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Forum Post: Friedrich August Hayek was a Moron

Posted 2 years ago on April 8, 2012, 3:54 p.m. EST by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

“You may be interested in the information that we uncovered on the insurance and other benefits that would be available to you in this country. Since you have paid into the United States Social Security Program for a full forty quarters, you are entitled to Social Security payments while living anywhere in the Free World. Also, at any time you are in the United States, you are automatically entitled to hospital coverage. In order to be eligible for medical coverage you must apply during the registration period which is anytime from January 1 to March 31. For your further information, I am enclosing a pamphlet on Social Security.”

~ Charles Koch, in a letter to F.A. Hayek, imploring him to come work for Koch's think tank, IHS, and suckle at the government teat instead of receiving employer-based health insurance (Hayek had a pre-existing condition).

Don't believe anything an Austrian school supply-sider says, ever. Every word out of their mouths is a rationalization of theft by the managerial class and nothing more. They are charlatans and thieves. Period.

So there you have it.

33 Comments

33 Comments


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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20419) 2 years ago

That is pretty funny. Like it's political partner, libertarianism, there are many hypocrisies to Austrian economics.

[-] 2 points by blinxwang (25) from Johns Creek, GA 2 years ago

Please don't associate "libertarianism" with capitalism. Libertarianism is simply against the state, and does not specify an economic theory.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20419) 2 years ago

Really? I've never heard a libertarian say that, generally because, no government = no economic controls = unregulated capitalism. I'd welcome further explanation from you re: what economic system would work within libertarianism.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20419) 2 years ago

That's a great link. Thanks. I know about libertarian socialism and libertarian communism but always associate the word "libertarianism," when it stands on it's own, with right wingers and capitalism. This article was very enlightening in explaining the history of the word.

[-] 2 points by blinxwang (25) from Johns Creek, GA 2 years ago

Not as big a moron as that Ludwig Von Miser. Sorry, Mises.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Good point.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Thanks for summing that up succinctly, pew, and thanks for your knowledge and your addition to the voices of the sane here.

In the time I have been on this forum there have been perhaps three people I have erroniously thought were trolls. You were one of them, and for that I apologize. You're presence is much welcomed here by me, and I'm sure by many others!

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Just water under the bridge, my friend. And you're welcome. ;-)

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

I love the title of this post. It's somehow hysterical at face value. I don't know why.

[-] -1 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

Hayek was a genius.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I mean come on, Road to Serfdom was more like Orwellian fortune telling than an economics manual. Don't get me wrong, I like Orwell :)

[-] 0 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

i read the road to serfdom. brilliant writing and foresight

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Ultimately, the wrong prescription. I mean, the same sort of arguments can be made in support of Marx, who also made predictions that arguably turned out to be somewhat accurate (however, I do sort of like the economic calculation argument, but for philosophical reasons, since I don't think the information problem will always be an insurmountable problem, or at least not necessarily).

Nevertheless, I'm able to recognize the value of a social safety net (although so did Hayek, albeit to a lesser extent), and I think there's a clear distinction between short term stimulus, and structural growth in government (so I think Hayek tended to oversimplify).

[-] -2 points by Boric (3) 2 years ago

Austrians are not "supply-siders". You might want to not say things you aren't sure of.

Also the writing of one man who is not Hayek has no bearing on Hayek's intellect.

This is a fairly anemic attempt to cause people to not read Hayek. It is only those who fear their own positions that are in the wrong that would try to discourage learning in others.

[-] 4 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Nice effort, Milton. Austrian school is the very definition of the totally preposterous supply-side, trickle-down economic theory advanced by the Kochs and their ilk. And Hayek DID opt in to Social Security, just as Ayn Rand collected welfare and used Medicare in her old age. Your heroes are figments of their own imaginations.

Watch the whiplash on the Laffer Curve, Mr. Galt.

[-] -2 points by Boric (3) 2 years ago

If you wish to actually debate the finer points of the Austrian school instead of try to make what you believe to be insulting jibes - I welcome it.

So far you've said nothing of value in critiquing the school. Perhaps this is why you hold your view of the Austrian school? Could it be that you've never studied it and are simply repeating the phrases that caused you to remain proudly ignorant?

Though if you have studied the school let us conduct ourselves within the framework of reason: Why do you disagree with the Austrian theory of interest?

[-] 3 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

OK, simple. If supply-side economics is real, why aren't we getting rich off salt water? Plenty of supply, tons in fact. Easy to harvest and bottle. Could make a killing in interior States. So why isn't that being marketed and made into fortunes? Hmmm? You want to boil things down to their Manichean simplicity? Well there it is right before you. Make salt water profitable and I'll salute. Until then, it's bullshit.

