Kochs

Time Smears Charles Koch in Headline; Changes Headline, Still Misses His Point

"Gross Domestic Product" measures that include warmaking are not a good measure of citizen well-being.

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The venerable, doddering Time magazine ran a ridiculously misleading headline designed to make billionaire financier of conservative and libertarian causes Charles Koch seem like even more of a monster than they doubtless assume their audience already thinks he is. (Koch's brother David Koch is on the board of trustees of the Reason Foundation, which publishes Reason.)

It read: "Charles Koch says U.S. can bomb its way to $100,000 salaries: Building bombs and using them is one way to growth, the billionaire suggests to allies."

What James Bond supervillainy he's up to, and right in front of Time reporters, it seems!

If you go to the story now, it has the less blatantly maligning hed: "Charles Koch Mocks Common Measure of Prosperity."

The URL still has the telling phrase "charles-koch-bomb-economy/"

But the story shows the author still didn't get the point. Koch comes from an intellectual background that many reporters don't have a clue about—movement libertarianism, via the likes of Robert LeFevre, F.A. Harper, and Murray Rothbard.

They actually had the temerity to question constitutive aspects of the modern state-academic axis, including, believe it or not, the mighty oracle of Gross National/Domestic Product.

A key aspect of the Rothbardian/modern Austrian critique was that counting government expenditures in GDP figures made them inherently misleading as any kind of measure of citizen well-being, since, in Rothbard's estimation, the very fact that government was spending it rather than any citizen of his own free well made its contribution to freely chosen well being dubious.

Rothbard even suggested subtracting government spending from private production for a truer measure of freely chosen well being.

It is from this perspective that Charles Koch was speaking in the presentation Time's Philip Eliott writes about, and Eliott doesn't seem to get it at all:

One way to get [to average American incomes of $100,000 annually]? Building and using more bombs, [Koch] jokingly told about 450 donors to the political network he backs.

"I think we can have growth rates in excess of 4%. When I'm talking about growth rates, I'm not talking about that GDP, which counts poison gas the same as it counts penicillin," the 79-year-old industrialist said, veering off his prepared remarks. "What a monstrous measure this is. If we make more bombs, the GDP goes up — particularly if we explode them."

His audience laughed, clearly getting the joke.

I don't know why the audience laughed, but it wasn't a joke. It was a very serious point about both a core defect in GDP, and a core defect with the state: it's the entity that takes money out of the productive economy to make bombs and intimidate and kill people or destroy valuable property with them.

That is, in a very Rothbardian locution, monstrous. It ain't a joke, Mr. Eliott.

"Maybe we make more bombs," he said, trailing off. "I'm just kidding. I won't go there."

That was a bit of dark humor, and likely it would have been better had he not indulged in it. Might have avoided that crummy headline which will doubtless haunt Facebook poster memes for an eternity despite Time changing it.

Koch was making the broader point that economic growth compounds from year to year. A modest gain early pays greater dividends later. To that end, Koch is trying to make 4% a target for growth.

Kind of, but the core of what Eliott was just discussing was a "broader point" about government's drag on the economy, the lie at the core of GDP measurements, yoked to a very vivid antiwar statement.

Both the author and the original headline writer did a yeoman's job in helping readers not understand any of that.

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  1. “…the very fact that government was spending it rather than any citizen of his own free well made its contribution to freely chosen well being dubious….”

    It’s not dubious, it’s bogus.
    Any free exchange increases human wealth, in that two parties ended up with more than they offered, by definition.
    Any expenditure using taxed money has at least one, and probably both parties with less value than they had prior to the exchange, BY DEFINITION: It was COERCED, for pete’s sake!

  2. Libertarian Brony

    Surely a Reason subscriber!

    1. Not I. Any guesses? Pretty disturbing so could be anyone.

      1. Phyllis Schlafly quote. She’s old school conservative.

    2. No king but Jesus. No princess but Celestia.

      Hmm. So, not Underzog.

      1. Pulled up the UTube page and the first thing I saw was a foxnews clip with the Jacket in the still frame.

        1. Maybe it’s the Jacket.

          1. Whoa.

            *** bites lip ***

          2. I laughed:) I want it to be John but I know it’s not.

    3. Two and a half seconds after right-clicking and that tab was closed and shot in the head at close range before being incinerated.

    4. It’s a sign of the end times. Prepare. Just don’t let the government know that you’ve got more than 7 weeks of canned goods.

  3. “…Might have avoided that crummy headline which will doubtless haunt Facebook poster memes for an eternity despite Time changing it….”

    Where’s turd to tell us that O-care is ‘just like what the Heritage Foundation proposed!’
    This will be repeated like ‘1 in 5 women are raped’, ‘1-in 5 children are starving’, ‘women are beaten on Super Bowl Sunday’, and all the rest of lefty lies.

  4. “That was a bit of dark humor, and likely it would have been better had he not indulged in it. Might have avoided that crummy headline which will doubtless haunt Facebook poster memes for an eternity despite Time changing it.”

    Why should he not have indulged in this? He said something completely reasonable regarding the issue of GDP measurement and Time willfully misinterpreted what he was saying. If you shouldn’t ‘indulge in’ any jokes that liars will purposefully misinterpret in order to attack you, then all humor is dead.

