Historians and the Great Depression

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David Beito, professor of history at the University of Alabama and author of the superb From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State, has published an open letter to the journalist Daniel Gross, taking issue with Gross' assertion that "one would be very hard-pressed to find a serious professional historian who believes that the New Deal prolonged the Depression." Here's Beito:

If the quotation accurately represents your views, it is very mistaken.

Off the top of my head, I can name "several serious professional historians" who would probably argue (and argue strongly) "that the New Deal prolonged the Depression." In addition to myself, they include Jonathan Bean of Southern Illinois University, Brad Birzer of Hillsdale College, Brad Thompson of Clemson University, Jeffrey Hummel at San Jose State University, Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton , Michael Allen of the University of Washington at Tacoma, Ralph Raico of Buffalo State College, Burton Folsom of Hillsdale College, David Mayer of Capital University in Columbus, John Moser of Ashland University in Ohio, and Paul Moreno of Hillsdale. All have doctorates in history from top-ranked universities.

Whole thing here. Reason.tv looks at whether Obama's new New Deal will be as bad as the old New Deal here. Amity Shlaes discusses "Franklin D. Roosevelt's baleful economic legacy, the growth of government, and the death of classical liberalism" with Nick Gillespie here.

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  1. Every time you yawn, you’re giving Barney Frank another opportunity to stick his cock in your mouth. FYI.

  2. At best, 3 people at Hillsdale should be weighted as a single opinion.

  3. Revere the academics when they agree with you and yawn at them when they don’t. Check.

  4. Okay, you named 12 historians…but can you name THIRTEEN?? I thought not…you lose!!

  5. I would have counted myself too, but I am neither professional nor serious.

  6. here’s what i dont get. as much as i would hate another depression thread. Why would it matter what the Professional Historians have to say? Wouldn’t economist be a better judge?

  7. One could add Thomas DiLorenzo. Of course, the Lincoln cult would object.

  8. Boston-

    See Thomas DiLorenzo.

  9. Very classy IMO. Gross made baseless, yet specific claim in place of an argument, and Beito clearly demonstrated that specific claim was false.

    The bigger debate will go on, but Gross’s appeal to authority has been debunked. Getting these silly points out of the way is essential to raising the bar of the debate.

  10. Boston,

    What you want is the Economic Historians or Historians of the Economy.

    The obvious point: any opinion on the alternate universe we would have lived in if there were complexly different conditions/policies related to the Great Depression is just that, an opinion. There is nothing less hard about predicting alternate histories than predicting the future in economics, so the questions is impossible to settle with our current tools.

  11. FrBunny,

    Getting these silly points out of the way is essential to raising the bar of the debate.

    Sure enough. Unfortunately, the bar can only be raised to the level of appeals to authority at this point. Those authorities can cherry pick some data to support their opinions, but…

  12. Wow, more rightwing propaganda from Reason. Are they just trying to tank the new New Deal in advance?

  13. LurkerBold-

    Do you like being a slave?

  14. Libertymike,

    When we have a Progressive government and society then I will love being a former slave. Until then, we should both answer that question “no”.

  15. LibertyMike and Silentz:

    Gross’s claim was about professional historians. I didn’t want to give him a loophole DiLorenzo does not qualify since he has has an economics Ph.D. The same is true for Higgs…who has probably done more than anyone to challenge the conventional view.

    Additional professional historians who could be added include Paul Johnson, Steve Davies, Peter Mentzel, Richard Vernier, and Hans Eicholz

  16. I know it’s breaking the first rule of H&R to comment on it, but LurkerBold is epic troll fail.

    No humor, no creativity, and no ability to incite. Even Ultimate Anonymitybot manages to raise a hackle now and then.

  17. Welcome, Mr Beito! Well done!

  18. Add to that Thomas Woods

  19. FrBunny,

    Ive been considering it all day, mainly trying to figure out who has changed persona to LurkerBold, but Ive given up now and am just going to filter him.

    To INCIF he goes.

  20. FrBunny:

    Thanks for the kudos and needed clarifications,

  21. Urkel Bold would’ve been a funnier cognomen.

  22. When we have a Progressive government and society then I will love being a former slave. Until then, we should both answer that question “no”.

