscal stimulus into the economy (after the bust) disrupts the signals necessary to fix the current problem."

To which I replied: Sure does. The market is signaling that certain changes are needed, but stimulus spending interferes with those signals. If businesses are not allowed to fail, we don't get the market feedback we need.

David Boaz added: "If you get drunk, you have a hangover. I'm sure some of you have tried the theory: just keep drinking. But you can't keep drinking forever."

Ian Downie from the University of Virginia had a good question about spending: "Our congressional representatives have huge incentives to steal the wealth from the vast majority of the country and funnel it down to their constituents. What kind of systematic changes can we make to stop this perverse incentive machine?"

"The special interests are always there," Boaz said. "The challenge is to get the public interest—the taxpayers—to stick around after the election, to keep putting pressure on. And that is very difficult."

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  • Old Mexican||

    Let the anti-Stossel halfwits appear!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    They may get "it", but they're most likely not getting laid. Not with all the cute college-age girls and guys running to "culturejam against the established narrative" or whatever is trendy in their collectivist circles nowadays.

  • Surly Chef||

    False. I've gone to college, I work part of the week at a college. What was true when I was a student is as true now: undergrads don't really give a shit about your politics when they are partying.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Surly Chef,

    undergrads don't really give a shit about your politics when they are partying.


    They only care about it when they want an excuse to stop living with you.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    My old roommate and I are/were about as libertarian as can be, and went to an incredibly liberal school. About the only people whose politics mattered in the girl department were the extra-douchey guys who wouldn't shut up about politics. When they yell at someone during a party for putting a bottle into the recycling with *gasp* the cap still on, they're going home alone.

  • AU H20||

    How big a school did you guys go to, just curious?

    I think it's easier when there is a larger pool of students in general, but from my experience liberal arts colleges... not so much.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    About 10k undergrad.

  • ||

    i have to agree. and even liberal college girls , if anything, disdain the simpering bleeding heart alan alda types.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Again, I say, clown college doesn't count, dude. :)

  • Old Mexican||

    Karina Zannat, a student at American University in Washington, D.C., said, "A lot of my professors seem to think that even when politicians spend money in seemingly wasteful ways, we should be OK with it because every dollar spent is one dollar that goes toward income for an American citizen."


    Which is the same as saying people should not feel blue for being robbed, as their money will be spent back into the economy, thus making our overall situation better!

    Which is just another iteration of the Broken Windows Fallacy, like Stossel explained to the student.

    Many people commit this fallacy even when they think they're not.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Also, her professor is a xenophobe. Heaven forbid that money get in the hands of a non-citizen. I bet he hates anchorbabies, too.

  • ||

    I think what that professor was doing was more like a Breaking Wind Fallacy.

  • Edwin||

    but not as big a fallacy as saying that money spent on government is always worse than private alternatives

    we wouldn't go very far without a registry of deeds, for example

  • tarran||

    Yeah, the assumption that only the government can provide deed registration services sure falsifies the notion that organizations that only do business with voluntary partners do a better a better job than organizations that can coerce people into doing business with them.

    So are you Edward or Dan T?

  • Edwin||

    yes but the actual recognition of a deed as legitimate is ultimately up to the government anyway through courts. The issue would still not be solved; disputes would still have to go to court, but with added investigative costs because of multiple companies and checking up on surveying and checking for possible graft. Courts are very expensive for everyone.

    Not to mention that per-service gov registration is next ot nothing - with a little googliong I found one town charging only 25 cents per photocopied page to register. Good luck getting that price with for-profit systems.

  • tarran||

    Wow only 25 cents?

    OMG. how do the fund an office on only 25 cents per registration? That office gets no money from property taxes? They aren't making the local Dunkin Donuts subsidize the costs of tracking who bought land in the pscale side of town?

    YOu're right! This proves it!

    No way could a set of companies negotiate a standard for making it easier to scan all their databases simultaneously for registrations! No way could they do it more cheaply than an organization that can say "it's for the children" while jacking up property taxes to every higher levels while providing ever crappier levels of service.

    OMG. Dude, you've refuted all of libertarianism in one post!

    You must be some kind of super-genius!

    I'm so glad you posted here to show me the error of my ways!

    OMG!

  • Edwin||

    yes, court cases are way more expensive than data storage services

  • Professional Critic||

    You're an idiot (which we already knew). If I want to file a 2 page deed with L.A. county, it's $15.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    yes but the actual recognition of a deed as legitimate is ultimately up to the government anyway through courts.


    You're begging the question. "Only government makes deeds legitimate because only government has courts that make them legitimate."

    Gee, thank you, Aristotle!

    The issue would still not be solved; disputes would still have to go to court, but with added investigative costs because of multiple companies and checking up on surveying and checking for possible graft.


    You mean UNLIKE TODAY??? What difference would it make if the courts are private?

    Courts are very expensive for everyone.


    You're just assuming they are.

    Not to mention that per-service gov registration is next ot nothing - with a little googliong I found one town charging only 25 cents per photocopied page to register.


    And??

    Good luck getting that price with for-profit systems.