    The person writing for Time is a total moron and Charles Koch is not responsible for his intellectual and moral failings.

    1. I don’t think Brian thinks Koch shouldn’t tell jokes or whatever. I think it’s more exasperation from a guy who has been covering movement libertarianism for decades and knows what writers at places like Time will write.

      1. Yeah, but they’re going to lie no matter what he says so why not say what you want?

    2. “If you shouldn’t ‘indulge in’ any jokes that liars will purposefully misinterpret in order to attack you, then all humor is dead.”

      That’s where we’re headed – only duly-licensed progs will be able to make “edgy” jokes within a certain narrow range (“Republicans are so stupid”), and will be able to get away with shit because they’re simply entertainers. Though no intelligent person is entertained by their “jokes.” I can’t recall the last time I laughed at a professional “comedian.”

      Normal people, who might from time to time actually tell an amusing joke, won’t be forgiven, and the idea that a non-vetted, politically-incorrect person might have been sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek, etc., will not even be considered.

      So we will have Soviet-style “you will laugh, yes?” humor monopoly, where the licensed comedians get to say all sorts of crap, while a regular guy will get in trouble for a knock-knock joke.

      1. I for one refuse to live in a world where I won’t be allowed to post youtube clips of Richard Dawkins calling people gay without being accused of homophobia.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD7ROjLCqwM

        Thankfully we have not yet reached that day.

      2. It will end when people stop apologizing and start saying Fuck You to the twit mob.

        1. This, but it’s going to take someone or some company with money and good will to burn.

          1. I’m not sure about that. I don’t know that they actually have an answer for Fuck You. I like to believe that the majority of people are as tired of that shit as we are.

            1. GamerGate.

          2. Donald Trump!

      3. Try Bill Burr or Jim Jefferies. Jefferies even has an anti 2nd amendment bit that is decently funny.

        1. I really didn’t like George Jeffries’ act. Oh, you mean *Jim* Jefferies, he’s OK.

          1. Oops, George Jeffreys. I knew that.

        2. I’m trying to crack a smile, but I’m not managing it.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcF6bbq77mE

      4. No love for Stanhope?

        I saw him a couple of months ago and was amazed at how misinterpreted some of his bits were by both some of the people I went with and the audience at large, but I laughed.

    3. The problem is they weren’t lying. The problem is they are immersed in a political culture which reflexively assumes the worst interpretation of anything a conservative/Republican says. Or anyone they interpret to be a conservative/Republican, especially the big boogeyman which is the Koch brothers.

      The prog mind is incapable of objective interpretation of anything Charles Koch says. It can’t comprehend Koch saying something anti-war because that’s not something an evil-corporate-Republican would say. It must reassemble the words into something that makes sense inside the progressive mindset, such as something pro-war.

      1. That’s because the progs are the smart ones, the reality based community, the adults in the room.

  5. “Both the author and the original headline writer did a yeoman’s job in helping readers not understand any of that.”

    This is Time. The whole point was to mislead the readers. That’s what they do. They were MSNBC before cable news existed. They’ve been the lefts Pravda for at at least 25 years and that’s just going off my limited memory. Worse than the NYT I might guess.

    1. Fareed Zakaria has written some terrible articles for them. I remember he wrote a moronic gun control article and ended up getting in trouble for plagiarizing parts of it, but all I could think is that he should have gotten in trouble for the monstrously retarded logical fallacies he engaged in rather than the plagiarism.

      Fareed Zakaria also just said this:

      “[Americans’] attitude seems to be one of fatalism?another day, another mass shooting, which is almost literally true. The website shootingtracker.com documents that in the first 207 days of 2015 America had 207 mass shootings. After one of these takes place now, everyone goes through a ritual of shock and horror, and then moves on, aware that nothing will change.”

      Wait…there have been 207 mass shootings in the last 207 days? Why haven’t I heard about all of those?

      Well he used this website: http://shootingtracker.com/wiki/Main_Page

      And it defines mass shootings as any shooting where four or more people are SHOT, rather than killed. So there are literally dozens of mass shootings they count where no one died, but that’s not what most people think of as mass shootings, so they’re purposefully playing word games to make people think there are more deaths than there are.

      Yeah, Time is moronic and Fareed Zakaria is Editor-At-Large moron.

      1. So there are literally dozens of mass shootings they count where no one died, but that’s not what most people think of as mass shootings, so they’re purposefully playing word games to make people think there are more deaths than there are.

        #BlackWoundsMatter

      2. I remember back in school trying to find references for papers and the Time articles were so biased that they were unusable. US News and World Report was fairly decent back then but they started going downhill not long after. Not to Time’s level though.

      3. I remember Fareed Zakharia when he was writing lengthy articles for Foreign Affairs. Then he sold out sometime around the 9/11 attacks and turned into the McDondalds of opinion writers. He never ever writes anything that could possibly offend or contradict the conventional wisdom. Everything he says is calibrated to perfectly match the temperature and tastes of the center-left establishment.

    2. I don’t think the Times is the pravda of the left. The Guardian fits that title much better. They are still the consummate dull center-statist rag.