    Yes. When the Dictatorship of the Proletariat brings about the true Marxist-Leninist Worker’s Paradise, only then will we be liberated from capitalist enslavement!

  23. Cannot stand reality clashing with your plastic world eh robc?

  24. He only names qbout a dozen? Of the hundreds, probably thousands of history PhDs and profs out there? WTF, the way its often argued on H&R threads it’s just the common consensus that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression. I mean, from some of the posts around here you might not get the impression that view is that of a minority of scholars in the field!

  25. LurkerBold is epic troll fail.

    I’ve got more successful trolls living under… some… er… tiny bridge-like thing in my apartment. Like some sort of toy bridge, if I had one.

  26. Pro,

    When I decided to start posting I was just going to use lurker, but thought I had seen it used here before. Was posting right after a VM comment that, coincidentially he responded to, and added the bold to the end. It was lurker, bold until some copycat fan of joe started ripping me off.

    MNG, nice comment at 2:39.

  27. Now that’s impressive. Lots of universities listed and not one anybody has ever heard of. Now how about a list of historians who disagree with this nonsense, all named Steve. I bet it’s longer.

  28. Yes, but no true Scotsman serious professional historian believes the New Deal prolonged the Depression.

  29. MNG,

    Note, he said “off the top of my head”, which generally means the names that immediately leap to mind. Having a dozen names jump into his head as he sits down to write a letter is not too bad.

    Of course, the question is not what theory has more supporters (although that is often a good proxy for correctness). Every new, better, theory starts off with only a few proponents arguing with a larger number of proponents of older, less correct theories.

    Speaking for myself, I find the Austrian argument persuasive -that the Great Depression was the product of mismanagement of agricultural and industrial policy by various governments, including the U.S. federal government, in the face of dramatic economic changes prompted by the aftermath of World War I.

    Personally, I have read Keynesian (written by Krugman), Monetarist (written by Friedman) and Austrian (written by Rothbard) explanations of why there was a prolonged Great Depression. I found Rothbard’s the most persuasive – and according to him, Hoover and FDR’s interventions hurt the recovery.

    Friedman argued also that FDR’s interventions hurt the economy, but he also argues that the Federal Reserve wasn’t inflationary enough, which was quite bizarre.

    Krugman, on the other hand had no coherent explanation as to why at the end of a 15 year period of increasing government control of the economy, it went into a prolonged depression the likes of which had not been seen before, other than to argue that without the intervention it would have been worse. Lots of animal spirits there… 😉

    I think I am agreement with most classical liberals and libertarians who find the Keynesian argument to be incredibly unpursuasive and poorly thought through.

  30. If ultimate anonymity-bot is a real bot why doesn’t it know html?

  31. tarran,

    Krugman, on the other hand had no coherent explanation as to why at the end of a 15 year period of increasing government control of the economy, it went into a prolonged depression the likes of which had not been seen before, other than to argue that without the intervention it would have been worse. Lots of animal spirits there… 😉

    The problem, of course, is that the opposing view is that “that without the intervention it would have been better.” Replace your lion spirit with a wild boar spirit, rinse and repeat.

  32. The only bright Economists are Marxist Economists, but the right wing education establishment does not allow them to research or teach.

  33. Neu,

    You are quite wise.

  34. You are quite wise.

    Neu, good thing guilt by association is a fallacious argument. 😉

  35. Sugarfree,

    Darn tootin’

    Although given the bizarro world logic of LurkerBold posts:

    LurkerBold calls me wise because he thinks I am not wise.
    Since LurkerBold’s logic is Bizarro logic, that means that I am, indeed, wise.

    Or something….

  36. Neu,

    You take issue with my agreement with you?

  37. Roll Tide Dr. Beito. Obviously you aren’t one of the UA historians that brainwashed my sister 20 or so years ago.

  38. LurkerBold,

    I take no issue with anything, I just don’t speak Bizarronese, so I don’t understand your comments.

  39. NM

    I suggest you read Rothbard’s book on the Great Depression; he makes a very persuasive case as to why every intervention made things worse. And all his actors were acting out of rational self interest.

  40. Like the teaching amgistarium of the church, Libertarian dogma is never wrong. End of story. Fucking free-market fanatics.

  41. Neu,

    If we are to assume that LurkerBold is intended as a spoof of left positions, then his post should be interpreted as suggesting that you are not wise. (Or, at the least, that the idea you are wise is easily mockable.)