    Why would you say it wouldn't be cheaper? Or what makes you think a higher price would not yield a better return for the client, in better protection of information, faster access, etc.? Again, your lack of imagination is not suddenly OUR problem, it's yours.

  • ||

    Roads! Without government roads we would be Somalia! That proves that government must run every aspect of the economy, otherwise... Somalia!

  • Edwin||

    well, let me say this - looking for condos, the monthly charges for the common areas are exorbitant per area of road surface compared to what the government charges me

  • Jim||

    Here's the distinction: your condo is probably solvent. The gov't is fucking broke. If the gov't was actually charging you enough to stay in the black, you probably wouldn't have such a favorable cost comparison (or likewise, if your condo was allowed to simply run giant deficits forever, thus enabling them to wildly under-charge you for services).

  • Edwin||

    yeah, but it ain't because of paying for the fucking roads

    it's largely entitlement spending

    and for a long time unionization wasn't allowed for government workers of any kind. That law may be overturend one day, making the roads cheaper to maintain, whereas the private sector laws regarding unionization probably won't

  • ||

    Is your common area a parking lot? Otherwise, your analogy fucking sucks.

  • ||

    My condo is perfectly solvent. Because we vote monthly on expenditures and always have an eye on cost/benefit, since all the money comes from us and only us. We don't get to steal it from the condo owners across town.

  • ||

    That's the perfect 21-word satire of the Collected Criticisms of Libertarianism, Condensed Edition.
    And I'm stealing it for future use.
    Thank you.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    but not as big a fallacy as saying that money spent on government is always worse than private alternatives


    That's not a fallacy, it's based on a principle called "Economic Calculation."

    we wouldn't go very far without a registry of deeds, for example


    Ah, the "Public Goods" fallacy.

    The private sector can perfectly register deeds, Edwin. A deed is just a contract, and contracts can be stored in a database for all to see just like any other document. Your lack of imagination is not suddenly OUR problem, it's entirely yours.

  • ||

    The registry of deeds is a perfect example of goverment failure. I work in the title business and there is a reason people get abstracts instead of just going to the courthouse to see who owns something, the indexes from the courthouse are never right (ill bet 1 mil $ on this you cannot find a section (640 acres mol) that doesnt have at least 5 errors in the goverment deed index that have been caught and corrected in abstract offices indexes). the goverment register of deeds is completly worthless, completly... If we relied on it being correct to run our business we wouldnt have one and neither should they unfortunatly they have a monopoly on keeping deeds...

  • Kristen||

    When I went to AU (American U for the rubes) back in the day, the economics dept had a reputation to be Marxist-slanting. My macro econ course was at 8:30 am so I don't remember the first thing about it.

  • fish||

    More money well spent.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I appeared at the conference along with David Boaz of the Cato Institute.

    He was great on Buffy and Angel, but I'm still not sold on his new show, Bones.

  • Bee Tagger||

    I'm sold on it. That's why I affectionately call it Boners

  • ||

    It is amazing how many super attractive women work in the dead body industry and all wear tight dresses to work. I'm particularly impressed by the daughter of Billy Gibbons artist chick who is also a computer whiz.

  • Pip||

    "Buffy"

    The best thing about that show (though the movie was much better) was Willow:

    http://blogs.pioneerlocal.com/.....-buffy.jpg

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You have parenthetically shown yourself to be a moron. I will now commence shunning you.

  • The Fringe Economist||

    Bastiat was so full of wisdom. Wish it was taught in college instead of the commie crap I had injected into my brain.

  • MNG||

    "A new generation of college students is rejecting statist dogma" for individualstic dogma!

  • ||

    That's right, MNG. They're all Kochsuckers, looking to get on the gravy train.

  • MNG||

    I dunno about that but Stossel has become one of the most dogmatic journalists around. I've never seen him once say markets have any problems or are not the solution to something.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    I bet he would agree that markets are not the solution to the overabundance of food choices.

  • Virginia||

    Thank God we have bureaucrats to cover for the market's shortcomings. Praise my state's health department and the USDA/FSIS!

  • Otto||

    Why should he, when every other mainstream journalist makes those arguments for him? Refuting the nonsense is a full-time job.

  • sevo||

    MNG|3.31.11 @ 12:56PM|#
    "I dunno about that but Stossel has become one of the most dogmatic journalists around. I've never seen him once say markets have any problems or are not the solution to something."

    Yeah, that view certainly doesn't get a lot of air-time, does it?

  • ||

    sevo +1

  • ||

    I have the same problem with the people who advocate for tax cuts because all tax cuts result in greater enterprise and investment and therefore more tax revenue.

    I side with the folks who maintain that sometimes tax increases can be the solution to a financial problem and sometimes tax cuts don't solve the problem. Both tax cuts and tax increases can play a role in solving financial problems; for my own part, I'm for trying tax cuts first.

  • ||

    Tax increases never solve my personal financial problems. Tax cuts always help me. I'm not really interested in the State's financial situation.

  • The Gobbler||

    We should go out drinking sometime.

    Oh, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I dunno about that but Stossel has become one of the most dogmatic journalists around.