      1. Yeah, I don’t know. They’re horrible though.

      2. TIME is Pravda not in the sense of being a revolutionary agenda driven magazine. It’s Pravda in the sense of being the official state propaganda organ. I doubt Pravda in 1986 was a bastion of communist revolutionary fervor. Rather, it was the official mouthpiece for what the corrupt late-communist party bosses wanted people to think. Nothing too radical would be published there. Just the official politically correct spin. Similarly, TIME reflects perfectly what the center-left elite thinks and wants us to think. It sets the standard for what is considered “mainstream” opinion.

  6. “Charles Koch says U.S. can bomb its way to $100,000 salaries: Building bombs and using them is one way to growth, the billionaire suggests to allies.”

    Trying to figure out if it is possible for the headline writer to be so clueless, or if he or she deliberately twisted Koch’s words around to mean the exact opposite of what his remarks meant.

    1. It’s Time so…

    2. I question that too – is he really stupid (which is possible given the intellectual caliber of journalists) or willfully dishonest (which is possible given the total immorality of journalists).

      It is a puzzle.

    3. I would say idiocy but GDP, which counts poison gas the same as it counts penicillin,” the 79-year-old industrialist said, veering off his prepared remarks. “What a monstrous measure this is. If we make more bombs, the GDP goes up

      I mean, you’d have to be pretty fucking dumb to miss that.

    4. It’s maliciously incompetent

      Time’s loyal dunce readers are sitting in the waiting room, nodding their heads in agreement with the article. It confirms the cockles of their bias.

    5. I don’t know how Time operates, but I’ve been told that headlines for a lot of publications are written by editors or other staff members, not the actual authors of the articles. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them simply glance over an article before writing the headline.

    6. Delusional is the word.

      Progs live in an alternate reality in which everything uttered by a Koch is incomprehensible unless it is interpreted to mean something evil.
      Charles Koch says something and it sounds like gibberish to the prog mind until the prog mind assembles the words into something that sounds like what the Charles Koch in their head would say.

  7. Capitalism at its finest. Koch (mis)playing his right wing crowd to extract donations. Time and the writer agitating its left wing crowd via click bait.

    Libertarianism will never sell well via rich successful people. But thankfully socialism will never sell well via hippy poor writer.

    1. “Koch (mis)playing his right wing crowd to extract donations”

      LOL, what? Since when do right-wingers oppose building bombs? If he were playing his right-wing crowd, he would have said BUILD INFINITY BOMBS AND NUKE IRAN, he wouldn’t have mocked GDP metrics by criticizing poison gas.

      1. Further, he was completely right, so he wasn’t ‘misplaying’ anyone.

        “Libertarianism will never sell well via rich successful people.”

        You tell yourself that.

    2. “via rich successful people.”

      You mean like Trump?

      1. Successful? Maybe at manipulating bankruptcy law and ED.

        1. Where in New York is your giant phallic symbol located?

  8. If you truly want to know the mood of the nation, you have to go to Steam forums. I was just there, defending libertarianism. And leftists were once again, crushed like bugs.

    The theme was Rebel flags, should we ban them from games. The banners are now all lying beneath broken wagons, licking their mortal wounds, with none to rescue them, only the flies having interest.

    Ok, well, yes, this is only the people who can actually afford the luxury of gaming computers. But, it’s a good fucking start!

    1. Ok, well, yes, this is only the people who can actually afford the luxury of gaming computers. But, it’s a good fucking start!

      You on Doze 10? If so you like? Thinking of building zippy PC, curious about new Doze.

        1. Doze 10 = Windows 10. Sounded like you had fast PC etc., etc. Wondering if you were running Windows 10 and what you thought of it.

          1. No, I’m still running win 7. I do have one of them thar gamin puters.

            Here’s my specs:

            ASUS Rampage IV Extreme MB

            3.6 ghz i7, overclocked to 4 ghz

            32G system RAM

            GTX 970×2 SLI 4G VRAM

            Samsung 850 EVO 1tb SSD

            144hz 27″ Gsync monitor

            This is ok, no I’m not bragging, among my gaming friends, I’m poor.

            1. WHEW you have a sweet system. I bought mine off Kijiji and it hasn’t exploded yet. Has a GTX 660, standard monitor. It’s pretty solid but not as much as yours. Should I get an SSD or invest in expanding my 8 GB of RAM? Or just save up to build my own system?

              1. Both. I was running GTX 660 for a long time, and that served me well and you’ll do ok with a 660 at 1080 if you figure out how to adjust your graphics settings and live with that.

                Yes, get a SSD and NEVER buy another mechanical drive, ever.

                And yes, upgrade to at least 16G system RAM, RAM is cheap and you might have gaming issues with only 8G, it’s the bare minimum.

                1. BTW, GTA V is the greatest game ever created by humans, period.

                  1. Thanks for the advice on the specs but….GTA? Really? C’mon.

                    1. No, really. I just told you. I have a lot of games and I’ve played a LOT of games. Witcher 3, the most hyped game of the last decade, I have it, more than 70 hours in the game, and it pales in comparison to GTA V, in every way. Trust me on this. GTA V is the greatest game, ever, period, end of discussion.