    It is a Gordian Knot, though.

  42. tarran,

    I have read a good deal of Rothbard’s work. I find it unpersuasive. Too much is premised upon agreeing with his view of human nature as it manifests in the economy. His argument makes sense if you agree with his axioms, but I don’t buy his axioms.

    Like I said: on this issue, appeal to authority is as good as it gets. So, it all comes down to which authority appeals to you.

  43. I’ve got more successful trolls living under… some… er… tiny bridge-like thing in my apartment. Like some sort of toy bridge, if I had one.

    Let me try: “There are better trolls hiding in my father-in-law’s dental work.”

  44. Sugarfree,

    If we are to assume that LurkerBold is intended as a spoof of left positions, then his post should be interpreted as suggesting that you are not wise. (Or, at the least, that the idea you are wise is easily mockable.)

    Indeed, but the fact that LurkerBold is such an idiotic spoof means that something he mocks is, most likely, an idea worth serious consideration.

    So when he mocks an idea, by sanctioning it, he is, in fact, providing evidence that the assertion is correct…

    Or something.

  45. The only bright Economists are Marxist Economists, but the right wing education establishment does not allow them to research or teach.

    They are in cahoots with those darned evolutionists to suppress the truth that the earth was created by an army of giant worker ants toiling together in social solidarity for a better tomorrow!
    Hail ants!

  46. If we assume that LurkerBold’s opinions are always 180 degrees from his statements, and further assume that his opinions are approximately 180 degrees from correct, then we can take is statements as near approximations of truth.

    No?

  47. Of course, if LurkerBold’s statements and opinions are randomly related or at least non-linear, then all bets are off.

    I am of the opinion that this is closer to the case given that most things in nature are non-linear.

  48. Neu,

    then we can take is statements as near approximations of truth

    No one truly wise would look to ephemeral thinkers for validation. QED.

    I agree that his inconstant nature precludes proper examination. But I think we can both agree that he is too pathetic to be an enemy, too stupid to be a credible ally, and too unfunny to be a worthy spoofer. As I said earlier: D+ at most.

  49. Considering that preceding recessions and panics ended in a year or two, it is quite reasonable to infer that the interventions of Hoover and FDR did prolong the Great Depression, even without elucidating exactly how they did. The fact that Rothbard and others went on to demonstrate how these interventions made things worse only strengthens the case.

  50. Neu,

    Are you upgrading LurkerBold to a force of nature?

  51. DSW,

    It was called the Great Depression because it was worse than all of those other ones and required intervention by great thinkers like FDR. It would have been much worse if his toadies, like Truman had been without his guidance.

  52. He didn’t name ONE professor at an Ivy League school! Ivy League profs are the only ones that matter.

  53. Silentz | January 5, 2009, 1:45pm | #
    Okay, you named 12 historians…but can you name THIRTEEN?? I thought not…you lose!!

    MNG | January 5, 2009, 2:39pm | #
    He only names qbout a dozen?

    These are tough times for parody. The Onion was truly born into the wrong age.

  54. Any of these vaunted economists care to explain why we always enter depressions after Republicans are allowed to control the entire government for a while?

  55. This just in from an alternate universe:

    the right wing education establishment

  56. You mean like the 60s, after the Ike administration?

  57. I also like when 2000s Dems identify themselves with Dems in the 1920s. Trust me, you’d be distancing yourself from those folks faster than Rod “Asterisk” Blagojevich.

  58. The book mentioned in the post is interesting to me as I was just having a discussion about this. It is interesting to me that the basic family structure and community spirit has been supplanted by reliance on government agencies. We are reliant on the government because we have forgotten how to live and work together, like a family. That was the general idea.

    This makes me wonder, all this talk of a new depression and a new new deal. Who wants this? It may be the nutter of a conspiracist in my head, but some entities will surely gain from showing that the cure to finacial crisis is the newest, bestest deal evar!

    I’m sure lucky to be where I am, doing what I do, I don’t want a new deal. I miss the old deal already.