    And only because he does not agree with your brand of statism, right? Otherwise, you would consider him open and objective, just like Ted Koppel and Dan Rather...

  • ||

    The consequents of individualism is:

    1) logically coherent.
    2) empirically proven to provide optimal results.
    3) is consistent with human nature.

    Similar claims about the consequents of collectivism can't be backed up and are ultimately appeals to faith. The problem you have is that your faith is in something the world around us shows is erroneous.

    There's a reason why collectivist want to control and suppress knowledge.

    My question to the few collectivists who may think they have good intentions.. why doesn't the fact that you are on the wrong side of the free speech issue give you occasion to rethink your position?

    Why doesn't the fact that you are always reduced to logical fallacies to defend your position give you occasion to consider why this is the case? Is it that you think you're not smart enough to defend your position but others are? But there are no others succeeding in this regard either.

    If you have a belief that you cannot articulate coherently or logically defend that's just religion.

  • West Texas||

    Ultimately, individualism is the only system that is 100% logically consistent and does not - eventually - require one party to compel another party to act in a certain way.

    You are correct: everything else - including "conservatism" - is eventually illogical and boils down to either wishful thinking, or, when that doesn't work, force.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    "A new generation of college students is rejecting statist dogma" for individualstic dogma!


    I espouse heliocentric dogma, in that case!

    (Hint for the clueless MNG: ONLY individuals step on this Earth.)

  • ||

    This is encouraging; I suspect it has to do with the ridiculously overbroad (overboard?) definition of "hurtful" thought crimes, and plainly bogus claims of "intellectual freedom" and "encouragement of a wide variety of viewpoints" so popular in college admissions literature.

  • Edwin||

    college students embracing libertarianism?

    Well, of course. Only in the un-serious, intellectually devoid atmosphere of college, which is filled with young people who've never experienced the real world and never worked or run a business, and mostly the kind that are lucky enough to be able to afford college, can libertarianism thrive.

    If it weren't for our crappy high schools and our silly colleges both libertarianism and the more dogmatic types of liberalism wouldn't be able to survive.

  • ||

    Eh? Your comment makes no sense. Libertarianism is an internally consistent world view that can stand up to scrutiny and real-world tests. Liberalism/Leftism dogma that dominates campus group-think cannot, it has been proven an historical failure that cannibalizes every society that has tried it. Only on an insular college campus can that dogma survive.

  • ||

    Spot on correct, but that does not compute in the liberal or progressive mind. They have taken their views to the "core" or at least as rabid as a religious belief.

  • sevo||

    "Only in the un-serious, intellectually devoid atmosphere of college, which is filled with young people who've never experienced the real world and never worked or run a business, and mostly the kind that are lucky enough to be able to afford college, can libertarianism thrive."

    And yet what commonly "thrives" there is lefty bullshit.

  • Edwin||

    didn't I just say that?

    try reading a little

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And when those young people get out into the real world, and have to pay taxes and fees and taxes and fees and - God forbid - they try to open a business more complex than a home-based carpet-cleaning company... they find out that government is a) expensive as fuck and b) it makes life unnecessarily complicated.

    Oh, and c) there are fuckers holding their hands out for money all along the road to payday. Every payday. And you can't just walk past them like they were urban outdoorsmen panhandling for a bottle of Thunderbird wine.

  • Edwin||

    yes, that's what I'm saying. Real life tends to make one a hell of a lot less liberal.

    It will also make one a hell of a lot less dogmatically libertarian, when libertarians only propose imagination-land "solutions" and frequently defer to courts as though they're somehow always better

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Then, given its popularity in the intellectually bountiful(LOL) extra-collegiate, business owning, hard working, real world, would it be safe to say that you think Christian-conservatism is more reality based than libertarianism? Or are you just cheering for team blue?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    Only in the un-serious, intellectually devoid atmosphere of college, which is filled with young people who've never experienced the real world and never worked or run a business, and mostly the kind that are lucky enough to be able to afford college, can libertarianism thrive.


    Edwin just won the "Clueless Moron Of The Year 2011"

    Congratulations.

    By the way, people who do not work a real job or run a real business or understands the real world become lawyers, not libertarians.

  • Resto Druid FTW||

    Hai, one minute OM... I am a lawyer AND own mah own bidness (where I employ others). :P

  • Old Mexican||

    (I am being sarcastic, Resto... You know that *wink* *wink*)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Edwin has joined Team Blue. It was inevitable, I suppose.

  • ||

    when I was in college, I was fed Keynesian cr@pola and figured smart men could get together and legislate away all ills.
    I was well into my 30s before I realized what a load it was.
    But maybe you went to a different college.

  • creech||

    Please go to the Students for Liberty website and make a donation.

  • ||

    Bastiat was so full of wisdom. Wish it was taught in college instead of the commie crap I had injected into my brain.

    No kidding; if I had had even *half* as much class time devoted to Bastiat as to that horrible bastard Woodrow Wilson, I would judge it a huge gain.

    As it was, skipping my assigned reading in favor of the collected works of H L Mencken was time well (and enjoyably) spent.