                    2. I prefer San Andreas and Red Dead Redemption to GTAV. I liked it, a great game to be sure, but not R*s best.

            2. No, I’m still running win 7. I do have one of them thar gamin puters.

              That is zippy pile of silicon sounds like. Windows 10 is interesting given it has speed of Windows 8 kernel minus the rest of Windows 8. Question of day for me is build ‘puter now with Broadwell, or roll with Skylake parts this winter sometime. Idea is to build PC for VR, which is going to definitely be Next Big Thing; played with pal’s Occulus devkit and that thing was a hoot, actual VR immersion like how I thought it would be when as stupid teenager I was hitting bong watching Lawnmower Man.

              That Occulus though, even running pretty rough demos, needs some good silicon to make it go. The high-res stuff that will release into the wild will need top spec machines to really get most out of it. But it sounds like you’re future-proofed for a couple quarters though.

          2. Somebody was on last night pretty frustrated with the Win 10 upgrade experience.

            1. If you’re not on Win10, and this is just from a gaming perspective, and you have Nvidia GPU, don’t upgrade to the latest Nvidia driver, roll back to 353.30.

            2. ‘Twas Agammamon. comments near end.

              https://reason.com/blog/2015/08…..na#comment

    2. Gaming tends towards social libertarianism, even among economic leftists. Example: Sargon of Akkad is a fucking British socialist who completely opposes modern feminism and leftist culture policing.

      I don’t think that’s a very good sampling. Lauren Southern actually did a video about how she’s a gamer and has noticed gamers of all political beliefs tend to be much more opposed to PC group think than the general population.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE5wsBlwmiA

      Lauren Southern is also nice to look at, so that’s a benefit to the video. The POS Canadian Libertarian Party almost kicked her out for daring to criticize feminists, but they reinstated her when they realized she was the only popular candidate they had ever had.

      1. Just create a Steam account and post pretending to be a SJW. Have fun getting the living shit beat out of you.

        1. You’re missing my point. Your sample is unrepresentative. Gamers are vehemently anti-SJW, so looking at a sampling of gamers is not an accurate representation of where we stand as a society. Most people are not themselves SJWs, but most people refuse to stand up to them in the way that gamers will.

          1. Except that gamers are now a very big sector of society. I don’t think it’s under representative at all. It’s a very good sample. And it represents a very large span of age groups. We’re always talking about that on the forums. We have people from 8 – 80 years old.

            Pussy ass politicians and academics won’t stand up to them. But their own best interest is going to bring that all crashing down soon.

            1. Not convinced gamers are libertarian-ish at all. Not in any way that matters. PC gamers almost as a monolithic group were behind the FCC’s net neutrality takeover a few months ago. I tried arguing the “so you really trust the the same entity that runs the NSA with greater control of the internet?” argument to no avail. I was universally beat down on steam forums and PC Gamer forums as someone standing in the way of blazing fast and pennies cheap internet via government regulation. PC Gamers headline was even something like; “Net Neutrality passes to universal applaud”.

              But yeah, that’s great they don’t like SJW’s and all. They’ll still jump on board letting the government take over their favorite hobby and probably the rest of their life so long as they promise to make it uber better and hurt those mean corporations.

    3. Hmmm…maybe you’ll be seeing me on Steam soon…

      1. Well, you’re welcome any time.

        1. I won’t use my H&R alias and I will deny being the same person as Cytotoxic. That’s how I roll: ambiguous and creepy.

          1. I’m Hyperion also over there, so you know who I am.

            1. Damn, there are a lot of Hyperions. Did not know multiple accounts could have the same name.

              1. Neither did I. I’m the one with the gadsen flag.

  9. Hmmm. Have to admit, discounting government expenditure from GDP is not a valid measure, at least not completely.

    One could argue about the interstate system for instance, how it was built, paid for, the cost, etc. But I don’t think anyone can say it has zero value, it has added to economic value – even if far from the optimum value possible for an intercontinental transport mechanism.

    And even broken clocks are sometimes right; literal bomb-scheming stumbled on ARPANET via side-projects as an example. One could argue the internet would’ve happened cheaper or sooner or better or faster, but the one we got has some value either way.

    1. Have to admit, discounting government expenditure from GDP is not a valid measure, at least not completely.

      The money used to create whatever little value there is in the gubmint product, was stolen, either from the current generations or future. There was no exchange of wealth; it was a pure extraction.

      Whatever quantifiable value the gubmint has created in its endeavors, you need to subtract all of the wealth it’s removed from the economy, through outright failure, sloth, corruption and war, and pissed into the money fires.

      1. There was no exchange of wealth; it was a pure extraction.

        However it was a good investment that has created vast wealth for society, even if completely unintended and no matter source of the investment. It is worth more than zero on a balance sheet.

        Whatever quantifiable value the gubmint has created in its endeavors, you need to subtract all of the wealth it’s removed from the economy, through outright failure, sloth, corruption and war, and pissed into the money fires.

        There is no way to count such a thing; and one would need to explore alternate historical timelines from scratch to even make a really bad guess.

        1. “However it was a good investment that has created vast wealth for society, even if completely unintended and no matter source of the investment. It is worth more than zero on a balance sheet.”
          That is a presumption; it was coerced, so there is no way of ever knowing that.

          “There is no way to count such a thing; and one would need to explore alternate historical timelines from scratch to even make a really bad guess.”
          If you presume humans wish to increase the value the possess, there is a very easy way to count such a thing: Ask them.
          Offer them a value in a free exchange. Simple. It’s called ‘the market’.