  59. RC, I think they mean “right wing” as in “failing to teach history in accordance with the Marxist dialectic”.

  60. LurkerBold | January 5, 2009, 3:48pm | #

    Lurkerbold stated,

    “It was called the Great Depression because it was worse than all of those other ones and required intervention by great thinkers like FDR. It would have been much worse if his toadies, like Truman had been without his guidance.”

    How does calling the calamities of 1929 and beyond “The Great Depression” require intervention by great thinkers?

    More generally, how does naming anything something require any particular response?

  61. More generally, how does naming anything something require any particular response?

    Dood, you’re getting it all wrong, that’s exaclty how it works! Naming and sloganeering are extremely effective tools for making your chosen response seem appropriate. Stop using that rational brain and start thinking like a moran, then you’ll get it.

    New Deal was teh AwSum! Get a brane morans!!!

  62. Sugarfree,

    Are you upgrading LurkerBold to a force of nature?

    Not force, “farce.”

    [crickets, coughs in the audience]

    Okay, so LurkerBold is either part of nature (hence my comment) or is somehow extra-natural/supernatural…

    Are you assuming that LurkerBold has supernatural status?

  63. phalkor,

    What do tug boaters have to do with the new deal?

    http://www.morantug.com/

  64. Daniel Gross also argues that if only the Fed had bailed out Lehman the stock market would be levitating back at S&P 1200. The man is a hack, he basically exists to write apologia for interventionism.

  65. BTW, could Reason come up with some kind of “I fanatically worship the free market” t-shirt? I want to embrace the idea!

  66. What do tug boaters have to do with the new deal?

    They have almost nothing to do with the new deal, that stuff is history. The tug boats are part of phase III of the new new deal. They won’y come into play until about April 2010 but they will play a key role in the great manatee harvest of 2012.

    Just you wait.

  67. phalkor,

    Ok. I thought you were making a case for Big Tug influencing the ship of state to provide a tug for their industry, or something.

  68. Are you assuming that LurkerBold has supernatural status?

    We find out LurkerBold is actually a ghost at the end. And that Sam Jackson and the water-fearing aliens are going to fight the killer trees for us in a fake colonial theme park.

  69. I was making a case for spelling morans and brane like this to indicate abject stupidity.

  70. phalkor,

    Reeeaallly.
    I would never have figured that out.

    So you weren’t talking about Tug Boats and sting theory?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory#D-branes

    Wow.

  71. phalkor,

    See, cuz I was pretty sure I saw how string theory related to the topic, but not tug boats.

  72. LurkerBold,
    Incoherent, obnoxious leftwing trolling is my territory. Stay the fuck off.

  73. Since my cover’s been blown, I figure LurkerBold is another spoof troll who picked up for me. Check his/her IP address, it probably matches another frequent poster’s.

    Statements like this:
    “Required intervention by great thinkers like FDR.” Could only be written by someone incredibly stupid or a spoofer. Even Keynes, whose ideas are usually called upon to defend the New Deal, thought much of the New Deal an irrational exercise in illiberal populism.

  74. “When we have a Progressive government and society then I will love being a former slave. Until then, we should both answer that question ‘no’.”
    Even I could spoof better than that. At least on my good days.

  75. I also really like joe’s bridge joke.

    I think I’m a FTW-whore.

  76. Methinks LurkerBold is getting the c.o. treatment.

  77. Concerned Observer,

    I missed your coming out party.
    Pity.

    So what is the working distinction between a “spoof troll” and a “troll?”

    I lose track of these things.

    Is it that one is annoying and pointless on purpose and the other is pointless and annoying on purpose?

    Or is it that one is makes stupid statements to get a rise out of the audience and distract them with pointless off topic arguments and the other makes stupid statements to get rise out of the audience and get them off topic with pointless arguments.

    Or do I have that backwards?

  78. To be frank, LurkerBold is not a very good troll. The fact he/she was a parody became clear by the third post – too over the top.

    Lefiti is a good troll; rather than saying
    “Required interventions by great thinkers like FDR”, lefiti says things like “you fuckwads are incapable of understanding why FDR had to do what he did. You market fundamentalists needed him to save you from yourselves but you guys are too stupid and ungrateful to acknowledge that.”

    See? Same assertion, more or less, but you could imagine someone actually saying that while honestly believing it.