  • ||

    Oh, I don't know; when I learned doctrinaire Marxism in my Social Anthropology 101 course, it accomplished two worthy ends: 1. I abandoned the social services forever and stopped my social studies at the earliest possible stage, and 2. I learned how to argue Marxism with Marxists, most enjoyably Marxists who did not understand Marxism.

  • ||

    Social sciences, I meant.

  • The Gobbler||

    "Social sciences, I meant."

    Works either way.

  • CatoTheElder||

    "most enjoyably Marxists who did not understand Marxism."

    Very few Marxists really understand even the elementary concepts of Marxism. Back in my old anti-communist days, I read pretty much everything that Marx wrote. I have yet to meet any Marxist who understands Marx well enough to refute Mises or Hayek in an intelligent manner.

  • Entitled Slacker||

    That because most lefty-poseurs in academia are really neo-Marxist dependency theory bullshitters who never really read Marx. Too hard, too much work. But yes, it is fun to bait them.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: CatoTheElder,

    Very few Marxists really understand even the elementary concepts of Marxism.


    Shit, there are very few Keynesians who have even read, let alone understood, Keyne's General Theory. No surprise Marxians have not read (or understood) Marx.

    Not that reading them is an easy task - both Keynes' and Marx's writtings are almost indecipherable.

  • ||

    the best concise description of marxism i have ever read is in sowell's "a conflict of visions".

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    both Keynes' and Marx's writtings are almost indecipherable.

    They started off their premise with the Big Lie, which forced them to come with an increasing network of lies to try and support it. No fundamentally dishonest philosophy stands up to real scrutiny for long.

    Most academics are Marxists because they are fundamentally resentful people and hate the idea that anyone is more accomplished than they are.

  • MNG||

    Most of my professors were to the left, but that is true for pretty much all of the "new class" who work with ideas more than things (journalists, entertainers, behavioral scientists, artists). It's funny that conservatives rarely ask themselves what about their movement makes members of that class uncomfortable with them, they always just curse that class. Conservative politics has embraced an anti-intellectualism for decades in America. I think it may go back to having to defend Ike over Stevenson (Ike came off simple while Stevenson was derided as an erudite egghead).

    Anway, despite most profs being leftists I was exposed to some pretty prominent conservative and libertarian thinkers in college courses that are not household words. It's not nearly as oppressive as the anti-PC police like to paint.

  • sevo||

    MNG|3.31.11 @ 1:03PM|#
    "Most of my professors were to the left, but that is true for pretty much all of the "new class" who work with ideas more than things (journalists, entertainers, behavioral scientists, artists)."

    May your self-awarded halo fall ad choke you to death.

  • #||

    "Most of my professors were to the left, but that is true for pretty much all of the "new class" who work with ideas more than things (journalists, entertainers, behavioral scientists, artists). It's funny that conservatives rarely ask themselves what about their movement makes members of that class uncomfortable with them"

    You already answered your own question. These people dont actually have to produce much things or deal with the bullshit governments do to make it hard to produce things. Its so much easier to just think adn talk about good intentions while accepting your government subsidy.

    I see this all the economics profession... university professors are far more left than industry economists who actually have to make a living off of their work being useful.

  • ||

    Conservative politics has embraced an anti-intellectualism for decades in America

    It's only anti-intellectual in that the 'intellectuals' have come to represent the opposite of intelligence.

    It's true some people can't articulate that or explain exactly why they don't like Princeton idiots screwing up their country but they know the Princeton idiots are wrong and the Princeton idiots disdain anyone who doesn't believe their propaganda as 'anti-intellectual'.

    If you're actually intelligent, and your ideas work, you don't need to wrap yourself with the mantle of 'intellectual'.

    It's continually pushing ad verecundiam that Americans disdain and increasingly so as we see empirically that the 'intellectuals' are all washed up.

    Essentially the elite have done this to themselves by insisting that their failed theories are valid in the face of real world evidence and calling anyone who dares point out the emperor in fact has no clothes an ignorant hick.

  • Edwin||

    +1

    I've been surprised at how many conservative or republican-leaning people there are once I started working. The common thread between all of them is that ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING in the real world providing some good or service

  • Tony||

    While I have issues with the "must publish something" culture of professorship, providing higher education could be considered quite a valuable service, to those who care about such a thing.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    [...]roviding higher education could be considered quite a valuable service, to those who care about such a thing.


    The value would be reflected in the price the customer is willing to pay.

    Unless you think all this pricing thing is icky...

  • Tony||

    Considering a decent tertiary education can cost a quarter million $, I'd say it's pretty valuable to some people.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Considering a decent tertiary education can cost a quarter million $, I'd say it's pretty valuable to some people.


    Never mind that the "decent" tertiary education can be found in a library for $20.00-$50.00. What the person is buying is not an education, as such is a personal choice and the information he or she requires is already avalable much cheaper; rather, they're buying a title.

  • Tony||

    OM that is some scary shit. You think people are capable of completely knowing what they don't know? No wonder you believe what you do. You majored in fringe right-wing bullshit.