          1. That is a presumption; it was coerced, so there is no way of ever knowing that.

            That’s not a presumption, that’s a fact. The interstate has a value greater than zero. The coercion is neither here nor there.

            1. Cytotoxic|8.3.15 @ 11:38PM|#
              “That’s not a presumption, that’s a fact. The interstate has a value greater than zero. The coercion is neither here nor there.”

              I won’t waste time explaining why you are a fucking idiot.

              1. Good because I’m not and even if I were I’m sure you’d have nothing but grunts and single-syllable words to trot out.

                1. Cytotoxic|8.3.15 @ 11:54PM|#
                  “Good because I’m not and even if I were I’m sure you’d have nothing but grunts and single-syllable words to trot out.”
                  Sorry I don’t have enough 3rd-grade stuff to keep you happy, fucktard.

        2. There is no way to count such a thing;

          Sure there is. It would be a ridiculously complex task, but it’s not impossible.

          Even if you only looked at the interstate highway system, how much of that was created through eminent domain and underpayment to the owners? How many people have died on these roads through no fault of their own, due to incompetent construction or poor maintenance?

          Of course, all of this presupposes that a private network of roads of equal or greater value could have been created without the theft of property.

          I’m not arguing that zero value has been created through gubmint programs, but that their value is grossly overstated. I agree with Koch that measuring the gubmint output, which has been obtained only by removing wealth from the economy, or transferring it from one party to another (**COUGH** Boeing **cough**), is a poor measure.

    2. “One could argue about the interstate system for instance, how it was built, paid for, the cost, etc. But I don’t think anyone can say it has zero value, it has added to economic value – even if far from the optimum value possible for an intercontinental transport mechanism.”

      Nope. Lost opportunity costs, especially for such a huge undertaking.
      Here:
      Any free exchange increases human wealth, in that two parties ended up with more than they offered, by definition.
      Any expenditure using taxed money has at least one, and probably both parties with less value than they had prior to the exchange, BY DEFINITION: It was COERCED, for pete’s sake!

      1. But some percentage was voluntary, it isn’t all coerced. People voted on it. Now the math is all fucked up because if I decided to pave my driveway for $10K, I received $10K worth of product by my measure. If I get to vote on that drive way because I don’t want to pay for it all then me and my neighbor could force a third person to split the cost, even if the third person thinks it’s worth $0. Then the value is all fucked up. Obviously my neighbor and I didn’t think it was worth $5K or we would have split it. Maybe we think it’s 3K, maybe less, but the other guy got negative value.

        Point is, the value isn’t zero, the less popular it is, the less value. And all government projects basically by definition must have less value than individual expenditures unless the public votes 100% for it.

        1. Gomerphobe|8.3.15 @ 11:48PM|#
          “But some percentage was voluntary, it isn’t all coerced. People voted on it. Now the math is all fucked up because if I decided to pave my driveway for $10K, I received $10K worth of product by my measure. If I get to vote on that drive way because I don’t want to pay for it all then me and my neighbor could force a third person to split the cost, even if the third person thinks it’s worth $0. Then the value is all fucked up. Obviously my neighbor and I didn’t think it was worth $5K or we would have split it. Maybe we think it’s 3K, maybe less, but the other guy got negative value.”
          Not happy with that, in that the voting presumed the ‘other guy’ was gonna get taxed. And when the tax was collected, it was obvious that it wasn’t voluntary; it wouldn’t have been a “tax”, it would have been a “contribution”! Ask Warren Buffett.

          “Point is, the value isn’t zero, the less popular it is, the less value. And all government projects basically by definition must have less value than individual expenditures unless the public votes 100% for it.”
          To a third party the value might be more than zero, but not to the parties in the exchange.

    3. If you spend it on capital (yes, that includes IP, kids), then it’s not entirely subtractive and might even be additive (might). When you just take the money out of one pocket and put it into another, it’s pure loss. The latter is most of government and increasing.

      1. “If you spend it on capital (yes, that includes IP, kids), then it’s not entirely subtractive and might even be additive (might)”

        Gonna disagree, by definition:
        Given it was coerced, at least one party lost value. Unless, as a third party, you claim to ‘know the value’ of a good, that means there was a loss. By definition.

        1. That’s not strictly true. Let’s say you’re dying of thirst and have a shovel. I take that shovel and dig a well. You now have water and survive. Clearly that water is worth more than the shovel was. You’ve still benefited from the coercion.

          There’s no one who hates taxes as much as I do, but I don’t think you can argue that all taxation produces a bad outcome even though empirically the vast majority does. Well if you’re an anarchist you could. I’m not.

          1. NotAnotherSkippy|8.3.15 @ 11:34PM|#
            “That’s not strictly true.”

            You’re going to have to try again; your example presumes I objected to someone taking a shovel when I knew I needed water and a shovel was a way of getting that.
            Special pleading, and I have a feeling you’re really going to search for a value gain in a coercive exchange.

            1. Not special pleading at all. It presumes that I can use the money/asset more efficiently than you. In the vast majority of cases I can’t. The error of the Left is that they assume that government is always more efficient than the individual in spite of all of the empirical data. But you can’t simply rule the concept out of hand. Well, you can, but that’s not a rational assessment.

