"You're a liberal, whether you know it or not, . . . "

YTK031, whether Friedman was a ‘neoconservative’ is a little difficult to say, however he discusses his continued support of using the economic power of the US to influence the PRC and his support of temporarily running budget deficits in the 1980’s for military spending to end the cold war.

‘The religious right’ is considered to be socially conservative where libertarians are socially liberal. Commasplice mentions some of the particularly contentious positions. They would be related concerning freedom of religion (1st amendment) and its protections for Christianity.

Some see libertarianism as an offshoot of anarchism. Anarchism wishing to abolish government, libertarianism recognizing its need to protect the free market and ensure freedoms. For non-wikipedia reading on libertarianism that is current I would suggest Reason magazine, many articles are posted online.

Offshoot? So then conservatives are an offshoot of Hitler and liberals an offshoot of Stalin? To an extreme then a libertarian can be considered an anarchist. Most American libertarians just want the Constitution to followed explicitly, and Libertarians are not considered part of the religious right generally, many are explicit atheists, but there are some like Ron Paul who have religious backgrounds.

Milton Friedman was a free market economist, who in my opinion, did not “sell out” when he joined Reagan’s presidency, but tried figure out the best way to succeed in the system in which America found itself. MF disliked the Federal Reserve System, but then understood that it was reality. He coined the phrase “you have to starve the beast”, the beast of course being the government. Milton Friedman can be contrasted against John Maynard Keynes, who I think has had more of an effect on the world’s economics today, he was someone who believed that a country should spend it’s way out of a recession, not to mention possibly one of the most skilled debaters in history. Where JMK believed in spending, MF and other free marketers believe that saving was the way to go, not random government sponsored work programs.

Krugman is a follower of JMK and argues (as he does in his most recent NY Times article) that one must spend to get out of the recession and that the US didn’t spend enough. A counter to that argument can be found at cafehayek.com reason.com is wonderful too, but it focuses more on culture.

A little history would be helpful here blindside. From wiki

The use of the word ‘libertarian’ to describe a set of political positions can be tracked to the French cognate, libertaire, which was coined in 1857 by French anarchist communist Joseph Déjacque who used the term to distinguish his libertarian communist approach from the mutualism advocated by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.[17][18][19] Hence libertarian has been used as a synonym for left-wing anarchism or libertarian socialism since the 1890s.

I think it is fair to say that libertarianism is an offshoot of anarchism in the sense described above.

I think this kind of lively discussion is great.

Excerpts from “Hayek: The Back Story”
"George Orwell . . . conceded that Hayek ‘is probably right’ about the ‘totalitarian-minded’ nature of intellectuals but concluded that he[Hayek] ‘does not see, or will not admit, that a return to free competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse . . . than that of the state’. "
"How relevant is the book to Glenn Beck’s America? In his 1960 essay ‘Why I Am Not a Conservative,’ Hayek observed, ‘Conservatism may often be a useful practical maxim, but it does not give us any guiding principles which can influence long-range developments’.”
( Hayek: The Back Story By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER, Published: July 9, 2010)

“The accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom dispelled the myth of effective corporate governance. These days, the idea that our banks were well capitalized and supervised sounds like a sick joke. And now the mortgage mess is making nonsense of claims that we have effective contract enforcement — in fact, the question is whether our economy is governed by any kind of rule of law.” The Mortgage Morass By PAUL KRUGMAN Opinion | The Mortgage Morass - The New York Times

Paul Krugman says that he believes in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
“The Conscience of a Liberal” by Paul Krugman, p.267.

"We believe the tea party movement is a response to the growing frustration of many Americans to government overspending. We share these concerns and encourage citizens to express their opinions in a respectful and civil manner.” (Rich Fink, executive vice president of Koch Industries)
WSJ BLOGS Koch Industries Shifts on Tea Party - WSJ

“A nice insurance company, one that didn’t try to screen out costly clients and didn’t look for ways to avoid paying for care, . . . would quickly go out of business.”
“The Conscience of a Liberal” by Paul Krugman, p.221.

Paul Krugman says that insurers are not evil people. “They challenge the claims submitted by doctors and hospitals, trying to find reasons why the treatment offered wasn’t their responsibility” because “the structure of the system leaves them little choice.”

I think that free-market “fundamentalism” is based on untested assumptions and disregards the actual situations of contemporary economy and society.

The accounting scandals only dispelled the myth that the business world is anymore free of corrupt criminals than anywhere else. The criminals were tried and sentenced, and in the aftermath there was bipartisan legislation that passed 99-0 in the senate and 423-3 that was signed by President Bush.

It also seems disingenuous that Krugman doesn’t mention that many of the “millions of homeowners falling behind on mortgage payments” were given sub-prime mortgages that they weren’t capable of taking on. Krugman and the left in general were some of the biggest supporters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Bringing the ‘American Dream of home ownership’, with an adjustable rate mortgage that they wouldn’t otherwise qualify for.

Most of Krugman’s articles that I’ve read are on economics so I can’t comment on the non-economics stuff, but I question his belief in economic liberty.

Could you tell me about the the relationship between “sub-prime mortgage lenders” and “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?”

I don’t know how many people believed that the business world was more “free of corrupt criminals” than anywhere else.

The bit about Enron and WorldCom dispelling the myth about business accounting practices struck me as a ‘can’t trust the business world’ sort of statement. Which struck me as silly because they committed their crime, got tried and then were convicted. That was followed by Sarbanes-Oxley to further prevent future fraud. He seemed to be painting with a broad brush in suggesting that those two high profile fraudulent companies are a representative sample of the greater business world.

In reference to your question on sub-prime and Freddie and Fannie, from wiki:
“In addition to easy credit conditions, there is evidence that both government and competitive pressures contributed to an increase in the amount of subprime lending during the years preceding the crisis. Major U.S. investment banks and government sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae played an important role in the expansion of higher-risk lending”

Thank you for your information, Mattc. I will read the article you mentioned.


American Libertarians come from the what a European liberal used to be. See Austrian Economics, ect. The Libertarians you’re sighting are closer to what Noam Chomsky is. When the word liberal was hijacked by modern American liberals, modern libertarians hijacked the word libertarian in the 70s. Libertarianism to an extreme becomes anarchism (mostly), just like Conservatism to an extreme usually becomes fascism.

I think that free-market “fundamentalism” is based on untested assumptions and disregards the actual situations of contemporary economy and society. -------

Well it depends to what degree you’re talking. I think that Krugman’s form economics, if he were allowed to really enforce what he wanted, are based on untested assumptions and disregards the actual situations of contemporary economy and society. After all, we spend spend spend to get out of a recession and it doesn’t work, the reason is always “We didn’t do it enough.”

France possibly the most ‘liberal’ of the modern west has a new work stoppage every other week it seems… And they can’t spend any more…

I found the following essay interesting.
“Saving is sin, and spending is virtue…Interesting article by an unknown Indian Economist”

The essay was posted on August 31st, 2007.

I don’t know if “American Dream of home ownership” itself was responsible for the economic crisis or not.

I don’t know if American people have to visit Walmart stores less often to “save money and live better.” I don’t know if the U.S. , the wealthiest country, cannot afford to maintain universal health care.

Thom Hartmann’s lecture is very convincing. In his lecture he talks about free market as institution. http://bit.ly/avIE2p