    I know it sounds elitist, but I don't see why you should have a problem with elitism. If you haven't had an undergraduate education, you probably don't know how to think well. I was top of a large class in high school but I consider that person a comparative moron. And I wonder how much reading a high school graduate who has to work at least one job actually can get in. No matter, there are no grades!

    I'm pretty sure you can't appreciate the value of a liberal education if you haven't had one. And I think some liberal arts is required--you can get through engineering and computer science as a breathtaking idiot if you're good with numbers.

  • ||

    "If you haven't had an undergraduate education, you probably don't know how to think well."

    Just when I think I've read every semi-ret@rded thought that has popped into Tony's mind, along comes a new shocker.
    I mean, the interwebs aren't big enough to list the people of accomplishment who never went anywhere near post-secondary education. And I've got one of those useless liberal arts degrees so don't ere.ct a strawman there, either.
    And if you actually think a person can graduate as an engineer or computer scientist while being a "breathtaking idiot" then there is truly no hope for you. Or you attended one sorry-@ssed college.

  • ||

    This begs the question of why higher education is so expensive.

    Consumption subsidies* increase demand. Increased demand increases prices. Increased prices increase costs.

    This demand has almost zero relationship with utility, and it doesn't because demand is artificial.

    Anywhere prices (and thus costs) are decoupled from monetary inflation there is always government meddling in the market. Real estate, mortgages, credit in general, education, and the mother of all government screwed up markets.. health care.

    *Production subsidies accomplish the same thing just less obviously.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Considering a decent tertiary education can cost a quarter million $, I'd say it's pretty valuable to some people.

    They're paying for the credential, not the education. Anyone who's actually graded college essays would be hard-pressed to defend the argument that these kids are getting a decent education, regardless of the cost.

  • Tony||

    They're paying for the credential, not the education.

    Which is even truer with the recent crop of for-profit universities.

  • ||

    Lol like the bureaucrats and tenured loafers in directly subsidized universities aren't profit seeking?

    I suppose the public sector employees in Wis and their unions aren't profit seeking?

    Right. And this is what is wonderful about Wisconsin, they public unions are making this very obvious to the people.

    "non profit" is a myth straight up.

    You can tell real charity. They don't ask for money. Anything else is a special plead claim that my profit is more important than yours.

    I agree that subsidies should be cut to universities and students of private universities but also to public. Then the higher education market will clear and the price will drop back down to par.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Which is even truer with the recent crop of for-profit universities.

    The for-profits are a much more realistic recognition of our culture of credentialism.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    There's nothing wrong at all with being educated... it's when educated people start believing they have some magical, inherent right to look down their fucking noses at Ordinary Joes and think to themselves "these idiots clearly need people like Me to run their lives"... that's when intellectuals become incredibly fucking annoying.

    Team Red has people like the above, too.

  • ||

    well put.

  • Tony||

    Complaints of elitism from those who support plutocracy is rich.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd rather run my own life than be told what to do by some self-appointed "expert" with an "R" or a "D" after their names.

  • ||

    Supporting free markets isn't supporting plutocracy. It's survival of the fittest, you know, what Darwin talked about - it's how we evolve and improve as a species. Supporting passengers will have you extinct in a hurry. Gazelles don't go back when a lion catches one of their herd. To do so would be a nice liberal gazelle idea, but it would result in more dead gazelles. Like liberal social policy.

  • Tony||

    I've explained this several times: saying a free market is like darwinian evolution is absolutely an argument against free markets. The main phenomenon in darwinian evolution is death. Most die off. The ones that manage to survive do so because they had traits that allowed them to. If we ran society this way, not only would we arrive at innovation in the most painfully inefficient way possible, society would be completely intolerable for the vast majority of people.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dig that crazy crystal ball Tony uses to divine theoretical futures.

  • Sean Mack||

    Tony's right on this. The social Darwinist argument is not a valid pro-market position, because markets produce abundance to such an extent that they allow millions of marginal producers (and outright non-producers) to live when they would otherwise die.

    Markets keep everyone alive, fittest, fit, and unfit alike.

    Indeed, part of the social conflict we have right now is that markets have created a world where shockingly large numbers of people can afford to study things like "Theory of Gender" for 5.5 years as they prepare for a job in the non-accountable sector, which includes most of the public and a larger than you'd think share of the private.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I think it may go back to having to defend Ike over Stevenson (Ike came off simple while Stevenson was derided as an erudite egghead).

    We need our top men to be extra brainy. Like Woodrow Wilson, amirite?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    You're just fishing for John at this point.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Most of my professors were to the left, but that is true for pretty much all of the "new class" who work with ideas more than things (journalists, entertainers, behavioral scientists, artists). It's funny that conservatives rarely ask themselves what about their movement makes members of that class uncomfortable with them


    Something like "Why don't you dress in pink like we the intelligent people do"?

  • D-oh||

    MNG|3.31.11 @ 12:52PM|#

    "A new generation of college students is rejecting statist dogma" for individualstic dogma!

    Yup, and you old generation dogma lovers clutch frantically to statist dogma!