              Change the scenario a bit. I warn you that a flood is coming and I need your sandbags to build a levy. You look at the sunny sky, laugh, and say no. I take the sandbags anyway and build the levy. The flood comes and your house is saved. If you want to argue that you are better off with a flooded house because that was your choice, OK. It turns an economic decision into an arbitrary value decision and prejudges the outcome. I can’t make a rational argument against an arbitrary value system.

              1. Sevo doesn’t understand the meaning of the words he uses. Senility is a bitch.

                1. Cytotoxic|8.3.15 @ 11:55PM|#
                  “Sevo doesn’t understand the meaning of the words he uses. Senility is a bitch.”
                  Stupidity seems to hit asshole early.
                  Fuck off, you miserable pack of shit.

              2. “I can’t make a rational argument against an arbitrary value system.”

                Which is exactly the reason central planning doesn’t work.
                You use the example of the flood presuming an ignorant party and an knowledgeable party, which based on those presumptions, *becomes* the justification for third party intervention.
                ALL value systems are arbitrary; individual; not objective. As I mentioned, to presume otherwise is to presume an economic good has an objective value.
                None do.

            2. Oh, and by “coercive” I’m presuming the inclusion of “fraud”. Not just knowledge asymmetry, but “fraud”, as in purposely misleading one of the parties.

              1. Oh, and by “coercive” I’m presuming the inclusion of “fraud”. Not just knowledge asymmetry, but “fraud”, as in purposely misleading one of the parties.

                Why? The two aren’t necessarily linked.

                Again, I am NOT advocating for government spending in general. I’m simply arguing that SOME SMALL amount of spending COULD be beneficial. I haven’t seen a good model for privatization of defense, so that’s one that I count in that bucket, although we could spend less than we do and still be just as secure.

                1. “Why? The two aren’t necessarily linked.”
                  Purposely misleading one party is a breach of contract; you have promised X while knowingly offering Y.

                2. Shoulda’ got this at the same time:
                  “Again, I am NOT advocating for government spending in general. I’m simply arguing that SOME SMALL amount of spending COULD be beneficial.”

                  I hope you accept I’ve never accused you of wanting higher taxes or anything of the sort.
                  The problem here is the definition of “beneficial”, and the ‘un-seen’ trade-offs. We do not know that the interstate highway system is “beneficial” compared to the alternatives in that the money to produce it was coerced, so we never had the option of ‘voting’ on it. I don’t know that it was worse than the alternative; we simply do not know that it was better. We know full well that whatever its value, it is lower than the same result from free exchange as a result of coercion.
                  ————————
                  “I haven’t seen a good model for privatization of defense, so that’s one that I count in that bucket, although we could spend less than we do and still be just as secure.”

                  Agreed here in that coercion is probably the only way to provide for mutual defense, but there is certainly no way to show it is “beneficial” compared to alternatives we’ve yet to examine.
                  I’ll raise this as discussion: Against whom are we defending and why are we paying a professional service to do so?

          2. Let’s say you’re dying of thirst and have a shovel. I take that shovel and dig a well. You now have water and survive. Clearly that water is worth more than the shovel was. You’ve still benefited from the coercion.

            Not a good example. For starters, you claim coercion but there isn’t any. You used your shovel and dug a well of your own volition. That is charity, not coercion. In any event you haven’t described any transaction – you dug a well on your own volition and he can either take the water or not. If he doesn’t take the water he dies but you then wasted energy.

            It also depends on the supply of water in the well. If you dug for 12 hours and got one pint of water, it’s probably net negative value. If you dug for 5 minutes and got one pint of water, that is probably positive value. However, if only 5 minutes of digging procured a pint of water, he could have dug that with his own hands and your shovel and energy expended were unnecessary.

        2. Given it was coerced, at least one party lost value. Unless, as a third party, you claim to ‘know the value’ of a good, that means there was a loss. By definition.

          Knowing the value of a good is not easy, establishing the value of a good as more than zero is very easy. Lost opportunity cost is there to be sure, but something worth more than zero counts on a balance sheet as positive. That is not ideological, that’s just…math, I don’t what else to say there.

          Koch found a negative with his bombs/poison gas examples. All they do is tie up resources in a useless bank account until they obliterate other resources. But the interstate is more useful than a bomb, right? A bridge – even to nowhere – is still worth something; maybe not even the sum of its parts, i.e. it lost money, but is still worth more than zero.

          A great example of this is the totalitarian shithole called the Soviet Union.The Soviet economy was a completely coerced, centrally planned nightmare of paperwork programmed to crank likes of bombs and poison gas, and little else. But even the ashes of that mess still had somehow made enough assets to mint the several dozen or so billionaires who pilfered the valuable bits – in other words. it was worth more than zero.

          1. TheZeitgeist|8.4.15 @ 12:10AM|#
            (My comment):Given it was coerced, at least one party lost value. Unless, as a third party, you claim to ‘know the value’ of a good, that means there was a loss. By definition.
            “Knowing the value of a good is not easy, establishing the value of a good as more than zero is very easy. Lost opportunity cost is there to be sure, but something worth more than zero counts on a balance sheet as positive. That is not ideological, that’s just…math, I don’t what else to say there.”

