Turning point

‘The graveyards are full of indispensable men.’

– DeGaulle

‘The great turning point of American foreign policy came in the early 1890s, during the second Cleveland administration. It was then that the United States turned sharply and permanently from a foreign policy of peace and nonintervention to an aggressive program of economic and political expansion abroad. At the heart of the new policy were America’s leading bankers, eager to use the country’s growing economic strength to subsidize and force-feed export markets and investment outlets that they would finance, as well as to guarantee Third World government bonds. The major focus of aggressive expansion in the 1890s was Latin America, and the principal enemy to be dislodged was Great Britain, which had dominated foreign investments in that vast region.

In a notable series of articles in 1894, Bankers’ Magazine set the agenda for the remainder of the decade. Its conclusion: if “we could wrest the South American markets from Germany and England and permanently hold them, this would be indeed a conquest worth perhaps a heavy sacrifice.”‘

– Murray N. Rothbard, Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy

‘In the real world, this also happens: during the recession following the artificial boom period, resources need to get rearranged; certain projects need to be abandoned (like hunting for gasoline in the sushi economy); and critical intermediate goods (like boats and nets) need to be replenished since they were ignored during the boom. It takes time for all of the million-and-one different types of materials, tools, and equipment to be furnished in order to resume normal growth. During that transition, the contribution of the labor of some people is so low that it’s not worth it to hire them (especially with minimum-wage laws and other regulations).

The elementary flaw in Krugman’s objection is that he is ignoring the time structure of production.


People in grad school would sometimes ask me why I bothered with an “obsolete” school of thought. I didn’t bother citing subjectivism, monetary theory, or even entrepreneurship, though those are all areas where the Austrian school is superior to the neoclassical mainstream. Nope, I would always say, “Their capital theory and business-cycle theory are the best I have found.” Our current economic crisis — and the fact that Nobel laureates don’t even understand what is happening — shows that I chose wisely.’

– Robert P. Murphy, The Importance of Capital Theory, 10/20/2008

‘The principal thesis of Hayek’s piece is that perception cannot be accounted for by means of physical laws, since the effect of sensory stimulus is the first aspect of the complex order of perception.’

–  Source

Contact – Energy

‘We have to learn again that science without contact with experiments is an enterprise which is likely to go completely astray into imaginary conjecture.

– Hannes Alfvén

The trouble is, electromagnetism is notoriously difficult to model mathematically, and current models are based on gravity alone.’