    "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." - Ecclesiastes & Pete Seeger

  • Ol' Liberal||

    Yay! We were successfully able to indoctrinate these students so that they will never have to think for themselves or cause problems for their corporate/political masters.

  • MNG||

    Er, yeah, the group that has been epitomized by the ACLU doesn't want to cause any problems for our corporate/political masters.

    What can you see from the top of Mount Stupid dude?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    ACLU doesn't run the schools and neither do social liberals or sophisticated lefty moralists. Statists run the schools and it churns out little statists. The kids who graduate from these schools and later call themselves "liberals" will have no problem with a "liberal" president who sends the DEA after people who possess small amounts of marijuana and opposes gay marriage and wages discretionary wars. Just like the ones who go on to call themselves "conservatives" will have no problem with it when G.W. Bush says he must "...sacrifice free market principles to save the free market.".

  • The Gobbler||

    One. Million. Tonys.

  • ||

    Most of my professors were to the left, but that is true for pretty much all of the "new class" who work with ideas more than things (journalists, entertainers, behavioral scientists, artists).

    I note that you limit your definition of "ideas." How is that attorneys don't qualify? Do they not deal with ideas rather than grubby "things"? Or, what about software engineers or scientists, or anyone in the so-called service industries (defined, I believe by their delivery of services rather than "things").

  • MNG||

    I'd say attorneys do qualify RC, as you may know the ABA is often derided as being pretty liberal and law schools get that as well.

    I'd argue software engineers and scientists deal with things (yes they deal with ideas about things but in the end they deal with things in ways that journalists, Lit profs and actors don't).

  • ||

    The ABA and the legal academy are hardly representative of attorneys as a whole, MNG. More self-selection.

    Software engineers deal with things? The anti-IP crowd will be shocked to learn that.

    If, however, you are limiting your claim to the statement that entertainers ("journalists, Lit profs, and actors") tend to be lefties, you'll get no argument from me.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Practicing attorneys tend to turn out a shit-ton of documents in course of their work, so lawyers are not "idea men."

  • AU H20||

    As a college student and a libertarian, let me tell that laughing automatically at Femnist and Gender Studies Majors, dismissing most "going green" initiatives as either stupid or misguided, being the devil's advocate in every class (Hell, I've argued for the goddamn KKK in a class- not their racial policies, but rather a, "Hey, if you were coming home from WW1, I could see how the KKK is appealing"), and taking chicks on who say dumb shit like "Animals aren't cruel!!!" and "It's natural, so..." does not, SHOCKINGLY, get you laid.

    Yes, I realize I'm kind of the asshole who likes to argue and also like to be right. Luckily, I graduate in a month.

  • ||

    Congratulations. And I was the same type of student as I finished up school. Playing devil's advocate was so much fun. (I argued that we shouldn't teach history anymore).

    But let me clear one thing up for you; it has nothing to do with the location but rather the people with whom you are speaking. If I say something more libertarian (like that it is ridiculous to have to go to a doctor for a prescription for medicine that will only cost me $4) it is a damn sure thing that I won't be getting laid anytime soon. But I won't change.

    If I gave up my principles for sexual pleasure I would be a Democrat already.

  • ||

    + 10

  • ||

    + 10

  • AU H20||

    Yeah, I'm sure you're right, but a man can dream, huh?

  • Elle88||

    I'm an undergrad girl, at an Ivy League bastion of liberalism, and I was first attracted to my boyfriend when he argued for child labor in our economics class. You'll find someone, and it's so much more satisfying when you can have stimulating post-coital conversation!

  • Tman||

    Stossel had Erin Brockovich on a few weeks ago, and I happened to have caught the Q&A session between her and the audience, which appeared to be a collection of college students.

    The students absolutely lambasted Brockovich and completely exposed her as a fraud who didn't have supporting facts to support her arguments. She looked extremely uncomfortable during the Q&A session and resorted to condescending remarks like "well, I don't have that information in FRONT of me right now, etc.etc.".

    It was amazingly reassuring to see a crowd of students who appeared to be much more informed from a libertarian perspective than I thought possible.

    Maybe there is hope.

  • Joshua||

    Stossel on students?! But I thought he was married!

  • Holy Cow||

    "It's funny that conservatives rarely ask themselves what about their movement makes members of that class uncomfortable with them"

    Because way too many members of that class have little economic sense and even less common sense and Even Less political sense. (And of course, a good many are just bitter angry a-holes who vote as a way of getting back at their parents)

    Gosh, MNG, why are members of the working class: salespeople, middle management, entrepreneurs so uncomfortable with Liberalism?

  • ||

    Oh, pish, Cow. Surely you realize that the lumpenproles who concern themselves with filthy things are inherently inferior to those lofty New Classers who traffic only in entertainment.

  • Tony||

    Because way too many members of that class have little economic sense

    So why do you trust their decisions to make for a productive marketplace?

    Libertarians are the biggest elitists of all. You aren't few in number because you're in a cult nobody wants to join, it's because everyone else is dumb.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Libertarians are the biggest elitists of all.


    The jackass talking about ears...