[-] -2 points by Boric (3) 2 years ago

Austrian isn't supply side. It isn't demand side either. Both of those look at only one half of the equation as if it is more powerful than the other half. It is not, one must look at both halves of an economic situation in order to understand it.

So I won't engage you in your simplistic attack on something I am not defending. (A strawman argument).

If you want to critique the Austrian school then lets start with one of its fundamental differences; its theory of interest.

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Here's the problem. Nearly every supply-sider out there comes straight from Austrian School theory. So while it may be true, in the abstract, that Austrian School economic theory is just a field of study, the economists that emerge from it espouse trickle-down theory almost exclusively. So even if the Austrian School wasn't intended to recommend policy in theory, it has in practice.

And yes, there are some who pin the blame on Keynes and suggest that supply-side is really Keynesian economics flipped over. It still doesn't equate, because only Austrian School presupposes that efficiency of money is the only ideal. All economic theory devalues quality of life, which is what an economy is really all about in the first place. And no economic theory accounts for the two most dynamic and powerful forces in any economy -- natural disasters and human ingenuity.

But the larger point is this: it's conservatives who post up quotes by idiots like Hayek and demand everyone obey it's tenets. It's conservatives who take facile concepts out of context and use them to justify greed and economic policies that have been proven to be an abject failure. All you have to do is look at the results. But of course, that would be completely contrary to Austrian School theory, which refuses to look at empirical evidence in favor of an unattainable ideal that can only exist on paper.

Austrian School proponents believe that an ideal is achievable if everyone would just do as they say. And yet somehow they have managed to avoid being labelled as utopian dreamers and insist that there's is a pragmatic approach. Well, the results of the Austrian School are all around us right now and for years, if not decades, to come.

It's the Austrian School that convinced Europe to adopt the Eurodollar. It's the Austrian School that justifies the excesses and automatic currency debt incurred by central banking. It's the Austrian School that justifies corporate protectionism while delegitimizing all other forms of taxpayer assistance. And if it isn't the Austrian School itself, it's the graduates of that ideology attempting to put that theory in practice that leads them down that path.

I don't really care to debate the merits of an Austrian School approach to economic education. I walked out on my economics professor because he couldn't even understand the concept of investor sentiment driving a stock price. The people who accuse liberals of living in ivory towers of intellectual fantasy are the ones most likely to actually be trying to put utopian fantasies into practice. The evidence that it doesn't work is all around you. If you're trying to justify Austrian School, you're on the wrong side of history. Period.

[-] 1 points by Boric (3) 2 years ago

The supply siders I see come from the Chicago school mostly. They are more Milton Friedman than Hayek and I have stark disagreements with them over several of their assumptions of market indicators and controls.

It may be conservatives who post about Hayek, it may not be - but its ridiculous to try to argue via insult instead of actually getting into an issue. Although I find the labels conservative or liberal almost entirely useless in today's political climate. - Are Classical Liberals liberal or conservative? Do Classical Conservatives even exist - I don't see anyone calling for a return to monarchy? I've seen people on every side of the political and economic spectrum cherry pick quotes they like from famous people to suit their own positions. That is why I prefer to actually discuss the ideas.

Pragmatism itself has issues in such that it is only useful to use once one has established a goal to move towards. What if that goal is impossible or misplaced? Austrian school is rather different in that it disdains modelling of everything. The idea being that each situation is such a different mix of inputs that one model of one behavior at one time may not necessarily be applicable to a similar behavior at another time. Economic interaction after all is literally a complex system - one in which the change in one inputs changes all other inputs.

I will most ardently disagree that the effects of the Austrian school are around us right now. The Austrian school has not been used at all in recent times. Neo classical (Chicago) and Keynesian approaches have been the mainstay of US economic thought and theory and both of those are entirely monetarist with the Austrian school abhors.

I really don't know from where you get your information but the Austrian theories would be dead set against both a Eurodollar - (and largely in fact anything that can be manipulated by monetary policy) such as any central bank. I cannot see how you could draw any form of support. For instance it is Friedman (a Chicago acolyte) that pointed out the Federal Reserve should have acted differently than they Keynesian policy of the day had them act which caused the Great Depression whereas it is the Austrian school that points out that we wouldn't have had one at all if the Fed did not exist. The most vocal proponent of the Austrian school in recent times has been Ron Paul who is a stark opponent of that same central bank. The Austrian school despises protectionism as it despises any intervention in market system by a command system. (Because the system is literally complex and all outcomes cannot be known).