  79. NM,

    I believe a troll believes what he says – although trolls do sometimes say things they don’t believe to get a rise out of someone

    A spoof toll, on the other hand, primarily makes arguments that he or she does not agree with. In other words, a spoof troll is primarily a strawman generator.

    Lefiti is not a spoof troll – he honestly believes that one organization should have a monopoly on violence.

    On the other hand, Juanita has to be a spoof troll.

    Like thrash metal, rarely, if done properly and subtly, spoof trolling can be an art that is a pleasure to experience. Like thrash metal, though, most of the time it’s just puerile junk.

  80. Silentz | January 5, 2009, 1:45pm | #
    Okay, you named 12 historians…but can you name THIRTEEN?? I thought not…you lose!!

    David T. Beito | January 5, 2009, 2:16pm | #
    LibertyMike and Silentz:

    Gross’s claim was about professional historians. I didn’t want to give him a loophole DiLorenzo does not qualify since he has has an economics Ph.D. The same is true for Higgs…who has probably done more than anyone to challenge the conventional view.

    Additional professional historians who could be added include Paul Johnson, Steve Davies, Peter Mentzel, Richard Vernier, and Hans Eicholz

    I call again for a ‘sarcasm’ HTML tag.

  81. you guys are dooshbags!

  82. tarran,

    My understanding of the term “troll” is that the “troll” is “trolling for suckers” as in intentionally posting statements for the sole purpose of eliciting emotional responses from those engaged in a serious discussion. I don’t see how “spoof trolling” is distinct.

    Truly.

    I think, if someone believes what they are saying, they are not trolling. They are disagreeing.

    But maybe I am wrong.

    Given your definitions it seems LurkerBold may be a parody of a spoof troll…

    Meta-troll trolling.

  83. tarran,

    Of course, I have a hard time telling the difference between Thrash metal and Speed Metal, can’t tell the different between Doom Metal and Death Metal.

    I get the difference between Grindcore and Thrash Metal, however.

  84. you fuckwads are incapable of understanding why FDR had to do what he did. You market fundamentalists needed him to save you from yourselves but you guys are too stupid and ungrateful to acknowledge that.

  85. One can be a troll and believe what one is saying if they

    1. Don’t have a rational argument for their disagreement.

    and

    2. Are rude about it.

    Therefore, you, joe, and MNG are NOT trolls (usually) but Lefiti is.

  86. No one understands my greatness.

  87. economist,

    So you are using “troll” to mean “rude outsider with a bad argument?”

    That is a significant shift from the way the term was used when it first arose in cyber-space. It used to have the feature “insincere” attached to it.

    Interesting how quickly that specific connotation lost force to be replaced with a more general feature along the lines of “negative” or “rude.”

  88. economist,

    So, given MNG rude behavior over the weekend (undisputedly rude) in the context of a rational argument, was he being a troll on the Gaza thread?

    I would have just stuck with “asshole” or “smug bastard.”

  89. What a bunch of noobs.

    Trolling is all about intent, not rudeness or idiocy.

    A troll posts with the intent of getting people wrapped around the axle.

  90. Here at the great oasis of libertarianism you’re often called a troll if you simply have a dissenting opinion.

  91. Neu,
    First, I did qualify the “not troll” statement with “usually”.

    Second,
    Lots of words change meanings or take on new meanings.

  92. Tony,
    That’s funny, because usually we distinguish between people who disagree with us but are actually interested in arguing the point, and actual trolls.

  93. RC Dean,

    That’s n00bs.

  94. But then again, Tony, I suppose if someone here called you a troll, then that must mean that everyone here calls anyone who disagrees with them a troll.

  95. To the point on mere dissenters vs. trolls:

    Dissenters (usually)

    joe
    MNG
    Neu Mejican

    Trolls
    Edward/Lefiti
    Lonewhackoff
    Neil
    Cesar

    Spoof trolls
    concerned observer
    Juanita

  96. economist,

    Lots of words change meanings or take on new meanings.

    Technically, words only take on meaning in the context of a specific instance of communication.

    But the general trends can be indirectly observed…which is where we get definitions for words. Definitions always lag behind usage patterns and always underdetermine the potential uses for the word.

    Troll is a fairly new term, but it is suprising how quickly it is losing the “insincere” sense that used to be at the core of the fuzzy usage field surrounding it.