            No, it’s not math. and it’s not ideological. If it were math, there is no reason central planning wouldn’t work, and ditto for ideological value.
            Value is NOT something a 3rd party can establish. If it were, fucktards like cytotoxic would rule the world and we’d all be happy, doing what fucktard cytotoxic thinks we should do.
            Value is (to refer to NAS’s post, above), me hanging on to my sandbags, regardless of the third party decision that I shouldn’t.
            IT’S NOT YOUR CHOICE! I get to smoke tobacco if I wish, even if YOU think it is better for me if I don’t
            ——————————–

            1. Cont’d.
              “But the interstate is more useful than a bomb, right?”

              Yes. Is it more useful than my choice of, oh, buying some dope? Why?
              —————————
              “A great example of this is the totalitarian shithole called the Soviet Union.The Soviet economy was a completely coerced, centrally planned nightmare of paperwork programmed to crank likes of bombs and poison gas, and little else. But even the ashes of that mess still had somehow made enough assets to mint the several dozen or so billionaires who pilfered the valuable bits – in other words. it was worth more than zero.”

              I never claimed the interstate was worth zero, only that it has never been shown to be wort more than the alternative.
              And your example really isn’t a good one; read “Once Upon a Time in Russia”; http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upo…..+in+russia
              Whatever passed for capitalism there and then benefited very few and under nasty circumstances.

              1. I never claimed the interstate was worth zero, only that it has never been shown to be wort more than the alternative.

                Efficiency of markets versus central planning is not question at hand. Does government add anything to GDP, or is it a complete write-off? That is the question, and it is purely actuarial in nature. Interstate is worth more than zero – i.e., it added something to GDP. Did it give only $3.00 return when I private citizen would’ve taken same input and gotten $10? Sure. Why not? But that isn’t the point.

                And your example really isn’t a good one; read “Once Upon a Time in Russia”; http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upo…..+in+russia
                Whatever passed for capitalism there and then benefited very few and under nasty circumstances.

                My example is perfectly valid. Something as totalitarian and economically stupid in allocating capital as the Soviet Union still made some valuable things over its some seventy years – valuable enough to make a cadre of thieves very, very rich in the oligarchy which succeeded it. The Soviet economy, in other words, was worth more than zero.

                Come to think of it, how does someone with Rothbard’s bent estimate the size of a truly centrally-planned economy like the old USSR? Using Rothbard’s essential contention, the GPD for USSR would have come out as essentially zero – but it was obviously worth more than zero. See my point?

                1. Efficiency of markets versus central planning is not question at hand.

                  It is EXACTLY the question at hand – Koch is saying that the government is making up the value – GDP is the government claiming that government waste cannot exist.

                  It isn’t that market have no waste, it is that government is ONLY waste.

                  To take the interstate example: on could argue that roads have created sprawl and an unsustainable infrastructure (energy dependence, roads that are under/over capacity for the area they serve). I can take you to small towns that collapsed because the interstate bypassed them.

                  On the face of it you cannot say that the interstate system has created or destroyed value as the calculation is too complicated. But one can logically conclude based on all the smaller examples that CAN be calculated that it would be a miracle if the interstate system turned out to be a net economic positive.

  10. Hillary’s ‘Dorothy’ Ad

    “That’s why I’m doing this …. For all the Dorothies.”

    No shame at all. 8-(

    1. No shame at all.

      She had it surgically removed when she married Bill.

      1. She had it surgically removed when she married Bill.

        Interesting. I always assumed she molted out of it as part of her species’ lifecycle.

        1. Lizard Man would know

    2. Oh, ohhh, poor Hillary, poor dear, she’s so … victim eee, victim like, she’s one of us, she’s so Je Suis pobre … and look at that mother, she’s sooo nice, I bet she didn’t even have tits or vagina thingy…

      1. Well, she didn’t have a private email server ….

        1. Sexist pig…. womanz have a right to private thingies…

    3. “Hillary’s ‘Dorothy’ Ad”
      It was muted and I gave it 2 seconds, so I suffered no harm.
      But, holy cow! That makeup artist is due an emmy or whatever they give out! That hag looked like a living, breathing human in that ad!

      1. Lipstick on a hildebeast is still some dead Libyans, I mean, what diff… sexist pig!

        1. Jesus Christ, if the Republican party weren’t completely useless they would have hung Libya around that idiot’s neck. Libya was one of the worst thought out American military interventions in history, and it occurred largely because Hillary and Samantha Powers decided to talk over the Pentagon’s recommendations.

          The Pentagon opposed the intervention and Powers and Hillary told them to go fuck themselves. The Pentagon actually opened up backdoor diplomatic relationships with Qaddafi against Hillary Clinton’s orders because they were trying to undercut her march to war.

          1. Jesus Christ, if the Republican party weren’t completely useless they would have hung Libya around that idiot’s neck

            Rand Paul will do it. He’s Hillary’s worst nightmare. Which is why the GOP establishment leftist appeasement committee will do everything in their power to nominate BUSH 3.

          2. I did not know that. Not that I doubt your statement Irish but I’d love a link. I always thought the drive to war came from Obama’s desire to be BFFs with the French and other Eurotards.

            1. The Eurotards are not left enough for Obama.

            2. I did not know that. Not that I doubt your statement Irish but I’d love a link. I always thought the drive to war came from Obama’s desire to be BFFs with the French and other Eurotards.