  • ||

    Trust their decisions? They are adults with free will, nobody has a right to decide that adults cannot make their own decisions.

    Everyone isn't dumb, they are usually just misinformed. Like you.

  • Tony||

    Including most of the people traditionally seen as the educated class.

  • West Texas||

    The throwaway line about Japan is pretty good, too. It's practically accepted as common knowledge in the media these days that the earthquake is eventually going to be "good news" for Japan and might even "help them get their economy back on track."

    But no one seems to stop and think about a.) where the government is going to get the money to pay for reconstruction or b.) that they're essentially having to replace stuff that was already there and can't spend that money on other, incrementally beneficial things.

    Costs are costs, no matter what side of the ledger they're on.

  • ||

    There was a lot of insured losses. The insurance dollars will be a plus to the economy.

  • Holy Cow||

    And the FUNNY part is, and I'd love hear MNG and Tony address this:

    Entrance into the "world of ideas" is pure who-you-know. There's isn't even a sham semblance of 'democracy' or 'fairness.'

    Talent, hard-work, ability. Bah! We don't know you, therefore you and your ideas suck!

    But how can it be any other way than a top-down royalty? I mean, who's to say whose ideas are better? Why, the enlightened ones, of course!

    This where the self-esteem movement has led: "Of course, I'm brilliant, just ask all my friends in the academy/studio who agree with me!"

  • Tony||

    That sounds like a convenient excuse for someone who can't hack it.

    I hear FOX Business is hiring, though.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    If hacking it means sucking union cock and diseased feminist vaginas, then yes.

  • ||

    At least the statist admit, unlike libertaians, that they have dogma.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    The "libertaians" don't admit anything because they are not a word...unless they are some species from the as-yet undiscovered planet Libertaia.

  • ||

    A tiny minority, regrettably. The overwhelming majority of students are fed a steady diet of leftist orthodoxy from the front of the lecture hall. Luckily most of them are hung over, and not really listening.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Apparently young libertarians like to be free... FROM WEARING NECK TIES.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    So be it. Neck ties are fucking bullshit.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    College in 1969? Stossel is sooooo old.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The parade line gets a laugh.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    How do you look for bacteria? With your BUTT?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Bill Gates served his customers well? This blue screen begs to differ.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Reason readers in the hoooouuuse!

  • Jim||

    Man that guy is white.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He said the same about you.

  • Jim||

    I actually didn't know that Stossel used to be left-liberal.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh, no, audience participation.

  • Jim||

    So students for liberty was founded by a Randoid? Interesting.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Young McCobin is a go-getter. I hate go-getters.

  • Jim||

    Young McCobin has a lean and hungry look. Such men are dangerous.

  • Jim||

    SOFA FIX! HELL YES!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think I see why these people's sofas are going tits up. They're letting their brats bounce on them and dropping cinder blocks on the cushions.

  • Jim||

    They say we should spend more than 1/5th of our budget on "defense"? How smart can they be?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I think they are saying that if you cut down the bullshit(privatize everything thing in sight) sans "defense" (and other "needed" horseshit) may be 80 percent of the budget, but it probably will only be 200-500 Billion a year. The jury is still out on the "defense" part though. The only way to shrink it would be to make it actual defense.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think John passed off to David then promptly sat down and went to sleep.

  • Jim||

    Yes, but his stache is still awake and will keep him informed.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What are these schools teaching these kids? Pacifism?

  • Jim||

    FIGHT!!! FIGHT!!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stossel is terrible at devil's advocacy.

  • Jim||

    I know I shouldn't judge, but that kid looked & sounded like a wet pussy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Boom. That kid just caled out the antiwar crowd.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Called out, even...

  • Jim||

    Jeez, ask loaded questions much?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    World War what?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh, here we go, Kent State just won't let that incident go.

  • Jim||

    I'd ask them, "After seeing the audience and the people asking questions, why do you not think libertarianism has any appeal outside of white suburban nerd-core? Use "Dune" references in your answer."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unless you're wearing khakis and a blue collared shirt, you're not getting anywhere near that mic.

  • Lord Ballsac||

    Because most people have been conditioned to be amoral fucks(by the state) who don't care who gets mowed down in the process of the State swinging around its giant inflated clitoris as long as they are at least promised a piece of the action? "White" (who gives a shit about the race you racist fuck) suburbanites, generally have more free time to read, have internet access, and see that merely saving for retirement is fruitless because of inflation (caused by the state) and the legalized theft that denies them weeks-months of their effort they could have put toward retirement/investments/prostitutes? Oh...and I'm Black.

  • Jim||

    Um, fuck you buddy. First, it was a comment made more in snark than anything else, which clearly flew way over your head. Second, I was making an observation based upon the people asking questions in the first half of the show...who were exclusively white (hence why I specifically mentioned that in the post). So if you've got a problem with my accurate observation, perhaps you should fucking take it up with whoever vetted the question-asking persons.

  • Jim||

    Also, -1 for not using "Dune" references in your answer.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Now let's all put our heads down and sit quietly through these commercials.