  97. From the OED,

    DRAFT ADDITIONS JUNE 2006

    troll, n.1

    * Computing slang. A person who posts deliberately erroneous or antagonistic messages to a newsgroup or similar forum with the intention of eliciting a hostile or corrective response. Also: a message of this type.
    [Perhaps influenced by TROLL n.2]
    1992 Re: Why Not? in alt.folklore.urban (Usenet newsgroup) 14 Dec., If I didn’t know better I would swear that this post bears the mark of the inevitable Peter van der Linden in troll mode. 1995 Toronto Star (Nexis) 23 Feb. G3 Posts that are designed to encourage angry responses are called ‘trolls’ because the purpose is to fish for flames. 1996 M. TEPPER in D. Porter Internet Culture 41 The hoped-for response to a troll is an indignant correction. 2005 Courier Mail (Queensland) (Nexis) 28 Jan. 4, I have not included a feedback page or forum with this site, because those things just seem to attract trolls.

  98. Re:troll, n.2

    * In extended use: an unpleasant or ugly person.

  99. So,

    I can see a meaningful use of the term “spoof troll” if “troll” is being used in the n.2 sense, but not when it is being used in the n.1 sense.

  100. I believe the best possible spoof troll name would be

    Phishing for Flames

  101. economist: I’d point out that at least 50% of the posts attributed to Lefiti are actually spoof trolls, cause of all the Lefiti spoofing going on.

  102. Neu
    I’m sure I’ve missed in the past when I’ve been called teh evil, or the socialist, or an anti-Semite on numerous occasions and you called the other guy out for being rude. Dude, we’re all arguing here, it gets rough at times, no harm no foul.

    I’ve seen joe called everything on the book on this site, relentlessy and often amazingly unfairly (inaccurately). He lives through it and gives back as good as he gets.

  103. I think a troll is kind of someone who has no interest in responding to the other posters. It’s like:

    Troll: Obama is not a citizen.
    Non-troll: What? That’s been disproven because of x and y, what is your response?
    Troll: Obama is a socialist.

    Etc.

  104. No, an insider can be a troll.

    Urkobold, for example, is the consumate insider, running a very influential libertarian culture site, yet is the ur-troll.

    And let us not forget Jean Bart circa 2004, who, I’m told, frequently posted as a troll – yet was an insider.

    Of course, trolls generally are outsiders, because eventually people start ignoring them, and deprived of the rise they are hoping to get, they have to change something. They either get bored or banned.

    In Edward/Lefiti’s case, the refusal of the Reason staff to ban him, coupled with his unwillingness to go away, even when ignored led to an amusing reaction to him: people started imitating him, some even doing it so well, it was impossible to tell the true Edward from the fakes without looking at server logs. I thought that was pretty funny, actually…

    And no, Tony, post a reasoned argument, and you will get a polite response, usually. Of course, like any crowd, there are some assholes in the bunch. You can’t judge everyone in a group by the maximally assholish member in the group.

  105. “Of course, the question is not what theory has more supporters (although that is often a good proxy for correctness). Every new, better, theory starts off with only a few proponents arguing with a larger number of proponents of older, less correct theories.”

    tarran
    I have to say that’s one of the more reasoned and sensibly qualified comment I’ve heard in a while.

    I have not read as much about economics as you have, I can say that from reading your posts over the years. But I tend to go with expert consensuses in various areas unless they just don’t make sense after whatever (admittedly sometimes cursory) examination I can give them. When it comes to the Depression that cursory examination has not made me conclude that the Austrian minority (though significant for sure) is correct and the consensus is wrong.

  106. I hope not one person here ever asked Reason staff to ban any poster.

  107. I thought you were making a case for Big Tug influencing the ship of state to provide a tug for their industry, or something.

    When your mind is always in the gutter, sentences like this make living worthwhile.

  108. Friedman argued also that FDR’s interventions hurt the economy, but he also argues that the Federal Reserve wasn’t inflationary enough, which was quite bizarre.

    Not quite, tarran. He argued that the Fed quickly reduced the stock of money – instituting a deflationary spiral that greatly worsened the Depression.

  109. Didn’t Friedman and the Austrians seriously differ on the Great Depression?

    Does anyone know about what % of libertarians side with each camp?

