Saturday, August 15, 2009

And on the seventh day, Donald Boudreaux rested....

George Mason University economics professor Donald Boudreaux has gone on a tear. The last few days on his Cafe Hayek blog have included some of the best posts I've ever read.

First, he has to correct Harold Meyerson's assertion that American manufacturing is declining. It isn't. We're combining parts from all over the world with our parts. That's what we do at my Jukt Micronics gig. If you're so inclined, you can go here to read an ancient post of mine about Harold Meyerson. Before this blog was two months old, I already knew I'd be needing a "Harold Meyerson" post label.

Professor Boudreaux then went to bed, but apparently slept fitfully. Perhaps he knew that there were still some mercantilist rent-seekers who hadn't been properly bitch-slapped. We will never know what motivated him, and it's not our place to ask the great man why, but The Professor got up early the next morning and explained to the English-speaking world that if you "protect" some of your citizen-manufacturers, all you're doing is making their products more expensive than they should be. This, in the long run, helps a small number of your wealthy citizen-manufacturers, but it hurts most of your citizen-citizens.

Later that afternoon, someone defiled Professor Boudreaux's comment field with disturbing news about what Beijing was doing to protect Chinese manufacturers. The Professor took off his academic robe, placed his chalk in the tray at the bottom of the board, and delivered a Karate Kid Crane Kick to the commenter. (I've added the commenter and his family to the prayer list at Broadway Baptist Church, and wish him a speedy recovery.)

Finally, before embarking on a much-deserved Sabbath day of rest, The Professor explains why there's no such thing as a free subsidy. Whether it's cotton, soybeans, corn, tobacco, or those things for which you can trade in a Clunker, someone is paying for every subsidy. And that would be you.

The posts about the Whole Foods boycotts are the dessert.

Brilliant, brilliant stuff. I want to go to George Mason U., and follow The Professor around while he teaches the multitudes. Maybe spend some time fishing on the Sea Of Galilee with him. Hold his coat while he heals some lepers. And then when Obama has him arrested for heresy, deny three times that I ever knew him. Then retire to my home village to write The Gospel of Saint Don.

It could happen.


Dr Ralph said...

What can I say -- I'm forsworn to say anything to diminish the luster of George Mason, where youngest son will soon be an incoming freshman. Don Boudreaux will forever get a pass from me. May his slumbers henceforth be peaceful.

I did note that, although he wrote a reply to the heresy in question, he failed to post it on Meyerson's article, where it might reasonably be debated by other readers. At least I couldn't find it anywhere.

I guess he prefers the relative safety and tranquility of his own backyard.

Dr Ralph said...

WS - Re: Dr Boudreaux's comments on the Whole Foods Girlcott.

Unfortunately, taxes and government services are not ala cart: you can't pay for just the ones you like. Were that the case, there are a lot of things I wouldn't be paying for either. Probably not the same list as yours, but there you go. As far as boycotting Whole Foods, I think it a fine thing, though I won't bother.

Now boycotting advertisers on Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and their ilk -- that's something I could get behind.