  • Jim||

    There's an old cowboy trying to get me to buy an F-150. Son of a bitch must pay.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Rachel Dratch in the audience and very interested in budget deficits.

  • Jim||

    Wow, he is bad at devil's advocate.

    HOLY SHIT, a colored!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    QUESTION REFERENCED IN THE ABOVE ARTICLE!

    It's like Stossel could see into the future when he wrote it.

  • Jim||

    I'd do her.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Basquiat never mentioned pizza.

  • Jim||

    Well I was excited that a black person was there, but turns out he sounds like a hyper-nerd also. Where's the cool kids asking about libertarianism?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    David Alan Grier with a good question.

  • Jim||

    Shoutout to Mises.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You know who else was Austrian?

  • Jim||

    I'd do her also.

  • Jim||

    Another reference from the article! These guys are GOOD.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Boaz one-upped by the Stoss on that hangover joke.

  • Jim||

    Nice "Reason" commercial.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm seeing a commercial for magicJack, which I assume is some kind of a marital aid.

  • Jim||

    Yes yes, your robot vacuum cleaner is nice, but what happens when Skynet becomes self-aware?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A shot at Shrillary from out of nowhere.

  • Jim||

    Oh man, if the Huck is our conduit to God, we're f'd.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And now Hucksterbee.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Dennis is in his late 20's. And he plays the Indian guy from Parks and Recreation.

  • Jim||

    Going to the same school makes you "colleagues"?

  • Jim||

    Sure is a shit-ton of commercials (a metric shit-ton, not a standard shit-ton).

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    FREE MARKET H8R!!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It looks like it's past Stossel's bed time.

  • Jim||

    God, it's like at a rock show. He just throws out "students for liberty", and gets the shouting like a rock star saying the name of the city they're in.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They should make drugs illegaller.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Victimless crimes are still crimes, John.

  • Jim||

    I can't figure out why these "liberty" homos can't figure that out.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Victimless crime has crime right there in the title.

  • Jim||

    That dude sounds like a young Andy Rooney.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Public opinion is really important-"

    Stop right there.

  • Jim||

    I don't believe that young woman's last name accurately reflects her ethnicity.

  • Jim||

    That drives me nuts. Somebody obviously Asian, with a Polish last name.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Boaz's head is in the way of that url. Does it say www.studentsforlibel.org or what?

  • Jim||

    lol, that's a group I'd join.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Faulkenstein??? If he doesn't become a mad scientist, he's wasting a perfectly awesome (if somewhat Jewish) last name.

  • Jim||

    That gives me an idea for a product that helps apply caulk in the home, and I'd call it "Caulkenstein".

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Spell that differently and it would be a great porn name.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well hellooooo, Buffy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Pepperdine students, tear down this wall!

  • Jim||

    I'm going to put up a "free speech" wall in the middle of the highway.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ingrown beard.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    BOAZ HATES IMMIGRATION!

  • Jim||

    Well, I don't think it's a better country b/c we let in Michelle Malkin.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Most of it is because AMERICA KICKS ASS. FUCK YEAH.

  • Jim||

    Well I promised last week I'd be here, so it's been a pleasure Fist.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Thanks much. Good Team Stossel Liveblog effort. You seem less vulgar and more sober than other Team Stossel members. If Jim is even your real name.

  • Jim||

    Oh, I'm both vulgar and drunk a lot, but not on weeknights; I'd never make it to work tomorrow. Jim isn't real, but it's close enough. Until next week!

  • Jim||

    Oh, I'm both vulgar and drunk a lot, but not on weeknights; I'd never make it to work tomorrow. Jim isn't real, but it's close enough. Until next week!

  • Jim||

    Oh, I'm both vulgar and drunk a lot, but not on weeknights; I'd never make it to work tomorrow. Jim isn't real, but it's close enough. Until next week!

  • Jim||

    Damned squirrels!!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    (Glitch in the Matrix.) (Whoa.)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh my, it's the Judge. I have to turn off the tee vee, his yelling at me riles the blood, and I can't get all worked up before bed.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh my, it's the Judge. I have to turn off the tee vee, his yelling at me riles the blood, and I can't get all worked up before bed.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What the hell, one more time...

    Oh my, it's the Judge. I have to turn off the tee vee, his yelling at me riles the blood, and I can't get all worked up before bed.

  • lexy||

    I find it really good that there excist so many students who want help and spend their time and money for necessary things in the world. That`s important and more people should do that in my opinion.

  • colin||

    hows about this:
    im a 21 year old liberal-arts student in Denver.

    This last week I watched my professor write "Free Trade is Good" in big bold letters on the board, after making explaining the simple economics mistakes entertained French Union members.

    And a philosophy professor said Marx and Hegel were SLAVE thinkers, gotta love Nieztche.

    I now half-expect secret police from University Administration to take us where we can never see the light of day again in order to ensure that these heretical ideas spread around campus.

  • B||

    funny ... Liberals have been busy congratulating themselves that young people are rejecting fiscal responsibility and embracing statism.

    I suppose it all depends on who you ask, and which students you meet.

  • aman||

    NiceHot

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

  • mbt discount||

    like it

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