  110. MNG-

    You can’t disregard the tariff issue. That hurt. It only deepened the damn thing. Anything that gets in the way of truly free trade is going to be a disaster.

    BTW, on the troll issue, on another thread, Fit Bunny claims that I do not know that everybody here considers me to be in the same category as OLS, Lonewacko, Lefiti, nobody u know et al.

  111. Cesar a troll?

    I always thought well of Cesar and wondered what happened to him.

  112. I’ve debated with you several times LM and I don’t think you’re a troll.

    Like I said, a troll is someone who doesn’t even make any attempt to respond to the other posters. They just fling more poop.

    But even trolls can be funny. Everything has its place I think.

  113. MNG-

    When I first started posting here, I was called “The New Neill”, “Cesar”, etc. I was taken by the amount of energy people put into the whole “troll” issue.

    When I have the time, I do engage in detailed debate. I really like the back and forth of it-isn’t that the point? Furthermore, have you ever observed me to run away from debating? To refrain from engaging? Heck, I do try to engage the Lefitis. Sure, I say some provocative things,sometimes I go overboard in trying to engage, but heck, even Epi does that once in awhile.

  114. The types of people who post in the comment section of a blog fall under four categories: sycophants, megalomaniacs, trolls, and the really bored. Being called a troll isn’t much of an insult compared to the people flinging said insult.

  115. (Yawn)

    Yes, please, go back to sleep.

  116. A troll posts with the intent of getting people wrapped around the axle.

    Pithy. I like it.

    I don’t think LoneWacko is a troll. He just has a vastly incongruous political philosophy. He is, however, a blogwhore.

    I’ve seen joe called everything on the book on this site, relentlessy and often amazingly unfairly (inaccurately). He lives through it and gives back as good as he gets. Oh, at least.

    …a very influential libertarian culture site… Oh god, that’s still funny. So much win.

  117. MNG,

    I’m sure I’ve missed in the past when I’ve been called teh evil, or the socialist, or an anti-Semite on numerous occasions and you called the other guy out for being rude. Dude, we’re all arguing here, it gets rough at times, no harm no foul.

    Sure.

    The few times I have felt it was worth pointing out bad behavior was when someone initiated then complained of the response, was way over the top, and/or was doing more harm to their own arguments than their opponents. More a critique of technique than anything else. In the case of your weekend tantrum, it was mainly about how much energy you put into the “I am teaching the bully a lesson” thing …and the relentless self-congratulatory comments that made your behavior worth noting. It hurt your credibility far more than TAO’s. A few rude comments in an exchange looks a lot different.

    I’ve seen joe called everything on the book on this site, relentlessy and often amazingly unfairly (inaccurately). He lives through it and gives back as good as he gets.

    And sometimes, like everyone, he is petty and rude for no good reason. I have called him on it in the past (been a long time, for sure).

    Hell, I’ve done the rude, smug bastard thing myself quite a few times. I have also had my share of name calling thrown my way (sometimes fairly, sometimes not). The reason I brought it up was that I was trying to conjure the difference between being “rude” (which you were over the weekend) and being a “troll,” which you weren’t being over the weekend.

    No insult intended.

  118. economist: I’d point out that at least 50% of the posts attributed to Lefiti are actually spoof trolls

    In these cases, then, “spoof troll” makes sense as strategy to nullify a specific troll.

    But to create a new name/character as a spoof troll seems, to me, just like plain old fashioned trolling.

  119. on another thread, Fit Bunny claims that…

    Why thank you. I try to exercise and eat right.

    I’ll also admit that my claim was mostly tongue-in-cheek and only backed up by one or two examples I happened to remember at the time. I wouldn’t want to be here without the non-acolytes enriching the debate.

  120. “Urkobold, for example, is the consumate [SIC, FOOL, IT’S CONSUMMATE] insider. . . .”

    IT’S TRUE. THE URKOBOLD OFTEN CONSUMMATES INSIDE.

  121. When we have a Progressive government and society then I will love being a former slave. Until then, we should both answer that question “no”.

    Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh? Eh comrades? Eh?

  122. What a sorry list that is. I’ve never heard of any of those schools. Presenting a list like that is counterproductive. Why can’t any of our guys get spots at good schools?

  123. You’ve never heard of Clemson?

    Hey guys, I think SP might be one of those Germans in American Uniforms

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