Investor sentiment driving stock prices is more found in Austrian theory because it personalizes economic activity rather than forces it all into a mathematical aggregate. It is the school that most allows for individual action and reaction to variables - which is why its been very good at predicting (what I consider to be the rather obvious) busts that have been occurring. The problem is the expansion of the money supply itself (loans far below market price) that create malinvestment (real estate buy-up) that leads to the crash (they system devaluing those inflated assets).

If you have the time I strongly recommend you read through Bohm-Bawerk's "Capital and Interest" and do some more reading on the Austrian theory of the business cycle because from some of your comments it is obvious you have at some point gotten some very bad information on the Austrian theories. Happy reading!

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

OK, first of all, I posted this thread to tweak the conservatroll Dell after he posted this:

"There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal." - F.A. Hayek

When someone posts a quote by Hayek as though it carries the weight of undeniable logic, I get downright rude. And that isn't going to stop. But before we go too much further down this argumentative roadway, understand that I was being deliberately hyperbolic. And since the far right wing is dominated by thoughtless bullies, using the occasional insult isn't just a fun thing to do (though it can be), it's how we remind the animals that they don't have a monopoly on snide remarks.

I'll grant you that Chicago theory has been very influential, perhaps even more so than Austrian theory during the conservative wave of the past thirty years. But Keynes was relegated to the dustbin a long time ago. Even so, all three economic models assume that all economic decisions are made only out of pure self-interest, which is not only wrong, it's anthropologically inept.

Both Austrian and Chicago theories dismiss community as a driving force for anything. Neither will admit that trans-generational altruism is even possible, with the exception of personal estates. And most importantly, both adhere to the principle that fiat currency is hyper-inflationary by definition. That is not only wrong, it's been proven wrong multiple times in real history.

So even if Austrian School theory abhors monetarist policy, it hasn't spawned anything to replace it, other than "smaller government," which is essentially meaningless. On the contrary, it also spawned the "Laffer Curve" and the "supply-side" arguments, both largely justified using Austrian theory and both flat wrong. I didn't do that. Laffer and Kudlow and company did.

The Austrian School may have been good at predicting the flaws of monetary policy but it has no answers beyond the elimination of leveraging. As far as I can tell, Austrian School espouses two basic things: banks should not be leveraging and governments should not be in any market, ever. And if that's wrong, complain to Kudlow or any of the many munchkins regularly spouting solipsisms on CNBC, not me. I'm not the one who popularized Austrian theory as the supply-side, Laffer Curve powerhouse, they did. But as long as they continue to do so, I will point out that all economic theories are based on bullshit.

Even John Maynard Keynes believed in bullshit: "Long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead." Not even any room for enlightened self-interest among economists? Nope!

So, listen, I don't mean to antagonize academics who enjoy basking in the numbers as an academic exercise. But we're past that here and until I see an economic theory that starts with the elimination of debt-backed currency, I don't care what any economic theorists have to say. They will be 100% wrong on everything until they come around to understanding that very basic concept.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

You concisely summarized the differences. These folks don't know what they want.

[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

hahahaha! how much would you have at 60 years old if you invested 15% of every dollar you earned and got a historically modest 5% return? do the math. I did - it came out to 1.5million bucks. of which I could live off the interest alone & leave the balance to my family. The govt makes me wait till 67 and will give me 1800 bucks a month & keep the principal when I die. Social security hurts the poor & minorities the most. The biggest scam ever devised. Because you value safety & security above freedom & liberty. You are scared of your own shadow and are scared to death of being free. Just like children. They want freedom & want to be taken care of all at the same time

[-] 3 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Having a hard time facing the hypocrisy of your heroes? So sorry. Try reading a book or something. Your understanding of the economy is beneath third grade level.

[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

how so? of course you wont be pinned down with anything specific. hypocrisy of what hero's? I did the math on Soc Sec to show you how you are being ripped off.

[-] 3 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

The people who advocate the dismantling of the "welfare state" use those benefits when it suits their personal needs while railing against it in public and dehumanizing other people doing the exact same thing. If you don't think that's hypocrisy, you're a lost cause in every possible respect.

[-] -3 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

just do the math already. or is it too difficult for you?

[-] 3 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

You can't face the truth and you wouldn't know math if it crawled up your ass and detonated.

[-] -2 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

hahahaha! good luck to you geeez!!!! you'd rather have the govt be the custodian of your hard earn money than yourself. Then have them throw you some crumbs when you are an old man & keep the principal when you die lol! wow!

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

You just described what happened to everyone's pensions and 401Ks. Once again, your rhetoric is outpaced by the facts on the ground. Unlike trusting private enterprise to be responsible fiduciary custodians, Social Security actually works and keeps the promise. F.A. Hayek and Ayn Rand agree. Wake up. Or don't. I really don't give a shit.

[-] 0 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

god luck