              Not sure about Hillary, but Samantha Power I recall had her progtard mitts all over the Libya mess. Links are a Google search away. It is worth noting that Darfur groupie is dumb enough to fuck Cass Sunstein for free.

            3. Sorry Cyto, should have provided links to start with. I’ll give you one left-wing source and one right-wing.

              Fox News:

              “Pentagon officials were so concerned with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s push in 2011 to back Libyan rebels against Muammar Qaddafi that they opened their own back-channels with Qaddafi to try and prevent the U.S. from entering the civil war, according to a report that cited newly uncovered audio tapes.”

              The New Republic:

              “This wasn’t the only track that Clinton’s State Department failed to pursue. Tapes obtained by the Times showed that Pentagon officials became so frustrated with Clinton’s Libya policy that they maintained their own line of communication with Gaddafi regime, even after Clinton had allegedly ordered them to cease such contact. “Everything I am getting from the State Department is that they do not care about being part of this. Secretary Clinton does not want to negotiate at all,” a Pentagon intelligence asset told Gaddafi’s son, Saif, in one of the phone calls. Former Representative Dennis Kucinich had also made contact with Libyan officials, but he said he was ignored by the State Department and White House.”

    4. How could anybody buy that tripe.

    5. At 0:32:

      “For the first time, she saw parents who loved and cared for THEIR children…”

      Wait, what is this?! I thought Hillary believed that children did not belong to their parents! Has she flip-flopped?

  11. When a libertarian super-villain like the bothers Koch make a reference to war boosting GDP he reveals himself as a monster of historic proportions.

    When a progressive hero such as the Good Dr Krugman prescribes war to grow the economy he is demonstrating the wisdom and benevolence inherent in all progressives.

    1. Except of course Koch didn’t even think that war was a good way to boost the GDP, only that government economists count it as such and shouldn’t.

      1. Yes. His point was that the way we measure GDP is stupid because it counts production of things that have zero positive effect on people’s actual standard of living. It only counts how much money is SPENT by the government, not how much we actually get for the money.

  12. Something can be true & still a joke. Or at least funny.

  13. “Counting government expenditures in GDP figures made them inherently misleading as any kind of measure of citizen well-being, since, in Rothbard’s estimation, the very fact that government was spending it rather than any citizen of his own free well made its contribution to freely chosen well being dubious.”

    The left finds this frightening?

    They don’t even know what they’re afraid of anymore.

    Why are progressives such dipshits?

    1. The thing is that Keynesians rely so heavily on the so-called multiplier effect that they have to defend the notion that it’s only the spending that matters. They want an excuse for government to spend more to stimulate the economy. As a result, they are compelled to ignore or downplay the utility of what the money gets spent ON. Also, they think that the number of low-skilled jobs that are produced is more important than the actual product. Which is why they are against robots and automation. They think society should purposely do things inefficiently so as to keep people employed in low-skilled occupations. Obviously, making useless things like bombs is one way to increase inefficiency and keep people employed so as to hand out money.

  14. Time magazine is still alive? Who’d have thought?

    The progtards can’t stand it when I say the Koch Bros generously give to organizations trying to end Obama’s racist war on drugs.

  15. Why bother reading or watching mainstream news because it is all bias. Whether right or left they twist or omit to make the story come out to their liking.

  16. This is what happens when you have a political culture in which progressives and other leftists are encouraged to indulge in and reinforce one-anothers biases and prejudices.

    Of course Charles Koch must be a war profiteeer. Why he’s a “conservative” (everyone says so), and conservatives are all neo-facist imperialist war mongers. Koch industries makes bombs, right? Of course it does…. no need to bother looking any of this up. All my friends tell me I’m right. Grrr. Kochs. Evil.

  17. Yes Brian…these nitwits in the media who just don’t get the larger point. Kinda like the brouhaha over “you didn’t build that.” You remember that one of course.

    1. Aw joe, it’s really cute how you fellate the collective, so.

    2. We got the larger point of “you didn’t build that”. We thought it was appalling.

  18. Chuck was making the exact opposite argument as that of which he was accused of. Can you even imagine Time doing this to, say, Planned Parenthood? Taking from a speech, “The right wing just thinks we want to kill as many babies as possible and sell their parts to the highest bidder,” and removing the first five words. Any news outfit that did that would be raked over the coals.

  19. Just like this headline, “you own a business? You didn’t build that”.

    Of course “that” referred to roads, bridges and infrastructure, as well as our system of government. But Reason hoped you would think it referred to the business.

    Reason and the Times. Brothers in misleading headlines.

    1. Time, not the Times.

  20. over at think communism

    Media Experts Blast New York Times Over Glowing Profile Of Koch Brothers

    Long after this puff piece is forgotten, future generations and historians are very unlikely to view the Kochs as anything other than modern-day robber barons who used their wealth to try to skirt or rewrite environmental laws, with a livable climate in the balance.

    http://thinkprogress.org/clima…..-on-kochs/

    central committee knows the future how much better it could be if people only put trust in them

  21. Go Koch brothers! Undoubtedly some of the best hope for liberty in my lifetime.

    And thank you Rose Wilder Lane, Baldy Harper, Ayn Rand, Mises, Robert LeFevre, Leonard Read, Hans Sennholz, and the Rampart Freedom school for the passing along knowledge.

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